Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation, Beauty Dlulane, says sports personalities should be cautious about making comments about racial issues.
Following a trip to Japan to uplift communities as part of a partnership with Panasonic, Bok captain Siya Kolisi was interviewed by Kyodo News, where he spoke about his upbringing and the challenges he faced in becoming a professional.
The issue of transformation was brought up and Kolisi said he does not want to be picked because of the colour of his skin, adding that former South African president Nelson Mandela would not have supported quotas.
Kolisi’s comments led to a heated social media debate, and Dlulane became the latest to offer an opinion in a statement on Wednesday.
‘Transformation in our country has to happen. Quotas in untransforming sport codes, especially rugby at national level, are a way of enforcing it,’ Dlulane said.
‘If some sectors resist being part of the new South Africa, as seen in some sporting codes such as rugby and cricket at national level, then the committee supports the use of the quota system. This has no bearing on competence.’
However, Dlulane warned against sporting personalities commenting on issues of race and said that Kolisi’s comments were ‘unfortunate’.
‘Their opinions might be interpreted as being insensitive to the realities of our country. South Africa is a diverse nation. Transformation is government policy and will remain so for as long as necessary.’
Photo: Andres Larrovere/AFP Photo