Address by Minister Nathi Mthethwa, on the Occasion of the Announcement of the Netball World Cup 2023 (NWC2023) Board

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07 Apr 2021

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this public announcement and introduction of the NWC2023 Board.

As you may know, Netball South Africa, around June 2018, in their desire to grow the sport, in the country, as well as acknowledge the quality of their players, decided to bid to host the 2023 Netball World Cup.

In bidding for the Netball World Cup, we firmly believed that hosting the Netball World Cup will create an environment for peak performances from the games’ finest players and provide them with a uniquely African and particularly South African experience.

Our track record of hosting premier global sporting events is unparallel. We want to host the most inspirational tournament in Netball World Cup history.

As the announcement was made by Molly Rhône, International Netball Federation (INF) President, to the effect that South Africa, was the successful bidder, the real work began. During the announcement, several observation were made by Ms Rhone, amongst others are the following:

“We were delighted to receive an exceptional bid and the INF Board was satisfied that both Netball New Zealand and Netball South Africa would be capable of hosting a successful and thrilling NWC2023.
The INF Board decided that the significant investment that the South African Government was prepared to make over the next four years in Netball facilities and coaching programmes in South Africa, the African continent and beyond would deliver a greater impact on the development of global netball”.

Globally, sport has gained the attention of countries as a key contributor to several priorities of Government. World leaders increasingly acknowledge that sport touches every aspect of a nation’s ethos. Sport is a significant part of any nation’s culture, leisure time, health and education.

Participation by our national teams in major sporting events such as these takes us closer to our strategic objective of nation building and Social cohesion, it further enhances our standing in the world and that of the continent of Africa.

It is true that today’s announcement is long overdue, but I am pleased that this day has finally arrived. For the record, the Cape Town International Convention Centre will play host to the NWC2023, on behalf of the country from 17 July to 8 August 2023.

Indeed, to illustrate the fact that government applies its mind in deciding what sports events to host, individual applications have to be taken through the eye of a needle to justify that broader national interests trump narrow national federation interests, the following criteria, amongst others, were taken into consideration: -

• Government’s own priorities regarding economic benefits, contribution to social cohesion, nation-building, etc.
• National Development Plan objectives, particularly Chapter 15, which seeks to transform society and unite the country, towards a 2030 vision of ensuring that by then, the composition of national representative teams should reflect the demographics of the country.
• Promoting and expressing legitimate empowerment of young women and girls.
• Marketing the country as a tourist destination of choice.
On their part, the International Netball Federation seeks to achieve, through the NWC2023 objectives related to:
• The event being world class in nature.
• Raising the profile of Netball world-wide.
• Leveraging all commercial properties.
• Effective governance and administration.
• Sustainable global development.

Additionally, each event has to contribute to leaving behind a local and international legacy. South Africa’s bid to host aims to highlight the capabilities a developing nation has and the important role they have to play in uplifting one another.

We believe developing our skills and providing the infrastructure will have a long and lasting effect through generations to come.

Organizationally, a multi-party Interim Steering Committee, was established to work on realizing all pre-world Cup milestones. The Interim Steering Committee includes representatives from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC); Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (WC DCAS); City of Cape Town and Netball South Africa.

In terms of the International Netball Federation Heads of Terms document, Netball SA is charged with establishing a 6-person Local Organising Committee (OC), separate from itself, which comprises suitably skilled individuals, to be approved by itself and to consist of the following nominees: -

1. Chairperson - Ms Patience Shikwambana: SASCOC Chief Operations Officer.
2. Board Members
- Cllr Jean-Pierre (JP) Smith: Member of the Mayoral committee - City of Cape Town.
- Dr Lyndon Bouah: Chief Director - Sport and Recreation; Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.
- Ms Cecilia Molokwane: President - Netball Africa and Member of INF.
- Ms Blanche de le Guerre: CEO - Netball SA.
- Ms Sumayya Khan: DDG: Recreation Development and Sport Promotion, Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
The responsibilities of this Board include: -
• Strategic overall guidance and compliance.
• Approval of all contractual obligations.
• Finalization of an Organisational structure for the OC.
• Financial oversight to ensure continued solvency of the OC.
• Approval of all requisite policies.
• Overall project coordination and reporting.

I want to place on record my gratitude and appreciation to Netball South Africa who has had the task of ensuring that the board is constituted as required and ensuring that they lead on delivering on the milestones while the board was being constituted, commitment of our partners in provincial and local government, all the MECs of Sport in the country for their support, other Government Departments who have provided support and who will continue to support us in the areas of their jurisdiction to ensure that collectively we deliver a Netball World Cup par excellence.

In conclusion, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the members of the new board on their historic appointment and wish them well with this assignment. Indeed, they will be expected to hit the ground running, as they proceed to make the country proud.

We strongly believe that it is time South Africa also provides the stage for our own Netball players to showcase their talent on home soil, a place that made the impossible, possible!

Thank you for your attention.