Creepy Crawlies

Creepy crawlies, portapools and the dam(n)s of swimming transformation

 

Ashwin Desai and Ahmed Veriava


Conscious activity is a human characteristic...in swimming in the

ocean of struggle, [we] must not flounder, but make sure of reaching

the opposite shore with measured strokes. Strategy and tactics, as

the laws for directing struggle, constitute the art of swimming in the

ocean of struggle. (Mao Tse-Tung 1963)

 

Swimming, more than any other Olympic sport, has enjoyed tremendous

success since the country’s reintegration into international competition.

Swimmers such as Penny Heyns, Ryk Neethling and Roland Schoeman

have become household names whose feats in the swimming pool have

been immortalised in the record books – hot commodities in an increasingly

corporatising discipline (as the attempts by the Olympic hopeful, Qatar,

at luring Schoeman and Neethling into their squad illustrate). As many

national squads are struggling to chalk up even the most modest accolades

in international competition, South African swimming continues to

go from strength to strength. However, and in spite of a long history of

‘black swimming’ 1 in South Africa, the highest levels of the sport remain

dominated by white swimmers, and the infrastructure and levels of

organisation necessary for participation remain concentrated in residential

and recreational areas that were reserved, in terms of apartheid legislation,

for whites only, and continue to have a predominantly white population. This

is likely to be the case for some time to come.

 

In 1965 Karen Muir became the youngest person in the world to break

a world record in any sport, and that record still stands today. At the British

Championships in Blackpool, she broke the world record for the women’s

110 yards backstroke at the age of 12, and between 1965 and 1970 she went

on to break 15 world records in the 110 and 220 yards backstroke as well as

the 100 and 200 metres backstroke. In 1966 Ann Fairlie broke three world

records, two in the women’s 110 yards backstroke and one in the women’s

100 m backstroke. In 1976 Jonty Skinner broke the world record for the men’s

100 m freestyle and in 1988 Peter Williams broke the world record in the

men’s 50 m freestyle. However, by 1976 South Africa was not a member of

the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA), and Skinner’s and

Williams’ records were not officially recognised.

 

How could it be otherwise? Competitive swimming has always been

a sport associated with leisure and privilege. Private swimming pools were

ubiquitous in white South Africa and substantial resources were put into

the building of world-class facilities. It is not surprising that, in searching

for a global niche market in manufacturing exports for post-apartheid

South Africa, one economist focused on swimming pool filtration systems,

otherwise known as ‘creepy crawlies’, a technology in which South Africa has

long been an acknowledged leader (Kaplinsky, cited in Bond 2005: 65–66).

 

The lifestyles of leisure and privilege reliant on expensive facilities are

alien to the reality of the vast majority of South Africans. In a context where even

the most basic facilities for recreational swimming are massively inadequate,

or simply don’t exist, the likelihood of the next Ryk Neethling being nurtured

in one of South Africa’s impoverished townships in the near future is slim.

 

There was a time in the early 1970s, though, when black swimming

was growing in strength. Brian Hermanus, swimming in Kimberley, was

ranked 25th in the world in the 100 m breaststroke in 1973, and Drexler Kyzer

was also highly ranked in the 100 m freestyle. In 1972 the recently formed

national non-racial swimming organisation, the South African Amateur

Swimming Federation (SAASWIF; see further discussion below), sent their top

five swimmers (Brian Hermanus, Sharief Abass, Seelan Nair, Anita Vlotman

and Denver Hendricks) on a coaching camp facilitated by Sam Ramsamy

in the UK. But in many senses this was a high-water mark for black

swimming. The lack of resources, the political imperative of not seeking any

funding from white swimming and political authorities, and the boycott of

international competition all conspired to elevate swimming administrators

into some of the leading figures in the local and international struggle

against apartheid, while simultaneously hurting the actual swimming

performance in the pool.

 

The present chapter sifts through this history, tracing developments

from the early days of non-racial swimming, through the various phases

of sporting unity, into the present period when swimming has become a

highly technical and specialised modern sport. This is not meant to be a

comprehensive history of the sport; rather, it is an attempt to chart the forces

that have come to shape its political and competitive contexts, specifically

approaches to the transformation debate and the strategies of various actors

in this regard. Finally, the chapter will offer a preliminary assessment of the

success of swimming in meaningfully resolving the contradictions that have

plagued the sport, and our society more generally.

 

The chapter is divided into four sections. The first section focuses

on the political history of the sport under apartheid; the second centres on

the unity process, and the manner in which this process has influenced

the contexts of transformation. In the third section we take a critical look

at how different approaches and strategies have shaped the modern face of

the sport, and the extent to which they meaningfully address the racial and

class imbalances that characterise swimming in South Africa today. The

final section presents some recommendations for strategies that could take

transformation of the sport beyond the levels already attained.

 

The birth of black swimming

Sport in an apartheid society

In the early 1960s, as international condemnation of apartheid was beginning

to gather momentum, the South African government anticipated the impact

this would have on its economy if European markets were closed as a result

of its race policies, and began to look east. In November 1961, a delegation of

Japanese businessmen came to South Africa to conclude a trade agreement.

and the South African government announced that Japanese people, who had

been classified as ‘Asian’ within the apartheid racial schema, would henceforth

be given the status of ‘honorary whites’ in South Africa. However, early in

1972 this policy was tested when the Pretoria City Council refused to grant

permission for the touring Japanese swimming team to use its pool. Fearful

that the incident would disrupt South Africa’s ambitions on the economic

front, the government was forced to intervene and voice its disapproval, while

the city council moved to rescind the ban (Lapchick 1975: 42).

The Japanese incident highlights important elements of the

relationship between apartheid and sport. If anything, it demonstrates the

state’s whimsical approach to the official policy environment for sport. But

perhaps more importantly, it speaks to a deeply pathological commitment

to racialised sport – in particular when it came to swimming – that went far

beyond the legal frameworks of apartheid. As Robert Archer and Antoine

Bouillon point out in The South African Game:

[A]t the heart of white social life swimming is subject more than any

other leisure activity to...pitiless, indeed pathological segregation.

For unlike tennis or golf, swimmers are in direct physical contact

with each other, through the medium of water; far from separating

swimmers of different races (or sex) water dissolves the physical

barriers between them. Innumerable stories describe the ‘pollution’

which white South Africans fear will result from mixed bathing, and

the outrage they feel when it occurs. (Archer & Bouillon 1982: 105)

 

It is therefore not surprising that, even before the introduction of formal

apartheid sports policies after the National Party came to power in 1948,

segregation was maintained within the local institutional structures of the

sport; it was also present to varying degrees in other sports, specifically in

the various governing bodies of the different sports codes. This is clearly

illustrated in the struggle of weightlifters to gain international recognition.

In 1946, T. Rangasamy, a leader of local black weightlifters, petitioned the

British Amateur Weightlifters Association for formal recognition of black

South African athletes. The Association’s response speaks to the challenges

faced by black athletes in all codes of sport:

 

We cannot bring any pressure on the South African weightlifting

federation to force them to recognise you. Their rules, as with all

national sporting associations in South Africa, will not permit of

mixed contests between white and coloured athletes. This is also a

condition of the South African Olympic Council… (cited in

Lapchick 1975: 21)

 

Apartheid, rather than introducing segregation in sport, worked to codify and

institutionalise these relations. As Grant Jarvie has pointed out:

By the time the National Party came to power in 1948 and the apartheid

policy emerged, a degree of segregation and inequality of opportunity

between white and non-white athletes had evolved already in South

African sport. There was little need, therefore, to impose a policy of

apartheid upon specific sporting relations since social differentiation

already existed. Furthermore, the general laws of apartheid rule

rendered multiracial sport impossible in that it was illegal for black

and white athletes to mix openly in competition, as it was for black and

white people to mix socially in society. (Jarvie 1985: 48)

 

Notably, government pronouncements on sport often followed from

explicit political challenges to racially discriminatory practices in sport.

By 1956 resistance to apartheid sport had arisen, as a result of international

recognition being fought for and granted to the Non-Racial Table Tennis

Board; this served as a catalyst for a growing demand by black sporting

federations for international recognition. Such resistance resulted in the

announcement by the Minister of the Interior, Eben Dönges, of South

Africa’s first official sports policy. The thrust of the 1956 policy, apart from

making explicit the state’s commitment to the separate organisation of

sports, was to insist that black federations seeking international recognition

would be forced to do so through the existing white organisations in South

Africa, and that athletes who attempted to travel overseas to engage in

activities ‘designed to change South Africa’s traditional racial divisions’

would not be issued with passports (Draper 1963: 6). The broad application of

the latter measure effectively banned any black sportsperson from competing

in international competition without the explicit support of the state.

Although the state’s policy would be variously amended in order to navigate

the bumpy terrain created by an increasingly powerful campaign to ensure

white South Africa’s exclusion from international competition, state policy

continued to reflect a deep commitment to the basic tenets of the 1956 policy:

The government does not favour inter-racial team competitions

within the borders of the Union and will discourage such competition

from taking place as being contrary to the traditional policy of the

Union – as accepted by all races in the union…The policy of separate

development is in accordance with the traditional South African

custom that whites and non-whites should organise their sporting

activities separately. The inclusion of different races in the same

team would therefore be contrary to established norm and custom.

(Minister of the Interior Naudé, cited in Lapchick 1975: 35)

 

However, the determination of the state to impose its apartheid vision on

sport did not go unchallenged within the country. The formation of the

South African Non-racial Olympic Committee (SANROC) in the early 1960s

was an important turning point in black South African sport. SANROC set

out to establish itself as the official Olympic representative body, effectively

calling for white South Africa’s exclusion from the Olympics. In its assertion

of the autonomy of black sporting organisations, this marked a radical

departure from previous strategies of resistance in the domain of sport.

The formation of SANROC also marked the hardening of relations between

black and white sporting federations in South Africa.

 

These developments ran parallel to a growing militancy in black

nationalist politics that increasingly provoked repressive responses from

the state. SANROC was not left untouched. Leaders like Dennis Brutus were

imprisoned as the state worked to systematically weaken the leadership

of the young organisation. In 1965 SANROC suspended its activities, and

it re-emerged in exile in 1966. By the 1970s international opinion over

apartheid sports policy had shifted firmly in favour of the movement. White

sports organisations, desperate to return to international competition, were

forced to open talks with their black counterparts in the hope of bettering

their case. Such overtures were, however, more often than not insincere,

with white organisations reneging on agreements soon after they were

made. Faced with the reality of well-endowed white sports bodies backed

by an assertive apartheid state, sports activists sought out a more radical

approach. The South African Council on Sport (SACOS) was formed to meet

this challenge, and would represent the interests of the non-racial sporting

movement in South Africa until the period of unity talks in the late 1980s

and early 1990s.

 

Increasing resistance, both internally and externally, to apartheid

sport led to Prime Minister B.J. Vorster reiterating the government’s

commitment to separate development in sport in a second policy statement

on the subject in 1967. However, by the 1970s international pressures had

forced the apartheid government into trying to represent its policies in a

more palatable way to the international community. The year 1970 was a

turning point. In that year South Africa was expelled from the Olympic

movement, the first expulsion of any country in the history of the movement;

it also became known as ‘the year of the boycott’ as anti-apartheid groups in

Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand staged massive demonstrations

against the South African government’s sports policies. In addition, it was in

1970 that the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Supreme Council

for Sport in Africa condemned apartheid and apartheid sport; South Africa

was banned from competing in nine international events and suspended

from a number of international sporting federations (Jarvie 1985: 54).

 

In 1971, the South African government under B.J. Vorster began

drafting a new sports policy that would be adopted in its final format in

1976, under the tutelage of Minister of Sport Piet Koornhof. In terms of

this ‘new’ framework, black athletes would be allowed to compete in a few

events called ‘multinational’ or ‘open international’ events. This permitted

different racial groups to compete with each other as ‘four nations’ outside

the country; however, locally no mixed sport was to be allowed (although

cricket made a short-lived attempt to stretch the boundaries and field mixed

teams). According to Jarvie, ‘while the shift in policy was being portrayed

internationally as a radical change in policy, in practice the logic of apartheid

was preserved in that each racial group was allowed to develop its own

separate sporting relations with the proviso that the white administered

sporting bodies remained in overall control’ (Jarvie 1985: 54).

 

In fact, this ‘multinational’ sports policy would provide the framework

for inequalities to be entrenched under apartheid, with differential allocation

of resources to the separate racial groups written into the policy. In the case

of swimming, such resource gaps had a profoundly negative effect on the

organic growth of the sport in the massively under-developed and poverty-

stricken townships. According to the London Times, in the early 1970s just

five per cent of the national budget was allocated to spending on physical

infrastructure for the African majority (Archer & Bouillon 1982: 167). Such

spending disparities had significant effects on the provision of sporting

resources to black communities. Where white sport in South Africa was

funded primarily through public finance, only seven per cent of the budget

for African sport came from this source, while the rest was drawn from the

South African Bantu Trust (a special fund created to purchase land for the

bantustans and finance official development programmes for Africans).

 

Additional money for the construction and upkeep of township facilities was

drawn from profits secured through the sale of liquor at township outlets

(which fell under the control of the local authorities). The starkness of the

resultant inequality is demonstrated by the fact that, in the period 1973–1974,

the state spent one hundred times less money on black sport than it did on

white sport (Archer & Bouillon 1982: 167).

 

Whereas white athletes could benefit from the infrastructure and

facilities of sports centres and private clubs, this was not the case for their

black counterparts, whose communities generally lacked the economic

resources to develop equivalent private sector facilities. In addition, Africans

in particular were prohibited from owning and managing sport facilities.

This meant that, whereas Indian and coloured athletes could enjoy degrees

of autonomy where privately owned facilities were available, African athletes

were entirely dependent on the white organisations and authorities.

 

Statistics derived from the 1977 Official Yearbook demonstrate the

massive shortfall in adequate infrastructure for participation in swimming

(South Africa 1979). For the black population as a whole, there was a ratio

of 1 public pool to every 569 441 people. In such a context it was clearly

impossible for swimming to become a mass sport in black communities, let

alone one in which black swimmers could excel at competitive levels. By 1977

not a single public Olympic-size pool was open to African swimmers.

 

Such statistics, however, speak only to shortages at the level of

physical infrastructure for the development of swimming. To this should

be added the lack of resources for coaching, and poor organisational

infrastructure. And if all this was not enough to discourage black swimmers,

there were always institutionally reinforced pseudo-scientific reasons offered

for why blacks could not swim. Frank Braun, a former president of the South

African National Olympic Committee, provided one popular example:

‘[S]ome sports, the African is not suited for. In swimming, the water closes

their pores so they cannot get rid of carbon dioxide and they tire quickly…but

they are great boxers and cyclers and runners’ (cited in Lapchick 1975: 92).

Nonetheless, and in the face of these enormous obstacles, swimming did

develop into a popular sport among black people, one that boasted high levels

of organisation and performance.

 

Black swimmers begin to organise

 

The formation of SAASWIF

Without any state support or adequate infrastructure, pockets of black

swimmers began coming together to form clubs and to test their skills in

competition. While these first clubs were, in the main, grouped in Indian

and coloured areas, they formed the basis of what would become a non-racial

swimming movement. Although competitions had been held as early as

the 1930s, it was not until the mid-1960s that the imagination and capacity

necessary for the formation of a national non-racial swimming federation

culminated in the creation of SAASWIF.

In January 1965, at the Swain household in Wynberg, Cape Town,

13 people representing different provincial swimming organisations came

together to discuss the formation of an alternative national controlling body

for swimming. The meeting itself was something of a triumph, having taken

some 15 months to organise (with Western Cape administrators travelling

the length and breadth of the country, transported by ‘Dickie’ Herbert, an

erstwhile swimming administrator; stories of ‘Herbert’s Transport’ became

folklore in the black swimming fraternity) (Davey interview). At this first

‘national’ meeting the Natal Indian Amateur Swimming Association,

Griqualand West Amateur Swimming Union, Eastern Cape Amateur

Swimming Association and Western Cape Amateur Swimming Association

were present. Not surprisingly, the question of race in sport was discussed.

Significantly, even in these first meetings ‘racism in society in general and

sport in particular was rejected with venom that was to be built and given

precise direction in the decades that followed’.

A small national swimming meet and two more meetings of

the founding group would follow before, in 1966, at the David Landau

Community Centre in Asherville, Durban, SAASWIF was formed, and

 

W.A. Paulse was elected as the first president of the organisation. This

historic meeting was followed by the federation’s first ‘official’ national

tournament hosted by the Natal Indian Amateur Swimming Association.

In the tournament Natal asserted its strength, winning all but one of the

competitions. Notably this tournament also marked the last time the category

‘Indian’ featured in the name of this provincial association. In 1969 SAASWIF’s

headquarters shifted from Cape Town to Durban when Morgan Naidoo

became president of the organisation.

Under his leadership, SA ASWIF would continue to organise national

tournaments and coordinate activities among the various provincial affiliates.

At the same time SAASWIF was one of the prime movers behind a heightened

campaign to ban South Africa from international sport. Most famously,

SAASWIF spearheaded the campaign to suspend the South African Amateur

Swimming Union (SA ASU) – the controlling body for white swimming –

from FINA.

 

In 1973 a delegation from FINA arrived in South Africa to evaluate

the state of swimming in the country. SA ASWIF met with the delegation

and presented a detailed memorandum to its members. The memorandum

was something of a triumph, and was the most complete account of the

state’s systematic exclusion of the black community from participation in

swimming.

 

The report, as well as the excellent campaigning work of people such

as Morgan Naidoo and Sam Ramsamy, resulted in FINA suspending the

white swimming union at a meeting in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. This happened

in spite of the fact that SA ASU had been a founding member of FINA. Morgan

Naidoo, then president of SAASWIF, was denied a passport to travel to the

Yugoslavia meeting and in October 1973 was banned under the Suppression

of Communism Act (No. 44 of 1950), clearly a reaction by the state to his

pivotal role in isolating ‘white’ swimming.

 

In 1976 FINA formally expelled SAASU from international swimming.

The expulsion represented a major victory for non-racial swimming under

the banner of SAASWIF.

 

However, in spite of SAASWIF’s tremendous success, both at the level

of its political engagement and in the development of non-racial swimming,

it remained predominantly an organisation located in Indian and coloured

communities. This is not surprising, as Indian and coloured sport was

able to develop with greater levels of autonomy, and Indian and coloured

people also benefited from better resources and higher standards of living,

compared to African people.

 

The emergence of SANASA

The 1970s saw the emergence of organised African swimming, beginning

with the formation of the Western Transvaal Amateur Swimming

Association in 1974, later known as the Amateur Swimming Association

of Western Transvaal (ASAW T). In the course of 1975 other provincial

associations were formed, eventually culminating in the formation of the

South African National Amateur Swimming Association (SANASA).

 

The various affiliates of SANASA had largely grown out of initiatives

developed by local municipal administrative ‘boards’ under white

government control. According to Thabo Seotsanyana (the second president

of SANASA), their stated intention was ‘to organise swimming and later hand

over the reins to the community’.5 Initially the boards were extremely helpful,

making transport available to convey swimmers to galas. SAASU, keen to

see the emergence of an alternative voice to SAASWIF as the voice of black

swimming, supported SANASA with coaching manuals and small amounts

of funding to run swimming clinics. As SANASA began to assert its autonomy,

however, SAASU attempted to regain control of the organisation. According

to Seotsanyana:

 

...it later became evident that SAASU’s financial and material

involvement had ulterior motives. After the staging of SANASA’s

first and second national championships, an attempt was made to

‘hijack’ SANASA by SAASU. To get out of this situation, SANASA decided

to become less dependent on SA ASU and began to organise its own

fundraising campaigns. When SAASU realised that their relationship

 

with SANASA was turning sour, they tried to co-opt the president of

SANASA, in his absence, to the position of honorary vice-president

of SAASU. This pathetically patronising attitude was met with anger

and bitterness by SANASA. Subsequent meetings between SAASU and

SANASA proved fruitless and the two organisations parted company.

 

Its fallout with SAASU would, however, exact a price. Previously SANASA

affiliates had received small amounts of money and support from various

municipal boards. These were summarily terminated, and attempts

were made, by the West Rand Board in particular, to divide organisers.

While the latter attempts were unsuccessful, in other parts of the country

administration boards succeeded in destroying the organisation by

threatening organisers with dismissal from government jobs if they did not

cooperate with the authorities. In Seotsanyana’s view, ‘[s]wimming, as a

result, suffered a severe and crippling blow in those areas.’

 

ASASA: taking swimming into the township

 

As its relationship with SAASU crumbled, SANASA grew closer to SA ASWIF,

and in March 1982 the two organisations merged to form the Amateur

Swimming Association of South Africa (ASASA). An ASASA publication recalls

the event:

Whilst both organisations were firm believers in the credo of

non-racial sport, because of the artificial barriers which exist in our

society their constituency was in the case of [SAASWIF] predominantly

so-called coloured and Indian and [in the case of SANASA], African…

The most important reason why the two bodies merged was first and

foremost, their unshakable belief in the principle of non-racial sport.

 

Like its predecessor, SAASWIF, the political character of ASASA was explicit

from its inception, and the organisation placed itself firmly within the

ranks of the struggle against apartheid. In the 1980s, in regard to sport,

this was the terrain of SACOS. Growing out of the political traditions of

SAASWIF and SANASA, ASASA entered the SACOS fold of organisations with a

long history of struggle and boasting a highly skilled and competent set

of administrators.

 

But, where SA ASWIF’s political history was rooted in the sports politics

of the late 1960s and early 1970s (SAASWIF being a founding member of

SACOS), ASASA was far more a creature of the 1980s. For SA ASWIF, the major

fronts of the struggle had been the campaign for recognition of black

athletes, and white South Africa’s exclusion from international sport. In the

1980s, however – with the proliferation of autonomous black organisations

antagonistic to the state across all sectors of society – the emphasis shifted to

ways of organising sport, guided by the practice of non-racialism. For ASASA

this meant ‘delivering swimming on a non-racial basis’ (Davey interview).

And in spite of incredible obstacles, ASASA managed to cover all the major

codes of aquatic sport (the umbrella term covering swimming, water polo,

diving, synchronised swimming and open-water swimming) with the

exception of diving (since virtually no pools available to black swimmers

were equipped with diving boards).

 

According to Mike Davey, a former official of ASASA, their strategy

focused on taking the sport into the townships, and despite the political and

logistical challenges this presented, the organisation consciously located its

national tournaments within townships. This often meant swimming in

pools whose sizes were considered obsolete by competitive standards:

 

We had a national tournament in Orlando West swimming pool

[in Soweto] under terrible conditions. It was the first time that

something like that happened. We had to supply our own generators

so that we could swim at night. We had to supply lanes’ ropes and

starting blocks. The original lanes’ ropes were fixed with meat hooks

in a swimming pool. A youngster taking a wrong turn could have

impaled himself. But still, we ran for a week and at that time we had

so-called coloured and Indian, fair blue-eyed girls, living in the heart

of the township…and those children were as happy as anything…the

event went off without incident except for the rottenness of the city

council…And in that political climate we were given no airplay or

mileage. (Davey interview)

 

But ASASA’s biggest challenge was to present itself outside the pool. As

the political landscape of the 1980s began to shift, and a path was cleared

towards negotiations and national reconciliation, black swimming was forced

to confront the question of unity in sport.

 

(Dis)unity in sport

 

While much has been written about the ‘ease’ with which reconciliation

has happened since the first democratic government was inaugurated in

1994, with a lot of attention being paid to the symbolic gestures made by

figures such as Nelson Mandela, little is said of the major differences that

existed amongst black sports organisations immediately after 1990 with

regard to the process of unity and reconciliation. In the debates arising from

these different positions, the prioritisation of reconciliation over redress

was questioned by many who saw prioritising redress, as a means to attain

equality, as a precondition for unity and reconciliation. Much of the history of

the unity process in sport has yet to be written. More importantly, we have yet

to understand how these political processes shaped the present competitive

contexts and priorities of the different codes of sport. For swimming – where

‘full’ unity was achieved only in 1999 – it is without question that the current

complexion of the sport is directly linked to the fractious process that led to

the establishment of a single controlling body.

 

SACOS and the contexts of unity

As discussed earlier in this chapter, the formation of SACOS, and the

increasingly confrontational character of black organisations, also coincided

with the state’s quest to control all facets of life. In the decade that followed

its establishment, SACOS would grow into a formidable force in South African

sports politics, and an important node of the anti-apartheid movement.

 

However, SACOS’s relationship to the Congress movement9 was always

ambiguous. Since its inception, the membership of the organisation had

been drawn from across the spectrum of black politics in South Africa.

But, in the political vision of the Congress movement – which became

increasingly hegemonic over the anti-apartheid movement in the course

of the 1980s – SACOS remained outside the fold. This perception was

reinforced as debates within the organisation over its non-collaborationist

stance (expressed, for instance, in the double standards policy that forbade

members of any of its affiliates from taking part in sporting events outside

its control, and the ‘no normal sport in an abnormal society’ position,

which involved a general refusal to engage with the ‘organs of apartheid’ –

which for SACOS included white sport) began increasingly to reflect the

divisions between the different political traditions within the broad liberation

movement. Such SACOS positions sat uncomfortably with many from the

Congress tradition and, as a result, increasingly came to be viewed as too

far to the left. But, as Jace Naidoo, the president of SWIMSA, notes, the

organisation was anything but uniform and nurtured a strong culture

of debate:

 

I know that there were those accusations [of ultra-leftism]. But, I

think if you sat in some of those SACOS meetings, there was debate

on the widest political level, and I don’t think any other political

structures in the country were operating on that level of democratic

debate…While there might have been those accusations, I think

SACOS was one of the few structures that allowed for political debate…

(Naidoo interview 1)

 

However, in the late 1980s the Congress movement also began its push to

unite the anti-apartheid movement under the ‘Harare Declaration’ and to

formulate its programme to bring about a negotiated end to apartheid.10

Guided by the ‘radical’ rhetoric of the ‘National Democratic Revolution’

(NDR), this programme prioritised asserting the hegemony of the Mass

Democratic Movement (MDM) (made up of ostensibly independent structures

steeped in Congress tradition) over all aspects of civil society, including

the organisation of sport. With respect to the latter, this meant providing

political leadership for, and control over, a process that would lead to the

unification of the governing bodies of black and white sport. SACOS’s

steadfast commitment to the principle of ‘no normal sport in an abnormal

society’ would prove a difficult obstacle to overcome, and presented a

defiant challenge to the Congress agenda of negotiation with existing white

organisations on all fronts.

 

In 1988, the National Sports Congress (NSC) was launched as the

sports arm of the Congress movement. While the language of the NSC did

not initially set it in competition with SACOS, a clear line had been drawn

and the deep differences between the two organisations would soon become

apparent. Initial engagements between them crumbled under the weight of

strategic differences – specifically the respective organisations’ approach to

unity with white sport – and a split loomed. As Gideon Sam, a past president

of SWIMSA, explains, for cadres inside SACOS a choice had to be made:

 

There was this feeling that if I am NSC it’s because the NSC aligned

itself to the ANC and that SACOS aligned itself more with Black

Consciousness. So, it became a question of ideology, and there was

a split along those lines. (Sam interview)

 

As the lines were being drawn, ASASA declared its allegiance to SACOS.

As Jace Naidoo explains, ‘ASASA was a strong SACOS affiliate. It was very

clear – we were a SACOS affiliate and we would have nothing to do with

the NSC’ (Naidoo interview 1). But as these debates raged between SACOS

and the NSC, ASASA was experiencing other problems which, although

not directly linked to the question of unity, would come to dramatically

reconfigure this terrain. Historically, SAASWIF coaches and administrators

had worked on a purely voluntary basis. However, as the sport grew more

popular in the late 1970s, a few coaches had begun charging fees. This

contradicted the amateur status of the organisation and the sport generally,

both nationally and internationally, and eventually led to the breakaway

of two clubs after the ‘professional’ coaches were refused entry onto the

pool deck at the National Championships in Cape Town. They formed a

new body called the South African Amateur Swimming Board of Control,

under the leadership of Eddie Meth and Easlyn Fredericks. The organisation

subsequently disbanded and rejoined the folds of non-racial swimming after

the formation of ASASA.

 

However the rapidly changing political environment in the late 1980s

was to cause another split.

 

At ASASA’S 1991 national tournament, athletes were asked to read a

pledge supporting SACOS and the principles for which it stood. This resulted

in a split in the organisation:

 

…this issue was about the political one in terms of SACOS – the

acknowledgement of SACOS, acknowledgement of the struggle in

terms of issues about racism. [The group led by] Easlyn Fredericks

was fairly actively involved in the Labour Party and actively

campaigning for them.11 I remember the first breakdown came when

each team had to pledge allegiance to SACOS. And they refused to do

that. And they pulled out a club in Cape Town, East London (later),

and a club in Johannesburg. (Naidoo interview 1)

 

Unification: round one

 

The split in ASASA would prove convenient for the NSC. While it was clear

that ASASA was unlikely to change its approach to unity, the breakaway

group now presented the NSC with a possible ally in swimming. Shortly

after the split, the South African Amateur Swimming Congress (SAASCO)

was formed and almost immediately entered into unity talks with the white

SAASU. ASASA had at that stage already initiated talks with SA ASU; this was a

tactical move in response to the growing power of the NSC. The NSC began

taking a keen interest in the process. Although SAASCO had the benefit of

competent and experienced swimming administrators like Eddie Meth and

Easlyn Fredericks, the new organisation lacked the type of organisational

culture and political experience that could have prepared them for the

task ahead. The NSC, whose deep investment in the success of the process

would not allow them to see talks fail, ‘deployed’ Gideon Sam – a seasoned

sports administrator – to lead the SAASCO delegation until Sam Ramsamy

returned to country.

 

As Gideon Sam explains, the new organisation had something of an

ad hoc character; its energies were directed at the task of forging ahead with

the NSC agenda for unity:

 

[When] we sat in an NSC meeting, we would look around and we

would say ‘who can we send into that federation?’…We were

actually asking people to go to various federations – okay, Mackerdhuj

was there in cricket, Patel was there in rugby – so all the other little

ones, like swimming, we would ask among ourselves, who knows

how to tackle these whiteys in swimming…And then, they’d say

‘Ja, Gideon, you come from Somerset West, you can swim, you go…

and meet the people’…There was a splinter group from Durban with

Eddie Meth, there was a splinter group from Cape Town, someone

from Kimberley, and then we had a Border faction. We didn’t have

anything in Gauteng. So those splinter groups formed a congress.

(Sam interview)

 

As negotiations unfolded, ASASA insisted that SAASCO with their four clubs

could not be considered a representative organisation. The talks deadlocked.

However, SA ASU and SAASCO continued with talks and formed a new

organisation.

 

By the time Sam Ramsamy returned to South Africa talks were

already under way, and he immediately took over from Gideon Sam as the

chief negotiator for SAASCO. In terms of the unity agreement there would be

a fifty–fifty split of the executive, and after two years an open election would

be held. The resultant body that was formed was the South Africa Amateur

Swimming Association (SAASA). Sam Ramsamy was the first president, and

Issy Kramer (a former National Party representative in government) and

Gideon Sam shared the vice-presidency.

 

FINA and the second round of unification

 

Through the first round of the unity process, ASASA stuck firmly to the

SACOS position on unity. Numerically ASASA had the upper hand. While

the new body had significantly greater resources, ASASA organised the vast

majority of black swimmers. Because of this, ASASA believed that without

their participation, there would always be a question mark over the process

and over the new body’s claim to being representative of black swimming in

South Africa. In this they were wrong.

In 1992, the question of which organisation could claim the status

of being the official controlling body for swimming was put firmly on the

table when SA ASA applied to join FINA. While ASASA was allowed to put its

case to the international body, it had under-estimated the influence of Sam

Ramsamy in the international arena. For years Ramsamy had been the

accepted representative of swimming at all international meetings, with

ASASA’s own voice in these forums often mediated by him. Not surprisingly

then, FINA went with the new unified body:

I think also the reality was that we didn’t realise the extent of Sam’s

influence…the moment we came up against Sam we lost the battle

because when Mike Davey went to the FINA meeting to address them,

they only gave him a few minutes…that decision was made a long time

ago, and the way those international federations work, an outsider

is not going to come in and change their minds. It wasn’t how good

the case was. The organisational structure, not so much in terms of

swimming organisations, but Sam, and his interaction at a political

level and his influence in terms of the African swimming structures

where he was completely influential, meant there was no way we were

going to win that fight. We were painted as people who were anti-ANC.

And so that fight was lost. (Naidoo interview 1)

 

While FINA acknowledged ASASA’s historical role in the struggle, recognition

was given to the new body as the official representative of South African

swimming.

 

However, beyond the influence of Ramsamy, this decision was

also in part a consequence of the international community’s firm support

for South Africa’s ‘unfolding miracle’. Internally as well, the language of

non-participation was coming to seem increasingly out of step with national

developments. After the FINA decision, ASASA was forced to reconsider its

approach to the new organisation. However, emboldened by the international

body’s decision, the terms of a merger offered by the new ‘unified’ body,

SAASA, were nothing like those of the previous process. ASASA was offered

just three seats on the executive, with an open election following in less

than a year. ASASA, which boasted a few thousand swimmers and a modest

bank balance, declined the offer. Over the next seven years the organisation

remained outside the official ‘unified’ structure and continued to host its

own national tournaments.

 

Unity, finally

 

If ASASA showed every sign of good health at the outset of the unification

process, by 1999 it was in deep trouble:

We were on our last legs. Because by then children on the other side

were going overseas…they had the financial muscle while we were

haemorrhaging. We still managed to have national tournaments worthy

of the name in 1999 but were in bad shape. (Naidoo interview 1)

 

Cash-strapped and unable to offer its swimmers anything other than

localised competition, something needed to change for ASASA. Ironically, the

final phase of unification was catalysed by the success of an ASASA swimmer

who was given the opportunity to travel to Australia to train and compete.

However, this proved complicated because ASASA was not a member of FINA

and the new body objected to the swimmer’s participation in Australia. As

a result, ASASA approached the South African government for assistance.

Although the government informed ASASA that it could not interfere in the

affairs of an individual sporting authority, it also put pressure on the FINA recognised

SA ASA to resolve this matter.

 

In 1999, SA ASA changed its name to Swimming South Africa

(SWIMSA). ASASA had entered discussions with SWIMSA hoping for nothing

more than a programme for the development of black swimming in the

country. However, Gideon Sam, who was the president of SWIMSA at the

time, agreed to begin formal talks with ASASA. This created an opening

for discussions on cooperation between the two organisations and

ultimately for unification. The terms of the merger also proved to be

far less disadvantageous this time around. While this could have been

seen as a magnanimous gesture on the part of the internationally

recognised structure, the latter was also searching for mechanisms to

achieve its ‘transformation agenda’ and stood to benefit from a merger.

It had not been able to produce any new black administrators, technical

officials or coaches of note, and the numbers of such persons that had

entered the organisation at the time of unification were small. ASASA

presented SWIMSA with a substantial number of established, technically

competent administrators and coaches who were well versed in sports

politics and who, theoretically, could advance the agenda for change within

an organisation that was predominately white. And so, in 1999, ASASA finally

merged with SWIMSA.

 

Two ‘transformations’

 

It has been posited that the characterisation of South Africa as a country

with two economies (Mbeki 2003; see also Chapter 1 of this volume),

necessitating two separate and parallel strategies for transformation, has,

rather than allowing for redress, democracy, reconciliation and cooperative

governance to facilitate the progressive erosion of inequality, instead made it

possible for inequality to persist, and in fact to remain entrenched in society.

This finds an echo in the state of swimming in South Africa today, with a

separation between transformation efforts aimed at developing a pool of ‘elite

athletes’ to represent South Africa (‘non-racially’) in international events

 

(Transformation 2 – reformative), and those efforts aimed at developing mass

participation in swimming (Transformation 1 – transformative).

 

Transformation 2 has most often been evident in the state’s need

to make all institutions of society, including civil society formations such

as sports federations, reflect the country’s racial demographics. This has

resulted in many institutions and individuals approaching transformation

purely as a matter of replacing white faces in structures with black faces,

or ensuring the presence of a token number of black swimmers in teams.

In the words of Jace Naidoo:

 

[M]ost federations have seen transformation almost exclusively as a

‘numbers’ or ‘quotas’ issue. To a large extent this has been driven by

the state’s philosophy of transformation – society and organs of civil

society, such as sports federations, being reflective of the country’s

demographics. This race-based philosophy has contributed to the

need to define racial groupings in sport, and has served to entrench

ideologies of race, rather than moving toward a philosophy of

non-racial and mass-based sport. (Naidoo interview 1)

 

Proponents of Transformation 1 have argued that the state could have

played a much more useful role by prioritising redress in its approach to

transformation, i.e. understanding transformation as the need to correct the

imbalances created by apartheid through proactively dedicating resources

to increasing access for the previously disadvantaged to swimming. With

such an understanding, increasing the majority of people’s access to the

resources, facilities and institutions necessary to realise their full potential as

swimmers would become the focus. In sport, this would have meant placing

a substantial emphasis on ensuring mass participation in sport at all levels,

from the urban townships through to the rural farmlands and marginalised

areas, as opposed to the constant emphasis on ensuring adequate numbers of

African participants in national teams. According to Jace Naidoo:

 

[P]rogrammes aimed at mass participation in sport, if initiated at the

turn of democracy in South Africa, would have ensured that South

African sport, 12–14 years down the road of sporting unification,

would have been reflective of the demographics of South Africa –

more so than the current racial interpretation of demographics. South

African sport at all levels would have seen representation by the rural

poor, the unemployed township youth, participants from working

class communities – all of whom had been historically denied access,

and currently have few opportunities for accessing either recreational

or competitive sport. (Naidoo interview 1)

 

Instead of taking this approach to transformation, the prioritisation by

the state of an approach of ‘two transformations’, within a socio-economic

situation that has remained largely unchanged for the poor, black majority

since the end of apartheid, has meant that the realisation of true potential

is still limited to those few South Africans who continue to enjoy inherited

apartheid privileges or who have been able to gain access to the necessary

resources through their participation in the first economy, i.e. white and

black middle class South Africans.

 

Transformation 2, while limited in this sense, has however also

entailed important struggles to change the racial composition of various

sporting federations, where successful engagement has resulted in the

changing of conservative (generally white) leadership at national and

provincial levels. This process has, though, had little or no effect at the level

of clubs which, through their historical access to resources (being based in

middle and upper-middle class communities), continue to play a dominant

yet conservative role in sports transformation. With a prioritisation of

Transformation 1, such struggles would not have reaped benefits only for

an elite few.

 

SWIMSA’s current transformation programme attempts to bring

together these two approaches. However, tensions run through this strategy.

Pressure to speedily produce black international stars sits uneasily alongside

a project that seeks to build mass participation in swimming at all levels, in

all communities.

 

The state of transformation in aquatic sport today

 

First-time travellers flying in to any major South African city often remark

on the little blue swimming pool shapes that dot the green gardens of the

suburbs, as well as on the dry and barren squatter camps that either sprawl

next to these suburbs or climb up the nearby hillsides and dump sites. They

are a telling reminder of apartheid’s legacy – entrenched inequalities that

confront even the best attempts at transformation.

 

The state of aquatic sport in South Africa today reflects this legacy,

with white and middle class people continuing to enjoy representative

advantage at both competitive and recreational levels over black and working

class people. This has been the result of the consistent development of

strong white aquatic sporting organisations since the turn of the last century.

The unification process that started at the beginning of the 1990s was also

characterised by an adoption of the existing infrastructure of the dominant

partners in the process, i.e. white organisations.

In time, too, the unified structures assumed the organisational

culture and practices of these organisations. Instead of allowing for a new

organisational culture to emerge from the merger process, it was assumed

that the culture of the dominant partners was best suited to the new context.

In the main, this culture was characterised by ‘the rapid development of the

individual and the creation of a super-elite, ultra-competitive grouping of

athletes with the ability to bring international glory’ (Naidoo interview 1).

The type of organisation celebrated by this culture was one in which

 

leadership, decision-making and responsibility were highly centralised, and

membership was elitist. This kind of organisation is not conducive to the

building of mass participation, through the implementation of transparent

processes which engender accountability, democracy and collective

responsibility and leadership. In this context the development of a mass-

based recreational aquatic sporting organisation remained the vision of the

minority. According to Jace Naidoo, the bringing together of such different

cultures in one organisation resulted in:

 

...the inability to either transform the organisation or properly institute

grassroots development programmes in disadvantaged communities.

An organisation committed to mass-based aquatic recreational activities

requires structures within the organisation which can cater for this

need. In the short term, a centrally driven structure may prove essential

to direct the organisation to the goal of mass participation. However,

in the medium to long term, an organisational structure which is

transparent, democratic and accountable to its smallest unit, i.e. clubs

and their membership, is crucial. All attempts must be made to resist

the temptation to create more bureaucratic structures (often under the

guise of better management) that result in greater alienation of the

basic units of the organisation. While democracy cannot be legislated, it

must be encouraged to remain a dynamic activity within aquatic sport

in the country. (Naidoo interview 1)

 

While the current state of aquatic sport in South Africa has made it difficult

to redress apartheid’s legacy, and in many senses organised swimming

remains bound by the limitations of the political and economic transition,

SWIMSA’s commitment to ‘the numbers game’ seems to be paying off, at a

competitive level. According to Jace Naidoo, ‘The profile of our entry level

national competition (level 1) has been completely transformed, with only

a small number of historically advantaged competitors or team officials’

(Naidoo interview 1). A slow but discernible increase in the percentage of

black participants has been noted at the higher levels of national competition,

through to the national team. But this transformation at a competitive level

is not mirrored at either a team management or technical official level. In

recent years, in an effort to increase participation and strengthen clubs, the

national federation has decided that the lower levels of national competition

should be club-based, rather than provincial meets. This has resulted in

a reversal of the ‘demographic profile’ seen previously at level 1. But this

strategy reveals the reality that it is going to take many years for even the

narrow goal of making elite teams racially representative to be achieved.

 

It is clearly evident that the big winners since the early 1990s have

been white swimmers. The lifting of the international boycott has given

them the opportunity to garner international accolades, and access to

well-endowed US universities. Unlike cricket with its Makhaya Ntinis,

and rugby with its Bryan Habanas, swimming has not produced its post-

apartheid standard-bearer. But the officials presently managing the national

organisation seem determined to change the status quo and, as the latter

part of this chapter will show, there is an emergent set of proposals with the

potential to make for a productive race-redress programme.

However, any understanding of the processes of change needs to

factor in the particular nature of the sport of swimming.

 

Obstacles to the transformation of aquatic sport

 

The expense involved in becoming a swimmer is often a prohibitive

factor in the lives of potential black competitors. Because of the resources

necessary to participate in swimming (either recreationally or competitively),

the transformation of participation in elite swimming competitions has

remained restricted largely to whites and the emerging black middle class.

At present, it is only those young people with access to these resources, i.e.

attending private or semi-private schools, who are able to enter the arena

of elite competitive swimming, as they generally have access to in-house

experienced coaches, and high-standard swimming facilities.

 

The state has played a significant role in this regard, encouraging

efforts and resources to be directed towards the development of individual

stars, particularly through its ‘knee-jerk’ responses following the apparently

poor performance of athletes at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and their

marginal improvement at the Athens games in 2004. Here an increased

emphasis began to be placed on the production of elite athletes at a national

level, particularly athletes of colour. The lack of success at the Beijing

Olympics in 2008 only served to heighten to fever pitch the clamour for

more resources to be thrown into the production of elite athletes. The linking

of federation funding to the success of these programmes has resulted in

federations in a range of sports shifting their focus from investment in mass-

based sport to the development of elite black athletes.

 

Rather than focusing on the long-term development of mass sport,

with the natural rising to the elite levels of those with potential, the

state wanted ‘quick fixes’ to institutionalised problems. The state

failed to recognise that countries such as Cuba and Kenya, with sports

investment several orders of magnitude lower than South Africa,

were generating medal winners, or that countries such as Australia

and the United States were making investments per individual medal

won beyond any imaginable budget among South African federations.

(Naidoo interview 1)

 

Promotion of competitive aquatic sport is also dependent on increasing the

numbers of youngsters entering the sport at an early age, i.e. six to seven

years. This entry is facilitated either by parents enrolling children in clubs

or through the involvement of schools. While former Model C and existing

private or semi-private schools have the resources to promote the sport – and

in many instances actually have major clubs based at the school pools –

schools in townships do not have swimming pools or educators with the

requisite skills to promote the sport using community resources. To a large

extent, the development of swimming in historically disadvantaged schools

over the last 10 years has been the responsibility of the national swimming

federation. However, the United Schools Sports Association of South Africa

(USSASA) has tended to focus on the organisation of events, drawing together

schools that already have swimming programmes. USSASA has therefore had

limited involvement with the development of the sport in schools that were

traditionally outside the domain of organised aquatic sport, with the result

that transformation has not included those who were most marginalised and

excluded from the sport under apartheid.

 

The organisational factors impeding transformation are several. The

human resource demands for transformation are substantial, particularly if

the focus is on increasing mass participation. Large numbers of swimming

teachers are needed to promote the sport at all levels. Although SWIMSA

has trained several hundred such teachers, it has very little control over

where these teachers practise their skills – generally in communities that

can provide some remuneration for their services. Thus such teachers are

rarely active in poor townships or at schools where they will receive no

income. Apart from swimming teachers, other human resource needs relate

to the voluntary activities associated with organised swimming, such as

technical officiating, administration and management positions at club,

provincial and national levels. While SWIMSA has conducted training for all

of these categories of volunteers, the competitive demands of the sport are

tremendous, with activities taking place on most weekends, particularly in

the summer months, in competition venues located at a distance from the

poorer communities. For unemployed volunteers from the townships, this

represents a substantial financial investment – which is not sustainable

either by the individuals themselves or by the organisation. Thus, these

activities are undertaken by the better resourced members within the

swimming fraternity – those with vehicles, time and professional expertise.

And these, more often than not, happen to be white.

 

Facilities and related issues also pose a major threat to transformation.

Since 2000 many municipalities throughout the country have made

major investments in the upgrading of existing or the building of new

aquatic facilities – many up to competitive standards – in communities in

need. However, these initiatives have not been backed up by community

participation through the establishment of clubs. While SWIMSA has often

tried to provide as supportive an environment as possible, working class

communities have lacked the necessary resources to establish clubs. In many

cases, the promotion of use of the facilities and of aquatic activities has come

to rely on the pool supervisor or the lifeguard, which has obvious limitations:

‘A single individual providing a limited amount of time to developing

competitive swimmers fails to provide the necessary infrastructure either

to transform the grouping of youngsters into a competitive team or create a

new generation of technical officials or administrators’ (Naidoo interview 1).

Other problems faced by established facilities include the lack of heating

facilities, which means that pools go unused during the winter months in

all provinces.

 

Faced with these sorts of organisational complexities, and the need

to respond to state pressures to produce internationally competitive black

swimmers, the tendency has been to identify potential black athletes and

remove them to a facility within an advantaged community under an

experienced coach. This comes about at the expense of investing resources

in developing infrastructure within poorer communities, a strategy which,

while not likely to produce a national champion immediately, is likely to

result in the long-term development of the sport, particularly in terms of

coaching skills and a much bigger talent pool of internationally competitive

swimmers (Naidoo interview 1).

 

Another significant obstacle to transformation has been the

persistence of conservative attitudes and practices by individuals in positions

of power. Often, because of the legacy of apartheid, technical expertise and

skills have continued to reside in white individuals who have conservative

attitudes and are resistant to change. This has meant that processes of

transformation have had to rely on individuals who have not bought into

their intentions and ideals, often resulting in the processes being delayed or

derailed through sabotage or a lack of will.

 

The transformation processes adopted by SWIMSA

 

In 1999, following the integration of ASASA into SWIMSA, a national committee

was established to develop a policy on transformation. The first step in

determining appropriate intervention measures to address the identified

problems in swimming would be the definition of a transformation vision for

the organisation. This vision came to be understood as the need to transform

aquatic sport so that it catered for the needs of the majority of South

Africans, and to redress inequity created by apartheid. In the short term,

SWIMSA would strive to become more representative of the racial demography

of the country in all its structures and activities, at club, provincial and

national level. Its long-term objective would, however, be the transformation

of SWIMSA’s programmes to focus on the development of programmes for

black children and adults, and the transformation of aquatic sport more

generally to increase access for the disadvantaged.

 

This overall objective and vision was to be achieved through carefully

designed projects, each with a set of clearly defined results to be attained

through set activities. All of these were to be measured by specified

indicators and timeframes, implemented by a responsible agency within the

structures of SWIMSA. These projects included:

 

1 the democratisation of SWIMSA structures;

2 the development of black human resources;

3 greater grassroots development;

4 increasing black representivity of teams;

5 establishment of financial mechanisms for transformation.

 

In 2000, SWIMSA established a Transformation Monitoring Committee

whose role it was to monitor the results of these projects. By the end of

2004 it was obvious that the self-regulatory approach adopted by the

national leadership – i.e. the expectation that the provinces and clubs would

adopt the comprehensive policy and integrate this into their respective

programmes – was not working, for a variety of reasons. In recognition

of this, in 2005 the organisation adopted a revised policy document. The

revised strategy was more focused, with the setting of targets for all entities

within the organisation (i.e. provincial structures, national technical

structures, disciplinary boards etc.), applicable to competitors, technical

officials, coaches, team management and administration. These targets were

accompanied by both incentives and punitive measures (Naidoo interview 1).

 

According to Jace Naidoo, there continue to be huge challenges

that must be faced. The number of black swimmers at national level

remains low, black swimmers in clubs in the main urban areas form less

than 15 per cent of the membership, and the attraction and development

of black administrators continues to be difficult. However, he hopes that

a R24 million windfall received from the National Lottery Fund, spread

over three years starting from 2009, will provide some impetus to their

development plans. He is particularly hopeful that this will enhance the

Learn to Swim Programme that was designed to broaden swimming into

hitherto neglected areas, and in the longer term encourage a broader pool of

competitive swimmers (Naidoo interview 2).


Read the entire document at   http://ccs.ukzn.ac.za/files/Desai%20Ashwin%20The_Race_to_Transform__-_Entire_ebook[1].pdf

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