Proposed sports bill might have far-reaching effects for trainers and gyms

New Bill for Sports - Tifosi Sports

Proposed sports bill might have far-reaching effects for trainers and gyms

Last December, the Department of Sport and Recreation released details about two new draft laws that will require all sporting bodies and organisations to report directly to the minister of sport, Nathi Mthethwa.

The comprehensive amendments to current legislation includes a proposal for the so-called Fitness Industry Regulatory Authority, which, in the current draft format, allows the minister to create such a body with five board members, which will be funded by an annual subscription fee that fitness establishments will be required to pay, based on their size.

Said body will then establish the rules that gyms and fitness instructors will have to adhere to, and will also have the power to suspend the accreditation of trainers or gyms that refuse to comply with these regulations. The body will be able to shut down establishments, and is also tasked with enforcing dispute-regulation mechanisms that consumers can use to submit complaints.

In essence, the draft laws are putting all sporting codes and bodies under the management of the minister of sport, with all decisions relating to changes first coming before him for approval.

The proposed amendments have already drawn the ire of the South African sporting community at large, and many experts have called it the widespread nationalisation of sport in South Africa, warning that it may also influence the country’s participation in international sporting events like the Olympic Games.

The public has a chance to comment on the proposed amendments until 28 February 2020.

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