Welcome to the new-look structure of SA Surfing. Say cheers to the old provincial structure and howzit to the new district structure. Before you go bashing down Surfing South Africa's door bemoaning the loss of our beloved Eastern Province Surfing, take note it wasn't their idea to start with.
The government told SASCOC a coupla years back that all the Sporting Federations have to align their organisations with the demarcations of the 9 official provinces. So although there will still be Provinces in the new structure, these will reflect the geo-political provinces such as Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Gauteng and so on, that were created after the elections in 1994.
SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) are the ou's that approve national colours and support sporting codes membership of international bodies. Although they don't contribute bucks to the sporting codes themselves, they do fund Team South Africa at events such as the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics. If you ain't a member of SASCOC you can't get grants from Sport and Recreation & Lotto, and can't send teams to international events. In a nutshell, you can't afford to p*ss these guys off.
Surfing South Africa (SSA) voted in favour of supporting SASCOC's directive and is fully committed to restructuring the organisation to be in line with their recommendations. Which means a coupla changes coming up....
Cos "Surfriding" (the classification for all the disciplines that fall under SSA) is practised fully in 3 provinces (WC, EC & KZN), and partially in a fourth (coupla SUP's in Gauteng), it is classified by SASCOC as Category 4 sport. The Category is not based only on the number of Provinces affiliated to the sport, but also the size in terms of members and population reach.
Each Province is made up of Districts - and in order to comply with the SASCOC directive the sport must be represented in at least one third of the number of Districts within these Provinces.
To recap - we now have a national body (Surfing South Africa) and that is made up of 4 provinces. Each province must now be represented by districts. At least a third of the number of Districts in each Province must participate. Herewith a conundrum...
Western Cape Province
Have 6 districts: need a minimum of 2 to surf; currently have 3 surfing districts (WP, Boland & Southern Cape)
Eastern Cape Province
Have 7 districts: need a minimum of 3 to surf; currently have 2 surfing districts (EP and Border)
Oops. Short by one district.
Have 11 districts: need a minimum of 4 to surf; Currently have 3 surfing districts (KZN, Southern KZN & Zululand)
Oops. Short by one district.
Have 6 districts: need a minimum of 2 to surf; Currently has no surfing body
Oops. Short by two districts.
So where does that leave us? We're short of the district requirement in 3 outta the 4 provinces. That means a coupla new districts have to be entered into the mix. Not only that - but the traditional provinces have to now change their names to meet the District divisions they will now represent.
Say hello to your new Province, I mean District....
Western Province becomes City of Cape Town
Boland becomes Cape Winelands
Southern Cape becomes Eden
Eastern Province becomes Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders (NMBS)
Border becomes Buffalo City Surfing
NEW district of Cacadu - which is JBay, Seals, Port Alfred & Grahamstown
KwaZulu Natal becomes eThekwini
Southern KZN becomes Ugu (that's a winner!)
Zululand becomes uThungulu
NEW district of iLembe which is Salt Rock. Ballito area
NEW - City of Johannesburg
NEW - City of Tshwane
Each district has to have at least 4 clubs or 100 members.
So there you have it - plenty of reshuffling and name-changing, but at the end of the day, once the dust's settled it'll all work itself out. What it does mean is that all those Joey's ou's that have forsaken coastal pastures to chase the bucks can now still surf for their province, which is lekker.
Wipe the cobwebs off your board Hagen Engler and find a few mates to come represent Gauteng at the next SA Champs! Can maybe hook some training sessions in at Sun City's Valley of the Waves?
It means that EP - I mean NMBS - needs a new logo - so if you know which end of a pencil to use, come up with a leker design for the new Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders, and win yaself R2000! Details here
THE NITTY GRITTY STUFF...
The Surfing South Africa restructure plan was submitted to SASCOC on December 5th 2014 after a NATCOM Meeting in Cape Town on December 3rd. It entails a step by step approach to making the required changes.
First step was to appoint Interim Committees to head up the four provinces that would fall directly under SSA. These are:
Second step was to amend the SSA Constitution to fall in line with SASCOC’s directive. This was completed at a Special General Meeting held in Cape Town on January 21st, 2015.
Third step in the process is for the previous “surfing provinces” to take up the names of the districts that they now represent. This requires a new constitution, a new name and updated logos and colours. Some of the “old” provinces have already completed this process and going forward there will be no Southern KZN at any national events. There will be an Ugu team though. There is no more Zululand as they are now uThungulu and KZN Central is eThekweni. Western Province will attend future national events as Cape Town.
Once all the Districts have formed, all “surfriders” will be required to become members of their Districts which means that at all disciplines of the sport will fall under one District within a Province that forms part of SSA.
All the “stand alone” disciplines such as SALSA (SA Longboarding), SABA (SA Bodyboarding), USSA (University Surfing) and SUP (Stand up paddleboard) were given the choice to go it alone or remain as members of SSA. Everyone agreed to be part of Surfing South Africa.
This means that they will fall into the general mix and their committee members will all be eligible to be voted onto District, Provincial or National Committees in terms of the District, Provincial and National constitutions.
It is important to note that proper constitutionally accepted democratic voting practice should be followed when voting for Committee or Board members at each level.
Thanks to Johhny Bakker, Andre Venter & Mervyn Goddard for the info & background