Gov­ern­ing body gets its act to­gether, with non­pay­ment of box­ers be­ing top of its

Agenda

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

The chair­per­son of Box­ing SA (BSA), Mu­di­ta­mbi “Ntambi” Ravele, is con­fi­dent that the gov­er­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion of lo­cal box­ing is head­ing in the right di­rec­tion. She says that there has been marked suc­cess at the gov­ern­ing body un­der her stew­ard­ship over the past 15 months, although there have been sev­eral chal­lenges too.

Sports Min­is­ter Fikile Mbalula ap­pointed Ravele in May last year.

She feels she has ex­e­cuted her du­ties well – de­spite crit­i­cism from some de­trac­tors.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with City Press, the ar­tic­u­late for­mer teacher said the con­cern­ing is­sue of non­pay­ment of box­ers was one of the BSA’s big­gest chal­lenges.

She was re­fer­ring to the mat­ters in­volv­ing Premier Box­ing League owner Dicksy Ngqula and pro­moter Siphatho Handi.

Ngqula has failed to pay a col­lec­tive R1.6 mil­lion in prize money to four box­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the league’s fi­nal show­down in Mdantsane, East Lon­don, in Fe­bru­ary

Mean­while, Handi re­cently had his li­cence sus­pended, as he failed to pay the R855 000 purse money he owed fight­ers.

“These non­pay­ments put us in a very bad po­si­tion. We are work­ing on that par­tic­u­lar is­sue and have ap­pointed a lawyer to as­sist us and make sure that we get the box­ers paid,” she said.

Ravele added that the BSA had been ad­vised to in­sti­tute le­gal ac­tion.

“It was a big chal­lenge but we are work­ing on it.

“We want to im­prove our pro­tec­tion of box­ers, es­pe­cially when it comes to mat­ters such as pay­ment of fights,” she said.

How­ever, Ravele said the BSA had also ex­pe­ri­enced chal­lenges that had led to de­lays in pro­cess­ing pay­ments.

More peo­ple have since been em­ployed at the BSA to ad­dress this, and Ravele be­lieves this will help to deal with fi­nan­cial mat­ters faster.

She said the box­ing body would in fu­ture en­sure that who­ever was pro­mot­ing a fight made pay­ment de­posits up­front. Some of the BSA’s fo­cus ar­eas are: Box­ing de­vel­op­ment; In­creas­ing fe­male par­tic­i­pa­tion in the sport;

Mar­ket­ing and spon­sor­ship, es­pe­cially around broad­cast­ing; and

Re­view­ing the Box­ing Act and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing the sport.

“Be­ing in­stru­men­tal in end­ing the SABC box­ing black­out and re­turn­ing live box­ing broad­casts to TV was our big­gest achieve­ment as a board,” Ravele said.

“Pro­mot­ers are more mo­ti­vated by this move. Even though their fights are not cov­ered, they are now stag­ing more tour­na­ments.

“We will an­nounce another big tour­na­ment soon,” she added.

Ravele said she had pre­sented a progress re­port and a plan to Mbab­ula af­ter her first 100 days in of­fice.

“We also pre­sented this doc­u­ment to Par­lia­ment and they signed it off,” she said.

Ravele over­saw a restruc­tur­ing process at the BSA, which re­sulted in staff sus­pen­sions and res­ig­na­tions.

“As a re­sult, we ended up with more than seven va­can­cies. Out of those, we have fi­nalised five po­si­tions.

“We are now just wait­ing for a fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tion from the in­ter­view­ing panel.”

She also re­vealed that the BSA had ap­plied for fund­ing from the na­tional lottery to as­sist the or­gan­i­sa­tion with a women’s em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme.

“We will soon an­nounce our roll-out plan,” she said.

Ravele said one of the most prom­i­nent women in box­ing, pro­moter Mbali Zantsi, would be a ben­e­fi­ciary of this ini­tia­tive.

Sylvia Mokaila, who is one of the coun­try’s top fe­male of­fi­cials, will be another ben­e­fi­ciary.

She is do­ing well in her ca­reer and has even of­fi­ci­ated on an in­ter­na­tional level, both as a ref­eree and judge.

“We want to raise these women’s pro­files since most South Africans do not even know them,” Ravele said.

PHOTO: LUCKY NXUMALO

AM­BI­TIOUS BSA board chair­per­son Ntambi Ravele says a lot has been

achieved

PHOTO: AN­TO­NIO MUCHAVE / SOWE­TAN / GALLO IM­AGES

PRO­MOTER Top box­ing pro­moter Mbali Zantsi

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