Sport transcends racial and language groups and plays an
invaluable role in uniting South Africans.
Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) is the national department responsible for sport in the country. Aligned with its vision of An Active and Winning Nation, its primary focuses are on: providing opportunities for all South Africans to participate in sport; managing the regulatory framework; and providing funding for different codes of sport.
The SRSA has a number of flagship programmes through which it implements its objectives. These programmes touch the lives of millions of South Africans, from schoolchildren participating in school sport, communities sharing in the benefits of mass participation programmes and events, and organisations benefiting from the SRSA's financial and logistical support.
Sascoc is the controlling body for all high-performance sport in South Africa. It is the national coordinating macro-body for the promotion and development of high-performance sport in South Africa, including team presentation, and must consult with relevant sports bodies in this regard. Sascoc represents Team South Africa for all multicoded sport participating in international games, such as the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games and All-Africa Games.
The SAIDS is the national anti-doping organisation, funded by SRSA. Its mandate is to promote participation in sport, free from the use of prohibited substances or methods intended to artificially enhance performance in the interest of the health and well-being of sports people.
The Africa Regional Office of the WADA was established in Cape Town in 2004 to coordinate the anti-doping activities of the agency throughout Africa. South Africa continues to serve as the African representative on the Executive Committee of WADA.
BSA's intention is to ensure effective and efficient administration of professional boxing in South Africa; to create synergy between professional and amateur boxing and to promote interaction between associations of boxers, managers, promoters, trainers and officials and BSA.
The department rendered services to the sports sector
through its line function programmes, namely Sport Support
Services, Mass Participation, International Liaison and Events
Financial support was provided to 50 national federations,
two non-governmental organisations (LoveLife and Sascoc)
and two public entities. Sports equipment was provided to
41 clubs, 77 coaches were trained in basic sport science and
medicine, 18 gymnasium instructors were trained as fitness
instructors and 1 461 sub-elite athletes received scientific and
The department involved 28 008 participants who took part in sports projects such as the Indigenous Games, Golden Games, Outreach Projects and Magnificent Fridays.
Other programmes and projects include:
- National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP)
- I Play Fair – Say NO! to Doping Campaign• International Rugby Board (IRB) Keep Rugby Clean
- ThinkSport Journal Project
- Little Green Book Project
The 2012 Olympic Games was held in London, United Kingdom
in July and August 2012.
Government invested around R31 million in the preparations
for the success of Team South Africa, together with the
National Distribution Agency for Sport and Recreation and the business sector.
One of the greatest performances of the 2012 Olympic Games was Chad le Clos' victory in the 200-m butterfly. Le Clos later added a silver medal in the 100-m butterfly and went on to be named the South African Sports Star of the Year in November 2012.
Cameron van der Burgh was the only swimmer to go under 59 seconds in the semi-finals, setting an Olympic record of 58,83 seconds in doing so. In the final, Van der Burgh raised the bar even higher, winning convincingly in a world record time of 58,46 seconds.
South Africa's men's lightweight fours rowing team of Matthew Brittain, Lawrence Ndlovu, John Smith and James Thompson raced to victory at Eton Dornay. That performance later earned them the World Rowing Male Crew of the Year Award at the World Rowing Awards. They were also named Team of the Year at the South African Sports Awards. Caster Semenya finished in the silver medal position in the
The Paralympic Games London 2012, took place right after
the close of the Olympic Games in August and September
2012. South Africa's Paralympians brought home 29 medals
– made up of eight gold, 12 silver and nine bronze.Natalie du Toit concluded her career on a high note winning
three gold and one silver medal to take her career total for the
Paralympics to 13 gold and two silver medals.
Charl Bouwer also showed his speed in the pool, winning the men's T13 50-m freestyle gold. In athletics, Oscar Pistorius stormed to victory in the men's T43/44 400 m, Fanie van der Merwe won the T37 100 m gold, South Africa's T42/46 relay team set a world record in capturing gold, and Ilse Hayes won the women's T13 long jump.
South Africa hosted a successful Afcon 2013, held from 19 January 2012 to 10 February 2012.
The 10th All-Africa Games took place in September in Maputo,
Mozambique. It featured 20 sporting disciplines in which 53
countries took part.
Disabled events also featured in swimming and athletics.
Team South Africa finished first on the medals table, with 62 gold medals, 55 silver and 40 bronze, totalling 157 medals. The next All-Africa Games will be held in 2015 in Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo.
SRSA and Sascoc created the South African Sports Awards
to honour the country's sports stars in local and international
In 2012, swimming star Chad le Clos was named the Sport
Star of the Year.
Vernon Philander won the Sportsman of the Year trophy.
The Sportswoman of the year award went the way of Caster Semenya.
The Team of the Year went to the Olympic gold medal winning men's coxless lightweight fours combination of Sizwe Ndlovu, Matthew Brittain, John Smith and James Thompson for their stirring victory at Eton Dornay. Rowing South Africa president, Wimpie du Plessis, was named Administrator of the Year and the sport was named Federation of the Year.
The Coach of the Year award went to Joseph Mkhonza, who led Banyana Banyana to a place at the Olympics for the first time ever. Natalie du Toit was named Sportswoman of the Year with Disability.
Oscar Pistorius was named Sportsman of the Year with Disability. The Newcomer of the Year Award went to Western Province and Stormers' flanker, Siya Kolisi.
Former Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen was one of six recipients honoured with the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award at the South African Sports Awards in Sandton. The other honourees were Petrus Molemela (life president of Bloemfontein Celtic soccer club), the late Sewsunker "Papwa" Sewgolum (golf), sports administrator Sam Ramsamy, Petrus "White Hair" Molemela (football) and Sally Little (golf).
The National Indigenous Games Festival took place from 23 to 25 March 2012 at the Tshwane Events Centre. Eight of the nine provinces participated in all the codes. The Games also provided recreational activities for young children and families. SRSA will focus on formalising structures and profiling these games to become a brand of its own and as competitive as other mainstream sports.
The SRSA launched the NSVC programme on 13 February
2012 in Kempton Park. Sports legends, former athletes
and players have shown enthusiasm and interest and have
pledged their support for this programme.
The objectives of the NSVC Programme include among
others recognising and using the experience and expertise
of sports legends, former players, athletes, coaches and
administrators in developing young talent at schools and
sports clubs, and supporting teachers with coaching children
at school and identifying talent in the school sport environment.
South Africa took a total of 30 medals – 14 gold, 11 silver and
five bronze – at the 2012 World Field Archery Championships
held in Miramar, Argentina in November 2012.
In December 2012, South African compound archer, Danelle
Wentzel, won the Indoor World Cup Stage 1 in Singapore. She
was subsequently named World Athlete of the Week by the World Archery Federation.
In June 2012, the South Africa team bagged 24 medals at the African Championships in Benin – six gold, 10 silver and eight bronze. In December 2012, the South African athletics team added 19 medals on the last two days of the Zone 6 Games in Lusaka, Zambia. They won seven gold, eight silver and four bronze medals, to bring the total medal count to 42, seven better than the previous best performance at the Games.
Teenager Wade Young delivered an amazing performance to win the 2012 Roof of Africa.
Greg Minnaar cemented his status as one of the all-time
greats of downhill mountain biking during the course of 2012
by winning the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cup in Pietermaritzburg. He then raced to victory in the World Championships in Leogang, Austria.
Burry Stander continued to excel in cross-country mountain biking, winning the UCI World Cup in Windham, New York, in the United States of America (USA). He was second in the World Cup in Pietermaritzburg. Stander and Switzerland's Christoph Sauser were also successful in their defence of the Absa Cape Epic title in the beginning of April.
Cherise Stander made history by winning a stage of the 2012 Route de France, the women's version of the Tour de France.Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio shone in the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, the toughest stage race in women's road cycling, by finishing in 10th place, becoming the first South African woman to make it into the top 10.
Robbie Hunter made history at the Giro d'Italia when his team won the time trial in Verona. This made him the first African to win a stage in all three Grand Tours. Pietermaritzburg hosted the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour Final and local cyclists produced some superb results, winning four world titles. On the track, Nolan Hoffman flew the South African flag high at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, winning silver in the 15-km scratch race.
International Boxing Organisation (IBO) super-middleweight
champion, Tommy Oosthuizen, was chosen as the 2012
SuperSport South Africa Boxer of the Year. The South African
junior heavyweight title is vacant.At international level, six South Africans fought for titles
offered by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), eight for
IBO belts, two for World Boxing Federation titles and one for a
World Boxing Foundation belt.
South African boxers won 11 of these 17 fights. Three were for IBF titles and the others were for belts offered by other organisations, including the IBO, World Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Foundation.
South Africa's national team, the Proteas became world leaders in the test arena after series victories over Sri Lanka, New Zealand, England and Australia. Five players were selected for the World Test Team of the Year at the ICC Awards.
In July 2012, Peter Lambert made history by becoming the
first South African to win the Diamond Skull race at the Henley
Royal Regatta on the river Thames in London, United Kingdom.
South Africa bagged a double at the Avon Descent Canoe
marathon in Western Australia, with McGregor and Van der
Merwe winning the race overall and Abby Adie and Hillary Pitchford taking the women's title.
In 2012, Ernie Els won the Open Championship at Royal
Lytham and Saint Annes and was nominated for the 2013
Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.
Branden Grace started the year ranked 265th in the Official
World Golf Ranking and rose as high as 34th place after winning four titles on the European Tour. Grace is the only man
to achieve this the year after he qualified for the tournament.
Louis Oosthuizen enjoyed a strong year, playing consistently well, finishing it ranked fifth in the world. His results included victories in the African and Malaysian Opens and a runner-up finish in the US Masters after a playoff. At the 2012 Thailand Golf Championship, Charl Schwartzel set a tournament record score of 25-under-par 263 and won by 11 shots over 2012 Masters' winner Bubba Watson and
Thailand's Thitiphun Chuayprakong.
In January 2012, the Proteas played a five-test series against
Spain in South Africa. They won the series 2-1.
In February, the Proteas played in an Olympic qualifying
tournament. They won three of the four matches, thereby
qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
In May, they played an unofficial test against Great Britain,
They then played a five-test series against Scotland, sealing a 4-0 test victory. They played in the Investec London Cup in June, losing out on a penalty shootout for the final. South Africa captain Marsha Marescia was named Player of the Tournament.
There was a strong finish for the Toyota-powered buggy of
Mark Corbett and Francois Jordaan in the Dakar Rally, which
took place in Lima, Peru, in January 2012.
In April 2013, reigning South African Volkswagen Cup
champion Kelvin van der Linde got his international motor
sport career off to a fast start by emerging as the fastest driver
after a two-day test at the Oschersleben circuit in Germany in
preparation for the 2013 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup Championship.
In May 2012, the SRSA announced a flagship project to professionalise
netball in South Africa. Netball is the most popularwomen's sport in South Africa, with more than two million
Despite the lack of a professional netball league, South
Africa − with a pool of only 50 nonprofessional players
− ranked fifth in the world in May 2012. The department announced plans to launch a full professional netball league in April 2013.
The SRSA also committed to work closely with Netball South Africa to bid and host the Netball World Cup in 2019. In April 2012, the South African netball team won a triangular series, which they played against Botswana and Singapore. The Proteas travelled to the West Indies in June for a threematch test series against Jamaica, which they lost 2-1.
The team subsequently beat Ireland 61-37 in the opening test of the Netball Challenge Good Hope Centre in Cape Town. The World University Netball Championship was held in Cape Town in July 2012. South Africa went unbeaten in the group stages but lost in the final to Great Britain. In August 2012, the Proteas beat Malawi in the final of the inaugural Diamond Challenge in Pretoria, Gauteng.
The highlight of the Springboks' 2012 season was an
unbeaten tour of the Northern Hemisphere. The Boks beat
Ireland 16-12, Scotland 21-10 and England 16-15.
South African Rugby Player of the Year, Bryan Habana, the
leading test try scorer in Springbok history, received the International
Rugby Players Association Award for Try of the Year
for a five-pointer he scored against New Zealand in Dunedin.
Another highlight for South African rugby in 2012 came from the junior ranks as South Africa scored a victory over four-time defending champion New Zealand in the final to liftthe IRB Junior World Championships in Cape Town. In Super Rugby, South Africa provided three of the six playoff teams. The Stormers topped the log and were joined by the Sharks and Bulls in the playoffs. The Sharks, though, went on to make the final where they were beaten by the Chiefs.
South Africa's famous ultra-marathon, the Comrades, is
considered to be one of the world's greatest races. Run
between the capital of Kwazulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg,
and the coastal city of Durban, the race alternates annually
between the "up run" from Durban and the "down run" from
The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised the Comrades as the event with the most runners in an ultramarathon. In 2012, 19 524 runners had entered the race, made up of 15 176 men and 4 348 women. In November 2012, the Comrades Marathon Association received a special award at the 30th anniversary gala of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races in Athens, Greece for being the oldest marathon and ultramarathon in Africa.
As they did in 2011, the South African national women's football team, Banyana Banyana, stole the limelight from their male counterparts in 2012. Their year was highlighted by a first ever appearance in the Olympic Games. It was a less than satisfactory year for the national men's team, Bafana Bafana. They began the year in 56th place, but dropped to 84th in November 2012.
In January 2012, Hank McGregor paddled his way into the
history books by becoming the first canoeist to win three
back-to-back K1 titles in the Global Trader Drakensberg Challenge,
while defending women's champion Abby Adie camesecond in her division. Defending champions, Andy Birkett
and Jason Graham, won the Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon
title in February 2012.
South Africa finished third out of 17 nations at the inaugural International Surfing Association World Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championships in Lima, Peru in February.South Africans won medals in seven of the 10 individual categories, plus the team relay and the overall team standings.
Ryan Butcher won two medals in the men's paddleboard disciplines, earning a bronze in the short race and a copper in the marathon. Former South African junior surfing star, Penny Stemmet, took bronze in the women's SUP surfing final. Three-time Dusi champion, Andrew Birkett, won the Unlimited Non-Stop Dusi on debut in March 2012.
Under-23 stars, Kwanda Mhlope and Lance Kime, placed second, while Robyn Kime won the women's title, also in a K1, setting up a new record. Teenager Bianca Buitendag scored 16,65 out of a possible
20 in the final to win the women's event in the CHIKO Pro Junior surf event at Merewether beach in Newcastle, Australia in March 2012.
In April 2012, she came first in the Bréti Girls Pro Junior at Les Dunes in Brétignolles-sur-Mer, France.
In May 2012, Oscar Chalupsky won the 53-km Molokai World Championships surfski race in Hawaii when he raced to his 12th victory in the event at age 49.
In February 2012, two important records fell in the 2012
aQuelle Midmar Mile on Sunday as South Africa's ChadHo won the men's title and Great Britain's Keri-Anne Payne
claimed the women's honours.
Later in the year, the aQuellé Midmar Mile, the world's largest open water swimming event, was voted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. The event's name will be permanently inscribed on the Sea Goddess, the official trophy for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
The South African Tennis Association is the national governing
body for tennis in South Africa.
In March 2012, the Northwest University in Potchefstroom hosted the African Junior Championships for under-18s. Ilze Hattingh won both the single and the doubles title, beating fellow South African Madrie le Roux in the singles final before teaming up with her to win the doubles final.
Wayne Montgomery and Matthew Rossouw won the boys' doubles title. Team South Africa was named the best under-18 junior tennis nation in Africa by the Confederation of African Tennis and the International Tennis Federation. This status was confirmed at the African Junior Tennis Championships held in Cairo in April 2012. This tournament caters for the under-14 and under-16 age groups.
Hattingh again won both the single and doubles titles for the under-16 group, teaming up with Theresa van Zyl to win the doubles title. Calvin Jordaan won the boys' under-14 singles title. Also in March 2012, Kevin Anderson won the Delray Beach International Tennis Championship. In May 2012, the South African wheelchair tennis team played in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Seoul, South Korea.
The men's team of Evans Maripa, Sydwell Mathonsi, Marshall Marsh and coach Gerald Stoffberg won promotion to the elite World Group 1 of the game when they took silver in the men's open competition, while Kgothatso Montjane went undefeated in the women's singles.