The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), department of sports and recreation, Boxing South Africa and Branco Milenkovic, a South African boxing promoter, have reached an agreement to return boxing to its rightful place as a sport of national interest. The agreement follows a meeting between all parties to resolve the long standing challenges that have compromised boxing and to some extent robbed the South African citizenry to enjoy boxing on their screens.
To do this, the parties need to expeditiously resolve current legal issues that exist between Boxing South Africa and Milenkovic, with the view of exploring the avenue of withdrawal of the court case. The legal teams of Boxing South Africa and Milenkovic will meet finalise this outstanding matter, the SABC said in a statement.
Acting chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said the move was motivated by the need for all parties to serve all South Africans accordingly. “We are at this stage working on a broader SABC strategy that includes bringing back live boxing on-air. As the public broadcaster we are ready to showcase the South African boxing talent in the next fiscal year. We are very excited that we are already making great strides in ensuring that all parties involved in this matter are very eager to have boxing back on our screens. It is very unfortunate that our local boxers have to go abroad to look for publicity whilst we have a platform that can display their talent,” Motsoeneng said.
The director-general for the sports department, Alec Moemi, said this was one of the recommendations were discussed at last year’s Boxing Indaba where the issues of broadcasting rights and the marketing of boxing as a sport of national interest were discussed at length.
Ntambi Ravele, the acting chairperson of Boxing South Africa and Milenkovic said they were grateful for hte “fruitful meeting” and said they hoped it marked the beginning of a new and mutually benefitting venture. Milenkovic emphasised the importance of the mediation by the SABC in the matter.