Below is the statement from Cycling South Africa:

Despite reports in the media, Cycling South Africa has never laid claim to ownership of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour and/or Pedal Power Association, as suggested in an IOL article.

 

Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde was quoted in the article as stating: “We can’t let the politics of a sporting organisation put such major events in jeopardy. At the end of the day, the event is not owned by Cycling SA, and the organisation doesn’t own the Pedal Power, so the show will go on. If they don’t want to be involved, that’s their problem.”

 

Cycling SA has no intention to take over the running of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour, or any of the events facilitated by, or owned by Pedal Power Association (PPA) or even Pedal Power Association itself. A statement of fact, contained in the supporting documents of the legal action, is that Cycling SA wishes for PPA to continue as they have over the past 10 years with the facilitation and organisation of events in and around the Western Cape. PPA has worked with Cycling SA, with the payment of race levies and membership fees on behalf of its members, over the past 10 years.

 

As with any sport, a National Federation requires funding to facilitate growth and development. Cycling SA has a record of good governance and transparency. But, unlike stadium sports, cycling does not have the opportunity to charge entry fees for spectators, and hence requires each private organiser, who utilises the sport of cycling for gain, to contribute a minimal amount of R6.00 per rider to Cycling SA. We also encourage each cyclist to become a member at only R75 per annum, which is far less than the R250 charged by the Pedal Power Association. To-date, Cycling SA has just over 21,000 members in good standing.

 

Statements that Cycling SA is a “money-making racket” as alleged by Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle in the same article, when referring to a licensing fee of R75 per annum, are unfounded and unfair. Cycling SA pours all of its income and grants back into cycling in order to provide opportunities for all in the various disciplines. Currently our Para-cyclists have returned from two UCI World Cups with 5 silver medals, 1 bronze medal and the points jersey, an achievement all South Africans can be proud of.

 

Further accusations by PPA that Cycling SA only look after the 1% of Elites is also a derogation of the truth, and may have been the case 10 years ago. Cycling SA has bought international events to South Africa for the enjoyment of all South Africans, and these events have generated a documented R79million of direct spend in South Africa. Cycling SA continues to strive to lower the barrier of entry into the sport. Currently, Cycling SA has 8 full time employees and has a smaller income than Pedal Power Association.

 

South Africa has world-class cyclists, but we are limited in providing the support that is necessary for these athletes to continually improve our nations ranking. Currently, all these athletes invest vast sums in themselves to compete on the world stage across all disciplines. They do this in order for South Africa to proudly fly our flag at prestigious international events like World Championships, Common Wealth Games, Youth Olympics and the Olympic Games.

 

Pedal Power’s stance that Cycling SA has done little on road safety is in itself incorrect. Cycling SA acknowledges that PPA has invested a large amount of work and money in this area in the Western Cape. Cycling SA does not lay claim to that. It must be recorded though that Cycling SA is the sports federation in its own right and not in competition with PPA. There has been lobbying for cycle lanes all around the country, as well as safety campaigns, orchestrated by volunteers who make up Cycling SA affiliates.

 

Cycling SA would like to re-iterate that it is defending an action whereby Pedal Power Association is challenging the changes to the Cycling SA constitution. Furthermore, Cycling SA is bound by rules governing the sport of cycling as set by the UCI (International Cycling Union). Cycling SA has been in good standing with the UCI since 1936. The UCI has a rule that prohibits Elite riders from competing in events that are not sanctioned by the National Federation. Elite license riders and teams may be fined or sanctioned by the UCI for doing so, and as the national federation Cycling SA needs to ensure our riders are not placed at undue risk. The statements made by politicians who have little communication with Cycling SA in order to obtain both sides of the story, is regrettable.