The South African Powerlifting Federation is the only Powerlifting Federation recognised and registered with Sport and Recreation South Africa and SASCOC.
As such we are the only Powerlifting organisation authorised to issue South African sporting colours (the Protea) to Powerlifters representing the country in an international event. Springbok colours ceased to be awarded (apart from Rugby) to all sportsmen and women at the end of 1993 and the Protea took its place.
The SA Powerlifting Federation is one of 87 member nations of the International Powerlifting Federation, which, in turn, is aligned to the World Games Association, the GAISF which is a member of the International Olympic Committee.
The SAPF subscribes fully with the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport and the IOC’s drug testing policies and as such lifters are tested for substance abuse both in and out of competition.
The South African Powerlifting Federation really only came into existence as a follow on from the old South African Amateur Powerlifting Federation in 1992.
The background to the above scenario goes back to the times where under the old dispensation South African sportsmen were banned (in a lot of cases) from competing internationally. Powerlifting was in the same boat and prior to 1992 we aligned ourselves with a new and very small international powerlifting world body that at least allowed SA lifters the opportunity of competing internationally.
With the new political dispensation in South Africa and the sporting bans being lifted approaches were made to the International Powerlifting Federation for re admittance.
In 1992 at the IPF congress in Birmingham, England, South Africa was provisionally accepted as the 85th member nation. This was ratified at the 1993 IPF congress in Jonkoping, Sweden and we were accepted as full members.
Admittance to the IPF created problems internally in South Africa. Whilst the executive were mandated by all the provinces to apply for re-admittance, when the membership was ratified a meeting was held and approximately half the members on realising that we would now have to comply with the rules and regulations of the IPF which for example provide for a 2 hour weigh in, strict drug testing and strict equipment checks decided that they wanted to stay with the old small international organisation.
A split occurred and the SAPF came into existence, which took up the IPF affiliation.
The National Sports Council brokered a meeting during 1993 to try and bring the two bodies together with the end result that the other organisation would have fall in line with the IPF rules and regulations within one year. Unfortunately they could not accept this and subsequently the SAPF became the officially recognised powerlifting federation in the country.
Since 1992 the SAPF have staged seven World Championships namely the 1994 Men’s Open World Championships in Johannesburg, the 1997 Women’s World Championships in Cape Town, the 1999 World Masters Championships in Sun City, the 2004 World Juniors in Pretoria, the 2004 Men's Open World Championships in Cape Town, the 2005 World Masters in Pretoria and the 2008 Junior and Sub Junior World Championships in Potchefstroom.
In addition the federation annually financially sponsors our best lifters in all our national championships to take part in the World Championships.
The IPF World Championships annually take the form of a Women’s, Juniors, Masters, Men’s open and Bench Press championships and once every four years the World Games.