Cricket South Africa briefed the Committee on its strategic plan, governance, transformation and development.
The organisation was currently reaping the rewards of having re-engineered its business by way of changing its operating and funding models. This process began in 2013 and continued into 2015. Some interesting statistics were that the South African National Cricket Team, the Proteas, were ranked number three in test rankings and number one in one day internationals. SA’s Women’s National Cricket team was ranked number six on the International Cricket Council rankings. Transformation remained a key pillar of Cricket SA’s overall business and it was exploring how best to deal with diversity, training and management throughout its cricket system.
The Committee was provided with an overview of the financials of Cricket SA. Details on revenue and expenses were provided for financial years 2013-2017. Members were, however, informed that the organisation did not necessarily look at each financial year in isolation. Cricket SA followed a four-year cycle. Through the years there were ups and downs in revenue streams but it was not a matter of concern as there were various sources of funding and income was always forthcoming when cricket tours came to SA. Members were also provided with an overview on the governance of Cricket SA and noted that the implementation of the hubs and Regional Performance Centres had proven to be a step for change in delivering access to cricket in disadvantaged and rural areas. The Committee was informed that Minister of Sport and Recreation Mr Fikile Mbalula had announced that Cricket SA would not be bidding or hosting any cricket tournaments or world cups any time in the near future. The organisation took the announcement in its stride.
On transformation, Members were provided with comparative Eminent Persons Group Scores for 2015 and 2016. Cricket SA however engaged with Minister Mbalula and the Eminent Persons Group on the scorecard that was being used. CSA felt that the scorecard could not be a one size fits all. The scorecard was only aimed at the national cricket team. After the engagement consensus was eventually reached. Everyone realised that there needed to be a commitment to transformation. Detail was provided on Cricket SA’s Hubs and Regional Performance Centre System for schools. The Hub System was designed for rural and township areas. The Centres comprised of semi provincial teams. The Hubs fed into the Regional Performance Centres programme. Detail was also provided on Cricket SA’s Pipeline, which was its developmental plan that a player went through from starting at KFC Mini Cricket/Regional Performance Centres and Hubs to reaching franchise cricket or playing for the South African “A” team. The final stage of the Pipeline also prepared cricketers for transition into careers beyond cricket.
Some strategic challenges faced by Cricket SA were maintaining local club cricket facilities as there was little or no municipal support. There was also a lack of financial support from central and local governments for development and transformation imperatives. Recently vandalism of facilities had also reared its head. The organisation was trying to engage the South African Local Government Association to assist with transformation efforts to restore the dignity of previously disadvantaged communities. The Department of Basic Education was also coming on board. Coaching of cricket would be taught via e-learning. Cricket SA regarded the Regional Performance Centres and Hubs Programme as most important. Also of great importance was a new venture for Cricket SA i.e. the T20 Global Destination League. The League would bring a new focus for SA as a whole. Up until the now SA had been below par on Indian Premier League type of issues as Cricket SA had to get its house in order. The organisation was now in a better place and was kicking off the League on 4 November 2017. There was a lot of interest from abroad. There were eight city based teams in the League. The T20 League was a game changer for SA.
Members appreciated the efforts of Cricket SA and were pleased that it was working with the South African Local Government Association. Members informed Cricket SA that they often discussed the matter of Municipal Infrastructure Grants with the Association when it met with them. Cricket SÁ was asked to track and assist ex cricket players. Many had disappeared into the periphery. Ex-players could be used in the organisation’s development programmes. Why were past cricket legends not used to give back to communities? Cricket SA was asked what its budget for its Talent Acceleration Programme was. What did CSA spend on its Pipeline Programme? Cricket SA was further asked where the gaps were in its Pipeline Programme. Cricket SA was asked from 1-10 where it would rank transformation in cricket in SA to be at present. In as much as the Hub Strategy was showing good results there was still a lack of cricket facilities out there. Members observed that there seemed to be a huge discrepancy in the number of facilities in black and white areas. There was also a huge discrepancy between the number of matches that black school kids and white school kids played. Cricket SA was asked how it intended to close the gaps on both accounts. The levels of inequality needed to be addressed. Members supported the efforts of Cricket SA on transformation but felt that sustainability should also be borne in mind.
Members expressed concerns over the fluctuating revenue streams of Cricket SA when expenses were increasing. The organisation needed to look at the cost of its efforts. Members emphasised the need to invest in sports tourism in SA. Some members felt that there should not be two classes of players. Every sportsperson should be chosen on merit. Players should not be chosen to fill quotas but should be chosen on merit. Other Members disagreed with the sentiments expressed and felt that black players needed to be fast tracked. Cricket had previously been the preserve of whites. Yes, merit was important when choosing players but positive discrimination was also important in order to achieve the necessary numbers. More blacks, coloureds and Indians should be seen in South African cricket. Members felt that the leak in the system at present was with club cricket. Club cricket was at its weakest. What was Cricket SA doing to address the issue? Members pointed out that not much had been said about match fixing in the meeting. Cricket SA was asked whether match fixing had been nipped in the bud. Cricket SA was asked how it intended to bring cricket development to rural areas. KFC Mini Cricket should be extended to rural areas. Members considered Cricket SA was lucky to have so many sponsors. Cricket SA was encouraged to focus on township schools on its hubs programme; and was asked why no provision had been made for disabled persons to play cricket. Other sports like tennis had made such provision. Cricket SA needed to become more proactive.
The Committee asked Cricket SA how it could be of assistance to close gaps that were at grassroots level; and was asked how it was going to engage with provinces and municipalities to prevent wasteful expenditure recurring i.e. white elephant facilities. In as much as Cricket SA was not concerned about its revenue streams fluctuating, Members were concerned about revenue streams dropping. How would Cricket SA hold on to its sponsors when the Proteas went into a slump? Members asked what government could do to assist seeing that transformation in cricket was not only Cricket SA’s responsibility.
Outstanding minutes was adopted by the Committee.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) on its strategic plan, governance, transformation and development
The delegation comprised of Mr Chris Nenzani President; Mr Thabang Moroe Vice President; Ms Zola Thamae, Non- Independent Director; Mr Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive Officer; and Mr Max Jordaan, Transformation Manager. Mr Nenzani kicked off the briefing.
CSA was currently reaping the rewards of having re-engineered its business by way of changing its operating and funding models. This process began in 2013 and continued into 2015. Some interesting statistics were that the Proteas were ranked number three in test rankings and number one in one day internationals. SA’s Women National Cricket team was ranked number six on the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings. Transformation remained a key pillar of CSA’s overall business and it was exploring how best to deal with diversity, training and management throughout its cricket system.
Mr Lorgat provided the Committee with an overview of the financials of the CSA. Details on revenue and expenses were provided for financial years 2013-2017. Members were however informed that CSA did not necessarily look at each financial year in isolation. CSA followed a four-year cycle. Through the years there were ups and downs in revenue streams of CSA but it was not a matter of concern as there were various sources of funding and income was always forthcoming when cricket tours came to SA.
Ms Thamae provided an overview on the governance of CSA and noted that the implementation of CSA’s Hubs and Regional Performance Centres (RPCs) had proven to be a step for change in delivering access to cricket in disadvantaged and rural areas.
Mr Nenzani stated that Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile Mbalula, had announced that CSA would not be bidding or hosting any cricket tournaments or world cups any time in the near future. CSA took the announcement in its stride. On transformation members were provided with comparative Eminent Persons Group (EPG) Scores for 2015 and 2016. CSA however engaged with Minister Mbalula and the EPG on the scorecard that was being used. CSA felt that the scorecard could not be a one size fits all. The scorecard was only aimed at the national cricket team. After the engagement consensus was eventually reached. Everyone realised that there needed to be a commitment to transformation.
Mr Moroe provided detail on CSA’s Hubs and RPC System for schools. The Hub System was designed for rural and township areas. The RPCs comprised of semi provincial teams. The Hubs fed into the RPC programme. Detail was also provided on CSA’s Pipeline which was its developmental plan that a player went through from starting at KFC Mini Cricket/RPC & Hubs to reaching franchise cricket or playing for the South African “A” team. The final stage of the Pipeline also prepared cricketers to transition into careers beyond cricket. Some strategic challenges faced by CSA were maintaining local club cricket facilities as there was little or no municipal support. Mr Jordaan noted that there was also a lack of financial support from central and local governments for development and transformation imperatives. Recently vandalism of facilities had also reared its head. CSA was trying to engage the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to assist with transformation efforts to restore the dignity of previously disadvantaged communities. The Department of Basic Education was also coming on board. Coaching of cricket would be taught via e-learning. Mr Lorgat noted that the CSA regarded the RPCs and Hubs Programme as most important. Also of great importance was a new venture for CSA ie the T20 Global Destination League. The League would bring a new focus for SA as a whole. Up until the now SA had been below par on Indian Premier League (IPL) type of issues as CSA had to get its house in order. CSA was now in a better place and was kicking off the League on 4 November 2017. There was lots of interest from abroad. There were eight city based teams in the League. The T20 League was a game changer for SA.
The Chairperson noted that when the Committee went on oversight it never had a delegation from CSA accompanying it. She was pleased that CSA tried to work with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). The Committee when on oversight always took SALGA members along with it. Members always discussed the issue of Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funding with the SALGA. The briefing did mention some provinces but she pointed out that near Alice in the Eastern Cape there was a lack of cricket grounds. She asked CSA to keep track and assist past cricket players. She had spoken to ex cricket player Mr Monde Zondeki and he seemed very frustrated. There were many other ex-players who CSA should use in its development programmes.
Mr Moroe said ex-players were taken on board by CSA. He himself was an ex cricket player. Ex-players were still involved in cricket. It was just that all of them were not seen on television. Some ex-players were employed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and by Supersport. There were programmes where ex-players could give back to cricket.
Mr Nenzani stated that CSA had a good facility near Alice. There was also a facility near Lovedale College but unfortunately the facility was not used anymore. On ex-players, CSA looked at the cricketing life of players, their skills as well as a profession that they could follow beyond cricket. Even if a player never made it to the highest levels of cricket they were assisted in their professions. The issue of facilities for previously disadvantaged persons was a big issue. Unlike some other ball related sports cricket required a very specialist ground for it to be played on. CSA had a partnership with the Department of Basic Education and with the Department of Sport to unlock their respective resources. CSA even tried to engage with SALGA. The facts were that CSA did not have the means to maintain facilities. He conceded that townships and rural schools were a challenge.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) referred to governance information provided to the Committee and asked that detail be provided of individuals who served on committees of CSA. Detail of names and surnames should be provided. Profiles of persons sitting on different committees should also be provided. He asked what CSA’s budget for its Talent Acceleration Programme was. CSA was also asked what it spent on its Pipeline on the pathway for players. Where were the gaps in the Pipeline? From 1-10 he asked where the CSA felt cricket was on transformation. He supported the hub strategy undertaken by the CSA but it seemed that the biggest challenge was a lack of facilities. Being from Soweto, he noted that there were only three cricket facilities in Soweto even though the township had a population of 1.8m. In areas like Sandton, schools even had cricket facilities. Given the huge discrepancy between the numbers of matches that black school kids and white school kids played he asked how the CSA intended to close gaps.
Mr Moroe stated that the CSA did not have a figure for the Talent Acceleration Programme, and apologised for CSA not having exact figures. He agreed that figures for the Talent Acceleration Programme and for the expenditure for profiles per level on the Pipeline would be provided to the Committee. On how far transformation in cricket was he said it was at 4 from a measurement of 1-10. He noted that transformation was a huge task. Transformation targets were not being met in townships and in rural areas. Participation by women was also not meeting targets. CSA was involved with schools; the challenge was however to get cricket teams at schools. He pointed out that Soweto had more than three cricket facilities. There were three extra facilities which had turned out to be white elephants. Cricket pitches were erected but participation had dwindled. As a result, CSA had to take on a strategic approach. It became evident that it was not simply about erecting cricket fields and nets. These white elephants had been a huge waste of money and necessitated a change in thinking. Facilities were not being utilised because people were not interested. CSA had various programmes in order to close gaps that there were. CSA was trying not to lose administrators and players alike. It was still too early for CSA to measure it successes. CSA at present had a database to capture information ranging from kids cricket up until when a player reaches the national team.
Mr D Bergman (DA) supported the efforts of CSA on transformation but felt that sustainability should also be borne in mind. He pointed out that the revenue forecast of CSA was a loss of almost a quarter less than previous years. There was also an increase in expenses by almost one third. CSA needed to look at the cost of its efforts. Cricket was one of the top five sporting codes of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). He referred to past legends of South African cricket like Makhaya Ntini. His favourite past legend was Mr Mfuneko Ngam. He asked whether the fact that Mr Ngam did not even play at provincial level before starting for the Proteas perhaps contributed to him picking up an injury so early in his career. Was there not undue pressure placed on him? Why were past legends not being used to give back to communities? He emphasised the need to invest in sports tourism in SA. He pointed out that there was nothing wrong with SA hosting rugby or a cricket world cup. Kids in SA needed to be given the opportunity to see more of their sports heroes. He cautioned against there being two classes of players. Every sportsperson in SA should take the field based on merit. Players should not be chosen to fill quotas but should be chosen on merit. He felt that the leak in the system was club cricket. Club cricket was at its weakest. How did CSA assist clubs to become empowered? Club cricket should be revitalised. The goals of transformation were better achieved at provincial level. He suggested that the Committee attend more women cricket matches as well as club level cricket matches. He noted that the Committee had been silent over the issue of match fixing. In years past there had been a judicial commission and guidelines had been set. CSA was asked whether match fixing had been nipped in the bud.
Mr Moroe responded that the sustainability of programmes were intact. Programmes were in terms of a four-year cycle. The loss made in one year was often negated by increases in revenue the following year.
Mr Lorgat explained that even if CSA spent R900m and only had an income of R600m there was no need to worry. CSA did not look at a single year on its own. CSA was quite aware of the income that it could generate. Programmes were kept going over the four-year cycle. Often times there were international tours to SA which were huge income generators. He emphasised that CSA had a good education system in place for players. However, if players did things which they were not supposed to do then the CSA took action. CSA was currently at the tail end of taking action against a player. A ban on a player could range from 2-20 years. CSA strictly enforcing bans. CSA had to protect the integrity of the game of cricket. The fact that matters were not splashed all over the media did not mean that nothing was done. Match fixing was not only a local phenomenon but also a global one. Syndicates operated from abroad and education for players was considered a necessity. It was unfortunate what had happened to club cricket. Print media did not even carry scores of club matches any more. CSA tried its best to promote club cricket.
Ms D Manana (ANC) said given the efforts of the CSA on transformation and the success of having black players on franchise teams she asked how many black players there were. She pointed out that CSA was fortunate to have more than 20 sponsors, other sporting codes were not that fortunate. How did CSA intend to do cricket development in rural areas? Transformation was broad and hence cricket had to be transformed at rural area level. On match fixing, she asked CSA to highlight the issue involving former national test wicket keeper Mr Thami Tsolekile. The Free State Cricket Union had called off a match due to the playing surface being dangerous. The Union had however apologised for calling off the match. Was the match called off due to rain? She felt that KFC mini cricket should be extended to rural areas.
Mr Lorgat agreed that CSA indeed was lucky to have so many sponsors. This did not however mean that CSA did not have to work hard to keep its sponsors. Sponsors had confidence in the CSA. CSA on transformation had a bottom up approach. A total of R200m was spent on development activities. An extra R107m had been allocated from 2017-2020 for development in rural areas etc. He noted that the Free State match had been called off because the pitch had not been even.
Ms Thamae invited members to a women’s cricket tournament to be held in the Free State from 30 March-3 April 2017. She undertook to send information on hubs and RPCs to the Committee. Information on the profiles of members of its committees would also be included.
Mr Jordaan, on the number of black players in franchise teams, said there needed to be three in each match. The figure could go up to six. He added that the SA Women’s National Cricket Team would be playing India on the 8 April 2017.
Ms B Dlomo (ANC) asked CSA where its hubs were located, especially in the Eastern Cape.
Mr Jordaan pointed out that the hubs system had been started in 2003. There were 58 hubs at present. The intention was to increase the number to 64 after a financial injection of R21m. Information on the locations of hubs would be provided to the Committee. In Kwa-Zulu Natal there was one at Umlazi. There was also a hub at Malekundu (unable to match) near the Bushbuckridge area in the Mpumalanga Province.
Mr N Mmusi (ANC) referred to the huge discrepancy in the number of matches that white schools played compared to their black counterparts. White schools were almost playing five times as many cricket matches than black schools. These levels of inequality in SA needed to be addressed. He noted that members always brought up the issue of rural areas yet the perception of what constituted a rural area differed. The Department of Education looked at areas in terms of their rurality. The Department of Education had Quintals which ranged from 1-5. It was perhaps something that CSA needed to consider. CSA was asked where its RPC’s were located. Members could visit RPCs when they went on oversight. Who was responsible for the maintenance of RPCs? He added that CSA needed to be specific on its Pipeline Programme.
Mr Nenzani said that the schools with Quintals 1-5 were no fees schools and had no funds for sports. Sport was not a priority. This limited the reach which sport could have had. He pointed out that model C schools would always have an advantage as they could afford to hire sports people to coach their learners.
Mr Moroe pointed out that SA did have a Rural Cricket Team which was made up of 80% Africans. Players like Dale Steyn and Heyno Koen came from rural cricket areas. Everybody was included in the programmes of CSA. There was however a specific focus on rural areas. It was work in progress. CSA was not where it would like to be yet. CSA had provided the Committee with an overview of how its Pipeline worked. Each province needed to be creative on their respective programmes. A programme that was in the Eastern Cape Province would not necessarily be found in the Gauteng Province. CSA created programmes from mini cricket level up until semi-professional level. CSA also encouraged provincial presidents to look at their respective by laws to ensure that participation was equal. The RPC and hub programmes focused on age group cricket i.e. under 13, under 15, under 16, under 17 and under 19. There were still school leagues that ran concurrently. There were programmes for each age group. The reason why there were no national teams for school kids was that countries like India did not have teams. There was nobody to compete with. Kids were moved from RPCs and hubs to school cricket. Kids were given bursaries to good cricket schools. There was also club and tertiary cricket. CSA spent R40m on club cricket. Club cricket was accepted as being more of a social form of cricket. Only one Protea player had come from club cricket. Efforts were being made to uplift club cricket.
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) felt that CSA’s efforts on its Pipeline and hubs were good. Hubs were a good innovation but there should be greater focus on township schools. The Pipeline was a pathway created for players to progress. If CSA was comfortable with its decline in revenue, then he would leave it at that. The efforts of CSA on transformation were appreciated. Transformation in franchise teams was the way forward to reaching the national team. This was evident with Protea, Mr Andile Phehlukwayo. He however wished to point out that there would always be negative persons even at franchise level who were quick to criticise. The bottom line was that more black South Africans needed to participate in cricket. Blacks had to be fast tracked. Cricket had previously been the preserve of whites. He agreed that merit was important when choosing players but that positive discrimination was also important to get the necessary numbers. More blacks, coloureds and Indians needed to be seen in South African cricket. He was pleased that CSA took the penalty imposed by the Minister so positively. There were those who were against transformation. There were even cricket players that had left SA. South African cricket was at present doing well.
Mr Nenzani said that the issue of transformation was broad. It was not only about black and white but was about the whole system. Everybody needed to be on the same level. Interventionist strategies were needed to address past imbalances. Access to facilities and opportunities were needed. CSA however lacked the capacity to provide facilities and hence worked towards partnerships with local government etc. On KFC Mini Cricket especially in rural areas CSA had affiliates who ran and funded it. The intention was to reach all schools. However, many rural schools had closed down. Rural schools also did not have teachers who could participate in the programme. There was huge dependence on volunteers.
The Chairperson appreciated the interaction with CSA.CSA needed to keep the Committee informed. Soon Parliament would be going on recess and Members needed to be informed in order to better interact with communities and municipalities etc. She asked what about disabled persons participating in cricket. Disabled persons played tennis. She felt that CSA needed to be more proactive. If it left its Pipeline Programme up to the Department of Basic Education and local government, then there would not be much success. How could members assist CSA in its efforts at grassroots level when members went back to its constituencies? Gaps that were there needed to be closed.
Mr Mmusi asked how CSA was going to engage with provinces and municipalities to prevent wasteful expenditure from recurring. He felt the farm schools programme to be a good one.
Mr Bergman noted that CSA after its four-year cycle had to look at its losses. A certain level of revenue was required to keep things going. There was the chance of revenue taking a drop. If the Proteas did not perform how would the CSA keep on to its sponsors? What could government do to assist? Transformation after all was not only up to CSA.
Mr Lorgat stated that contributions by government and municipalities would be welcomed. All assistance was welcomed if it helped with meeting transformation targets. The point on revenue was taken. CSA planned in advance. There was a future tours programme and careful financial planning was done. CSA tried to ensure that it had long term revenue flows in place. KFC had signed a ten-year deal with the CSA.
Mr Mhlongo asked whether R6m was enough for the maintenance of CSA’s 58 hubs. He asked what Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) CSA had in place for the maintenance of new facilities if municipalities were not on board.
Mr Jordaan answered that there was R21m allocated towards the maintenance of hubs.
Mr Lorgat said that the R6m was perhaps not enough but it was for basic maintenance.
Ms Manana said that the Malekutu Cricket Academy lacked support. They had challenges relating to their field. she hoped that CSA did not underpay its women cricket players like other sporting codes did.
Mr Lorgat said that Malekutu was a thorn in CSA’s flesh. The problems never seemed to end. CSA had committed to build the oval. There was currently a problem with the grass of the field.
Mr Nenzani, in conclusion, stated that in 2012 and 2014 CSA was riddled with governance issues. The international cricketing world thought CSA to be unstable. CSA was muscled out of the top structures of world cricket. CSA worked hard and fought to win back its place at the International Cricket Council (ICC). CSA was an influential player at the ICC. CSA was putting a system of equity in place at the ICC. It was making constitutional amendments to do away with changes that the big three countries of cricket had put in place in 2014.
Minutes dated 21, 28 February 2017 and 14 March 2017 were adopted as amended.
The meeting was adjourned.