South African Rugby Union briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

28 August 2018
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to be briefed by the South African Rugby Union on its governance, finances and related matters.

It heard that SA Rugby Union had been on the brink of collapse in 2016 because of failing to meet its transformation targets. ABSA had withdrawn its sponsorship for the Currie cup, Springboks sevens and Springboks; BMW had also withdrawn its sponsorship because of that failure to meet transformation targets. In 2016 SA Rugby Union had failed to raise R130 million in sponsorships. The poor performance of the Springboks and the plying of trade abroad of 24 players in the same year, including four Springbok captains retiring and then the resignation of SA Rugby Union’s former Board President had exacerbated matters at the Union.

SA Rugby Union had had to conduct extensive roadshows around the country to win back the confidence of investors and that had taken a lot of time to 480 chief executives of big corporations. It was only in July 2017 that corporate support was returned to SA Rugby Union. The shortfall had created such pressure that the Union projected that it would take up to four years to recover from that knock.

In 2016 SA Rugby Union had also lost its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup Bid, which created a R38.5 million loss to the Union.

Strategic decisions were made by SA Rugby Union’s Executive Council and the union had about 15 provincial unions under the umbrella body. The general council of rugby was comprised of those provincial unions. Amongst the committees was the franchise and non-franchise rugby Committees.   The Executive Council was also involved in the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of SA Rugby Union and the coach of the Springboks.

The Committee asked:

  • Why did rugby stadiums still did not represent the demographics of the country?
  • Where was the rugby talent pool being sourced from? Was rugby attracting demographically representative fans across the country?
  • For the names and gender of the people sitting on the transformation Committee of SA Rugby Union?
  • What was the rationale for the Union not to have its own buildings when it was spending so much on leasing of buildings? Where was the rugby museum located and how much had been spent on it? Why was there a transfer to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee?
  • How far was SARU with Schools Sport at rural areas and public schools specifically? Had it reached its own target of 170 000 players sourced from rural arrears?
  • What was the Union’s advice to a constituency that already had sponsorships to build a rugby facility; were there standards for construction of the facilities?
  • What criteria was used in selecting the current captain of the Springboks and what had made it impossible for Mr Siya Kolisi to have a sixtieth cap as captain? Where were the white faces in the SA Rugby Union’s board, as transformation spoke to the diversity of the country?
  • What was SA Rugby Union’s position on the Mr Ashwin Willemse incident and what had it done to ensure that such incidents did not repeat themselves?
  • What development resources was SA Rugby Union pumping into rural schools to ensure that rugby was played there as well
  • How much was Sport and Recreation SA supposed to have co-funded the expenditure for the Rugby World Cup bid and how much had sponsors promised; had that money materialised?
  • Did the Union have any policy for children’s rugby development?
  • Was Limpopo not represented in the Executive council of SARU, and if so, why?

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed the visitors and outlined the agenda.

Opening Remarks
Mr Mark Alexander, President, South African Rugby Union (SARU), introduced his delegation and submitted apologies for the officials that were not before the Committee.

In 2016 SA rugby underwent a very dark period which was preceded by SARU failing to meet its transformation targets. ABSA had withdrawn its sponsorship for the Currie cup, Springboks Sevens and Springboks; BMW had also withdrawn its sponsorship because of that failure to meet transformation targets. In 2016 SARU had failed to raise R130 million in sponsorships. The poor performance of the Springboks and the retirement or plying of trade abroad of 24 players in the same year, including four springbok captains also retiring; and in the same year the then SARU President had also resigned from his position.

SARU had to conduct extensive roadshows around the country to win back the confidence of investors and that had taken a lot of time to 480 chief executives of big corporations. It was only in July 2017 that corporate support was returned to SARU. The shortfall had created such pressure that SARU projected that it would take up to four years to recover from that knock.

In 2016 SARU had also lost its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup Bid, which had created a R38.5 million loss to SARU.

SA Rugby Report Presentation (see document)

Mr Khaya Mayedwa, Government and Stakeholder relations, SARU, said that SARU acted though two bodies.
Strategic decisions of SARU were made by its Executive Council (EXCO) and the union had about 15 provincial unions under the umbrella body. The General Council of Rugby was comprised of those provincial unions.

Amongst its Committees there was the franchise and non-franchise rugby Committee.  The EXCO was also involved in the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SARU and the coach of the Springboks.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) said that the submitted annual report (AR) of SARU was not a presentation and it had just been circulated to members and therefore that was unfair and made oversight difficult.

Mr Abubaker Saban, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), SARU, said the audited financial statements of SARU were part of the Annual Report (AR) and had been made public a month after end of the financial year.

The Chairperson requested the Committee to indulge SARU although the presentation had been submitted late. She pleaded for the Committee to accept even the late submission of the AR but cautioned SARU to submit documents timeously in future.

Mr Saban said SARU had faced significant, commercial insolvency because of the R130 million shortfalls that had been a result of withdrawal of sponsorships in 2016. 85% of SARUs income was generated through broadcasting and sponsorships. Any risk to those sources of income compromised the ability of SARU to sustain its operations and its member unions.

SARU recorded a loss of R14.6 million before taxation in 2016 apart from the sponsorships withdrawal.
In 2017 SARU started recovering some of its sponsors with the Springboks securing MTN as the kit sponsor, as well as First National Bank (FNB) however; that still had not produced the required level of revenue.
The key drivers of the R38 million loss reported in 2017 had been due to trying to secure the Rugby World Cup 2023 where SARU had been promised financial support from other quarters if the World Cup bid had succeeded. With the failure to secure that World Cup all the promised resources had not materialised, which meant that SARU had to carry the cost. Moreover, in mid-2017, SARU had needed to make a strategic decision regarding international competition in terms of tournaments that had the credentials and stature

Discussion
Mr D Bergman (DA) challenged the Committee to browse through any of the pictures in the Annual Report of the SARU and the problem would be found in terms of the demographics.
Why did rugby stadiums still not represent the demographics of the country?

Where was the rugby talent pool being sourced from? Was rugby attracting demographically representative fans across the country? He understood that where stadiums were placed and ticketing would be one response but he still required a response. It was concerning that for the first time SARU had almost faced liquidation.
SARU had to get the big companies with big corporate responsibility into rugby and although he had asked for Supersport sports broadcaster to appear before the Committee for cricket, perhaps it also had to appear for rugby as well.

Barriers into entry for rugby were far less expensive than cricket therefore he was appealing that SARU had to look into how it could get more a diverse following and interest into rugby

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) said he was dissatisfied with the presentation having so little detail on the financials; furthermore, he questioned the diversity of the delegation before the Committee. He asked for the names and gender of the people sitting on the transformation Committee of SARU?

What was the rationale for SARU not to have its own buildings when it was spending so much on leasing of buildings? Where was the rugby museum located and how much had been spent on it? Why was there a transfer to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)?

How far was SARU with Schools Sport in rural areas and public schools specifically? Had it reached its own target of 170 000 players sourced from rural arrears? He still wanted to know how the country had lost the Rugby World Cup bid for 2023 and how much in total was spent for that?

Mr G Mmusi (ANC) said with the previous administration of SARU their presentations of reserves always gave the perception that SARU could weather financial storms; how was withdrawal of sponsorships that detrimental to its financial and operational position that there had been a danger of insolvency?

What was the current programmes evolution regarding transformation in rugby, specifically in terms of demographic representation of support and franchises?

What was SARU’s advice to a constituency that already had sponsorships to build a rugby facility; were there standards for construction of the facilities?

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) wanted to know what criteria had been used in selecting the current captain of the Springboks and what had made it impossible for Mr Siya Kolisi to have a sixtieth cap as captain? Where were the white faces in the SARU board, as transformation spoke to the diversity of the country?

What was SARU’s position on the Mr Ashwin Willemse incident and what had SARU done to ensure that such incidents did not repeat themselves?
What development resources was SARU pumping into rural schools to ensure that rugby was played there as well?

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said the current crop of African players came from former model C Schools, and if that trend remained that meant opportunity would still remain out of reach for township and rural kids at public schools, and the transformation targets would be skewed.

Why had the underperformance of the Springboks been so spectacular? How did SARU plan to ensure that performance improved?

There had been challenges around the western and Eastern Cape (WC) & (EC) rugby franchises in the previous engagement the Committee had had with SARU. What was the progress with those franchises?

The Chairperson said having observed the most recent SARU Annual General Meeting (AGM) there remained strong opposition to gender parity before resolutions had been adopted; the arguments had been so heated on the 50/50 representation gender question such that she had had to vacate the room at that time. Furthermore, she had been attacked by a provincial delegate that had been recently elected to the executive, outside of the meeting.

Mr Alexander replied that while rugby stadiums were not demographically representative, 80% of public schools did not do sports and recreation or Physical Education (PE). Moreover, in the South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby (SANZAAR) regions; SA rugby still drew more spectators than the other countries in SANZAAR.
SARU had engaged the Minister of Basic Education; the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) was work underway.

Indeed, SARU had never failed to raise sponsorships the way it had in 2016 and recovering from a shortfall of R130 million would take a number of years to recover from.   
The R38.5 million for the Rugby World Cup bid had dug a big whole in SARU’s coffers. If one took away rugby broadcast sponsorships SARU affiliates would not be able to play rugby abroad as it would be unaffordable. He had recently had to negotiate with Supersport to give its radio broadcasting rights for free to the South African broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as the SABC had no money. SARU wanted rugby on the SABC but the broadcaster had no money.

SARU had a programme called ‘Vuka legends’ in terms of development but realistically no sponsors wanted to fund development of sports. The target of 170 000 development players achieved was from SARU’s coffers as it had to put in equipment, maintain it and ensure that children actually played rugby. The agreements on transformation targets that SARU had with SRSA were being managed well and even exceeded in the under 19 & 20 national colours teams, as players of colour were playing there on merit and not colour. Those youth teams reflected South African demographics accurately.

Mr Alexander said SARU had lost the Rugby World Cup bid because it had behaved too ethically. The South African bid had been announced as the best candidate but the vote had changed on the recommendation by technical experts.

SARU had not to date invested in bricks and mortar because even the academies it ran were investments into services and not buildings. After 2016 financial problems SARU was without reserves and worked from a day-to-day operations system. Rugby could never sustain a whole stadium on its own hence it preferred multipurpose facilities which it could share with soccer.

Regarding the sixtieth captain, the Springboks had had a four-day turnaround strategy therefore the coach had picked two teams, which was why Mr Pieter Stephanus du Toit had captained the springboks in Washington instead of Mr Kolisi. The second Springboks’ team was preparing for England when the other Springboks were playing in Washington. The Springbok’s set-up had a leadership group and not just a randomly selected captain, therefore Mr Kolisi having been in the leadership group which led the other players for a long time had simply had his chance and not because he was a player of colour. SARU had no influence on the selection of the captain.

The current SARU board had nine people of colour, and five white persons. Some were ex-officio and there were two women, including the company secretary who was a person of colour.

On Ashwin Willemse; like SRSA, SARU had decided to wait for the outcome of the litigation between Mr Willemse and Supersport, moreover Mr Willemse did not work for SARU. Mr Alexander was in constant contact with Mr Willemse.

When an organisation such as SARU was hit by the financial woes like those of 2016 that had a ripple effect; the slump in the performance of the Springboks was evidence of that. There currently were more players playing abroad than there were before since as there were 375 SA rugby players playing abroad, 65 of which were Springboks that played in Europe. SARU put a policy in place of 30 mandatory national caps for all selected players, and the period leading up to the World Cup was the only window the national coach had to select and prepare the players from anywhere where they currently played. The biggest challenge was that SARU Rands could not compete with international currencies not only because of the 2016 incident but SARU did not foresee itself ever being able to compete with those currencies. Fortunately, though, when the likes of Mr Victor Matfield, Mr Schalk Burger had retired and played abroad there would not have been current youngsters coming through like Messrs Etzebeth and Kolisi, therefore the pipeline and development helped.  

There were major problems with the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) Executive and management of the franchise, but Mr Alexander was reporting that SARU had fixed those challenges and the EP had been handed back. The Union had been re-launched with a new sponsor, as well as a Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) equity partner coming on board.

As far as the Border Rugby Union (BRU) was concerned SARU had put under section 28 interventions, where the Border was managed by SARU directly where SARU had fixed the union and handed it back to the Border region but everything had regressed almost immediately. The BRU had serious administrative challenges and SARU had instituted another section intervention with the BRU where it would run the affairs of the union again until leadership stability was returned. SARU had a duty to intervene in all the unions in the provinces especially in the EC as the region currently represented about 50% of the current rugby playing pool of players in the country, that was 186 teams playing with the biggest women player base in SA.

Mr Alexander said there were three SARU delegates that attended World Rugby Union (WRU) meetings where there had been a proposal that SARU had to amend its constitution to bring a fourth person; unfortunately, the route that the AGM had followed had been against its own constitution and there had been opposition to that unconstitutional process based on the timing of wanting to have a fourth additional member attending those WRU meetings. Since the AGM however; that change had gone through, and SARU would be having elections to appoint the first female to represent women at WRU meetings. The attack on the Chairperson was unfortunate and unnecessary as SARU relied on the Committee on Sport and Recreation on a number of issues consistently where not once had the Chairperson declined to assist SARU.  SARU was formally apologising to the Chairperson as it had also instituted processes against the individual involved in that altercation and was pleading to be allowed to conclude that and to report back to the Committee in due course.

Regarding the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU), there was litigation between the WPRU and a service provider. The WPRU were able to administratively run their affairs but there were tactical issues that were affecting the union and Mr Alexander was pleading to be allowed to also report back on the issues affecting that union in due course pending the litigation outcome.

Mr Tobie Titus, Executive Council Member, SARU, said SARU did in fact take rugby to the farthest reaches of rural areas in SA, possibly that could be improved but annually SARU had a programme called ‘iqhawe week’ which was run by SA Rugby Legends. The main benefactor of that project pumped millions of Rands into that week, which catered for boys whose opportunities to play rugby were very limited. That rugby week ran in all 14 regions of SARU and the advantage of that programme was that the exit pipeline players went on to play in the Grant Commo under 16 week, and some players from that tournament had gone on to play in the under 18 Schools tournament week. Those tournaments were not feel good once a year projects but actually regular playing opportunities for the youngsters throughout the year which culminated in tournaments annually. SARU would submit the numbers and the pipeline development programmes it was involved in.

Mr Monde Tabata, Executive Council Member, SARU, said SARU had 478 schools participating in rugby under the different franchises in the 14 regions in 2018 to date. The uptake of rugby sports in non-traditional rugby strongholds in the northern provinces of SA had been quite encouraging especially under the Lions, Griffons, Leopards, Blue Bulls Falcons and Pumas rugby franchises. There were 22 250 youngsters involved in rugby currently in those regions.

The Chairperson interjected, inquiring whether the Limpopo province remained without a fully-fledged rugby union and franchise to date.

Mr Tabata said currently the Vuka programme for under 14 & 15 age groups was where the 195 205 youngsters were being groomed. With girls’ rugby the uptake was also encouraging, especially in black communities and in Limpopo currently the Blue Bulls were doing a lot of work with figures at 2709 girls playing rugby. The Griquas (Northern Cape) numbers were 2490 young girls participating with a total figure of 7578 across the 14 regions. The Vuka programme had been able to absorb a big contingent of former rugby players who were closer to rugby communities and were lending the expertise and those legends totalled 381 in number. Those individuals either adopted one school or a group of schools in their surroundings. The work of the Vuka programme culminated in participation in the Iqhawe Week.

Mr Mayedwa said the target for ‘getting to rugby’ for SARU had been 190 000 people participating in rugby for 2019 and SARU had already exceeded that. 

Mr Alexander said Limpopo worked on a mentor structure where the Union was managed by the Blue Bulls as it was unable to stand on its own and until the Limpopo Rugby Union (LRU) could stand its own it would remain under the mentorship of the Bulls.

Mr Bergman said that transformation had to mean one standard and not a different thing to different people and as a legacy of the Committee, that environmental transformation had to be something the Committee had to have achieved or failed by the end of the fifth Parliament.   
It was incredulous that reintroduction of EP into the SA Schools curriculum was something so challenging and Parliament was not fighting harder for that and to ensure further that it would not be a diluted component of Life Orientation (LO) studies.
As he had said before that SARU’s transformation policy would be its funeral policy the events of 2016 had proven his intimation and he still stood by that; SARU had to ensure that transformation was not cosmetic but that the environment looked and felt transformed and the DBE was the biggest obstacle.

Mr Mhlongo said his questions remained unanswered and that showed the mafia tactics in sport; he still wanted to know where the rugby museum was and how much had been spent on it? How much was SRSA supposed to have co-funded the expenditure for the Rugby World Cup bid and how much had sponsors promised; had that money materialised?

Did SARU have any policy for children’s rugby development? He recalled that SRSA already had signed a MoU with DBE on PE; it was contradictory that SARU still awaited an MoU.  What plans did SARU have for rugby development in rural areas if the MoU was signed the following day?

Was Limpopo not represented in the Executive council of SARU; if so, why not?

What were the challenges facing Vodacom Super Rugby? What were the current SARU sponsors contributing to SARU coffers?

Mr Mmusi asked that SARU had to pursue a MoU with other sporting codes to fund multipurpose facilities deployment, as Mr Alexander had noted that building and maintaining a facility was unaffordable for any single sporting codes to do in isolation.

Was LRU arrangement with the Bulls similarly being deployed in provinces like the North West (NW)?

Mr Ralegoma said compliance with geopolitical alignment remained a challenge for SARU because LRU would remain under mentorship and not being represented at executive level because Blue Bulls were actually based in Gauteng, where there were three rugby franchises.   SARU had to spend serious time and focus on ensuring that LRU was an independent union like other provinces by the time the current leadership’s tenure ended.

The Chairperson reminded the Committee that facilities had at least R300 million plus ringfenced for facilities development where municipalities were the ones failing to implement and spend the facilities grant as intended. It was upon the Committee then to enforce compliance in that regard. Additionally, the MoU between SSA and DBE had been signed in 2012 for PE to be reintroduced into public schools, all that SARU had to do was to ensure that its Vuka and Iqhawe Weeks were programmes being run in schools and had to report on the progress that SARU was making regarding playing of rugby. The ineffectiveness of the MoU had been highlighted such that Minister Mrs Thokozile Xasa had engaged and signed a new agreement with DBE to implement the MoU on PE.

She asked Mr Mhlongo to withdraw his remark about SARU being a mafia by not presenting its financials.

Mr Mhlongo said he was privileged by the right to freedom of speech and he maintained his remark as long as his questions on financials remained unanswered.

Mr Alexander replied the 2017/18 AR of SARU had 40 plus pages on its audited financial statements.  The museum was funded by SARU solely for about R40 million and the union were trying to get sponsorship to maintain the operations of the museum. The museum was located in the V&A waterfront, Cape Town.

The bid had cost R38.5 million and SARU had been working with SRSA to source funds from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) but had been unsuccessful.

Limpopo currently participated in all SARU tournaments but the LRU could not financially sustain its own operations if the Bulls were to pull out the following day. SARU did allocate LRU funds to assist with its operations.

Playing in the Vodacom Super Rugby was the best competitive advantage for SA rugby franchises at high level but SARU had decided to look at alternatives. Therefore, there were two SA franchises playing in the northern hemisphere (Pro 14 super rugby) and four franchises playing in the southern hemisphere. SARU was the only organisation that played in two hemispheres globally.

From a player welfare perspective, SA players travelled long distances to New Zealand (NZ) and stayed there for four weeks whereas the teams from abroad visited SA for two weeks strictly to play. Because that was physically taxing on players SARU had decided to play in the northern hemisphere as well.  If Vodacom Super Rugby stopped there would be no rugby as it generated the revenue and in 2020 SARU would become a full member of the Pro 14 and in that way, there would be two revenue avenues.

SARU had several sponsors which were outlined in the AR but for the springboks it was Vodacom, Southern Palace, Discovery Health MTN, but confidentiality agreements prohibited divulging the extent of the sponsorships.

The numbering of captain from as far back as SARA, South African Bantu Rugby Union, and old SARU had all come together to deal with the challenge of the numbering for captaincy of the springboks, as that continued to present a challenge.

Currently in previously disadvantaged areas of the country rugby was played in multipurpose sports fields and SARU encouraged that where there were facilities that multipurpose use had to be prioritised.

Mr Saban reiterated that 85% of SARU revenue came from broadcasting and sponsorships and if there was a risk to those then SARU had to find alternatives. From a governance perspective, SARU had had 24 Finance Committees (FinCo) meetings chaired by independents to go through what the sustainability of SARU was. From that SARU had adopted a policy position that it would only spend what it had, therefore if there was no sponsorship for contracting of players, which was expensive as it was benchmarked against international trends, and then SARU would not spend on that item. It had reduced its head office expenditure by 6% and SARU had no leakages to date. Full sponsorships had started being realised in 2018 and going forward.
In 2021 with the British and Irish Lions visiting SARU believed the event would generate sufficient equity to sustain the union in future. 
 
The NZRU controlled all professional rugby players in NZ meaning they could play and rest them at will; in SA there were six franchises which owned the players they contracted and SA currently played too much rugby compared to other Unions, and they did not rest when they were supposed to. That remained the biggest challenge as SARU did a top-up on the players’ salaries from their franchises and Springboks could only rest for so little time because if the franchises wanted players on the field because of their equity partners, then rugby had to be played.  SARU was trying to find a compromise with the franchises on the amount of rugby played.

Mr Mayedwa asked Mr Mhlongo to specify which policy he required clarity on.
 
Mr Alexander said that all SARUs statutory Committees had been capacitated with independent business individuals that made decisions for SARU.

Mr M Filtane (UDM) asked whether SARU had found multiracialism had been a boon or inhibitor of the Springboks performance. Did SARU have any agreement with local government on use of municipal sports facilities?

The Chairperson interjected that Mr Filtane’s questions had already been answered. She was barring SARU from repeat answering questions.

Mr Filtane asked whether it was in SARU’s interest to broadcast rugby on SABC channels.

The Chairperson said the subsequent question from Mr Filtane had also been answered.    

Mr Filtane said he understood that some time recently SARU had resolved to allow private equity partners to get shares in franchises; was it not the situation now that equity partners were dictating how much super rugby was played to the disadvantage of test matches by the Springboks, which also fatigued players by the period of test matches for national colours.

Mr Mhlongo said he needed a guiding policy for selecting the national coach; selecting kids for development in rugby sports and that which drove the ‘getting to rugby’ programme. 

Why had Mr Alexander voted against the dismissal of the SASCOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO)?

The Chairperson said that SARU did not have to respond to SASCOC questions.

Mr Mmusi reiterated his question that what was SARU’s advice to a constituency that already had sponsorships to build a rugby facility; were there construction standards for the facilities?

Ms Abrahams asked what the current problem was with the numbering system for the captaincy of the Springboks and she was still not satisfied with the response regarding the sixtieth man issue.

The Chairperson said all the outstanding questions which would not have been answered, including those that Members were not satisfied with the responses received, would be submitted to SARU for written responses.

Mr Alexander replied that multi-racism did not exist in rugby but rather non-racism; probably no racialism and the mixing or racial classification in rugby in SA was more a challenge with the older generation of citizens in SA, specifically the current crop of Members of Parliament (MPs). He had a video of the youth rugby week with the youth playing rugby participating and singing and he was gobsmacked by the unity as the youngsters did not carry the baggage of apartheid.

It was impossible to give children role models in rugby which they did not see on television which was why he had recently had to negotiate with Supersport to give its radio broadcasting rights for free to the SABC as the SABC had no money; that was why the SABC was broadcasting international football because it cost a lot to broadcast the production of rugby and international soccer was not a local production and it cost less than local rugby. That was also why SARU had asked Supersport TV to have SARU and rugby games broadcast even on MultiChoice’s Compact channels subscription.

The current criteria to ‘getting into rugby’ was public schools where teachers had an interest in getting young children playing rugby, that was especially why SARU had a ‘boks for books’ programme where with the installation of a library at a public school SARU used that opportunity. Public schools played no sports or extra mural activities in the current generation, which was a big challenge.

With the Chairperson’s permission, he replied that he had not voted against dismissal as a SASCOC member but had rather asked for another process to be put in place so that everything would be above board. To date the matter was in court because of due process not being followed and he belied that had due process been followed the results would have been the same.

He said that the numbering was in the games a player played, Pieter Steph became sixtieth man captain because he had played in a game the week before; sixtieth captain could not be a player that played a week later and that matter was a timing issue and nothing else. Even if Mr Kolisi were to be injured the next game the Springboks played where there would be a different captain that captain would be the sixty second captain; but all that spoke to his earlier assertion that the numbering system for captaincy was out of kilter with current rugby playing globally and SARU planned to overhaul that whole system.

SARU could not run provincial unions without private equity and that was why it preferred the unions to be run like businesses because the system was that franchises were allocated provincial unions and then the unions had to get equity partners to run its affairs; between all of them operational agreements were signed to manage those processes. Rugby needed the expertise equity partners brought.

Mr Tabata said the profile of the support base of SARU and its franchises if members were to follow super rugby on any Saturday the Committee would agree that for the Blue Bulls, Cheetahs, and Natal Sharks, there the Committee would discern a mixed profile of supporters; certainly the appointment of Mr Kolisi as captain of the Springboks and the growing population of rugby players of colour in Super rugby and in the Springboks was having a definitive impact on the profile. 
Within SARU annually all its policies were reviewed against current priorities and therefore those would be submitted to the Committee as requested although SARU had hundreds of policies in place. Moreover, SARU amongst its guiding principles was operating on the Companies Act, Kings Good Governance principles, fourth edition and an audit and risk Committee populated by independents; and SARU benchmarked itself against the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and WRU.

The provincial rugby unions assisted in drawing the fields and giving specifications for rugby fields and he would be able to link Mr Mmusi with the Cheetahs in the NW in terms of his question regarding standards. Moreover, SARU also had a responsibility to ensure safety of the players in any rugby field which was developed and deployed through its assistance.

Mr Tabata extended an invitation to the Committee to attend the Learners with Special Educative Needs (LSEN) and women’s rugby tournaments which SARU had been supporting for many years for learners with special needs. In 2017 deaf rugby had just become an associate member of SARU. SARU was investing a lot of time and resources into making rugby available through smart technologies and information.

The Chairperson asked how many women were in the Executive Council of SARU and in provincial structures. Two was quite a small number and SARU had to improve on that going into future and she expected a written response in that regard.

She thanked SARU for availing itself to the Committee and released the delegation.

Committee business
The Chairperson informed the Committee of the proposed dates for local oversight dates and asked for input on the dates and proposed locations.

Mr Ralegoma said that the proposed location for the municipal oversight visit in the WC could still be retained as it was outstanding work.
 
The Chairperson said the proposed dates of 10-14 September 2018 would be oversight days in the WC and NC. The Management Committee (MANCO) would investigate whether the Committee could apply for another oversight period before Parliament arose for the general elections in 2019 from the programming Committee and House Chairperson if the Committee so mandate her.

Mr Mmusi proposed that the Committee visit Kuruman and Postmasburg for oversight in the NC.

Mr Bergman said he had wanted to find out when Cricket SA would be coming before the Committee and whether Supersport TV had been invited to come along?

The Chairperson said that Cricket SA had previously replied that it could not honour the Committee’s invitation and the MANCO had decided that it would send the invitation again after the September recess as there was also the oversight coming up.

The Chairperson thanked the Committee and the meeting was adjourned.
 

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