Cricket SA Dispute; SA Rugby discussion, Committee Annual Report, Committee Report on Department 2007 Annual Report

Sports, Arts and Culture

19 February 2008
Chairperson: Mr B Khompela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Chairperson enlightened Members on the outcome of the Cricket SA dispute.

The Committee briefly discussed the recent media reports, which highlighted that the South African Rugby Union intended discussing the country’s transformation policy with the International Rugby Board.

The Committee adopted with amendments its Annual Report and its Report on the Department’s 2007 Annual Report.


Meeting report

Feedback on Cricket SA Dispute by Chairperson
In keeping with the Committee’s mandate, Mr Khompela said that he had interacted with the leadership of Cricket South Africa (CSA) concerning their recent public spat on the composition of the touring squad to Bangladesh.

He noted that the issue of transformation was at the forefront of the dispute. The president of CSA, Mr Norman Arendse, was insistent that the selectors implement CSA’s transformation policy. The Committee supported this position because it was congruent with the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Act. Unfortunately, Mr Arendse had to relent on his demand due to the incapacity (i.e. injuries) of most of the black players who were eligible for selection. Accordingly, Mr Khompela believed that there were “no winners or losers” in this battle and that the injuries dictated the current situation.

The Chairperson observed that the principal protagonists issued a positive statement over the past weekend. He welcomed this step and hoped that they would “begin to find each other”. In conclusion, he emphasised that the Committee would never apologise for asserting that sport federations complied with the legislation.

Discussion on SA Rugby
The Chairperson informed the Committee that he had issued a statement in response to media reports that South African Rugby Union (SARU) intended to meet the International Rugby Board (IRB) to discuss the country’s transformation policies. Apparently, their decision was instigated by the petition of several former Springboks and Afriforum to the IRB to reject the country’s transformation policies. He maintained that the laws of the country superseded those of the IRB. In the end, he argued that he would “never allow the issue of racism to be downplayed”.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) commented that SARU should present to the Committee their operational plan regarding transformation. He recalled that SARU was generally supportive of the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Act. He was therefore surprised that they were entertaining the views of the former group of Springboks and Afriforum. He charged that SARU “unilaterally took the issue to the IRB” without consulting the Committee or the Ministry. Finally, he advised the Committee to arrange a meeting with the leadership at the earliest possible time.

The latter suggestion was universally endorsed by the Committee.

Committee Report on Department’s 2007 Annual Report
The Chairperson commended the Committee Secretary, Mr Lichakane Phori, for producing an impressive report, which accurately reflected the Committee’s engagement with the Department and its entities. Consequently, the Committee implemented a few minor technical amendments and adopted the report.

The Chairperson requested the Committee Secretary to make the corrections and present the report to him for scrutiny before submitting it for publication in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATC).

Committee Annual Report 2007
The Committee adopted the report with amendments.

The Chairperson updated the Committee on the arrangements for their Study Tour to SADC countries and on the date of the Strategic Workshop.

The meeting was adjourned.


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