Rugby sponsor against quotas

2010-09-19 21:22

Erna van Wyk

Johannesburg – Currie Cup sponsor Absa has stated that it does not support the quota system in rugby.

A storm erupted around South Africa’s biggest bank following reports on Friday that South African Rugby Union (SARU) president Oregan Hoskins had written to rugby unions last Monday about Absa’s concern about a “lack of transformation”.

Afriforum reacted by immediately launching a campaign against Absa.

The “Stop Absa Quotas” campaign started on Friday afternoon. It led to numerous Absa account holders threatening to close their accounts.

On Saturday, the civil rights movement said that the campaign had been launched because the bank had not “reacted immediately” on the allegation that it is in favour of quotas.

By Saturday afternoon, the campaign had included more than 12 000 chain SMS-messages. More than 9 000 people signed a petition and the Facebook group had more than 1 300 members by late Sunday afternoon.

However, Absa deputy chief executive Louis von Zeuner told Rapport that Absa had never demanded a quota system.

“We never said that a team should include a certain number of players of colour. Our point of view is: Let’s make sure that we keep the momentum in transformation and give players with potential the opportunity to showcase their talent.”

Afriforum’s Kallie Kriel admitted that Von Zeuner had phoned him from New York on Friday and asked for a meeting early this week.

“I think it’s the fact that Absa did not act immediately to deny it,” said Kriel about why they had started the campaign hours after the reports had appeared. He admitted that Absa should get a fair chance to respond to the allegations.

He also admitted that Afriforum had not made any effort to speak to Hoskins about the allegations in his email.

“If Absa say the media have misunderstood, then it’s Hoskins that sent out the wrong message. We are upset about what Hoskins said. If Absa say they have not said what Hoskins had written, we’ll leave it,” said Kriel.

“In that case we will rather focus on Hoskins – what his agenda is and why.”

Attempts to get comment from Hoskins before going to press were unsuccessful.

Von Zeuner said: “The irony is that I agree with Kriel that we should not have a team with quotas. Players should be picked on merit.

“Our Sevens, under-19 and under-21 teams show good diversity. The players should also be brought through to senior level. That is the feeder for Springbok rugby.”

Absa have sponsored the Currie Cup for 25 years and the sponsorship is worth around R40-million per year. The current sponsorship will run until 2013.

The bank is currently in negotiations with SARU to become the Springboks’ jersey sponsor in a deal that could be worth R60-million for five years.

“Absa never threatened to withdraw its sponsorship,” said Von Zeuner.

“We also want to sponsor the Springboks. Our sponsorship is for all South Africans and we want everybody to enjoy the sport.

“Crowds are drawn by good play, good competition, good talent and the fact that people see their heroes in action. Look at the impact Elton Jantjies made when he got the opportunity to play in the senior league, as well as Dewald Potgieter and Juan de Jongh.”

Meanwhile e-news reported this weekend that there were only 16 black players among the Currie Cup teams that played at the weekend.


  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-09-19 21:41

    TRANSFORMATION= RACISM!!! end of story...

  • IMPERADOR - 2010-09-19 21:54

    16 black players what a lot, some don´t have a clue what they doing in there.

  • Libertas - 2010-09-19 21:55

    As was said on a previous forum, ABSA does not have a quota system in for their top key management positions like foreign trade etc. Bet you if the rugby jersey account is won by ABSA, the jerseys will all be made in China

  • Piet - 2010-09-19 21:56

    All you loyal rugby suporters should close your absa bank accounts, they dont deserve you. It is time we do something about this quota problem, or we can force the PSL soccer to get a quota system for whites. Then you will see that all politics will stop. And i hope PDV get sacked......... From Rome,Italy. GO JAKE...............

  • Eish - 2010-09-19 21:58

    We need to wait and see who said what. But, as far as transformation is concerned, I want to challenge supporters of colour, not just in Western Province to show that they are behind the game. It is always the top sports that draw the top crowds that are affected. What will an empty pavilion with 15 quota players on the field do for South Africa. Target soccer as well and then start with other sports like show jumping with horses etc. etc. Let the best players play, irrespective of colour and they will have my support and if all 15 are black for the right reason and they kill the all blacks (New Zeeland) not the15 black boks, they will still have my support.

  • jo - 2010-09-19 22:00

    Rugby supporters dont care if the entire team is black. We just want the best players to play and so should you Absa, as a good campaign or winning streak promotes you. You however are getting into poletics when you are a bank. This was very irresponsible of ABSA or SARU, someone must pay. Please stop this racial bulsh£t in sport.

  • rugby king - 2010-09-19 22:05

    so it is true absa is an anc bank which wants to take part in destroying his country, so to hell with this bank....i dont do business with racist banks like absa, i shall be closing my account with absa tomorrow and moving to nedbank

  • Trix van der Westhuizen - 2010-09-19 22:24

    Hoskins must answer the ABSA questions asap. I am not happy with the the aquota system. Select a team on a merrit basis. If Mbobo the sensation of The Sharks team is selected on merrit and not on the aquota system - How wonderfull will it be and I will support him 110%. Keep rugby clean. What about soccer!!!! ..... As a school child (70's) I had to work in a Butchery on weekends to play rugby. I received northing for free and had to work as scholar ot afford playing rugby. Most scholars today enjoy great development support which myself and others never had. Please just be normal and fall for the pressure of the one-eye Goverment, just to be in their favour and protect a position like Hoskins. Hoskins started of well but the politics is starting to take over. Let SA Rugby servive on Merit without race boundries!!!!!!! Rehards H.v/d W.

  • Benzo - 2010-09-19 22:30

    @bulawayo you are right. this transformation kak should stop!!!

  • alan - 2010-09-19 22:34

    and transformation in soccer ?

  • anti-quota - 2010-09-19 22:35

    close your ABSA ACCOUNT before it is too late!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rugby is sport NOT politics

  • ABSABanker - 2010-09-19 22:57

    This is surely the end of my 34year relationship with this bank. It was getting worse the last seven years any way--- and now sports politicsIIII No thanks., i'm on my way!!!!

  • Chris in Oz - 2010-09-19 23:24

    Why close your ABSA account over their racist views? I would have closed mine (if I had one) long ago just because they use my interest to pay R40 mil sponsorship fees every year. And that is just for rugby.

  • Chris in Oz - 2010-09-19 23:30

    @ Libertas. Mate, all the Bok jerseys are already made in about 20c per jersey I guess - while we pay $150 for a supporter's jersey. What's that now in Rand? R800/R900?. I'm sure if ABSA takes over the sponsorship of the jerseys they'll ask each Springbok to pay interest on the jersey he is wearing.....

  • Nation - 2010-09-19 23:46 single race was ever barred from playing soccer my man, people of all colour have always been allowed.

  • Veli - 2010-09-20 02:23

    In the past there's always been threats of sponsors running away from rugby whenever there's talk of transformation. I'm loving what Absa has come up with. Those who are opposed to this are hellbent on seeing this beautiful game of rugby only catering for a certain section. But I still believe that SARU had an agenda by leaking this to the media. I SUPPORT ABSA 100%!

  • Wesley - 2010-09-20 02:28

    I have already had enough of ABSA's very high bank charges that increase too much all the time. Goodbye ABSA bank account. Hopkins should go too, he is responsible for bringing us Pieter de Villiers and not doing anything about his results or ridiculous comments. The very principal of sport is that the best play against the best on merit.

  • anc rules - 2010-09-20 03:51

    transformation is a joke in sa sport especially rugby and until the situation changes or until afrikaner hold on rugby is finally crushed i call on black people to support the all blacks and their s15 teams against these racist afrikaner teams.anc greetings.

  • Michael - 2010-09-20 06:02

    Looks like ABSA or Hoskins is lying. If ABSA then it will serve them right if many closed their accounts. If Hoskins then we must call for him to resign. For me I support WP, with their track record over past few years, shocking. This shocking record has me wondering what the prolem is. That is for another day.

  • Big Cheese - 2010-09-20 06:32

    Dear ABSA , I trust my white money is good enough for you and your response will probably be that you are colour blind . I do not appreciate your double standards . Its simple , really - just admit or deny that you wrote Hoskins the letter instead of pussyfooting around and trying to spin the story . On your own version , and if you want to be consistent , your attitude should be that you have too many white clients and that your client base is not representative of the demographics of the country . Please confirm that us whiteys can close our accounts with you . Wait , no - we'll simply do it anyway , bunch of two faced pillocks !

  • Shorts - 2010-09-20 06:33

    Absa logo on a Springbok jersey??? If this happens then perhaps SARU should also change their national sides' name to the Black Proteas and be done with all their forced transformation nonsense once and for all.

  • Shorts - 2010-09-20 07:09

    Absa logo on a Springbok jersey??? If this happens then perhaps SARU should also change their national sides' name to the Black Proteas and be done with all their forced transformation nonsense once and for all.

  • Mike - 2010-09-20 07:10

    I will move my accounts from ABSA to another bank. That is for sure. Not only my own personal accounts, but also my business accounts, fleet accounts and company credit cards. ABSA, if you want quotas, you can have quota customers too. You can have it...Goodbye ABSA.....

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-09-20 07:36

    I don't have a problem if 'there were only 16 black players playing this past week-end'. I would not have a problem if there were only 16 white players playing this past week-end....providing ALL players were there on merit! Provinces must only choose the best in their positions and what suits the game plan. Let's forget this quota nonsense. There is no doubt that we are seeing good players of colour coming through the system.

  • WP Profeet - 2010-09-20 07:36

    In sport, players MUST be selected on MERIT and NOTHING else- period!!! WP groete.....

  • Ziwi - 2010-09-20 07:37

    If i was put in a team because of a biased quota system I'd be embarrassed, I'd always know that the only reason i'm playing is because of my skin and not because i'm the best, i'd be ashamed, its like being picked for a team back at school because your parent was the couch, screw that. Quota system is as racist as New Zealand having a Maori only team (Maori all blacks), if this continues SA rugby will be like Zimbabwe cricket.

  • Disgraceful - 2010-09-20 07:38

    16 black players in the Currie Cup.......MAYBE 5 deserve to be there!!!!!!!!!! The rest are cash for scrap!!!!!! They are keeping the TRUE talent from performing.

  • BlaBla - 2010-09-20 07:44

    Not sure ABSA is the sponsor for 25 years. Why these results? I am sure I can count. Try 20 years ABSA. Currie Cup - Winners 1984-85 Transvaal 1985-86 Western Province 1986-87 Transvaal 1987-88 Transvaal 1988-89 Eastern Province 1989-90 E. Province/W. Province (Shared)

  • Dewald - 2010-09-20 07:49

    I closed my ABSA account 9 months ago and moved to Nedbank, best financial move I made in years!!!

  • Marius - 2010-09-20 07:54

    This must have originated from Trevor Manuel influencing his wife Maria Ramos, the ceo of ABSA

  • StormersSupporter - 2010-09-20 08:18

    I do no understand the problem? Close your account coz absa does not agree with our racist "leaders"? How about they select 2 springbok teams. 1 Based purely on merit, be it black, white or coloured. Then a completely black team based on skin colour like they want and not on skill. And let the 2 teams play against each other and the winner is selected as our national team. SARU is quick to query why springboks are doing badly and then say we do not have enough black players! What a joke! Well done ABSA, keep rugby s sport worth watching!

  • colin - 2010-09-20 08:45

    Strange that it took an New Zeeland coach to see that talent of Elton Jantjies - why do so few players graduate from our age group rugby to Curie Cup senior and ultimately springbok rugby - if there is a bottle neck which prevents the natural progression it should be removed - remember the days when the only black guys in the team would have been the 2 wingers - today I am happy to see we shine at nr10, 13, 12, 15, 9 and even in to pack - I believe we need to bring old players like Paulse and Chester to help examine and expose the obstacles that prevent black talent to advance and to remove it from our structures. Read Chesters book - indicates how difficult it is for black players in the sport.

  • Emile @ Chris in Oz - 2010-09-20 08:53

    Shouldn't you be commenting on AUS blogs my has been friend? Difficult to accept AUS is kak, very common and extremely boring, so now you find yourself still living in SA trhough the internet. Sorry my has been friend, you jumped ship and now you should please keep your opinion to yourself. Suddenly realised you now belong nowhere hey? Not a South African and will never be accepted by the Aussies. Shame!

  • anti pdivvy - 2010-09-20 09:11

    fact white choach = 2 world cup champions mark my words 1 pdivvy coach = 0 world cup If the player has talent let him play, Its very funny that everything in this country is based on skin colour , eg BEE JOBS , BEE SPORTS , BEE EDUCATION , NOW BEE BANKS !!!!!!!!!!! WHAT NEXT !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Walter - 2010-09-20 09:16

    16 years now of which most of us so called whitey's who are playing rugby had nothing to do with the previous goverment. Quato this and colour that, let this issue go now, we dont complain about the abudance of black people playing soccer, we just deal with it. When is South Africa gonna learn that people and cultures are different, we'll never change that, lets not try force the transformation, lets learn to deal with each others differences and move forward.

  • SA All Blacks Supporter - 2010-09-20 09:19

    At least ABSA understands that it does not take the blue bulls to play at Orlando to say we have transformed SA rugby, or the Lions to play @ FNB stadium. That was just superficial transformation like when Mandela was released on the 11 Feb 1993. True transformation is only when it happens at the grassroots and have the guts to carry those players you have developed into the structures. As a black person I am disgusted at the leadership of rugby because they think we will see half the springboks black and they do nothing at the grassroots, maybe ABSA should be spending their money at the grassroots stop sponsoring the top league. As far as soccer is concerned I think white people should also take responsibility, they form part of all the gorverning bodies where our children go in the the so called model c schools and they refuse to for children to play soccer as a sport and now they expect transformatin in soccer - typical. I have yet to see a rugby team comming in my loaction to give clinic or maybe because we will hijack them, people must not talk transformation if they are not transformed. If you want transformation maybe we should elect someone radicall in the leadership and then we will see transformation and not elect a ja bass person. Frank talk

  • andrew - 2010-09-20 09:26

    @ancrules! You are the racist pig around here, the day when people like you can stand on their own feet and not give the afrikaner all the blame then this country will be prosperous! You get everything with a spoon, you just want to sit back and everybody must be sorry for you poor black okes and if something is not according to your ideas it's racist or because of apartheid! Grow up!

  • Johnno - 2010-09-20 09:27

    Meanwhile e-news reported this weekend that there were only 16 black players among the Currie Cup teams that played at the weekend. How many white players were there in PSL soccer matches this weekend. Why doesn't e-news comment on that as well. I'll support transformation in rugby when I see transformation in soccer as well. But it's not about transformation, it's about handing over rugby to the ANC so they can get the riches that has been gained over the years. There is absolutely no respect for traditions anymore, everything must just be given away. If they were genuine about transformation, there would be more effort put into soccer as well. How many white players played in the world cup. I didn't hear any whining about that from the powers that be.Don't fool yourself, it's not about transformation, it's about handing over rugby in disguise.

  • Ross - 2010-09-20 09:29

    This ANC bank is deteriorating at the speed of light. I am also moving.

  • Bye Bye ABSA - 2010-09-20 09:37

    ABSA top brass are now covering for their wickets. They have realized that they have saddled the wrong horse and are attempting to ammend the massive mistake by getting involved in politics. If the SA (and Boks) tean are too white, then I am also much too white to be an ABSA client. They are a racist Bank. The Barclays (overseas) big bosses are sitting behind this and want to push racism and politics in rugby down our throats. Hoskins is not a liar. I am certainly closing my ABSA accounts and taking my bond to Standard Bank.

  • David - 2010-09-20 09:40

    Can we get a aquota system for swimming, golf and soccer as well. Why is it only Rugby??

  • Jacques - 2010-09-20 09:43

    @ Colin and all the people supporting his view. Let’s keep politics out of sport. I hope your enthusiastic approach of transforming rugby boils over to your all black soccer team. Which by the way was supported by all black and white alike? I actually feel sorry for all the white people standing next to roads with their bafana shirts being brain washed by people who thought that this could change the country. We are back to square one focusing on getting blacks into rugby but forgetting about our useless bafana all black team. Get some whitties in there and just maybe you will also have something to be proud of. Boycott Absa

  • Walk the walk - 2010-09-20 10:02

    Come on, put your money where your mouth is and close your ABSA account. Oh wait its easier to just moan...

  • EP Kings - 2010-09-20 10:03

    The issue is not about who is in control of rugby at the highest level; the issue is who buys the merchandise, who goes to the stadia every saturday and who have the pay channel to watch rugby. We who have the power should take charge and boikot SA Rugby, ABSA or whoever the hell else want to impose unnatural selection processes. Let them fill the stadia with black supporters and let them have only black customers. That is what this is about. It is not about the demographics of the country - its about the demographics of the support base.

  • Please stop ABSA - 2010-09-20 10:03

    ABSA must really go to hell. On saturday i went to my branch and closed my accounts. I was asked by the consultant who happend to be black what was the reason The bank was rather busy and i had a slight hang over so i took the only opportunity at taken my Oscar and decided to tell the consultant that i was to white for the bank and i really said it with conviction and was very loud. Well i had no idea what reaction it would prevoke but believe you me it was not so lekker for the bank staff. Please carry on with this campaign and make them feel the pain they inficted on us.

  • Greegs - 2010-09-20 10:07

    Be very interesting to see who said what? Pick any team based on merit only. No player of colour would like to be in any team based on the colour of their skin. Imagine what that does to team spirit? I'm betting that Hoskins shot his mouth off without consulting with ABSA. He's the clown!!!

  • Paul - 2010-09-20 10:25

    Regardless of who said what I've got to say that the reaction is ridiculous. "“I think it’s the fact that Absa did not act immediately to deny it,” said Kriel...He also admitted that Afriforum had not made any effort to speak to Hoskins about the allegations in his email. " " Let me get this right - because of a news report that a company did not immediately respond to you didn't bother to check the facts of the news report but started making personal financial decisions based on rumours. Highly irresponsible and ridiculous.

  • Voice - 2010-09-20 10:27

    If only we realise just how fickle the banks are. They are just a business` like every other business and very reliant on numbers. If they lose 10 000 accounts it has a serious impact on their earnings and will have to answer to shareholders.

  • @Colin - 2010-09-20 10:36

    Jantjies was seen as a school boy, when he played u/18 already, and as an 18-year old, he played u/21 already. The reason the new zealand coach is playing him is because we don't have other better options at the Lions. He was earmarked as one of our future stars a number of years ago already. So please, don't mention him in your comments.

  • Gary - 2010-09-20 10:40

    In all sports, players should simply be picked on Merit. Sport is not about colour, it is about selecting the best players that this country has to offer, those that will compete at the highest level.... and those that are proud to represent their country, South Africa, irrespective of race or gender.