Cape Town - The Strategic Transformation
Plan (STP) of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) was the culmination of two
years’ hard work and consultation, Oregan Hoskins, president of the South
African Rugby Union said on Tuesday.
The wide-ranging plan - which was approved
by the SARU General Council in December - would provide a road map for rugby
for the next five years, he said.
“The development of this plan was essential
for South African rugby to maintain its place as a leading South African sports
federation. It has been the No 1 priority for me since I assumed the presidency
and for the Executive Council,” said Hoskins.
“We started this new approach in October
2012 with a Transformation Indaba, since when we have worked very hard and with
great determination to deliver a plan to guide our sport all the way to the
Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.
“Our document is aligned with the
government’s National Sports Plan and is definitely not only about the number
of black players on the field. It has six focus areas: demographic
representation; access to the game; skills and capacity development;
performance; community development and social responsibility and corporate
“Within those six dimensions are 71 key
performance indicators; for instance we want introduce 150 000 new primary
schoolchildren to the game by 2019; accredit 1 500 new administrators; raise
preferential procurement to 40% from targeted suppliers; increase the number of
women in administration to 40% and raise the black representation in our
Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU, was at pains to
emphasise to media that the STP was not a quota system.
“The STP is a road map,” said Roux. “We
have a destination in mind and know there will be short cuts and at other times
we may stray from the path. There are no punishments if our targets are not met
but without a structured objective, backed by implementation plans we would be
“Transformation is a critical business
imperative in South Africa and if we had not taken this new approach to what
had been an organic process up until recently, we would have put our sport in
peril of becoming marginalised.
“It will unlock untapped talent and has the
potential to awaken corporate interest in rugby where it may previously not
have existed. The simple facts are that the majority of rugby supporters and
players - at schoolboy and club level - in South Africa are black; 84% of this
country’s under-18s are black African - and we want them in our game in some
Roux said that rugby was entirely
unrecognisable from the game that returned from isolation in 1992, countering
the perception that “nothing had changed”.
“SARU has had a black president for 17
years; our Executive Council is 75% black; we’ve had a black Springbok coach;
the leading Springbok try scorer of all time is black, and the Western Province
team that won the Currie Cup in October averaged 40% black representation and
had a black coach and captain.
“Rugby is massively transformed but we know
we have challenges: only one in 35 schools in provinces such as KZN,
Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West play rugby for example, which provides
unique challenges for those provinces compared to the Western and Eastern Cape
where 60% of school rugby is played.
“And we know that we are only judged on
representation in the Springbok team. We’ve spent R500m on development in rugby
since 1992 and can point to significant advances but the Bok team is the only
measure on which we are judged.
“We understand that and we also understand
that is also unfair to put that pressure on the Springbok coach without
offering him any assistance - his teams can only reflect what is going on at
the elite end of the domestic game.
“Since we started the process of developing
this plan the provinces have shown their bona fides and black representation is
increasing. We will reap those rewards over the coming seasons and decades.”
Roux said that the STP would be monitored
by a new SARU department - Strategic Performance Management - which had been
established out of the old Development Department in December. Specially developed software had also been
designed to track progress.
Hoskins said: “The passing of the STP was a
watershed moment for South African rugby. I am looking forward to seeing the
progress we achieve over the coming years.”