Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springbok Rugby World Cup team named on Friday has been hailed “the most representative team that has ever been elected”, Cosatu said on Saturday.
The trade union federation’s provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich in a statement applauded the selections.
“Cosatu claims this as a victory for workers and a victory for transformation in rugby in South Africa. This is a move in the right direction,” he said.
On Wednesday night, Cosatu hosted a “Springbok supporters for transformation” meeting in Cape Town which was attended by various rugby clubs and 'experts on sport transformation'. Former Bok coach Peter de Villiers was the guest speaker.
Ehrenreich read out a “Declaration from the Springbok Supporters for Transformation” wherein Cosatu laid out a number of steps they were threatening to take if coach Heyneke Meyer fails to choose a more representative squad for the World Cup.
This is, however, only the start of the campaign by Cosatu to ensure transformation in rugby, Ehrenreich said on Saturday.
“The transformation that we seek is to get top teams like the Springboks and [those in the] Super 15 to play the best players of all colours, and in a way that represents the entire country.
“We also want to see the money in the sport moved to get resources and facilities to clubs and schools in the black areas. Government must make this a condition for corporations to get tax rebates for sponsorship funding which is also going mainly to white sports presently.”
Ehrenreich said he also wants to “see the history of black teams in SA given its rightful place in the structures of South Africa”.
“We remain concerned about the white players who are in the announced team. Many of them are old and injured, others have not had meaningful game time this year, while the captain just returned from eight months off.
“The boere mafia insists on putting their old crocks into the team, when there are clearly much better black and white players outside the team. We need objective measures to define the players for the national team, not the favourites of the coach.”