Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape has expressed its concern over revelations of financial and governance turmoil at WP Rugby.
Sport24 reported on Thursday that WP Rugby had projected to make a loss of more than R11m this year, was fighting a potentially devastating legal battle over commercial rights - Aerios demands immediate payment of R72m from them - and had also seen four independent directors resign citing concerns over transparency and administrative competence.
Declining gate and season-ticket sales, and unsold suites at the stadium, are also contributing to the bleak picture.
“This may have devastating effects on the team and the sport in the province as a whole. We are seriously concerned about the impact with regards to the development of the sport should WP Rugby indeed be in financial trouble,” Ricardo Mackenzie, a DA spokesperson on cultural affairs and sport said via a press statement on Friday.
The DA also called for a meeting with WP Rugby to discuss the matter.
“In order to ascertain the true extent of the issue and offer assistance where necessary, I will invite WP Rugby to visit the standing committee of cultural affairs and sport in the Western Cape parliament to clarify the current situation. We understand that WP Rugby Union had the option of moving to the Cape Town Stadium, a move that would’ve put them in a much better financial position," continued Mackenzie.
“In my capacity as chairperson of the standing committee on cultural affairs and sport in the Western Cape provincial parliament, I have written to the minster of cultural affairs and sport, Anroux Marais, to inquire what financial support, if any, her department affords or have afforded WP Rugby and what are the relevant details.
“We are aware of the R2.9 million that was given by the Western Cape government to the WP Rugby Union for the bidding of the sevens rugby tournament and we hope that the current situation won’t have any impact on this magnificent event.
“The DA is committed to providing a conducive environment to creating sporting opportunities for all in the Western Cape.”