Mbalula: SARU taking the lead

2012-10-30 16:53

Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula commended the SA Rugby Union (SARU) for taking the lead in fast-tracking transformation in the sport.

"They are the first federation to have taken it upon themselves to convene a transformation indaba," Mbalula said at the SARU indaba here on Tuesday.

"They are the first to admit there are inherently deep-seated weaknesses to realise transformation."

Mbalula said the country had moved at a slow pace in creating a level playing field in sport after 18 years of democracy.

"After 20 years of unity talks, we have seen little fundamental transformation in sport in general and rugby, in terms of participation of players from historically disadvantaged communities," he said.

While he called on rugby leadership to ensure that all South Africans received a fair opportunity to play the sport, Mbalula said transformation should not be trivialised by merely looking at the numbers.

"Today when national teams are selected, the question of colour becomes an issue to a point where it is vulgarised and is reduced to racism," he said.

"It is polarising society, to begin to question a national team on how many black people are there, how many white people are there when the national team represents South Africa as a whole.

"What are our responsibilities as administrators and as the people who run the sport?

"It is to ensure that full transformation is realisable. There must never, in the next 20 years, be a question about the national team."

Mbalula said rugby could become an even stronger global player if it utilised the larger populace.

"Rugby should utilise its full potential by transforming and thus taking advantage of the diverse population of rugby players in South Africa," said Mbalula.

"If this happens there is no doubt that rugby can play an important role in nation building and fostering unity and social cohesion."

Gideon Sam, the president of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) called on rugby unions and role players in the sport to make transformation a top priority.

“Let transformation not be the poor cousin of all your programmes," Sam said.

"Don’t let it lie down there so that it must come back from time to time to breathe life into it."

Sam said it was important representatives from provincial rugby unions steered transformation to ensure an even playing field in the sport.

SARU chief executive Jurie Roux hoped the two-day indaba would lead to a watershed moment for rugby in South Africa.

The transformation workshop was attended by provincial rugby union presidents and chief executives, SARU management, sports portfolio committee chairperson Richard Mdakane, SASCOC and the sports ministry.

Roux said rugby needed to approach transformation holistically and echoed Mbalula's view that the sport needed to be grown from grassroots levels.

He added that the first step SARU made towards tackling transformation head on was to simplify their transformation charter into an "implementation plan".

"We've gone down to something that is divided into seven dimensions which include preferential procurement, equity employment and addressing the issues of mass participation and broadening the base of rugby," Roux said.

"Because only if you broaden the base of rugby and only if you transform the minds of those individuals that work with our school children can we transform the sport."


  • - 2012-10-30 17:07

    If you check the Census results, why is our rugby team still lilly white?

      dries.vandenheever - 2012-10-30 17:19

      This is easy, we want to play the game and it is part of our culture. We are teaching our kids from 2 years old to play the game.

      dao.muangnoicharoen - 2012-10-30 18:26

      Where are the Chinese and Indian players?

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-10-30 18:32

      Our rugby team is not lilly white. Morne Steyn plays for it along with Kirchner, Habana, sometimes Mvovu, Pietersen (not the WP one),Mtawarira. Then if you ask that question, why are all of our provincial premiers, except for Hernus, Kortbroek and Zille non white since the dawn of democracy? % wise how many non - whites play rugby? Then rugby is a professional sport, if the team you are coaching loses, you are out of a job. If any coach chooses a white player over a better non white player, he is committing career suicide. Minister, it is also proven that a kid from Grey College has a better chance for playing for the bokke than one from Kroonstad High. Rugby is not only about 30 kids running around with a ball. As for the boere, it was between them and the Irish that the game of rugby was invented. The English only complicated it by introducing the ball.

      ron.rielander - 2012-10-30 20:50

      WTF, ...Want our rugby team to perform like our soccer team???? Where are the whites in the soccer team.. Hay.?? where? FFS

      rocco.dewet.3 - 2012-10-31 03:22

      Ek kan niks verkeerd sien met Mnr. Mbalula se toespraak nie. Inteendeel, hy het nog nooit op 'n destruktiewe manier ingemeng in Rugby nie. Julle manne wat hom kritiseer moet kwaad wees oor ander goed. M0er hulle Mnr. Mbalula!

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-31 07:37

      Census tell me, we should have atleast 3 White players in Bafana!!!

      Pomp.haar.doer - 2012-10-31 16:44

      Politics,why.Plz stay with sport!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ruan.smith.14 - 2012-10-30 17:08

    SARU should look at potentially doing away with the vodacom cup rugby and focus more time and money on club rugby, as that will mean a far larger area of player numbers that will be possitively effected the game in general. Clubs are battling to compete with modern era rugby as they too have been left out of the lime light.

  • suidlander.vanwyk - 2012-10-30 17:11

    In Eastern Cape we no longer talk about that at school level, Selborne College, Dale college, Grey PE, Queens College, they all are fully transformed, and these are some of the best high school rugby schools in South Africa. We only talk merit now not transformation. SARU should learn from EC schools, don't transform at the top, start at the bottom and have realistic timeframes

      Dennis - 2012-10-30 17:46

      Remember that it's only the fatcats that want transformation in a forced manner.

      Mandy Casey - 2012-10-30 18:16

      Did you see Elton in the semi final vs WP? He is not fully ready for Springboks yet.

      noeln.petzer - 2012-10-30 18:55

      Wrong ... you are looking at colour ... forget colour ... when the other high schools in the Eastern Cape start competing with Dale, Grey etc then we have achieved something ... that is the responsibility of the Education Department and Sports Ministry ... instead of spending zillions on arms deals, houses, BEE tenders etc ... if the money was used for sports facilities AND coaches at EVERY high school ... then soccer, rugby and cricket would be way ahead of where it is now. After 20 years ... imagine if the poorest schools could field a rugby team that could take Grey on? Now that would be real transformation, and not this colour crap that the cANCer are forever harping on about. ...

  • dries.vandenheever - 2012-10-30 17:13

    Why is it taking 20 years to catch up? If you cannot do it in 20 years, you will never be able to compete. Transformation means taking from the whites and giving to the blacks. the whites did start making other plans already - we are operating worldwide - on the business as well as sport levels. You can only catch up by running faster - not be slowing us down

      lutho.nyeka - 2012-10-30 17:45

      I enjoyed your comment on teddy' s post. I believe you have lost it with this one. Think about it, if it wasnt for Burger, Koster, Duane injuries in the stomers- You would have never had the plesure to watch Siya Kolisi play. Johan Gosen- Elton Jantjies will still be uncaped if he wasnt injured. Morne Steyn had a shocker of year and HM played him becaus Goosen was injured and didnt back Elton Jantjies. I dont even want to get started with Juan De Jong NOR the issue of F Hogard to Mvovo & Aplon. I dont beliv in quotas becaus it undermines the suces of people like Habana, guthro stenkamp, beas t etc

      jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-10-30 17:58

      Transformation is not taking from anyone, it is a mindset change followed by actions. For instance, at U21 level and below most of our teams have a majority non-white players on merit. The question is why are these players not coming through at provincial and international level? Transformation asks why all of a sudden players who represent their country well at U21 level can't make it any further up? It then puts into place structures to ensure that these players make the leap into Provincial level and International rugby.

      lutho.nyeka - 2012-10-30 18:08

      @Jeremy. SPOT ON. I hope every person reads your coment ( black & white ). If the black people wanted to take rugby away from the whites, they would enforcd laws to do that. Imagine if Mandela had said in 95 he wants 80 percent black players to start. Then thats taking.

      hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-30 18:30

      Soon we will no longer be playing rugby, we will be playing transformation.

      noeln.petzer - 2012-10-30 19:06

      True transformation would be about uplifting people on the basis of economic need and not on the basis of how they look. Which is why transformation as practiced by the cANCer does not work ... it is a race based system that completely undermines the individual dignity of all. Any individual who has been discriminated against in law, either by Apartheid or AA, would be probably be economically disadvantaged ... so forget colour ... concentrate on the economically disadvantaged and forget what they look like. So in terms of sport ... use the tax payers money to pay for sports coaches etc at EVERY high school ... and get EVERY high school playing competitive sport ... it does wonders for self respect, community building etc ... and we may even get a number 1 rugby team, a world class soccer team , and a cricket team that can win a world cup... or ... we can spend the money on AA, BEE, tenders etc ...

      ckrohne1 - 2012-11-01 08:07

      @dries: trying to make this a racial issue and how whites will prosper despite being the so-called target of transformation is just so old South Africa......Get on with the new South Africa which might not always do things the proper way when it comes to reconcilliation and establishing a balance between ALL South African people no matter the cultural backround. @lutho.nyeka: Nice mature and sensible response. Thumps up....

  • lean.sadie - 2012-10-30 17:16

    If by lead he means, bringing in teams who don't deserve to be in the Super tournament he has that right. Or by picking out of form players to play for the Boks, they are doing really well. Neither of these earned or deserve to be there, but hey it happened anyways. This is more of a worry to most of us.

      george.slade.161 - 2012-10-30 17:44

      Fikiwhatever is probably Happy because the EP Wallies are now in Super 14/15 . Transformmation isCodswallop..

  • keith.staniford - 2012-10-30 17:24

    These "administrators" will only be happy when all teams are represented by 15 "Black" players and when the Spingboks have slipped to the bottom half of world rankings like Bafana bafana.It's a smoke screen for all the fraud and corruption taking place by the other departments of "government". A real case of Banana Banana.

  • nick.collis.16 - 2012-10-30 17:26

    Oh for God'sake please let it happen naturally.....I am so tired of the BS in South African sport. Provide an equal playing field at the grass roots school and club level and watch the multi coloured talent come through. Never mind the unions Mr Minister, how much money does government put into school and club sport?You are part of the problem with your obsession about colour at the international level. It's racist and has become oh so boring for the genuine fan who just wants to see the best team being picked.

      Dennis - 2012-10-30 17:47

      Exactly. Well said

  • kenjaymay - 2012-10-30 17:46

    SARU with the help of Mbalula, Watson and the cANCer are killing Lions Rugby and Ellis Park as a venue! they do a press release in which they praise each other for the good work done!

  • Corrie Theron - 2012-10-30 17:47

    What about soccer? Or are the previously disadvantaged exempt from this too???

      noeln.petzer - 2012-10-30 19:12

      @Blueraven.01 I could not agree with you more ... As for soccer ... Corrie, do you not know that the USA is more highly ranked than us? If the cANCer spent money on sports at ALL the high schools .(instead of what hey do waste it on) .. then cricket, rugby AND soccer would be better ... much better! I would also venture to say that our country and our people would also be better off.

  • greypatriot - 2012-10-30 17:59

    The Bulls played great rugby before they transformed. The same with the Sharks. It is now time for WP to transform. Then there will be a level playing field. Maybe then the Bulls will win a Curry Cup again.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-30 18:17

    Pigmentation is more important than merit and victory. Bunch of clowns and will he ever open his mouth regarding soccer? My guess is never.

  • jlushaba - 2012-10-30 18:21

    Wow! Mr minister, lets see. How many black comunities have atleast i mean really just atleast 1 rugby field? How about schools with rugby fields? Im frm Durban and at Inanda, KwaMashu, Ntuzuma, Clermont, Ndengezi i can go on and on ive never seen 1...... Now before we can talk transformation in the sport, lets first look at some facts

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-10-30 19:00

      He's becoming a shameless liar like the rest of them.

      noeln.petzer - 2012-10-30 19:15

      100% correct ... If the education department and the sports ministry ensured that ALL high schools played cricket, rugby and soccer competitively then all 3 sports would be way ahead of where they are now.

      Warren Nel - 2012-10-31 06:28

      lots of football rugby fields. I have spent years contracting in your mentioned areas

      jlushaba - 2012-10-31 06:49

      @Warren Nel... Lots of poor football fields, no grass.. bt atleast we can play without much grass. With Rugby, hell no. Bt i think must try, maybe government will step in coz of the embarassment. Ohw wait, I forgot , they are the embarassment.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-30 19:35

    And what about transformation in football maaifoedie. How many whites are playing and how many are ever chosen or is this only a black mans sport?

      sky.nhlangothi - 2012-10-31 09:18

      Obviously u dnt watch soccer nor have information about it, they has been an increase in white talent that stay in the country, therefore more of them hav been selectd on the SA team on merit cnt stay the same for some rugby selections, if a black deserve to be in the rugby sa on merit put him in so as the white person in soccer. They is still a lot more racism in rugby then thr is in soccer en that's fact!

  • bruce.marcovich - 2012-10-30 19:48

    To be a high performance sportsmen it takes dedication, talant, hard work and skill. There is no easy ride in the world of sport. It is an unforgiving career which is tough. SA Rugby has done a lot for SA internationally and should continue to do so for the good of SA. If politics is bought into rugby, SA Rugby will lose international respect and end up being ranked 15 or 16 as opposed to one of the top 3. The only way to get "transformation" is to start at grass roots level at all schools and form clubs in areas that need them. For all this to happen it takes a goverment to set the foundation, implement it and support it.

  • kumbulani.kwaza - 2012-10-31 06:41

    If a player is select based on merrit then I'm happy

  • jlushaba - 2012-10-31 06:56

    Lets bid for Rugby and Cricket world cups and see if government will pump money like they did with FIFA 2010. Will they have tournaments all around the country? Have much support needed from the Minister? I dont think soooooo!

  • Lourens - 2012-10-31 07:29

    AGAIN! What about alllll the pitch black soccer teams? we must hang soccer up there every time these race based racists cancers open their mouths. soon the soccer bosses will tell them to STFU!!!

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-10-31 08:03

    AA is the new word for racism! Put a black player in a team simply because of his skin colour, or deny a white player a place in a team, simply because of his skin colour, is simply pure racism and there is no excuse for it! International sanctions should be introduced again against SA just like those during apartheid.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-31 09:11

    Its amazing. Its always the white sports to get attacked about transformation. WTF!!! What about soccer Mbabula???? That is def not representing South Africa and look where they are ranked in the world, somewhere in 70th or lower. Just leave rugby and cricket alone. We are doing great and we have players of all colour in there unlike our soccer team. But its typical of you because the soccer team is to your liking because its just black. You politics must just stay away from sports cause thats the only thing that is keeping this country united.

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