Cape Town - SA Rugby president Mark Alexander remains confident that South African is on track to launch a successful bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
That was always the plan, but Fikile Mbalula and the Department of Sport and Recreation then threw a huge spanner in the works when they banned the organisations running cricket, rugby, netball and athletics from hosting and bidding for major sporting events.
That decision came on the back of an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report that had revealed a lack of transformation in those codes.
There would be no exceptions, the department said, and it cast serious doubt of South Africa's intentions to bid for 2023.
But, after engaging with government since that announcement was made back in April of this year, South Africa is still in the running.
Their performance on the next EPG report card, which is expected to be released in the first half on next year, will have to show a significant upwards curve in terms of transformation, but Alexander seems confident that all will go according to plan.
"We’re now qualified to go to the next stage of the bid process. We have to put a bid in before the end of May. We are on track with the work we had to do," he said in Cape Town on Friday.
"We still have to go to government and get final permission to bid. That all depends on our balance scorecard. We believe we’re on track with our balance scorecard … we’ve got a computerised system that tracks that. So, I think we’re on track."
A final decision on who hosts the 2023 showpiece is expected in November 2017, with Italy, Ireland and France the other nations in the running.