The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
The Springboks have survived their latest political threat. Instead of staging potentially divisive protests at rugby stadiums, the ANC Youth League decided face-to-face discussions with SARU about their displeasure over the pace of transformation might be an alternative way to go. And, on the strength of the decision to stop protest action and the frank comments by their Secretary-General, it seems the adversaries are starting to understand one another. Clearly nobody is simply rolling over on this one, given that the talks have been described as “intense”, “exhaustive”, “robust” and “rigorous”. In the end, SARU has managed to avoid further political fallout and Allister Coetzee’s team appears to have been accepted by its most vocal political critic. Now this team has to pull off three convincing victories against the Irish to shut up the anti-transformation lobby. This week the Proteas fielded their most transformed team to date – 8 black players – and thumped Australia. The Springboks are completely capable of doing the same thing against Ireland. – David O’Sullivan
Cape Town – SA Rugby and the ANC Youth League on Wednesday confirmed that plans to disrupt Springbok Test matches had been cancelled, following positive engagements between the two bodies.
ANC Youth League Secretary General Njabulo Nzuza, said that although rugby still had much work to do, his organisation had been reassured of SA Rugby’s intentions and commitment following a presentation to the League by SA Rugby.
The ANCYL has rigorously engaged with SA Rugby on the memorandum to them on the pace of transformation in rugby in South Africa. This is a very serious and important issue for the Youth and we went in search of answers, said Mr Nzuza.
“After an intense and exhaustive dialogue on the current situation in rugby, we were reassured that SA Rugby takes this matter as seriously as the ANCYL and that steps have been put in place to ensure that transformation continues apace in the game.
“We have further noted that the current Springbok squad is the most transformed in history and Teboho Mohoje has been named as captain of the South Africa ‘A’ team this week.
SA Rugby, ANC Youth League joint statement on suspension of possible disruption of test matches https://t.co/I91BZrEZEO
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) June 8, 2016
“SA Rugby demonstrated where progress has been made and on that basis we are happy to throw our full weight behind the Springboks and put off our plans to disrupt matches. We have provided SA Rugby with recommendations on Youth engagement and will continue this conversation with SA Rugby.”
Khaya Mayedwa, Senior Manager Government and Stakeholder Relations at SA Rugby, said: “We had a healthy and at times robust conversation with the Youth League, but there was also a meeting of minds.
“We had the opportunity to explain just how far SA Rugby has come in recent years and discuss the details of our Strategic Transformation Plan, which is a road map for the sport at all levels to 2019. We believe that SA Rugby has a good story to tell and we welcomed the engagement with the ANCYL to bring them up to speed with our progress.”
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.