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2015-08-27
Press Release - Declaration from the Springbok Supporters for Transformation Meeting - 26 August 2015


PRESS RELEASE                                                                                       26 August 2015

 

Declaration from the Springbok Supporters for Transformation Meeting

 

The sad reality is that Rugby, like so many other sporting codes have not transformed in South Africa. After Unification of Rugby structures, the black clubs actually lost ground in SA rugby. We are South African Rugby supporters and want to remind the establishment that black people make up the majority of Rugby followers, even though we can’t watch live games on the field, due to high ticket prices. This Rugby team belongs to the entire nation, not to some Boere mafia who have controlled it for a long time.

 

The Springbok and Super 15 teams are not as representative of the Country’s people as they should be. The narrative that SARU would want to promote is that black players are not as good as white players. This narrative was however forever shattered when a “blacker” Springbok team won the Argentinians, who had previously beaten a “whiter” Springbok team. The Coach had played white players out of position to make place for ‘out of form’ Jean Devilliers and other unfit players, whilst there was, e.g. the much better wing on the bench in the form of Mvovo. This shows clearly that something else is driving the decisions in Rugby selection, not form players.

 

The facilities and the resources available to the white clubs and schools are far superior to the facilities in black schools. In fact the present system just takes promising black kids out of black schools and into white schools on bursaries, without improving the systemic weaknesses in the black system. The sponsors put their money into the white side of the sport, because that’s where the old boys’ networks exist. The sponsor donations are only possible because government gives generous tax breaks to sport sponsorships, a practice that must be reviewed.

 

We demand the following;

 

  • A more representative team going to this World Cup, more than ever before, including compliance with the selection agreements with Government.
  • We want the black players who are in the squad to get game time, not only be bag carriers.
  • Jean De Villiers should not be included in the squad because he is not match fit. It’s this arrogance of the SARU establishment that thinks they can reserve spots for certain players, in place of form black and white players.
  • We want a publicly announced development plan to be negotiated with all rugby teams, post the World Cup, which moves funds from white support to black support.
  • We want Government to be stricter about transformation commitments from sponsors and sponsorship, before corporate sponsorships can be eligible for tax rebates.
  • We want the funding of the school sport facilities to promote black development as white schools already have the facilities.

      

We call for:         

                                                                                                                

  • We will support the Springboks no matter what, but we will insist that the team is fairly selected and representative of all of the Country.
  • We will expose the continued domination of the white establishment over Rugby developments.
  • We insist on more radical speeding up of the transformation agenda, by all sections of the sport.
  • Unity amongst all transformation groupings;
  • SARU players must be recognised in SA Rugby: specifically in regard to historical roles played and credit afforded; reference is made to the Rugby Museum and the deliberate exclusion of significant role players; and these players must also be allowed to play a role in the broader direction of rugby;
  • There should be fair representation in the administration of rugby as well as with the selection and appointments of referees;   
  • National and the Provinces must take a stand on the need for transformation;
  • We further call for Government to decisively intervene in the sport, to ensure transformation.
  • An urgent engagement with SARU tomorrow on our ambitions for social justice in Rugby.
  • The Need for a SPORTS INDABA to be held urgently.

 

Our Plan:

 

We will embark on a radical programme of mass action that will include the withdrawal of funding and sponsorships for the National Team.

 

We will also protest at Rugby games that are played in South Africa by the Springboks and will send South Africans to go and arrange protest at the World Cup games overseas by the Springboks.

 

We will, in good faith, wait for the announcement of the team on Friday in the hope that it meets the expectations of the majority of Springbok supporters in South Africa. Should it not, then we will immediately implement our programme of action as outlined above.

 

We do caution WP Rugby to not intimidate the WP clubs for supporting the Transformation discussions.   

 

Tony Ehrenreich

Cosatu Provincial Secretary

On Behalf Of Springbok Supporters for Transformation         

 

With questions, please call Tony Ehrenreich on 082 7733194 or Motlatsi Tsubane on

074 4826180                                                                                                                                            


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