The South African Rugby Union’s “watershed” Transformation Indaba concluded on Wednesday with delegates signing a Declaration confirming rugby’s commitment to promote and develop the game among all South Africans.
•Sports Minister congratulates SARU for leading way
•Provincial delegates confirm commitment to transformation
•SARU Transformation Implementation Plan to be issued
•Rugby to measure progress in six areas
The Declaration concluded a two-day workshop which began with the Hon. Fikile Mbalula, the Minister for Sports and Recreation, congratulating SARU on becoming the first national federation to hold such an event in the wake of the National Sports Indaba in November 2011.
SARU’s Indaba workshopped a Transformation Implementation Plan which will be used to measure the sport’s progress once the plan been finalised.
“This is a watershed moment for our sport,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, the president of SARU. “Our sport has transformed significantly in terms of players, spectators, referees, coaches and administrators since rugby unity in 1992.
“We have had Visions and Charters in the past, with good intentions, and progress has been made. But what distinguishes this one is the commitment to properly measure ourselves on our progress.
“As the sports minister said, transformation is not about the ‘vulgar’ simplification of numbers in the Springbok team – it is about a whole range of opportunities being created in a number of different areas to continue to transform rugby at all levels and in all corners of our activity.”
The Declaration was signed by Mr Hoskins and representatives of each of the 14 member unions of SARU confirming that SARU would: “Adopt deliberate transformation initiatives in order to ensure equal opportunities exist for all South Africans.”
Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU, said that the Indaba and Declaration were part of an extensive strategy to finalise the Transformation Implementation Plan.
“We have had a group working on this process for several months,” he said. “In April we presented the outline to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport and since then we have workshopped the draft Plan with provinces on an individual basis.
“This Indaba is the culmination of that process and from this we will finalise the Implementation Plan.”
Roux said the final document would be published and used to measure rugby’s progress in six areas of access; skill and capability development; demographics; performance; alignment to national policy and governance.
The Transformation Declaration, signed by delegates, said:
“We, the undersigned, declare that the members of the South African Rugby Union will adopt deliberate transformation initiatives in order to ensure that equal opportunities exist for all South Africans to participate and excel in our sport.
“Transformation is the process of holistically changing the delivery of sport through our actions to ensure increased access and opportunities in rugby for all South Africans.
“At the heart of our strategy will be the Strategic Transformation Plan, the purpose of which will be to establish a competitive and demographically representative rugby system guided by the values of equal opportunity, fairness and just behaviour, equitable resource distribution, empowerment, and affirmation.
“The Strategic Transformation Plan will:
•Increase the number of black people involved at all levels of the game
•Ensure rugby is accessible to all who wish to participate
•Improve skills and performance in identified coaches, referees, administrators and players
•Ensure equitable representation of black people at all levels of SARU
•Ensure goods and services are preferentially procured
•Focus on quality and merit to deliver world-class performances on the field of play
•Take effective actions to increase the number of new players and spectators
“The SARU constitution places the responsibility on administrators to adopt and enact “measures that will foster, promote, regulate and encourage the playing of rugby and provide facilities for rugby in South Africa for all persons, irrespective of race, colour, creed or gender, and to eliminate any discrimination and inequality amongst players and officials”.
“The Strategic Transformation Plan will be the embodiment of that constitutional duty and by placing my signature here I reaffirm my union’s commitment to its principles and our determination to realise them.”