David Moseley

Danny Jordaan aims to keep PE onside

2015-05-19 12:43

David Moseley

News that soccer supremo Danny Jordaan has been handpicked as the new mayor of Port Elizabeth has been greeted with enthusiasm from South Africa’s other sporting bodies.

In his first speech since the announcement, Jordaan says he’ll look to encourage teamwork as a means of getting the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro back to the top of the table.

“We need to set goals, and to achieve them everyone has to be onside. I’m not going to put the boot in just yet, but I hope everyone on the team can play ball. We can’t afford to relegate anything to the sidelines and no opportunities will pass us by.”

Opposition parties have cried foul at the choice - but not so the bosses of Cricket South Africa, SARU and many more of South Africa’s sports governing bodies.

“I was bowled over the first time I saw Stellenbosch,” says CSA’s Haroon Lorgat, “so perhaps I might take a run at mayor there one day. But it’s a tricky one, because politics can easily catch you out. To be honest, I’m stumped. I’m not sure I could give up my position at CSA. You never want to walk.”

Meanwhile, SARU boss Jurie Roux has ruled out a move into politics. “You have to try a lot harder in politics,” says Roux. “And I’m not sure I have the balls for it. I wish Danny all the best, but it’s certainly not a lock that he’ll do well. I have a feeling he’ll be winging it for a while. If his plate gets to full, back to soccer he’ll have to go.”

Not all sports administrators are happy with the idea of Jordaan calling the shots in Port Elizabeth, though.

The South African Golf Association says politics is not for them, while at the same time asking, “Is this a fair way to be appointed mayor? We have a feeling egos will simply be stroked if it’s all members of the same club cosying up. Still, if Danny has the drive to succeed, we should at least let him follow through.”

Swimming South Africa president Jace Naidoo says, “Politics is not something you can just dive into. You need to gauge the current mood and then go to great lengths to reach your targets. Danny will have to crawl before he can walk if he wants to avoid drowning in bureaucratic processes, but if he pools his resources, then I can see him floating to the top.”

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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