Quota debate rages on

2014-04-20 15:00

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s plan to institute a 60-40 quota system has had administrative bodies of various South African sporting codes up in arms.

Mbalula met the disgruntled federations on Monday to discuss the Eminent Persons Group report, which instigated the move from a 50-50 to a 60-40 transformation split.

The minister said: “When the [ministers and MECs] met, it was decided that the 50-50 representation quota was far too low and it needed to be raised. When you look at a sport like rugby, it is still largely untransformed at the grass roots level and that needs to be addressed.

“The Sports Indaba reaffirmed the quotas as a main position and they must not be left out. They have to be part and parcel of a federation’s strategy.”

Mbalula added that federations that do not comply with the policy run the risk of losing their membership, which means losing the right to compete internationally.

The unions in question – Cricket SA, the SA Rugby Union (Saru) and the SA Football Association – have differing views on the implementation of the policy.

But it is the coaches, along with the selectors, who will have to carry the selectorial can should the policy be rammed through.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo, who took over from Gary Kirsten in all formats in May last year, has not fielded a black African test ­cricketer since.

Domingo said he was not at liberty to talk about it. “I’m not talking about that. It is not something that I am aware of so I’m not going to talk about that.”

A Saru spokesperson said Springbok coach Heyneke ­Meyer was not at liberty to talk about the policy.

“Coaches are employed by Saru to select and prepare teams to win international matches to the best of their ­ability, and are asked to leave any policy questions to the administration,” the spokesperson said.

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund believes Mbalula has taken it too far by expecting a quota system to work in football.

According to him, soccer has long been transformed.

“The minister has done well since he took office and has been supportive to all sporting codes. I don’t want to get involved in politics, but in football.

“We have passed that stage and I will always choose the best available players as I don’t look at colour,” said

Igesund, who added: “The country should be represented by the best team available and this is what I am going

to do. “I don’t think we have even 20% of white or Indian players in the league, so where will I get them from?”

Sports Quotas

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