Transformation in sport: Not much achieved in 21 years

2015-04-06 11:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Representation systems have been spoken about in key sporting codes for 21 years – it’s now time for federations to take action

According to its dictionary definition, transformation is a change in form, appearance, nature or character.

However, this word has become a monster in the rooms of many sporting codes in South Africa, particularly cricket and rugby – and unless something drastic is done, it will always be just a theoretical definition.

Last week, the governing ANC demanded greater transformation of the South African cricket team.

“Cricket SA must urgently address the issue of transformation. The only African in the squad, Aaron Phangiso, was also the only player who did not get game time during the whole [2015 ICC cricket World Cup],” ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told a press conference after the party’s recent national executive council meeting.

Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula also called for the SA Rugby Union (Saru) to transform – before government could endorse its 2023 World Cup bid.

Since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994, transformation has been on the agenda of many sporting codes as a way to address previous imbalances.

It is now 21 years later and not much has been achieved. Federations still have to address the issue of players who appear to remain marginalised due to the colour of their skin.

Affirmative action, black economic empowerment and broad-based black economic empowerment efforts have gone a long way in redressing past inequalities in socioeconomic and political arenas – but sport still lags behind.

It was a year ago that the transformation charter drawn up by an eminent persons group (EPG), was signed by five federations and handed to the sports minister.

It focused on rugby, cricket, football, netball and athletics and sought to address areas such as access, skills and capabilities, governance and employment equity.

The intention was for the EPG to work with federations to define individual workable targets.

Last year, Mbalula said the quota system, as documented in the 2011 national sports plan, would be aggressively implemented.

“We will insist on a change from a 50:50 proportion to a 40:60 [white:black] representation, both provincially and nationally,” he said.

But a year later, still nothing has been done.

Mbalula last week warned federations that failed to deliver on agreed transformation targets that they would face expulsion from South African sport.

He said memorandums of agreement would be signed with several federations this month, including Cricket SA, Saru and Safa.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.