CSA staff plead with Mthethwa to reconsider position: 'Livelihoods will be destroyed'

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Graeme Smith, CSA's director of cricket, forms part of the federation's operational staff.
Graeme Smith, CSA's director of cricket, forms part of the federation's operational staff.
BRENTON GEACH / AFP
  • CSA's operational staff have written to sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, pleading with him to reconsider the department's intention to derecognise the organisation as the official local governing body.
  • In the letter, personnel note that stripping CSA of its status would destroy livelihoods and bring the local game's activities to a halt.
  • Their overriding wish is for the interim board, members' council and Mthethwa to continue negotiating on the controversial new Memorandum of Incorporation. 

Embattled Cricket South Africa's (CSA) operational staff have put up a united front in launching a written plea to Sports, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa to reconsider his decision to strip the federation as the official local governing body for cricket in the country, stating it will destroy livelihoods.

Mthethwa on Friday informed CSA that he would be invoking Section 13 of The National Sport and Recreation Act 110 of 1998, which will derecognise and defund the organisation in response to its member's council's failure to adopt a new Memorandum of Incorporation that includes a majority independent board.

Such an action would in all likelihood mean the Proteas lose their status as an international team.

But it would also lead to a loss of financial support in the form of sponsorships, broadcasting income and grants, grinding the local game to a shuddering halt as salaries can't be paid and playing programmes collapse.

That's the basis of CSA staff's correspondence to Mthethwa, which Sport24 has seen.  

"This intervention not only has the potential to put our jobs at risk, but also the jobs of people employed at our Member Boards," the federation's staff, which includes director of cricket, Graeme Smith, wrote.

"It also has the potential to set us back in terms of any sponsorships that CSA has acquired and any future sponsors who wish to be aligned to this great game. Thereby affecting the day-to-day operations.

"Undoubtedly, we are aggrieved by the situation currently and are concerned about our jobs and therefore, livelihoods. We are sure that you would understand the ripple effect that your Office's decision would have on us as ordinary workers, whose respective families rely on for financial and other well-being of various kinds.

"We therefore implore The Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture, Hon. Nathi Mthethwa, to please reconsider the current position."

The key, obvious point to the operational staff's argument is that CSA continued to "successfully execute" four international series as well as complete a full franchise campaign last season despite the ongoing boardroom battles.

"We are of the opinion that an intervention of this nature would mean, to say the least, the disruption and destruction of all grassroots initiatives and ongoing projects, and the loss of more than 1000 jobs.These jobs affect the following, but not limited to: CSA staff, Member Board staff, cricket media, suppliers, sponsorship & hospitality services," the letter continued.

"Each staff member is hugely committed and dedicated to restoring the positive, progressive and flourishing image that CSA once enjoyed in the public domain. Please allow us this opportunity because without assistance from your Office, we certainly will not be able to do this."

Adopting a similar line to the interim board as well as the members' council, CSA staff merely hope that the relevant parties can return to the negotiating table and find a solution.

"We respect and value your many contributions to CSA, cricket and to sport in our country, in general. Please consider our request to re-open communication channels between your Office and the decision-makers at CSA to, importantly, resolve this unhealthy situation for all, and to allow the ordinary workers here an opportunity to continue to serve this organisation and our country proudly."    

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