Cricket SA caned for lacking women in top-level management

Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani during a media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 7 December 2019.
Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani during a media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 7 December 2019.
Johan Rynners/Gallo Images)
  • CSA president Chris Nenzani led a typically all-male delegation that presented to parliament's sports portfolio committee last Friday.
  • Committee chairperson Beauty Dlulane expressed frustration at CSA's constant apologies but lack of gender transformational change.
  • CSA's most senior female executive, acting CFO Ziyanda Nkuta, has been suspended since December 2019.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) was rapped over the knuckles by parliament at their briefing last week for lacking women in their top-level management structures and appearing before the sports portfolio committee with an all-male ensemble.

CSA president Chris Nenzani, who led the delegation, and acting CEO Jacques Faul presented to parliament on the current state of cricket in the country, touching on issues ranging from their financial state and the high-profile disciplinary cases against their administrators.

Earlier this year CSA appointed Dinesha Devnarain as its first female full-time Women's Under-19 coach and head coach of the National Women's Academy.

But besides suspended acting CFO Ziyanda Nkuta (whose name was even misspelt in their presentation) the federation did not have a woman in their executive management top table. Moreover, Nkuta had been acting in the position since 2017.

Despite appointments of Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile and Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw as non-executive independent directors to its board, female representation in the organisation remained dire.

Nenzani apologised and tried to lean on Central Gauteng Lions' (CGL's) appointment of Anne Vilas, the province's first female president, as a crutch.

"We apologise chairperson, it was not our intention to disrespect you and your committee," said Nenzani to sports portfolio committee chair Beauty Dlulane.

"We tried by all means to have a minimum delegation. We have an induction process currently ongoing at CSA of board members. We have just completed an election process of new independent directors and two of them are women and one is male.

"We have within our structures the president of CGL (Anne Vilas). We are making small strides, as I said before in one of our appearances before your committee.

"We are trying to change and introduce more women leaders into the upper echelons of cricket administration. We are quite cognisant that's a key demographic constituency within our country."

But Dlulane was having none of it, saying the federation had grown custom to bringing a team of male administrators to present and apologising for it afterwards.

She said CSA had regressed in their transformation objectives.

"We cannot, every now and then, accept an apology when your representation is not [transformed] according to gender," Dlulane said.

"Even last time, we complained, that when you're coming to present you must be aware that you're coming to a committee that’s taking very seriously the question of gender, especially in sport.

"Twenty-six years down the line (since the first democratically elected parliament) how are we going to accept that women aren't part of each delegation that comes to present to the committee?

"According to our culture, we need to accept an apology but how many times must we do so?

"Cricket South Africa was the first one to adhere to the transformation [charter], which was put in place by the sports department, but today I cannot say that. You have reversed.

"What is going on? Where are the women of South Africa?"

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