Private equity deal to be a 'game-changer' for SA Rugby
REACTION: Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), re-focused the organisation on game-changing off-field initiatives following his re-election to the role in Cape Town on Friday.
He was confirmed in the position he has held since his predecessor, Oregan Hoskins, stepped down in October 2016. He was opposed by Mbulelo Gidane, the vice president of the Eastern Province Rugby Union.
Alexander said the priorities off the field remained focused on digital initiatives and fan engagement as well as the completion of a private equity transaction which had the potential to be game-changing for the sport.
“Such a transaction will provide external capital to invest in our objectives and put SARU in a stronger financial position for the immediate and longer-term,” he said.
“It will allow us to accelerate our digital plans, place SA Rugby firmly in the global market and provide a reserves capacity to weather future pandemics.”
Alexander said it would additionally allow SA Rugby to associate its teams and events with the best brands in the world, maximising revenue streams in the best rugby markets internationally through commercial collaboration.
“We are still in recovery from the impact of the pandemic, and the global financial crisis before it, and we have immediate short-term challenges,” he said.
“But there are great opportunities and exciting times ahead for our sport and for South African rugby if we stayed focused on delivering on our mandate.
“The growth and potential for women’s rugby in South Africa is enormous and it was particularly gratifying to break new ground at the Annual Meeting to have female representatives from all our members in attendance. We are at the start of a very exciting journey in the women’s game.
“The relaxation of the final restrictions on venue attendance is the last piece in the short-term jigsaw. We look forward to being able to host sell-out crowds when the Springboks return to action in July.”
Alexander thanked the members of SARU for their vote of confidence.
“I am honoured to re-elected as president of such an important organisation in the South African social landscape,” said Alexander.
“This will be my last term and there is much work to be done and important decisions to be taken while we begin the process of succession planning for the introduction of new blood.
“We are slowly coming out from the shadow of the pandemic and must now accelerate our strategic imperatives.”
The Springboks open their 2022 international season against Wales at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on July 2.