SA Rugby shatters the transformation ceiling
SPOTLIGHT: It is the hot potato South African Rugby embraced and passed the ‘test’ with flying colours.
Rassie Erasmus, World Cup-winning Springbok coach and now Director of Rugby, readily admitted that ‘transformation’ is not something he will shy away from.
And while some cynics will often quote outdated statistics to drive the narrative that rugby is failing the transformation exam, SA Rugby has the evidence that they are way ahead of the game.
Jurie Roux, SA Rugby Chief Executive Officer, this week revealed that in some aspect they have already reached the ‘targets’ set for 2030.
“We have just approved our 2019 audit and our 2019 report,” Roux told a media briefing this week, adding: “We have passed again.”
According to a media release issued subsequent to Roux’s media briefing stated that SA Rugby’s transformation barometer had leapt from 59 percent success in 2018 to 81 percent a year later.
SA Rugby achieved success in 38 of its 47 areas of measurement in the dimensions of access; demographics and empowerment.
“We only live by one thing and that is the agreement we have with government and SASCOC and the targets that we set,” Roux told the media briefing – in response to reports, quoting outdated data, suggesting they are not up to speed with the government’s transformation charter for sport.
“We don’t live in that environment of the [transformation] charter,” he added.
“That is not what we agreed on.
“We agreed on a set of dimensions and we are currently way over our targets within that.
“In fact, in far more than half of those we have already hit the targets set for 2030.
“We are very happy in terms of where we are.
“We don’t celebrate progress, we acknowledge progress.
“We will celebrate success and the day we hit all of those targets across the board.”
According to the media release, 16 of 18 targets were achieved in coaching, refereeing, team support staff, board members and SA Rugby staff.
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The nine areas in which SA Rugby was short of its targets were in black sports psychologists; failing to field either an Under-18 women’s national team or Under-16/Under-17 male national teams and at the senior male national level where the target for black African representation was achieved, but generic black representation was at 38 percent to a target of 45 percent.
“We are very satisfied with the progress we have made,” Roux said.
“The advances made in the first year of STDP [Strategic Transformation Development Plan 2030] is a testimony to the commitment of the organisation to our goals and the benefits that will accrue to the sport as well as the nation when we succeed.
“It’s a great credit to our rugby department and strategic performance management department that we’ve been able to go into high gear in our transformation process.”
Roux also praised all 14 provincial unions who had each achieved a minimum of 60 percent of their agreed targets in the provincial barometer, which was measured against similar dimensions at a provincial level.
The results show a marked improvement on the findings of the Eminent Persons’ Group, which reported its 2018 findings over the weekend – which is the stats the media latched onto.
SA Rugby was praised in the report for “the high quality of data input” with an overall barometer achievement of 59 percent, which was consistent with the previous two years.
The EPG – established by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture – sets the pass mark at 50 percent, the point at which federations can face sanctions from the minister.
The EPG also referenced the separate National Transformation Charter – which set goals for sport to achieve by 2030. Against those future measures, SA Rugby achieved 43 percent achievement in 2018.
However, the impact of the 2019 initiatives had seen that rise to 61 percent in SA Rugby’s audit.
“It’s clear that the first year of STDP2030 was a positive step in the right direction on our collective transformation journey towards an accessible, equitable, sustainable, demographically representative and competitive rugby system,” said Roux.
“We have many exciting challenges such as growing the game of women’s rugby and to continue to increase the number of black Africans at all levels of the game.
“But we moved the needle in 2019 in areas such as B-BBEE compliance among the membership with 80 percent now reaching Level 4 or better, and we expect to do the same in other focus areas between now and 2030.”