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Transformation: Cricket South Africa affirm commitment to the cause

CSA President Chris Nenzani has defended the game’s approach to transformation and called for government to aid in the process.


Image via Adobestock

Cricket South Africa remain committed to achieving the goals of transformation in the sport according to their president Chris Nenzani.

Transformation has been a hot-button topic this week as the Proteas try to navigate their series against England with a few regulars sidelined but Nenzani says he has been heartened by the response from the media and general public.

Heartening trends around transformation

“It is very heartening to see from the general trend across traditional media and social media platforms that so many South Africans are seeking to defend the gains of our transformation agenda,” commented Nenzani.

“This is something that goes far beyond the game of cricket. CSA is fully cognizant of the fact that transformation is a very critical strategy in achieving equity in our country.

“Our commitment has been demonstrated in the policies adopted in respect of transformation since February 2013. This commitment remains as central to our governance and operations as it has been over the last few years.

“The transformation agenda at CSA is very clear and is fully understood by all our structures, in particular our members who have the critical responsibility of driving transformation at grassroots level.”

Nenzani explained the distinction between transformation targets at franchise level and how they are measured in international cricket.

“Transformation targets have been set for all our teams below the international level that have to be implemented on a game by game basis. This is an obligation to a very important bottom up approach. The CSA Board is mandated to enforce these policies without exception and to take corrective action where non-compliance occurs.

“As far as our national representative teams are concerned the evaluation of the achievement of the targets over a year is meant to give team management the flexibility to select teams based on the unique match to match requirements and in line with obtaining objective realities.”

Government partnership a must

The CSA board president stressed the need for government to partner with administrators in achieving grassroots development and improving access to facilities for all.

“Transformation in sport cannot be viewed in isolation of the deepening inequalities within society and as the sole responsibility of sport federations. There is a critical role that the various levels of government must play to bring about equity and fair opportunity to all South Africans. The government, especially at provincial and local government level, has a fundamental responsibility of mitigating the impact of the apartheid geography that finds expression in the skewed spatial distribution of sport facilities areas of our country wherein the disadvantaged communities remain worse off,” he said.

“In 2015 a tripartite agreement was signed by the then Department of Sport and Recreation, the Department of Basic Education and CSA. The full implementation of this agreement is yet to be experienced. The state has a critical role in rolling back the legacy of our divided past in sport. As the national federation for cricket, we are committed to our obligation to redress of the past patterns of inequality but we cannot do it alone.”

No backward steps in CSA transformation

Nenzani rejected the notion that the recent appointments of Graeme Smith (Director of Cricket) and Mark Boucher (Team Director) are an assault on transformation arguing that those who claim this is the case have a reductive view of the process.

“The recent appointments do not represent a threat to transformation or the process of Africanisation of cricket in our country. We must all recognize that transformation is not an act of exclusion but one of inclusion informed by the desire to achieve the constitutional ideals of equity, fairness and a non-racial society. CSA remains committed to this vision,” concluded Nenzani.

“I urge all of us to engage in a dialogue that advances a systemic and sustainable transformation agenda.”