Cricket South Africa (CSA) intends to outline the implementation of a more aggressive transformation policy to parliament, if they are allowed to present their plans to the sports portfolio committee on Tuesday. The meeting comes a week after CSA were hauled over the coals by the same committee for failure to present the forensic report they used to fire former CEO Thabang Moroe.
At a two-hour meeting last week, in which no other matter was discussed, CSA committed to furnishing the committee with a copy of the report by Friday. The deadline was met, though the version of the report CSA sent contained redactions, and discussion over the report are expected to take up most of the meeting time tomorrow. However, if the meeting moves past the report, CSA may have the opportunity to unveil its Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) agenda.
Among CSA's proposals is an emphasis on ensuring "that more black players, particularly black African players are included in national teams on a sustainable basis," and major changes to the way cricket is governed at franchise and provincial level, to ensure greater representation of black women. Beginning in December this year, CSA would like all its affiliates to make new appointments according to affirmative action requirements, and will fine those who do not.
"It will become part of the membership requirements that the executive management teams of unions and the boards become predominantly black with a heavy focus on black female members in these critical positions. The intention is to identify at least 10 black female candidates. The onus will be placed on Affiliates to address the current status of non- transformed positions especially in CEO and Executive positions. Failure by the Unions to do this will result in financial penalties," CSA's presentation reads.
Similarly, CSA have committed to filling the independent director vacancy on its board, which resulted from the resignation of Steve Cornelius in August "by a black female, preferably with skills in media and marketing". The position is expected to be filled by the end of November, before the rescheduled AGM which will take place on December 5.
On the playing field, the presentation notes that "the number of selections for whites' dwarfs (54%) the numbers for any of the black demographic, with the players of Indian descent and Coloured players, making up an equal 12% selection in any of the 15 matches played," over the last year. It notes that selection was particularly skewed in fifty-over cricket primarily because of the consistent inclusion of four players. "It is particularly within the ODI format where the selection frequency is predominantly in favour of white players. These numbers are boosted by the consistency in selection of (Quinton) de Kock, (Rassie) van der Dussen, (Faf) du Plessis and (David) Miller."
While the presentation does not say there will be an increased quota (currently the national team is required to field six players of colour, of which at least two must be black African, on average over the course of a season), it does state that there will be no target reduction and that the direction of cricket, the coaches and selectors will have to adhere to transformation key performance areas, which will be part of their contracts. CSA exceeded their 2018-19 transformation target, with the 2019-20 data yet to be released, but have also come under fire from the sports minister, Nathi Mthethwa, for failing to have people of colour in senior roles.
Since then, CSA have committed to applying a preference for consultants of colour and now appear to be taking the policy further. The presentation also mentions addressing the salary difference between the men's and women's teams and confirms a cash injection of R10 million (US$604, 575) for the SJN project, which could offer reparations to players who were discriminated against in the past. In August CSA named Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza as their SJN ombudsman and they intend to begin hearing at provinces in January 2021. The ombudsman will also independently present to parliament and the sports minister.