Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
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A black African quota has been passed in South Africa, under which franchises will have to field at least one player from the country's majority race group, and amateur teams, two. Those franchises who have more than one black African in 70% of their matches will be reimbursed an amount equivalent to the average contract cost of the qualified players. The new policy will take effect from October 16, 2013.
This comes after CSA held their first transformation indaba (conference) in over a decade and a proposal was drawn up to introduce a quota requiring franchises to play two black African players. At the organisation's AGM, held today, the board voted on an incentive-driven policy that expects the teams to include at least one black african player, with monetary benefit to franchises who exceed that.
"These new requirements are incentive based, not quota based," Haroon Lorgat, the CSA chief executive, said. "We have a very talented population. We have all embraced the need to accelerate transformation."
"The CSA Board has also supported a recommendation from the Cricket committee to implement a more flexible player loan agreement to facilitate the development of black African players. This is currently being drafted in consultation with the South African cricketers Association (SACA)."
The board will monitor the performance and progress made by the black African players in the domestic competition in the coming season before considering any further proposals for the next season.
Since South Africa's reintroduction to international cricket in 1991, only five black African players have made it to the Test level even though the group forms 80% of South Africa's population. Makhaya Ntini is the only one who has played more than 100 Tests, while Mfuneko Ngam, Thami Tsolekile, Monde Zondeki and Lonwabo Tsotsobe have appeared in only 17 matches in all. In contrast, 11 mixed-race players, including Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir, have made it to the South African side.
South Africa introduced a quota system in 1998 to address the racial discrimination caused by the Apartheid system. The stipulation then was that every team had to field four players of colour - a term which encompasses black Africans, mixed-race people and those of Asian descent. It was officially removed in 2007.
A recent report presented to CSA contained information that most black African players give up the game between the under-19 and provincial level, at an age at which, if they are not contracted, will need to find jobs. The report also revealed that when black African players do get into the system, they are often further sidelined. Only two black African players turned out in more than 80% of their franchises' games last season and when they did, they bowled less overs and batted lower down than players of other races.