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CSA no longer under threat of defunding and derecognition

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has backed off after all the parties involved came to a suitable agreement

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
CSA's new board will now consist of entities outside the provincial cricket structures  •  Alex Davidson/Getty Images

CSA's new board will now consist of entities outside the provincial cricket structures  •  Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Cricket South Africa has avoided being defunded and derecognised by South Africa's sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, whose office confirmed he will withdraw his notice to intervene in the organisation, which was published in the government gazette on Friday.
Last week, Mthethwa informed CSA of his intention to use the National Sports and Recreation Act to strip them of their status as the governing body for cricket in the country, an act which would have left South Africa unable to play international matches. But after the Members' Council - the body made up of 14 provincial presidents who hold CSA's highest decision-making authority - agreed to a majority independent board, Mthethwa will step aside.
"As the sole purpose of my intervention into the affairs of CSA was to facilitate a negotiated solution in respect of governance best practice, I have, based on the confirmation from CSA's Acting President and IB Chairperson, instructed my Department to immediately initiate the requisite process to withdraw the notice," Mthethwa said in a statement.
This means that CSA have agreed to a new memorandum of incorporation - a document which sets out the rights, duties and responsibilities of anyone involved in a company - which contains the framework for a majority independent board, something the Members' Council have been resistant to accept for almost a decade.
"When you're at the edge of the cliff your sponsors get nervous, your staff get nervous, and the country at large gets nervous," Stavros Nicolaou, interim board chair, said. "We had to do something to pull back from the brink of the cliff. So we got together with the members council after the Special General Meeting and said in the interests of the game and the nation, let's try and work through these issues. For nine years they had been on a rollercoaster ride. We need certainty and predictability. That's what sponsors, players and everybody else wants."
A majority independent board is considered to be a pillar of good corporate governance and would mean that CSA's board will be mostly made up of people from outside the provincial cricket structures, which could include those in the corporate or non-governmental sector. The new board members will be nominated by a committee, which will be finalised in the coming weeks. The establishment of a new board will bring the Mthethwa-imposed interim board's tenure to end on May 15.
The interim board will submit a final report to Mthethwa and will continue to oversee the disciplinary procedures of former acting CEO Kugandrie Govender and company secretary Welsh Gwaza. It is also preparing CSA for an AGM, which was postponed from last August. The AGM and final report will mark the end of Mthethwa's involvement in CSA.
CSA' new board will be made up of 15 members for the first three years, of which eight will be independent directors, five non-independent (chosen from the Members' Council), and two from the CSA executive - the CEO and CFO. The chairperson will be an independent member and will be voted on by the board members.
Nominations for the independent directors are currently open and will remain so until May 10, with CSA's AGM set to happen by June 12. A nominations panel made up of the following individuals - one from the board of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, a former CSA president nominated by the interim board, a former South African international cricketer nominated by the South African Cricketers' Association, a person nominated by the Institute of Directors South Africa, a person nominated by the Legal Practice Council and one individual nominated by CSA's Members' Council - will be formed to appoint the independent board members.
With CSA on the path to better governance, the organisation will now concentrate on regaining their foothold in the international arena and intend to bid for the 2027 men's World Cup.
"The bidding process for the World Cups for the next eight years will start very shortly, before the end of October," Rihan Richards, acting president of the Members' Council said. "We are going to target both the men's and women's and the under-19 World Cups. We are going to go very heavily for the men's, but it's not restricted to that. We're looking at 2027. We won't be restricting ourselves to one bid only."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent