FILE - Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith. Photo: Brenton Geach/AFP
FILE - Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith. Photo: Brenton Geach/AFP

CSA staff call for Minister to reconsider invoking Sports Act

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Apr 24, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa’s staff, including Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, have requested Sports Minister, Nathi Mthethwa to reconsider invoking Section 13 of the National Sports and Recreation Act.

Mthethwa informed Cricket SA’s Members Council – the highest decision-making body in the organisation, comprising the 14 provincial presidents – and the Interim Board that he would be invoking the powers available to him in Act, thus halting funding to CSA, and more critically removing recognition of CSA as the governing authority for the sport in the country.

Cricket SA’s staff met on Friday, where it was unanimously agreed to pen a letter to Mthethwa, the Interim Board and Members Council.

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The decision to send the letter to Mthethwa’s office, was supported by acting CEO, Pholetsi Moseki, with Smith giving his backing on Saturday morning. In it staff outline the profound damage that could be done to cricket in the country, not just at national level, where the Proteas would no longer be recognised as the representative team of the country, but lower down the domestic pyramid as well.

“We are of the opinion that an intervention of this nature would mean, to say the least, the disruption and destruction of all grassroots initiatives and ongoing projects, and the loss of more than 1000 jobs. These jobs affect the following, but (are) not limited to, CSA staff, Member Board staff, cricket media, suppliers, sponsorship & hospitality services,” the letter reads.

While pointing to the successful tournaments and tours which have taken place during the recently completed 2020/21 season, under trying circumstances because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with enormous assistance from provincial affiliates, CSA’s staff also called on Mthethwa to change his mind.

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The Minister’s office had already sent through the necessary documentation, to ensure that his decision to invoke the Act is gazetted in the Government Gazette this Friday. When that happens the door is effectively shut for CSA.

“We therefore implore The Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture, Hon. Nathi Mthethwa, to please reconsider the current position.

We implore the Interim Board and the Members Council to go back to the table and have a meeting of the minds and find an amicable solution in the interests of all who serve this wonderful game and, by extension, the nation.”

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