SA Rugby defends progress regarding transformation

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus. | Backpagepix

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus. | Backpagepix

Published May 21, 2024


Leighton Koopman

The Springboks do have demographic targets they must hit according to the Strategic Transformation Development Plan 2030 (STDP 2030) of SA Rugby, but the double World Cup winners’ performance won’t be compromised to reach it.

A report by weekend newspaper Rapport suggested that the Bok side that won the 2023 tournament was too white and that certain provincial teams are also still not hitting their transformation targets in line with the STDP 2030.

An internal report by SA Rugby reportedly criticised these sides, which include the Lions and Bulls alongside the national side, for failing to meet these targets. But yesterday, the president of rugby’s governing body in South Africa, Mark Alexander, hit back at the reports saying they are happy with the progress they’ve made when it comes to the STDP 2030.

“The provincial unions all showed massive commitment and passed their self-determined targets. Team demographics are a challenge in some areas, but pathways are becoming better transformed, which is very positive for the future,” the SA Rugby president said in a statement.

“That improvement is nowhere more obvious than at the level of our national teams where we have made ground-breaking strides under the leadership of Rassie Erasmus. Yes, we have targets for the Springboks in demographics, but we also have performance targets that we will not compromise, and we are definitely tracking in the right direction on both fronts.

“Misleading headlines are making a mountain out of a mole heap regarding the transformation outburst in the media, but our organisation has a much broader lens through which to view the state of play.

“Inclusion is as equally crucial as is diversity, as it ensures that everyone is treated equally and has a voice in the team environment.”

Alexander added that transformation is a process and the progress they’ve made on the field is there to see at all levels of rugby.

The STDP 2030, according to SA Rugby, encompasses all areas of endeavour in rugby – including operations such as procurement, governance, staffing, committees as well as team demographics.

The union further added that the Boks are the best players available in any calendar year to represent South Africa and that real progress is being made to create opportunities and new heroes for every community.

“The Springbok team has contributed positively to social cohesion in our country. The recent honorary doctorate received by Rassie Erasmus was well-deserved, because he understands what it means to be a South African. He picks players based on what they can bring to the team and their commitment to one another.

“The STDP is a process with a finishing line in 2030. The annual reports are our way of measuring progress, celebrating success and noting areas for eventual improvement.”

Related Topics: