CAPE TOWN – Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has informed Cricket SA a full day needs to be set aside to deal with former players who recently raised issues of systemic racism in the federation.
Mthethwa said he had met with the aggrieved 40 black former Proteas and coaches, who added their voices in support of national team fast bowler Lungi Ngidi and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ngidi was criticised by a group of white former Proteas on social media when the 24-year-old offered his support for the global Black Lives Matter movement.
Cricket SA has since launched its Cricket for Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) project, which aims to eradicate any racism, discrimination or feelings of exclusion from cricket.
A virtual meeting with the former players and coaches chaired by Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani has also taken place to “hear first-hand about their experiences”. A dual statement was later released.
Minister @NathiMthethwaSA on sport transformation: “Government and sport leadership can no longer afford not to respond to the plethora of challenges facing the Sport system in our country.” #EPGReport #TransformationinSport #EquityinSASport #SportQuote #quoteoftheday pic.twitter.com/lWhvY07967
— Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (@SportArtsCultur) August 5, 2020
Cricket SA have also expressed their “readiness and look forward” to meeting with the minister to proactively deal with this matter.
Furthermore, Mthethwa raised concerns after the release of the latest EPG report with cricket being given conditional approval because, among other reasons, they “fared poorly” on black African representation.
Cricket SA has set a target that the national teams must, on average over the course of a season, field six black players of which at least two must be black African. At domestic level, the target is applied per match and teams are required to field six black players of which at least three must be black African.
Cricket SA achieved 70% of their self-set barometer targets, which is higher than the 50% required to avoid penalty imposition, that can lead to the suspension or withdrawal of government funding and the revoking of the authority to bid or stage international tournaments locally.
“Federations should take the issue of transformation seriously as it is non-negotiable. As the minister of this portfolio, I would be failing the people of South Africa and violating our Constitution if I fail to act decisively against sport transformation delinquents”, Mthethwa said.
Swimming and hockey are faced with a dilemma as they failed to meet their self-set barometer targets and will need to make a representation to the minister before the end of the week.