South Africa remain in the fold as Government approves amendments

South African sports minister Nathi Mthethwa

Tshepo Thaela

The whole of South Africa breathed a sigh of relief when the minister of Sports, Art and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, withdrew Government Gazette notice on Cricket South Africa (CSA) that would see them lose recognition as a national sporting body.

The decision came after CSA's Interim Board (IB) and Members Council (MC) unanimously agreed to amendments of the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) which align to the recommendations of the Nicholson Reports on the governance of sport.

At a combined press conference with CSA IB chairperson Stavros Nicolaou and Mthethwa, Dr Nicolaou identified the three key amendments of the MOI.

The first makes provision for an independent majority board. The board will initially consist of 15 members for the first three years, then 13 members thereafter. The 15 will consist of eight independent directors, five non-independent directors and two executives, namely the chief executive and chief financial officer.

The second requires the chairperson of the board to be independent and will be selected from one of the eight independent directors.

The third amendment provides clarity of the roles of the members of the board.

According to Nicolaou: "The board will be seized with having oversight on the day-to-day operations of the company [and] the member's council ... with cricketing matters."

"We made ourselves clear from the beginning," said Mthethwa. "It was a matter of staying with the status quo or transforming, we want transformation and nothing else."

The "transformation" that Mthethwa is referring to is twofold. Most immediately he's referring to the transformation of the governing body at CSA, but he's also referring to transformation targets set for domestic and national teams.

CSA had recently been in hot water for not meeting transformation targets. These targets require the national team to field at an average of at least six players of colour (non-white), two of which need to be black African, over the entirety of the season.

The Minister continued: "I have to say that today is a victory. The victor today is cricket itself and sports in general."

The selection of the board will happen at CSA Annual General Meeting on June 12.