Prioritise change in sports

The appointment of Peter de Villiers, the first black Springbok coach, should be welcomed as a good sign towards transformation.

The appointment of Peter de Villiers, the first black Springbok coach, should be welcomed as a good sign towards transformation.

Caution should, however, be exercised by people who see the appointment as an automatic answer to our transformation problems. The problem of transformation, whether in rugby or cricket, lies not in the skin pigmentation of the head coach, but rather that of administrators who still run these filthy-rich sports and continue to ensure that the national sports codes belong to them.

The media reported that 77percent of players, obviously all whites, had voted for the media-sponsored Heyneke Meyer as their choice for coach. It also reported that because the panel could not come to a common decision, they had to vote. All this signals the difficulty and prejudice that the new Springbok coach is likely to face.

This hardened, anti-transformation crew will without delay put up obstacles for the new coach just to show the world that blacks cannot be shouldered with such a great responsibility. The only chance for success for the new coach will be decisive and unapologetic support from all pro-transformation citizens who are strongly led by our government.

The government should rise above the threats by the media houses and those who oppose transformation that it should not interfere in sport and remain a referee of this important aspect of South Africa.

I believe that the government should regard the transformation of all sports, rugby in particular, as a national product that carries our national hopes and interests.

It is only when transformation is prioritised over hollow winnings that, come the next World Cup, the Springboks will reflect the racial complexion and dynamics of this country.

But for as long as we are led to believe that the eradication of apartheid legacies, like transformation in sports, in rugby and cricket in particular, should come second, we are doomed to scream the cries of transformation until our mouths run dry.

Luther Lebelo, Midrand

X