First woman CEO of CSA Govender: ‘We have to listen to the minister on transformation’

Newly-appointed Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting chief executive officer Kugandrie Govender.
Newly-appointed Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting chief executive officer Kugandrie Govender.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Newly-appointed Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting chief executive officer Kugandrie Govender is fully aware of what she has gotten herself into by accepting leadership of the crisis-riddled organisation.

This week‚ CSA announced that Govender will take over from Dr Jacques Faul in a short-term acting capacity at embattled CSA with immediate effect‚ making her the first woman to lead the organisation.

“To say‚ ‘What have I got myself into?’‚ was something that I asked myself as soon as I said‚ ‘Yes’‚” she said.

“I decided to do the courageous thing and I know that some people will call it dump‚ madness or stupidity. I chose to believe in the goodness of this sport and the goodness of what it can do in unifying this nation.

“There are hundreds of good people in all the levels of CSA from coaching volunteer right up to the boardrooms.

“The answer to the question of what have I got myself into came very quickly in the form of my own internal voice that said your organisation and the sport that you love dearly requires you to step up.

“You have a responsibility and you can be part of change that you want to see or you can mourn from the sidelines like how millions of South Africans are mourning.”

Govender said that high on her agenda is trying to mend all the endangered relationships with key stakeholders and ensure that CSA’s financials are remains in order.

“As part of the executive anyway‚ I have been aware of some of the issues. My list of priorities for the next three months is really what anyone coming into the role would have as a list of priorities.

“It is fairly obvious what needs to happen‚ we have three main things that we need to focus on. Those things are not radical strategies – it is going back to basics and putting cricket first.

“There are three concurrent things that are top priorities and the first is to ensure that we nurture relationships again because all our stakeholders are important. We have to improve our relationship with Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa and the parliamentary portfolio committee.

“We have to listen to the minister’s transformation imperatives. Our relationship with the media is exceptionally important and I think we have made some strides of healing it even though there is some way to go.

“Other critical stakeholders are our staff‚ our sponsors and the South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca).

“The other important thing to pay attention to is our financials. It is not a secret that CSA is not as flush financially as it was a few years ago. However‚ we are in a position to turn things around before it becomes a dire situation.”

Govender admitted that CSA’s image has taken a serious battering over the past few months and that there is a lot to be done to repair the damage.

“We all know that it takes massive amounts of time to build trust and a reputation but it doesn’t take too much to have it all crash to the ground. I am in this position that we have to build it up again and it is not going to happen overnight.

“I am grateful for the massive amount of support I have seen and that is what makes me believe that people are positive about this change. There are more positive people and the focus must be on turning our reputation around.

“We are only going to make it if we do what we say as opposed to just talking and not listening enough.”

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