SJN hearings: Afriforum vehemently rejects quota system in sports

Expanding on their document, 'The Collapse of Cricket South Africa' published in November 2020, the presentation began with AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel asserting that the organisation 'is opposed to any form of racism in our society.'

Picture: @afriforum/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - AfriForum was the focus in Tuesday’s morning session of the Cricket for Social Justice and Nation-building (SJN) hearings as they made their presentation.

Expanding on their document, “The Collapse of Cricket South Africa” published in November 2020, the presentation began with AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel asserting that the organisation “is opposed to any form of racism in our society. It doesn’t matter who it comes from, and racism should be taken on. It is a scourge in our society, and we need to have a society based on mutual recognition.”

AfriForum's Ernst van Zyl then shared four reasons why the organisation does not agree with a quota system in sport and how they believe it harms South Africa’s national teams:

  1. Quotas are immoral and violate players dignity. This was seen when players with strong potential left South Africa for more opportunities;

  2. Quotas exacerbate inequality. Black Children from elite schools are used to fill the quotas rather than developing structures and institutions with typically disadvantaged communities;

  3. Quotas contradict the regulations of international sporting bodies. i.e., ICC anti-racism code and ICC rules (which do not allow government interference in the sport);

  4. Quotas debilitates cricket in South Africa as without selecting best players means that the team is weaker.

When pushed on how AfriForum was certain black players were not selected on merit but rather to accommodate the quote system, Kriel said: “If we say these [black] players are all chosen on merits – and many of them are – then the question is if one is going to say we are wrong to say that merit doesn’t help you out but then the alternative is to say why is the quota system necessary? Because then it won’t be necessary because I don’t know a single coach that don’t want to win.

“That is why we’re saying there should be no quota system so their selection would be good, so there will be no question about their selection.”

To move away from the quota system, the organisation put forward a six-point development plan to solve issues within South African sport:

  1. Create facilities where sport can be practiced. Government needs to take control of this and develop these spaces;

  2. Sport needs to become mandatory across all schools not just model C and private schools through the reintroduction of physical education as a subject;

  3. Strong youth clubs should be established where extracurricular activities are not possible;

  4. Sport governing bodies need to introduce coaching of the highest standard;

  5. Sustainable sports will make sponsorship more likely;

  6. The Introduction of development committees with sporting codes, government, and other role players.

AfriForum’s Ronald Peters shared: “The major focus should remain on development, and that’s not the main focus at the moment. Because if it was, sporting facilities would be developed in those areas where children of all colours in disadvantaged positions can have access to those sporting facilities and be developed and be seen.”

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