Afrika the Eastern Cape’s new ‘Spear’

Godfrey Afrika is a man tasked with reviving the rugby fortunes of the embattled South Eastern Cape region.

SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd (the commercial arm of the South African Rugby Union) announced on Monday that Afrika has been appointed a Project Manager to take on the duties of helping restore governance and commercial structures in the South Eastern Cape provinces.

This, SA Rugby says, is being done in preparation for the unions to participate in the Super rugby series.

The unions were scheduled to play in the Super 14 as the Spears in 2007 and 2008, but SA Rugby then deemed them unready for the competition and ruled them out.

The Spears as a financial entity are now bankrupt, amidst allegations and accusations of mismanagement. The Spears’ former Chief Executive, Tony McKeever did not have his contract renewed after his widely publicised spat with SA Rugby and the Spears’ Board.

But rumours of mismanagement are nothing new to the region. And the damage to rugby in that traditional greenhouse of development has been immense and thorough. Afrika has an intensely difficult job of work ahead of him.

Godfrey Afrika is an MBA graduate with expertise in business strategy development and organisational re-engineering. He begins his three-year tenure on April 2, with a brief to help build a sound financial and administrative base in each of the three provinces.

SA Rugby Managing Director Jonathan Stones said he was thrilled with Afrika’s vision regarding the resuscitation of critical rugby structures in South Western Districts, Eastern Province and Border.

“We are confident that he is the man to implement our vision to turn around the fortunes of the three provinces,” said Stones.

“The South Eastern Cape unions are crucial to us in our strategy to grow the game, transform it and instil a culture of rugby excellence around the whole country.

“We have plans in place, which, if implemented properly, should see the region participating in the Super rugby series in the future. We are confident he will work very well with the three unions, as we all share the same goals. The key lies in working together as rugby stakeholders.

“Our responsibility as the national governing body is to make sure that rugby is in a healthy state throughout the country, and that our investment in the three provinces bears fruit.”

Following the decision to halt the participation of the region in the Super 14, SA Rugby bought half of the shares in each of the commercial arms of the South Eastern Cape provinces, as the first step towards direct involvement in the rebuilding process.

 

365 Digital

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