COSATU statement on the Springboks victory

The Congress of South Africa congratulates the Springboks for winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. This victory proved wrong those who argued that transformation was going to weaken the sport in South Africa and undermine the team’s competitiveness. The excellent performance of various black players and the inspiring leadership of Siya Kolisi has made a mockery of that argument.

We reiterate our call for a thoroughgoing transformation of the sport of rugby at all levels in order to make sure that the sport is open and accessible to those who want to play it.

While this victory represents a positive message about the country, we will not be drinking champagne from a firehose in celebrations. This victory cannot be used to camouflage the problems of disunity and inequality that still cripple this country. We cannot ignore the racism allegations surrounding some who were part of the World Cup squad and the indifferent reaction of the rugby leadership to these allegations.

These celebrations should be rooted and be tempered and moderated by the experience and the knowledge that mechanical and artificial unity does not work and does not last. This country has had racism as an acceptable ideology for centuries and it is still racist today and no sport victory and window-dressing will change that and that is why it’s incumbent on all of us to change it.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794