A more streamlined South African Rugby Union (Saru) will ensure the sport is run more efficiently, Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said on Thursday.
Roux revealed a new structure to be fully operational by September 1, at the re-launch of the national rugby body in Johannesburg.
“We have consolidated our responsibilities of developing, promoting and managing the game of rugby on behalf of the 14 unions and all South Africans into seven core functions,” he said.
Each department is now developing very specific and measurable targets for performance against which they will be judged.”
In a statement, Saru said its governance and operational departments have been re-engineered in the last 18 months, with the number of departments at the Cape Town head office reduced from 16 to seven.
“We believe we are one of South Africa’s leading sporting federations –both on and off the field — but we’ve taken the handbrake off now,” Roux said.
He admitted that Saru had struggled off the field in recent years, but said the new structures would rectify those issues.
“We’re poised to take rugby to the next level,” he said. “Saru has been able to deliver a robust financial performance, healthy competitions and, most importantly, winning Springbok and Springbok Sevens teams, but there have been challenges — most of them behind the scenes.
“It’s fair to say that the organisation laboured because of a confusing network of overlapping responsibilities and blurred reporting lines due to the separation between a professional and amateur arm.
“Those obstacles have now been eradicated and we now have a much leaner, cleaner and simpler structure.”
Roux said the dissolution of the commercial arm — SA Rugby — back into Saru at the beginning of 2010 had been the catalyst for the major operational re-design.
“Saru’s 14 member unions simplified the governance structure by creating an executive council to in effect take the place of the board, a management committee and president’s council.
“When I was appointed as CEO of the new single entity in October, I was charged with completing the restructuring of the operational organisation.
“That process has been ongoing for the past 10 months and is now complete.”
Roux said a number of positions at head office had yet to be filled, following a process of internal recruitment, but that the new structure would be fully operational next month.
“These are exciting times for South African rugby,” he said. “It has been a challenging process for our staff and one that has not always been easy, but we come out of it a far more focused organisation.” — Sapa