Background - The 2010 FIFA World Cup
In the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, SAFA enlisted the support of FIFA to strengthen our national team to ensure a reasonable degree of success in a competition of the world’s best football nations. More than R100 million was spent on an intensive preparation programme to prepare Bafana Bafana for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The whole world agreed that the 2010 FIFA World Cup was the best World Cup ever and was flawlessly hosted by our country. However, we also know that the level of investment in the team could not be sustained over a protracted period of time and that the Association had to refocus its energies on strengthening its grassroots and other development programmes.
The Association therefore embarked on a 6-step strategic repositioning programme to ensure its future success and to adjust to the new demands of both a serious economic downturn and the new demands of an improved long-term development programme.
Step 1 – The 2011 Football Indaba
SAFA therefore embarked on a strategic planning process starting with the successful Football Indaba of 26 August 2011 in Kempton Park where more than 600 of the country’s football leaders gathered to debate how to strengthen our structures and development programmes. This was the largest ever gathering of football leaders in this country where the National Development Framework was presented along with the plans for the SAFA-FIFA Legacy Trust, the IT system, the talent identification system and the status of the national teams.
Step 2 – The Technical Symposium
However, after the failure of our men’s national team to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the Association initiated a process of reassessing the strengths of our development system and hosted the largest ever gathering of coaches this country has ever seen in January 2012. The development of a clearly identifiable South African football philosophy and world class training and development initiatives for South African football was considered a priority. In the 6 months that followed, a series of robust debates were hosted at SAFA House and the drafting of a comprehensive Technical Master Plan
completed. This Technical Master Plan will be presented to the nation within the next two months to enlist its support. The plan will help us sharpen our focus on development in this country and will set standards for performance that will equal that of the best football nations in the world but with a distinct South African flavour.
Step 3 – Creating a Strong Governance Structure
In March 2012, the NEC considered the latest submission of the CEO and also appointed an ad hoc committee to assist the CEO to achieve the objective of building a world-class football administration.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Association also added additional functions to strengthen the functioning of the SAFA provincial structures, mandated the adoption of a world-class financial management model that saw the appointment of Ernst & Young to do for the Association what they have been doing for FIFA for many years and did successfully for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and many other places where this financial management model has been adopted.
The NEC also mandated the ad hoc committee to investigate the streamlining of the Association’s governance structures, with a particular emphasis on reducing the number of oversight committees through a clustering approach in order to maximize the efficiency of its governance structures.
Step 4 - Creating a World-Class Administrative Structure to Deliver on the New Mandates
With this in mind, the NEC mandated its CEO, Dr Robin Petersen, to also create a world-class administrative structure that could deliver on the mandates that resulted from these seminal planning processes. The re-examination of the organizational structure kicked off in December 2011 when the CEO presented the first draft of a proposed organogram for the NEC’s consideration. The NEC then mandated him to continue working on this process and to refine the structure.
The CEO and the ad hoc committee collaborated very closely on the development of the structure and presented their findings to the NEC at its June/July 2012 meeting. Pleased with the work performed by the committee and the CEO to date, the NEC congratulated the ad hoc committee and the CEO for a job well done and requested that they continue with the task of developing a proposal for a new structure for the Association.
Step 5 – Obtaining Broader Input into the Development of a New Structure
This process is therefore on-going and, mindful of the legal obligations of the Association, the NEC also mandated the CEO, with the assistance of the ad hoc committee, to formalize the process of consultation with all key role-players, the Association’s staff being key among those to be consulted.
It is with this in mind that the CEO utilized Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act to solicit this input from the staff. It is common cause that, according to the law, should the process affect the status of any employee in the organization, special regard be given to consult with the affected employees.
As noted above, the post-2010 FIFA World Cup period followed a serious economic downturn wherein sport sponsorship in general suffered. It is in this spirit that the Association issued a notice to forewarn its employees of the possible negative effect of the restructuring that had to take into account the changed economic climate that faced the Association in the post-World Cup period. However, it is the sincere objective to do everything possible to avoid any negative impact on staff by looking at other methods to save costs and thereby retain as many jobs as possible.
Step 6 – The Consultation Process
Therefore, the Association, having completed its initial drafting of a high-level administrative structure, will present same, as it did to its management staff on 17 July 2012, to its entire staff complement.
In a memorandum to its staff on 26 July 2012, the Association clarified that it will commence with the consultation shortly and foresees this happening with the next 10 days.
The Association therefore emphasizes that the organogram approved by the NEC in March 2011, is still operative and any new structure must be approved by the NEC after consultations with the staff of the Association, through its representatives to ensure that staff have been afforded a fair opportunity to influence such structure.
The Association is therefore confident that this process will deliver a strong football association with the best governance structures and a strong administrative structure that is attuned to the demands of the modern football environment.
It is our firm belief that this will result in sustained international success for our national teams and place us on the path to achieving our objective of remaining consistently in the top 3 football nations on the African continent and consistently remaining in the top 20 of the FIFA World Rankings within the next 10 years.