South Africa news – Focus on rebuilding trust in CSA says Pholetsi Moseki after becoming CEO on five-year term


“Part of our strategy is looking at our whole ecosystem and seeing how we can diversify our revenue streams”

Pholetsi Moseki has been appointed CSA’s permanent CEO, 15 months after taking over the role in an acting capacity, in December 2020. Moseki’s position was confirmed by a unanimous decision on the part of the CSA board, which took nine months to find a CEO. Moseki’s official tenure begins on April 1, for a period of five years.

Moseki was confirmed after a lengthy process, which started with the position advertised in August last year. CSA engaged the services of a recruitment company, which proved unsuccessful in delivering suitable candidates, readvertised the post and used a second agency, which recommended former South African Airways CEO Vuyani Jarana for the job. But Jarana was unable to take up the role, which prompted CSA to look internally and appoint Moseki, a qualified chartered accountant with two decades of experience in the corporate world. Moseki joined CSA in June 2019 as chief financial officer before stepping in as acting CEO.

CSA has not had a full-time CEO since Thabang Moroe was suspended in December 2019. In that time, the board has rotated through three acting CEOs: Dr Jacques Faul, who resigned to continue his role at the Titans domestic team, Kugandrie Govender, who has since been fired for misconduct, and Moseki, who has led the organisation through the bulk of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has identified his most pressing task as being to rebuild trust in the organisation, which has been through 27 months of administrative upheaval. “We need to rebuild faith in our organisation,” Moseki told a press conference on Wednesday. “Breaking trust is very easy but building it takes a long time. There’s been numerous challenges, which resulted in a lot of our stakeholders losing trust, and me being confirmed CEO doesn’t necessarily mean there is going to be trust. It will be a process, but it is something we are focused on.”

The most important stakeholders for CSA are the players, and the relationship with them suffered under Moroe, and has continued to go downwards. Most recently, Test captain Dean Elgar joked that, “we’ve had so many different administrators that we don’t even know who’s there now”, and Moseki did not shy away from speaking of the challenge: “A lot of our stakeholders have lost faith in the organisation – that includes SACA (South African Cricketers’ Association). It’s something we focused on improving. It’s a work in progress. Our relationship with SACA has improved tremendously from where it was two years ago. Ultimately, all of us want the same thing, which is sustainability in cricket.”

CSA and SACA are currently in discussions over the memorandum of understanding, which governs players’ contracts and commercial agreements, and hope to finalise it “in the next couple of months,” Moseki said. It is understood that they have already agreed on some key points.

The second major stakeholders are the sponsors, and since the Moroe affair, CSA has lost several including headline sponsors Standard Bank. “Finance is an important priority for us. The environment has totally changed. The economy is quite tough, not only for cricket but for the other sporting codes as well,” Moseki said. “Part of our strategy is looking at our whole ecosystem and seeing how we can diversify our revenue streams.”

He will have to do all of that without current director of cricket [DOC] Graeme Smith, whose contract with CSA ends this month. CSA has confirmed it will advertise the position as is, after some consideration to split the role into separate cricketing and commercial positions, and ESPNcricinfo has confirmed that Smith would not be reapplying for the role. CSA is interested in re-engaging Smith in a consulting role but a well-placed source said no discussions regarding Smith’s future involvement at CSA have taken place yet.

“The contract of the DOC comes to an end at the end of this month. We have publicly said that the position will be advertised, and it will be advertised any day now together with a number of other positions,” Lawson Naidoo, CSA board chair, said. “It will be subject to an open and competitive process.

“The position is an incredibly important one. As we have reviewed the structure, we have looked at the many responsibilities and while there might be some tweaks to it, the job spec as a whole will remain intact.”

Moseki was hopeful that the confirmation of a permanent CEO would help create the environment for CSA to fill other vacancies so the organisation can begin to operate at full capacity. “The company could not advertise for vacancies until the CEO position was confirmed,” he said. “CSA has been acting without two-thirds of its EXCO (executive committee) for the last while, as they were either being suspended or dismissed. We hope to go to the market within a day or two to open the process to fill positions.”

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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