Stellenbosch Academy of Sport and a Consortium of Businesses Controlled by the Motsepe Family Join Forces with Boland Rugby Union in a Landmark Deal for Boland Rugby

Six-time Currie Cup First Division Champion Union secured an equity deal with two juggernaut conglomerates.

Wellington, South Africa – October 12, 2023 — The Boland Rugby (Pty) Ltd is proud to announce a transformative equity partnership with Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (“SAS”), a subsidiary of Remgro Limited, and a consortium comprising companies controlled by the Motsepe family (“Motsepe Consortium”). This partnership is poised to redefine the future of rugby in the Boland region at amateur and professional levels, a talent-rich area with over 200 registered amateur rugby clubs, making it one of the largest rugby unions in South Africa.

The new partnership will have the Motsepe consortium and SAS own 74% of the Boland rugby professional arm with the Boland Union retaining 26%. The new partners will have a collaborative arrangement to cultivate a shared commitment to providing substantial resources and expertise to support the Boland Rugby Union’s growth and development initiatives.

“Today’s announcement symbolises a powerful commitment to grassroots rugby development and the advancement of rugby in our region,” said Mr Bennie van Rooi, President of the Boland Rugby Union. “Our partnership with the SAS and Motsepe Consortium aligns perfectly with our mission to empower local communities through sports and unearth the vast potential of our young athletes. This partnership will empower and enable us to provide world-class resources to our players, coaches, and management teams. The amazing sponsorship and investment from Sanlam, Vumatel, and Santam compounds this.”

The Motsepe Consortium and SAS, two prominent names in the world of sports and business, emphasised their commitment to grassroots rugby development and the advancement of rugby in the Boland region. Boland has the most rugby-playing schools for any province in South Africa. Their investment signifies a strong belief in the potential of young talent and the importance of empowering local communities through sport. This announcement also marks the significant move of the appointment of the new CEO of Boland Rugby (Pty) Ltd, Mr Quintin van Rooyen following his serving for nearly two years as the CEO of Boland Rugby Union.

“This partnership is about more than just rugby; it’s about investing in the future of this region and nurturing the incredible talent at the grassroots level,” said Dr Johan van Zyl, representative of the Motsepe consortium. “We believe in the power of partnership and are proud to join hands with the Boland Rugby Union on this journey. Our ambition is to create a professional environment and team that retains the talent within the Boland regions. The sponsorship of Sanlam, Santam, and Vumatel will add value in the retention, growth, and nurturing of the local talent in Boland.”

The Boland Rugby Union is excited to build on the success of the 2023 season, where the Boland Kavaliere secured the Currie Cup First Division title for the sixth time. This historic achievement serves as a testament to the region’s rugby prowess and sets the stage for even greater accomplishments in the future.

“We are excited to be part of this incredible journey with the Boland Rugby Union,” said Neil de Kock, CEO of SAS. “This partnership emphasises the importance of nurturing talent at the grassroots level and providing the necessary resources for these young athletes to reach their full potential, and this was proven earlier this year when the Boland Kavaliere won the Currie Cup First Division. SAS is a proudly Boland business and we are proud to be part of this great union. We have seen the power of investment and partnership in the Boland region with the top Premier League Soccer (PSL) club, Stellenbosch Football Club (FC). Welcome also to Sanlam, Santam and Vumatel as our partners in this journey.”

Sanlam, the largest non-banking financial services group on the African continent, Vumatel, a trusted provider of high-speed fibre connectivity, and Santam the leading short-term insurer in South Africa, will all have their logos prominently displayed on all Boland Rugby Union kits, marketing materials, and digital content. This collaboration with Sanlam as the main sponsor and Vumatel and Santam as the supporting sponsors underscores their commitment to fostering the growth and development of rugby in the Boland region.

Karl Socikwa, Group Executive Market Development at Sanlam, says sport is a profound socio-economic catalyst. “We are immensely excited about the impact this new collaboration will have. Sanlam’s promise is to help people throughout the African continent to live confidently, and we fully recognise the seminal role that sports can play in helping us keep this promise.”

He says Sanlam’s decision to invest as lead sponsor for Boland Rugby underscores its belief in the partnership’s capacity to effect change. “Unfortunately, rugby in this region has been somewhat underinvested in the past. We look forward to working alongside our partners to put Boland in the spotlight. Combined with the support of Santam, this sponsorship opens the door for the Sanlam Group to make a meaningful and positive impact on multiple fronts. Firstly, it makes a direct impact on the sport and its players. There are so many promising players here and we look forward to seeing them reach their full potential.

“And then secondly, there is a powerful knock-on impact, on schools, clubs, communities, and the region. At Sanlam, our purpose is to empower generations to be financially confident, secure, and prosperous. With so many schools and clubs benefiting from the injection of capital, development support and expertise, it will allow the sport to thrive in the area. More importantly, they give talented young people from vulnerable backgrounds a way to transcend those circumstances. Those people often then reinvest in the communities they came from.”

Dietlof Maré, CEO of Vumatel and parent company MAZIV, echoed this sentiment, stating, “We believe in the transformative power of sport, and our partnership with the Boland Rugby Union is a testament to our commitment to making a positive impact in South African communities. We look forward to a successful journey together.”

This partnership marks a significant and historical step toward fostering rugby excellence and community engagement in the Boland region, reflecting the commitment of all parties involved to uplift the very communities that serve and support Boland Rugby.

About Boland Rugby Union:

Established in 1939, the Boland Rugby Union is the 11th oldest rugby province in South Africa, with the largest base of clubs (235) in South Africa. The Boland Rugby Union represents the biggest geographical rugby area in South Africa, consisting of more than 15,000 club rugby players and has a rich and storied history deeply rooted in the heart of South African rugby. As a dynamic and forward-thinking organisation, it consistently strived for excellence both on and off the field. The Boland Cavaliers, the professional team representing the Boland Rugby Union, is the reigning Currie Cup First Division champions after they secured their sixth title in the 2023 season.