The South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) who represent the professional rugby players employed by the Border Rugby Union lodged an application for the liquidation of the Border Rugby Union today at the High Court of South Africa (East London Circuit Local Division).
Border Rugby Union has failed intermittently since December 2017 to make full salary payments to the players in that it failed to make the necessary pension fund and medical aid payments to the players.
Currently the union is not in a position to pay the full salaries of the players and as a result the players are without medical aid cover.
After written demands issued by SARPA, the Border Rugby Union failed to meet its commitments to the players, attributing these failures to cash flow challenges.
They were also advised by SARPA that the players will be obliged to withhold their rugby-playing services until the medical premiums have been paid in full. Players are currently not allowed to train for or participate in a rugby match for Border Rugby Union.
Eugene Henning, Managing Director of the players organisation, said that: “The ongoing incapability of Border Rugby Union to meet its financial obligations gave the players no other option but to take legal action and apply for the liquidation of the Union.”
“Although bringing the liquidation application is a no-win situation for everyone, it remains the only logical action for the players to take especially taking into account the intolerable levels of uncertainty and hardship they have had to and are still enduring,” said Henning.
“We are concerned about the financial state of rugby in South Africa as this was the third union since the start of 2018 that was experiencing financial difficulties with the payment of player salaries while another major union indicated this week to us that it might not be able to meet its financial obligations towards the players in 2018,” Henning concluded.
SARPA also liquidated EP Rugby Pty Ltd in August 2016 due to non-payment of salaries to players.