A consortium of local black business people is set to buy a 51% stake in the Kings franchise.
On Monday, EP Rugby confirmed it is awaiting approval from SA Rugby before the proposed change in ownership comes into effect.
‘The Kings will achieve a historical milestone by becoming the first black-owned rugby franchise in the country. Binding offers have been submitted by the relevant parties, with SA Rugby Exco approval and other transaction closing conditions set to take place over the coming weeks,’ read the statement.
‘This places the franchise in a position it has never been before. We now have a long-term commitment from a sponsor and we are able for the first time to plan and build a sustainable franchise for the long run,’ Kings COO Charl Crous explained.
Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Loyiso Dotwana says the community deserves a rugby team it can be proud of.
‘We want to build a professional and competitive team for the long run. Our long-term ambition is to achieve incremental growth which ultimately will result in the Kings winning the Pro14 Championship,’ he said. ‘By creating an academy and team here, we want to retain the Eastern Cape’s talent. This is the home of black rugby – our team will promote social cohesion in South African rugby.’
The consortium has entered into discussions with the Nelson Mandela University with regard to reviving the local rugby academy and thus providing incubation and training for the team.
In addition, the Kings announced that Isuzu Motors South Africa has signed on as the team’s title sponsor for the next three years.
— Isuzu Southern Kings (@SouthernKingsSA) August 20, 2018