Netball SA CEO hopes to bring about change in the sport

netball17 October 2023 12:37| © SuperSport
By:Busisiwe Mokwena
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Modiegi Komane © Netball SA

Netball South Africa’s newly appointed chief executive officer, Modiegi Komane says she aims to commercialise netball by the end of her tenure.

Komane takes over the hotseat from Blanche de la Guerre who had served the federation for close to two decades in different capacities.

Last year opened up applications for the CEO position but later decided that de la Guerre continue in the position until after the Netball World Cup in Cape Town.

The former Black Business Council Built Environment CEO has already started working and she was part of the recent Netball SA’s Sponsorship Forum and will join the Spar Proteas in Australia for the three test match season against the World Cup winning side from 26-31 October.

De la Guerre’s successor has a background in government and the private sector where she also served on different boards.

She has also served in Organising Committees of 1995 Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup, 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, 2009 All Africa Games, 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 Fifa World Cup

She stresses the importance of making the sport stand on its own in order to grow it in the commercial sense in order to fast track the professionalising of netball.

“You can’t professionalise netball unless you have commercialised it. We cannot live on handouts, we cannot just live on sponsors and partners. We cannot live on membership and grants from the government.

"We have got the take-off, we have created the economy on its own. The clothing manufacturing, the hospitality, there’s sound and production, that is a lot of economy right there. We want to participate in the mainstream economy, it is not about the game only. It is about us, the money must be inside and no longer going outside,” says Komane.


She reckons having proper structures in the federation will also play an important role in building a stronger NSA which can also rope in more sponsors and have a reputable federation.

“Structures and system reform, it may not be money but that is the back bone and foundation of any institution. You don’t have systems in place, you don’t have structures in place, you are not in alignment with corporate governance, there is nothing.

There is no partner that will put their money in an organisation that is not reputable, for me that is ensuring there are no grey areas. When we talk about policies it includes the same blueprint for professionalisation, we need to go out and benchmark. We need to have signed an agreement on the arena within the year. We need to have built the 65 courts in the regions,” she says.

Komane has signed a yearlong performance based contract with NSA with an option to renew if the two parties are happy to do so. She says it’s important to empower people in the sport beyond what happens on the court for players and administrators.

“The three key pillars we want to deal with is through skills development. There is nothing we can do without education and skills transfer.

We are acknowledging the issue of facilities is a big thing. We are appointing service providers to build 65 courts. We want to see people grow and the sport grow however the challenge becomes that there are courts that were built but have become white elephants, and that is where the capacity of facilities management comes in.

Creating jobs at the same time. We want to make a difference outside the court because it is a total value chain,” she says.

NSA president Cecilia Molokwane reckons the federation has appointed the right person who will come with fresh ideas and can take the sport to new heights.

“We didn’t want instability during the World Cup, we kept renewing an expired contract. We decided to keep the person who started the World Cup dream with me but the World Cup is over and we needed a new start.

We need new mindsets, we need people from another school of thought and get what they can deliver and take us forward. We have found someone after a long search. It’s not easy to find a CEO in the sports space and someone who shares your vision.

I believe that we have found the right person to lead us in the right direction in terms of administration and commercialisation.

We have sat with her as an executive to tell her what we need from her and she has already come back to us with great ideas and plans of how she seeks to move the sport forward,” says Molokwane.