By Anathi Wulushe

The South African Rugby Employers’ Organisation (SAREO) announced former Springbok loose forward and current general manager of the Eastern Province Rugby Union, Thando Manana as the new chairperson of the organisation on Friday, December 10.

Manana has played for EP, Griquas, Bulls, Griffons and part of the Springbok side which toured the United Kingdom in 2000, the 44 year old Gqeberha born Manana replaces CEO of Lions, Rudolf Straeuli, as SAREO chairperson, making him the first black chairperson of SAREO in 21 years.

SAREO is the representative council of the professional and amateur rugby employers in South Africa, managing relationships with the players’ union (My Players – SARPA) and the non-playing employees (Sport Employees Unite (SEU)) representing employers’ interests to SA Rugby.

Manana showed gratitude to the organisation for entrusting him to be their chairperson.

“I’d like to thank the membership for placing their trust in me at this very difficult time for our business. Our members fulfil multiple roles in their communities, but our lifeblood is getting fans through the gate, and we all know what a challenge that has been for almost two years.

Manana added, “In order for this to happen, we as employers require sound and constructive relationships with our employees on the field, next to the field and off the field of play and we are pleased that My Players and Sport Employees Unite share the same vision with SAREO in this regard.”

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