GRC PERSONNEL & PLANS
The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World (Pty) Ltd (GRC) – owners of the Isuzu Southern Kings – acquired a 74 percent majority share of the Isuzu Southern Kings from SA Rugby in a historic milestone which sees the new owners become the first black-majority owners of a rugby franchise globally.
The GRC is made up of a consortium of five Eastern Cape businesspeople, namely Loyiso Dotwana, Rory Stear, Vuyo Zitumane, Gary Markson and Kenny Govender.
THE MEMBERS BRIEFS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Mr Loyiso Dotwana, Chairman
Construction, consulting and property development sectors
Founder and Executive Director of ILISO Consulting
Serves on a number of boards across various sectors
Mr Rory Stear, Vice Chairman
Chairman of Flambard Capital – an international investment and consulting company with holdings in renewable energy, technology & data management and global trading
CEO of Blackwood Power
Chairman of Lifeline Technology
Mrs Vuyo Zitumane
Comes with the reputation of having rescued a number municipalities in the Eastern Cape by serving in an Administrator role.
CEO of Amatola Water where she has set up a turnaround plan to improve the performance and credibility of the water utility.
Mr Gary Markson
Executive Provincial Head of Standard Bank in the Eastern Cape
Entrepreneur with business interests in Port Elizabeth
Mr Kenny Govender
Director of Govcomm – a company that provides communications systems support to the Airbus Group in Africa and the Middle East, as well as to SAAB defence systems.
Member of the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) Board
IMMEDIATE PLANS FOR THE FRANCHISE
With the Isuzu Southern Kings having been under the patronage of SA Rugby, the GRC’s immediate function is to ensure a smooth handover of all administrative functions from the SA Rugby headquarters.
Franchise home base
The GRC confirmed that the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Stadium remains the home base for the Isuzu Southern Kings.
The GRC together with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality and Mandela Bay Development Agency (the NMB Stadium operator) concluded an agreement on a long-term tenancy which will see the Isuzu Southern Kings base their offices and play their matches at the world-class facility.
Community, Commercial and Tourism
The GRC has stressed that the focus of the franchise will not be restricted to on-field rugby matters, but taking the Isuzu Southern Kings to the main stakeholders – the people of the Eastern Cape – will remain a key focus.
The franchise will also be working on a commercial strategy to engage local business with the aim of gaining corporates’ involvement in the development and sustenance of the game of rugby in the region.
Furthermore, with the Isuzu Southern Kings being one of two franchises, together with the Cheetahs, representing South Africa in an internationally acclaimed competition – the Guinness PRO14 – the franchise intends of further establishing the Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape province as a hub for tourism.