Here is the draft copy of a Charter that 24 government schools were reported to had agreed to back in November 2013 (names of 24 schools here:


Born out of concern that some of the high profile sports at our schools are increasingly being driven by non-educational imperatives and affected by questionable (unethical) practices, we the members of the coalition of state boys schools affirm that sport is an important part of  the educational programme at our schools and that in the first place it exists to help us develop strong character, healthy attitudes and life skills in ALL our boys.  These lofty objectives for our sports programmes are being undermined by an overemphasis on success in contests (winning), by the notion that the school is only as good as its sports results and by practices that have developed to encourage this kind of narrow success.

In an effort to ensure that the sports programme at our schools continues to be a healthy component of our educational programmes, we hold firm to the following principles and practices.

• Sport is an important aspect of our educational programme that is designed to develop all our boys.
• We play our sport within the rules and the spirit of the codes we offer.
• We value good sportsmanship in all its forms and reject gamesmanship in any form.
• We believe that educators are the most suitable coaches and administrators of sport in the school setting.
• We admit boys to our schools based on our understanding with them and their parents that they will benefit from involvement in the full educational programme offered by the school.

• We reject approaching and offering money to boys to allow or encourage them to switch schools.  We believe that scholarships (by definition for high academic achievers)and bursaries (for needy children)linked to the admission process should operate at Grade 8 level only
• We believe that after Grade 8 boys should only be admitted to a high school as a result of compelling circumstances (e.g. relocation) and in consultation with the headmaster of the previous school.

We undertake to make known our acceptance of the principles and practices above by:
• Informing our community – Parents, staff and Old Boys.
• Informing support bodies (e.g. SARU) and seeking their support.
• Making our stance known to other schools with whom we have sporting relations.


  1. Has this agreement been signed off by all 24 schools?
    If Westville have signed this agreement or are going to sign this agreement, it makes what they did with the Hudson Park boys even more appalling. They will claim that the boys joined before this agreement was entered into. However, they would have known about the proposed agreement so to go and do something contrary to it beforehand is even more underhanded.
    It would appear Glenwood are in the same position but irrespective, two wrongs don’t make a right.

  2. There are no penalties for doing this and no law they breaking (besides maybe some tax stuff). Why would schools stop doing this? SARU has to step in before anything will happen. Until such time its the wild wild west and everyone for himself.

  3. Westers – we can rattle on as much as we like about Headmasters agreements and charters Bla Bla Bla -but reality is just as we have to embrace the new South Africa we are going to have to accept that this issue with Sbr is not going to go away – if Westville brings in Kids from Hudson and Glenwood likewise with Eldoraigne so be it – but if one digs deeper you will find many schools do the same but this is not always made public – In Glenwood and Westville we are blessed with 2 of the finest schools in the country and Rugby playing kids at primary Schools are begging their parents to send them to the these schools (I’ve seen this 1st hand) Dog eats dog and that’s it – nothing will change

  4. @Greenwood: Sure, you’re right it happens in many other schools, and I do feel that Glenwood does tend to get picked on a times…but a number of Glenwood supporters here have voiced that they do not approve of these methods themselves.

    The fact that it happens does not make it right, and does not mean it will ever stop. Watch, schools will boycott these serial poachers, and they will see their @rses then…when they cannot find opposition and boys leave to find a school where they can at least get to play a game or two of rugby a year.

    Primary school kids begging to attend a school for their rugby is absolutely fine. Kids being reeled in in Grade 11 to add depth to a team is absolutely wrong, and kills the educational aspect of school sport. We defeated the post-matric era…this too will be defeated…AMANDLA!!!

  5. @Tjoppa: Maybe I have too much faith in the power of integrity. Maybe I will be disappointed and greed will win. Time will tell.

  6. I hear that Dale is seriously reconsidering the Dale v Kingswood Fixture, this is after 8 boys have ended up there already and more have been approached

  7. I must admit, the non-secretive approach on trading actions from Pretoria schools like Garsfontein, Waterkloof, Menlo Park, Centurion and Eldoraigne have really not only benefitted them, but the entire power in Pretoria. Traditional schools, like HTS John Vorster that in principle do not trade has unfortunately been left behind… for the moment, in any case.
    There are a much greater array of really top schools in Pretoria right now, than there were in the recent past. Add the likes of PBH and Affies and almost 50% of their games can be played at their doorsteps. With other traditional rivalries just on the southern side of the Jukskei, like Monnas, KES, Jeppe, EG Jansen, Kempton Park and Helpmekaar great power lies in Gauteng. These schools participate at all levels in terms of sport, culture and academics.
    I definitely do not promote the new trading culture, however if opportunity can be created that enhance the prospects of individuals as well as the schools at a broader base, it may be justifiable. Affies like Grey is in the advantageous position where there name, traditions and opportunities they create spontaneously attract good talent at inception level (Gr 8). For a fairly young school like Garsfontein to be at the top and to participate at top level (top 20 in the country) they’ve got to do something. Once they are there they can start relying on reputation to take effect. One other benefit that the competition brought, is that these schools have realize that they cannot attract potential without organising accommodation, thereby new and larger koshuise have been built at these schools. By doing this you bring together potential talent already at an early stage and you create the opportunity to groom them for the future. Instead of having two or three really good schools with potential that can participate against one another, you suddenly have six or seven in a radius of less than 50km’s.
    Why are the so-called schools that are most likely accused for “shopping” top sport performers, abruptly also the top academic performers. I recall that the number one, two and three academic schools last year in Pretoria were Garsfontein, Menlo Park and Waterkloof respectively, the schools that are thrown with stones in respect of shopping. I am driving past some of these schools early in the mornings, long before the first bell has ring, and the sport fields are over swarmed with athletes practising. I can feel a wipe of “you need to work hard, or else…”
    Let us not dart these schools that are trying hard to perform well, but let us allow them the opportunity to reach their goals. Not one of the schools mentioned here are not practising also extremely hard to get the desired results. Over is the time of sitting back and let things happen to you. Those with accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them, they went out and happen to things. As things are now, you as a student may lose out in many aspects, if you are not in one of the top schools. Discipline, enthusiasm, work-ethics, participation, competitiveness and so many more aspects are learned at these schools. If you have the talent as student, or if not, make sure you get into one of them. It’s much more beneficial to be average in a top school than to be top at an average school. To whom do you compare or compete if you sit on top of the anthill? What more can you achieve? In a top school that has passion for what they want to achieve and that require involvement from all, you will be looked after, and not left in the dark… that I will promise!
    One final thought however would be, that expectantly in time, the bargaining for talent could occur before entrance level, and once a student made his school choice in grade 8, he will be left alone. I therefor belief that the school charter that are drawn up between the schools that have signed the agreement, is that they will not trade amongst themselves once they are in secondary school.

  8. The post by Cappie is surely a fair statement and he is a person who knows what he is talking about

  9. @Cappie: This is a really fantastic post. In my mind, we need to make a clear distinction between schools who trade/buy/ acquire players VS those who utilise don’t enter into these dubious tactics.
    It is for this reason alone that I believe Affies is the best rugby school up North. Affies play magnificent rugby and they don’t embrace the full professionalism of many other top rugby schools.
    We have to make some sort of distinction between schools who approach sport in a more professional manner and those who approach it in a more traditional manner. Until we do this, rankings are meaningless and yet such high value is placed on them. In other words, I advocate a two tier ranking system. Schools who buy, acquire, lure, etc players should receive no points when playing a school who follow a traditional approach to sport.
    It is for this reason, that I am so impressed with Affies rugby. They follow a traditional approach but play many fixtures against schools who have basically acquired a team.
    Since it is almost impossible to stop the acquisition of players, the only way to make a distinction is to classify schools as Pro VS Amateur or Traditional VS Non Traditional.

  10. @Cappie: Interesting post Cappie. Although I don’t agree with everything, you’ve got a couple of good points which I must agree with. The competition in Noord Vaal is picking up. Not necessary for top schools to travel 500km plus for competition(Compared to the unhealthy situation in the Greystaat where Grey Bloem don’t have any competition in a 400km radius).

  11. @Cappie: We don’t have to agree, but I see your points and they are valid.

    The trouble here is that the shopping basket is concentrated in the Western and Eastern Cape. Good and well to fix the problem of competition in the Vaal, but consider that it kills the Cape’s competition in the process. Unlike the Vaal schools that you have mentioned, schools in the E & W Cape don’t have the kind of backing these schools have from the Unions.Aren’t you then fixing one problem by creating another?It is the nature of professional sport to buy where you lack, it is not the nature of amateur sport.If we are to accept that this buying of schoolboys (mind you there is no selling :roll: ) is something that is here to stay, then Tang is right. We need to classify schools accordingly, and those that choose this professional route can play in their own league, and those that remain to the amateur approach can play in theirs.

    It is also interesting that you bring up the academic side of things by mentioning that these top shoppers are also top academic performing schools. What I’d be interested in is whether these new recruits actually do perform better in academics than they did in their previous schools.Given the added pressure of being there for rugby first and for most. It would be remarkable if they do, and I will commend those schools.

    Lastly, these schools that have rugby reputations which have been there for decades and decades did not build them by buying talent.Coaching and nurturing talent is how they went about it. I stand corrected but Glenwood built a rugby institution in the early 2000s which kick started their status as rugby powerhouse (the buying came later :mrgreen: ).I understand that times have changed and money talks, but I strongly believe that investing in infrastructure and creating a rugby culture is a more sustainable way of building yourself up than just buying players.

    Once again, nothing wrong with your points.They are logical, and make sense believe me.I just can’t agree.


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