SARU earlier this week announced that a new quota rule will apply in the Vodacom Cup competition from next year.
The citizen’s rights organisation AfriForum has meanwhile sent a letter to Saru and the 14 provincical unions asking Saru to recall the decision to apply race quotas in the Vodacom Cup. Should Saru carry on, AfriForum will launch a boycott action next year.
Several voices – also prominent black voices – were also raised against the Saru decision.
Teams will be forced to field seven players of colour in their 22-man squads, with at least five players in the starting team. At least two of the seven will also have to be among the forwards.
De Villiers, who was the first non-white coach of the Springboks, told the BBC Sport website the system is bound to fail.
“It’s the worst decision they could make. Everybody will believe that these players will be picked because people are looking out for them.”
De Villiers, who is now in charge of rugby at the University of the Western Cape, said he never felt the need for a quota system when he was in charge of the Boks.
“They (SARU) make people believe they care about who is coming through the system – but they only do that to tick some boxes.
“They like to report these things but you don’t see the difference in reality.
“It’s not the first time they have tried to put these things in place and they have never worked.
“It will only ever work if there is a transformation period in people’s hearts.
“If there isn’t I think they are wasting their time.”
Meanwhile, SARU president Oregan Hoskins said they had no other option than to go back to the system as there are now less black players in the professional system than there were when quotas were enforced in the sport in the late 1990s.
“We saw the negatives of that, but we must acknowledge the valid criticism that since the quota system has been scrapped, we have gone backwards in terms of black players in the system. We have to do something drastic to rectify this decline or we would be failing ourselves as a system.
“We will be opening ourselves up to outside intervention. Quotas were scrapped 10 years ago and there was a lot of negativity around the system then. But we have to be brutally honest with ourselves and say that since scrapping quotas, our transformation drive has declined inexplicably and we have to capture that decline. We simply cannot allow it to continue,” said Hoskins.