Motsepe Foundation CEO Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe has urged Safa to stick to its word after the foundation helped resolve the impasse with Banyana Banyana.
Fifa has allocated R565 000 to all 23 players of the 32 national teams that will be playing in this year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup, but it emerged this week that Safa was only keen to pay each player R400 000 and stalled on signing the contracts.
That didn’t go down well with the players, who boycotted their send-off match on Sunday due to the revelation and for other reasons – receiving the support of the public, who felt that they deserved the Fifa money and more.
Since then, Safa had been deadlocked in negotiations with Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa and the South African Football Players Union (Safpu). But it was only on Tuesday night that the impasse was broken with the help of the Motsepe Foundation, after Kodwa asked for assistance from CAF president Patrice Motsepe, Moloi-Motsepe’s billionaire husband.
In a meeting at the Hilton Hotel also attended by Kodwa, Safpu president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe and Safa president Danny Jordaan on Wednesday morning – the foundation topped up Fifa’s money for each player by R230 000. The national team’s support staff will not go home empty-handed, as they will each receive R115 000 from the foundation.
Moloi-Motsepe, who is also an advocate, expressed her dismay at Safa’s failure to ensure that Banyana got the same treatment as their male counterparts, Bafana Bafana, after they promised equal pay for the two teams.
“Ladies and gentlemen, these are our (African) champions, and we must treat them as such – champions,” Moloi-Motsepe said.
“They deserve it. They sweat and bleed for our country. So, it’s very important that they get the support that they duly deserve.
“When the foundation was asked by the minister of sport and Safa to assist in resolving the dispute between the association and Banyana, we thought this was an important matter of unity.
“But for me personally, it’s about again fixing the issue of paying lip service to gender equality. We end up here because we mostly don’t do what we said we’ll do; it’s mostly rhetoric.”
Banyana’s players are set to pocket around R1 million each. Lottery operator Ithuba and the ANC Youth League pledged R2m and R1m respectively, for their participation in the group stage.
The first group of Banyana players flew out to New Zealand on Wednesday, while the second and last batch will fly out on Thursday.
Banyana will conclude their preparations against Costa Rica on July 15 in New Zealand before playing Sweden in their first game in Group G eight days later at Wellington Regional Stadium.