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Parliament concerned Safa has no money to pay Banyana Banyana bonuses

Unisa has granted the 23-member Banyana Banyana squad bursaries in recognition of their 'herstoric' Wafcon win.
Unisa has granted the 23-member Banyana Banyana squad bursaries in recognition of their 'herstoric' Wafcon win.
Image: Siphiwe Sibeko

Parliament is concerned that the SA Football Association (Safa) has no money to pay Wafcon champions Banyana Banyana their promised bonuses.

Elleck Nchabeleng, chairperson of the select committee on education and training, sport, arts and culture, expressed concern on Friday. He said it is a “known principle that promises made were tantamount to debt that needs to be paid”.

“Safa needs to come clean and clarify this discussion on social media. Official communication about serious issues like the winning bonus for our queens ought not to be made on social media first. We are talking African champs here; all sponsors, surely, are queuing for an opportunity to be associated with Banyana Banyana.”

The presidency hosted the victorious squad on Wednesday. The team also secured a qualification spot in the World Cup.

“Truth is, SA is African champions and the effort that went into ensuring that such a dream is realised ought to be rewarded. We do not want Safa's commitment to pay a winning bonus drowned by the fanfare that is to follow the team's arrival home.

“From the committee’s point of view, Safa needs to approach this matter with the urgency it deserves and ensure its resolution, because it pertains to a national team.”

Nchabeleng urged the department of sport, arts and culture to hold Safa accountable and “assist where it could to keep the fire burning in women’s football”.

Meanwhile, the University of SA (Unisa) has offered the 23-member Banyana Banyana team bursaries to pursue studies of their choice after their triumph.

Unisa said the gesture was in recognition of the champions’ “historic achievement”. The offer, with terms and conditions which will be communicated to the potential recipients, is effective from January 2023. Unisa vice-chancellor Prof Puleng LenkaBula described Banyana Banyana’s victory as an inspiration .

“The historic victory of SA in the African football scene after 26 years is very inspirational to Unisa, the youth and SA as a whole,” said LenkaBula.

“The achievement of Banyana resonates with Unisa’s values of innovation, excellence and responsiveness. It is for this reason that Unisa saw it fitting to offer our exemplary champions the opportunity to  further their studies and futures.”

LenkaBula said she hoped the gesture will have a lasting legacy.

“We hope that in the same manner that Banyana have inspired the nation, this small gesture will inspire young girls and boys to believe in sport, virtues of discipline and excellence, and that there are long-term benefits and rewards associated with such virtues.”

TimesLIVE

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