Players of the South African women’s soccer team proudly displayed their trophy upon their arrival at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. They had emerged victorious, securing their first Women’s Africa Cup of Nations title in Morocco on July 26, 2022 (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo).
On July 6, the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) announced that a pay dispute with their Women’s World Cup squad had been successfully resolved, thanks to the intervention of a charitable organization through a “humble donation.”
The team, affectionately known as ‘Banyana Banyana,’ had been scheduled to play a friendly match against Botswana as a send-off before their participation in the tournament held in Australia and New Zealand. However, due to the ongoing dispute with SAFA over bonus payments and contractual matters relating to the event, a substitute national team, which even included a 13-year-old player, took the field instead.
Fortunately, SAFA confirmed that a mutually agreeable resolution had been reached following a generous donation from the Motsepe Foundation. The foundation’s primary focus is on supporting youth, women, and other vulnerable groups throughout Africa.
Minister of Sport Zizi Kodwa played a pivotal role in urging SAFA to engage with the players’ union (SAFPU) to address the concerns raised by Banyana Banyana. In a statement released on Wednesday, Minister Kodwa expressed his satisfaction that both parties had successfully come together to resolve the dispute. Furthermore, he commended the Motsepe Foundation for their significant contribution.
With the dispute now resolved, Banyana Banyana can direct their complete focus towards the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, knowing that their immediate concerns have been appropriately addressed. This outcome allows the team to prepare and compete with confidence on the global stage.
The CEO of the Motsepe Foundation, Precious Moloi-Motsepe, expressed their sense of responsibility in making a humble donation, further highlighting their commitment to supporting women, particularly in sports.
Looking ahead, South Africa’s women’s soccer team will engage in a final warm-up game against Costa Rica in Christchurch on July 15. Their Group G campaign kicks off on July 23 with a match against Sweden, followed by fixtures against Italy and Argentina.
In conclusion, the successful resolution of the pay dispute between the South African Football Association and the Women’s World Cup squad marks a significant milestone in supporting and recognizing the value of women’s sports. Through collaboration and the support of the Motsepe Foundation, the team can now concentrate on their performance and proudly represent their country in the upcoming tournament.