The SASOL-sponsored Banyana Banyana won the continental title after beating WAFCON hosts Morocco 2-1 at a packed Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, and Minister Mthethwa said the team would be rewarded for conquering the continent in style.
South African Football Association (SAFA) president Dr Danny Jordaan, CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe and COO Lydia Monyepao were in attendance at the event held at the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee headquarters as Minister Mthethwa applauded coach Desiree Ellis, her players, the members of the technical team and support staff after the team’s feat in Morocco last month.
While several players are either out of the country or have commitments elsewhere with their clubs, Banyana Banyana were represented by co-captain Andile Dlamini and Thembi Kgatlana.
“So significant was this Banyana Banyana feat, particularly coming at a time when we, as a country, have made the positive role played by women in uplifting society, the focus of our activities, the team was invited to share their victory with the President of the country, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, at a celebration he hosted at the Union Buildings, shortly after their arrival,” the Minister said.
“The President, noting the public calls for more funds to be channelled to the team, immediately asked that the R5,8million promised by the Department, be increased by a considerable amount. Today i am pleased to announce that the National Government’s contribution to the team, has been increased to R15 million.
“Knowing how generous South Africans are, I have no doubt more corporates will follow the example of Sasol and later Hollywoodbets, to invest in women’s football.”
SAFA president Dr Jordaan said it was important for women sports stars to be rewarded.
“This is unprecedented,” Dr Jordaan said.
“For the first time you have the president of the country making a commitment to give them a bonus, the minister of sport doing the same, the federation doing the same, the provincial governments in our country doing the same.”
Dr Jordaan thanked the provincial governments for also stepping up and rewarding the players.
“I am very happy that we can stand here and celebrate this special recognition of women’s football and the achievement of Banyana Banyana. Even on the continent, no team that has won the WAFCON has been given such recognition and support.”
Dr Jordaan revealed Banyana Banyana have established themselves in global football after winning the WAFCON to such an extent that several other countries are keen to also face the continental champions.