Many will not be surprised by the news that Banyana Banyana have not been paid – again. After qualifying for the Women’s Afcon in Ghana, Banyana were not paid by Safa forcing them to take matters in their own hands. Banyana decided to hold their Nike kit ransom, refusing to return it to Safa until they were paid what was due to them. Banyana then went a step further and wrote to Safa president, Danny Jordaan demanding a raise.
When on national duty in South Africa, Banyana players receive R400 daily allowance which goes up to R600 when they play on the rest of the continent. But there are no match fees while Bafana Bafana can receive up to R60 000 each in bonuses for qualifying for major tournaments.
Sometimes Sasol (Banyana’s sponsor) will pay incentives from time to time when the team achieves a certain milestones. Last year Sasol rewarded the team with R500 000 for winning the Cosafa Cup. Safa promised to match this amount but the players are still waiting for the money.
This obviously chilly relationship between Banyana and Safa probably explains why there wasn’t a single player present when Safa held a press conference to celebrate Banyana’s qualification for Ghana 2018. At that media briefing, Safa vice president Ria Ledwaba said she was not aware that the players had not been paid.
“I don’t know about those facts you’re raising right now,” she said.
Instead, Ledwaba blamed corporate South Africa for not coming on board to sponsor Banyana and other junior teams. She stressed that Safa doesn’t generate income but depend on sponsorship adding that all income from sponsors is shared among the teams.
Although Ledwaba admitted that there won’t be any incentives, she urged Banyana to not only qualify for the 2018 Fifa Women’s World Cup by finishing in the top three at Ghana 2018.
Although Jordaan has reiterated Safa’s commitment to women’s football the association’s actions are to the contrary. Safa have threatened Banyana saying they will deduct money from their daily allowance in the next camp should they fail to return the kit.