Yesterday was an immense one in the South African calendar in general with the country welcoming back the SA senior women’s national team who won WAFCON this past weekend.
Hildah Magaia inspired Banyana Banyana to a 2-1 victory after scoring a brace in the second half of a tense final against the hosts Morocco. Among the government’s delegates who came out to welcome Banyana, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa was also there.
In his speech, he promised the girls that they will be paid equally as Bafana Bafana following so many complaints about women’s football being taken for granted.
“Three years ago we decided we are going to support SAFA we are going to establish the Women’s Football League in this country,” he said during the event which was live-broadcast on SuperSport TV and SABC.
“Many people who are happy today having seen Banyana Banyana winning don’t know that it didn’t start today. It was the money which government gave to SAFA, R21 million to form this league and this league is producing today.
“We have been going through the journey, together with the regional squads, the fans of football in this country, who have gone all over. Last year many people did not see Banyana Banyana winning COSAFA Cup and as a government we were there with Banyana Banyana and we incentivised them.
“Last year Mamelodi Sundowns Women’s team won the CAF Champions League, yes this is the money we are talking about. We incentivised Mamelodi Sundowns and today this squad which was here, many of players come from that squad of Mamelodi Sundowns.
“We are going all the way, because we don’t start now supporting both financially and otherwise our women in sport. What Dr. Jordan is talking about the pay parity is a process which we’ll finish in all the processes in ensuring that women are paid equally.
“It is going to be a law in this country, Banyana Banyana and Bafana Bafana will be paid equally because we are making that making that happen as the government.
“It’s not only Banyana Banyana but all the women’s team, we are supporting them as government and we’ve said that to SAFA, when we give SAFA money they must put money aside for women. We have been doing it in cricket, we have been doing that in rugby. We are not coming now, we are claiming this victory because we worked for it as a government. Halala Banyana Banyana, halalala.”