Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has announced that Banyana Banyana’s pledge of R5.8 million following the team’s recent 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) victory has been increased to R15 million.
“I am pleased to announce that the National Government’s contribution to the team [has been increased] to R15 million. This means that R9.2 million was added,” the Minister said.
Last month, the team triumphed 2-1 over the hosts Morocco in an intense final held at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco.
Briefing the media on the incentives for Banyana Banyana for their excellent WAFCON performance, the Minister said the significance of the team’s WAFCON win means that they will be representing not only this country but also the continent in next year’s Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Women’s World Cup.
“Banyana Banyana had been denied in five previous WAFCON finals – 1995, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018 – and at the 2022 edition, they tasted glory for the first time in the history of the National senior women’s team.
“National coach, Desiree Ellis, and her team achieved what seemed like an impossible feat when they maintained a clean sheet in reaching the WAFCON finals in Morocco. She too, gave us much to cheer about when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) recognised her for the third year running, with the 2022 WAFCON Coach of the Year,” Mthethwa said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa recognised Banyana Banyana’s victory during a ceremony at the Union Buildings shortly after their arrival from Morocco.
“At the celebration hosted by the President, he noted the contribution of R5.8 that was committed by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. He decided to instruct the whole of government, particularly National Treasury to pay more to Banyana Banyana than what the department had pledged,” the Minister said.
“I salute Banyana Banyana for the positive role played by women in society and sports; in this particular instance, football. Banyana Banyana has shown us that it is possible. All we need to do is give them love. I am calling on all South Africans to go watch them and support them,” the Minister said.
Mthethwa said as big supporters of women sport, his department is proud of its support not only to Banyana Banyana and the Proteas Netball team.
“In fact, the department’s contribution to big sports like cricket and rugby, is specifically ring-fenced for women. As Africa’s first hosts of the 2023 Netball World Cup, we look forward to another big year at the world’s stage by our country’s women in sport.
“Added to this, South Africa will also stage the Under-19 Girls Cricket World Cup and the T20 Women’s Cricket World Cup in early 2023,” the Minister said.
Source: South African Government News Agency