Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has emphasised the importance of equal pay for male and female soccer stars as cheering fans gave the victorious Banyana Banyana a hero’s welcome at OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park on Tuesday.
Mthethwa announces that Banyana Banyana players will get an additional R5.8 million on top of what SAFA had initially promised the squad.
After five previous attempts, Banyana Banyana were finally crowned as Africa’s champions in Rabat in Morocco on Saturday evening. The country’s senior women’s national team won the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament with a stunning 2-1 victory over the hosts.
Minister Mthethwa says both women and men must be supported equally.
“And today, we are going to go all the way because we do not start now, supporting both financially and otherwise our women in this sport. It is a process which we have finished in the provinces in ensuring women are paid equally. Banyana Banyana, it is going to be a law in this country.”
VIDEO | Minister Nathi Mthethwa hails WAFCON 2022 champions’ sterling performance:
South African Football Association President Danny Jordaan has expressed similar sentiments at the event.
“The celebration today is certainly an honour for us as a country. It is about the team and they delivered on our vision, they stuck to the plan, and carried the aspirations of our country and their own to win the WAFCON.”
Coach of the team, Desiree Ellis says the team had a goal leading up to the tournament and had to focus despite all the challenges they faced at the tournament. Ellis could not hide her emotions after witnessing the scenes at the airport.
“Yes amazing out of this world you cannot describe it. It’s just amazing it gives you goosebumps, everything”.
Team captain Refiloe Jane gave praise to her teammates who gave it their all throughout the tournament. Jane hopes their achievement will change the face of women’s football in the country.
South Africa’s senior women’s national team won the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Salt River elated over the new Africa Champions
Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, grew up in Salt River in Cape Town. On the streets of this area and in the adjacent neighbourhood of Woodstock, people are elated over the new Africa champions.
From pride over the win to the strong message it sends to young girls, everyone had a moment of joy to share.