Black First, Land First (BLF) went to the offices of the South African Football Association (Safa) on Tuesday to demand parity for the national women’s team with the men’s team.
In an earlier statement, they opined that Banyana Banyana being paid up to 10 times less in comparison with Bafana Bafana was “symptomatic of how black women are devalued and undermined in South Africa”.
The conventional reasons normally offered for why male soccer players tend to earn more than their female counterparts are often that men’s football attracts bigger audiences and more sponsorship money.
The BLF’s leader, Andile Mngxitama, however, said: “The disparity in payments between Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana is a national disgrace which must end forthwith. Safa must do the right thing and implement parity of payments between the two national soccer teams.”
Safa has, however, been heavily cash-strapped in recent years.
The BLF complained that Banyana Banyana’s players receive a match bonus of R5,000 for a win in an official match, and R4,000 for a win in a friendly match, Bafana players could earn as much as R60,000 for a win‚ and R40,000 for a draw.
The party said they had written to Safa on 10 April giving them a “grace period of almost two weeks to sort this issue out” but they had then “obviously failed to do so”.
The party said that the meeting that took places at Safa’s offices with Safa’s CEO and three other executives in Nasrec had been “successful”, and that Safa had agreed to report back to them by next Friday.
The party had earlier threatened that if Safa did not give them a concrete and satisfactory way forward, the BLF would take the matter further by approaching the Equality Court and the Commission on Gender Equality.
(Edited by Charles Cilliers)