Sports Minister, Zizi Kodwa, says the government is keen to see women’s football and netball becoming professional.
Kodwa hosted a breakfast for Banyana Banyana and the SPAR Proteas, South Africa’s national women’s football and netball teams, in Sandton on Thursday morning following their exploits at the respective World Cups.
Banyana made history in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand by becoming the first South African national football team – men or women – to progress from the group stages of the tournament.
South Africa also hosted its first-ever Netball World Cup in Cape Town.
The Proteas finished sixth in the tournament, and Kodwa commended the team for “showing a great fight in the tournament, which endeared them to South Africans”.
He said the government understands that women should be given support it they are to thrive in their respective disciplines.
“We owe it to them to do all in our power to afford them the recognition and support they deserve and more. May today’s celebrations be the catalyst for the continued honouring of our elite sportswomen. I have repeatedly supported the full professionalising of women’s football and netball in South Africa,” the Minister said.
“I challenge corporate SA to join the department in ensuring that as a country, we recognise, cultivate and celebrate excellence across sporting codes,” Kodwa added.
He also used the opportunity to express disappointment at the gender pay gap.
“Women’s rights are human rights. Women must at least be paid equally in sports. If we must, we will make laws to enforce equal pay.” Article by Ntsako Mkhari
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena