STATEMENT BY SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE MINISTER ZIZI KODWA ON URGENT MATTERS CONCERNING BANYANA BANYANA
Tshwane, South Africa, 2 July 2023 – We are 18 days away from the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on 20 July 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. It has come to my attention that there are serious concerns that have been expressed by Banyana Banyana, the South African women’s national football team, which have been brought to the attention of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the South African Football Players Union (SAPFU).
I have been in contact with the President of SAFA, Dr Danny Jordaan and have received written communication from SAPFU.
In the meantime, I urge the team to be focused on the major task that lies ahead – of taking every opportunity to prepare to participate and display their immense skill and talent on one of the biggest sporting showcases in the world, the FIFA World Cup.
Banyana Banyana have endeared themselves to the South African Nation and continent and have also been great sports ambassadors that inspire so many in the sporting fraternity.
To obtain a status update on the state of readiness of Banyana Banyana’s participation at the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, I will be meeting with the South Africa Football Players Union on Tuesday 4 July 2023 to hear the serious concerns expressed by the team.
The meeting with SAPFU will consider issues pertaining to government’s commitment and support to the team, the teams working, welfare and health conditions, including transparency and accountability related to the signing of contracts.
Women’s development, women’s agency and voice, and women’s dignity in sport remains at the centre of the government’s gender equality agenda. Women players are assured of a safe environment to raise their concerns without fear of victimization.