Unpaid dues tarnish Banyana’s success
Fresh from finishing second and winning a silver medal at the African Women’s Championships (AWC), Banyana Banyana are embroiled in a payment dispute with the South African Football Association (Safa).
Banyana players who spoke on condition of anonymity told City Press the team is owed money in Olympics bonuses and AWC daily allowances.
Despite this, the team played above themselves and only lost to hosts Equatorial Guinea in the AWC final on Sunday.
According to a Safa source, Banyana players normally receive R5 000 apiece for a victory and R4 000 for a draw, while their daily allowances are R500.
Each Bafana player receives a R45 000 win bonus for official international matches and half that amount for a draw.
Banyana won three AWC matches and drew one game at the Olympics.
A Bafana player told City Press that they had already received payment for the camp to prepare for Wednesday’s Nelson Mandela match, which is R800 per day.
Safa has acknowledged the late payments to Banyana, with spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi saying it was due to paperwork glitches.
“Players are not full-time employees, so it takes time to process their payments. The finance department is busy finalising all payments for our brave girls which include appearance fees, bonuses and daily allowances,” he said.
“All Banyana players and technical team will receive the full payment this coming week.
“Any team that appears at the Olympics is the baby of Sascoc and as far as I am aware, all monies due to all athletes have been paid by Sascoc.”
This is not the first time that Safa and Banyana have been involved in a money squabble.
Earlier this year the players refused to take to the field when preparing for a friendly against Nigeria, protesting about unpaid salaries.
A year ago, players were unhappy because of unpaid bonuses and allowances.
This was after Banyana sponsors Sasol had pledged R500 000 to be shared by the players after they qualified for the Olympic Games.
This resulted in the withdrawal of vice-captain Janine van Wyk, who pulled out of their December tour to Zimbabwe.
One player said the normal procedure is that they receive their payments on their arrival back from tournaments.
She said all they received was the Olympics daily allowances from Sascoc of R40 000 per player for the duration of the Games.
Another player said the R40 000 allowances were paid in four instalments of R10 000 each by Sascoc, but Safa has not honoured other outstanding payments.
“We received the money in dribs and drabs but I can confirm that Sascoc does not owe us. The less said about Safa the better,” the source said.
“I really don’t understand why they don’t fulfil their promises. We went to the AWC without daily allowances and appearance fees. As I am talking to you, I don’t have money for airtime. Our families are very disappointed.”
Another player confirmed that no payments had been made.
“We have to threaten to strike first before we get paid. It’s not a normal situation, we cannot resort to mass action to resolve issues. It’s just an unfair situation. We’re not taken seriously here,” said the player.