Africa-Press – South-Africa. Six Eastern Cape Banyana Banyana players, who were part of the women’s national soccer team that recently won the Women Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) in Morocco, will each get R100 000 from the Eastern Cape government.
Premier Oscar Mabuyane made the announcement at the Eastern Cape Sports and Recreation Awards in Gqeberha at the weekend.
The six were each awarded as top achievers during a red-carpet event held at the Boardwalk and Casino Hotel.
Melinda Kgadiete, Kholosa Biyana, Sibulele Holweni and Bambanani Mbane were at the glitzy ceremony, while Kaylin Swart and Robyn Moodley were unable to attend the event, due to other commitments.
Mabuyane said the prize was part of the province’s contribution to the nationwide celebrations of the achievement of the national women’s soccer side.
Banyana Banyana paid R400k women’s Afcon bonus as SAFA walks the money talk
The Desiree Ellis-coached side made history by beating host nation Morocco 2-1 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium on 24 July, in front of a 52 000-strong home crowd, to lift the trophy.
Mabuyane said sporting talent was in the DNA of the youth, adding that it must be unearthed and nurtured in the province. He said this could only be achieved through grassroots and school sports development.
Cash prizes have been pouring in for the African champions since their huge victory in Morocco.
Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa last month announced a cash injection of R5.8 million for the team.
Champions of Africa! Banyana make history to win SA’s first-ever Women’s Afcon
The money added onto the R9.2 million the players were already promised by South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan before their departure to Morocco.
SAFA has since confirmed paying each of the 23 players R400 000.
Mabuyane urged businesses to invest in grassroots sport, instead of focusing on finished products at professional level.
He said: “Government alone cannot fund all sporting codes. We need the private sector. Many commercial banks and companies sponsor professional teams in the country and my question is why they are only investing in the finished products. What about the kids who play with makeshift soccer and rugby balls?”