Equal pay for South African women after WAFCON victory
- South Africa won the women’s Cup of Nations for the first time ever
- They were given a heroic reception back home
- South Africa President Ramaphosa said they will be paid equal winning bonuses to men
The South African government has announced that their national women’s football team Banyana Banyana will be paid equal bonuses to their men’s team after making history, winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations for the first time ever.
The announcement was made by President Cyril Ramaphosa as he hosted the team following their return to the country from Morocco, where they made history.
South Africa beat tournament hosts Morocco 2-1 in the final on Saturday in Rabat, thanks to a double from striker Hildah Magaia. It was the first continental title for the side known as Banyana Banyana after five final defeats.
“Our hearts are filled with pride. They are bursting at the seams with a great deal of joy. You deserve equal pay for equal work that you do,” he told the players, urging the country’s ministers of finance and sports to up the bonus.
He added; “We need to give added remuneration to these young women who have made our country so proud. But having done so, we must then make sure that we eliminate the whole process of unequal pay out of our system.”
Victory sparked debate over equal pay
The victory has sparked a public debate around equal pay in the country, after it was reported the players would receive less money in prize bonuses than their male colleagues did for reaching the quarter-finals of the men’s tournament in 2019.
Ramaphosa said the country should outlaw pay discrimination and embark on a programme to bridge the gender pay gap.
“You deserve the best. Welcome home, champions of Africa. You are the Golden Girls of our country. You are the queens of Africa. Whether they like it or they don’t like it, you are the queens,” the proud Head of State said.
The Banyana Banyana were welcomed like queens as they returned home, with a huge show caravan lined up for them straight from the airport to the various stations that they were to be celebrated.
“The celebration today is certainly an honour for us as a country. It is about the team and they delivered on our vision, they stuck to the plan, carried the aspirations of our country and their own to win the Wafcon,” said South African Football boss Danny Jordaan as he welcomed the team home.
Coach Ellis excited at heroic reception
Coach Desiree Ellis while explaining her excitement at the reception, said it was a long time coming for them.
“We have worked so hard for this and we are proud to stand here and finally say we are African champions. We have lost five finals but we never lost hope. Thank you to the people of South Africa for believing in us and never giving up hope,” said Ellis.
Her sentiments were shared by keeper Andile Dlamini who said; “We are more than excited to be received like this. It is the fruit of hard work.”