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Zizi Kodwa Vows to Professionalize Women Sports in South Africa

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Zizi Kodwa Vows to Professionalize Women Sports in South Africa

Zizi Kodwa – Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa has made a commitment to establish a panel of experts tasked with developing a blueprint to professionalize netball and football.

Zizi Kodwa Vows to Professionalize Women Sports in South Africa

Zizi Kodwa Vows to Professionalize Women Sports in South Africa

This announcement comes after Banyana Banyana, the South African women’s national football team, made history by progressing beyond the group stages of the FIFA World Cup.



Additionally, the SPAR Proteas, the national netball team, fought valiantly as the host nation in the first-ever Netball World Cup held on African soil.



During a ministerial breakfast in Johannesburg, Kodwa expressed disappointment that discussions regarding gender pay equality in sports are still ongoing. He emphasized that women’s rights are human rights and stated that efforts will be made, even through legislation, to ensure equal pay for women athletes. He commended the achievements of women athletes and called for continued recognition and support for their contributions.

Prior to departing for the FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Banyana Banyana faced a pay dispute with the South African Football Association (SAFA). Media reports indicate that the dispute centered around bonus payments and contracts. In an effort to honor women in sport, Minister Kodwa hosted a breakfast event for both Banyana Banyana and the SPAR Proteas, aiming to celebrate their success and raise awareness of their achievements.

While the government has supported women and youth sports development, Kodwa emphasized that all stakeholders must play a role in professionalizing women’s football and netball. He challenged corporate South Africa to join forces with the department to recognize and celebrate excellence across different sporting codes.

The challenges faced by women in sport were highlighted by South African netball team Captain Bongi Msomi, who spoke about the lack of support and recognition. Msomi stressed that female athletes deserve better compensation and called for the professionalization of women’s sports to be expedited.

Vice-Captain Thembi Kgatlana discussed the perception of Banyana Banyana as being inferior to their international competitors due to their status as university players. Despite this, the team’s fighting spirit led them to qualify for the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup. Kgatlana also shared her personal struggles, including injuries and the loss of family members, during the tournament. She expressed gratitude for the support of her teammates, which gave her the strength to compete.

Minister Kodwa announced that his department’s infrastructure team will be constructing netball courts at Cala Senior Secondary School and Mchawula High School in Cala, Eastern Cape.

This initiative is part of South Africa’s effort to build a legacy in the country following the successful bid to host the 2023 Netball World Cup.

The government has constructed multipurpose sports courts in various schools, including those in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, as well as in the Northern Cape and Gauteng.



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