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DA calls on Safa to reverse decision to award R20.8m honorarium

05 May 2022 - 08:00
The cash-strapped football association this week awarded its NEC members R20.8m for their professional services. The association reportedly gave each of the NEC members R520,000, despite struggling to meet its own financial obligations.
The cash-strapped football association this week awarded its NEC members R20.8m for their professional services. The association reportedly gave each of the NEC members R520,000, despite struggling to meet its own financial obligations.
Image: SA Football Association

DA MP and shadow minister of sport, arts and culture Tsepo Mhlongo has questioned the SA Football Association's (Safa's) decision to award more than R20m to 40 members of its national executive committee (NEC) as honorarium.

The cash-strapped football association this week awarded its NEC members R20.8m for their professional services. The association reportedly gave each of the NEC members R520,000, despite struggling to meet its own financial obligations.

“Safa is in no financial position to make such an outlandish financial ‘gift’ to a bloated committee that, frankly, did not accomplish much in the past two years due to Covid-19 restrictions,” said Mhlongo.

Mhlongo said the awarding of cash was highly suspicious, given that it was done ahead of the Safa elections in June.

“This can easily be construed as deliberate interference with the election process designed to keep NEC members ‘onside’,” he said.

“Instead of working to rationalise the bloated NEC executive, as recommended by Fifa, Safa has chosen to retain the status quo and maintain it through questionable ‘honorarium payments’. South African football is beset by systemic challenges which Safa has failed to address and this makes the financial ‘gifts’ to NEC members highly irregular,” Mhlongo added.

Just like all other sporting codes in SA, the football association receives grant funding through the department of sport, arts and culture and, as such, it must exercise probity in the use of public funds.

“South Africans cannot be blamed if they find it hard to compute how their perennially underperforming national teams are receiving less and less funding while administrators are going home with tens of thousands of rand for no discernible reason.

“The prevailing culture of impunity at Safa cannot be allowed to continue while the performance of our national football teams remain dismal. Accountability should begin with the cancellation of plans to pay R20.8m to NEC members,” said Mhlongo.


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