EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: REUTERS
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: REUTERS

EFF leader Julius Malema recently warned the SA Football Association (Safa) that there would be no soccer in this country until members of the womens national soccer team receive the same remuneration as their male counterparts.

This is a ridiculous demand:

  • Members of Bafana regularly play in front of tens of thousands of spectators and hence deserve to be paid appreciably more than members of Banyana, who bring in far less revenue;
  •  Members of Bafana sometimes play for top clubs such as Manchester United and could lose millions if injured while representing SA. In contrast, members of Banyana rarely get paid by their clubs and hence are not risking anywhere near as much as the men;
  • Members of Banyana participate in a sport that is played by few women and are not necessarily as dedicated or talented as a woman who makes it to the top in a sport played by a greater number of women (such as netball);
  • The members of our national table tennis side do not receive any remuneration whatsoever. Consequently, it seems somewhat extravagant to pay R140,000 per match to a female soccer player who works as a dental-assistant or is looking for a job; and
  • Complying with Malema’s demands (which include Safa ensuring women get paid by their clubs) could result in members of Bafana receiving significantly less money. This might lead players to decide that they are not interested in representing SA (in friendly internationals against mediocre teams from neighbouring countries, for instance), which could result in Safa losing millions due to fans staying at home.

What does Malema intend to do about the fashion and porn industries, which routinely pay males a pittance in comparison to what females are paid? Is gender equality not supposed to be a two-way street?

Terence Grant
Cape Town

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