12 February 2024
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) joins millions across South Africa congratulating Bafana Bafana on their third place victory at the CAF Cup games in Cote D’Ivoire. The entire team from the players to the coaches and support staff did the nation proud after a 24-year silverware drought at the continent’s preeminent soccer tournament.
Bafana Bafana played with distinction against some of Africa’s strongest teams, many of whose players ply their trade in top teams in Europe. The success of the team comes in the wake of similar outstanding achievements by Banyana Banyana, the Springboks, Dricus Du Plessis amongst others. These sportsmen and women have brought hope to a people yearning for earlier years when the nation was on the rise not only on the sports field but also off.
Perhaps, the timing of these sporting successes coinciding with the 30th anniversary celebrations of South Africa’s democracy is fortuitous. They are evidence that South Africans can achieve great feats against all odds and often with little resources.
Whilst we cherish such achievements, we would do well to continuously invest in our schools and sports codes if we seek for these moments to be the norm and not the exception. More must be done to ensure children in schools from Paballelo to Pongola, from Plettenberg Bay to Polokwane, have access to sporting opportunities and are given the support to unlock their talent and potential.
It is equally important to not only celebrate our sportsmen and women during such occasions but beyond. Too often we have seen our sportsmen and women win great trophies and dazzle fans, only to be injured and prematurely retired later and eventually succumb to painful poverty and even homelessness.
We need to ensure our sports players are invested in, their rights to earn an income are respected and that they are assisted to prepare for the next stage of their careers when their days on the field end. Some sporting codes have done well in this regard and assist their players to receive a tertiary education whilst playing, providing career guidance and financial advice.
If we want to avoid repeating the tragedies of the past when once household names are abandoned to unemployment, poverty, homelessness and substance abuse; then we need to continuously cherish and invest in our sports players.
Issued by COSATU
For further information please contact:
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687