DA lays official complaint about sportswomen’s ‘sexist’ salaries

2015-02-01 15:00

The glaring salary gap between what women in South African sport earn compared with their male counterparts could soon be a thing of the past.

This follows an official complaint lodged with the Commission for Gender Equality by the DA’s sports and recreation shadow minister Solly Malatsi.

The commission is a state institution responsible for promoting, protecting, monitoring and evaluating gender equality in the country.

The move comes against the backdrop of an article published by City Press last year that reflected how South African sportswomen were underpaid in comparison with males in national sports.

City Press’ revelations about pay inequality were confirmed by the department of sport and recreation in response to a question posed by the opposition party.

Among the pay disparities City Press exposed was that Banyana Banyana players each received a R5?000 win bonus for international matches, while their Bafana Bafana counterparts received R60?000 each.

In cricket, male players were paid R46?656 each for a test match, with the possibility of an additional R34?992 win bonus. But female cricketers could each pocket a maximum of only R10?000 a match.

Malatsi said his party lodged a complaint with the commission on January 13.

“The commission has acknowledged our complaint and indicated they will get back to us soon with confirmation on whether they will undertake an investigation or not,” said Malatsi.

He said the party’s contention was that the current huge disparity between match fees for male and female national team players was “simply sexist”.

“It does little to encourage young girls to pursue sport as an alternative professional career,” said Malatsi.

“We hope the commission will respond positively to our request so that our sportswomen can earn respectable match fees to support themselves.

“As a state institution established by the Constitution to promote gender equality in our society, the commission must tackle gender inequality in sports boardrooms and playgrounds,” he added.

Commission spokesperson Javu Baloyi confirmed the DA’s complaint was being considered.

“It is true that we have received an official complaint from the DA. We are currently investigating the matter,” he said.

The issue of equal pay for men and women has raged globally for years.

In 2007, the All England Club started paying the female winners of the Wimbledon tennis grand slam the same amount of prize money as male winners. Most of the world’s tennis tournaments nowadays do the same.

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