Invest in young women, urges Fikile Mbalula

2014-04-16 13:53

Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula has called on the private sector to come on board as he launched the much-anticipated inaugural netball professional league on the continent.

The Brutal Fruit Netball Cup cannot rely on government forever, Mbalula said.

In a colourful launch event at the Montecasino entertainment centre in Fourways yesterday, an excited Mbalula said the league was an investment in young women and would break the cycle of poverty.

“If we invest in young women, we are breaking the cycle of poverty. You strike a woman, you strike the rock. Uzakufa [you will die],” he said.

“We call upon the private sector to come on board because government cannot put money into this forever. The league must be sustainable.”

Netball SA president Mimi Mthethwa believes the league will boost the sport’s profile.

She said that it was long overdue for women to get paid for playing netball like their football and rugby counterparts.

“Above all, we must make money out of this league and pay the players. It is high time that women take their rightful place in growing the country’s economy,” said Mthethwa.

The league will start on May 10 with the 10 teams from all provinces competing in the games, most of which will be beamed live on SuperSport.

The inaugural season will see all games played at the University of Pretoria in an attempt to cut costs due to limited funds.

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