South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) general members from the 9 Provinces held a special general congress in Johannesburg to consider the SAFA resolution to take over the running of schools football. On the 18th July 2015 the Congress reiterated the Executive position to categorically reject the decision of SAFA to take over schools football. This decision is not only ill informed, it is unconstitutional and unwarranted.
SASFA has explored all avenues in an attempt to engage SAFA without any success. SASFA is disheartened by SAFA’s actions to set up parallel schools football structures in the Provinces, the organization views this unfortunate action by SAFA as disruptive, destructive and irresponsible. Such actions are detrimental to the very essence of education and the well-being of vulnerable pupils, especially in their formative years.
Therefore the leadership of SAFA is urged to desist from these disruptive actions and constructively engage SASFA in a manner that befits a national federation, in the interest of football development, which is currently at its lowest ebb.
SASFA recognizes and respects the fact the SAFA is the custodian of football in the country whilst SASFA is an integral part of the football development continuum and has been since the dawn of democracy.
SASFA contribution in football development and the impact it has cannot be ignored and trivialized. SASFA cannot whimsically be wished away at a stroke of a pen. Therefore, SASFA cordially calls upon SAFA President, Dr. Danny Jordaan to call his troops back to the negotiating table in the interest of football development.
The General Council appreciates the guidance and words of encouragement the association received from National Association of Schools Governing Bodies as articulated by the General Secretary of, Mr. Matakanye Matakanye, during the SASFA Special General Council meeting. SASFA is further humbled by the overwhelming support from SADTU and Sponsors in attendance today. SADTU’s Mamahase Mohale said “We don’t want to see confusion in our schools. SASFA has been doing a good job and they should be left alone. They are the only organization discharged with the responsibility of administering and managing school football in the country”.
SASFA like all other nine (9) Associate Members of South African Football Association (SAFA) is an independent juristic body with its own constitution. It is a voluntary organization of current and former educators who came together because of their passion to advance football development at schools level. SASFA is responsible for the administration and organization of football played in schools whilst the mother body (SAFA) is responsible for out- of- school Football. It is the only school’s football structure recognized by both the Departments of Basic Education and Sport and Recreation South Africa. Therefore, all SASFA’s programs are conducted and managed in collaboration with SAFA and the two Departments from Local, Regional, Provincial and National levels.
Up until the formation of SASFA, then known as USSASA Football, schools’ Football was not affiliated to SAFA. Following the formation of SASFA, its members voluntarily applied for Associate membership of SAFA for the purposes of aligning football development programs in the country. Since then SASFA has been regularly reporting and accounting to SAFA in respect of its development program. For the past 21 years, without exception, the Presidents of SAFA including the current president presided over SASFA’s AGM wherein the Executive accounts to general membership. For all these years SAFA received Audited Annual and activity reports. SAFA has never at any point expressed their discontentment with the manner in which SASFA is managed and administered.
As a tradition, Dr. Danny Jordaan addressed SASFA General Council meeting held on the 19th July 2014 at OR Tambo Airport`s Garden Court hotel in Johannesburg. In his address, he expressed the need for SAFA to support SASFA as schools` structures at all levels and not only at National level. He apologized for the omission of SASFA’ team during the SAFA U/17 Inter Provincials tournament and he promised to regularize this anomaly for SASFA to participate in the 2015 tournament. He acknowledged that SASFA plays an integral part of the development of football in South Africa. SASFA is the face of grass root football in the country therefore, SASFA members should always work collaboratively with SAFA members for the attainment of football objectives. Dr. Jordaan promised to invite two representatives of SASFA to attend the World Cup in Russian.
SASFA is an associate member of SAFA that has always complied with all constitutional imperatives of the mother body. We have always been a loyal member of the Association and the biggest with visible programs. And SASFA has always been a member in good standing.
The CEO of SAFA, Mr. Dennis Mumble attended SASFA’s Strategic Planning Workshop held in October 2014 and he was very happy with the direction SASFA was taking in aligning their programs to SAFA’s Vision 2022. He applauded SASFA’s initiatives to including private schools and former Model C schools participate in Schools Football. What has suddenly changed that forced SAFA to take such a radical decision without thorough consultation?
At the Extra Ordinary Congress of SAFA on the 28th March, SAFA claimed that the Minister of Sport and Recreation instructed them on the 19th December 2014 to take over control of schools football. This is something the Minister’s office has categorically refuted. SASFA was informed about the Ministers directive at an impromptu meeting 30 minutes before start of the Congress meeting.
Prior to this impromptu meeting on the day of the Congress, SASFA had never been consulted nor informed of the Ministers directive. SASFA immediately raised an objection about the timing of the information from the Minister. Upon raising this objection, the Convener of the impromptu meeting promised that in the event the matter is raised in the Congress, he would propose to the Congress to defer it to the meeting between SASFA and SAFA, which was scheduled to take place within 21 days following the congress.
SASFA was completely surprised when this issue was raised and a decision taken without the Conveners intervention, as he had promised. Furthermore, SASFA was dumbfounded by the unconstitutional Congress decision to take over the administration of schools football. When first and foremost, schools football was never on the agenda of the Extra Ordinary Congress as required by the SAFA Constitution, moreover, that the Congress’ decision to take over schools’ football was instigated based on disinformation.