The South African Football Players Union held a Special National Congress on the 2nd and 3rd September 2017, in Cape Town under the theme:

Taking a Militant and Radical Approach to Safeguard Gains made in the face of the onslaught against the Union by Detractors

This theme was relevant in so many ways given the current climate that exist in our football in particular attempts to dislodge the Union and sell it to the highest bidder. A lot was said going into the Special National Congress (SNC) regarding the support or lack thereof that the Union enjoys and about the future. All this was an attempt to sow doubt in the hearts and minds of our principals, our members about the uncompromising trajectory that the union has embarked on. It is common knowledge that those detractors regardless of resources being pumped towards their plan to destabilize and capture the only voice of the players failed dismally.

The players came out of Congress more unified and determined to fight the super exploitation by employers. They came out more united behind the organization minimum program that seeks to claim and assert member’s rightful place in our beautiful game. The SNC discussed in length and rightfully concluded that the Professional Football association existence has nothing to do with fighting for players rights, but if anything its intention is to perpetuate the current status quo, as it were. The meeting also rejected with contempt the attempt by some clubs to choose the union leadership. To this end, SNC noted the use of former players to discredit and undermine the work of the union.

The SNC mandated the newly elected leadership to implement the minimum program without any fear or favor. The newly elected Leadership must ensure that players careers in football brings about the necessary financial stability during and after their playing days and to achieve this a number of set objectives like minimum wage, contractual stability, a reformed dispute resolution chamber which is in line with FIFA circulars, education for members, among others, must be met. The union will embark on a roadshow to meet with all stakeholders including SAFA, NSL, Clubs, Supporters, Sponsors and Ministry of sport to get a buy in on some of the things it intends to achieve.

One of the critical issues is the unfortunate burden of Tax bracket put on the shoulders of sportsman particularly footballers. SNC acknowledged the importance of paying and complying with tax regulations, however it also noted that when Taxation system was introduced, sports people were never taken into consideration and as a result players are unfairly impacted by the system in its current form. It is to this extent that we will engage with Government, especially the Department of Sports as well as Treasury to look at the current legislative framework. It is important to note that some ground work has been done regarding this matter and we can safely confirm that it is possible for players to be taxed differently. For this to be achieved, we will also need some sporting codes to come on board. SAFPU lives and SAFPU leads. It is time to accelerate the kind of change we need.

The SNC also discussed a number of Policy changes and Constitutional imperatives, to this end the newly elected leadership has been mandated to ensure that congress resolutions and mandate are implemented immediately and effectively. The SNC also received debated and accepted or approved the union’s Audited Financial Report as presented. We hope that those that have been distorting facts and lying about the Union state of affairs, will respect the decision of congress and give the Union some space to do its work. Once more the unity of SAFPU is sacrosanct, we remain militant, uncompromising, campaigning, and independent in character.
The SNC elected a new Leadership and 4 additional members in the form of current players which is in compliance with the Labor Laws and also an empowering tool to the future of SAFPU.

Leadership as at 3rd September 2017 is as follows:
President- Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe
1st Deputy President- Tebogo Monyai
2nd Deputy President- Morgan Shivambu
Secretary General (SG) – Nhlanhla Shabalala
Deputy Secretary General (DSG) – Calvin Taelo(Salter) Motloung
Treasurer- Zama Dlamini

Four Additional Members which are in no particular order are the following:
Nhlanhla Vilakazi
Mpho Maruping
Bafana Nhlapho
Msekeli Mvalo.

You can’t stop someone who knows where he/she is going and our direction has never been clearer.