KWAZULU-NATAL has become the first province to align its football development plans to the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) Master Plan and Vision 2022 plan.
Almost 250 delegates from the different SAFA KZN Regions, Local Football Associations, KZN-based Premier Soccer League clubs, Futsal, USSA, Masters/Legends, SAFA National Executive Committee members and Government representatives, met in Durban over three days to deliberate on the plans to restore the province to its former glory.
The KZN Football Indaba was organised by SAFA in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation (KZNDSR) and the Office of the Premier.
The Indaba was opened on Friday, 23/10/15, by MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, who urged delegates to come up with concrete plans to develop football in the Province.
“We are expecting that at the end of this gathering we will come up with tangible plans and renewed commitment to identify talent, nurture it so as to bring back our football to its former glory in the Province,” said Sibhidla-Saphetha.
She urged delegates to prioritise the development of women’s football and school sport as breeding ground for talent.
The gathering was also addressed by SAFA President Danny Jordan, who presented on the SAFA Vision 2022 and eThekwini Councillor Khanyisile Mthembu who was representing Mayor James Nxumalo.
SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble, who also attended the Indaba, applauded KwaZulu-Natal for becoming the first province to convene a gathering of this nature.
“For us at national level this is the correct step towards the attainment of our 2022 Vision. The nature of the discussions demonstrates the seriousness of how KZN takes this Vision seriously. One of the goals of the vision is the attainment of the National Sport and Recreation Plan and we are working together with government to build better football so that South Africa can feature regularly in the Top 3 teams on the continent and in the top 20 in the world,” said Mumble.
“This Indaba will build partnerships that will make this happen. We will do the same with other provinces and this will give us guidance on how this should happen. We are happy with the spirit of the Indaba especially because everyone has committed themselves to go back to the ground.”
The Indaba agreed to encourage greater cooperation between schools and local football associations (LFAs) in order to identify and nurture talent. The LFA’s will identify and work closer with educators as well as encourage schools to participate in local leagues. Through this cooperation LFAs will be able to benefit from the facilities that are available in schools.
Delegates also proposed that a Memorandum of Understanding needed to be signed at national level between SAFA, the Department of Sport and Recreation and Department of Basic Education to ensure seamless implementation of football development.
The Indaba also resolved to introduce Futsal and beach football at schools, including those in the inland.
Other resolutions relate to a Talent Identification and Development model, Capacity Building and Funding Model. (A full list is attached)
SAFA NEC member who was also the Chairperson of the Indaba Organising Committee, Mr Simphiwe Xaba said he was extremely grateful to all who participated in the Indaba and for the assistance and support by KZNDSR.