Dr Khoza's address at the 2019-2020 Absa Premiership Media Launch

26TH JUNE 2019

Ladies and Gentlemen, the national conversation has resumed. Like the Club Chairmen and Women, the soccer loving South African, knows that we cannot dry today’s washing with yesterday’s sun. That is why the news on all platforms is abuzz with the new signings the respective teams have made, in order to ensure that the 2019/2020 ABSA Premiership season find them ready and fit for purpose.

The ABSA Premiership is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. It is unique in its unpredictability. Knowing which team is going to win before the match takes place feels like you are watching something rigged. Not knowing who is going to win does not only keep everyone interested, it raises their anxiety and excitement levels as well. It gets the thousands of supporters at the stadium and the millions watching through television, live streaming on their radio and through their handsets to cheer and even coach from the sidelines. The ABSA Premiership match results and table are the most visited and followed news items in South Africa. The regularity and structure, is brought about by the ABSA Premiership Fixture, an undisputable asset in its ability to drive multitudes of conversations amongst South Africans of all ages and gender, race groups, religious and political affiliations, urban and rural – all South Africans Ladies and Gentlemen – you.

In the field of play the ABSA Premiership challenges the teams’ longevity, consistency and staying power. The teams that win the ABSA Premiership are first and foremost near unbeatable at home. They create and capitalise on the fear they have created to the rival teams. Their supporters use words as colourful as “slaughterhouse” to describe their home venue.

The League is about to announce the fixtures for the ABSA Premiership for the 2019/2020 season. In our midst we have Mr Daniel Ferreira, who has a Masters in Engineering with a masters in fixture scheduling.

For the benefit of the media, please could we now release the fixtures.

This season the stakes are going even higher. The ABSA premiership Champion will this season earn a whopping fifteen million rands. Yes, you heard me right, fifteen million rands Ladies and Gentlemen. This is a 50% increase on the current prize money of ten million rands.

The ABSA Premiership recognises, always, that it does not exist in isolation from the broader society. Its key stakeholders include the players through whom all the planning, the strategies and tactics, the implementation, reviews and regroupings are put into a spectacle in the field of play. Theirs are short careers that average twelve years. At age eighteen they are called young starts and rookies with promise; at age twenty-two to twenty-five they are stars who are depended on for wins, supporters wear jerseys adorning their names; from age twenty-eight they are called veterans. After their years of playing football they go on to live up to fifty years – fifty years Ladies and Gentlemen. It is therefore imperative that during their playing years they are given space to save some money in order to facilitate the changing of careers when after their playing days. I am happy to announce that ABSA will, from this season going forward, provide the much needed advice to the players. This is an important first step in the creation of a saving culture whose benefit is freedom. Broke and indebted people are never free. Their state of mind is under pressure. Their behaviour and health are in time affected negatively. Let us commend ABSA for, once more, stepping up when it matters.

The beautiful game derives its beauty from its attractiveness and following by the people. It is therefore my wish that the people are not left behind. It is for this reason that this season, I urge the supporters and fans to walk their talk and wishes. I urge you to demonstrate longevity, consistency and staying power in your saving’s practice. Start small, create a target, believe nothing feels better than having reserves.

I thank you.