Luxury cars paid for from 2010 profits
THE disbursement of the profits from the World Cup began at the weekend, with R56-million being given to a wide array of applicants.
However, it has emerged that over a third of the actual profits from the 2010 finals were spent on vehicles for the South African Football Association, including a fleet of luxury Mercedes-Benz cars for executive committee members.
Danny Jordaan, who chairs the World Cup Legacy Trust, launched a spirited defence of the transport purchases, which were made straight after the soccer tournament and before the R450-million legacy fund was announced by Jacob Zuma and Sepp Blatter in December 2010.
Jordaan said the actual amount of money saved from the World Cup, and due to South Africa, was R700-million, but that R250-million had been spent on buses, minivans and cars for official transport. These had been distributed to the regions, where he said the issue of transport for teams was the single biggest problem in football development.
"We will never allow poverty to trap people," Jordaan said of the decision to give vehicles to ferry teams and administrators around.
"Arguments that we must not give buses to the regions are out of order. We worked hard to generate the profits in the first place," he said.
But in his less convincing defence of the purchase of 26 luxury cars for executive committee members. Jordaan revealed the alarming fact that 50% of Safa's elected leadership are unemployed.
"How do you expect them to get around their regions and see their constituents when they don't have transport?" he asked.
The distribution of the balance of the R450-million will be a staggered and more controlled affair, as the trust's board also includes members from Fifa, civil society and the government.
There were 4347 applications for various football-related developmental projects.
Jordaan said the board had focused on giving money for the establishment of under-13 and under-15 boys and girls leagues; for women's football, indoor football and beach soccer; and for capacity building of administration, coaches and referees, among others.
Money is also being given to regions for equipment while Wits have been given R317 000 to train medical personnel at football. The biggest grant is R17.05-million to be shared by Safa's 311 local associations for the youth leagues.