Union queries Puma as Bafana sponsor
Johannesburg - The South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) late on Friday said it had noted the change in sponsorship of Bafana Bafana's kit and that had raised questions.
The new jersey was launched earlier this week by German sportswear company Puma after the team's deal with Adidas had ended.
"Will the new Bafana replica and supporters clothing be manufactured in SA, and will the sponsorship create local jobs? Or will the SA Football Association (Safa) and Puma be more interested in milking the cash cow of sports support by manufacturing cheaply overseas and selling dear locally?," the union asked.
The new contract with Puma runs from July 1 until after the 2018 World Cup.
Sactwu said that if Puma chose to import the jersey, the company would short-change its apparent goal to contribute to African development.
"Although Puma appears proud to donate a portion of sales from the replica home jersey to the SOS Children's Villages, the best way to score a victory for development and tackle poverty is by creating jobs. This can be done by manufacturing the Bafana replica and supporters clothing locally," it said.
The union added that in the run up to the World Cup it had worked closely with previous sponsor, Adidas, to ensure that significant numbers of replica and supporters clothing was manufactured in South Africa.
Earlier this week, Safa said it was delighted with the end result of the kit after months of protracted negotiations.
"This partnership is effective from July 1 and will last beyond the next two World Cups - 2014 and 2018," Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said.
"Puma will provide playing kit for all our national teams, including the women and youth teams. Bafana will wear the jersey for the first time on August 10 this year when we play our next match," he added.
Puma officials confirmed that a limited edition of the jersey would be available within the next few weeks. They did not comment on the price, but said it would depend on the marketplace and added that the money raised from this kit would not be for commercial purposes but to fund grassroots football in SA.
Bafanas Bafana's previous jersey cost about 600 rand.