Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup is without doubt a stepping stone for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 towards  playing professional soccer, even represent Bafana Bafana.  One such youngster identified during the 2011 tournament, Midfielder from Gamolapo, Limpopo, Godfrey Mako, has joined the Mamelodi Sundowns Academy and is destined to become a household name.  He joins another player, Franco Haai, also identified during the 2011 tournament.

Mako, or ‘Computer’ as he is referred to by his peers, was born in Zebediela village in Limpopo on 1 April 1994. He started showing extraordinary skills at the age of nine.  He recalls:  “A fight broke out in the play ground between my friends who all wanted me in their team during break.  We were caught and spent two days in detention.  On the third day the principal told me to report to practise as he wanted to see what all the commotion was about. The coach, Mr Maluleke really liked the way I played and I became a permanent member of the team.”

In 2007 Mako joined the local amateur team, Amadlugdlug.  He was younger than his team mates which resulted in him sitting on the bench for a year which frustrated him immensely. 

Then everything changed when he moved to Mafsiakgomo High School and became the star of the school team.  “I suppose I can attribute my improved skills to my previous club.  I might not have got much match practise, but I sure learnt a lot during practise sessions,” said Mako

Frank Louw, Sponsorship Manager, Sanlam Group Marketing explains the tournament vision and why players like Mako are an inspiration to the company:  “Sanlam understands the value of development and the importance of realising what one hopes for. We believe that the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup creates opportunities that have a positive impact on the youth and also provides exposure to scouts for these talented youngsters.”

The educational part of the Sundowns opportunity also excited young Mako:  “Sundowns has enrolled me in a private school in Pretoria, Clapham College, which I am really happy about.  My plan is to work hard to obtain good marks that will qualify me for a bursary to University where I want to study electrical engineering.  Football will be a priority as I really want to play professionally, but I plan to get a good education and study further as well.” Mako has had a difficult youth living with his grandparents and four cousins after his mother died when he was nine.   

The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup is an annual football tournament for youngsters between the ages of 15 and 19 and is open to every school in South Africa.  Registration is now open for 2012 and players could well find a Mamelodi Sundowns scout at one of their games as the Club is on a continuous quest in search for talent.  Then there is the R1 million on offer to the team that finishes in first place, money that every school wants to upgrade school facilities and give the pupils added reason to do well.

To register to compete in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, please contact Mr Nelson Belebesi of the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) 011 567 2824 or Mr Frank Louw of Sanlam on 021 947 2093. Registration closes on 9 March, 2012.

Winners’ prize money:

1st Place R1 000 000
2nd Place R600 000
3rd Place R500 000
4th Place R400 000
9 x provincial winners R100 000 each

Monday, February 27, 2012


The 2012 world final of the biggest football tournament for children between 10 and 12 years old, the Danone Nations Cup, will be held in Poland.  South Africa is the only country to have won the tournament three times, in 2003, 2007 and 2009, and will again be one of the 40 countries to compete in this prestigious event.

Organised by Danone Southern Africa and endorsed by  the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA), the Danone Nations Cup South Africa will kick-off in March and 2 500 schools are expected to register for participation in a bid to be the team to represent the country in Poland.

Danone introduced the tournament to the world back in 2000 as an international ‘human adventure’. The idea being to reach as many school children as possible with an important message which is: “to bring health through food and sport to millions of kids throughout the world”.

“Danone has built the tournament on four fundamental pillars:  fair play, openness, accessibility and passion for the game,” said Sandra Dorville, Communications Manager, Danone Southern Africa.  “Through the Danone Nations Cup we promote healthy habits and encourage the youth to believe in their dreams.” 

Every year Danone reaches over 2.5 million people through the Danone Nations Cup and since 2000 the tournament has touched 25 million people around the world. “Up until 2010 France always hosted the World Finals.  The tradition was broken in 2010 when South Africa hosted the tournament and in 2011 it went to Spain,” said Dorville.

Danone and SASFA ask all schools to register as soon as possible to participate in the 2012 tournament.  For further information contact Themba Tshabalala at SASFA’s offices:  011 567 2822.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


High schools from Soshanguve and Winterveldt in the Tshwane region have started their journey to be crowned the 2012 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup champions, and to win the R1 million that goes with it, when they registered for the country’s biggest schools soccer tournament recently.

The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, an initiative co-funded by Sanlam, the Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust and the Motsepe Family Foundation, in collaboration with the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) boasts the largest prize money in the history of South African schools soccer.

“The tournament is open to all high schools including rural, public, private and independent schools,” confirms Berrie Ramushweu, a financial adviser at Sanlam from the Tshwane region.

Ramushweu adds that the national winner will walk away with R1 million, whilst runners-up take home R600 000, third- and fourth-placed winners receive R500 000 and R400 000 respectively, and each provincial winner receives an additional R100 000. “All prize money is used to fund legacy projects identified by the school.”

Last year’s Tshwane regional champions, Central Secondary School from Soshanguve, are vying for a place in the regional finals: “We did well last year in the cluster and regional levels,” said Coach Tshidiso Kutu.  “However, competing in the provincial finals was a different story.  We were outplayed by schools such as Johannesburg Secondary and Rosina Sedibane Secondary, which are both academies.  Our plan is to get to the provincial finals, but at the moment we are taking it step by step and our first goal is to win the league in our cluster.”

Kutu believes his biggest competition will come in the form of Technical High school: “Their players excel at tactics.  But, we have three players who are competing for the second year now, and experience counts.” The two schools will meet next week, Tuesday, 28 February in their last game in the cluster preliminary level.


Central Secondary School vs Ruabohlale  Secondary School
768 Block W, Central Secondary School Sports Ground
Seageng Secondary School vs Soshanguve South Secondary School
1029 Block F, Soshanguve South Secondary School Sports Ground
Soshanguve East  Secondary School vs Tiyelani High School
1025 Block F Soshanguve Secondary School Sportsfield
Baleseng Secondary School vs Wallmansthal Secondary School
2115 Block L, Baleseng Secondary School Sports Ground
Soshanguve Technical High School vs Hlomphanang Secondary School
1669 Block L, Soshanguve Technical High School Sports Ground
Thutong Secondary School vs Reitumetse High School 
864 Block K, Thutong Secondary School  Sports Field
IR Lesolang High School vs Nick Mpshe Secondary School 
IR Lesolang High School Sports Court
Thulaganyo Secondary School vs Abel Motswane  High School
Thulaganyo Secondary School Sports Ground 
Holy Trinity Secondary School vs Motshabanosi  Secondary School                                                       
Holy Trinity Secondary School Sports Ground

“We understand the value of creating the opportunity for people to realise what they hope for, especially the future key role of the children of our nation. Sanlam is proud to sponsor the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup as a way of being a key contributor to your child’s development,” concludes Ramushweu.

To register to compete in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, please contact Mr Nelson Belebesi of the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) 011-567 2824 or Mr Frank Louw, Sanlam sponsorship manager on 021-947 2093. Registration closes on 9 March 2012.

Harmony High School Celebrating after winning the 2011Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


The Sanlam Motsepe Schools Cup is proud to announce that one of its 2011 prodigy’s has been recruited into the Mamelodi Sundowns Development Academy.  The player is      17-year old goalkeeper from Rietvale High School in the Northern Cape, Franco Haai.

The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup is an annual football tournament for youngsters between the ages of 15 and 19 and is open to every school in South Africa.  Registration is now open for the 2012 event and players could well find a Mamelodi Sundowns scouts at one of their games in the club’s continuous quest in search for talent.

Haai went through gruelling trials before he was accepted into the Academy:  “This youngster has exceptional skills, a good attitude, determination, and is intelligent,” said Sam Mbatha, Head of Development at Mamelodi Sundowns.  “Skills alone do not make a great player, but rather a combination of skills and intelligence, all of which Franco is blessed with.  Our plan is to now groom him for inclusion into the first team within the next couple of years.”

Haai is one of two players from the 2011 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup that has joined the Brazilians’ Development Academy.   “We signed up two players from last year’s tournament, but there are many others that have potential and we will be watching closely,” said Mbatha.

“We could not sign the others as they were completing Grade 12 last year and were registered to Clubs that were competing in the SASFA Second Division so we could not approach them.  Once the season is over we will have another look at them and make further decisions,” explained Mbatha

“This is an amazing opportunity for me,” said Haai.  “My focus will be on football and becoming a professional, but what I am also excited about is that Mamelodi Sundowns has registered me with Hoerskool Hendrick Verwoerd where I will complete Grade 12.  Education is important to me as I would like to study Law.”

Haai’s football career began at the age of 10 when he joined the school team to kill time while his mother, a domestic worker, and his older sister were at work and he had to spend the afternoons at school. 

When the youngster started high school, his mentor and primary school coach, Mr Spandeel, approached his mother proposing that Haai joins the local football club so that he is not lost to the sport.  He became a member of Ukhamba Black Aces FC where he flourished and developed his intense love of the game.

In 2010 Haai represented the Northern Cape in the SAFA Under-17 Provincial Championships and took home the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, which the youngster admits is, to date, the highlight of his career.

“When we played in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup we knew there were scouts at the games, but I never dreamt that I would be the lucky one to get to go to Sundowns,” said an excited Haai.  “One day I would like to play in Europe.  Quinton Fortune and Lucas Radebe managed to do this so why can’t I?”

Haai also dreams of buying a house for his mother and sister.  “My family sacrificed so much for me,” said Haai.  “There was a time when my mother wasn’t working and my sister dropped out of school to get a job to buy food for us.  She has always been there to buy me all that I needed for school and soccer including transport to get to games.  I owe them a lot and one day I will demonstrate my sincere appreciation for what they have done for me.”

Franco with his teammates from Rietvale High School at the 2011 Northern Cape Provincial Finals

Franco Haai receiving his player of the tournament award during the 2011 Northern Cape Provincial finals

Thursday, February 2, 2012


What can your school do with R1-million? Well, stop dreaming and register your school soccer team for the 2012 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, and your dreams may just come true.

Registration for the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, the richest schools tournament in the world, opened this week. Financial Services Company, Sanlam, the Motsepe Family Foundation and Ubuntu Botho Trust have urged every school in all nine provinces, whether private, independent, township or rural, to register to compete.

The tournament is played under the auspices of the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) .

Not only is there a total of R3.4 million in prize money up for grabs, but football scouts from Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club will be attending as many rounds as possible in a bid to find exceptional talent to place in the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Academy.

“One of the key objectives of this sponsorship is to get as many football players as possible between the ages of 15 and 19 to compete and possibly to be seen by soccer scouts. Players who stand out will then be recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional footballers,” said Frank Louw, Sanlam’s Sponsorships Manager. “To be able to achieve this we need to encourage all schools to register no matter where they are situated and they have until 9 March 2012 to do so.”
The prize money is to be utilised for any development project that enhances or advances the mission and objectives of the school and/or its immediate community, e.g. building of extra classrooms, computer centres, upgrading the soccer pitch etc

The Motsepe Family Foundation endorses the objectives and rationale behind the sponsorship: “Look at our president, Mr Patrice Motsepe,” said Kenneth Makhanya, representative of the Motsepe Family Foundation and Ubuntu Botho Trusts. “He achieved success by setting goals and working hard to ensure he reached them - which often meant sacrifice. The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Cup was initiated by Mr Motsepe through the Motsepe Family Foundation  in memory of his mother and to recognize the integral role she played in his life – encouraging him through school, then university and helping him through the dark times as well. This is what we want for the South African youth and Sanlam, having the same vision, has created an ideal partnership.”

To register to compete in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, please contact Mr Nelson Belebesi of the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) 011 567 2824 or Mr Frank Louw of Sanlam on 021 947 2093. Registration closes on 9 March, 2012.

Winners’ prize money:
1st Place R1 000 000
2nd Place R600 000
3rd Place R500 000
4th Place R400 000
9 x provincial winners R100 000 each