PLFA Gearing Itself for a Congress, At Long Last

Things are not as they should be at PLFA. But it is also not that bad. 

Governance has been the bedrock of PLFA for more than a decade. As an LFA, PLFA had taken leadership in areas of governance, necessary to grow and distinguish the sport as association football, different from gambling and social football.

In truth, association football will not grow with the mentality of gambling and / or social football. The latter two are concerned mostly about making money and pleasure respectively. Association football is concerned about sustained growth, development and ultimately promotion of football products, including players, coaches, referees, administrators, operators, leaders. The broader goal is to compete and lead football in the continent, and increase dominant presence in the internal football space.

To achieve the above, two critical driving forces are key, and that is, the strategic but progressive mindset, and the good governance mindset. Without these two key critical driving forces, or anyone thereof, then South African Football is going nowhere.

Through SAFA Tshwane we are fighting the lack of good strategies and governance at national level. This fight started right at the grassroots level, that is, at PLFA. There is no point fighting those in power about something that even you yourself cannot get right where you are. So we had to be good. But all of that seems to be eroding, and our ‘lead by example’ power base is slowly eroding, that is, at PLFA. The LFA has gone back to the ‘as long as we play’ syndrome. 

It is important to note that when things are like this, it is pointless to kick off a blame game, and yet this is always the fall back behaviour. So we warn against that because whilst people perfect their blame game and defences, propaganda becomes the order of the day while time flies and things get worse. 

So the best way to resolve this is through active membership, the same as what SAFA Tshwane is doing on the national platform. Active membership means one simple thing, that is, membership must hold each other accountable, whilst also holding the leadership accountable. Fortunately this is not a mammoth task like it is in politics. The Statutes, Rules and Policies are clear. Similarly the inteventionary platforms are also solid. So there is no need to really stand in groups and mop about the state of affairs. Members must stand up and ensure that accountability is observed.

PLFA has not held a Congress for the year that ended (2022), and was not showing signs of calling this Congress. The Constitution is clear on what Members must do when things are like this. You see, if the Executive Committee does not call the Congress when it is supposed to, the Constitution says any Member must demand that such a Congress be held, and the Executive Committee shall be compelled to call it.

The above simply means that if the Executive Committee does not call the Congress, then they are at fault, and need to be compelled by Members to correct that. However, if the Congress continues to be omitted, then Members are also complicit because they have the power to enforce that the Congress be held, and it would mean that they too would not have fulfilled their part of the responsibility, and therefore Membership too are guilty. This then becomes a governance weakness of the whole LFA, including Members.

Strides Football Club is a Member of PLFA in good standing. Affiliation and Registration Fees have been paid. But so is the case with many other Members. Therefore Strides wrote a letter to PLFA to compel the Executive Committee to convene a Congress. In its letter, Strides nominated the date of the 1st of April 2023. The Executive Committee ignored this request, which is a constitutional imperative. Strides then wrote to the region (SAFA Tshwane) for intervention. A couple of days later PLFA sent out a notice for the convening of the Congress. So a Congress will be held in three weeks, that is, the 14th of May 2023.

This change of course is brought about by Active Membership. But one Member being one Active Member does not help that much. So Strides Football Club appeals to all PLFA Members to take up the position of Active Membership, and demand that the Executive Committee complies with the Constitution, Rules and Policies of the association.

So far, with three weeks to go, the PLFA Congress preparation has breached several constitutional requirements, particularly in terms of the sending of documents. But we will see how that goes.

The Congress alone is not the foundation of Governance, but it helps to start fixing governance issues at some point, and the Congress is the perfect platform for that. 

See letters here-below from Strides Football Club:

  1. Letter to PLFA nominating the Congress Date
  2. Letter to SAFA Tshwane Requesting for Intervention

Download the PLFA Constitution from this link, and focus on Articles 17 and 18 in preparation for the Congress of the 14th of May 2023. Pay a particular focus on the sharing of the agenda, sharing of documents, submission and sharing of proposals and motions (Art 17), and the make up of the agenda itself (Art 18).

In conclusion, Strides FC encourages unity in the football fraternity, and advises that the only way of having sustained unity is if the right things are done the right way. We are longing for a sustainable developmental programme and promotional transcendance. But let us start with fixing governance, which starts with accountability, for which the Congress is the right platform. Let’s prepare for the Congress, let us engage, let us hold each other accountable, let us hold the Executive Committee accountable, let us fix, and let us develop, promote and grow. 

See you all there.

END

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