Despite being promoted to a professional contract prior to his debut in April, reports emerged on Monday that Kaizer Chiefs' reserve goalkeeper, Bruce Bvuma, earned a mere R5,000 per month during the 2016/17 Absa Premiership season.
In response, the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) and fans took to social networks and expressed their views on the handling on minimum wages in the Premier Soccer League.
"Pocket change" and "slave wages' were some of the hashtags started on Twitter as the news came to light.
Without confirming whether the figure was true, "Amakhosi" explained that Bvuma, as a development player, was not expected to have made a senior appearance this season and was still being paid what is effectively an apprenticeship wage.
This basically means that because Bvuma was not a first team player, he got an entry level wage, like how interns would in a workplace. This in spite of signing a professional contract; the SAFPU said it has approached the PSL to introduce minimum wages.
SAFPU General Secretary Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe told KickOff Magazine: "We've been pitching this, since 2012. We've made a proposal of R35,000 in the Premier Soccer League and R15,000 to R18,000 in the National First Division as a minimum wage."
"This is happening because there is no minimum wage and the Premier Soccer League is reluctant, in actual fact, they are so arrogant that they don't want to agree to a minimum wage of the players."
If Kaizer Chiefs pays R5,000 to a player, who has signed a professional contract, how many more teams are doing the same thing in the PSL? FifaPro, the International Federation of Professional Footballers, found that 38.4 per cent of Premier Soccer League footballers earn less than R8,000 per month.
Bvuma's manager Cleopas Monyepao has since told media that his client is happy at Kaizer Chiefs despite the reports, and he also apologised about the commotion started because of the leaked reports.
"I'd like to apologise to the Kaizer Chiefs family for the commotion that the Sunday World article has caused, and plead with the soccer fraternity at large to allow the young man to grow without all this unnecessary pressure," he said.
Wage inequality has become a perennial problem in South Africa. The PSL breeds some of the finest talents in Africa. The game also has an issue of giving big name player stupendous amount of money because of their reputation, and this arguably unbalances the equilibrium.
We have superstar players in the league, some way past their prime, earning figures between R500 000 per month. Some are worth the price, some are possibly saving for retirement.
Here are the top 10 earning PSL footballers:
10. David Wome, Orlando Pirates - R250,000 Monthly
9. Oupa Manyisa, Orlando Pirates - R250,000 Monthly
8. Bernard Parker, Kaizer Chiefs - R300,000 Monthly
7. Elias Pelembe, Bidvest Wits - R320,000 Monthly
6. Khama Billiat, Mamelodi Sundowns - R350,000 Monthly
5. Anthony Laffor, Mamelodi Sundowns - R380,000 Monthly
4. Siphiwe Tshabalala, Kaizer Chiefs - R380,000 Monthly
3. Ejike Uzoenyi, Mamelodi Sundowns - R450,000 Monthly
2. Teko Modise, Mamelodi Sundowns - R450,000 Monthly
1. Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs - R480,000
* Figures from Hinviral.comSuggest a correction