The Motsepe Foundation has conveyed their congratulatory messages to the Mbombela United from Mpumalanga and Mthatha Bucks from Eastern Cape for winning promotion into the National First Division (NFD).

The two sides beat seven other teams to promotion – Glendene United (Western Cape), Magesi FC (Limpopo), Hungry Lions (Northern Cape), Milford FC (KZN), North West Shining Stars (North West), Roses United (Free State) and African All Stars (Gauteng).

The nine teams had won the league in their respective province and travelled to Kimberley in the Northern Cape to battle it out for promotion in the SAFA/ ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs.

“On behalf of the President of the Motsepe Foundation, Mr Patrice Motsepe, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mbombela United and Mthatha Bucks for gaining promotion and we are confident you will achieve more where you are going. All we did was arrange a platform for you to perform and you did exceptionally well,” said Sizwe Nzimande from the Motsepe Foundation.

“I don’t want you to take what I am going to say in a bad way, because I am saying it with good intentions – we don’t want you in this league any more. We wish your journey doesn’t bring you back to this league but will take you to the top and even higher. The last two teams that we promoted last season held their own – Cape Town Spurs and Highlands Park finished 5th and 11th in the NFD – and we believe you will do the same. We have achieved our objective as the Foundation and we would like to thank the South African Football Association (SAFA) for running such a great league and tournament. Tomorrow is just a mere formality. Good luck to both teams.”

Mbombela United and Mthata Bucks face off for the championship on Sunday, 26 July at the De Beers Stadium in Kimberley, Northern Cape. Kick-off is at 15h00.

The winners will be handed a one million rand cheque as well as a trophy by SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.

“On behalf of Dr Jordaan, and the entire National Executive Committee of SAFA, let me also congratulate the two teams for qualification into the NFD. I would also like to thank for the two teams for the quality of football displayed throughout the week – it was realy entertaning and showed a lot of talent that this country has. Hard luck to the other teams that didn’t make and we say don’t dispair, come back and try again next year,” said Gladwin White, member of the SAFA NEC from Northern Cape.

“To the finalists, may the one favoured by good fortune prevail. After the final, go on and be good ambassadors for SAFA where you are going, just like your predecessors. All the best in future. We would be failing in our duties if we did not thank the Motsepe Foundation for the sterling job they are doing in the development of our football by pumping millions of rands into this project. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed and we want to show our deeply felt appreciation for your assistance of growing the game from the bottom going up.”

The 2015 SAFA/ABC Motsepe National League Playoffs Awards function will be held on Monday, 3 August in Johannesburg at a venue to be announced.