The SAFA Second Division, currently known as ABC Motsepe League for sponsorship reasons, and previously known as the Vodacom League between 1998-2012, was founded in 1998 as the current Second Division and the overall third tier of South Africanfootball (soccer). The competition is regulated by SAFA, and until 2012 had been sponsored by mobile telecommunications company Vodacom.
An important rule to note, is that all clubs in South Africa also are allowed to compete with youth teams (U19/U21) and/or a Reserve team in a lower SAFA league. If a club opt to field such teams, the U19 teams will start out at the fifth level in the U19 National League, while U21 teams or Reserve teams will start out at the fourth level in the U21 SAB Regional League. If any U19 team win promotion for U21 SAB Regional League or SAFA Second Division, this promotion is fully accepted. No club are however entitled to field two teams at the same level, and rule 4.6.4 of the SAFA regulations states, that if the mother club play in the National First Division or Premier Soccer League, then the highest level these additional Youth/Reserve teams are allowed to compete, will be the SAFA Second Division. In such cases, where a non-promotable team manage to win their regional division, the ticket for the promotional playoffs will instead be handed over to the second best team in the division.
In March 2014, the Motsepe Foundation signed a five year deal for the naming rights of the competition worth 40,000,000 ZAR. Patrice Motsepe named the competition in honour of his late father, Augustine Butana Chaane Motsepe.
The 9 geographical provinces of South Africa, each have a local division in the SAFA Second Division. These divisions belong either to the Inland Stream or Coastal Stream, which are used to place the provincial winners into two round robin groups, at the promotional play-off stage by the end of the season. The Coastal Stream comprises: Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Western Cape; while the Inland Stream comprises: Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North-West. In previous years, until August 2008, the Free State province belonged to the Inland Stream.
Map of the two streams in the SAFA Second Division.
In the seasons from 1998–2003, the four best teams from the Vodacom League -determined by annual playoffs among the winners and runner-ups of the 9 provinces in South Africa- won promotion for the National First Division. The playoff system divided the teams into an Inland stream and Coastal Stream, where the best two teams from each stream won promotion.
In the seasons after 2003, the number of annually promoted teams decreased to 2. The concept of the playoff system however remained the same, in regards of dividing the teams into a Coastal Stream and Inland Stream, but now of course only to reward the winner of both streams with promotion. Both promoted teams will then finally also meet to play the overall final, where the overall league championship trophy is at stake.
The list below show all the promoted teams, since 1998.