DStv Premiership season wrap

football26 May 2024 14:00| © Mzansi Football

Mamelodi Sundowns are going find it hard to match their overwhelming success of this DStv Premiership season, rewriting the record books in multiple ways and again emphasising their dominance on the domestic game.

They cantered to the league title with six games still to play – equalling last season’s milestone – and went onto amass a record 73 points for a 30-match season plus finish a record-breaking 23 points ahead of second placed Orlando Pirates.

They were also 30 minutes away from becoming the first side in South African league history to complete the league season unbeaten before Jayden Rhodes stole away possession and won the game for Cape Town City at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, spoiling a little of the Brazilian’s trophy-lifting celebrations.

The defeat was their first in 53 league games, dating back to 2 September 2022 when they lost to neighbours SuperSport United.

But there was no taking away from the rampant nature of Sundowns’ campaign, which came with copious resources but also amid a demanding programme with participation in the inaugural African Football League (which they won), plus the African Champions League.

They only conceded 11 goals in the league season, equaling Kaizer Chiefs’ 20-year old record.


Orlando Pirates were second in the DStv Premiership for the fourth time in the last seven years but it is now more than a decade since their last title. They might have had high hopes of challenging Sundowns at the kick off of the season but that was quickly dispelled as Sundowns sped off to a 11-match winning streak while Pirates only garnered 15 points from their first 10 matches.

The Buccaneers did, however, put together a purple patch of form with seven successive wins over a four-week period from early April to early May and although they then only picked up a single point from their last three league games, it proved enough to see them finish runners-up.

Stellenbosch recorded their best ever finish in third place but should have ended second and qualified for the African Champions League. They lost their last three game after earlier amassing a run of 23 unbeaten in all competitions. It eclipsed anything the club had ever done before in their five seasons in the top flight and provided the foundation for their best-ever season.

This all despite the sale of several key players before the start of the season like Sibongiseni Mthethwa to Chiefs and Junior Mendieta to Sundowns. Iqraam Rayners finished as the league’s second highest scorer with 15 goals, five of them netted in a record-equaling performance against Polokwane City.

Sekhukhune United recorded their best ever finish with fourth place and despite a tug on resources as they also reached the group phase of the African Confederation Cup. By finishing fourth, they are entitled to participate in the continental club competition this coming season.

 Their two previous seasons had seen them finish 10th and then seventh at the end of the 2022-23 campaign. They conceded 24 goals which was the joint second lowest this season (along with Stellenbosch) and their impressive finish came despite two changes of coach in the season which started with Brandon Truter in charge, then saw McDonald Makhubedu as caretaker before Lehlohonolo Seema arrived.

Seema was suspended after a spat with management from the end of the campaign with Makhubedu again in charge.


Cape Town City rallied in the final weeks of the season to finish fifth, one place off their stated ambition for the season. They had a poor start to 2024 with a run of 10 winless matches from the re-start of the season after the Africa Cup of Nations finals, but one they finally won against Moroka Swallows at the start of May and rose up from seventh place.

 Even more pleasing for coach Eric Tinkler, whose squad is expected to get a major overhaul for the 2024-25 season, was denying champions Sundowns a chance to end the league campaign star. City had, earlier in the campaign, ended their run of 11 successive wins from the kick off of the season.

TS Galaxy qualified for the top eight for the first time after ninth, 13th and 10th place finishes in their first three seasons in the topflight. They could well have finished fourth but lost on the last day at Polokwane City to drop down to sixth and miss out on a chance of competing in continental club competition next season.

Galaxy were the quickest side on transition in the league this term, and their coach Saed Ramovic showed some innovative coaching, notably switching players into new positions. But he spoilt his copybook with vicious criticism of referees – much of it incorrect – and a silly spat with Rulani Mokwena, the Sundowns coach.


SuperSport United finished in the top eight for the 24th successive season, keeping up an incredible record of consistency.

Their seventh-place finish comes after a third spot last season, but SuperSport were in the running for fourth place right up until the last day of the campaign, where they drew at Pirates. 

Gavin Hunt’s side were let down by a poor second half of the season where they went 10 league games without a win. But the veteran coach introduced a bevy of new players into his side, most of them from the club’s DStv Diski Challenge team.

After they were handed a 5-0 thrashing at Stellenbosch in late April, Polokwane City coach Phuti Mehafe, who took over from Seema in November, suggested his side had no chance of a top eight finish. But after that calamitous result, they won two and drew three to sneak into eighth spot after both AmaZulu and Chiefs flopped on the final day of the season. Polokwane were promoted back to the top flight last season after three seasons in the second tier and made few changes to their squad, yet proved more than competitive with Oswin Appollis shining and making it into the Bafana Bafana squad

Lamontville Golden Arrows lost nine league games in row but rallied after Steve Komphela was brought in as coach and finished ninth for a third successive season. Chiefs’ loSs to Cape Town Spurs in their last game meant they tumbled to 10th and their worst ever season. They started the campaign with former Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki in charge but fired him after only four months but replacement Cavin Johnson did not make any improvement. AmaZulu hired a new Spanish coach with LaLiga experience but Pablo Franco also proved a disappointment as Usuthu finished in 11th spot.

Chippa United were 12th after despite an unusual, by their twitchy standards, single coaching switch with Morgan Mammila starting the season but then being replaced by the combination of Kwanele Kopo and Thabo September.

Royal AM threatened to fall into the relegation zone when they lost five of their last seven games but ended in 13th spot after beating Moroka Swallows in their last match, leaving the Birds 14th. Swallows’ cash strapped management could not pay their players in December and forfeited two games – the first time that happened in Premier Soccer League history and a major embarrassment. Richards Bay will participate in the end-of-season promotion-relegation playoffs while Spurs were relegated, after a horror start where they lost their opening eight games.