WINDHOEK, 26 MAR – The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) needs N.dollars 100 million yearly to execute its activities successfully, its chief administrator has said.
Freddy Mwiya said the commission usually gets N.dollars 21 million per year from the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service, but that is not enough to fund all its projects.
The chief administrator told Nampa on enquiry recently that if they are to help Government reduce unemployment through sports, more resources are needed.
“Our counterparts, Botswana, get 75 million Pula from their Government which is nearly 100 million in our money. You can see how their sports codes have grown because of the funding they get from the government,” he said.
Mwiya stated that there are many international competitions, but if the funds are not enough, athletes and sports will end up suffering.
“If you look at other countries – they are fighting unemployment through sports because some of these athletes are not good academically but they excel in sports which can be an employment opportunity for them,” he said, adding that big competitions pay athletes to compete.
Approached for comment last week, Director of Sports Sivute Katamba said national budget cuts have made it difficult for the ministry to allocate more funds and run all its projects effectively.
“The budget is just going to cater for the three directorates’ employees’ salaries. And all I see at the moment is if things don’t change, we will close shop soon as people in the sports directorate will not be able to visit regions to execute their jobs,” Katamba said.
The director added that the commission’s budget was, in fact, cut from N.dollars 21 million to N.dollars 7 million for the 2018/19 financial year, which is something they had to do due to less funds allocated to the ministry.
For the 2018/19 financial year, the ministry was allocated N.dollars 288 287 000, which is N.dollars 96 676 000 less than in the 2017/18 budget for the three directorates – sports, youth, and national service.
Katamba agreed that the allocation is not sufficient to run all their activities, stating that they need an extra N.dollars 50 million.
Competitions planned for the national teams include the Region Five Games, Region Five Marathon, All Africa Games, Under-17 football tournament with Westphalia, and the annual Council of Southern Africa Football Associations Cup.
“It is more important for the ministry to get funds than risk being fined by those bodies, which will be much higher than us competing at the events,” he said.
Katamba added that as a directorate their hands are tied and they have to cut on some planned projects which will affect all their operations, including funding for the sports commission.
Mwiya also told this agency even though assistance from the corporate world is welcomed, funding from the government which is the custodian of sports and main funder of the commission, should be improved to help grow sports in the country.