NSC shares wish list

The Namibia Sports Commission has drafted a wish list totalling N$48 million to the government for the 2020/21 financial year.

30 March 2020 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI

WINDHOEK

The finance and administrative executive of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), Junias Hamalua, says their wish is to receive about N$48 million from the government this year.

The wish list comes at a time when the Namibian government is gearing to table the 2020/2021 national budget.

The budget was scheduled to be read tomorrow, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Junias said they want to support national federations with their developmental activities and administration overheads.

‘‘As you are aware, for the past two financial years; 2018/2019 and 2019/20 respectively, the budget allocated to the ministry of sports was slashed drastically due to the economic downturn.

‘‘This sad situation resulted in the approved allocation to NSC also being cut and only given funds for payroll. However, despite the harsh reality, national and priority sport codes benefited sufficiently during the aforesaid financial years,’’ Junias explained.

He added that the NSC’s requests for funds from government is always inclusive of national federations, ‘‘unfortunately due other factors, we have not been getting what we indicate on our wish list,’’ he added.

‘Sport a priority’

One local athlete, Ernst Narib, said the government should prioritise sport this time around in the national budget because there is a huge struggle especially in regard to development programmes and professionalising sports.

A pundit, Matthew Haikali, added that the government should revamp the ministry of sport and its budgetary allocation should be increased.

‘‘The ministry of works can support sports in infrastructure development and the ministry of health can support sport around active living and encouraging a healthy lifestyle,’’ Haikali added.

Dwindling resources

Last year, despite numerous calls and requests for government to increase its budget allocation, the sport ministry received only N$286 million, which was N$2 million less than the N$288 million allocated in the 2018/19 financial year.

Before that, in 2017/18, the ministry had received an allocation of N$384.9 million, which was N$1.06 million less than in the 2016/17 budget, when it had been allocated N$491 million for its three directorates - sport, youth and national service.

These cuts put strain on the NSC, as it had to reduce allocations to the country's struggling sport federations.

These include the Paralympic Committee, Athletics Namibia and many other federations which have been left searching for funds to ensure athletes can compete in championships.

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