Query: Minister of Sport, talk to the director of sport to stop favouritism. He refused to approve transport for participation at the Erongo Powersave Street Mile, but he spent thousands on the Jamaican sprinter who visited Namibia recently. Why deny Namibian athletes from the regions, mostly from disadvantaged communities, a chance to participate in sports?
Response: The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service takes note of the concerns of the author. However, kindly be informed that the Directorate of Sport’s budget has been decentralised, which provides every region with an opportunity to plan and execute their programmes and activities in line with the allotted (or availability of) funds.
It is against this background that regions are expected to prioritise their programmes and activities within their respective region, to avoid depleting the budget on a single activity that might result in hefty financial implications. Simultaneously, regional offices are cautioned to consider the financial implications of wanting to participate in activities in another region, as this will result in incurring daily and subsistence allowances, over-time and transport costs.
The ministry is currently experiencing a major budgetary crisis and as a result directorates have been urged to budget wisely. Thus, the directorate, in view of spending within the budget, will only approve programmes and activities that have been planned and budgeted for. In extreme cases, if the budget permits and the programme is of national importance, the directorate of sport may consider funding such a programme.
Aina Shikesho, Chief PRO, Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org