Of the N$179 million proposed budget submitted by the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service for the 2016/2017 financial year, only N$38.6 million was granted by the ministry to cater for the 50 sport codes affiliated to the NSC.
This figure was recently revealed when Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Jerry Ekandjo, motivated the ministry’s N$38.6 million budget for the NSC for this financial year.
In his budget motivation speech, Ekandjo admitted that the entire ministry’s proposed budget of about N$491 million for this financial year would not be enough to fully cater for all the envisaged programmes and projects of the various directorates in the ministry.
“Allow me to highlight some of the challenges my ministry is faced with and if funding is not provided, the situation will jeopardise Namibia’s chances of hosting international events. The worrying factor is the fear that in the near future we might end up being banned from certain sporting activities for failure to pay our participation and membership fees. Our codes normally perform at international events hosted outside Namibia, and that puts stress on our budget, as we are required to pay in foreign currency,” said Ekandjo during his budget presentation.
Also sharing the same sentiments yesterday was chairperson of the NSC, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, who viewed the year’s N$38.6 million allocation with mixed feelings.
Without beating about the bush, Veii said the N$38.6 allocated to the NSC for the 2016/2017 financial year is a non-starter and can merely be described as “a drop in the ocean”.
“We have about 50 sport codes solely depending on the NSC for financial assistance – so now tell me how do you expect the NSC to adequately fund 50 sports codes with a meager N$38.6 million. From this money, we have to assist all these sport codes with administration and participation grants, as well as cater for the NSC operational expenses – with little going towards development programmes,” said Veii.
A typical example of the ongoing underfunding quandary is the situation of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), which usually receives an annual N$80 000 as an administration grant and N$8 million as a participation grant.
Namibia has a total of seven national football teams solely depending on the annual N$8 million participation grant from the NSC, which is not even close enough to cover the accommodation, training camps and players’ allowances of all teams whenever they participate internationally.