Acting president of the Namibian Local Authorities Sports and Recreation Association (NALASRA) Frederick Ueitele is urging the line ministry to support local authorities financially to successfully host its annual events.
According to Ueitele, many local authorities cannot partake in the games because of a directive from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development not to fund any NALASRA or related activities. Expressing his dissatisfaction, Ueitele said while sports are not considered a core function of the local authorities, he maintained that the wellbeing of local authority employees is a responsibility of their employer, the council.
“What we are asking from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is to accord us a platform where we can state our position and solve this predicament amicably,” said Ueitele.
Ueitele made the remarks at the 8th NALASRA games currently ongoing at Oshakati. This year’s NALASRA games are being attended by 30 local authorities from 54 local authorities in the country. The games kicked off on Monday and are expected to be rounded off by Friday.
Ueitele also pleaded with local authorities to establish social clubs to raise funds to particpate in activities, such as the NALASRA games, and not to depend entirely on the council’s coffers. The acting president said NALASRA, a non-profitable organisation, cannot fund the games because it depends on the local authorities’ registration fee of N$3 000 per year to run its activities.
Ueitele thus pleaded with local authorities to mobilise funds in order to facilitate the successful hosting of the event.
Sharing the same sentiment, former NALASRA president Ole Aibeb also called upon political decision-makers to support the hosting of the games, saying local authorities are agents of central government.
Aibeb alluded that the games are needed as a healthy stimulant to improve the quality of life of those (municipal workers) who must render the services that people need.
Ongwediva Constituency Councillor Andreas Uutoni, who spoke on behalf of the line ministry, said the hosting of the event at Oshakati is an opportunity for local businesspeople to grow the economy and also gboost the town’s economic development.
“Therefore, hospitality establishments, restaurants and SMEs in Oshana Region are urged to capitalise on this golden opportunity,” Uutoni said.