Shivute Katamba, the director of sport in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Services, says the much-publicised poor funding of sport activities in the country should be blamed squarely on the ongoing massive budget cuts in various ministries.
Speaking in the capital on Monday during the official unveiling ceremony of new board members for the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) by Minister Jerry Ekandjo, Katamba utilised the platform to shed more light on the ministry’s financial difficulties and the funding modalities of sport in Namibia.
Katamba said the current financial difficulties that have hit most sport codes in the country are due to the ongoing massive budget cuts in various ministries; including theirs.
Also during the conference, it came to light that the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Services had initially requested N$2.2 billion from government in their 2016/17 financial year budget submission, but received only N$400 million.
“We have about 48 sport codes under the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC), so now tell me how does one sustain and fully fund 48 sport codes with N$400 million? All these teams travel, they host international events and other big activities, so meaning at the end of the day, as a ministry, we just have to make do with the little resources we get and see how we can cater for everyone.”
“We have three directorates, the directorate of sport, directorate of youth and the directorate of general services, and all those directorates have equally competing needs and challenges. That means we have to carefully and fairly cut the N$400 million cake among all dependents of the ministry, which is not enough but what can we do?
“When you go back and ask for more, government will tell you that it has other serious priorities, such as education, health and drought, among others, which should first be catered for,” Katamba added.
He concluded by saying there is room for improvement in terms of funding, saying they are reviewing the current Sport Act of 2003 in the hope of amending a few aspects that would hopefully lead to the subsequent improvement of sport funding and also professionalism.