Sports ministry budget slashed by N$97 million… gloomy days ahead for sports sector

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Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-It appears that the Namibian sports fraternity will have to brace itself for another rock-strewn sporting year after it was announced that the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service has been allocated N$288 million for the coming 2018/19 financial year, which is a N$97 million budget cut when compared to the N$385 million the ministry received in the previous financial year.

These figures were announced yesterday in the National Assembly during Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein’s tabling of the N$58.4 billion national budget for the 2018/19 financial year. Last year the national budget was N$62.5 billion.

From the N$288 million for the 2018/19 financial year, about N$88 million will be channelled towards sports promotion and support, which will include creating a conducive sporting environment for Namibian athletes, preparation and participation of various national teams, grassroots sport development, and provision and maintenance of sports facilities.

The ministry has earmarked N$2.6 million for youth development programmes and projects, while a massive N$198 million will go towards the ministry’s policy coordination and support services.

The latest budget allocation is again a clear indication that the local sports fraternity still has a long way to go and a lot to do to carve itself a place within the government’s priority list, as it somewhat appears the country’s politicians are still struggling to realise the enormous ability and power sport has to directly uplift the country’s least educated youth, while it could equally accord them a platform to become active participants in Namibia’s economic activities.

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