Saturday, September 19, 2020

BNSC cries over limited grants

BY DUNCAN KGANGKENNA

The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) is unable to fulfil its mandate because of limited grants from the government and the high maintenance costs of the stadium infrastructures.

These sentiments were shared by the BNSC Chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) with sport associations.

Addressing affiliates, the BNSC chairperson said sporting activities and operational costs are too high and the little grant they get from government often cause collision with National Sport Associations (NSAs) over funding.

Reikeletseng informed the NSAs that the BNSC is continually in talks with the government through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development pertaining to funding of sport.

“We all concur that funding is not enough, as such we have responsibility to explore options to ensure that we do much with what we have,” Reikeletseng acknowledged. With this in mind, he advised the NSAs that there is need for them to prioritise on the events they host and do their best to utilise the little they have fruitfully. Sport bodies were encouraged to also look for partners who will assist and augment with resources to cover operational costs.

On the issue of stadia, Reikeletseng said their management and maintenance has over the years cut deep into the BNSC’s limited resources. “The expenditure for stadia management goes up to P8 million on an annual basis. BNSC is granted half the amount to do the job. BNSC believe that time has come to consider returning management of these facilities to government,” said Reikeletseng.

With the escalating maintenance costs, the BNSC chairman said the only alternative may be the return of the national stadium to the government.

On other issues, Reikeletseng said the NSAs have shown huge appetite for hosting international events but do not often follow the right policy procedure of hosting. “I wish to raise a concern pertaining to a growing influx of hosting requests by some of the NSAs,” said Reikeletseng.

He warned the NSAs that in order to avoid friction with the commission and government when bidding to host international events, they should always follow rules as guided by the BNSC Hosting Policy.

“Normal procedure is that you should request for permission from the BNSC to host and you should be granted such permission before you can initiate any activities,” he explained.

The BNSC will assess the request and make recommendations and pass it to the Ministry, who also seek authority from Cabinet. Until Cabinet grants permission to host no work can go on.

He went on to explain that hosting is a national commitment that needs commitment of resources from government, hence the need to follow proper laid down procedures. Reikeletseng warned sports bodies to desist from taking matters regarding hosting to the media but rather engages BNSC to find lasting solutions where there are challenges.

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