Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Calls for alcohol industry sports sponsorships reach parley

Francistown East legislator Buti Billy has called on the government to formulate a compulsory sports sponsorship policy for liquor dealers and manufacturers in Botswana.

Making his contribution to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s maiden State of the Nation (SONA) address, the Francistown East legislator said it is crucial that such a policy be formulated to benefit sporting codes.

In his SONA speech, President Masisi had informed the nation that ‘government is about to conclude countrywide consultations on issues relating to the alcohol policy.’

“That being the case, we have hope as Government that the industry will reciprocate the good gesture by stepping up their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives whether through sponsorships or rehabilitation programmes for those suffering from substance abuse,” Masisi had said.

Commenting on the matter, Billy had this to say; “Ke dumalana gape le alcohol policy, ke tsaya gore consultations tse di tsweletseng di dirwa tse, di ka re thusa fela thata.” (Literally translated; ‘I agree with the alcohol policy and I hope the ongoing consultations can help us’)

“Ba ba rekisang bojalwa, go simolole go nne le policy e e ka ba pateletsang to sponsor all sport codes. Tiro ya bojalwa e tshwanetse go nna sponsoring.” (For those selling alcohol, there should be a policy compelling them to sponsor sporting codes. The operations and existence of liquor industries should be all about sponsorship).

Billy went on to say that the alcohol industry should contribute to the development of Batswana, adding that it is disheartening to see local sports heroes who had served the country well wallow in poverty after retiring.

“Fa o ka lebelela sports sa rona, fa go buiwa gotwe motho yo e ne e le motshamiki wa tlhwatlhwa, ga o ka ke wa bona sepe mo go ene se se supang gore o kile a amana le metshameko golo gongwe, ka gore o tshwanetse go bonala ka phetogo. South Africa ke yo o gaufi le rona, we should go and benchmark. (When you were a sports star, there should be something to show for that. But if you look at our former sports stars, you would not see anything to show they were once sports stars. South Africa is nearer to us and we should go and benchmark),” the legislator said.

Billy further said the alcohol industry should have a very high contribution or participation in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

The legislator also called on the government to have tax rebates and tax cards to show and appreciate their importance in the society.

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