After months of uncertainty over who will take the reins at the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) following the resignation of its then Chief Executive Officer, Kitso Kemoen, BNSC has finally made a decision.
The local sports governing mother body has appointed Percy Raditladi as its new CEO. The new BNSC chief, who has already started work at the BNSC, was presented to the media this past week. As the new chief of the country’s sports mother body, Raditladi’s main task will not only be to lead the country’s biggest sports body, but also to see to it that the country’s sports is turned professional. While there may be doubts of his capability to head sports due to his non sporting background, his appointment will be seen in many quarters as a smart business move.
Presenting the new CEO to the media, BNSC Chairman Solly Reikeletseng informed members of the media that the BNSC’s target for the position was not to hunt for a sports aficionado, but ‘a shrewd businessman,’ a hunt which attracted the sports council to Raditladi.
According to the BNSC chairperson, Raditladi has a very good track record and is an ideal man to lead the BNSC.
For his part, Raditladi expressed gratitude at the opportunity to lead Botswana’s sport, and expressed confidence that he and his team at the BNSC can ‘build a strong institution that will deliver its mandate to the sporting community and to the Botswana population with the highest level of professionalism.’
He said, under his leadership, the BNSC will focus on many issues, among them seeing to it that the BNSC reliance on Government for sustenance is reduced, something which he says can be achieved through commercialization.
While he has vast experience in the private sector, it is the self same issue of commercialization which will test Raditladi to the full during his tenure at the helm of the BNSC and he is aware of the problem.
“Although globally sport is a multi-billion dollar industry, the potential for commercialization of sport in Botswana remains an elusive undertaking,” the new BNSC CEO observed. “Despite this, there are many commercial opportunities for the council to explore to reduce the dependence on Government by being savvier and commercially driven,” Raditladi continued. He said some of the avenues that the council will explore during his tenure to derive income will include ‘maximising returns from its advertising space and ensuring that the council gets equal or better share from the exposure it creates for the private sector.’
He said with the council having land concessions, the other avenue will be for the council to use the land concessions to derive income and profit.
“We have fellow parastatals like Botswana Railways, which managed to derive value from their land which used to remain idle. We will benchmark with them to achieve our objectives. There is no reason why BNSC cannot undertake profit driven activities to ensure that we raise enough funds for our affiliates,” the new BNSC CEO explained.