The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC), Tumiso Rakgare has reiterated government’s stance that the corporate sectors must seriously invest in sport.
This comes on the back of Rakgare’s presentation of his ministry’s 2020/2021 recurrent and development budget in parliament on Wednesday.
In his address to the house of parliament, he said that in the recent past sport has experienced significant decline in corporate sponsorships.
He said this has had dire consequences on sport development and our competitiveness.
“Some of our sport codes do not run leagues and tournaments due to lack of resources,” Rakgare informed parliament.
He pleaded with to the corporate sector to invest in the lives of our youth and support the national sport agenda. “Botswana sport has grown in leaps and bounds and needs investment, not donations,” the youthful minister opined.
Approached to comment further by this publication, Rakgare reiterated that “sport needs sponsorships not donations.’
“I say this because sport is big business and the value companies derive from sponsoring sport is huge. This value must be matched by what they inject as sponsorship,” he said.
At the same time, Rakgare cautioned sporting codes to value sponsors. “Codes should also treat the sponsors well, they must be open and transparent with sponsors,” explained Rakgare. He said as much as they welcome donations those donations must be substantive.
Rakgare said his ministry’s strategic goal is to professionalise and commercialise sport to create employment opportunities for the youth and improve competitiveness.
In order to achieve its strategic goals, the ministry wants to invest in sport infrastructure, development programmes and competitiveness.
It is not the first time the issue of sport sponsorship cropped up in parliament. Last month, the Assistant Minster of Sport Billy Buti told the august house that that the financial support from government is not adequate hence the need to open other avenues that can support supporting codes to execute their mandates.
Billy was answering a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for Mochudi East, Mabuse Pule who is also the deputy speaker in parliament; he had asked the Minister when he will liberalise sport to stop depending on Government for sponsorship.
Parliament approved the nine hundred and forty-seven million, seventy-two thousand, three hundred and thirty pula (P947, 072, 330.00) recurrent budget.