Nambala calls on athletes to register for Covid-19 grant…as virus continues to rear ugly head
As the deadly Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage world economies and industries with its sharp invisible claws, Namibia’s leading para-athlete Johannes Nambala is calling upon all local athletes affected by the widespread coronavirus to register and make prudent use of government’s Emergency Income Grant.
Earlier this month, President Hage Geingob announced an economic stimulus package worth a massive N$8.1 billion to fight and minimise the effects of Covid-19, as the coronavirus is officially and medically known.
Also during the announcement of the stimulus package, finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi explained that the cash injection into the various sectors of the economy through the N$8.1 billion stimulus package was to ensure that those severely affected by the pandemic are financially or materially supported by government.
The package targets the formal and informal businesses directly affected by the virus lockdown measures, especially in Khomas and Erongo regions, where strict measures were imposed. As a result, government will provide a wage subsidy of N$400 million to aid businesses in keeping employees on board in the travel, tourism, aviation and construction sectors.
With the Namibian sport sector not yet fully formalised and industrialised, local athletes mostly depend on income or earnings from various continental and global competitions, and also earnings from government’s monetary incentive programme which financially awards athletes who win medals at international competitions.
But, government through the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) last month placed an embargo on Namibia’s participation in all regional, continental and global sporting events, as part of government’s ongoing efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Since the announcement of the moratorium by the NSC, local athletes have been left stranded with no income streams from sport, especially the country’s para-athletes who face challenges of physical disability to actively partake in mainstream economic activities.
As a consequence, Namibia’s top Paralympics sprinter and multiple medallists Nambala called on fellow para-athletes and able-bodied athletes affected by Covid-19 to come forth and register for the government’s emergency grant, which will see those affected pocketing a once-off amount of N$750 to help them buy basic necessities during the prolonged lockdown, which ends on 4 May.
“I would like to urge athletes to register for the emergency income grant in order to benefit from it. Do not be shy or afraid to register. We used to compete in some competitions and win something, but now that all the competitions have been cancelled and there is no income. We have families to look after,” Nambala said. – Adapted from NBC Sport
2020-04-17 11:12:12 | 3 months ago