WINDHOEK – With the local sports sector already on its knees financially, it appears things could get even more worse this year as the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service has only allocated a paltry N$6 million to the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) for all its activities for the 2019/2020 financial year.
The directorate of sport in the line ministry was allocated a total of N$44,528,000 for this financial year and N$5,940,000 of that amount has been allocated to the NSC – which is a one million reduction from the N$7 million the commission got in the last fiscal year.
The ministry’s budget allocation to the NSC continues to dwindle at a worrisome rates, as the NSC received N$38 million in the 2016/17 financial year but that was shockingly slashed down to N$21 million in the 2017/18 fiscal period and was then again cut further down to a measly N$7 million for the 2018/19 financial year, which ended last month.
Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, NSC Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya expressed deep concern with the dwindling allocation to the commission, which is an important operational and implementing sports arm of the line ministry.
He said the latest allocation of almost N$6 million to the NSC is shocking and worrisome, especially where the country’s national senior football and rugby teams, the Brave Warriors and Welwitschias, qualified for major continental and global tournaments and are in need of good preparation and maintenance.
The Brave Warriors qualified for this year’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be held in Egypt, while the Welwitschias are poised to make their 6th Rugby World Cup appearance in Japan in September later this year.
Besides the participation and preparation of multiple national teams for other major competitions such as the All Africa Games, African and World Championships as well as the National Youth Games, the NSC will also have to pay salaries and other utilities as well as allocate grants to the various affiliated federations and associations from the N$6 million budget.
In total, the sports ministry got N$286 million for the new 2019/20 financial year from the Finance Ministry, which is a N$2 million reduction from the N$288 million the ministry got in the last financial year.
For the past three financial years, the sports ministry’s budget also decreased as the ministry got N$288 million for the 2018/19 fiscal year, which was a massive N$97 million reduction from the N$385 million the ministry was allocated in the 2017/18 fiscal period.
The directorate of general services (Administration) got N$77,868,000 and the directorate of youth was allocated N$80,444,000 for this year.