OMUTHIYA -The Minister of Sports, Youth and National Services, Erastus Uutoni has worryingly appealed to officials at the Omuthiya Town Council to immediately reduce the high rental fees charged by the council for the usage of the town’s state-of-the-art sport field, saying the exorbitant fees are unfair to needy community members.
Speaking at Omuthiya this week, Uutoni was responding to the town’s youth queries on the continuous lack and inaccessibility to sport and recreational facilities as well as multipurpose centres at the town, to which he said plans are there set up more facilities but there is currently no funds to implement the ministry’s development plans.
“I am appealing with the Council to be considerate and reduce its usage fees for the field. They should consider and bear in mind the financial capacity of people around Omuthiya. I understand you are charging fees to recover cost, but this can be done in a long term, let’s say in 30 years. As it stands now, its unaffordable,” stressed Uutoni, while in the same vein applauding the council for investing in such a state-of-the-art field.
Meanwhile, the Council’s Local Economic Development Planner David Israel said they have already made a price reduction to that effect during this year’s tariff adjustments.
“We noted the public’s concern and we have reduced the fees. For instance, membership fees for clubs was reduced from N$2000 to N$1000. Soccer tournaments from N$750 for members to N$500 per day. While netball and volleyball was reduced from N$300 to N$200,” explained Israel when contacted for comment yesterday.
He added that non-member soccer, netball and volleyball teams are paying N$750 and 200 per game respectively as reduced from the previous N$1000.
“We heard the minister’s concern, we will discuss it further and see how we can adjust when the next tariffs will be gazetted,” stated Israel.
The minister further implored his counterpart Urban and Rural Development Minister Peya Mushelenga, to make a budget provision of sports within local authorities, citing that majority of the youth are found in local authorities.
“I have noted that local authority councils do not have a budget provision for sports, I therefore call upon the minister to consider this so that we can foster sport activities among the youth,” he added.
Omuthiya field has been an attraction for many sport lovers, who descends to the town almost every weekend to host their activities there. It was constructed for N$8 million through a donation from Fifa.
At the moment council is busy with the construction of a kiosk and ablution facilities. Floodlights are sought to follow soon, while the netball court has been developed to standard. Once the whole design of the stadium is compete, it will cost approximately N$65 million, with a carrying capacity of 40 000, making it among the biggest stadiums in the country.
2019-07-24 11:39:01 | 11 months ago