Tjongarero welcomes 20.5% sports budget increment… stadiums to get upgrade

Home Sports Tjongarero welcomes 20.5% sports budget increment… stadiums to get upgrade
Tjongarero welcomes 20.5% sports budget increment… stadiums to get upgrade

Sports minister Agnes Tjongarero yesterday expressed great delight with the 20.5% increment in the budget allocation to her ministry for the 2022/23 financial year, which she said will go a long way in reviving dilapidated sports facilities across the country.

For the 2022/23 fiscal year, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi, when tabling the national budget in Parliament yesterday, announced that the sports and youth ministry will receive an improved N$330.9 million for the coming financial period, up from N$279 million for the current financial year, which marks an increment of about N$51.9 million.

The increased allocation comes as a perfect tonic for the country’s worn-out sports sector, which continues to struggle with inadequate and dilapidated facilities as well as unskilled administrators.

Welcoming the increment yesterday, an elated Tjongarero said she has been in deep pain watching the country’s various national football teams playing their home games in South Africa, due to a lack of Caf/Fifa accredited stadiums at home.

With the increased allocation for the coming fiscal calendar, Tjongarero is adamant the ministry now has the required capacity upgrade to renovate Windhoek’s Independence stadium, which was one of the stadiums that was banished by Caf and Fifa. The Sam Nujoma stadium also remains banned.

“To be quite honest, I’m very happy with the increment to our budget. It will come in handy for us as a ministry because we face a lot of problems,” she told New Era Sport

“As you might be aware, we have a serious problem with sport facilities in this country and our teams have been playing their matches in foreign countries, which is not a good thing at all. We need to restore the pride of our nation and uplift the spirits of our youths. We will get to work and fix the broken stadiums.” 

The veteran politician added: “And not just the sport facilities, but we also have many youth programmes and youth centres that need attention, so this increased budget will really help in many ways. As I said, it is important that we look after our youth, and this kind of intervention [increment] will help us achieve our set goals as a line ministry. So, I’m very delighted and can’t wait to get down to work with my senior staff members. In fact, I have already set a meeting tomorrow (today) with my management team so that we get started.” 

On his part, Shiimi said requisite funding to the tune of N$50 million has been made available in the development budget for the upgrading and renovation for the Independence stadium in order to meet the requirements for hosting international fixtures.  

“We recognise that we can no longer afford a situation where our national team cannot play international matches on home ground. We should fix our sports fields and develop new ones, especially in the informal settlements and rural areas. We can no longer afford to have a country without a football league. Our fellow Namibians at Football House in Katutura should find each other for the sake of our youth.”