Government alone cannot sustain sports in Namibia: Iivula-Ithana

14 Dec 2016 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 14 DEC (NAMPA) - Government alone will not be able to fully finance all the sporting codes in the country, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana has said.
Answering questions from the media during a courtesy call by Salute Boxing Academy in the capital on Wednesday, Iivula-Ithana, who was the first Minister of Youth and Sports in independent Namibia, said a lot has changed since her days in that ministry.
“We had just gained independence so we were tasked with formulating policies and frameworks on how our sports should be run as well as create structures, hoping that other things will fall into place,” she said.
Iivula-Ithana said the challenges then, especially lack of resources, were not as many as they are today, as a lot of things have changed.
“It has become difficult for government to meet all the needs of society, for example the drought which has affected the country for five years now needs more resources than others, such as sport,” she added.
The minister called for help from society in general and businesses in particular to meet government half way in developing sports, especially the funding part.
She repeated President Hage Geingob’s statement during the Harambee Prosperity Plan year-end performance review on Tuesday, when he said government cannot help sports any more than it already does.
“The President has pronounced himself on this funding of sports, and as government we are standing behind him on that. We can enter into public private partnerships, but sports administrators must mobilise the public to fill up our stadiums when we play, especially soccer,” she added.
Namibian sports is finding itself in a very tight situation with huge budget cuts and withdrawal of sponsorship.
The Namibia Premier League is struggling to attract a sponsor which has led to the postponement of the 2016/2017 soccer season, while the team which recently went to the 2016 African Union Sports Council Region Five U20 Youth Games in Luanda, Angola had to be drastically reduced due to a shortage of funds.