Sport a critical component – Finance

By Michael Uugwanga

FOR nearly 11years the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service (MSYNS) has been receiving insufficient funding from the national budget when compared to what other ministries and agencies continue to enjoy of the national cake, a sign that others perceive as sport not being prioritised by government.
However, according to the Ministry of Finance, this is not the case even though over the years, local commentators and experts have expressed dissatisfaction with the budget allocation towards sports as they feel that insufficient funding will not address the plight of the youth.
“The Ministry of Finance views sports activities as one of the critical components for the country’s development but you should also know that budget allocation is not just the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance.

“The allocation to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and National Service was done in consultation with the ministry itself based on availability of resources and the competing needs the country is face with.

Everything pertaining to the allocation was discussed with the ministry,” said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance, Tonateni Shidhudhu in an interview with Confidente Sport.
The 2021/2022 national budget saw MSYNS getting N$279 million, of which N$9.6 million is earmarked for sport through the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), that is responsible for distributing funding towards federations/associations, even though NSC has not been distributing funding for over five years towards due to its budget shrinking.
The rest of the MSYNS budget goes to salaries, to the directorate of the marginalised and to the National Youth Service.

It is against this background that the Ministry of Finance has advised MSYNS to seek additional funding from elsewhere.
Also voicing frustration towards the insufficient funding is NSC chief administrator, Freddy Mwiya who has expressed dissatisfaction over a small budget allocation towards sport despite Namibian athletes continuing to excel at the global stage.
“NSC budget request for the current financial year was N$89 million of which N$9 million for operation, N$80 million for federations/associations. At the end of the day the N million requested was not allocated, hence the Ministry of Finance has other competing needs.

“In 2019 for example football, rugby, hockey and team to the African Games received a total amount of N$45 million from government,” Mwiya told Confidente Sport.