Sport Ministry’s budget allocation reduced

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service (MSYNS) budget allocation has been reduced by about N.dollars 200 million.

MSYNS, which earlier this year had one of its components (Culture) moved to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, was allocated only N.dollars 507 570 000 in the 2015/2016 financial year compared to N.dollars 709 245 000 in the 2014/2015 financial year and

Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein on Tuesday tabled the 2015/2016 Nation Budget in Parliament, saying Government is looking at investing in the youth through continuous skills development and empowerment opportunities.

The minister said that the National Youth Service, which falls under the MSYNS received N.dollars 303 81 million over the 2015/2016 to 2017/2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), to implement a host of youth empowerment programmes. Youth empowerment programmes include vocational and skills training, voluntary community services and civic training.

According to the MTEF, estimated expenditure for the 2016/2017 for the Ministry is N.dollars 532 368 000, and 2017/2018 is N.dollars 500 581 000.

Schlettwein noted: “Namibia has an impeccable record of according the highest share of the national budget to the social sectors. A total of N.dollars 23.99 billion is allocated to the social sectors, which is 38.9 percent of the total non-interest budgeted expenditure.”

According to the Government’s Accountability Report for the 2013/14 financial year, revenue collected from Youth and Cultural centres was less than expected due to various logistical difficulties such as late equipment delivery and centres being under construction during that financial year.

More than 1 000 young persons were enrolled at youth skills training centres, multi-purpose youth resource centres and national youth service vocational training centres during the 2013/14 financial year.

These institutions aim to empower and provide opportunities for the youth to develop skills that will enable them to become responsible members of the society.

Concerning sport, more than N. dollars 85 million was spent during the 2013/2014 financial year through various programmes like Sporting Promotion and Support, which recruited 10 Cuban officials to assist in sport administration and to transfer skills to Namibian administrators.

Namibia’s paralympics team also competed in the 2013 International Paralympics Committee World championships in Lyon, France, where the team won seven medals in total – one gold, three silver, three bronze – and was ranked number 28.

Despite these and other achievements that put Namibia on the global map, the MSYNS experienced many challenges during the 2013/2014 financial year such as a lack of funds to participate in sport competitions, the purchase of sports equipment, language barriers with international officials, absence of qualified development officers in the regions and a lack of adequate facilities, especially in rural areas.

Schlettwein concluded the tabling of the pro-poor and poverty reduction 2015/2016 National Budget saying: “Targeted resource allocation proposals have been made. What matters is effective implementation and results-based management.”