The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) budget for the 2020-2021 financial year has been slashed by P6.7 million due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate told Mmegi Sport that there has been a budget cut across all the ministries’ programmes.
“The cut includes a five percent reduction of the BNSC allocation, which is about P6.7 million. The cut has not had a significant effect as the current allocation exceeds that of the previous year,” he said. Ramokate explained that the BNSC budget has always been incremental not reduced.
The overall budget, according to estimates, was P134 million. “You would be aware that in addition to funding regular operations of the commission, the government has to support both local and international competitions,” he said. Ramokate said BNSC is better placed to indicate how they have prioritised their activities.
BNSC finance director, Kabelo Mmono said the board was still to meet to approve the budget. Almost all National Sport Associations (NSA) had submitted their budget proposals.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) vice president, Oabona Theetso said there has been nothing official regarding the budget cut.
“We have heard about the budget cuts at BNSC, but nothing official. We are yet to hear from BNSC on how that would affect NSAs. For
Theetso refused to disclose the amount that they requested from the BNSC. He, however, indicated, their budget had increased, as the BAA now has a secretariat, which means operations have increased significantly.
“The budget includes national teams preparations. If things go well we might resume marathons, but we would be working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (due to coronavirus [COVID-19] restrictions),” he said.
Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) president, Oaitse Thipe said they had submitted a budget proposal of around P4 million.
Botswana Chess Federation (BCF), Mothokomedi Thabano said they submitted their proposal after appointing a BICA-accredited accountant last month. He said they had to race against time to abide by the BNSC requirements.
He added that they are also waiting for the BNSC response on their allocation for the year.
For his part Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) secretary general, Boitshoko Tsiane said they are also waiting to hear from BNSC on this year’s allocation. “We submitted our revised programmes to them this week so until they get back to us,” Tsiane said.