The fate of sport lies in the hands of the Director of Health Services following weeks of suspension due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare told Parliament last week that his ministry is not in a position to advise on health matters. “We know how far our advice could go but we do not advise on health matters. We could have our own opinion but it would not matter more than that of those who are focusing on the burden of the disease. We have to protect lives.
However, I still believe that there are some non contact sporting codes that should be allowed to have activities such as chess, athletics and tennis,” Rakgare said. Rakgare was responding to a question from Nkange Member of Parliament, Dr Never Tshabang who wanted to know why sport was still suspended.
Dr Tshabang said in other countries sport is active despite that they battling Covid-19 just like Botswana. He also said football league should be granted permission to play without spectators.
Regarding the Olympics team, Dr Tshabang wanted to know what the government is doing to get the private sector to get involved in sport. “What have you done to get corporates to get involved in sport? Some of them get involved after the team has qualified for games,” he said. In his response, Rakgare said they intend to come up with a policy that would encourage private sector participation. “There should be a tax rebate for companies that support sport.
Tax rebate refers to the relief you can claim to reduce income tax burden. I admit that we need to do more to encourage companies to do more. Despite that, the private sector is always assisting sport. They voluntarily associate themselves with our sporting codes,” he said. Bobonong Member of Parliament, Taolo Lucas said teachers should given more resources in order to continue on developing athletes.
“Sport infrastructure in schools is in a bad state. MYSC and Ministry of Basic Education should work together and repair the infrastructure. We should be able to produce athletes in both track and field events,” he said.