The Limpopo Sports Confederation at the Limpopo Sports Symposium held on Sunday proposed an ideal budget and way forward of what the confederation requires to run its affairs effectively and to meet the basic needs such as transport, equipment, attire, nutrition, technical support, marketing and development dealing with sport transformation issues.
Igniting economic growth through sport
The symposium, held at Protea Hotel Ranch Resort under the theme of igniting economic growth through an integrated sport development approach, was addressed by the confederation’s President, Eric Muneri on the issue of transformation of sport and the readiness of Limpopo towards 2022.
Current budget R2,445 m, ideally R32 m
Muneri said the current budget was R2, 445 million but the ideal budget should amount to R32 million. He identified stakeholders and their roles and made recommendations for a partnership between Government, the confederation, schools and the Sports Academy, training, development, leagues and clubs should be federation aligned and centred and club development, leagues and mass participation should be channelled to federations as implementing agents. Government is to provide resources, support, research, planning, monitoring and development.
Work in isolation
MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Onicca Moloi in her keynote speech said one of the main aims of the symposium was also to assist the department in identifying priorities in the preparation of her budget speech to be tabled on 11 April.
She regretted the fact that stakeholders in sporting activities and development are all working in isolation and called on stakeholders to work towards an integrated approach in sports development. She said all municipalities should have a state-of-the-art sports complex and the province should have facilities complying with internationally required standards to attract teams such as the Proteas to come and play in the province.
Municipal resources scarce
Capricorn District Executive Mayor, John Mpe and Polokwane Executive Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng were guest speakers. They were both firm on the issue that sporting needs should be discussed at the public participation meetings at the Integrated Development Planning forums currently underway to plan the next financial year’s expenditure. The department was warned that resources at municipalities were scarce, and that five municipalities in the province alone, faced a R553 million bill from Eskom, which they struggle to honour.
One of the major role players in sport development on provincial level, the Department of Education was not represented at the symposium.
Attendees heard that municipalities should put aside 15% of Municipal Infrastructure Grants for sport infrastructure development and maintenance and schools should put aside 10% of norms and standards money for sporting activities, not taking into consideration that Limpopo schools are struggling and not even getting the full amount they should for norms and standards money as it was prescribed at national level.
Sport against crime
Nelly Nchabeng, Head of the Department of Community Safety presented an interesting and well-prepared speech on using sport against crime, advocating for the creation of appropriate, accessible sporting activities in a supportive social context.
Also reflected as key speakers on the programme but not in attendance were Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, Director-General of the province Nape Nchabeleng and Health MEC Pophi Ramathuba.
Story and photos: NELIE ERASMUS