Botswana National Sport Commission’s (BNSC) liquidity state has not yet improved the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies & Public Enterprise (PCSBPE) has learnt. It has emerged that the newly formed commission is operating on a P12 million deficit. The commission has a credit of P13 Million against just P2 million they have in the bank.
PCSBPE chairperson Guma Moyo warned that as things stand should the creditors summon the commission for their money it could close down. However, BNSC officials promised that they are currently working around the clock to address the situation. A request has since been lodged with government to rescue the ailing BNSC.
Speaking before the Statutory Bodies Committee on Friday BNSC Chief Executive Officer Falcon Sedimo acknowledged the commission is faced with challenges among them financial. He said they have since requested for an increased budget of P100 million from government, which they believe will be enough to cover all the liabilities.
Sedimo said though the commission’s funding is part of the recurrent budget they always get it late which hinders the day to day running of the commission. “For example in most cases we are unable to prepare the teams that participate in international events in time. Like we have just received the money for the Rio 2016 Olympics Games this year and there is no enough time to prepare the teams,” he said.
However, the member of the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies & Public Enterprise Major General Pious Mokgware challenged the CEO saying BNSC’s internal audit report talks a lot about mismanagement of funds by affiliates and yet the commission is complaining of lack of funds. Mokgware said this is contradictory adding that no funders will keep piling in money while it is not used properly.
Addressing this Sedimo said the commission is very much aware of the funds mismanagement and they are doing everything in their power to resolve the situation. He said sport has been run by volunteers and they never want to be accountable. He pointed out that measures are put in place to address this.
Mokgware said to avoid this, the BNSC has to come up with guidelines to control the term of people elected into different sporting codes. He feels that for improvement sport needs new ideas and that can never be attained if only a few people rotate in leadership positions. “People should be given terms to serve at these positions and leave to give changes to new people and new ideas. Unless this is done sport is not going to go anywhere anytime soon,” said Mokgware.
Moyo, on the other hand, blasted BNSC saying they should be the biggest revenue generators given the facilities they have. “According to me you do not even need government’s help. You should be using the stadia you have to generate enough revenue,” he said. The government has given all the stadia to the care of BNSC and it is expected that they should be using them to generate income.
However, the BNSC has always complained that the facilities are not making enough money even to sustain them. There are even talks of the commission looking to give back some of the stadia to government as they are only eating out of their pockets than injecting in any income. Sedimo said only two facilities - the National Stadium and the new Francistown sports complex - are doing better. “I will not be telling the truth if I say the other stadia are creating income. Lobatse Sports Complex is not that bad but others such as Molepolole, Serowe and Masunga are not doing very well,” explained Sedimo.
BNSC Business Manager Thato Kgosimore said other than making money the said stadia are only emptying the commission’s pockets through maintenance. Kgosimore said they are in talks with government to take them back to try and lessen costs. Moyo advised that for better results there should be mind-set change among Batswana. He said Batswana should stop looking only at government to help because sometimes government prioritise. He urged sports administrators to come up with their own measures to rescue the financial situation they are faced with.