The National Sport Commission Act is being reviewed to facilitate sport to contribute to the economy through commercialization and professionalism, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has revealed .
Masisi made the announcement during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, buttressing that the review of the Act will also be vital in improving welfare and the rights of our sportspersons. The BNSC Act No 30 of 2014 approved by Parliament established the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), which is a national governing body of all the sporting codes in Botswana.
According to the Act, the functions of the Commission amongst others include that of advising Sport Minister to change, review or formulate sport related policies or strategies where necessary.
In addition, Masisi said the COVID-19 pandemic affected all sectors of economy including sport. “To alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on sport and the creative industry, Government offered a financial relief programme for artists and athletes. By September 2020, a total of 19 404 180, 00 had been paid to youth, athletes and athletes to help them cope with COVID-19 effects,” he said.
Masisi said eight hundred and eighty nine (889) athletes received P 3 567 430 of the relief package. He expressed sadness that many sport and cultural activities for 2020 were either postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 prevention and containment measures as laid out by government.
“These include, the Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural festivals, the 1000km Kgalagadi Desert Race, the President’s Day Competitions, Constituency Sport and Arts Competitions and other sporting activities such as football league. I wish to indicate however that the postponements and cancellations were necessary for the protection of our people,” added president Masisi.
He further said the Youth Development Fund (YDF) is currently being reviewed to assess the impact and identify gaps in its implementation noting that Youth Policy is also being revieved.
The review of the policy, he said is intended for incorporating emerging issues in the youth development space such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution with both YDF and Youth Policy reviews are targeted for completion by March 2021.