By Melusi Mlotsa | 2020-02-15
SPORTS - The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs has been allocated a sum of E15 000 000 towards the refurbishment of the Somhlolo National Stadium by the government.
The amount is contained in the capital projects for the 2020/21 budget for the ministry.
The money will cover the upgrading of the national stadium, which has been barred from hosting international games since 2018 due to worsening conditions of the dressing rooms, toilets and the ‘naked’ dressing rooms roofing.
The situation forced the Eswatini Football Association to host international games at the Mavuso Sports Centre as the Somhlolo National Stadium is no longer meeting required standards stipulated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The national stadium is also expected to have a new look artificial turf, as part of the money has been allocated towards the installation of the new synthetic track and field facility which is used for athletics events.
The money will also cover the construction of a new look VIP area at the country is only football mecca.
Eswatini Football Association Marketing and Communications Officer Muzi Radebe referred queries to the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs.
However, Minister Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga appreciated the budget when interviewed yesterday.
“We welcome this year budget considering the fact that it has come with some increment to some of the departments such as the Sports and Recreation Council, which have been given an extra million for their programmes. We will try and pursue all our programs using the available resources,” he said
The ministry has also been offered a sum of E10 million towards the designs for the construction of the new national stadium set to be constructed at an area which is yet to be announced by government.
Sports budget increased by E2 million
SPORTS – THE Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs has received a major boost in the 2020/21 budget for the Department of Sports.
This comes after the increment of E2 million from the previous E15 248 588 to E17 248 588 for the current financial year.
The figure was clarified by the Ministry’s Communications Officer Sibongiseni Zondi, who stated that the E5 million was taken from the amount which had been allocated into the department’s administrative errands from the initial budget which was announced yesterday in Parliament.
The most beneficiator in the new budget is the Eswatini National Sports and Recreation Council (ENSRC), which received an improved amount of E7 724 710 from the initial E6 724 710 ahead of this year Region 5 Youth Games. ENSRC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Darius Dlomo said they would use the available funds to conduct their programmes.
“We would like to thank the government for giving us this amount, which will try and use in all our programs. We are going to prioritise our programmes using the available funds,” he
Worth noting, the entire budget for the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs is at E52 287 909 from the E45 912 274 which was allocated for the previous financial year.
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