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BNSC books on red

Publishing Date : 05 March, 2018


Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) has now swallowed a bitter pill and conceded it can no longer financially support under its wing as it is itself battling a financial crisis. The commission made this admission recently through a letter which also pleaded with the sporting codes to be patient until the beginning of April.

In the letter sent to all the sporting codes, the sports commission said the sporting codes should halt all funds requisition as it too was operating under red tape and was awaiting government to credit the funds when the new financial year begins in April. According to sources, the BNSC has even requested a budget increase from last year’s P93 million. Annually, the commission receives P60 million but last year’s budget ballooned to the P93 million because of the Netball Youth Cup hosted in Gaborone last winter. The tournament is said to have led to the budget overrun.

BNSC Chairman Solly Reikeletseng admitted in an interview that the commission was indeed bankrupt at the moment. According to him, the situation will only change when the government credits the account of the commission the usual annual funds. “Yes it is very correct, we do not have money, we have informed all the codes about the unfortunate situation and all is set to come back to normalcy when the financial year ends in April,” he said.

The situation however has left other sporting codes fuming.  Some affiliates who had a balance with the commission feel hard done and are complaining and questioning the situation. Circular No 13 OF 2018 written on February 14 also confirms BNSC financial situation. “ Please be informed that we are currently experiencing  financial challenges and therefore wish to inform all National Sport Associations that we will not be able to honour any request even if the NSA still has a positive balance,” part of the circular reads.

It is not the first time the commission has suffered financial drawbacks; in fact, allegations are rife that there is lack of accountability and abuse of power has been going unattended at the commission. In 2016, the Commission’s low lying Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Falcon Sedimo was reported to have noted that some posts within the sports organization do not add any value but rather milk the organisation’s coffers.

According to sources, at least four posts, currently held by the commission’s directors, were seriously being mulled for complete phasing out. This might still come to fruition especially with reports that the commission is currently undergoing a restructuring exercise. BNSC has four directors’ posts and it is said all combined, cost the sports body close to P200 000 monthly. “BNSC is reportedly broke and there are beliefs that some of the posts need to be removed as part of the solution to the problem,” sources admitted.

Botswana Karate Association (BOKA), Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) and Botswana Football Association have all expressed concern before over the delay of the grants. There are 33 sports codes affiliated to BNSC. The genuine admission of the sports body also means it is not going to be simple for them to rebuff contracts with other companies that partner with them to help generate income.  Most notably is the issue of Mascom Company that is believed to be playing a crucial role in spinning revenue for the commission. Sources say Mascom pays close to P30 000 to the BNSC every month for its branding contract at the National stadium.



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