7 March 2018

Namibia: SA Firms Challenged to Support Namibian Sports

South African companies operating in Namibia should support sports in this country, just as they significantly do back home, says former Brave Warriors captain Collin Benjamin.

The versatile ex-TSV 1860 München and Hamburger SV player made the call during a panel discussion at the Namibia National Commission for Unesco (Natcom) annual general assembly in Windhoek on Friday.

"I do not understand how, for example, First National Bank can own a facility worth hundreds of millions in South Africa, yet they sponsor so little money to Namibian football," Benjamin said.

He urged the relevant authorities to look at these issues, saying such institutions make huge profits from Namibia, then ship it to South Africa, where they develop sports and leave Namibians without any sponsorship.

Benjamin, who is currently involved with the HopSol youth league where almost 2 000 children from ages 7 to 19 play football every weekend, added that sports can change lives and fight poverty, while promoting peace and healthy lifestyles.

His view was supported by fellow panellist Edelberth Sivute Katamba, director of sports in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, who added that these complaints have been noted and are being addressed.

"We are in the final stages of reviewing the Sports Act, which has been blamed partly for not encouraging businesses to invest in sports," he explained.

Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) chairperson Joel Mathews said at the same platform that there is a leadership crisis in national federations, which in itself was keeping investors away.

"The way we elect or appoint leaders in the various sports federations is a very big concern to us as custodians of sports as it affects the governance of these federations," he stated.

Mathews added that the NSC is working on transforming the federations in governance and leadership in the near future.

The event was held under the theme 'Sport as a vehicle for social transformation and development', with guest of honour professor Marion Keim of the University of the Western Cape calling on Namibian sports stakeholders to act, rather than hold discussions on sporting issues. - Nampa


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