- State Theatre and roof over Obed Chilume Stadium account for 25% budget growth
- Tokyo 2020 catered for regardless of Covid-19
Provision for construction of a state theatre and a roof over the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium is responsible for a 25 percent increase in this year’s development budget for the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development (MYSC) that stands at P57.8 million, the minister, Tumiso Rakgare, told Parliament recently.
“The requested funds will be used under three programmes, being strengthening MYSC operations, its infrastructure as well as development of cultural infrastructure and programmes,” Rakgare said.
Minister Rakgare also proposed a recurrent budget of P947 million, which is a decrease of 0.2% from the 2019/2020 budget
The building of a state theatre is a welcome, if belated, development for the creative and entertainment industry that has called for it for many years. A petition to that effect is currently being run on the premise that existence of a state theatre will have a positive effect on the industry, especially on the performing arts, with spin-offs in employment.
Although the minister did not elaborate, he said P5 million would be set aside for the project that will entail engaging a Transaction Advisor for implementation through a Public Private Partneship (PPP) model.
“P33 million will be used for the construction of roof over the VIP stand at the Francistown Stadium (Obed Itani Chilume Stadium), P9 million will be used for the refurbishment of MYSC facilities, including stadia, district offices, youth centres and libraries across the country,” Rakgare said.
“P4.5 million is requested under the development of cultural infrastructure and programmes as government contribution to construction of two libraries by Robert and Sarah Rothschild Foundation.”
Under the plan to strengthen MYSC’s operations, P7 million was requested for the computerisation of records management (P2.8 million), development of IT infrastructure (P1.5 million) and MYSC information systems consultancy (P2 million).
Minister Rakgare also proposed a recurrent budget of P947 million, which is a decrease of 0.2% from the 2019/2020 budget. About P674 million was requested for the ministry’s headquarters, which is a decrease of 0.4% from last year’s budget. The largest share of the budget of P146 million will go to onwards payment of salaries.
The Botswana National Sports Commission and the Botswana National Olympics Committee will get the next biggest share of P134 million to cater for the Tokyo 2020 Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games, among other things. The President’s Day Competitions will receive about P22 million and P13.8 million will be used for Constituency Arts Competitions.