Tampane faced with a mammoth task
LAST Thursday, Likeleli Tampane was sworn in as the new Minister of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation to replace Mahali Phamotse, whose Alliance of Democrats (AD) is no longer in government.
The appointment was received with mixed feelings after her National Assembly remarks early this year where she claimed that the construction of new sporting facilities at Lepereng and Roma for the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) games should be aborted as it was “waste of money”.
Many sports fanatics showed their dissatisfaction with her appointment on various social media platforms, and there is no doubt that the former Tourism minister will be faced with a mammoth task of proving her critics wrong while at the same time ensuring the development of local sports in the next two years.
Unfortunately for Tampane, she is coming in at a time when she must deal with the controversies associated with the AUSC games whose future is yet to be decided due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The country was already late in terms of constructing the infrastructure for the games while the local team was yet to commence its preparations due to lack of funding.
Tampane’s leadership is expected to raise funding for the 2022 Africa Youth Championship games considering that the government has already said that it does not have funds to construct new sports facilities. The government has said it only has budgeted M339 million for the games while the whole project was estimated to cost M2.4 billion.
Her task is not mean. She must get her peers in government to start prioritising sports as one of the ways of curbing the country’s high unemployment rate. She must come up with clear policies and prove her critics wrong.
Other progressive countries realise that sports are business and if we do the same, it would be easy to professionalise the sector and also incentivise the corporate world for sponsoring sporting activities.
For companies to invest in sports, there must be increased sporting activities that are televised for4 the whole world to see and we must also increase and improve our infrastructure.
I think that’s where Tampane must start and also ensure that we have facilities of international standards to ensure the best development of our athletes. That way, maybe; just maybe, we could be telling a different story in 10 years.