The Sunday Mail
Tariro Charandura in Hwange
Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane has lambasted the Sports and Recreation Commission over the chaos that rocked this year’s National Youth Games.
The 15th edition of the annual Games, which ended yesterday, was chaotic at best and a disaster at worst as some athletes failed to secure decent accommodation.
Food frequently ran out despite reports that Government had provided 26 cattle and enough maize meal for the Games. Hlongwane puts the blame at the door of the SRC and accuses the supreme sport governing body of sleeping on the wheel. Speaking at a Youth in Sport workshop held here last week, the minister revealed that he felt let down.
“Knowing that these Games were going to be bigger this time I went out of my way to look for resources even from the private sector to ensure maximum efficiency,” said Hlongwane.
“The ministry was effective enough to deliver its duties in time but the local structure was not able to deliver its duties even with resources on their hands. “Somebody just decided not to do their job and everything went stationary and that is not good. We need an attitude change in our country and the local organising committees need attitude changes”
Hlongwane added that the attitude change gospel always needs to be taken to Treasury. “An attitude change is even needed by the Ministry of Finance in this country,” he said.
“I put in a budget request of $36 million to change the face of the country through sport, but I get $1,5 million and yet Neymar earns $25 million as an individual. “We need to appreciate that sport is an industry and it needs Government support just like the other sectors.”
The rebranded Youth Games were held under the theme “Inspiring national development through talent identification, talent development and excellence in sport and recreation”.