Government has failed to provide funds in the 2016/17 National Budget for some sports reforms which could have facilitated the installation of electronic ticketing system (ETS) in three stadia and introduction of physical education in primary schools to inspire a sports culture.
Confirming the development on Monday, Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) executive secretary George Jana said they budgeted about K250 million (about $363 000) for each of the two reform areas.
But he said Treasury’s decision to allocate about K1 billion (about $1.5million) to the council instead of the proposed K2.3 billion (about $3.4million) means they cannot implement the reforms which are being fostered by Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s led Public Sector Reforms Commission.
“If we spend K500 million on the reforms it means we will not have money for associations’ grants and our operations,” he said at the council’s representatives meeting with Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs in Lilongwe on Monday.
According to a progress report on reforms, the ETS is aimed at increasing revenue generation during football matches.
The system installation plans come amid fraud allegations at the gates.
In a report dated January 12 2016, the council reported sourcing quotations from local and international firms whose prices range from K200 million (about $290 000) to K250 million (about $363 000).
The ETS was projected to be installed at Civo, Silver and Bingu stadiums this year.
On introduction of physical education in primary schools, Jana told the parliamentary committee that it, among others, planned to use the budgetary funds to formulate a syllabus.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs vice-chairperson Justice Majawa said increased gate revenue collections is crucial in promoting sports.
“The best ways to raise funds for sports is through gate collections and we really need to maximise revenue collection through the e-ticketing,” he said.
The committee has since promised to lobby the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to increase funding towards the council.
In the meantime, Public Sector Reforms Management spokesperson Constance Dandaula Kilimo said the MNCS reform areas are expensive to bankroll but insisted that they will not be dropped.
“Currently, the nation is facing challenges in terms of resources. What we need is patience and when the funds are available, we will have implement the reforms,” she said.