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MBABANE – It must feel like a stab in the back for the country’s legislators who also play a role in the development of sport in one way or the other.

It is member of Parliaments (MPs) who have often sponsored soccer tournaments among other sports and also make efforts to improve facilities in their constituencies. However, it is all not their role but that of the Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Ministry. The MPs questioned the relevant Minister, Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga, about this and that was when they learnt there was no budget for the upgrading of regional sports facilities. This is carried out in the   report of the Portfolio Committee of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs on the ministry’s Annual Performance Report for the Financial Year 2022/23 and the Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2023/24 dated March 13, 2023. After questions about regional sports facilities from Mps Lutfo Dlamini, Bhekitje Dlamini, Dumsani Mbhamali and Mduduzi Matsebula to name a few, the minister revealed that a E4 million budget proposal was turned down.


The MPs wanted to know also if there was any budget set aside for such upgrades and development of the regional sporting facilities.“It is government’s responsibility and as well as the communities in need of the facilities. The ministry has, on an annual basis, tabled a budget request to the Ministry of Finance for developing new facilities and upgrading existing ones. Recently a budget request of E4 million was proposed to the PBC but unfortunately there was no allocation given to this item,” Bulunga responded to MP Mduduzi Matsebula. He had been giving the same response that there was no funding set aside or allocated for this purpose, but without mention of figures. MP Lutfo had been the first to question him about the dilapidated state of the regional sports centres and facilities life football grounds. Dlamini had also wanted to know why the ministry never acknowledged their contribution to sport development in the country.

“The ministry has noted the concerns of the Honourable minister. Going forward, the ministry will come up with a strategy to support individuals who play a pivotal role in the development of sport in and further acknowledge the role they are playing,” Bulunga responded. The non-budget allocation means the regional sports facilities have no funds set aside for their upgrade and development of new ones. The MPs felt even the current facilities were in a bad state and needed immediate attention.