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Region 5 LOC chair applauds Govt for backing games

Mr Fusi Notoane

Feb. 28, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

Region 5 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairperson Fusi Notoane has applauded the government for backing the forthcoming Region 5 Youth Games Maseru 2020 in the budget speech made by Finance Minister Dr. Moeketsi Majoro on Wednesday February 26. Mr. Notoane welcomed the statement, saying he always reiterated that the regional games will rely on the government's commitment, adding that they never had any doubt towards that from the word go.

“We always remained confident that the government is behind the Regional Games and even though a loud of noise was made, we remained hopeful that the government will stick to their word and show the necessary financial and morale support,” he commented.

However, Mr. Notoane pinpointed that the M340 million is not enough as compared to the initial M2.4 billion that was budgeted to host the successful regional games but said half a loaf is better than no bread at all and will have to soldier on under the available resources.

LOC Chair though was adamant that the games will go ahead as scheduled in December this year, he highlighted that they need to use the remaining time efficiently and effectively to meet all the set requirements such as the facilities as well as the athletes village at Lepereng and Roma.

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“I have always been clear that infrastructure development to host successful games depends entirely on the government and not on LOC,” he explained.

He stated that the procurement processes need to be made as early as possible so that when the funds are released in April everything goes according to plan and no hindrance in order to speed up the logistical arrangements.

 Dr. Majoro ended the long speculation regarding the forthcoming Region 5 Games in his 2020/2021 budget speech saying the financing of sport infrastructure to host international games has garnered considerable controversy. He said the cabinet has re-examined the proposals on the table and concluded that the hosting of the games should be within the affordability of the Lesotho fiscus.

Consequently, he said this budget includes M339 million to cater for infrastructure, logistical and hosting costs.

“An inter-ministerial technical team has been mobilised to look at the hosting options that are affordable and can be financed from the fiscus and not through questionable loans,” he explained amidst applause from the members.

Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, Dr. Mahali Phamotse has always been positive that the games would go ahead as planned despite negative reports from other corners of the society that the country would be in serious financial debt drawn from loans to fund the games.

There are over 10 member countries as well as sporting disciplines such as soccer, netball, boxing, taekwondo, athletics, tennis, swimming that will be played during the games.


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