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Minister urges councils to fund sports facilities, says towns without sports are unbalanced

11/05/2017 00:00:00
by Manicaland Correspondent
 
 
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MAKONI: Local authorities should consider construction and maintenance of sporting and recreational facilities in their annual budgets as they are vital components of social development, a cabinet has said.

Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane said this when he recently toured the district to check on current state of recreational and sporting facilities.

The minister toured urban local authorities in Manicaland province as part of his mission to engage councils with regards to maintenance and rehabilitation of sporting and recreational facilities.

Most recreational and sporting facilities in urban areas such as swimming pools, basketball and tennis courts were constructed before independence; however most have dilapidated due to lack of maintenance.

Addressing the government officials after tour of dilapidated infrastructure in the district, Hlongwane bemoaned lack of maintenance of recreational facilities by most local authorities in the province.

“I have noted that councils were not engaging in the construction of new sporting facilities let alone maintaining the ones that were already built,” said Hlongwane.

“My visit is to check the state of all the recreational facilities in Makoni and I am appealing to the local councils to consider sport and recreation in their budgets and maintain these facilities,” he said.

He implored the local authority to set aside funds to develop recreational facilities such as stadiums, tennis courts and swimming pools.

Makhosini said councils should desist from the habit of converting recreational facilities for other uses such as residential space.

“A town without sporting and recreational facilities is not balanced. The same way you plan and allocate land for other facilities like health and education is the same way you councils should do to recreational facilities,” said the minister.

He said local authorities should fund sports festivals for the benefit of local communities.

The minister also toured dilapidated the Makoni Country Club and disused swimming bath.

He said councils should prioritise sports and recreation as they have the capacity to create employment and curb social vices such as drug abuse and prostitution.



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