Majoro pledges backing for AUSC Games

Majoro pledges backing for AUSC Games

MASERU – The Minister of Finance, Dr Moeketsi Majoro, says Lesotho will be able to host December’s 2020 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games.
The minister made the declaration when delivering the 2020 budget speech in parliament yesterday.

The status of the regional games which are slated for Maseru has been a source of controversy in recent weeks with the sports ministry cancelling a deal with a South African company Property 2000 to finance the construction of facilities in Lepereng.

The building work was set to include an indoor sports complex and a covered 20 000 all-seated stadium.
However, the deal is now dead and unlikely to be revived.
Public Debt Management had asked the Ministry of Sports to look into alternatives to building a new stadium and see if the existing stadium can be improved to meet the required international standards.

Dr. Majoro said an inter-ministerial team has been established to look at hosting options that can be financed from the government’s fiscus and not through loans.

A new stadium in Lepereng is not the only infrastructure needed for the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games.
The sports ministry needs a games village which will accommodate athletes from around the region at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Roma campus.

“The financing of sport infrastructure to host international games has garnered considerable controversy,” Majoro said.
“Cabinet has re-examined the proposals on the table and concluded that the hosting of games should be within the affordability of the Lesotho fiscus.

Consequently, this budget includes M339 million to cater for infrastructure, logistical and hosting costs,” he said
“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. It appears that Lesotho should be in a position to host the games later this year. Going forward, Lesotho should prepare carefully both technically and to ensure that necessary infrastructure is made available across the country,” the minister said.

Two weeks ago, the ministry of sports introduced visitors from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) who will help the ministry prepare and host quality AUSC Region 5 Youth Games.

The guests are Dragomir Cioroslan, the USOPC’s director of international strategies and development, and Hill Carrow who is the chief executive officer of Sports Properties.
The duo will be working with the ministry on how it can downsize its budget for the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games without compromising the quality of the event.

Tlalane Phahla


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