Local authorities must support sport, arts
PURSUANT to a needs assessment visits to local authorities around the country by our ministry during the last half of 2017; a call is hereby made to all urban authorities to enhance their social amenities delivery structures to ensure that they have established budget frameworks for 2018 to support sport, recreation, arts and culture activities at community level.
Local authorities play a very pivotal role in the provision of an extensive range of public services in both rural and urban areas. These services support the development of an environment conducive for social development and well-being.
In addition, local authorities promote the interests of local communities’ socioeconomic, environmental, recreational and cultural development.
It is through these services that communities have and continue to be able to improve their livelihoods.
Cognisant of the local authorities’ mandate, the Ministry of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture appeals to all urban and rural councils to make high considerations in terms of:
Establishing stronger human capital focused on sport, recreation, arts and culture service delivery;
Introducing inter-council sport, recreation competitive platforms; as well as arts and culture festivals;
Making deliberate budgets allocations for the development of these areas of public interest;
Accelerating the construction and maintenance of sport, recreation and cultural infrastructures in local authority planning processes. As well as preventing change of use for land earmarked for these social services.
Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture are phenomena that engender virtues of tolerance, respect, social cohesion, employment and economic development.
They overally contribute to the joy and satisfaction levels in the communities. Therefore, these social amenities are a vehicle to strengthen individual capacity and improve lives through creating sustainable social livelihoods in communities.
Bearing in mind that the local authorities’ budget processes are underway, the Ministry of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture implores them to consider improved budgetary support to sport, recreational, artistic and cultural facilities within their areas. Support to these facilities is a very beneficial service to the communities.
This is because deliberate development focus in these important spaces and platforms of social interaction promote citizen wellness, satisfaction and inclusive participation in sport, recreation, arts and culture.
Hon Makhosini Hlongwane is the Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.