Should Botswana’s ambitious plan to host the 2027 African Cup of nations (AFCON) succeed, the exercise will come not cheap, as the led consultant- Ruben Reddy Architects has projected in the bid- document submitted to Confederation of African football (CAF), that they will have to spend P6.7 billion on construction of three stadiums only.
The three new stadiums will complement three others which are Obed Itani Chilume, Lobatse Sports complex and the National stadium which are expected to be refurbished to meet CAF standards.
Nonetheless, so far the government has already paid a whopping P65, 656, 355.00 to Ruben Reddy Architects for the development of the bid-document.
The three new stadiums are expected to be constructed from 2024 until 2026 according to the Bid-document. Earlier this year Minister of Sports, Tumiso Rakgare acknowledged that hosting Afcon is an expensive exercise of which over 10 000 employment will be created over a period of two years.
Still at the press conference held in May, the minister revealed that the report by the African Development Bank (ADB), for the 2013 AFCON hosted by South Africa indicate that the event generated an estimated $1.1 billion in economic benefits for that country which included revenue from tourism, transport, accommodation and hospitality services.
He is of the view that the rewards will be huge for Botswana despite the huge costs of hosting it. He said the economy will receive a huge boost, stimulating not just construction but many other sectors such as tourism, trade and manufacturing.
The expected cost of building three new stadium as per bid-document which was submitted to CAF for consideration last month on the 23th May, 2023 states thus:
Motlhaba stadium will cost P2.9 billion
According to the Bid-book, construction of the new Motlhaba Stadium which is expected to host the Afcon 2027 finals, should Botswana’s solo bid succeed is expected to cost $220 million (P 2.9 billion). According to the Bid-book submitted last month to Confederation of African football (Caf), the funding of the project will come from combination of sources which includes the government of Botswana, private investors and international organizations.
“To generate revenue from the new Motlhaba stadium, the management team will develop a range of income streams, including tickets sales, sponsorship and advertising, hospitability and catering and rental fees for events,” reads part of bid-book developed by Rubben Architects.
Furthermore, they further mentioned that the operating costs for Motlhaba stadium are estimated at $11 million per annum which will include staff salaries, maintenance and other expenses with the management of the stadium expected to implement cost-saving measures thus energy- efficient lighting and water management systems to reduce the operating cost and also increase the profitability.
Nonetheless, the proposed 40 000-seater stadium is expected to cover an area of approximately 22.24 hectares and will include modern amenities such as luxury boxes, VIP lounges, restaurants and bars.
Amongst technical details which the proposed stadium include are; the pitch with natural grass that meets Caf /FIFA standards for quality and durability, high quality scoreboards and screens that can deliver high-quality audio for music and other events.
“The technical features of Motlhaba stadium will ensure that the venue can host a range of sports and entertainment events including football, rugby, cricket, concerts and festival. The Stadium will be a flagship venue for Botswana and will attract visitors from around the world, contributing to the local economy and promoting tourism in the region,” Bid-book highlights.
Letswai Stadium in Maun to cost P2.6 billion
Meanwhile, another place which the Bid-technical committee has identified as another proposed venue is Maun, which as a capacity of approximately 60 000 people. The government is expected to build a new stadium with a capacity of 40 000 seats and it is expected to cost the government $195 million and just like Motlhaba Stadium, government, private investor and international organizations are expected to contribute towards the project. Furthermore, post –AFCON finals, the operating cost are estimated to be around $ 9. 7 million.
Tlatlana Stadium in Kasane at P1.2 billion
Nonetheless, the least expensive stadium which the government will erect will be Tlatlana stadium in the tourism hub, Kasane at the tune of $92 million – approximately P1.2 billion. It is the least expensive stadium because it will be a 15 000 capacity and like the Letswai and Motlhaba it will meet the requirements of Caf in order to host international matches. The lead-consultant company has projected that, the operating expenses will be around $4.6 million per year which will include amongst other things maintenance and payment of staff salaries.
P20 Billion Transitional development budget to refocus to AFCON 2027
Speaking in May, Rakgare said the two-year Transitional National Development Plan has a development budget of over 20 billion Pula which can be refocused to infrastructure development connected to the 2027 AFCON.
“Then again, we would still have the whole of the 2025/2026 financial year and part of the 2026/2027 financial year to finance the deficit, noting that a sizeable part of the funds required for development of infrastructure will also come from the private sector,” he shared with the media.
Meanwhile the Caf officials are expected in the country for the inspection which was to start on the 1st June till 15th July while the selection of the tournament’s host country expected before September.
Local sprinter, Letsile Tebogo has been rewarded with a whopping P150 000.00 by Orange Botswana for his heroics at the recently held World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Speaking at a Handover Ceremony for Tebogo, Orange Botswana Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maano Masisi said, Orange Botswana is steadfast in their commitment to nurturing the youth and promoting sports in diverse ways.
“Letsile stands as a formidable force and an inspiration to young Batswana, showcasing the value of sports not only in Botswana but on an international stage through his remarkable achievements. Orange Botswana, furthermore, desires to cultivate enduring relationships with aspiring young Batswana, much like Letsile, who embody dedication, focus, and excellence in their endeavors. Letsile has already shattered records, etching new milestones for the African continent and beyond,”
Masisi further said the partnership aligns seamlessly with Orange Botswana’s dedication to acknowledging exceptional individual talent like Tebogo.
“As previously announced when we started this relationship, our collaboration with yourself entails financial support from Orange Botswana to fuel your journey in competitive sports, alongside your representation as the face of Orange Botswana,” he said.
For his part, Tebogo pleaded with Orange Botswana to extend his contract as it is beneficial to him, “I am thankful to Orange Botswana and I hope they could extent my contract as it has been very helpful.”
Meanwhile, Tebogo’s coach, Kebonyemodisa ‘Dose’ Mosimanyana was also showered with P10 000.00 for always ensuring that Tebogo is ready to take on the world.
Local athletes, Zibane Ngozi and Letsile Tebogo have confronted Minister of Youth, Gender and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare citing lack of support during preparations.
Speaking at the World Champs team Welcome Ceremony on Wednesday, the 4 x 400m relay specialist and Team Captain, Ngozi urged some of the government officials inclusive of Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) representative, Rakgare to attend these high-profile competitions to witness the hardships they go through during these competitions.
“People need to understand it is not easy for us when we arrive at the World stage, there is a lot that is going on hence we need support in order for us to succeed as expected.
However, I am happy that immediately when I arrived in Botswana, BNSC credited our allowances which was a good thing because we had lots of debts (jokingly) thus we manage to settle them,” he said.
On the other hand, Tebogo who brought home two medals (silver and bronze) from 100m and 200m respectively at the World Champs said most athletes are going through depression due unfavorable conditions.
“Most of us going through depression because we lack support during preparations, we are only celebrated when we win but in hard times we are forgotten. Athletics is a difficult sport hence we need all the support we could to make it through and eventually amass medals as it is expected by our country,”
For his part, Rakgare admitted that local sport is faced with challenges, including but not limited to a tough sponsorship environment, limited or no sport in public schools, doping and leadership instability.
“I would of course be surprised if anyone of you would not agree with me that notwithstanding the challenges, we continue to achieve unprecedented results in sport, and the year to date is no exception,” he said.
Rakgare gave special recognition to Oratile Rose Nowe for heroics at the World Champs, “I would like to take this opportunity and congratulate Nowe for attaining a new personal best 2:01.62 in Women’s 800m, which also happens to be a national record. By the way, Oratile is the first Motswana woman to ever qualify for the World Championships in middle distance running.”
According to Rakgare, Government, recognizes athletes’ achievements at any and every competition, and that is why most recently, they have rewarded them at the Youth and Sport Awards.
“I would like to thank the Government of Botswana for their investment in sport. We continue to pride ourselves in being one of the best funders of sport per capita, and as indicated earlier, we are not intending to slow down anytime soon,”
On a lighter note, World Champs BW Team was rewarded by various companies such as Debswana, Choppies, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and also government as a token of appreciation for participating in Hungary.
Tebogo was rewarded with P560 000 from Debswana, Choppies and BPC for bringing two medals home, 4 x 400m men relay finalists (Ngozi, Baboloki Thebe, Laone Ditshetelo and Leungo were given P25 000 apiece for reaching the finals and participating by Debswana; while ladies (Tlhomphang Basele, Golekanye Chikani, Lydia Jele, Oratile Nowe, Galefele Moroko, Obakeng Kamberuka were given P10 000 each for participation.
In addition, the World Champs team amassed P926 000.00 of which P250 000 would go to Tebogo and the remaining P676 000 will be shared amongst the rest of the team.
With several local associations currently going through a rough patch in terms of financial quagmires, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mokeresete Mokeresete is optimistic to host the 2023 Africa Netball Cup as per the request from African Netball Board (Executive Committee) because Uganda has pulled out.
Will it be successful or finally quench the thirst of competing internationally?
The African Netball Championships or Africa Netball Cup are a netball competition held every after two years with teams from across Africa competing for the top price.
BONA National team competed in the last edition of the Africa Netball Cup which was held in 2021 in Namibia and they finished in position seven which was average.
Last time BONA hosted an event of this magnitude was the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup which was indeed a success even though the local team (Dinaletsana) finished in position 10.
One would have thought that the Dinaletsana team which looked promising would eventually go on and conquer the world in the following international competitions. However, that has not been the case as they struggled to qualify for the recent World Cup which was held in the neighboring South Africa.
In addition, the Botswana Netball League was last played in November 2022 and in 2023 they hosted a Fast Five Netball Cup just before the Netball World Cup.
In an interview with WeekendSport this week, BONA Public Relations Officer (PRO) said they have accepted to host the 2023 Africa Netball Cup following the pulling out of Uganda.
“We have recently accepted a request to the 2023 Africa Netball Cup, however – we are still working on finalizing all the logistics that will be in play as you are aware that hosting an event requires a budget which might be difficult because we were given a smaller potion in the recent financial year.
Furthermore, we are yet to come up with a consolidated budget which could help us map a way forward as we really want to stage this particular competition. It is vital for us to host this competition as we want to revitalize local netball, we want to attract more for the league,” said Mokeresete Mokeresete.
MORE NETBALL ACTION AHEAD?
Mokeresete further hinted that the upcoming Independence Cup will be preparatory tournament for the upcoming Africa Netball Cup.
“We are going to host the Independence Cup of which we are expected at least 16 ladies’ teams and a few of male’ teams as we are still swiftly introducing the male section to the sport in Orapa.
However, prior to the action we are going conduct courses for match officials, technical official and coaches’ beginners’ level 1 courses as an effort of improve the standards of the sporting code,” hinted Mokeresete.
MISSING THE RECENT NETBALL WORLD CUP WAS CATASTROPHIC
According to BONA PRO, missing the recent Netball World Cup was catastrophic as players missed out on an opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage which was bound to garner those deals to more professional countries in terms of Netball.
“We are seeing lots of movement for players from countries like Zimbabwe which is remarkable and that could have happened for our player – but it wasn’t to be as we did not qualify for the main event.
Moreover, through the World Cup Legacy Program, we have been awarded a sprung board and we are contention to transport it from South Africa to the country as one of the requirements to host a sporting event is to have a sprung floor,”
Meanwhile, the 2023 Africa Netball Cup is scheduled between November 26 – October 06 2023 at University of Botswana (UB) Indoor Sports Arena.