SRC rules out levy reduction

HARARE - The Sports and Recreational Commission (SRC) has ruled out reducing the contentious six percent levied on football clubs arguing it is the one sustaining their operations.

Local teams were praying for a relief through reductions from the SRC which levies football clubs and other sports disciplines.

SRC, board member Dave Ellman-Brown said they have been left to turn to gate taking levies as a means of survival.

The former Zimbabwe Cricket chief executive admitted he has not been paid for over two years, throwing into question the relevance of the SRC to manage Zimbabwe’s 51 sport codes when they are failing to manage their own affairs.

“We put in a budget to government each year. That budget is what we believe is enough to run the sports commission. But I am afraid to say we only get sufficient funds to pay salaries nothing to do with administration and development of sport,” Brown told parliamentarians last week.

“So I am afraid for the last two years we have had very little coming out of the ministry and it has affected us in a tremendous way.

“We do not have funds. We cannot develop as we would like to. I find that is a very serious issue for us to be relevant. We tried to raise money, we found that difficult to implement. It’s something we are addressing with the ministry concerned,” he said.

“….So on the levies I am afraid that money is absorbed in the running of our association. We as the commissioners have not been paid for the last two years. That is the story. We give our time, free, for the love of sport. It’s terrible that we find ourselves in this situation.”

Brown’s sentiments left a lot of questions among the lawmakers who queried how the SRC was expected to maintain corporate governance among the national associations and take Zimbabwean sports to the next level when they were relying on the same associations for survival.

The SRC which also runs a number of stadia, has failed to maintain standards at some of the grounds owing to their dire straits.

The once state-of-the-art Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex, Mbare Netball Complex, Magamba Hockey Stadium and National Sports Stadium are now shadows of their former state.

The infiltration plant which used to power the three pools at the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex broke down in 2003 whilst an estimated $ 2 million is needed to resuscitate the pools.

The Mbare Netball Complex needs to be upgraded in order for it to meet international standards.

The markings on the athletics track at the National Sports Stadium are not certified by the  International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and this means records set there are  not recognised.

The absence of an electronic timer at the facility is also a cause for concern.

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