The Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Frans van der Westhuizen has urged private companies to sponsor horse racing events.
Speaking during a horse race at Kokotsha in Kgalagadi District recently, Van der Westhuizen said although horse racing was still at its infancy stage, there was potential for growth.
Van der Westhuizen, who is also MP for Kgalagadi South, said horse racing events had grown over the years, hence the need for the government and private sector to sponsor the sport to ensure growth and development.
The assistant minister acknowledged the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for sponsoring Kokotsha race this year, and urged other government departments to follow suit.
The sponsorship, he added, would not only be for prize monies but for sport development, adding that issues on jockey safety and insurance, training and proper facilities needed to be put in place.
In an interview, Councillor for Kokotsha, Meleko Thumpe concurred that horse racing needed a financial boost to attract more clientele.
“At the beginning, the race was just for passing time by locals but we have realised it can become a successful sport that will not only benefit stables but Kokotsha community,” he said.
Cllr Thumpe noted that the race offered opportunities to the community such as being hired as cleaners, security officers and even get stalls to sell food and drinks.
He was hopeful that one day, Kokotsha community would open a trust to develop their village.
Chairperson of the Houmoed Kokotsha horse race club, Jan Vissagie said since 2013, the race grew significantly in terms of horse owners’ participation and the audience.
“The horse race has always been a local event and it has always been our wish to see it grow and attract people from outside and we are therefore happy to see our dreams come true,” he said.
Source : BOPA