Monday, 14 January 2019

Bloemfontein: The Free State Provincial Government has today further committed to consider issues raised by supporters of the PSL Club, Bloemfontein Celtic, in a memorandum received by the Free State Premier, Hon. Sefora ‘Sisi’ Ntombela in November 2018.

The Free State Provincial Government however reiterated its stance that taxpayers’ funds shall not be used to bail out any private entity, including Bloemfontein Celtic, which are facing financial difficulties.

The Director-General of the Free State Provincial Government, Mr. Kopung Ralikontsane stated that the Provincial Government has noted complaints from the club’s supporters about what they perceive to be a slow response from government in helping resolve the club’s financial problems.

The Director-General assured the supporters that their concerns were receiving attention. As part of dealing with issues raised in the memorandum, the Free State Provincial Government, has already made a financial boost to Bloemfontein Celtic, to ensure, amongst others, that the club must not play their home matches at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

“We have had engagements with supporters of Bloemfontein Celtic, and we indicated to them that there are currently three potential buyers. We have also assured them that as government, we are working hard to ensure that the club remains in Bloemfontein,”

“To that end, we have already given the club R1,2 Million of the agreed R2,5 Million to play their home games in Bloemfontein, to avoid a situation where supporters would incur travelling and other costs to watch their favourite team.” said Mr. Ralikontsane, adding that the outstanding amount would be paid at a later stage.

The Free State Provincial Government would like to remind all supporters, and members of the community, that Bloemfontein Celtic is a privately owned entity, with its own management and governance structures.

“Bloemfontein Celtic Football Club is a privately owned business in the hands of Mr. Max Tshabalala. Government cannot spend money meant to improve the living conditions of the poor to help privately owned businesses. There is a limit to how far we can go in assisting the football club.” the Director-General said.

The Director-General concluded by saying that government was making efforts within the intergovernmental relation framework to ensure that the club deal with its tax issues, and remains in Bloemfontein.

“We have reached out to the South African Revenue Services to have a better understanding on the outstanding amount from the owner. Our wish is to see the football club remain in Bloemfontein as it greatly contributes to the economy of Mangaung, and the Free State in general.” The Director-General concluded.