On Saturday, 1st July 2017, the 2017 SPTC Charity Cup was launched at the Mbabane Government Hospital. Present during this event was the representative of the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Honourable Minister Dumisani Ndlangamandla, representative of the Minister of Sports; Culture and Youth Affairs; Honourable Minister Owen Nxumalo, representative of the Minister of Health; Honourable Minister Minnie Magagula, representative of the Hhohho Regional Administrator, representative of the Mayor of Mbabane, the football family, management and staff of the Swaziland Post and Telecommunications (SPTC) and the members of the media. This year’s launch was done at the Mbabane Government Hospital simply because SPTC has adopted the men’s ward of the hospital, which is ward 12.

When making his remarks, the DPM’s representative, Honourable Minister Dumisani Ndlangamandla thanked SPTC and the football family for supporting His Majesty’s Government in improving lives in the country. “SPTC and the football family, has made it a point over the years to improve the lives of the Swazi Citizens more especially the vulnerable people, and His Majesty’s Government urges other organisations to come on board”, he said. He also highlighted that the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland has prioritized health, of which it is good to see organisations like SPTC to do likewise of which other organisations are urged to support health related initiatives. Lastly, he urged the nation to make the 2017 SPTC Charity Cup Competition a huge success.

The Honourable Minister, Winnie Magagula who was representing the Honourable Minister of Health, reminded the audience that SPTC was the first parastatal to support charity and that was in 2001, of which it was good that the organisation was still doing so. She also thanked the football family and SPTC for their commitment towards charity. “Thanks to the football family and SPTC for their commitment towards charity”, she said. As for the launching at the Mbabane Government Hospital, she told the audience that the game of football is being played by healthy people and that is the message sent to the world. Finally, she wished all the participating clubs the best of luck during the completion.

The representative of the Honourable Minister of Sports; Culture and Youth Affairs; Honourable Minister Owen Nxumalo, thanked SPTC for partnering with His Majesty’s Government in alleviating poverty and improving the welfare of the nation  and also for investing in football for the past 16 years. ‘’On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I would like to thank SPTC for partnering with His Majesty’s Government in alleviating poverty and improving the welfare of the nation”, he said. He also acknowledged the marriage between the football family and SPTC as it has a positive impact to the economy of the country. He also urged all stakeholders to make this competition a huge success.

Speaking on behalf of the football family was the Vice President of the National Football association of Swaziland (NFAS) and the Chairman of the Premier League of Swaziland (PLS), Mr Victor Gamedze who expressed the football family’s appreciation in as far as the marriage between the NFAS/PLS and SPTC is concerned. ‘’As a football family, we are proud of our marriage with SPTC and we are fully committed in this marriage’’, he said. He also highlighted that the participating clubs in this year’s edition are, Mbabane Highlanders FC, Mbabane Swallows FC and Royal Leopards FC. The fourth and final club will be the winner between Manzini Sundowns FC and Moneni Pirate FC.

The Managing Director (MD) of SPTC, Mr Petros Dlamini referred this competition to a tournament of hope and spirit of togetherness. ‘’ This competition has improved the quality of life to the society thus it is referred to as the tournament of hope’’, he said. The MD also highlighted his excitement in the transformation of football in the country as our teams are performing very well in the inter-continental competition. He also thanked the collaboration between SPTC and the Ministry of Health for this year’s project. As for choosing ward 12, he highlighted that they want men to have hope and get well when they come to the Mbabane Government Hospital. In as far as the business side of the project is concerned; he said that tele medic’s infrastructure is part of the project as it has a lot of advantages like cost efficiency and teleconferencing just to mention few. ‘’ The slogan for the competition is Yam’Nawe’’, said the MD. Lastly, he thanked SPTC’s loyal customers for their support thus being able to support football. ‘’Let me ask all teams to embrace the spirit of charity by being involved in the charity activities’’, he concluded.

This competition will symbolise the commencement of the 2017/2018 football season and it is scheduled to take place on the 27th August 2017. Yam’Nawe!!!!

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