Top news from Namibia
In the morning of May 4, 1978, the South African Defense Force ran an air strike on camp Cassinga near the village of Cassinga, followed by a deployment of paratroopers. The camp was inhabited by exiled SWAPO sympathizers and their families. 165 men, 294 women and 300 children died in this attack. Later the same day the nearby camp Vietnam in the village of Tchetequela was also attacked. As of 2016 the graves are unmarked but the Namibian government plans to erect a memorial site.
Cassinga Day is a national public holiday in Namibia remembering the Cassinga Massacre. Commemorated annually on 4 May, the date "remembers those approximately 600 killed in 1978 when the South African Defense Force attacked a SWAPO base at Cassinga in southern Angola. Commemorations are marked yearly by ceremonies at Heroes' Acre, outside of Windhoek. These ceremonies are attended by many important national political figures, including incumbent President Hage Geingob and former Presidents Hifikepunye Pohamba and Sam Nujoma as of 2016
10 June 2021
Namibia in grip of Covid wave
The parliamentary sitting for today (10 June 2021) was cancelled due to Covid-19 cases reported among parliamentary staff.
This is a reflection of the exponential spike in the number of new infections, hospitalisations, and deaths recorded across the country over the last few weeks.
Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Kalumbi Shangula in Parliament on Wednesday (9 June 2021) said the numbers are “alarming”.
The ministry on Tuesday reported a 25% positivity ratio from tests over a 24-hour period.
The deadly South African variant of the virus was confirmed in a “significant” number of Covid-19 positive cases.
Shangula reported that from 7 June Namibia reported a cumulative number of 59'092 confirmed cases and 912 deaths, compared to 355 deaths reported by 7 February.
In the last two weeks Namibia reported 5'761 new confirmed cases and 147 deaths.
The increased numbers are placing a huge strain on public and private health facilities.
The occupancy rate in most Covid-19 isolation and intensive care units ranges between 67% and 100% on any given day.
The ministry started with its vaccination roll-out on 18 March with donations of 100'000 doses of China's Sinopharm, and 30'000 doses of Covishield from India.
Namibia also received two consignments totalling 67'200 doses of AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility.
Shangula said more doses of vaccines are expected from Sinopharm through the African Medical Supply (AMS) platform.
By 7 June 76'259 people have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, and 11'608 were fully vaccinated.
Motion on youth empowerment in offing
Landless People's Movement (LPM) MP Utaara Mootu will table a motion in Parliament on an 'integrated youth development strategy'.
She said the aim of the motion is to harness political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal instruments for the eradication of poverty among the country's youth.
Mootu said while the youth form the bulk of the Namibian nation, government's response over the last 31 years since independence has been “inadequate or misplaced”.
“The youth of Namibia are intentionally exposed to poverty and unemployment, worse than ever before,” Mootu said.
Mootu also called for an investment conference to attract investments to the newly opened Neckertal Dam in the south of the country.
Practical solution to water debts required
United Democratic Front (UDF) MP Dudu Murorua wants Parliament to debate and consider practical means that will help local authorities become self-sustaining in servicing their water debts to the national water utility, NamWater.
Many municipalities are in arrears with their water payments, payments they are not able to make and which leave them indefinitely indebted to NamWater.
Kasingo explains PAP chaos
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Loide Kasingo on 8 June 2021 said the abrupt chaotic ending of the fourth ordinary session of the fifth Pan African Parliament (PAP) was due to a succession battle between African regional blocks making up the legislative body.
Kasingo has led the Namibian delegation of lawmakers to the session in May in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Reporting to the Namibian Parliament this week, she said despite the principle of geographical rotation agreed upon by the African Union, the northern and southern African regions have been deprived of the leadership since the inception of PAP in 2004.
“This was the bone of contention in the recent session of PAP,” Kasingo said.
For the past 17 years, the presidency of PAP was held by eastern, central, and western African regions.
Kasingo said the opposition to the demands of rotation by western and some other regions degenerated into chaos, which warranted the suspension of the electoral process and the session.
- Agreement fails to wow
The 1.1 billion Euros to be paid over 30 years for the 1904 to 1908 genocide of Ovaherero and Nama communities the German government has agreed to pay as reparations will not go towards the Namibian government, but will be paid into a special vehicle to be set out.
This was said by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila at the resumption of the third session of the seventh Parliament yesterday (8 June 2021) in reaction to public criticism that the money might be diverted by government to fill the cash-gaps in the national budget.
The Namibian and German governments have been involved in a five-year long negotiation process – between 2015 to 2021 – consisting of nine rounds of negotiations on the genocide matter, and struck an agreement on 15 May this year.
Under this agreement, the two governments will set up a body – an implementation vehicle – that will be responsible for the implementation of the reparations programme agreed upon.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the money will be deposited into a fund that is separate and outside of the Namibian government national budget, stressing that it will not be used for other government programmes and activities.
“The reconstruction and reconciliation programmes processes will be transparent, and the amounts allocated to the affected communities will be solely dedicated to the implementation of the agreement,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.
She said the governance of the fund will be on a trilateral basis, composed of representatives of the Namibian and German governments, and the affected communities.
The legal framework for the implementation vehicle will be developed in a transparent manner with the full participation of the affected communities, she added.
The two governments agreed to set up a joint declaration, a framework that will guide the process of acknowledgement of genocide, rendering an apology, and the payments of reparations by the German government, as well as future relations between the two countries.
The declaration will be signed by the foreign ministers, and once signed, it will be brought to the Namibian National Assembly for consideration and ratification.
Components of the declaration
The three components of the declaration are:
- Acknowledgement of genocide: Germany has agreed that the genocide committed by German imperial troops against the Ovaherero and Nama between 1904 to 1908 constitutes and fits the definition of genocide as prescribed in the United Nations Convention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948. It further agreed that a large number of Damaras and San communities were also exterminated.
- Apology: The German government agreed to render an unconditional apology to the affected communities and the people of Namibia for the genocide. This apology will be delivered by Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Namibia's National Assembly on a date yet to be agreed upon.
- Payment of reparations: Germany agreed to pay reparations in the form of monetary compensation for reconciliation and reconstruction programmes to particularly the affected communities.
Under the reconstruction programme, projects will be implemented in the Erongo, Hardap, //Kharas, Kunene, Khomas, Omaheke, and Otjozondjupa regions in the land reform sector, particularly for land acquisition within the framework of Namibia's land reform programme. Other areas to be covered are rural livelihoods, natural resources, rural infrastructure, energy, water supply, and technical and vocational education and training.
As far as the reconciliation programme goes, Germany committed to promote and support reconciliation between the peoples of the two countries through preserving memory work of the colonial era, in particular the 1904 to 1908 period, support for research and education, cultural and linguistic issues, and encouraging exchanges between the two nations.
Allocation of the funds
The two countries' governments agreed for the funds to be allocated over 30 years as followed:
- 50 million Euro for reconciliation
- 130 million Euro for renewable energy
- 150 million Euro for vocational training
- 100 million Euro for rural roads
- 130 million Euro for rural water supply and sanitation
- 540 million Euro for land acquisition and training
The agreement struck between the two governments has come under heavy criticism from the affected communities who feel that particularly the monetary compensation falls far short of the mark.
Traditional leaders from these communities have rejected Germany's money offer, and instead are now demanding N$8 trillion to be paid over a 40-year period, as well as a pension fund.
Opposition parties in parliament yesterday also denounced the agreement, and the declaration, accusing the Namibian government of having “sold out” and as having excluded the affected communities from the negotiations.
The affected communities suffered another defeat when the US Supreme court declined to hear the Ovaherero and Nama petition in a case brought by these communities against the German government there.
The Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) in a statement on Monday (7 June 2021) acknowledged defeat, stating: “This marks the end of our legal campaign in the courts of the US but most certainly not the end of our struggle to achieve restorative justice for our people.”
The OTA called for a trilateral negotiating platform where the descendants of the Ovaherero and Nama communities are represented by their own chosen leaders, and “not by a proxy in any shape or form”.
Photo: Ovaherero captives of German imperial troops. Namibia National Archives
Appointments to Security Commission
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo, has recommended the reappointment of Swapo Party MPs Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele and Leevi Katoma on the Security Commission.
President Hage Geingob has the power to appoint the two ministers.
The commission makes recommendations to the President on the appointment of the Chief of the Defence Force, the Inspector-General of Police, and the Commissioner-General of Correctional Service, and other functions assigned to it by an Act of Parliament.
Clarity sought on perks after retirement
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani wants to know how many former senior civil servants and political office bearers are entitled to perks after retirement.
Venaani wants to know how many retirees are exempted by the executive powers to use perks they are ordinarily not entitled to, and asked that Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila quantify by detailed account all beneficiaries of perks in retirement.
“What are the entitlements of the first and second ladies of the Republic? How many vehicles in total are in use by retired officials of the state and what is their monetary value?” Venaani asked.
Green scheme tender award under spotlight
Landless People's Movement (LPM) MP Henny Seibeb is suggesting that a N$32.4 million green scheme tender has been wrongfully awarded to a company called Aloe Agricultural Trading.
He charged that Aloe Agricultural Trading has no experience in green scheme installations, and that two other companies with the relevant experience and have far lower tendered prices – N$19 million each – were both ignored.
Seibeb said the registration of Aloe Agriculture Trading with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) in 2018 conveniently coincided with the approval of funds by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
“How come this company was given the tender? Was there insider trading?” he questioned the Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta.
A N$130 million project is funded by the GCF through the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) for the Implementation of Improving Rangeland and Ecosystem Management (IREMA) in the Kunene region.
Seibeb said upon receiving the funds, the EIF management decided to adjust the approved project activities by introducing the Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) of Warmquelle and Khowarib green schemes.
Aloe Agricultural Trading was appointed to renovate and install new green schemes facilities at Warmquelle and Khowarib.
In addition, the EIF gave a 20-year concession to Aloe Agricultural Trading to operate and manage the two green schemes.
Seibeb said Aloe Agricultural Trading will generate income and make profits for the shareholders from the two green schemes for the next 20 years while not investing any of its own money into the ventures, while the GCF investment was supposed to directly benefit the people of Kunene as per the funding proposal.
Consultant considers feasibility of rail-connectivity
The Ministry of Works and Transport has appointed MR Technofin Consultants to do a feasibility study for the railway extension, or link, on the Trans-Kalahari railway line.
The 12-month contract was signed on 10 March 2021.
The Namibian government has received a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the implementation of its Transport Infrastructure Improvement Project (TIIP).
One of the project's components – the feasibility study for the railway link between Namibia and other SADC countries - is being co-funded by the Namibian government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Works minister John Mutorwa said the objective of the study is to consider the Trans-Zambezi extension of the railway to attract additional freight from Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern DRC, and Angola to the Port of Walvis Bay.
The largest commodities targeted are minerals exported from the region, complemented by other imports and regional trade.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) during the 2019/21 financial year has allocated N$959.3 million to previously disadvantaged Namibians, an increase from N$483.5 million in the previous financial year.
N$121.7 million approvals supported women-owned businesses, and N$149.5 million approvals went to youth-owned enterprises.
Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi said the approvals are distributed across all 14 regions of the country, with Khomas taking up 41.9%.
He said the bank finance is projected to create 8'130 new permanent jobs lasting more than three years, and 1'693 temporary jobs. Of these, 645 permanent jobs are projected in small-and medium enterprises.
Shiimi said the reduction of collateral requirements is now provided for under the collateral guarantee scheme for SMEs, and a skills-based lending facility for youth entrepreneurs has been launched.
Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform is allocated N$1.7 billion for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Of this, N$1.3 billion is to go towards agriculture and land reform. N$465.3 million is for water provision.
Minister Calle Schlettwein said the allocation is not enough for the sector to reach its full potential.
The sector is recovering from severe drought, it experienced a foot and mouth outbreak, and the country is battling a locust infestation.
“One can compare the current status of the sector to a cow that is recovering from drought, but now has to battle foot and mouth attack while the fresh grazing she depends on is diminished by locusts. The cow needs care and nursing,” Schlettwein pleaded.
Of the N$1.3 billion, a total of N$392.4 million is for development projects in the agricuture and land reform sectors.
N$863.5 million is for operational expenditures.
The livestock production programme for the improvement of animal health and marketing in the northern central area (NCA) is allocated N$96.2 million.
Crop and horticulture production gets N$143.2 million, which is inclusive of the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Programme (NAMSIP), which is allocated N$53 million.
The land reform programme gets N$119.7 million to address land acquisition for resettlement purposes, the rehabilitation of farm infrastructure on these farms, and the development of land in communal areas through programmes to integrate communities into the mainstream economy and the provision of secure land tenure in informal settlements through the implementation of the flexible land tenure system.
An amount of N465.3 million goes towards the improvement of water supply security and bulk water supply infrastructure, as well as the sanitation policy and programme.
For water infrastructure development, maintenance and rehabilitation, N$186.6 million is earmarked.
The ministry has also secured N$1.8 billion funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to address bulk and rural water supply needs of the country.
N$2.9 million is allocated for the construction of at least 250 sanitation facilities in rural areas.
Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation
Namibia's ministry of higher education is asking for a N$3.1 billion allocation for the 2021/2022 financial year.
A total of N$882 million is to go to the University of Namibia (UNAM), N$493.6 million to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), and N$1.2 billion to the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).
A N$402.5 million is requested for vocational training centres.
There are currently 68'757 students enrolled in higher education institutions, and 34'920 at vocational training centres.
NSFAF has awarded 32'849 loans to students at local and foreign institutions.
Moreover, a total of N$22 million is requested for the ministry's coordination and support programme.
The ministry has started to review existing policies for the education and training sector.
The National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and the National Space Science and Technology Policy have already been approved by Cabinet.
Others are yet to be tabled to Cabinet.
The ministry is also looking into the construction of a student village in Windhoek's Khomasdal suburb.
For research, science, technology, and innovation, an amount of N$33 million is requested.
For its national commission for UNESCO programme, the ministry is requesting N$13.4 million.
Namibia is chairing the Africa Group and drives initiatives to Agenda 2063 in five fields of competence of UNESCO.
One of these is the World Press Freedom Day that will be commemorated in Windhoek from 29 April to 3 May.
Namibia will also participate in the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference at the end of 2021 in Paris, France.
The Namibia National Commission for UNESCO will celebrate its 30th anniversary in January 2022.
Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture
The education ministry is requesting a N$13.8 billion budget allocation for the 2021/2022 financial year.
This is 5.1% lower than the previous allocation despite the high allocation by international standards, averaging 20% of the national budget over the past seven years in line with the Dakar threshold, a commitment made by African governments.
The allocation to the operational budget is N$13.4 billion, and N$402.8 million for the development budget.
The allocations per programme are as follows:
- Pre-primary education N$406.4 million
- Primary education N$8.3 billion
- Secondary education N$3.9 billion
- Information, Adult, Lifelong Learning, Arts, and Culture N$448.7 million
- HIV/AIDS Unit N$2.2 million
- Policy coordination and support services N$728.4 million
Notwithstanding the huge allocation to basic education, the ministry has expressed concern over the outcomes, which are not congruent to the level of investment being ploughed into this sector.
For this reason, the ministry has unpacked the cost drivers to figure out mitigating approaches.
Textbooks and material supplies got N$35 million during the previous financial year.
Contrary to that, catering at public school hostels for 2021/2022 amounts to N$582 million for 65'000 learners, or eight percent of the total learner population of 800'000.
The ministry said this in itself shows a gross inequality, which may require parents and guardians to increase their current contributions for the upkeep of their children in hostels. It may also require the establishment of a hostel development fund.
The ministry has started to reclassify hostels to determine hostel feeds and development fund adjustments.
82% of the total budget allocation goes to the ministry's wage bill.
The ministry employs 40% of all public servants. Of these, 26'640 are teaching staff, and 12'102 are unified staff.
The ministry is considering freezing non-critical posts on the unified structure, while the number of posts mainly on the unified structure has been reduced.
Staff reductions have also been done at small and non-economical schools with less than 100 learners in some regions.
Expenditure on utilities has also been cut with the installation of pre-paid water and electricity metres.
To cut costs on construction work, the ministry is now working on a pro bono basis with Direct Design Lab (DDL) through its Friends of Education Namibia Special Initiative (FENSI) to develop an accelerated infrastructure plan to serve as a blueprint for all future construction projects.
With a huge repetition (125'000 learners in one year) and drop-out (32'000) rates, the ministry has calculated a loss of close to N$2 billion of investment per year.
THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Last year learners lost half of their school year out of 198 days due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak.
In response, the ministry has developed a resilience plan for 2021 to 2023, which focuses on learning outcomes.
This plan includes interventions such as the streamlining and rationalising of curricula, the use of cohort systems, shifts or alternate days for school attendance, the introduction of blended learning (using both on-line and face-to-face teaching), distribution of learning materials through the media, and a downward revision of promotion requirements.
There was also an N$800 million allocation for Covid-19 infrastructure development.
Ministry of Health and Social Services
The Ministry of Health and Social Services is requesting an N$8.1 billion budget allocation for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Of this, N$7.7 billion is to go to operational expenditure, and n$360.5 million to development expenditure.
The allocation to the different programmes, is as follows:
- Health system planning and management N$39.9 million
- Curative and clinical healthcare N$7.4 billion
- Public health N$101.9 million
- Developmental social welfare N$22 million
- Policy coordination and support N$54 million
During the previous financial year when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Namibia, and additional N$727 million was availed to the health ministry.
Ministry of Mines and Energy
The Ministry of Mines and Energy is requesting a budget allocation of N$212.4 million for the 2021/2022 financial year to be distributed amongst six programme areas.
These programmes are:
- Promotion of investment in exploration N$24.6 million
The re-drafting of the Mining Act and Diamond Act are to be finalised this year.
The ministry is also exploring the introduction of an on-line mineral rights application system.
It plans to do more towards the enforcement of laws and conditions of licences.
- Creation of knowledge of geological resources N$54.1 million
For the current financial year, the ministry aims to improve its understanding of the geological character and mineral potential of the //Karas and Kunene regions.
- Protection of the diamond industry N$10.9 million
The ministry intends to enhance beneficiation of locally produced diamonds in support of the growth-at-home strategy.
It will similarly revise diamond licenses application criteria and conditions, and intensify inspection and monitoring of the diamond value chain activities.
- Energy security of supply N$62.7 million
The ministry will oversee the implementation of three new Solar PV power plants with a capacity of 45 megawatts.
It also envisages the electrification of about 36 rural schools with N$44 million allocated towards the rural electrification programme.
- Petroleum security of supply N$11.2 million
More work is to be done to attract and retain investors in the petroleum upstream sector, while the ministry will continue to regulate the downstream petroleum industry.
Following concerns over the proliferation of retail fuel stations that has the potential to threaten the sustainability of the sector, the ministry has reviewed its licensing guidelines and conditions.
The ministry is also addressing the threat from illegal importation of fuel from Angola.
- Policy coordination and support services N$48.9 million
Part of the allocation here will go towards the upgrade and expansion of the ICT infrastructure of the ministry.
During the 2020/2021 financial year, the Diamond Act and the Mining Act were amended to align them with international best practices.
More legislative review is in the offing, which is aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability in the management and award of mineral rights.
Some substantive changes considered in the review include the introduction of compulsory local ownership in mineral licenses, mineral beneficiation, and mine closure plans.
Regarding local ownership, the ministry has introduced some administrative changes.
Since April this year, Namibians who have been awarded minerals exploration and prospecting licences (EPLs) and wish to dilute their ownership to foreign investors, can only do so providing that they retain at least 15% ownership.
As far as electricity supply goes, the ministry was able to electrify 33 rural public institutions like schools and clinics at a cost of N$42 million. It has also electrified more than 500 rural households at N$10 million.
Last year, the much-vaunted national oil storage facility at Walvis Bay was completed and handed over to the national oil company, Namcor, which will operate it on behalf of the state.
Namcor received its first fuel shipment last December.
This facility has a fuel storage capacity of 75 million litres, boosting stock holding capacity from 10 to 45 days.
Ministry of Information and Communication Technology
A budgetary allocation of N$354 million to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology for the 2021/2022 financial year.
The core mandate of this ministry is to coordinate, manage, and disseminate government information, and to promote the use and development of ICTs infrastructure.
For its information and communication technology development programme, the ministry has budgeted N$8.7 million.
Under this programme, a digital strategy was approved by Cabinet last year. Also, a review of ICT policies and possible consolidation into a uniform national ICT policy is on the cards.
There is also work being done on the Cybercrime Bill and the Data Protection Bill that have been approved by Cabinet. It is expected that these two Bills will be tabled during this financial year.
The print media affairs programme is to get N$34.3 million. This programme facilitates access to government information and nurture a symbiotic relationship between the ministry and the local and international media.
The government and UNESCO are hosting a global conference of the World Press Freedom Day, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration that calls for a diverse and plural free media.
This event takes place from 29 April to 3 May in Windhoek, Namibia.
A Government Social Media Use Policy, Government Communication Plan and Crises Communication Plan are also being finalised.
Through these, all public relations officers in all government structures are expected to communicate information on government plans, policies, and projects to internal and external stakeholders.
State-owned newspaper New Era Publications Corporation was allocated N$10 million. The Southern Times, which is co-owned by the Namibian and Zimbabwean governments, has received N$5 million.
Also under this programme, the Nationhood and National Pride (NNP) programme national strategic framework and its implementation plan for 2020 to 2025 were developed. This initiative got N$1 million.
An amount of N$188 million is allocated to the audio-visual media and regional offices programme.
Hereunder state-owned Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) was allocated N$123.7 million, and the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) got N$14.1 million.
The Namibia Film Commission (NFC) got N$3 million.
An amount of N$119 million goes to the coordination and support programme.
Of this, N$38 million is earmarked for the ministry's operational activities.
N$81 million is for the ministry's development budget.
The ministry is building offices at Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West and Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi region at a cost of N$23 million.
The remaining N$58 million will be made available for the refurbishment of the NBC's studio equipment and network upgrades.
Ministry of Sport, Youth, and National Service
An amount of N$278.8 million is allocated to the Ministry of Sport, Youth, and National Service for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Of this, N$263.3 million is for its operational budget, and N$15.4 million for the development programme.
Under its operational budget, the youth development programme is earmarked to receive N$159.3 million. The National Youth Council (NYC) is given N$18.1 million.
The sporting promotion programme gets N$44.7 million, and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) gets N$9.6 million.
The supervision and support services programme gets N$74.9 million.
Under the development budget, N$15.4 million goes towards the continuation of construction projects, which includes the sewerage treatment plant at Frans Dimbare Rural Youth Development Centre, phase five of the construction of the Eenhana sports complex, the construction of the Opuwo Multi-purpose Youth Resource Centre, and the construction of the Lüderitz Waterfront.
The ministry has requested more funds for preparation and participation in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Cricket World Cup, Region 5 under 20 Youth Games, and the Indoor Hockey World Cup next year.
It bemoaned the fact that sports was not covered in Government's Covid-19 stimulus package, and it is now working with the national task force committee to ensure a safe sporting environment.
The ministry said it urgently needs more or less N$20 million to N$35 million to establish the Namibia Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO). This is to be compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency's mandate.
Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment Creation
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment Creation is motivating for a N$162.7 million for the 2021/2022 financial year, of which N$153.9 million is for operations, and N$8.8 million for development items.
An amount of N$24.6 million is earmarked for the ministry's development and utilisation of human resources programme, which is implemented by the directorate of labour market services.
The labour relations programme is to get N$76.3 million. This programme is jointly implemented by the directorate of labour services, the offices of the Labour Commissioner, and the Employment Equity Commission to enforce compliance to the Labour Act and the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act.
The social dialogue and tri-partism programme is allocated N$7.9 million. Its aim is to fulfil Namibia's obligations as a member of the employment and labour sector of SADC, the specialised technical committee on social development and employment of the African Union (AU), and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
A wage commission was appointed to investigate the possibility of introducing a national minimum wage for Namibia. This commission is expected to present its report by the end of September for consideration.
The ministry is also in an advanced stage to finalise the design of the social security National Pension Fund (NPF) as a vehicle to provide pension coverage for all working Namibians. This project is to be finalised by March next year.
Namibia is expected to implement the AU's 10-year plan on the eradication of child labour, forced labour, human trafficking, and modern slavery.
A tri-partite plus technical committee is assisting the ministry to translate the 10-year action plan into short-term plans.
A SADC employment and labour policy framework is anticipated to be adopted around 26 April.
The policy coordination and support services programme is allocated N$59.7 million.
The N$8.8 million development budget is largely for renovations and maintenance of office buildings and infrastructure.
Ministry of Finance
The Ministry of Finance is motivating for a N$4.7 billion allocation for the 2021/2022 financial year for cross-cutting expenditure items, like the Public Service Employee Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) and procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, contingency provision, political parties' funding, and government institutions falling under its mandate.
For its economic policy advice programme, it is requesting a N$13.5 million allocation.
For the revenue management programme, the ministry has earmarked N$538.7 million, of which N$79 million is to be allocated as an additional amount to the baseline programme activities of the newly launched Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA).
This programme will oversee the drafting of amendments to the Customs and Excise Act, development of regulations to the Customs and Excise Act, and amendments to the tax laws to bring into operation the announced tax policy administration measures.
The administrative component for collection of revenue will be performed by NamRA.
Government's expenditure management programme is allocated N$554.4 million.
Of this, N$200 million is earmarked for the contingency provision for this financial year.
N$103.8 million is to go to political parties with parliamentary representation.
N$213 million is earmarked to state entities under the finance ministry's stewardship.
These entities include Agribank that will get N$90 million, Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) Appeal Board (N$1.5 million), Development Bank of Namibia (N$45 million), Financial Intelligence Centre (N$39 million), Public Accounts and Auditors Board (PAAB) (N$2.5 million), and the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) (N$32 million).
An amount of N$9.8 million is requested for the government procurement management programme, which is mandated to ensure compliance with the Public Procurement Act.
The amended Public Procurement Bill and the Codes of Good Practice will be submitted to cabinet during this financial year.
An amount of N$3.2 billion is requested for the civil servant managed healthcare programme for the coordination, management, and reform of PSEMAS.
Included in this amount is N$484 million earmarked for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, which the ministry says is a government effort to be complemented by the private sector. This cooperation is currently being consulted with stakeholders.
The public-private-parternship (PPP) programme is to be allocated N$20.3 million for personnel and other operational expenses.
The PPP programme promotes an enabling environment to facilitate private sector investments in the provision of public infrastructure assets and services.
The programme is planning to establish a PPP Project Preparation facility to be hosted by the Development Bank of Namibia, and mobilise funds from regional and international development finance institutions and multilateral organisations.
For the policy coordination and support services programme, the ministry is motivating for the allocation of N$395.6 million. This programme, amongst others, is responsible for the management of human and financial resources, other assets and contracts management.
President Hage Geingob's office announced the appointment of three ministers to four new deputy ministers.
This announcement was made on 21 April, presumably following the resignation of former defence minister, rear admiral (rtd) Peter Vilho, on alleged charges of corruption on 6 April.
Frans Kapofi, the former Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, was appointed as the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs.
Albert Kawana, former fisheries minister, is now the home affairs minister.
Derek Klazen was appointed as Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
Veno Kauaria is appointed as the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation.
Natalia /Goagoses is appointed as the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development.
Heather Sibungo is appointed as the Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism.
Maureen Hinda-Mbuende is the new Deputy Minister of Finance.
The Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC)budget allocation for 2021/2022 is N$62.8 million, but with an additional N$11.2 million allotted to it towards the end of last year, it has come to N$73.9 million.
The ACC last year complained bitterly over its allocation then, saying it had to scale back much of its duties because of limited funding.
Under the budget for the new financial year, N$25.2 million is earmarked for investigations, N$21.4 million will cover remuneration and related expenditure for investigating officers, and N$2.2 million is earmarked for outsourced expertise for complex investigations that require specialised skills.
One of the more complex investigations still ongoing, is the so-called 'fishrot' case in which two former ministers and their business partners are alleged to have taken bribes for the allocation of fishing quotas to the Icelandic company, Samherji.
Apart from this matter, the ACC is currently busy with 20 other on-going high-profile cases, which have been prioritised because they have a potential to undermine the country's commercial and financial integrity and interest, while causing huge potential financial losses to the country.
N$1.5 million will be spent on licenses for investigation case management software and forensic applications.
An amount of N$12.1 million is for corruption prevention initiatives. Hereunder, the ACC is to develop methodologies to examine systems and procedures of institutions to eliminate corruption vulnerabilities within institutions.
N$24.6 million will go to the office of the ACC's director-general, N$16 million goes for remuneration and related expenditure, and N$3.6 million goes towards the utility bills of the ACC's offices in Windhoek, Swakopmund, Otjiwarongo, and Oshakati.
The ACC also pays office rentals of N$1.7 million in three other centres.
Security and risk management operations take up N$777'000.
The ACC's budget has been shrinking due to the expansion of the organisation, the annual salary notch increments, and inflationary pressures on utilities, goods and other services.
Remuneration and related expenditure take up 79.7%.
The ACC – like the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) – was initially placed under the authority of the Office of the Prime Minister.
The ACC and ECN have since been placed under the authority of the National Assembly to ensure they will function independently.
In future, all reports emanating from these two bodies will be tabled in the National Assembly, referred to relevant parliamentary committees for scrutiny that will report back to the National Assembly.
Office of the Auditor-General
The Office of the Auditor-General is requesting a budget allocation of N$108.3 million for the 2021/2022 financial year.
This amount is for three main programme areas this office intends to pursue.
These areas include the:
- Public Expenditure Oversight at N$69.4 million
- Independent and Legal Framework at N$2.1 million
- Policy Co-ordination and Support Services at N$36.8 million
The Office of the Auditor-General is responsible for the auditing of the state revenue fund.
During the 2020/2021 financial year, it tabled 62 audit reports for local authorities and regional councils, public offices, ministries, agencies, and funds. It also tabled two performance audit reports covering hazardous waste management and air quality monitoring.
Further, it produced 64 audits for local authorities and regional councils, exceeding its targets by 148%. Most of these local and regional structures (80%) have implemented the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) financial framework. It reported a 100% compliance by regional councils.
Performance and environmental audits conducted during the previous financial year were for hazardous waste management, air quality monitoring, overcrowding of correctional facilities, lack of police vehicles, the finalisation of criminal cases within magistrate's courts, and government's response to Covid-19.
The Office intends to finalise 94 audit reports for the 2021/2022 financial year. It also intends to do 66 assets inspection processes, as well as a cumulative 12 specialised audit reports.
The environmental audits planned for 2021/2022 are the implementation of the school feeding programme, disease outbreak, water demand management, the agricultural ministry's food programme, and youth unemployment.
Three standalone compliance audits will be conducted on the Maintenance Act and the Public Procurement Act.