The African Jotter

Namibia Finance Ministry Moves to Cut Down on Salaries for Government Workers

THE Ministry of Finance has requested all executive directors to submit salary structures with grades per job category and salary scales within their ministries.

In a letter dated 21 February, finance deputy executive director Ally Angula said the Cabinet Committee on Treasury (CCT) meeting held this month resolved that all parastatals should submit their salary structures as approved by the chairperson of the board of treasury to assist in the preparation of the national budget.

The ministries were given until today to submit their documents.

“This is to enable proper allocation of funds to the institution, hence, treasury is requesting all the beneficiaries of subsidies and transfers to submit the approved salary structures, clearly indicating the grades per job category, as well as the salary scales per head,” she stated.

Angula could not be reached for comment regarding the letter.

The Namibian reported last year that finance minister Calle Schlettwein gave a directive to parastatals to start making money, or to cut down on excess costs, including salaries.

Schlettwein said public enterprises should be directed to focus on three areas – reducing salaries if they cannot raise money from their operations; restructuring their business models to focus on their core mandate; or looking into their systems to improve efficiency.

Public enterprises which rely on government bailouts were advised to equate their salaries to those of civil servants if they cannot raise money from their operations.

In a case where public enterprises cannot reduce salaries or staff, they should look into ways of being more efficient, and raise money to pay salaries.

Meanwhile, a global report published by the Bertelsmann Stiftung last year said the government’s inability to contain public debt as well as overspending crippled Namibia’s economy to “unknown levels” during the past three years from 2015.

The report stated that Namibia’s current economic performance had deteriorated to hitherto unknown levels.

The poor economic performance in the country was attributed to the decline in world market prices for many of Namibia’s primary exports (such as uranium), a devastating drought experienced in the country over the past three years, and the government’s overspending, amongst others.

The report linked weaker economic performance to government’s overspending for the past two years, and the significant budgetary cuts that saw a lot of the government’s capital projects being put on hold.

The report on the transformation index of countries looked at governance, economic performance, political stability and the effectiveness of democracies in various countries.