EDITORIAL: When state coffers run dry

29 July 2021 | Opinion

At different stages since our democracy was born 30 years ago, a coterie of the connected have feasted on the state largesse, as monies spent on projects ended up buying sports cars, SUVs and other luxury items for tenderpreneurs.

When we should have focused on industrialisation, our bones were being picked clean. When we should have invested in real job creation, we gave tender magnates leeway to rake in millions without even finishing government projects.

The Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg) is a case in point, with sordid examples of unfinished essential projects scattering the Namibian landscape.

We have allowed impunity to become our national sport. We literally believe that we can put the fox in charge of the henhouse and still find our chickens alive when we return home from our daily toils.

Our state-owned enterprises have been run like there is an endless supply of coins being laid by a fairy-tale golden goose, and now we face uncertain futures amid union fury when talk of potential job cuts and restructuring emerges.

Other countries look at our Cabinet and civil service and must believe we have 200 million people instead of 2.5 million. What Covid-19 has essentially done is increase the tempo towards a shake-up that must happen in order to address the unrepentant feasting that has characterised how state coffers have been handled.