A bridge too far

16 May 2019 | Opinion

As the horse-trading within South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), continues ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing his new cabinet, speculation is rife that he may reduce his national executive by as many as nine departments and 15 deputy ministers.

Ramaphosa, who faces a push-back by state capture forces in the ANC, had previously made a commitment to trimming the bloated cabinet of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

Here in Namibia, analysts have repeatedly taken issue with President Hage Geingob and his supersized government.

This was exacerbated earlier this year, when Geingob sat down with New Era for and interview and said: “The current cabinet is too big and there's reason for it. President Sam Nujoma, being a founding father and a liberation hero, has natural authority. President Pohamba was a bit relaxed. But with me, I am dealing with my peers - where anybody could have taken over as president.

“The pressure on me to have a bigger cabinet is bigger because all these people are my peers who want to be accommodated. It could have been worse if I didn't do that [appoint them].”

This seems to have confirmed that Namibia's cabinet is all about Swapo politicking, and to a lesser extent, delivery to an expectant nation.

Upon taking office in 2015, Geingob increased the number of ministers from 23 to 27 and deputy ministers from 21 to 35. South Africa, with a 55 million population, has 34 ministers and 35 deputy ministers.

Just before Geingob took over power, Swapo pushed through constitutional changes that saw the number of seats in the National Council increase from 26 to 42 and those in the National Assembly from 72 to 96.

Added to this is the current economic malaise and the rise of popular discontent over the disproportionate size of the executive and parliament, when compared to the population.

At least for now, the intent to govern better, with a streamlined executive, remains a bridge too far in Namibia.

Similar News

 

Let us tread carefully

2 days ago - 17 July 2019 | Opinion

When expectations are not met, citizens wronged in this regard should have channels, means and ways to air their grievances and have them addressed effectively.In...

When accountability gathers dust

3 days ago - 16 July 2019 | Opinion

In August 2014, just months before the election that swept President Hage Geingob to power, commentators bemoaned the fact that outgoing head of state Hifikepunye...

Shedding light on the crime battle

4 days ago - 15 July 2019 | Opinion

Nored’s intervention, which saw two high-mast lights being installed at Rundu’s Ndama location, should be commended. Rundu is among the country’s towns that are dangerous...

Swapo does Hage no favours

1 week ago - 12 July 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said and written about Katrina Hanse-Himarwa’s corruption conviction and her subsequent resignation as education minister.For now she remains a Swapo MP in...

It’s time to smell the coffee

1 week ago - 11 July 2019 | Opinion

In December 2015, then Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) director of elections, Paul Isaak, told Nampa in an interview the commission would be using electronic...

A birthright for a song

1 week ago - 10 July 2019 | Opinion

Like the proverbial biblical Esau who sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of steaming hot lentil stew, Namibia still finds...

We should make every effort

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | Opinion

We are in full agreement with the Namibia National Farmers’ Union that government should open up all the closed water points in the communal areas....

An open letter to the Municipality of Windhoek

2 weeks ago - 05 July 2019 | Opinion

By Festus U. Muundjua I am writing to respond and to correct the wrong information fed to the New Era of Friday 3...

Are we reforming the United Nations or maintaining the...

2 weeks ago - 05 July 2019 | Opinion

By Alexactus T. KaureReforming the UN is a topic which is on everybody's lips nowadays. At the centre of the debate is the UN Security...

Healing the African family

2 weeks ago - 03 July 2019 | Opinion

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) regional director for west and central Africa, Richard Danziger, describes migration as the defining issue of this century. One billion...

Latest News

Making employees feel at home...

21 hours ago | Business

Jonell Malan Human resource management is essentially the management of human resources (HR). It is a function in organisations designed to maximise employee performance in...

Fascinated by consumers

21 hours ago | Business

Evany van Wyk Rozanne van der Merwe comes across as being the epitome of female empowerment and friendliness. And this is exactly who she is....

No dazzling half-year for Namdeb

21 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré DuddyNamdeb Holdings recorded its worst first half-year since 2016, with diamond production for the six months ended 30 June plummeting by nearly 22% compared...

Vulnerable and alone

21 hours ago | Social Issues

After an initial projection in 2008 that there would be 250 000 orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15 by 2021, President Hage...

Zero cattle on offer at...

21 hours ago | Agriculture

The Oshana Regional Livestock Marketing Cooperative suspects that livestock prices have dropped so low because of the drought that farmers are no longer willing to...

Hope rekindled at Linus Shashipapo

21 hours ago | Education

Hope has been finally been rekindled that Linus Shashipapo Secondary School, which is currently in a sorry state, will be renovated.This comes after a tender...

Resilient and strong

21 hours ago | Business

Mariselle StofbergWith her tenacious attitude, collaborative nature and desire to always learn and draw from other people’s knowledge and experience, Leorine Waggie is clearly on...

Being unapologetically you

21 hours ago | Banking

Mariselle Stofberg Adriano Visagie went from playing in the dusty streets of Katutura to becoming a powerhouse in the entertainment industry and has created...

The great unwind and calls...

21 hours ago | Economics

Lazarus Shigwedha - Balance sheet recessions are the toughest to manage when they occur simultaneously with distressed debt conditions in the wider economy. During balance...

Load More