More than 100 000 public servants

Namibia currently has 67 835 civil servants, excluding uniformed personnel and political office bearers, the prime minister has disclosed.

03 May 2017 | Government

The total number of staff members in the public service, excluding political office bearers and uniformed personnel, currently stands at 67 835 individuals, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recently revealed.

Taking into consideration the police and army, the total number of civil servants shoots up to an unconfirmed figure of about 100 000.

Of the total, only 534 are expatriates, the prime minister said in a recently tabled report to the National Assembly.

“The total number of staff in the public service was 67 835. There was a slight increase in the turnover of from 4 038 to 6 487 staff members in the public service. The turnover was mainly attributed to end of contracts, resignations, transfers, early retirements and retirement at age 60,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

There have been recent attempts to bring the wage bill which currently stands at 49% of total government expenditure under control, including suggestions to reduce the voluntary early retirement age to 50 from 55.

A formal decision is still to be made while the matter remains under investigation.

Office of the Prime Minister spokesperson Saima Shaanika recently told Namibian Sun, “No decision has been taken to reduce the retirement age. Cabinet rather decided to investigate the feasibility of the option. Once the investigation is concluded, Cabinet will then take a decision on this issue and will consider stakeholders' inputs in arriving at the decision.”

She also said that an action plan for the implementation of the wage bill recommendation had been approved by Cabinet.

“The plan outlines the actions to be undertaken and the timeline thereof, aimed at giving effect to the recommendations. The outcome of the investigation will determine whether this proposal will be implemented or not,” she said recently.

President Hage Geingob recently said that the civil service was bloated because of inherited organisational structures. “It is true that the structure of the public service is bloated. This is mainly due to the historical reality that we inherited civil servants from the structures which existed during the apartheid era in the interest of reconciliation,” Geingob told his office staff during a welcoming address at State House.

“If we were to downsize now, we would end up sending many people into the streets and add to the already high number of unemployed people.”

The bloated public service has caused government expenditure to rise yearly and the annual wage bill is over N$22 billion, Nampa reported recently.


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