Political will or gimmicks?

15 March 2019 | Columns

A raft of cost-cutting measures aimed at curtailing spending in government was made public by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila early last year.

The cost-cutting measures included limiting foreign travels to two trips a year for government officials, controlling the abuse of state vehicles and rooting out ghost workers, among many others. The premier went to the extent of saying that a government delegation travelling abroad should not consist of more than two staff members. It is now over a year since these cost-cutting measures were introduced and one really wonders if these processes have been duly respected and government expenditure minimised, especially when it comes to travel. This week, interestingly, the health ministry also jumped on the bandwagon by scrapping tea, coffee and biscuits for patients at public clinics and hospitals as of April. A directive issued last week by executive director of health, Ben Nangombe, informed all hospitals and clinics to suspend the serving of tea, coffee, juice and biscuits between meals, unless the items are crucial to the care of an individual patient.

The ministry claims it will be saving between N$50 and N$60 million annually under the new cost-cutting measure. Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has previously indicated that budget cuts were inevitable and necessary in order to ensure financial sustainability.

Almost every government department has been gutted by major cutbacks in the national budget and we have seen sectors such as education, sport and healthcare heavily hit. However, we are of the view that politicians, especially, continue with their globe-trotting antics, contrary to the so-called measures discouraging the travelling abroad of senior government officials. The public ought to know how much was realised as a result of these travelling 'bans' and what are the authorities doing to curb spending on luxury cars, entertainment, accommodation and the travel of senior government officials. The bottom line is that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and ordinary citizens cannot continue suffering alone.

Similar News

 

Catch up

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Columns

Music keeps evolving, but for some reason there are people who refuse to adapt and embrace new sounds. You know, those types of people who...

Students taken for a ride

3 days ago - 23 May 2019 | Columns

The plight of poor Namibian students has always been a hot topic in the media. Many have been barred from writing exams at tertiary institutions...

Fathers must step up

4 days ago - 22 May 2019 | Columns

Our lead story of yesterday, which highlighted the shame of absent fathers, sparked heated debate on social media. Most of the commentators sympathised with single...

Taking collective responsibility

5 days ago - 21 May 2019 | Columns

It is indeed encouraging to see Namibians in general expressing their support and speaking out in defence of sexual assault survivors. Stigma can compound the...

You can’t Photoshop feelings

5 days ago - 21 May 2019 | Columns

Justicia Shipena I came across a man at a workshop I attended and he said to me: "Write what you are feeling. Tell the...

Let the games begin

6 days ago - 20 May 2019 | Columns

The Electoral Commission of Namibia last week announced 27 November as the date for the upcoming general election, which will be preceded by the supplementary...

Get your SME 'finance ready'

1 week ago - 17 May 2019 | Columns

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contribute up to 60% of all employment and as much as 40% of GDP in emerging economies, according to the...

Tackle voter apathy first

1 week ago - 17 May 2019 | Columns

The upcoming Ondangwa Urban by-election has been enjoying prominent coverage in the mainstream media, with Swapo loyalists and those supporting an independent candidate ruffling each...

Less beef more chicken

1 week ago - 17 May 2019 | Columns

I am starting to question the existence of the game five years from now. What will the scene be like? Will we have another Big...

The legacy you leave is the one you live

1 week ago - 14 May 2019 | Columns

Michelline NawatisesLegacy… The word itself intimidates many people as it is the one thing you will be remembered for long after you are gone.This...

Latest News

10% water hike coming

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has proposed a 10% water and 5% sewer tariff hike to come into effect in July. The City's recently announced...

Low earners excluded from drought...

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

Households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 will not qualify for state drought assistance, which has effectively excluded even low-level civil servants...

How did we get here?

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Opinion

How did we get to a situation, as a country, where our government is asking already struggling workers to donate 2% of the salaries as...

AMTA ends Fysal agreement

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Agriculture

Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated....

Geingob grills Nanso

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Education

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership received a grilling from President Hage Geingob on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss a number of issues,...

Fallout over 2% tax

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Economics

Political parties and analysts have called on the government to abandon a plan to introduce a “voluntary” 2% tax to fund drought relief.Prime Minister Saara...

Bild challenges Guibeb

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | International

The German newspaper Bild has rubbished a claim by the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.The...

Namibia ranks poorly for diversity

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

For a country that is described by many as one of the most diverse in the world, Namibia has ranked fairly poorly in a new...

Business ponders mass exodus

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Business

A recent survey by the Economic Policy Research Association (EPRA) of close to 600 businesses concerned about the government's policy direction shows that a staggering...

Load More