Poverty budget does more with less

The bulk of the poverty ministry's N$3.6 billion budget is going towards social grants.

03 May 2019 | Economics

The number of Namibians receiving social grants from the poverty ministry has increased by 3.2% to nearly 220 000 over the last financial year.

In his ministry's budget motivation speech recently, poverty eradication and social welfare minister Zephania Kameeta said of the more than N$3.6 billion the ministry has budgeted for the 2019/20 financial year, N$3.4 billion is allocated to the payment and administration of social grants to old people and those with disabilities.

The ministry has recorded an increase in the number of social grant recipients from 211 447 in 2017/18 to 218 586 during the 2018/19 year, he added.

He said the ministry was able to maintain a reasonable coverage of 97% of pensioners and 70% of disability grant beneficiaries during the year under review.

The N$3.4 billion earmarked for social grants represents 97% of the ministry's budget allocation.

This leaves only 3% for operational costs.

“The government is therefore cognisant of the great contribution of social assistance to poverty eradication,” Kameeta said.

He said the ministry aimed to do more with fewer resources and to focus on the effective implementation of programmes to lift people out of extreme poverty.


Under the poverty eradication programme, which includes food provision to some of Namibia's poorest citizens in urban and peri-urban areas, the ministry allocated N$60 million for the provision of food parcels.

Kameeta said N$75.8 million was allocated for activities under the ministry's poverty eradication programme, including coordination and implementation.

The food programme has been rolled out to the Khomas, Hardap, //Karas, Ohangwena, Kavango West and Kunene regions, and the ministry plans to cover the remaining seven regions during the 2019/20 financial year.

Kameeta said during the 2018/19 financial year, the ministry utilised N$62.6 million for the food programme, of which N$4.9 million was paid from the State Contingency Fund.

“The shortfall the ministry experienced under this programme was due to budget cuts, from N$70 million in the 2017/18 financial year to N$62 during the year under review.”

He underlined that due to budget constraints, and the call to do more with less, the ministry has streamlined eligibility criteria for food bank beneficiaries to only include those in dire need of food.

Kameeta said a ministerial donation fund, launched in 2015, stood at N$4.5 million during the 2018/19 financial year. Donations in kind amounted to more than N$1.2 million.

Funds from the donation account were used to help with several projects aimed at poor and vulnerable Namibians, including water infrastructure and community garden projects, as well as the provision of shelter.

Basic income grant

Kameeta said under the ministry's strategy formulation and monitoring programme, the terms of reference for a basic income grant framework have been drafted to help strengthen and expand the country's social protection systems.

He said the terms of reference aimed to guide the feasibility study on the possibility “of introducing a grant system to ensure much more inclusive social protection system for the country”.

Also under the programme, the ministry developed and presented a blueprint monitoring and evaluation template during the 2018/19 financial year, in order to ensure the implementation of the blueprint on wealth distribution and poverty eradication.

Another project included a study of old-age homes and residential childcare facilities to identify gaps and the need for provision for suitable shelter to the poor and vulnerable, he said.

The ministry has allocated N$6.7 million for the activities under this programme.


Similar News


Windhoek has highest inflation in Nam

3 days ago - 15 May 2019 | Economics

Windhoek’s annual overall inflation rate in April was 5%, the highest in the country, according to figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) this...

Drought leaves Namibians desperate

4 days ago - 15 May 2019 | Economics

Ndalimpinga Iita - When there is a prolonged dry spell, the sea of withered amber crops becomes a common sight in the northern part of...

Ramaphosa's economic reforms in focus

4 days ago - 15 May 2019 | Economics

Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo - Boosting South African growth and overhauling bloated power firm Eskom are post-election priorities for the African National Congress, but a reduced majority...

From activist to business, and then to power

4 days ago - 15 May 2019 | Economics

In the course of his 66 years, Cyril Ramaphosa has experienced the poverty of Soweto, jail for fighting apartheid, trade union activism, fabulous wealth -...

Govt cash not limitless

4 days ago - 15 May 2019 | Economics

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has cautioned that demands for more money appear to be based on the perception that government has unlimited resources.Speaking in the...

House prices remain under pressure

5 days ago - 13 May 2019 | Economics

The FNB House Price Index recorded a contraction of 1.0% at the end of March 2019 compared to a contraction of 0.3% over the same...

Debt breaks consumers

1 week ago - 06 May 2019 | Economics

Consumers - by the end of last year - spent N$95.50 out of every N$100 earned to pay off debts. During the recession, the consumer...

Poverty budget does more with less

2 weeks ago - 03 May 2019 | Economics

The number of Namibians receiving social grants from the poverty ministry has increased by 3.2% to nearly 220 000 over the last financial year.In his...

Stimulus for construction sector

2 weeks ago - 30 April 2019 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Government plans to pump about N$28.9 billion into development projects countrywide in the three fiscal years to the end of March 2022.Of...

Billions to boost agriculture

2 weeks ago - 30 April 2019 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Nearly N$4.2 billion has been budgeted for the development of agriculture, water and forestry in the three fiscal years ending 31 March...

Latest News

From teacher to humble CEO

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | People

Leandrea Louw Bisey Uirab, the former CEO of the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport), will be heading to the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) in the...

Moms up in arms

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | Justice

Throngs of desperate mothers claim they are being turned away daily from the Rehoboth Maintenance Court, despite the lofty service delivery goals set by the...

Tjivikua spills the beans

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | Education

Former Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) vice-chancellor, Professor Tjama Tjivikua, has accused higher education Itah Kandjii-Murangi of gross interference in the running of...

Hard work makes the dream...

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | People

Mariselle Stofberg Zenneth Oosthuizen is a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) who enjoys adventure and new opportunities. “I would describe myself as a quiet and...

Writing your own story

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | People

Mariselle StofbergOctavia Tsibes was born and raised in Otjiwarongo. Her family has always been interested in writing, and this passion is evident in this humble...

Tackle voter apathy first

2 days 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...

Finding a niche in justice

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | People

Michelle MushongaShe completed her LLB honours degree at the University of Namibia (Unam) in 2017 and is currently enrolled at the Justice Training Centre for...

Meet the NeXtGen_Board members

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | Short News

Capricorn Group officially introduced its maiden NeXtGen_Board in March. Chaired by Bank Windhoek chief financial officer James Chapman, the NeXtGen_Board members comprise a group of...

Driven to do the best

2 days ago - 17 May 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena Hailing from down south in Lüderitz, Ursula Mwatire ‘Mwati’ Uyumba is a human capital practitioner at Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR).She is touches...

Load More