Revolutionary stimulus announced

Government will pump N$8.1 billion into the economy to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the recessionary economy.

02 April 2020 | Disasters



· N$250 p/week grant

· N$5.9 billion for businesses & households

· N$500 million for non-agric SMEs

· N$200 million for farmers

The economic stimulus and relief package announced by new finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi at State House yesterday, ranging from business to households, has been hailed as a great intervention.

“We must applaud government although it still remains to be seen how the measures are implemented,” said labour and economic policy expert Herbert Jauch.

The package is comprised of N$5.9 billion in direct support to businesses, households and cash-flow acceleration payments for services rendered to government and N$2.3 billion off-balance sheet government liabilities.

To avoid further retrenchments in the hardest-hit sectors, the government will provide a wage subsidy to aid businesses in keeping employees on board in the tourism, travel and aviation and construction sectors.

Details will vary between sectors. Government is setting N$400 million aside for this subsidy.

VAT refunds, suppliers

Government will immediately speed up such repayments to enhance the cash flow of enterprises paying value-added tax, Shiimi said.

The total amount of the refunds to be settled within one week of the implementation of these measures stands about N$3 billion, he said.

Government will immediately speed up such payments to boost the cash flow of its suppliers. This amount stands at about N$800 million.


Government will facilitate a loan scheme of N$500 million for non-agricultural small businesses and guaranteeing such loans to be provided by the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN). The loans will be extended to cashflow-constrained small businesses that have experienced a significant loss of revenue, Shiimi said.

Government will further facilitate a loan scheme of N$200 million for farmers and agricultural businesses and guaranteeing such loans to be provided by the Agricultural Bank of Namibia. The loans will be extended to cashflow-constrained farmers and SMEs that have experienced a significant loss of revenue.

Debt relief

Debt relief to borrowers at the DBN and AgriBank was announced. Borrowers are entitled to a repayment holiday of between six and 24 months on the principal amount based on assessment, recapitalisation of interest, lengthening of the repayment periods and waiving of penalty provisions.

Taxpaying businesses in the non-mining sectors can borrow an amount equal to 1/12th of their tax payment in the previous tax year, to be repaid after one year.

“The interest rate will be favourably low at the prime lending rate less 1%, on the back of the government guarantee, capped at N$470 million,” Shiimi said. Applications will be made via the banks, he said.

Lower salaries

To avoid major retrenchments and business closures, employers including government and business owners will be allowed to negotiate a temporary 20% reduction of salaries and wages during the crisis period. “Worst-hit” industries can negotiate a temporary reduction of 40%.

“The negotiations will be undertaken through a consultative process with employees and labour unions,” Shiimi said.

Income grant

To support those employees who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and its fallout, government will pay an emergency income grant.

“This is a one-off payment of N$750 to people who have lost their jobs, either in the informal or in the formal sector, essentially to stave off the vulnerabilities which arise,” Shiimi said.

Applications may be made by Namibians citizens between 18 and 60 years of age who have lost their jobs and aren’t receiving any other social grants.

Payment will be made by government in collaboration with the Social Security Commission within seven days, utilising the banking sectors’ ATM infrastructure.

The total amount for this measure is costed at a maximum of N$562 million, based on the national poverty line of about N$250 per person per week, Shiimi said.

‘Tax-back loan scheme’

A “tax-back loan scheme” for tax-registered and tax-paying (PAYE) employees and self-employed individual persons who have lost income or part thereof will be available.

To provide breathing room for cashflow-constrained individuals who are taxpayers, they can borrow an amount equal to 1/12th of their tax payment in the previous tax year, to be repaid after one year. The interest rate will the prime lending rate less 1% on the back of a government guarantee.

The total guarantee is capped at the maximum of N$1.1 billion, based on the PAYE tax register and the potential loan size, Shiimi said.

The government, in collaboration with the banking institutions may institute statutory and administrative measures to enhance compliance with loan obligations, he added.


Government will ensure that water points are kept open without a need for water cards during lockdowns.

NamWater and local authorities will subsidise this estimated amount of about N$10 million, Shiimi said.

Similar News


New rules for liquor sales

1 day - 02 June 2020 | Disasters

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKAs Namibia moves into stage three of the coronavirus state of emergency today, liquor sales will be permitted, putting an end to a two-month-long...

Oshakati flood victims return home

2 weeks ago - 18 May 2020 | Disasters

NAMPAOSHAKATIOshakati localities which were under water due to the flooding experienced in and around the town over the past two months have dried up, and...

Hunger could trigger civil unrest

1 month - 29 April 2020 | Disasters

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKWith more than a month of economic lockdown Namibia is facing a looming hunger crisis that could spark civil unrest among those stricken with...

Covid-19: 60 000 to be tested

1 month - 29 April 2020 | Disasters

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKHealth minister Kalumbi Shangula believes Namibia is firmly in control of the coronavirus outbreak, with no new cases reported in the last three weeks.Shangula...

Boss comes to the party for staff

1 month - 29 April 2020 | Disasters

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKWith the threat of widespread retrenchments looming, some businesses are going the extra mile to make sure their employees and their families are cared...

130 000 grant applications rejected

1 month - 28 April 2020 | Disasters

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe ministry of finance has so far rejected 133 768 Emergency Income Grant (EIG) applications out of a total 890 980 received.The grant is...

Namibia gifts Zimbabwe thousands of coronavirus test kits

1 month - 24 April 2020 | Disasters

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKDespite Namibian authorities pleading ignorance, the Zimbabwean cabinet has confirmed that Namibia had gifted that country with 4 999 rapid coronavirus test kits.Both health...

Hunger to hit hard

1 month - 24 April 2020 | Disasters

WINDHOEKELLANIE SMITHunger has become the next massive impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Namibia, with the number of food-insecure Namibians expected to rise from an...

Kapana drought continues

1 month - 24 April 2020 | Disasters

MICHELLINE NAWATISESWINDHOEKCity of Windhoek environmental health practitioner Lion Kahimise says no kapana (barbecued meat) may be sold at reopened formal markets.“No kapana is allowed to...

Govt bans corona retrenchments

1 month - 23 April 2020 | Disasters

Ester Kamati & DENVER KISTINGWINDHOEKEmployers may not dismiss, retrench or send employees home on unpaid leave during the lockdown period.Legitimate layoffs and retrenchments, according to...

Latest News

Sean K part of Covid-19...

5 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

WINDHOEK EXPRESSWINDHOEKNamibian crooner Sean K is one of 11 African artists who worked on a collaborative song to thank healthcare workers for their commitment and...

2020 Mining Expo and Conference...

18 hours ago | Business

Phillepus Uusiku The Mining Expo and Conference that was scheduled for 2-3 September 2020, after having been postponed from 22-23 April, has been cancelled. The...

NBL ready to deliver

18 hours ago | Business

Phillepus UusikuLife is slowing returning to normal as Namibians navigate the country’s gradual reopening following an easing of trade restrictions which were necessitated to combat...

Treasury demands reports of lockdown...

18 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe ministry of finance will demand full reports from public entities, ministries, agencies and offices detailing procurement expenditure incurred during stage one of the...

Over 120 lose jobs at...

18 hours ago | Labour

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUAbout 120 people lost their jobs yesterday after a fallout between Chinese-born business magnate Stina Wu and a subcontractor that labour inspectors found to...

Namibia’s food security paradox

18 hours ago | Agriculture

Venomukona Tjiseua, sustainable agriculturalist: “The government must revisit its priority list and place agriculture at its correct spot.”With jobs disappearing, incomes drying up and savings...

The contest for hearts and...

18 hours ago | Opinion

Nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight, when everything remains seemingly unchanged.The above quote by...

Indemnity forms a matter of...

18 hours ago | Education

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKWith some learners expected to return to schools today, education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp says parents will have to trust that schools have...

SA loosens lockdown to revive...

18 hours ago | International

South Africa sought to revive its stuttering economy on Monday with a partial lifting of its coronavirus lockdown, letting people out for work, worship or...

Load More