Tourism budget increased by 12%

The ministry of environment and tourism says it is doing its best to reduce spending and improve staff performance.

14 October 2020 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The environment and tourism ministry achieved a budget execution rate of 96% for 2019/2020 by the end of March and an overall execution rate of 63% for the implementation of activities, strategies, projects and programmes outlined in its annual workplan for 2019/20.

According to the ministry's annual progress report, the ministry received a budgetary allocation of N$447 million for the 2019/2020 financial year, which represented an increase of 12% compared to 2018/2019.

An amount of N$390 million was allocated to the operational budget, while N$56 million was allocated to the development budget.

“The overall execution rate for 2019/2020 stood at 96% as of 31 March, but is expected to increase to 100% before the permanent closure of the 2019/2020 book year as of 30 September.” The report further says that the ministry collected revenue for the State Revenue Fund totalling more than N$110 million during the 2019/2020 financial year.

Park fees and the annual levy on gambling income accounted for 90% of this total, with smaller contributions from gambling licence fees, hunting permits, registration fees and tourism concessions.



Cost cutting

With regard to cost-cutting measures, the report says the ministry remained cognisant of its high wage bill and made concerted efforts to reassign and reallocate duties among existing staff members.

“Many vacancies were left unfilled and training programmes were suspended.”

Additional measures were put in place to reduce expenditure on utilities such as telephones and courier services, as well as transport and fuel usage.



Performance management

The report further says that the ministry continued to implement the Performance Management System and to improve overall performance.

“Out of a total staff compliment of 1 086 (before the incorporation of the Directorate of Forestry), 95% of staff members signed performance agreements for the 2019/2020 financial year.”

A total of 80% of staff members had their performance reviewed quarterly and the performance of 90% of staff members was appraised at the end of the 2019/2020 financial year.

During the period under review the ministry also continued to implement its five-year strategic plan through the development and execution of annual plans.

According to the report, the 2019/2020 annual workplan consisted of ten strategic objectives, 89 outputs, performance indicators and targets.

As part of monitoring performance and tracking progress of each planned activity and workplan, periodic review reports were discussed during quarterly and annual review workshops.

The Directorate of Forestry was incorporated into the ministry at the end of the 2019/20 financial year and its activities are therefore not included in this annual report.

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