Urban and rural ministry tackles weaknesses

09 April 2019 | Government

Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga this week took aim at a number of staff performance weaknesses hampering service delivery at his ministry.

During the minister's annual staff address, he tackled a number of issues including lack of punctuality, productivity, efficiency and innovation. He urged staff members to take more interest in their work, to adhere to performance agreements and to be more proactive.

He further stressed that this is the year of accountability, and that all staff are jointly responsible for the work output and quality of the ministry.

Mushelenga said in particular two divisions, which he did not name, were underperforming, and sometimes took “days, weeks” to finish important tasks.

“When you underperform you are cheating government. Your salary is paid according to your job description,” he said.

He further emphasised the need for quality rather than quantity.

Another issue Mushelenga highlighted was the lack of feedback and communication within the ministry, and between the ministry and service providers.

“If you know someone needs to be paid, communicate on time. Don't wait for them to come and beg as if they are borrowing money.”

He said even if the money could not be paid promptly, the service providers should be informed in a timely and efficient manner.

“These people have employees too that they are supposed to pay. Meanwhile, you keep people waiting.”

Mushelenga also took to task other government agencies, including the office of the government attorneys, saying they sometimes failed to communicate efficiently and in a timely manner.

Mushelenga said the ministry is often embroiled in litigation, but at times is only advised of the notices at a very late stage or after responses have already been filed by the government attorney on the case. He said sometimes cases are lost because documentation or information is not shared promptly with the ministry.

Staff feedback

During the feedback slot, staff highlighted issues they say cause delays and cripple their ability to perform diligently, including limited technical staff and lack of collaboration and communication between various departments.

A major issue pointed out by a staff member was a mismatch between too many support staff and too few technical staff, which leads to lengthy delays, backlogs, poor performance and inability to reach targets.

This lack of capacity had been addressed in a restructuring proposal a few years ago, a staff member said.

He warned that unless the chronic lack of capacity within these crucial departments was addressed, “delays will remain”.

Both Mushelenga and executive director Nghidinwa Daniel acknowledged the capacity issues at the ministry but urged staff to recognise and work around current limitations, including a general hold on new appointments throughout the public service.

Other staff also underlined that the “work mentality” of many in the ministry, and the government overall, poses a major roadblock to improved service delivery and productivity. Another member of staff stressed that they are acutely aware that “the issue of land is critical” but that in some cases senior managers do not take the “plight of Namibians”, especially those in informal settlements, equally seriously.

Daniel highlighted all the issues put on the table by both the minister and staff, and provided feedback and suggestions.

He agreed that while a lack of skills was problematic, “we are called upon to make the best with what we have”.


Similar News


Rundu heeds Mushelenga's ultimatum

1 week ago - 06 June 2019 | Government

Rundu deputy mayor Toini Hausiku has resigned in order to take up the vacant seat on the town's management committee, which has been in limbo...

Hainghumbi in the dark about charges

1 week ago - 05 June 2019 | Government

Grootfontein municipality finance executive Ileni Hainghumbi is still in the dark about the exact charges he faces.Hainghumbi, who was suspended in January for alleged misconduct,...

Get serious about water

1 week ago - 05 June 2019 | Government

The City of Windhoek warns that the city's taps will run dry unless residents cooperate to achieve the mandatory 15% monthly water savings target.“Overconsumption is...

PM delivers pep talk

1 week ago - 04 June 2019 | Government

Government's top accounting officers have been sternly reminded of their crucial role in managing Namibia's tight purse strings, tackling public-service corruption and ensuring accountability and...

San fall through the cracks

1 week ago - 03 June 2019 | Government

The process of identifying and registering drought relief food beneficiaries in Ohangwena has excluded marginalised people in the region, despite a communication from the Office...

Decolonise yourselves – Geingob

2 weeks ago - 28 May 2019 | Government

What started out as a plea by the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership to decolonise tertiary institutions turned into a history lesson when President...

Internships back in govt

3 weeks ago - 23 May 2019 | Government

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has directed the lifting of the internship programme ban in the public sector from 1 June.She instructed in a notice that...

'Pohamba was misled'

3 weeks ago - 22 May 2019 | Government

Kavango West regional council chairperson Joseph Sivaku Sikongo says former president Hifikepunye Pohamba was misled when he conducted a groundbreaking ceremony in 2014 for the...

Guibeb in debt scandal

1 month - 17 May 2019 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES A German newspaper has accused the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, of abusing his diplomatic status and running up debts of about...

'Let's move on'

1 month - 16 May 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob has dismissed calls for the establishment of a South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to deal with the unresolved pain and...

Latest News

Kalahari turns deadly

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Crime

Namibia's police chief has strongly condemned the killing of an unarmed taxi driver by a soldier attached to Operation Kalahari Desert and vowed this will...

Swapo suspends dissidents

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Politics

Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa yesterday refused to comment on the sudden suspension of six influential party leaders in Otjozondjupa. Otjozondjupa governor Otto Iipinge, along with...

Horrific, but inevitable

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Columns

Incidences of assaults by military personnel on civilians have been widely reported in the mainstream media and on social media over the last couple of...

Hopeless, destitute

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Social Issues

A family of five at Kayeura village in the Musese constituency of Kavango East are living amid hopelessness in a makeshift structure made of pieces...

Kingship battle escalates

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Cultural

An Ondonga faction backing Konis Eino Kalenga is likely to proceed with an application to interdict urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga and Oshana...

We are kept in dark...

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Life Style

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says 'The Journey' human rights campaign, which ends today, is the perfect platform for even the most timid voices to speak...

The feisty hustler out to...

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Having performed in Angola, Nigeria at the AYLIVE comedy concert, doing songs with Top Cheri and Zimbabwe's KNG BL, and being invited to represent Namibia...

NBC launches Body with Maria...

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Host Maria Nepembe describes the show as a reality TV show that focuses on fitness and health. “We are getting 10 individuals who want to...

Let's talk hip-hop

2 days ago - 14 June 2019 | Columns

I remember mockingly being called a ‘n*gga’ in my location for my dress code, choice of music and how I chose to carry myself.Today I...

Load More