WINDHOEK, 11 DEC – Public Enterprises Minister, Leon Jooste said there are several interventions and strategies at Government’s disposal to turn some of the now cash-stripped parastatals into fully-fledged profitable enterprises.
Jooste made these remarks in a statement availed to Nampa on Monday.
He said a perception has been created in the media that Government has no plan to turn some parastatals – who are burden on the State’s fiscus – into self-sustaining entities.
He rebuffed these claims, saying several interventions and strategies were either under discussion or have been conceptualised.
To stress his point, he gave the example of national carrier, Air Namibia, whose management said earlier this year said it needs N$3 billion to finance its operations.
“A team of consultants have been appointed under the Technical Committee of the Cabinet Committee on Public Enterprises and a final report with recommendations is expected during the first quarter of 2019,” he said.
Jooste believes that with the said business model, Air Namibia will be able to comfortably reach a breakeven level within three years.
The successful implementation of the strategy will save Government around N.dollars 1 billion annually.
In addition, at the last Cabinet meeting, the executive body approved the new TransNamib Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP) and its implementation will take place immediately, Jooste noted.
“This plan will enable TransNamib to become a competitive bulk transport service provider once upgraded infrastructure is in place,” he vowed.
Despite TransNamib’s legacy of being a debt burden, Government is also optimistic that the fortunes will this time favour the rail operator.
Moreover, a new TransNamib board will be appointed in February 2019 to ensure that the ISBP is implemented expeditiously.
“An efficient TransNamib will unlock the large investment made into the Walvis Bay Port expansion project, resulting in a positive knock-on effect for Namport,” he noted.
In the case of Namwater, there is a need to understand that it is impossible to entirely commercialize bulk water provision in Namibia.
“Namwater has in fact performed remarkably well despite the challenging circumstances and the current debt situation is largely due to the additional costs associated with the Neckartal Dam project, for which Namwater should not be blamed as the project was not implemented by Namwater,” he explained.
“The real issue I wish to highlight is the current inability to implement the appropriate governance infrastructure to facilitate the expedited implementation and evaluation of the various strategies to transform the Namibian Public Enterprises,” he added.
The Hybrid Governance Model for Namibian Public Enterprises was approved by Cabinet in June 2016 but the implementation has been delayed by unforeseen delays and complications in finalizing the legal framework to allow for its implementation, the minister further noted. – NAMPA