KEETMANSHOOP, 31 MAY – //Kharas Governor Lucia Basson in her State of the Region Address here on Thursday said accountability of public funding is non-negotiable in her region.
“As far as I am concerned, each and every Government institution must account for every dollar spent during this economic hardship in which our public revenue is not doing well,” she said.
Basson added that this does not mean public officials must not account when the economy recovers.
“My stance remains the same, remember this year is a year of reckoning and we shall reckon with those who refuse to account,” she added.
She urged the civil servants and politicians to be transparent at all material cost as the public must know and understand why, when and what was done as they (civil servants and politicians) have to justify their actions.
The governor directed that all local authorities and the regional council conduct community meetings periodically, to communicate council projects and address complaints by residents.
“We must also conduct periodic press conferences to communicate major council resolutions. The public must be availed with Government information on all activities executed,” she said.
Basson said corruption is a no-go area in //Kharas, as she believes that corruption has resulted in many incomplete projects in the country, which could have benefited thousands of people. Therefore, all citizens must be whistle blowers and report corrupt activities to the Anti-Corruption Commission, she urged.
“The Whistle Blowers Protection Act and Witness Protection Act were passed in September 2017 to strengthen our legal instruments. The implementation mechanism for this legislation is not yet operational, however, this should not deter the public from submitting reports of corruption to relevant authorities,” she said.
Furthermore, Basson said the completion of the Neckartal Dam this year will be followed by the next phase, the irrigation of 5 000 hectares of land, adding that the inhabitants of the //Kharas Region should benefit from it.
“Fellow citizens, start preparing yourselves, craft proposals for green schemes, and be ready when the expression of interests are published,” she urged.