Public enterprises a burden on the state
Conference kicks off
12 September 2019 | Government
Leon Jooste; Minister of Public Enterprises; “…they have become a burden on the state,”
The Ministry of Public Enterprises is conducting a two-day National Public Enterprises Conference at The Dome in Swakopmund, with stakeholders from Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Sweden attending.
Speaking at the opening, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste said that public enterprises in Namibia, with the exception of a few, have failed to deliver on the mandate they were created for. “In some instances, instead of public enterprises supporting the generation of revenue for the state, they have in fact become a burden by depending on annual government subsidies and guarantees to sustain their operations.”
Jooste said that in 2018/19 alone, public enterprises received N$4.024 billion of the national budget. “What is even more concerning is that commercial public enterprises, entities that are supposed to be profitable, received N$1.41 billion in bailouts.”
The minister said that public enterprises in Namibia were created to provide public goods; generate public funds; increase access to public services while maintaining efficiency and effectiveness; and accelerate economic development and industrialisation.
According to Jooste, his ministry’s aim is to transform the corporate DNA of public enterprises and ensure that they are transformed by a performance orientated culture.
Speaking at the same event, the councillor for development cooperation of the German Embassy, Gerlinde Sauer, acknowledged said ministry’s determination to ensure the implementation of its full mandate, adding that the German government remains committed to supporting the ministry in this endeavour.
“With support amounting to N$32 million over three years, we [the German government] will contribute to the development of an effective performance management system for commercial state owned enterprise. Our focus is specifically the development of a digital information system to assess the performance of commercial state owned enterprises.”
The conference serves as a platform to create a common understanding around a performance management system among all public enterprises in Namibia; share and comprehend the Namibian legal framework underpinning performance management in public enterprises; share performance management best practices used by public enterprises globally; and to discuss and recommend an appropriate performance management framework for local public enterprises.