National Council rejects Local Authority Amendment Bill

27 Jan 2016 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 27 JAN (NAMPA) - The Local Authorities Amendment Bill of 2015 was Wednesday rejected by the National Council (NC), responsible for reviewing proposed legislation before it is sent back to the National Assembly (NA) and Cabinet, and possibly signed into law by the head of state when all bodies are satisfied.
Members of the NC strongly opposed the Bill that was tabled in the NA during November 2015 and referred for discussion.
NC members found the amendments of the Bill to centralise powers and create a system of bureaucracy, while the Namibian Government has a goal to decentralise powers and accelerate development.
Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs, Hilma Nikanor, who also objected to the Bill, said the power local authorities are entitled to cannot be taken to central government, as this will render them toothless and in the end result in them being ineffective in their service delivery.
This, she said, was with reference to the amended provisions of the Bill that the appointment of a chief executive officer (CEO) will be done by the management committee of the local authority, but the line minister should solicit approval.
Chief Whip of the NC, Lebbius Tobias also noted that majority local authorities that participated in the public hearing on the Amendment Bill last week Friday, indicated that they were not consulted on the contents of the Bill and thus could not make valid contributions to the discussion.
Other issues raised on the amendments of the Bill were powers of local authority councils and restrictions on the sale of immovable property and alienation thereof.
The Amendment Bill will be referred back to the NA with the amendments for reconsideration.
The NC will resume on 11 February 2016.