Board of Director positions to be advertised: Jooste

31 Aug 2016 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 31 AUG (NAMPA) - The government is in the process of finalising the procedure for the selection and appointment of boards of directors for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste said this during a breakfast meeting by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWCs) here on Wednesday on the topic ‘SOEs catalyst for public value creation. What are the lessons for Namibia?’
Jooste said the draft procedure is currently with Cabinet. Proposals are that every Namibian should be able to apply to serve on boards of SOEs.
He noted that one of the causes of failure in SOEs could be the failure of the shareholder (government) to appoint the right and qualified people to serve on boards in order to fix issues in the organisation.
Jooste said there is a need to change the SOE culture to enable the entities to be more creative and more committed to changing their status.
He called on young Namibians to serve on the boards and make their contributions to the development of the country.
Jooste said boards need an understanding of the particular industry and contribute to the work of the organisation.
The minister also said information about the SOEs needs to open for the public to consume, interrogate and for them to understand the role of the company.
He noted that there are some SOEs with a number of staff members who do not have job descriptions, adding that 80 per cent of their revenue goes towards salaries for positions that are not sustainable.
Jooste said another cause of failure in SOEs could be that the government has for the past 26 years been governing the entities on a governance model which requires institutional architecture.
He announced in July this year that Cabinet approved the Hybrid Governance Model aimed at reforming public institutions to replace the current dual-governance model, which has failed.
“The governance model has been regarded as the worse model in many countries and failed to materialise,” he said.
The Hybrid Governance Model distinguishes between three primary categories of public enterprises, namely commercial public enterprises; non-commercial public enterprises and financial institutions; and extra-budgetary funds.
Under the previous dual-governance model, the responsibilities of monitoring and governing of public enterprises were shared between the portfolio or shareholder ministries and the State-owned Enterprises Council chaired by the prime minister.
Jooste on Wednesday also pointed out that Government will soon publish the annual reports of all SOEs, pointing out their mandates, deficits, challenges and opportunities.
Speaking at the same occasion, Chief Executive Officer of PowerCom Alisa Amupolo said there is a need for transformation in the management of SOEs to enable them to be creative and innovative in the development of the organisation.
“We need to move away from changing boards of directors and keep the same management team. We should encourage public enterprises to be competitive and attractive,” she said.
PowerCom is an information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and equipment provider, which is a subsidiary of Telecom Namibia Group since 2013.
The meeting was attended by chief executive officers, managing directors and other representatives from various SOEs.
Namibia has about 40 SOEs under the Ministry of Public Enterprises.