17 Nov 2016 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 17 NOV (NAMPA) The Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Bill of 2016 can be an effective method of mobilising financial resources and empowering the private sector while meeting Government half way, say Members of Parliament (MPs).
The new legislation aims to explore avenues to build mutually beneficial partnerships for sustainable growth. It also seeks to regulate how private entities will fund public infrastructure and services.
MP and member of the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), Benson Kaapala supported the PPP Bill of 2016, which was tabled in the NA last Thursday.
According to Kaapala, the Bill comes at a time when the Namibian people are demanding greater levels of transparency, efficiency, quality and accountability due to increased dubious agreements published in the local media.
The WRP member warned that the Bill should not be limited to large corporations and wealthy business individuals, but should include ordinary Namibians whose projects are funded and supported to benefit the public.
If an individual has project ideas with the potential of substantially benefiting the public, these individuals should not be discriminated against and their ideas overlooked.
Kaapala said partnerships should not involve capital from the private entity, but rather be based on knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm.
The Bill, he said, should also highlight that a good PPP requires substantial risk on the side of the private entity.
If the private entity incurs substantial risk, this will lead to quality services because they would want what they invested to yield tangible and substantial returns.
DTA of Namibia MP, Elma Dienda supported the Bill saying if implemented and used properly, PPPs can be of great help in implementing capital projects that Government cannot finance.
There is no doubt that government will not be able to finance needed capital projects and provide certain essential services by itself, she added.
Dienda noted that the public would suffer more if Government was unable to fund projects like the servicing of land and provision of other basic services like health care and education.
She said the current configuration of the Bill lacks gender sensitivity and inbuilt auditing and accountability as it does not make provision for the Auditor General to review and audit PPP agreements which could create secrecy.