Historic levels of bailouts to PEs no longer acceptable: Jooste

15 Dec 2016 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 15 DEC (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Public Enterprises (MPE) will early next year launch a five-year project aimed at transforming public enterprises into highly effective and efficient entities, Minister Leon Jooste has said.
The five-year project is set to help turn public enterprises into efficient entities that provide products and services that are in the best interest of the country.
“We have already formulated the draft road map for this project defining certain key initiatives,” Jooste said on Thursday during a media conference aimed at updating the public on the implementation of the hybrid governance model for public enterprises.
The conference was also aimed at sharing some of the ministry’s plans for 2017.
The project’s initiatives will focus on various policies, enhancement of the effectiveness of boards, strengthening of shareholder oversight and implementation of the Public Enterprises Monitoring and Evaluation System (PEMES), among others.
Jooste said the project will be launched at a suitable time in 2017.
The minister warned that the historic levels of bailouts and subsidies to public enterprises are no longer sustainable or acceptable and a dedicated effort must be made to curtail this.
“I believe a number of subtle interventions during 2015-2016 have already had an immediate effect but more radical intervention will be required in 2017 to ensure necessary adjustments,” he said.
Jooste gave his assurance that the ministry will always make the most appropriate recommendations to Cabinet for consideration and the recommendations will always be based on facts and not assumptions.
Some of the recommendations will deal with the restructuring of some public enterprises (PEs).
Restructuring may take many forms, Jooste said, including merging certain PEs, absorbing certain PEs into ministries, the listing of certain PEs on the Namibian Stock Exchange and attracting strategic partnerships where appropriate.
“The liquidation of PEs is provided for under the existing legislation, but I want to make it absolutely clear that this option will only be entertained after thorough due diligence and when certain conditions are met which include that the PEs must have marginal strategic significance, low feasibility and high capital requirements,” Jooste stated.
He added that the ministry will never support the liquidation of any of the strategically important PEs.
Namibia has 72 public enterprises.