20 Feb 2017 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 20 FEB (NAMPA) The proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) Bill of 2016 was rejected by the National Council (NC) on Monday.
Many Members of Parliament (MPs) in the NC instead preferred a PPP policy as opposed to an Act of Parliament.
Following recommendations from a select committee of the NC tasked to review the impact of the Bill, MPs felt that the proposed legislature was not inclusive of all communities and raised questions of affordability for low-income earners who would be affected.
The committee unanimously agreed that the NC should object to the principle of the PPP Bill, following public hearings that took place in the Kavango East, Oshana, Otjozondjupa, Erongo, Hardap, //Karas and Khomas regions from 23 January to 06 February 2017.
The committee also noted that the report was a true reflection of what was obtained through the public hearings, thus the recommendation to reject the principle of the Bill emanated from the concerns raised during the hearings.
Shortcomings in the Bill were that regional councils, local authorities, tertiary education institutions, trade unions, the business community and public, who made submissions before the committee during the public hearings on the Bill, were not consulted by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) when the Bill was drafted.
Hardap Regional Councillor, Nico Mugenga raised several questions during the review of the report on the formulation of the Bill, questioning if there was a similar piece of legislature in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that has been successful for Namibia to draw lessons from.
He said looking at Namibias economic situation; the country was not in a position to enact a law on PPP.
Every law that will come out should have a clear cut component of decentralisation to address the issue of governance at local and regional level, Mungenga said.
Hardap Regional Councillor, Simon Dukeleni said the Bill could have been a good law if it would empower structures at the bottom of the economy like small and medium enterprises.
The proposed Bill also overlooked the supreme law of the country by establishing a PPP unit in the Ministry of Finance before the Bill was enacted as a law, which could lead to having a bureaucratic system, he said.
Zambezi Regional Councillor, Cletius Sipapela was concerned that institutions such as local authorities and regional councils were excluded in the process of formulating laws.
Sipapela said the intention of the Bill is clear, but its consequences are not clear and not indicated.
We do not need an Act to regulate PPPs but a policy. Government could face law suits from private investors, but with policies, we can negotiate our way out, Sipapela said.
He also raised concern over the affordability of services that would be provided by a PPP venture to ordinary citizens.
The Bill will be referred back to the National Assembly.
The NC adjourned until further notice.