MPs consult on Government delays to pay businesses

23 May 2017 12:10pm
SWAKOPMUND, 23 MAY (NAMPA) - A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economic and Public Administration on Monday started consultative meetings aimed at improving Government payments to service providers.
This follows a motion by Member of Parliament Mike Kavekotora on 22 June 2016 that something should be done to make the Government payment system conducive to businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The first meeting in Swakopmund targeting businesspersons and community members, was poorly attended.
Only officials from the Erongo Regional Council and various ministries in the region were present at the meeting.
Kavekotora said the motion was found to be relevant, hence the effort to collect input from the public and business people on how to improve the situation.
He said Government does not pay invoices on time and such delays affect businesses as they lose contracts and sometimes fall into debt with suppliers.
“This situation is not helping anyone. It is affecting our economy because people lose jobs, businesses and their livelihood,” said Kavekotora.
He gave examples of how patients on Government medical aid are turned away by doctors because they are not paid on time.
Director of Education in Erongo, John Awaseb told the meeting that the directorate also faced difficulties due to payment delays.
“We are in a situation where we request money every month, but it does not come on time we have to wait for more than a month. As such we cannot do capital projects or renovations.”
Awaseb noted that sometimes delays were caused by regional offices that do not provide all accompanying documents needed to process payments.
Kavekotora told Nampa on Tuesday that he was disappointed with the poor attendance.
“We informed the people the meeting will take place on 02 or 03 May but we rescheduled it to 22 May. As such people got confused,” he said.
He said the meeting resolved that regional councillors, Juuso Kambueshe for Swakopmund and Joram Haoseb for Daures arrange further meetings on their own to collect inputs on the motion.
These meetings will include the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union which represents the construction industry.
Inputs are expected by the end of June after which they will be incorporated in the report for submission to Parliament.
Kavekotora, Faustina Caley and Rebeka Nakale held the second meeting in Otjiwarongo on Tuesday and will proceed to the //Kharas Region on Wednesday.
Other regions to be visited next week will be Ohangwena, Kavango and Oshikoto.