SOEs should stop depending on Government: Schlettwein

14 Aug 2017 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 14 AUG (NAMPA) – Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein has called on State Owned Entreprises (SOEs) to stop depending solely on Government for funding, as it means that they are not doing what is expected of them.
“Public entities remain a drain on Government’s budget. They have lost the ability to pay salaries and operational commitments on their own, so time and again, tax payers are forced to bail them out,” he said on Monday.
The minister was speaking during a media conference in Windhoek on the recent rating by Moody’s Investors Service.
Schlettwein noted that Government’s stance going forward is to align revenue to expenditure so that debt is minimised and the debt ratio is maintained at 42 per cent, which is a threshold for small medium income countries.
“In fact, we want to bring down that to a self-composed threshold of 35 per cent by improving quality of spending and cutting out and avoiding non-essential spending.
“We want to strengthen our ability to form a budget point of view in order to progressively address the three main pillars of the National Development Plan.”
He said Government is taking a political stance in addressing poverty and inequality, and growing the economy in an inclusive way so that not only a small section in the community benefits from it.
“We must really focus on improving the delivering of our state owned enterprises without straining the Government’s budget.”
The minister said despite the quality of living needing improvement, Namibia need to do this with what it has and can do better with it.
Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste during a recent public lecture emphasised the need for SOEs to make profit, not only to sustain current operations but also to be able to re-invest in the company.