No salary increase for civil servants riles TUCNA

03 Apr 2019 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 03 APR (NAMPA) – The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA) on Wednesday criticised Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein for not mentioning salary increments for civil servants in his national budget speech.
TUCNA secretary general (SG) Mahongora Kavihuha at a media conference said Schlettwein “failed, neglected and refused to heed the call of the union” made in a press statement before the budget speech last week.
In the statement, TUCNA urged Schlettwein to pass a budget that is progressive and focused on leading the economy out of its current stagnation through increased wages for employees of the civil service.
The gist of the press statement, Kavihuha explained on Wednesday, is that if the government heads a wage-led economic growth, the private sector will follow and grant salary increment.
He said the union agrees with economists who have termed this year’s budget an “election budget”.
“A few commenters and economists have categorised this year’s budget as being no different from many others before it or rather as an election campaign budget, and we beg to agree with them substantially,” Kavihuha said.
He was referring to Mally Likukela, an economic analyst, who has called the 2019/20 National Budget an election budget, as it does not mention Namibia’s long-term aspirations such as the Harambee Prosperity Plan, Fifth National Development Plan and Vision 2030.
Additionally, the union SG underlined that the government has wasted money on poorly organised projects.
“Our understanding of all of this is simply that more money has somehow been secured from somewhere, where there is already almost none or very little of it anyway, and it will now be splashed out on some ill-defined, unplanned grand projects,” an irate Kavihuha said.
He questioned: “How different is this from the millions if not billions spent on the mass housing projects, Neckartal Dam and countless other grand schemes that have resulted in nought.”
Namibia’s Mass Housing multi-billion dollar initiative has been plagued by delays and alleged corruption. The Neckartal Dam in the //Kharas Region was built at a cost of over N.dollars 5.7 billion and similarly affected by inflated costs and delays. Construction started in 2013 and completion was expected in 2017 - however, it is reportedly nearing completion.