Windhoek-Newly appointed Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa, has vowed to lead by example when implementing cost-cutting measures, as directed by President Hage Geingob when he addressed the first Cabinet meeting and at the opening of Parliament
Asked how he will implement the president’s cost-cutting directive, Simataa told New Era he expects all ranks below him to comply.
“There are no exceptions. You can’t say this rule applies to me or does not apply to me. I have to lead by example in terms of showing ordinary staff the way forward and what should be done. We need to abide by cutting costs as Namibians. We need to stabilise and cut costs so that we can divert the money to key activities and programmes of the sector and, by extension, of the country,” Simataa promised.
President Geingob imposed a ban on foreign trips for top government officials, including ministers and their deputies as well as political office bearers, in order for them to cut costs.
He explained that the directive is specifically in the interest of curtailing public expenditure.
Simataa expressed how glad he was to be elevated to a full ministerial portfolio.
He said he will not be a stranger in terms of key programmes and priorities that the ministry as well as the information and communication technology sector has set for itself.
“What I will be doing because we only have two years between now and 2020, is to ensure we accelerate the pace at which we were implementing some of the key priorities so that we can achieve the targets we have set for ourselves. That’s really what we intend to do together collectively with my team,” Simataa noted.
He urged media to avoid sensationalising stories and report accurately and factually at all times. New Era also caught up with newly appointed Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, who said the directive to cut costs is clear and no one can violate it.
“As ministers, when we travel we seek authorisation from the president. So, there is no way you can violate it because you can’t travel without authorisation,” stated Mushelenga.
Regarding his ministry, Mushelenga promised to tackle the housing crisis facing Namibia.
He said there is a need to look for affordable housing, as many people are in the low-income category.
“It doesn’t help to build expensive houses that will lie idle with none of our people able to buy them. So, we need to address the issue of servicing land and make it available for housing to the public,” he said.
Asked how he will tackle the bucket system in Namibia, he said he will continue where his predecessor former Minister Sophia Shaningwa has left off.
“You must know that this is a Swapo government. We are all Swapo ministers, so obviously the programme will continue. It doesn’t end with the predecessor,” he indicated.
Newly appointed Public Enterprises Deputy Minister, Veikko Nekundi, said he would ensure his youthful energy would be used effectively to the realisation of the ministry’s vision that all State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) contribute to the sustainable development of Namibia.
In cutting costs, Nekundi said is not just because the president has issued a directive but he feels in any business one must ensure and enforce that any wastage is completely eliminated.
Therefore, he said, the core value should be resource optimisation.
Regarding incompetence and bad governance at some of the SOEs, Nekundi noted that incompetence could only be eliminated if the human resources policies are well structured.
“The policies should provide so directly that you only take the best out of the best. Not just to take because you know the person and want to return a favour. The human resources policies need to be re-visited to ensure they are re-aligned to the competencies and in accordance with the objectives of the SOEs,” he said.