Fellow Namibians, Children of the Namibian House. Happy New Year!
We give thanks to our Lord and Savior for having granted us Grace to usher in the New Year. It is a time for celebration and a time for hopes and dreams. The New Year brings with it the promise of new beginnings and fresh opportunities.
As we reflect and ponder on the year that was, let us prepare to embrace a fresh perspective and a renewed outlook, as we navigate our way towards a future which holds wonderful possibilities for growth and advancement. It has been said that, “The hands of time move us forward, never backward.” Let us therefore prepare to move forward.
The hands of time are ready to take us into the New Year, leaving behind the stress, anxiety, regret, disappointment, conflict and setbacks of 2017. Ahead of us lie 12 new chapters and 365 new chances to write a new story – a story of hope, health, success, peace, love and prosperity.
Many of us will be making resolutions, some which we will see through and some we will discard. However, there are several resolutions that we, as Namibians should commit to. Let each of us resolve to play our part, whether big or small in building our House. In so doing, we will make this a year of hope. Let us resolve to cherish and take pride in this House, by keeping it free from litter. In so doing, we will make this a year of a clean environment.
Let us resolve to look out for one another in this House and not harm one other, or our visitors. In so doing, we will make this a year of health, peace and love. Let us resolve to fight poverty and corruption by always thinking about the needs of those who have less than we do. In so doing, we will make this a year of shared prosperity.
Government will continue its efforts to improve service delivery to our people, especially in the rural areas. We will step up our efforts to find workable solutions to the long-standing issue of land accessibility and affordability. Our objective is to make land available and connect more Namibians to basic services like water, sanitation and electricity.
We will continue our road building and maintenance program as a national priority, to ensure that all parts of Namibia are connected and accessible. We also aim to pursue other infrastructure development projects including airports, ports and rail developments and upgrades but this must take place in a transparent and accountable manner.
As alluded to, several weeks ago, during my press conference at State House, 2018 will be the year of reckoning. This means it will be the year to take stock and be accountable for our achievements and shortcomings. Let us ensure none of us are found wanting in 2018.
All Offices/Ministries/Agencies should strive to include turnaround times and take measures to ensure that service delivery in general is improved. Let’s show respect to our fellow Namibians by providing services in a courteous and helpful, as envisaged by the Public Service Charter. I am particularly disturbed by persistent reports of correspondence which remain unacknowledged and unanswered from Government Ministries, local authorities and parastatals. As public officials, we are not doing our people a favour by working in the public space, we are occupying positions of trust and we must act accordingly.
Fellow Namibians, 2018 has arrived, a new dawn is upon us. Henry Beecher said, “Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.”
Let us take 2018 with the handle of faith. We are mindful that the economic headwinds we faced in 2017 will continue into the new year. Government has taken serious cost saving measures to ensure we live within our fiscal means. The short-term pain of these measures will be cushioned by the long-term benefits that will accrue when the economy inevitably recovers.
My wife, Monica, joins me in wishing you a happy and prosperous 2018. May God Bless the Republic of Namibia and her people.