State must axe coffer draining parastatals - PDM


Popular Democratic Movement’s Elma Dienda this week said that the state should rid itself of state-owned enterprises that are draining its coffers to no value.


She made this statement while addressing other members of parliament following the tabling of the new public enterprise governance bill.


“I really would like to suggest for the minister of public enterprises to seriously look into the issue as a matter of urgency. Just to mention a few, RCC is one of the parastatals that are currently paying N$100 million in salaries for workers who are doing nothing since there are no jobs for them. I do not think our government can afford to continue funding failed enterprises,” she said.


She added that the state is failing to meet its financial obligations and therefore should stop bailouts to failing parastatals.


“On the other hand, Air Namibia cannot even upgrade their planes. Just recently I flew with Air Namibia to Frankfurt on a 10-hour flight. Their entertainment systems are not working for about six months as some flight attendants told me. No toiletries, no music, and no entertainment. What is Air Namibia doing with the money which they are receiving from the government every single year and also from the income they are generating? ”she quizzed.


Some of her suggestions were that the new bill include a section for a minimum and maximum salary scale and grading for all enterprises.


“This matter of every parastatal deciding by themselves on salary increase and bonuses while there is no profit made must come to an end. Chief executive officers and board members who are not performing and draining companies must be called to task. I suggest that we also begin to incorporate that only those enterprises with performing managers should receive performance bonuses.”


“I would like to suggest that the maximum number of people to be appointed on bards should end at seven individuals and not more than that. Why do we want to give the line minister more power to enlarge such an important component of companies? The more board staff a company will have the more it is expected to spend on board fees,” she said. 


She also wants extra care to go into the procedure of appointing board members for these companies, suggesting for board members to undergo extensive interviews and only to be appointed based on their skills and qualifications as well as their proven competency.


“We cannot appoint board members who have a direct interest in companies they serve. This is how tenders are being given to their companies since they are the judge, reviewers, and players,” she said.