Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Zephania Kameeta has said he does not have a clear definition of his mandate three months after he was appointed.
Kameeta is tasked with poverty eradication and closing the gap between the rich and poor people in the country is yet to make his presence felt after being appointed with the sole mandate of eradicating poverty in the country.
Speaking to The Villager, Kameeta said his ministry faced challenges in regard to the definition of its mandate.“ Poverty is a broad subject and we have been struggling to pinpoint the exact operational areas of focus to enable us to adequately carry out our directive of poverty eradication in Namibia as we were mandated to do by the President” Kameeta said.
He could however not elaborate on the exact steps of implementation the ministry will take when carrying out their directive.
The Minister of Presidential Affairs Frans Kapofi denied there being any challenges with the new ministries adding that those who are struggling know were their directive comes from and can go inquire on what is required of them as ministers.
“The new ministries are a new idea and operational wise new things take time but everything is well in order” Kapofi said.
The Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste also confirmed that his ministry has been unable to carry out its mandate because the act under which the ministry currently operates does note enable it to act out its duties.
The ministry is currently governed under the State Owned Enterprises Governance Act of 2006 which provides that SoE’s are governed by the SoE governance council.
“You are correct in saying that since the President appointed us (myself and the DM) we have been unable to execute our mandate fully. The reason is that until now the Governance of Public Enterprises was prescribed in the State Owned Enterprises Governance Act 2006,” Jooste said.
He also added that the ministry has recently completed amendments to the legislation in record time and tabled the amendment in the National Assembly.
“The debate was concluded last week and after passing the Committee Stage tomorrow, it will be referred to the National Council before being signed by the President and gazetting. We will then implement the legislation immediately and get going at full speed,” Jooste said.
Jooste added that in the meantime the ministry has used the time to gather information on Public Enterprises, familiarise themselves with the relevant issues and also to conceptualise a roadmap for the next year adding no time was lost.
The newly tabled Public Enterprises Governance amendment bill will amend the State owned Enterprises Governance act of 2006 so is to replace the State owned Enterprise governance council with the minister responsible for public enterprises and provide for the incidental matters.
While delivering the motivation for the amendments, Jooste said that the proposed amendments must be viewed in-line with the factors that underscored the need for the establishment of the Ministry of Public Enterprises.
Jooste noted that the key policy consideration behind the establishment of his Ministry has been to spark reality brought about by the current model of dual governance in the SoE sector.
“The current model is characterised by a number of ‘owners’ as it were, in that several different role players/functionaries have been directly responsible or held accountable for looking after the affairs of SoEs through governance, supervision and oversight by the way of guidelines and policy directives” Jooste elaborated.
He further said that the multi functionalities that include Cabinet, SoE Governance Council on the one hand and Line ministries and Board of Directors on the other has not augured well for the effective and efficient oversight, supervision, control and governance of SoEs primarily because it represents major challenges by the way of too many layers of authority and communication clouding accountability.
“The primary aim of this bill is to operationalise the new Ministry by means of creating a statutory framework with which it can legitimately operate” Jooste said.