By: Rodney Pienaar
Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein this week said that financially bailing out Air Namibia will not be in the interest of Namibian citizens.
Instead, the minister opined that funds could be redirected to developmental programs including infrastructure development.
“The current financial situation at Air Namibia is beyond recovery. It is dire if the government or the tax payer don’t put a very significant amount. I think they are in debt of about N$3 billion.”
“The question is if we put in N$3 billion or if we had the money would it be in the best interest of citizens of Namibia? Will it not be best to invest in education? Or to invest in youth employment or infrastructure development?”
Last year, President Hage Geingob told Air Namibia to shape up or ship out.
Geingob said Namibia’s decision to consult stakeholders on joining the single market should not be seen as government aiding the financially-crippled Air Namibia.
It has become unsustainable, the Namibian leader added, for government to bail out and protect Air Namibia in the competitive aviation sector.
In the last seven years, Air Namibia has received over N$4 billion from the government in bailouts.