SOEs slurp billions in salaries

16 September 2019 | Ekonomie
The total wage bill for the 17 464 public enterprise employees in Namibia has reached N$8.5 billion per year, the minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, has said.

Speaking at the Public Enterprises Conference at Swakopmund on Thursday, Jooste said this is 28% of the total public enterprise expenditure of N$30 billion per year - which is beyond the average 27% of other African countries and of concern to the ministry.

Jooste said in some instances, instead of public enterprises supporting the generation of revenue for the state, they have become a burden by depending on annual government subsidies and guarantees to sustain their operations.

For 2018/19 alone, they received N$4 billion from the national budget.

“Even more concerning is the fact that commercial public enterprise entities that are supposed to be profitable, received N$1.4 billion,” Jooste said.

Despite these shortcomings, the profitability of commercial entities improved from N$840 million to N$1.9 billion from 2016/17 to 2018/19, while that of the financial institutions and extra-budgetary funds improved from N$633 million to N$760 million. - Nampa

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