By Desie Heita Windhoek Government has stepped into the economic debate, with the Deputy Minister of Finance, Tjekero Tweya, registering his disappointment over repossessions of cars and properties by commercial banks. Tweya is asking commercial banks to "be sensitive when repossessing pro- perties". "This situation is not healthy and I would like to urge the banking industry to review their lending criteria and come up with remedial actions to guard against their profitability but as well as the increasing house and car repos," said Tweya. Tweya also recognises that part of the current financial problems lies with the consumers themselves, who tend to not save money when they can. Consumers, says Tweya, do not have a culture of saving money at the rate they spend. "We spend our money until the last dollar. If we had a strong culture of saving, such savings would have rescued us during these difficult times where inflation and interest rates keep going up," said Tweya. Tweya was speaking at the opening of First National Bank branch in Katutura this week. The deputy minister also encouraged the commercial banking sector to rally behind the development of the small and medium enterprises sector, by granting affordable loans at low interest to the SMEs, as this would create self-employment and job opportunities. Tweya said Namibia would not be able to deal with issues of poverty alleviation unless critical incentives are given to SMEs so as to drive up private sector growth. "Gross poverty and unemployment breed gross insecurity and while we experience these difficult economic times, things may just pose serious challenges to all of us," said Tweya. "Job security for individuals, however, leads to a sense of national security and safety for the nation. We cannot wish it away and that is why people are appealing to commercial banks to be sensitive when repossessing properties," said Tweya. The deputy minister said all sectors of society need to contribute to the Government's effort for the betterment and improvement of all our lives and all are duty bound to help redress the economic imbalances of the past. This can be done through public private partnerships.
2008-06-27 00:00:00 10 years ago