The task force mandated to rescue businesses in distress and those adversely impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic are all volunteering their time, and are not being compensated for their services. This is contrary to the perception that some Namibians have of the appointed Business Rescue Task Force, with many assuming they get rewarded handsomely for their services.
As envisaged in the economic advancement pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II, a Business Rescue Task Force (BRTF) was established by President Hage Geingob on the back of recommendations from the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy (HLPNE) with effect from 01 July 2021 for a period of nine months.
“As announced by the President on 29 June 2021, the primary purpose of the BRTF is to review current business and insolvency legislation, laws, regulations, determinations and policies, and to make recommendations for amendments and additions to these laws and regulations, including funding options aimed at rescuing businesses that are in distress,” explained Inge Zaamwani, Advisor on the Constitution and Private Sector Interface in the Presidency.
She said the intended outcome of the review is to provide a legal framework to guide the efficient and effective rescue and recovery of all businesses in financial distress, to limit the number of jobs lost, and entrench a stronger entrepreneurial culture in the country.
According to the chief public relations officer at State House, Dennis Shikwambi, the task force comprises 11 individuals with diverse skills and experience in the public as well as private sectors, with a strong focus on business and entrepreneurial skills.
He added that this will ensure that multiple perspectives as well as the current difficult economic environment are considered in the execution of the BRTF’s mandate.
“I am very honoured by my appointment as chairman of the BRTF. I look forward to leading the task force team, professionals from both the public and private sectors, in a range of fields in executing on this important task and huge responsibility that has been bestowed on us by the President. The Task Force is committed to operate in a consultative, transparent and effective manner, and will focus on practical but systemic solutions to address the challenges that businesses face during times of distress”, explained Thinus Prinsloo, BRTF chairperson.
Over the next nine months, the goal of the Task Force will be to work towards delivering a business rescue framework to government that can serve as a basis for policy interventions to help business recovery and economic advancement for Namibia.
The BRTF will submit a progress report towards the end of October 2021, and a final report in March 2022. The BRTF is committed to engaging with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors along the way, and invites the public to contact them if they have any questions or concerns that should be taken on board.
The force members are Thinus Prinsloo (chairperson), Vivienne Katjiuongua, Puye Haufiku, Sarel van Zyl, Leonie Dunn, Jason Hailonga, Hans Gerdes, Irene Simeon-Kurtz, Rose-Mary Sihova, Amalia Schmidt and Maria Gertze.