President Hage Geingob yesterday announced the formation of a business rescue task force to find interventions to protect businesses and preserve jobs as a result of the Covid-19 economic fallout.
The Business Rescue Task Force (BRTF) will start their work tomorrow for eight months. “The primary purpose of the task force shall be to review business and insolvency legislation, laws, regulations and policies, and to make recommendations for amendments to these laws and regulations so as to rescue businesses in financial distress,” the President said.
Bank of Namibia governor Johannes !Gawaxab, at a stakeholders’ engagement in Swakopmund recently, said the pandemic has put many businesses in financial distress. He said the pandemic worsened Namibia’s economic challenges.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, over 11 000 workers were retrenched since 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The need for such a task force has been recognised with urgency, following the outbreak of Covid-19 – and has been framed as a crucial intervention in the Economic Advancement Pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II,” read a statement, issued by the Presidency yesterday afternoon. The BRTF consists of individuals from the public and private sectors, with skills and experience in corporate management, banking, legal and insolvency laws, legal drafting and entrepreneurship. “Therefore, I expect the members of this task force to ensure the efficient and effective rescue and recovery of businesses in financial distress, preserving jobs and entrenching a stronger entrepreneurial culture in the country. At the end of its mandate, the task force should provide the government with a framework that can serve as the basis for policy interventions that can contribute meaningfully to business recovery, including an environment that promotes
sustainable entrepreneurship,” said Geingob.
The BRTF shall, among others, perform rigorous analysis of current laws and regulations pertaining to insolvencies and business laws to identify opportunities for improvement, review regulations and by-laws in the banking and financial sector that would help to give effect to a framework that would cement business rescue as the preferred resolution mechanism for enterprises in financial distress in the country.
These include recommendations on options for funding instruments, undertake desktop research and conduct consultations and discussions with representatives of businesses, banks, insolvency practitioners and officials in government to identify opportunities for policy interventions, perform a review of global legislative frameworks relating to financially distressed entities and identify key lessons for consideration in the policy review process.
It further includes recommending policy options, approaches and amendments to specific laws and regulations required to strengthen entrepreneurship, and cementing business rescue as the preferred path for entities in distress.
The BRTF comprises Thinus Prinsloo (chairperson), Vivienne Katjiongua, Puye Haufiku, Sarel Van Zyl, Leone Dunn, Jason Hailonga, Hans Gerdes, Erna Irene Simeon-Kurtz, Rose-Mary Sihova, Amalia Schmidt and Maria Gertze.