The Kavango West Regional Council has appealed for more funding from central government, for the current and coming financial years.
This is because the limited budgetary allocations it has been receiving has been hampering the implementation of key developmental projects.
Council’s cries come following a directive from the line Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, that it will not increase funding for 2020/2021 financial year and that all budget requisitions should not exceed what was offered previously.
For the 2019/20 financial year, council received N$37.4 million, which was a slight increase from the previous allocation of N$35.4 million.
According to the regional council senior public relations officer, Salomo Tenga, such a decision will actually stall any implementation of projects as the institution already operates on a shoe-string budget.
As it stands, 95% of the budget goes to obligatory expenditure, of which a larger chunk of N$29.9 million is spent on personnel, N$1.9 million on utilities and a sum of N$1.9 million on rentals and N$2.1 million on security services, insurance and membership fees.
Of the N$37.48 million budget an amount of N$1.6 million is left for implementation. As such, Tenga stated that the proposed budget estimate ceiling has indicated that there will be no vacancies to be filled during 2020/2021 financial year, with no new vehicles to be purchased despite the fact the condition of the available fleet is no longer in good shape.
“With our budget allocation received after serval pleas with the line ministry, it still remains one of the lowest allots amongst regional councils countrywide. Being the youngest region, operating with the aim of bringing development guided by the principle of decentralisation policy, Kavango West will not be able to perform as expected if it is considered and treated the same way as already established regional councils,” he further stressed.
“The region is considered one of the poorest regions in the country and the proposed budget ceiling cannot cater for its needs. The council has a staff establishment of 66%, with about 40% of key positions that will not be filled due to limited budget. This has reduced and negatively affected our performance.”
Based on that, Tenga said the regional council delegation will approach the line ministry to present its case, hoping its budgetary allocation could be increased. The underfunding of some other ministries and delegated functions in the region hampers the overall performance which also negatively affects its response plan on Covid-19.