Government has gazetted a far-reaching cost-containment for public office-bearers which will include ministers and their deputies sharing an off-road official vehicle unlike in the past when they were each allocated a 4x4.
In addition, the public office-bearer’s petrol usage is also cut from the unlimited incentive, which they have been enjoying over the years, to 640 litres per month for an off-road vehicle and 420 litres for a sedan. Ministers and their deputies each qualify for Mercedes-Benz vehicles upon their appointment.
The regulations gazetted last week form part of cost-cutting measures by government as it seeks to improve its balance sheet. “The off-road motor vehicle allocated must only be used in an area that is not suitable for, or accessible by, a sedan motor vehicle allocated to the designated public office-bearer,” reads the guidelines.
“When need for official travel by a designated public office-bearer arises, the designated office-bearer must present the programme of official work to the accounting officer of the ministry.”
Public office-bearers include the prime minister, speaker of the National Assembly and the deputy speaker, National Council chairperson and vice-chairperson, ministers and their deputies, attorney general and director general of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS).
The auditor general, director general of the National Planning Commission (NPC), leader of the official Opposition, regional governors, regional council chairpersons, Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson, presidential advisors as well as ministerial special advisors also form part of public office-bearers.
Furthermore, the new regulations state that any fuel not utilised for a respective month may not be carried over to any other month.
“No new vehicles will be purchased for members of the executive and public office-bearers in the Namibian government,” presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari said at the time. He said the decision would save some N$200 million which will be directed “to urgent priorities, specifically at a time when the country is dealing with the health and economic implications of Covid-19”.