• September 23rd, 2020

Opinion - Optimally, prudently preserving public and private sectors

There is a need for the public and private sectors to efficiently and effectively collaborate in the name of public private partnerships (PPPs) for the greater good of service delivery in Namibia. 
At times, public services are delayed – for instance when local authorities around the country delay the picking up of wastes from residential areas in their respective jurisdictions – while regarding the private sector reports have it that privately-rendered services are expensive and many people are forced to stick to public services because they cannot afford privately-rendered services. 

The lack of proper maintenance of service delivering facilities such as hospitals, health care facilities, tertiary institutions and schools do have a direct effect on the type of service being delivered. There is, therefore, a need to ensure proper maintenance is constantly taking place. 
PPPs in Namibia are not only a good thing because they advocate for the public and private sectors working together but they play a significant role, as they pose as an alternative way of service delivery, which does allow and present public and private sectors an opportunity to grow and generate revenue. 

The contractual agreement between the two sectors (public and private) in the form of PPPs has to be done fairly manner, ensuring all parties involved equally benefit and no party benefits more at the expense of the other. Furthermore, PPPs such as Oshakati Premier Electric (OPE), which is created between the Local Authority of Oshakati and Premier Electric, as well as the Windhoek Goreangab Operating Company (WINGOC), are accurate examples of PPPs – and they indicate the importance of PPPs when it comes to the delivery of services in Namibia. 
Moving on, a lot of praises and appreciation has to be directed towards third sector organisations, which is inclusive of foundations, charity organisations, the World Health Organisation, Red-Cross Namibia, and many others for helping our national government regarding the delivery of services now and over the years. 

Third sector organisations have been collaborating and assisting all levels of government in ensuring services are able to reach all Namibians even for those who live in remote areas. 
Corruption is a crime to humanity and it has the ability to hugely impact the service delivery of any country. Corruption in terms of service delivery can impact national government in the nature where it could lose out on revenue through theft by those in positions of authority and trust. 

For instance, the Fishrot saga, which resulted in the loss of employment for many Namibians in the fishing sector, is a practical example of how corruption can negatively affect the livelihood of people. 
Moreover, corruption does reduce the tax return for government and it negatively affects the national economy, as it is an obstacle to the growth of the economy. 

Hence, when it comes to combating corruption, there are crucial components of reform that are inclusive of having a strong political will, changing values and adopting a culture of professionalism, review laws and or administrative procedures if the need arises, and creating strong partnerships with the private sector. 

Public leadership has an important role to play in the delivery of services in both sectors. 
The words optimally and prudently have to do with the best utilisation and sustainably thinking for the future. Therefore, it is the public leaders who have to ensure that policies and measures aimed at enhancing service delivery in Namibia are followed and adhered to by both the individuals and institutions responsible for delivering services. Hence, those in the position of power and leadership have to be ethical when it comes to decision making as a measure of ensuring the enhancement of service delivery.

Transparency, accountability and good governance from the public sector perspective are key, as it comprises of components that are able to enhance service delivery broadly. In terms of transparency within the Namibian context, our President, his Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, deserves all praises for embracing and advocating for transparency within the public sector. 
Firstly, he implemented Performance Management Agreements (PMS) for Cabinet ministers and top government officials. Secondly, the call by the President for the declaration of assets by public office bearers, even though it has only been done by few individuals, is equipped with good governance qualities that are fundamental to service delivery in Namibia and globally. 
Lastly, I can only recommend central government to enforce regulations adopted and or implemented for the greater good of service delivery within the country.

In the final analysis, there is a need to emphasis the fact that we tend to be too quick to judge and make assumptions but just like everything in life, nothing is perfect and whatever affects one sector equally has the ability to affect the other sector. 
Therefore, the public sector can affect the private sector through the adoption of policies while the private sector can counter by opting not to adhere to the legal reforms and other measures in place aimed for the greater good of improved service delivery. Hence, we, as a nation, need to ensure the two sectors (public and private) work in relation to the achievement of the common goal of ensuring good service delivery for the nation. 

We, as nationals of the Republic and those who live in it, do not always have to be negative, complaining about failures of government towards the effort of the provision of services. 
At times, we as nationals and inhabitants of the country need to practise constructive criticism by asking and thinking of various alternative ways aimed at helping the country to better improve and ensure efficient and effective service delivery. 
*Petrus Ndeumono Mbidi holds a diploma in Local Government Studies, an honours degree in Public Management and he is a final year Masters of Public Administration student at the University of Namibia.

Staff Reporter
2020-08-07 10:53:02 | 1 months ago

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