Saturday 15 May 2021
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Jooste happy with passage of PEGA

Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste has expressed pleasure that the much awaited Public Enterprises Governance Act has finally been passed by the National Assembly.
National Assembly passed the bill on Tuesday this week.
The bill has now been referred to President Hage Geingob for signing into Law.
Asked to comment on the passing of the legislation, Jooste told this publication, “I have mixed feelings. I am happy that it’s finally passed but disappointed that it took long. We are however, looking forward to its implementation and the associated opportunity to embark on the real reforms of our public enterprises,” he said.
The minister said that the creation of the public enterprise ministry, to implement a centralised ownership model for public enterprises was a visionary move.
He added that the Ministry of Public Enterprises has spent countless hours analysing and diagnosing the core reasons behind the obvious failure of most public enterprises (the commercial public enterprises in particular) and overwhelming reasons can be attributed to the highly flawed dual-governance model.
“This is not a Namibian failure as such but rather a common global scenario which is why many countries who have not already migrated towards a more centralised governance or ownership model, are (now) in the process of doing so,” he said.
Jooste further explained that the introduction of the hybrid governance model through the new Public Enterprise Governance Act, will provide the Ministry of Public Enterprises with the optimum institutional and organisational infrastructure to reform our public enterprises without escalating costs.
“The model will allow for the Ministry of Public Enterprises to become more focused and specialised with an appropriate structure and skills to be professional, active shareholder representatives for the state.
“This bill is the obvious next step in the evolution of the Namibian public enterprises landscape and it leaves room for further evolution or refinement if the need arises.
This bill represents a revolutionary, yet necessary reform of the public enterprises sector, and the implementation thereof will guide us towards further enhanced efficiencies and performance outcomes.”
Jooste said that over the past three years his ministry conducted multiple benchmarking missions all of which have proved invaluable.
“Globally governments are centralising the ownership of their state owned enterprises to strengthen the shareholder oversight functions of the state and our approach has been endorsed in every country we’ve visited.
“The implementation of the Public Enterprise Governance Act 2018 will exponentially strengthen the ability of the State to become a professional shareholder of the public enterprises on behalf of the nation.
“We shall introduce multiple measures to eradicate mismanagement, corruption and overall poor performance to effectively enhance shareholder value and to ensure the efficient and effective supply and delivery of services and products on behalf of the State.
“Consolidating these functions into a single entity is the only way to ensure that uniform oversight, accountability, compliance and performance monitoring takes place while the critical commercial public enterprises will no longer be confronted with the challenge of dealing with more than one shareholder representative.”
He further said that the portfolio of public enterprises has a total asset value of N$93 billion (as at 30 June 2018), employing some 17 224 people.
Total liabilities, however, stand at N$44 billion leaving a Net Asset Value of N$49 billion.
Moreover,  commercial public enterprises have a N$62 billion asset value, N$30 billion liabilities, annual income of N$23 billion, expenditure of N$21 billion and a profitability of N$1,9 billion which gives us a return on assets of only around 1,2 percent.
He also said that he is convinced that the promulgation of this law will release the Ministry of Public Enterprises to finally embrace its intended mandate.
Jooste further stated that the reform of the public enterprises is key to unlock and facilitate the revival of the Namibian economy at a time when it is sorely needed.

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