WINDHOEK: Namibia’s Vision 2030 development plan will not actualise if the government does not speedily implement the Decentralisation Enabling Act No. 33 of 2000, a member of the National Council said on Wednesday.
Swapo Oshikoto Regional Councillor and member of the National Council Henock Kankoshi made the statement when he rose to support the National Planning Commission (NPC) Bill (B.5 of 2012) that is under discussion in the House of Review.
The Act aims to ensure that people at grassroots level are given the opportunity to participate in their own decision-making, and extend democracy to them as a right based on national ideals and values.
Presidential Affairs’ Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) Albert Kawana tabled the NPC Bill on 21 June this year to redefine the role of the Commission by a new Act of Parliament.
The Bill was then referred to the National Council, where discussions resumed Wednesday.
“The NPC plays a vital role in any given state because it is a body that promotes more coordinated socio-economic development objectives and information necessary for decision-making at all levels,” said Kankoshi.
The Oshikoto councillor stated that in order for Vision 2030 to materialise, the process of decentralisation should be enforced, and a timeline be set up when all line ministries should decentralise their functions to the regions.
In his support of the Bill, he said capital projects should also be managed by the Regional Councils’ Tender Boards, believing that it can make an impact on Vision 2030.
“More importantly, decentralisation should not only be on political powers, but it should be accompanied by financial resources and the mandate to utilise those resources at regional level by regional governments,” he suggested.
Meanwhile, the councillor raised the concern that the NPC, as the think-tank of government, should also think about how to curb rural-urban migration in consultation with regional governments.
“What comes to mind is that people are flocking from rural areas to cities, hoping to secure jobs in order to support themselves and their families,” Kankoshi explained. He thus wants the NPC to place emphasis on the development of rural areas, employment as well as job creation.
Kankonshi noted that in the planning of the development of the country, there must be room to accommodate the views of Village Development Committees, Constituency Development Committees as well as Regional Development Committees.