GOVERNMENT of the Republic of Namibia should not be outwitted by myopic and day dreaming politicians in the National Council who call the current administration to curtail the compulsory retirement age for public servants from 60 years to 55. It’s shameful that politicians make utterances based on their opinions in lieu of facts. Conduct research in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. Quick fixing leads to unintended results, unintended results trigger instability and mayhem! It’s my wish and that of the majority workforce for POBs to set a practical example to retire early first at age 50 and then poor civil servants to follow suit. Concerted efforts are needed to build a better and strong Namibia with the small population of 2,587,801 with facts. Retiring civil servants at 55 years is not a solution and never a brilliant notion but a bitter spice for promoting felonry activities across Namibia. In the same breathe, politicians should fix their life serving tactics, serve two terms and retire at age 50 before creating turmoil in the country.
More so, politicians should acquaint themselves with facts why South Africa with a big population of 57,398,421 has normal retirement at age 60 whilst 65 years is set aside for compulsory retirement age which Namibia finds inauthentic. Before and at independence in
1990, Namibia’s public workforce would go for early retirement at age 60 whereas 65 years was set as compulsory pensionable age. However, the Swapo administration saw it a round peg in a square hole and prescribed the inherited colonial retirement policy by reducing early retirement from 60 years to 55 and compulsory retirement age from 65 years to the age 60. Amazingly, the same Swapo administration holds its myths firm that by reducing retirement age is the best remedy ever to curbing high unemployment rate in Namibia! Strongly, reducing retirement age after a decade or so, should not be a usual trend for Swapo Administration and it’s not the best approach to success. When the government of Namibia wants to retire the public civil servants at age 55, Sweden with a population of 9,982,709 has a reformed system whereby civil servants have the right to work until the age of 69, compared to 67 under the current system. In addition, if an employee and his/her employer both agree, an employee can however work longer. It’s also interesting; to register into the politicians’ mindsets that pensions in Sweden vary widely depending on the age a person retires.
Closest Sadc related examples appear as follows: Botswana, in terms of the Rules of the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund, early retirement begins at age 45 while normal retirement is age 60. Furthermore, it should be on record that Botswana’s current population stands at 2,3million. It is worth to mention that Zambia’s population is at 17,609,178 and a thrilling fact is that ‘‘in November 2014, Acting President Guy L. Scott signed Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2014 that raised the retirement age from 55 to 65 years, or 35 years of service’’. In light of the afore-mentioned factual and practical happenings, it’s wise and advisable for Swapo administration to mimic the neighbourhood Sadc’s trend of doing things the better way and raise early retirement to 60 years and compulsory pensionable age to age 65. Alternatively, age 55 – 60 can be open for voluntary early retirement or early retirement based on ill-health or other personal related conditions with less financial penalties involved if one decides to do so, while age 65 to be reinstated and remain ingrained for compulsory retirement age.
Taking into account that Namibia’s small population of 2,587,801 and the abundance of natural resources the country finds itself in, best approaches to curbing high unemployment rate could be something of the past. Some of the approaches could be as follows: adding value to the abundance of our natural resources we often export to foreign countries (that is more of exporting jobs to the outside world than creating employment for our citizenry), trim the number of government Ministries to a reasonable size based on the number of our small population; curtail or completely do away with political advisors, do away with Deputy Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Ministers, promotional posts or management cadre posts should not be salary hike based but just promotion coupled with fringe benefits only, reduce and come up with a reasonable ratio for creating new promotional posts, retrench the current civil service based on low educational qualifications, etc. Cde, POBs (parliamentarians / legislators / policy makers) little for a start has been suggested as way forward to alleviating our thorny and worrisome status of high unemployment rate in Namibia.
Concerned Author and Civil Servant: Decent ya Leonards
Outapi, Omusati Region
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015