The Namibian economy will contract 0.2 percent this year, down from a forecast of 1 percent growth in July, due to a weak performance in the manufacturing and construction sectors, Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein, said on Wednesday.
Presenting the medium-term budget review statement in Parliament, Schlettwein also said Namibia’s economy should grow 0.9 percent next year and that the budget deficit will be maintained at no more than 4.4 percent of GDP in the 2019/20 financial year.
He said government will come up with measures to reduce the growth of total public debt after a peak of about 48.7 percent of GDP through gradual reduction in the growth of public expenditure, reduction of the budget deficit and revenue mobilization measures.
The minister added that efficient management of public enterprises is necessary to reduce the perpetual overreliance of some of the enterprises on the national budget.
“Public enterprises reforms must aim to elevate the role of the individual public enterprise in the economy.
“The litmus test to guarantee continued existence of the public enterprise is the business viability and the flow of net economic gains from its operations,” Schlettwein said, adding that commercial public entities must achieve self-sustainability instead of being a perpetual drain on scarce public resources.