Government has identified a total of 3,000 redundant positions in the public service, the Director of Inter-Governmental Coordination, Mateus Kaholongo, has said.
The redundant workers will be transferred to other offices, ministries and agencies (OMAs) where positions are available.
Those to be transferred are currently employed as “staff additional to establishment” meaning their service or particular position is no longer needed.
According to Kaholongo, the excess staff or positions came about after departments were merged for administrative effectiveness and operational efficiency.
He did not identify which Ministries or which departments remain with redundant staff members.
Kaholongo said the decision to transfer the civil servants is meant to right size the public service after the freeze on new hires.
The internal transfer is also intended to reduce the country’s high wage bill, one of the highest in the world as a percentage of GDP.
“The decision by government is primarily aimed at right sizing the public service by transferring those employed additional to establishment in some ministries to be absorbed where positions exist without employing additional (new) staff members, thereby reducing the wage bill,” he said.
He said the move will not have any additional financial implications on government as budgetary provisions for the salaries of those affected by the exercise have been made through the Appropriation Act for the 2018/2019 financial year.
Through this exercise government has reduced the number of redundant workers from 6,000 to 3,000 since the exercise started last year.
One of the ministries to benefit the most from this exercise is the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.
In an interview with the Namibian newspaper recently, Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, Patrick Nandago, said that due to financial constraints, his ministry will only be able to fill 80 out of their 400 vacancies.
Of the 400 vacant posts in the ministry, 183 are in the department of immigration control, 155 in the civil registration department, 60 in the directorate of visas, permits, passports and citizenship; as well as 12 in the department of refugee administration.
According to Nandago, the vacancies were created as part of the restructuring exercise meant to expand services in the future.
Government has in the past few years been scrambling to try and reduce its huge wage bill while avoiding retrenchments.
Last year, President Hage Geingob said trimming the bloated public service would only increase unemployment, hence the decision to transfer redundant staff to other ministries.
This year, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein warned that failure by government to reform its wage bill would result in the country having to borrow more money as income will be tied up in paying salaries.