Reduction in public debt stock recordedCabinet approves hosting of New Development Bank meeting

The government’s public debt stock has decreased to 60.1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the 2024/25 financial year from 62.5 per cent recorded at the end of the preceding financial year.

The reduction was announced by Minister of Finance Iipumbu Shiimi when he tabled the national budget for the 2024/25 financial year on Wednesday.

‘The public debt stock is estimated at N.dollars 165.8 billion or 60.1 per cent of GDP during FY2024/25, a reduction from an estimated 62.5 per cent of GDP at the end of the preceding financial year,’ Shiimi said.

He said the government has budgeted N.dollars 12.8 billion to meet debt servicing obligations in the 2024/25 financial year, equivalent to 14.2 per cent of revenues and 4.7 per cent of the GDP.

‘The debt servicing metrics, although stabilising, still remain above the desired benchmark of 10 per cent of revenues, therefore, the fiscal framework provides for specific measures to maintain public debt on a reduction path and ensure that debt is raised
in the most cost-effective manner.

He further said government is estimating to realise a positive primary budget balance of 1.4 per cent of the GDP, which subsequently projects an estimated N.dollars 8.9 billion as a deficit budget in nominal terms.

Shiimi tabled a N.dollars 100 billion national budget for the 2024/25 financial year.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Cabinet has considered and approved the hosting of the annual meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB) to take place in South Africa in June 2024.

Minister in The Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said it has been 10 years since Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries signed the Articles of the NDB at the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, marking the establishment of the ‘first multilateral development institution by emerging and developing countries’.

Briefing media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Ntshavheni said South Africa had so far contributed R25 billion towards the bank’s paid in capital.

‘South Africa is looking forward to host the meeting on the NDB and commits to working hand-in-hand with the bank and its member countries to achieve sustainable development and create a better the African continent,’ Ntshavheni said.

Social service professionals strategy approved

Cabinet has also approved the Strategy for the Employment of social service professionals (SS
Ps) strategy, as part of increasing the human resource capacity of government, including non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to proactively respond to social ills that are facing the country.

‘The strategy is a collective commitment to building a social service sector that is responsive to the needs of our communities and overcome social ills such as crime, gender-based violence and femicide, teenage pregnancy, bullying, child-headed households, mental health and substance abuse.

‘The strategy is also aimed at laying the foundation for a socially inclusive and resilient future and a caring society,’ Ntshavheni said.

Comments sought on Green Paper on Comprehensive Social Security

Meanwhile, Cabinet has called on the public to submit comments on the revised Green Paper on Comprehensive Social Security for the country.

This follows Cabinet’s approval of the publication of the revised paper, which aims to introduce a mandatory social security pension system that provides retirement, disabi
lity, and death benefits to all workers.

Low income earners would have their contributions subsidised, in line with existing provisions.

‘The paper further proposes the harmonisation of the tax treatment of older persons in the tax and social grant system to address the unequal treatment of older persons in the two regimes.

‘In addition, the paper also seeks to propose institutional reforms to promote coherence in social security policy making for administrative efficiency, improved service delivery and ensure effective regulation, governance and oversight across all social security arrangements,’ Ntshavheni said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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