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Power in NEEEB bill needs to be decentralised – NEF

Power in NEEEB bill needs to be decentralised – NEF

Business Reporter

THE Namibia Employers Federation (NEF) has raised concerns that there might be unchecked power passed onto the minister responsible for the implementation of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill (NEEEB), currently in the final draft stage.

 

Daan Strauss, NEF secretary-general, stated that too much power also potentially rests in the hands of the Commissioner and his or her staff.

 

“Uncertainty causes a major problem and should be avoided as far as is possible. The NEF proposes that the staffing of the Commissioner’s office should be tripartite, plus to ensure full and total transparency in the drafting of the proposed regulations and standards. Similarly, the NEF advocates and proposes that measures be put in place to ensure that the risk of corruption, nepotism, and empowering and enriching those who are no longer disadvantaged is totally eliminated and mitigated against,” Straus said.

 

He added that the NEF accepts that the drafting of this Bill is the result of many years of work and discussions, but feels that any attempt to accelerate the enactment of this Bill and subsequent writing of the regulations without final due care and diligence might have the reverse effect.

 

NEF also requested government to engage in further consultations with the private sector on this version of the draft bill as it unfortunately still contains areas of questionable and undefined concepts which could lead to abuse and misuse.

 

Straus commented that the economy is currently in a desperate situation and any measure has to be carefully evaluated and discussed at all levels of society to ensure that there are no unforeseen hidden negative consequences that could lead to an adverse escalation of the current situation.

 

He further pointed to suggestions contained in an EESE study that the NEF carried-out in 2018.

 

According to Strauss, the study has pointers that could be used in the NEEEB framework as the study details actions that can be initiated, and which would also assist in making it easier to create and sustain businesses, especially for the SMEs and others needing an income.