Staff Writer

The restriction on travel by government officials due to the outbreak of COVID-19 has saved government million in travel allowances, amid revelation only 7.1 percent of the allocated amount of N$222. 8 million for the 2020/21 financial year has been spent.

According to Ministry of Finance figures, Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) has only gobbled N$15.8 million for the period April 2020 to August 2020, compared to N$116.9 million for the same period last year.

This comes as it emerged that most of the travel conducted during the period was COVID-19 related, with the bulk of the allowances paid to members of the security cluster deployed to enforce lockdown restrictions.

The revelation by the ministry also comes as most travel by government officials has been suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country and the introduction of travel restrictions under the state of emergency as part of measures to control the spread of the virus in the country.

“It should be noted that the Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) budget allocation is for all government officials entitled when travelling due on official assignments, thus it will be very difficult to single out the travel expenditure for politicians and senior government officials at Treasury level. However, treasury could only avail expenditure at the central government level that include all in comparison between FYs,” ministry of finance spokesperson, Tonateni Shidhudhu said.

The development comes as government has implemented cost containment measures to rein in expenditure with the country currently faced with a N$21 billion budget deficit.

Among some of the measures introduced was the order by President Hage Geingob that no new vehicle fleets will be purchased for members of the executive and public office bearers for five years, a move expected to save government N$200 million that was unavailable in any event.