The Office of the Prime Minister has announced a comprehensive salary and benefits increase for civil servants across Namibia.
The announcement was made following negotiations with the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) and the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU).
Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. George Simataa, unveiled the details of the agreement. The increase is expected to cost the Namibian taxpayers approximately N$1.7 billion annually.
Under the new agreement, civil servants falling within job grades 15 to 14 will receive a flat increase of N$600, while those in grades 13 to 1 will see a five percent rise in their basic salary.
Housing subsidies for civil servants have been significantly enhanced. Previously, those earning up to N$60,000 annually qualified for loans of N$220,000. This has been increased to N$400,000. For individuals earning between N$60,000 and N$90,000, the housing capital has been raised from N$297,000 to N$540,000.
Petrus Nevonga, the General Secretary of NAPUW, stressed that these changes will directly impact the lives of public sector employees.
He also announced that starting from April 1, 2023, staff members below the management cadre will receive a 20 percent increase in their housing allowance, alongside a 20 percent increase in the Transport Allowance for the same group.
Additionally, staff members in the management cadre will witness an eight percent increase in the Motor Vehicle Allowance also effective from April 1, 2023. The increase will cover both capital and running costs.
The parties involved have also committed to conducting a comparative study to identify best practices in providing housing and medical aid to staff members.
Addressing concerns about the impact of these salary increments on the government’s finances, Simataa, stated that circumstances have changed since last year when the government claimed it lacked funds to adjust salaries.
He cited factors such as the drought situation, unemployment, and the state of the health sector, which have all been taken into consideration in this decision.
While acknowledging that the salary increments would affect the government’s wage bill, Simataa reassured the public that measures were in place to manage the expenditure, such as limiting travel and overtime.
He stressed the importance of not compromising the well-being of public servants who play a vital role in delivering essential services to the nation, and he noted that the 5 percent increment falls below the inflation rate, indicating that civil servants have been facing financial challenges for an extended period.