Namibia: Military Hospital Stalled Again

THE construction of a general military referral hospital will not receive funding from the Ministry of Defence for the third year.

The hospital, which will be situated at the old TB Hospital in Windhoek's Khomasdal suburb, needs N$800 million to be completed. However, the government has so far only spent N$25 million on the project from 2013 to 2016.

Budget documents show that the hospital will only receive an allocation of N$10 million during the 2020/21 financial year.

The defence ministry's spokesperson, major Petrus Shilumbu, yesterday said this journalist should wait for the ministry to defend their budget in parliament before they can reveal what their plans for this year will be.

The Ministry of Defence was one of the top recipients during last week's tabled budget, with an allocation of N$5,9 billion, which is the same as their budget during the 2018/19 financial year.

Out of that budget, the ministry plans to spend N$45 million on various construction projects, including the Oluno Military Base, the Walvis Bay Naval Base, Karibib Airport Air Force Base and the Keetmanshoop Military Base.

The ministry allocated N$1 million towards feasibility study design and the supervision of military bases, and N$43 million on the rehabilitation of old bases countrywide.

The budget documents state that due to budget cuts, no major rehabilitations were carried out during the 2017/18 financial year, but overall, the rehabilitation of old buildings stands at 35% towards completion.

Upgrades of the Leopards Valley Military Base are set to receive N$170 million.

The documents state that the project's objective is to improve that military base and all attached bases to modern standards.

"It will comprise the necessary infrastructure to accommodate different military elements," the budget documents state.

The main components of the project will include barracks, a clinic, officers' accommodation, a headquarters complex, quarter master stores, a kitchen with mess facilities, roads, bulk water supply, upgrading of power supply, earthworks and recreational facilities.

The primary beneficiaries are the NDF members.

The government has also approved a N$125 million budget for research and development purposes.

Like the ministry of education and health, the defence ministry will spend a big bulk on salaries.

Of the N$5,9 billion overall defence budget, N$4,4 billion will be used for staff-related expenditures, which include salaries amounting to N$3,8 billion, staff contributions to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), and contributions to the Social Security Commission.

The ministry will use N$459 million for goods and other services, which include N$10 million for travel and subsistence allowances, N$223 million for materials and supplies, and N$56 million for transport.

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