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Austerity measures saved Namibian economy – economist

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Namibia’s Presidential economic adviser, Dr John Steytler Wednesday applauded the government for instituting a series of budget cuts, which in his opinion saved the country from an imminent “economic heart attack”.Speaking during a panel discussion on the state of the national economy organised by Nedbank Namibia in Windhoek, Steytler claimed: “The budget cuts were necessary because even though the economy is weak at the moment, it is now in a better position than it was two years ago.”

Namibia has been going through torrid times for the past two years due to a slump in the global economy.

As a result, the government was forced to implement austerity measures, including slashing the budgets for the 2016/2017 and 2017/18.

The cost cutting measures resulted in a complete halt of government capital projects, which almost crippled the construction industry.

However, President Hage Geingob chief economist said the budget cuts helped remedy economic crisis.

He said the current economic crisis require collaborative effort from all stakeholders, given that the government cannot do it alone.

He cautioned against the current situation where the local economy is dependent on government spending.

“Businesses should also drop the habit of solely depending on the government and adopt other sources of funding,” the former statistician general said.

Published on 28.04.2020

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