Namibia is still waiting for drought relief aid to the value of R100m which President Jacob Zuma had promised his country would render during his state visit in November 2013. The ministry of foreign affairs on Monday said processes had to be finalised after which disbursement would follow.
“At a technical level, officials continue to finalise processes upon which the disbursement is hinged. These essential bureaucratic processes on both sides are the reason for the delay,” the ministry said in a statement. “The reasons for the delay in the disbursement of funds are mutual and cannot be solely attributed to one government.”
During his visit to Namibia, Zuma announced in his address to Parliament the N$100m support to Namibia’s drought relief programme, as the country endured a devastating drought that year. The relief in cash and kind was intended to cover the water, health and agriculture sectors. No details were made public. Earlier this month, the local government daily newspaper New Era reported that the aid had not arrived but that South African government officials had visited Namibia late last year to assess support measures for Namibia and to prepare a memorandum of understanding. Namibia’s foreign ministry noted on Monday that the memorandum had since reached Windhoek.
“The memorandum of understanding referred to in the [New Era] article has been in the possession of the Namibian government since mid-January 2015 and is undergoing due legal processes after having been scrutinised by all Namibian stakeholders,” the ministry said. “The government of the Republic of Namibia remains grateful for the gesture of goodwill extended by the government and people of the Republic of South Africa.” Meanwhile all private sector agricultural organisations held a joint closed-door emergency meeting last Friday about the looming drought with the current rainy season being very poor. “The agriculture ministry will receive our report about the serious situation,” said Mecki Schneider, chairperson of the Livestock Producers Association.