Namibia to repay N$3 billion for SACU Pool

WINDHOEK –

Namibia has to repay about N$3 billion in the next financial year (2016/2017) as a share of the SACU Common Revenue Pool deficit for the 2014/2015 financial year.

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU)’s Common Revenue Pool has incurred a deficit in the 2014/15 financial year which has been estimated at N$7.6 billion.

Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said this while tabling the Appropriation Amendment Bill’s Mid-Year Budget Review for 2015/2016 financial year in the National Assembly on Tuesday, 3 November.

Schlettwein noted that the repayment is over and above the projected downward adjustments in the SACU receipts associated with the slowdown in the South African economy.

“The state of the global and regional economy is expected to impact on the domestic economic activities and public revenue for Namibia as a small, open economy,” he noted.

The minister stressed that the revenue under SACU for which South Africa is a major contributor is projected to decline significantly.

Growth for the South African economy, which is closely associated with Namibian economy, has been marked down to 1.5 per cent in 2015 from the 2 per cent estimated in the budget.

Schlettwein added that the growth is only projected to advance to 1.7 per cent next year with an average of 2.4 per cent over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) still subject to significant downside risks.

The minister explained that growth for the sub-continent is now estimated at 3.8 per cent in 2015, which is a significant slowdown from the 5.0 per cent achieved in 2014.

It is expected to rise to 4.3 per cent in 2016.

“This growth outlook is below the average rates realised in recent years, and it is on the back of low commodity prices, tightening capital markets and reduced investment flows,” Schlettwein noted.

SACU is made up of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland which share a common external tariff; and share the proceeds of customs and excise duties in accordance with a separate revenue-sharing formula. – NAMPA

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