Ongwediva-The education directorate in Ohangwena Region has directed that all fleets be grounded with immediate effect following deep budget cuts for the current financial year.
Education Director in Ohangwena Region, Isak Hamatwi, directed that all fleets be parked and pool vehicles be returned to the government garage by today until the next financial year or until the financial situation in the region improves.
Hamatwi told New Era that the directorate owes Standard Bank hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel card fees.
“This action has come in the wake of operational budget money not being transferred to the regional directorates,” said Hamatwi.
At least N$21 million was slashed off the directorate’s budget this 2017/18 financial year.
“It is regrettable to inform you that a decision has been taken to ground all government vehicles in this directorate due to serious challenges of a shortage of funds that resulted from the downward [revision] of the 2017/18 financial year budget,” said Hamatwi.
The directive excludes vehicles transporting school examination markers to Windhoek for marking.
In the directive issued to senior staff members, Hamatwi further instructed that staff members seek authorisation
from the director before using any vehicle.
“This simply means that any staff member who wishes to use a vehicle either at the regional office, circuits, libraries or literacy centres must first seek the approval of the director,” said Hamatwi.
In June, the Omusati Regional Education Directorate reduced the number of operating vehicles due to similar problems.
Laban Shapange, the region’s education director, maintained that the region returned pool vehicles to the government garage and enforced strict movement of cars in the region.
“The decision, which was taken, was that vehicles in the region only move when there is a critical need,” said Shapange.
Earlier this month, four police stations in Oshikoto were also forced to ground their vehicles following power-cut by the Northern Electricity Distributor (Nored).
The vehicles, which are fuelled at a police station at Oshivelo, were left without fuel because of lack of power supply for the fuel pump.