National budget worries Swanu

12 April 2019 | Government

Swanu has received the national budget tabled last week with mixed feelings saying there are undoubtedly good intentions but the party believes that there is no concrete indication of how the budget will address the country's burning socio-economic challenges.

Swanu president Tangeni Iijambo is convinced that Namibia needs to rethink its approach towards development based on research, innovation and a commitment to achieve social and economic justice.

He also said that the inequalities of opportunity in education, income, health, employment and housing, amongst others, are rampant and deserve redress.

“Being aware of our country's socio-economic conditions as well as the harsh, if not unpredictable climatic conditions, we ought to have been prepared for dealing with challenging circumstances, including the need to harvest every drop of water that falls on our soil,” Iijambo said.

He said government must explain which capital projects it envisages to re-ignite socio-economic development, adding that not all infrastructure investments automatically have positive spin-offs.

According to him the budget should systematically ensure that its allocations support the greatest possible developmental impact and that meeting the basic needs of the population needs to be the central focus of all government's interventions, and this should be based on informed research. Iijambo also strongly advocates for more support for local entrepreneurs and that imports must be reduced.

“It is high time that we consume what we produce and produce what we need or want to consume. The national budget should direct developments along those lines. Each imported item is enriching another economy while devaluing our own. Our young people need jobs, they are the majority of the population and they are the ones hardest hit by unemployment. The entire population is hungry for job creation,” he said.

Iijambo also pointed out that there a visible mismatch between the budget allocation and the experiences of the Namibian youth.

“The youth is marginalised in terms of affirmative action, and entry into the labour market due to the requirement of work experience and other hurdles. There needs to be a concrete intervention to create a large number of additional jobs in both the public and private sectors,” he said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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