No joy for workers

This year's Workers' Day will be celebrated at Walvis Bay amid a gloomy labour outlook in many sectors.

30 April 2019 | Labour

Labour commentators have decried massive job losses across most sectors of the Namibian economy, adding that the state of affairs was a putting a damper on tomorrow's Workers' Day celebrations.

The secretary-general of the National Union of Namibian Workers, Job Muniaro, said he saw no hope for the construction sector, where hundreds of workers have lost their jobs. According to him, construction remains in turmoil because Chinese contractors have taken over the sector, shutting Namibians out. He also questioned whether there was a need for the Namibian government to accept “destructive” loans from China.

“How do you charge these people taxes when they import their material but our own Pupkewitz has building materials? Even those workers will be retrenched because there are no buyers because only the Chinese are building.

“The question is, why we should bind ourselves to loans that are killing our economy in the interest of China because money is going out and no money is coming in,” said Muniaro, who represents the largest trade union federation in the country.

The Namibian Employers' Federation (NEF) boss Tim Parkhouse agrees that the unemployment situation in Namibia is very worrying. He said, however, that fewer companies had contacted him about retrenchments compared to 2017.

“Unfortunately we have little to celebrate; if you have a job be grateful you have one. Even if you are not happy, be grateful that you have a salary because there are far too many people out there who have nothing coming in,” said Parkhouse.





He further believes there is an immediate need to develop the private sector in order to move away from being so dependent on the government for tenders.



Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) secretary-general Mahongora Kavihuha has criticised President Hage Geingob for appointing only “capitalists” to his high-level panel on the Namibian economy.



Geingob in early April announced a 22-member advisory committee chaired by veteran economist Johannes !Gawaxab.



“It is completely out of thought and a clear indication that the president has no intention to involve those on the ground but rather be advised by the capitalists who are exploiting workers. The solution of unemployment and retrenchments is found when you involve the affected people which are the workers,” Kavihuha said.



He added that the government has completely failed workers because of a weak parliament.



“Parliament has officially failed to hold the executive accountable. And so we witness the poor behaviour and non-implementation of policies because the executive do not care because no one is holding them accountable,” he said.







Dire







Labour minister Erkki Nghimtina said in his budget motivation in the National Assembly that there was a need for employers and trade unions to consider a “shift system to give unemployed people an opportunity to earn a wage”.



He also highlighted that very few jobs had been created despite the government's efforts to create a favourable environment for investors and for economic expansion to create jobs.



The minister also pointed out that only 711 of the 8 613 job seekers registered on the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS) had found employment.



“This is a clear indication that the economy is unable to absorb the high numbers of jobseekers. If the economy cannot grow and cannot create the necessary job opportunities, then it should be redesigned and remodelled,” he said.



Nghimtina predicted that unemployment rates would soon hit the agricultural sector of the SADC region too because of droughts and cyclones.

JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

N$500k to create jobs

1 week ago - 18 February 2020 | Labour

The labour ministry only received N$500 000 in its annual budget for employment creation, its executive director Bro-Matthew Shinguadja has confirmed.“We budgeted N$500 000 and...

NSFAF fires Nghiwete

2 weeks ago - 11 February 2020 | Labour

The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has fired its CEO, Hiliya Nghiwete, who had been on suspension for 21 months.Her lawyer, Sisa Namandje, confirmed...

Swapo's Chinese contractors get slap on the wrist

2 weeks ago - 07 February 2020 | Labour

Chinese nationals at the construction site of the new Swapo headquarters in Katutura are to receive training on the provisions of the Labour Act and...

Threat to down tools at Swapo office construction

3 weeks ago - 03 February 2020 | Labour

Construction workers building Swapo's new N$730 million headquarters will down tools if their demands for a better work environment are not guaranteed, Metal and Allied...

Foreigners at SOEs under microscope

3 weeks ago - 31 January 2020 | Labour

The ministry of public enterprises is asking CEOs and MDs of public enterprises to submit lists of all expatriates employed at these institutions, as well...

New MUN fund to protect mineworkers

2 months ago - 09 December 2019 | Labour

The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) has announced its intention to establish a Just Transition Plan aimed at protecting mineworkers from the dire consequences of...

Nampa dumps stringer over Fishrot debate

3 months ago - 27 November 2019 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE The Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) has terminated the services of a Windhoek-based freelance reporter after he had participated in a...

Investing in employees’ future

5 months ago - 27 September 2019 | Labour

FirstRand Namibia supports education with bursariesFirstRand Namibia Assistance Trust has reduced the tertiary financial burden for 38 of its employees by awarding bursaries allowing them...

Empowering young leaders

5 months ago - 27 September 2019 | Labour

Francois van der Merwe As part of its ongoing mission to empower, equip and transform, Erongo Marine Enterprises (EME) sponsored ten young leaders, including...

Aaniilonga ya hala aahona yawo ya shunwe miilonga

5 months ago - 24 September 2019 | Labour

LEANDREA LOUW Aaniilonga yehangano lyEmbwinda Fishing otaya kondjitha opo aakomeho yawo miilonga ye li 21, mboka ya kuthwa miilonga shaaheli paveta opo ya shunwe...

Latest News

WBSR invests N$93.6 mln in...

22 hours ago | Business

With an investment of N$93.6 million in a new salt processing plant Walvis Bay Salt Refiners (WBSR) can now target international markets as the company...

Wanted: Business direction

22 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Government policy – or the lack thereof, government regulation, government failure, government’s fiscal position and the recession: Ask the business sector in...

Africa Briefs

22 hours ago | Economics

SA could use mining royalties for sovereign fundSouth Africa could use mining royalties to set up a proposed sovereign wealth fund, mineral resources and energy...

Let's work together and solve...

22 hours ago | Business

Chantell Husselmann - The PwC Business School has started the year 2020 on a high note with a special occasion that marks the first of...

Dark shadow over fishing quotas

22 hours ago | Opinion

With a total of 5 190 fishing rights applications received by 31 August 2018 for the 90 to 120 rights available in the new allocation...

Deere taps into tech in...

22 hours ago | Business

It's ride-hailing, farm style. Deere & Co. is teaming up with the “Uber of tractors” in Africa and betting on a future where farmers summon...

NSX bears brunt of recession

22 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – The recession didn’t spare the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) last year: Trading volumes dropped and the share prices of most of the...

Nust staff expose 'rot'

22 hours ago | Education

A group of concerned Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) staff members have appealed to President Hage Geingob as the “last resort” to rescue...

Ndeitunga wants more operational manpower

22 hours ago | Police

Nampol Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga says some of the biggest challenges facing the police force are the increase of violent crimes, gender-based violence and the high...

Load More