Over half of Namibians earn less than N$1 400 – report

01 March 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

Inequality in Namibia remains at staggering proportions, with more than half of paid Namibian workers earning a monthly wage of less than N$1 353, while a mere 14% earn more than this amount.

The latest Human Development Report by the United Nations’ Development Programme pointed out that this inequality is underlined by the fact that the majority of the Namibian population are income earners.

According to this report, 687 511 Namibians are employed, of which 448 271 earn an income.

The report pointed out that Namibia remains one of the most unequal societies in the world, despite being classified an upper-middle-income country.

“Some of the policy options could include targeting the lower income groups in Erongo and Khomas in terms of education and health services to break generational poverty and enhance opportunities for future high-income earners. For the rest of the regions, there is a need to identify high earning economic activities away from traditional economic activities of communal farming and low skills jobs. The Hardap, //Karas and Oshana regions, as they are between the high human development regions, and the rest may require a mixture of these policy options,” the report stated.

Land the panacea

This report added that land rights - when implemented properly - give people, especially the poor, an increased sense of security, and that they have the potential to improve people’s economic status.

It suggested that land reform could, therefore, be used as a measure to address and reduce inequality between the rich and the poor, and between genders.

According to the Namibia Statistics Agency, white Namibians and foreigners own 27 million hectares of the total of 39 million hectares of freehold agricultural land. This is approximately 69% of freehold agricultural land, while black Namibians own just 16%.

The remainder was acquired through the Land Resettlement Programme.

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