Strangled by red tape

06 July 2020 | Opinion

Red tape has become the “official way” in Namibia, and this hurts a lot of people than meets the eye.

Today's front-page story in Namibian Sun about a seven-year delay in fully implementing the N$100 million pledge from South Africa, made in 2013, is the clearest example yet why this country remains at the periphery of development indices.

Here is a country receiving a free donation to care for its drought-stricken population and seven years later, such assistance has not been yet fully utilised.

The victims of these lethargic delays are not the politicians and technocrats in the government system who have allotted themselves resettlement farms and fat salaries.

It is the common man to whom a drop of potable water is hard to come by.

No flurry of official excuses can save the common man from thirst or save their animals from perishing from arid conditions exacerbated by lack of water.

South Africa underlined her intent by having this pledge approved by her cabinet months after President Jacob Zuma announced the assistance in Windhoek. It was for Namibia to see to it that necessary aggression is applied to ensure final delivery of this noble cause.

Seven years is a lifetime. A child born on the day of Zuma's pledge is now in school and able to read and fully comprehend the failures of two successive Swapo governments in this regard.

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