The coronavirus pandemic caused 11 210 job losses from 983 employers during the last financial year, labour minister Utoni Nujoma has said.
However, Nujoma assured the nation that the ministry will work tirelessly and innovatively to achieve a
culture of employment-centred planning and budgeting that will result in employment creation and sustainable enterprise development.
Nujoma said this while motivating the ministry’s budget in parliament on Wednesday. The ministry is allocated a budget of N$163 million for the 2021/22 financial year, of which N$154 million is for the development budget. Nujoma said the development budget is mainly for renovations and maintenance of the buildings and office infrastructure.
According to him, the ministry has four programmes, with stipulated activities planned for this financial year, with the budget estimate of N$25 million to be implemented by the Directorate of Labour Market Services.
The other programme, Nujoma said, is the Promotion of Harmonious Labour Relations, with the budget estimate of N$76 million to be implemented by the Directorate of Labour Services, the Offices of the Labour Commissioner and the Employment Equity Commission.
The Social Dialogue and Tripartism Programme is allocated N$8 million to be implemented by the division of International Relations and Advice, which is aimed at, among others, fulfilling Namibia’s obligations as a member of the Employment and Labour Sector of SADC, the Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment (STC-SLE) of the African Union, and of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). For Policy Co-ordination and Support Services, Nujoma said a budget estimate of N$60 million has been allocated.
He said the programme is responsible for Policy Coordination and Directives as well as the general Administration Support Functions.
According to him, the ministry, among others, has planned to finalise the revision of existing legal frameworks such as the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act (Act No. 29 of 1998), the Employment Services Act (Act No. 8 of 2011), the Labour Act (Act 11 of 2007) and the Social Security Act (Act 34 of 1994). Furthermore, Nujoma informed lawmakers that management, other staff members and key stakeholders will be trained in gender-responsive budgeting and gender mainstreaming in employment programmes pursuant to recommendations from the ministry’s self-assessment gender audit.