WINDHOEK - Nearly 500 workers have been retrenched from various sectors of the economy in the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year alone, information from the ministry of labour shows.
This is in addition to 514 workers retrenched from January to March this year.
More than 25 percent of those who lost their jobs worked in the wholesale and retail industry.
The chilling details are contained in the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation quarterly (April –June 2019) report released to the media on Monday. According to executive director of the labour ministry Bro-Mathew Shinguadja’ s summary report, retrenchment continues, as the worrisome state of affairs still haunts the country.
Out of the 485 laid-off during the first quarter, the wholesale and retail industry recorded the highest number of 122 retrenchments, followed by the construction sector with 114 whereas agriculture, forestry, fishing and the farming sector recorded 58 retrenchments.
Furthermore, Shinguadja said during the last financial year 4 313 workers were retrenched across all sectors, with the third quarter of the financial year recording the biggest chunk of 1 601 retrenchments.
“Retrenchment impedes the efforts of reducing unemployment, as most of the retrenched employees are joining the pool of unemployment,” Shinguadja said.
Furthermore, this quarter alone, Shinguadja said, the ministry registered 2 641 jobseekers, who comprise 2 267 unemployed jobseekers while 375 were (under) employed jobseekers.
However, he said the ministry managed to secure employment for only 195 jobseekers.
According to the executive director, the fishing industry placed the most jobseekers at 117, followed by wholesale 23, and agriculture 21.
Also, Shinguadja said during this quarter, the ministry planned to conduct 456 workplace inspections on conditions of employment in the agriculture, domestic and mining sectors.
“It is fair to indicate that despite challenges ranging from lack of adequate staff personnel as well as operational tools that are necessary in carrying these tasks, the ministry exceeded its target by conducting 517 inspections,” he said.
Also, he said the compliance level in the agriculture, domestic and mining sectors is acceptable, as it is above average with agriculture recording a 70 percent compliance rate, domestic 66 percent while the mining sector recorded 100 percent compliance.
Furthermore, Shinguadja said the ministry acknowledges that many people prefer solving labour disputes through conciliation as opposed to arbitration.
He said this is evident in that 75 percent of the cases that have been referred and resolved during this quarter were resolved through conciliation, compared to 25 percent of arbitration.
In ensuring occupational health and safety, Shinguadja said the ministry strives to see zero workplace-related accidents.
He said it is for this reason that the ministry held a high-level consultative meeting regarding the maintenance of elevators at the Windhoek Central and Katutura hospitals.
2019-08-14 07:21:20 7 days ago