WINDHOEK – Twenty-nine years since Namibia’s first democratic election, fragments of apartheid remain in the workplace, Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation Erkki Nghimtina has revealed. Nghimtina raised this sentiment at a breakfast meeting while bidding farewell to retired former Employment Equity Commissioner (EEC) Vilbard Usiku and welcoming the new EEC Otniel Podewiltz yesterday. “As you all may know, the previous apartheid regime’s employment policies left a legacy of disparities in terms of distribution of jobs, income and occupation,” he said, adding that it was for this reason that the Namibian constitution states that “no person may be discriminated against any grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.”
According to Nghimtina, 29 years after independence, white employees still account for 56 percent of positions at executive director level, a situation he describes as a slow progress in achieving employment equity and a concern to his office.
He thus tasked the new EEC, Podewiltz to find innovative ways to tackle the matter.
Nghimtina says the 2017/18 employment equity figures reveals yet another improved rate of submission of affirmative action reports by relevant employers.
In that review period, he said the commission received and reviewed a total of 923 affirmative action reports. He said a total number of employees reported on in this period is 277 745.
Nghimtina says despite this increase in the number of submissions, he is informed that an estimate significant number of relevant employers are still hiding.
“I am also informed that a large number of relevant employers fails to submit reports in time each year. It is a law that all employers employing 25 and more employees must submit affirmative action report annually,” he said.
“I am also informed that presently, there are 60 relevant employers before court for non-compliance with the law,” Nghimtina said, adding that the non-compliance rages from non-submissions and false information provided to the commission.
“These are serious criminal offences in terms of the Act and I implore relevant employers to comply fully with the law,” he added.
He said statistics also reveals that only 0.4 percent employees reported on were person with disabilities, while 46 percent of the workforce was women and one percent were non-Namibians.
“This slow process in achieving employment equity is a concern to me and I expect the commission to find innovative ways to accelerate this process,” he reiterated.
2019-06-07 09:32:50 9 days ago