• April 19th, 2019
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Cabinet heeds local engineers’ cries

… orders consultation on Zimbabwean expatriates Selma Ikela Windhoek Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Works and Transport, in consultation with the Namibia Council of Architects and perhaps the Engineering Council of Namibia, to conduct public consultations with local engineering graduates. Further, the consultations should involve local architects and quantity surveyors to gauge the continued need for expatriates in the public service. This directive came in the wake of a firestorm of criticism that the government was giving preferential treatment to engineers, quantity surveyors and architects from Zimbabwe at the expense of unemployed Namibian engineers, quantity surveyors and architects who are without jobs In a statement, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Tjekero Tweya also cautioned that xenophobia should be avoided in efforts to ensure that the interest of the profession of architects and quantity surveyors is protected. “We urge calm and trust that when the ministry, in conjunction with the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (perhaps with the Engineering Council of Namibia), calls for a dialogue, there will be a date set aside, that those aggrieved can come out and contribute to the resolution of the matter for the long run,” stated Tweya. He added that Namibia is a product of international solidarity, and that many citizens of the world would like to come to live in Namibia and build and expand the country. “Namibians have their homes and careers all over the world. Others too should feel at home in Namibia, whilst we ensure that Namibians themselves feel at home in their own country side by side.” In recent weeks local architects and quantity surveyors have expressed discontent after works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb exempted 29 Zimbabweans from certain professional registration procedures. In 2012 Namibia signed an MoU with Zimbabwe for that country’s architects and quantity surveyors to work for the Namibian government and therefore transfer skills to Namibians in those fields. Last week, the Engineering Professional Association (EPA) submitted over 300 curricula vitae of Namibian professionals who are unemployed, retrenched and misemployed architects and quantity surveyors to the Ministry of Works of Transport during a meeting with the permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann last week Thursday. The Namibian Society of Engineers (NSE) stated the expired memorandum of understanding between Namibia and Zimbabwe should not be extended because it has failed in its primary objective of skills transfer from seconded professionals to locals without even producing a single success story of the intended goals. Local architects and quantity surveyors met last night to discuss the minister’s letter and will pronounce themselves on it today. Tweya explained that most Zimbabwean professionals are not registered in Zimbabwe but have been registered in the United Kingdom with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), or the Architects Registration Board (ARB) or in South Africa with the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) or the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), because their qualifications from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe is recognised either by the UK Qualifications and Examinations Regulations (Ofqual) or the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). According to the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors’ records, there are 123 architects, 61 quantity surveyors, 63 architects-in-training and 85 quantity surveyors in training, bringing the total to 332. Tweya indicated that of the 332, 199 are Namibian, 58 are South African, 56 are Zimbabwean (of whom nine are registered professionals while the others are all in training). He added that 19 are either Batswana, Zambian or Kenyan. He also stated that there 32 Namibians in training in the Ministry of Works and Transport. A total of 22 Namibians are in Cyprus, 23 are in Brazil undergoing qualifying training in architecture, quantity surveying or engineering.
New Era Reporter
2017-08-22 10:15:09 1 years ago

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