Nuusita Ashipala Oshakati-Seasonal workers at Oshakati have defied a council order to relocate to the open market, arguing that they will not be visible to people looking for temporary workers. The defiant group wants to be relocated to an area near the road where they could be easily accessible to those in search of temporary workers. The group had been given until yesterday to vacate the area but has vowed to stay put. The group says council wants to justify its bus terminus by sending them there after bus drivers abandoned it. Although there are still buses at the open market, others have returned to the usual spot along the Okatana main road. Apart from the ablution fee of N$1, which they are not willing to pay, they further argue that the open market is too tempting and could compel them to spend the money they make. “One day when you do not get work you might just get tempted to steal, but if you are here and you don’t get any job you will just sit around exchanging stories with others in the group,” said one temporary worker. They said they get work at least daily, with men getting two to three jobs in a single day. The group accused the Oshakati Town Council of not engaging them properly before deciding to relocate them. However, Oshakati Town Council CEO, Werner Iita, said the group was consulted through consultative meetings held at the council and they initially had no objection to the planned move. In addition to the seasonal workers, other stakeholders from the areas surrounding the place where the temporary workers are stationed also attended the meeting. The group is stationed in front of the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC), which is adjacent to the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation. Iita also refuted claims that council wants to charge them a nominal fee at the open market for using its ablution facilities. He said the move was initiated by the lack of ablution facilities in the vicinity and to equally shield them from the weather, especially when it rains. “We agreed that there will be no payments for now because we are moving them to a temporary place while we get them a permanent place,” said Iita. Iita said there have been unconfirmed reports of people in the vicinity losing valuable items from the parking and use of the storm water channels when nature calls. “We cannot confirm this, but we are trying to protect them from all of these things,” Iita added. Among the seasonal workers is Iipinge Peter, who has been job hunting in the area for at least 18 years now. Others have been there for at least three to 10 years. “This is our bread and butter. From this money we make, we are able to pay school fees and buy books for our learners,” said Ester Hauwanga.
New Era Reporter
2018-03-16 09:28:32 8 months ago