One of the biggest concerns the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF) has regarding the Namibian Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill (NEEEB) is if, indeed, it will bring about the desired results. In its current format and the latest draft of NEEEB, it is made clear that “empowerment beneficiaries” are to be recipients of the benefits that the implementation of NEEEB should bring about.
According to the definition of “empowerment beneficiaries”, it includes all “previously disadvantaged persons” in Namibia. CIF is concerned that this definition, therefore, does not exclude “currently advantaged empowerment beneficiaries” or “currently advantaged disadvantaged persons”.
“On the contrary, it would also include any previously “black or coloured” racially disadvantaged person, and their offspring, who had access to good education – even to most renowned ivy-league universities, and access to finance due to more recently accumulated wealth. It would also include leaders of business and the political elite,” reads a statement from the CIF.
The statement continues that the “advantaged disadvantaged persons” can impossibly be considered as empowerment beneficiaries because of lack of equitable access, lack of finance, wealth or lack of opportunity. “Indeed, they would then only be considered an empowerment beneficiary based on the fact that they were considered as historically disadvantaged due to their race,” the statement reads.
Bärbel Kirchner, consulting general manager of the CIF, said: “The question is then as to who should really benefit from NEEEB in order to meet the objectives of NEEEB, i.e. tackling poverty among the majority of Namibians and more equitable society, and whether there might not be a fundamental flaw enshrined in the current NEEEB?
CIF, therefore, proposes a distinction between a currently disadvantaged and a currently advantaged empowerment beneficiary; the one that possibly earns a monthly salary of N$1 500, whereas the other has a wealth of assets and earns around N$50 000 per month or much more.
“That would perhaps allow one to focus on the real issues and indeed increase the prospects of making a real difference,” the CIF statement concluded.
2020-07-28 10:17:17 | 14 days ago