BERSEBA - Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says businesses should be more socially responsible and invest back some of their profits into the communities they derived it from.
Speaking yesterday during the handover of 13 houses to those affected by the rain storm that hit Berseba in February 2017, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila commended private entities that came on board to assist the disaster-stricken community, saying all private entities should take a good example from this and help when such tragedies strike. She said institutions such as the Shack Dwellers Federation gave a helping hand during the construction of the 13 houses free of charge and this, according to her, is an example worthy emulation by other entities.
She lashed out at businesses that derive huge revenues from communities but in return fail to do anything positive for such communities.
“That kind of attitude will no longer be tolerated, we have companies that make huge profits but are not willing to invest back into the communities,” she emphatically said.
“They exploit the government and get huge profits and never invest back, while many people [in their communities] are swimming in poverty,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stated. She added that government will now prioritise self-help programs such as the Shack Dwellers Federation in order to benefit more people instead of giving construction contracts to companies that inflate their prices to maximise their profits.
She noted that while the total cost of the 13 constructed houses is about N$750 000, which amounts to about 58 000 per structure on average, some companies that were asked to provide quotes for consideration quoted up to N$350 000 per structure. She said government would no longer do business with such entities.
“That kind of attitude can no longer be tolerated and that is why government has decided to prioritise the self-help program, like Shack Dwellers Federation, and going forward we are going to prioritise projects that benefit a large segment of our society so that we distribute the cake amongst all Namibians,” said the Prime Minister.
She further said while government wants to build more houses through the low cost housing program, government will not compromise on the quality of the houses that will be built and processes and tests will be carried out to ensure these houses are up to the national standard.
“Government aims to facilitate access to housing for low income earners at reduced cost but not reduced standard and quality.”
She also took a moment to remind the community members and all present about the upcoming land conference slated for 1-5 October, saying all groups from all corners of Namibia will be represented, as she urged Namibians to approach the conference with clear minds and be united, saying all regions, local authorities, traditional leaders, and genocide committees have been invited and discussions will tackle both farming and urban land.
“We will deal with both farming and urban land so that we can find a way to expedite the process of land reform and availing land for residential purposes, and also completely resolve the land issue in peace and harmony, and I therefore urge all of us across Namibia to embrace one another as one people, so that we can together ensure the realisation of the objectives of this conference,” she said.
The Prime Minister also donated 20 food packages to the elderly of the village at the same event.