Kuzeeko Tjitemisa WINDHOEK – National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) is blaming the loss of up to 18,000 jobs in the construction industry on the government, saying maladministration by government has killed the “employment system” in the country. In an interview with New Era yesterday, Job Muniaro, the secretary general of the country’s largest trade union federation, said most of government tenders have been inflated, resulting in government spending more than they should have on infrastructure. This, in turn, he said, ultimately led to forced consolidation of government accounts and the minimization of tenders, which resulted in job losses in the construction industry. “Job losses are not like seeds you plant and grow, sometimes job losses come with the consequences of mismanagement, sometimes it comes from economic downturn and in this case the issue of administration, especially the administration of government, has killed our employment system and we have lost a lot of jobs,” said Muniaro. Also, Muniaro said the government is currently dishing out work permits to foreigners apparently in the name of experts, but most of the so-called experts end up pushing wheelbarrows in the construction industry, causing locals to lose jobs. “Go to Chinatown – people [foreigners] are selling goods in all shops, do you want to tell me that Namibians cannot be employed to sell?” The other thing he said government is doing wrong is the allocation of government tenders to foreign SOEs. “How can you have local companies compete with foreign state-owned companies for tenders – is this how we level the playing field?” “This is not fair competition at all,” he added. Muniaro advised the government to enact laws that will protect the interest of Namibians. “Chinese, or Italian companies should be sub-contractors. Before independence we had people from Rehoboth running the construction industry in this country – what happened to them, do you want to tell me that they can’t build anymore?” He said Namibians under the guidance of foreigners should be running the construction industry in the country. “We need to sit down and see where we have gone wrong and where we can improve – we must enact laws that will protect our people, we need to put [in place] protective laws that protect the industry,” he said.
2018-07-11 09:08:13 2 months ago