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Party manifestos on labour

2014-10-30  Mathias Haufiku

Party manifestos on labour
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WINDHOEK - Unemployment, especially among the youth, has been rife in the country over the years, with many Namibians either forced to open their own businesses or do odd jobs that present meager salaries, not enough to earn a decent living.

The Namibia Labour Force Survey 2013 indicates the unemployment rate has increased by 2.2 percent, while 41 percent of the youth remain unemployed. 

The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) attributes the increase in unemployment to a lack of, or low qualifications.

The survey shows that in 2012 there were 172 222 unemployed youth and this figure increased by 10 340 to 294 202 unemployed youth in 2013.

New Era compiled a summary to see what strategies political parties would like to introduce in order to create more jobs in the country if voted into power.

Swanu

Swanu says there is an urgent need to initiate ways to increase employment in the country.

If voted into power, Swanu says it will undertake massive infrastructure development projects in order to create employment and incentivise the private sector to create more jobs, particularly for the youth.

NEFF

NEFF promises massive and protected sustainable industrial development and diversification to create thousands of decent jobs between 2015 and 2020.

NEFF says this will be done by means of state-led industrialisation, industrial diversification, protection of infant and existing industries through subsidies, increase of tariffs and state aided marketing and promotion of Namibian products internally, across the continent and worldwide.

The economic emancipation-oriented movement says it will ensure that the country’s mineral resources are locally beneficiated to promote job creation and industrialisation and that massive production of all food for local consumption is produced and processed in Namibia.

A NEFF-led government will prohibit labour brokers and says it will also outlaw and abolish the contract labour system. The party promises that there will be equal pay for equal work irrespective of gender, race and place of origin. The principle of equal work, equal pay will apply to all jobs.

NEFF also vowed to ensure all workers get the same rights as set out in the labour law irrespective of their immigration status, to ensure the unity of the working class and combat xenophobia.

CDV

The religious-based party says its government will lay the foundation for Namibia to move within two decades from being a poor and dependent nation to being a productive and self-sustaining economy, paving the way to jobs and dignified lives for all.

CDV says it will come up with a one-year job creation and green economic stimulus package.

It also promised to allocate N$3.1 billion to create 100 000 jobs. It says the mega job creation project will be the first step towards its target for a zero-carbon Namibia by 2050.

It also vowed to create hundreds of thousands of opportunities for young people hit by recession. A work placement scheme with up to 100 000 places will ensure young people have opportunities to acquire skills, qualifications and work experience even if they cannot find a job.

RDP

The RDP says the unemployment rate in the country, particularly among the youth, is not healthy enough for the economy to function.

RDP promised to undertake a national independent skills audit and create incentives for investors who voluntarily expand their businesses by employing the youth on attachment, internship and apprenticeship.

RDP wants to strengthen the capacity of the Development Bank of Namibia to enable entrepreneurs to start and/or expand their businesses.

RDP also said it will revamp all tendering processes to allow more individuals to benefit from the industry as well as broaden the economy by phasing in the agricultural sector north of the red line.

RDP says it will create employment and introduce broad-based economic transformation policies to target labour incentives, production sectors in the agricultural, textile, tourism, manufacturing and processing industries.

DTA

The DTA says it has an economic plan for Namibia that can help small businesses grow and create stronger job growth. With small and medium enterprises employing half of the country’s workforce, the party says the unshackling of the SME sector will unleash the potential of small businesses to grow and create more jobs.

DTA says it will have a policy directed at the optimum development and utilization of the mineral resources of the country to benefit the locals.

DTA vowed to enhance youth specific affirmative action on government procurement to 25 percent so as to mainstream the participation of youth-run businesses in economic development. It also promised to establish a Youth Venture Capital Fund from a 2.2 percent allocation from national revenue annually to help the youth with bankable projects to receive funding.

DTA says it will also break tenders into smaller contracts to allow small companies to compete and receive jobs because it allows for bigger participation.

DTA promised to reform to the procurement policy to bring down the cost of bidding to make the process more accessible.

Nudo

The major problem in this sector according to Nudo is slow economic growth, which it says results in little employment creation. The party says there is no clear strategy in employment creation and claims the TIPEEG programme is designed to enrich those who are already rich and create temporary jobs.

Nudo says the state will be the driver of employment through state-owned enterprises with reduced overburdening of SOEs with salaries of the upper echelons of SOEs.

It promises to invest 41 percent in the mining industry and 59 percent in private companies. Profits from these investments are meant to ease tax on private individuals.

DTA says the resource allocation like EPLs and fishing quotas to the connected and rich will end because they will be nationalised and developed by government with limited foreign direct ownership of resources.

NDP

NDP says it will set up an independent poverty and unemployment commission to ensure that jobs are created and to eradicate poverty.

RP

Topping its list of priorities is the establishment of a Ministry of Employment Creation and Poverty Reduction equipped with employment creation units across the country.It also promises to have a credible database across the country to determine the true level of poverty in rural and urban areas.

RP will also ensure that preference is given to local companies in the awarding of government tenders and contracts.

The party also vowed to place an immediate embargo on the influx of Chinese and other internationals who do not make any contribution towards skills transfer and capacity building.

Amongst others, RP would also establish land processing facilities in areas where informal enterprises could contribute to urban agriculture.

APP

The party says it will ensure the creation of equal opportunities for all citizens and the creation of a just and prosperous society, the elimination of poverty, reduction of unemployment, elimination of underemployment for the nation to reaffirm its sovereignty and self-reliance.

It also promised to engage multinational companies operating in the country to negotiate a fair deal for Namibia and its people in order to allow for the participation of Namibian communities in ventures such as trusts, worker trusts and for entrepreneurs to own shares in those companies.

It will also work towards unbundling profit generating SOEs with the view to allow limited participation by identified poor communities, employees and private individual entrepreneurs with the state still maintaining majority shareholding in the enterprises and at the same time guaranteeing job security for those employed.

It will also require foreign companies tendering for all government tenders to have at least a minimum of 45 percent Namibian broad-based partnership, whilst compelling local companies to have at least 50 percent shareholding which involves real verifiable marginalised, poor communities and worker trusts.

Swapo

Swapo promised to continue with institutional reforms for the registration and establishment of a database of the unemployed to reflect the type of skills they possess, skills development needs and available skills development institutions for placement, required incentives to the trainers, and employers and available employment opportunities.

The party promises to push for increased resource allocation towards sectors that have a higher potential to generate short, medium and long-term employment opportunities.

It also promised to establish mechanisms for the provision of incentives required by public institutions to facilitate job opportunities for graduates, especially those trained by vocational institutions, and those with on-the-job training and work experience. Monitoring and evaluation systems will be put in place to ensure the effectiveness of these incentives.

Swapo also promised to improve SME development strategies to create the necessary synergy and capacity in urban and rural areas.

By Mathias Haufiku

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2014-10-30  Mathias Haufiku

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