Keetmanshoop-The regional coordinator for the opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) in //Kharas Region, Charles Pieters, feels southerners should be given equal access to employment opportunities for any hope of alleviating poverty in the region.
He said while the region is known as the richest region in the country, most of its inhabitants wallow in poverty because they are sidelined from employment opportunities, as they are labelled with negative names and as a result they do not get jobs, based on that.
Pieters noted that due to the stereotyping created about people of the south as being lazy and drunkards, they are many a time excluded from job opportunities, even if they are capable, and this he says should come to an end in order for the region to alleviate poverty.
He said the region can only successfully defeat poverty if the masses have employment opportunities and earn salaries, adding that this is not the case currently, and jobs at most projects are given to people from other regions, leaving many capable residents of the region sitting at home unemployed and without an income.
“When we have big development projects in the region, most of the people getting work are people of other regions – I am not saying employ people from the region only, but let us give a chance to the people of the region first before we accommodate the rest,” he stated.
He furthermore said the situation is a big concern, adding that those from other regions that work on projects do not stay in the region, which means the money flows out of the region, as they go back home and develop their respective regions.
He explained this could also be linked to the huge debt of local authorities in the region, saying many are unable to pay for basic services as they remain unemployed, while, according to him, those employed from other regions do not pay rates and taxes as they do not permanently reside in the region.
He says said the region can only develop if its people are given the opportunity, and thus suggested that future projects accommodate local inhabitants of the region first.
Pointing to the Neckartal dam, which will soon be completed, he said locals should be given first priority in the allocation of plots, adding that it is up to the government to equip them with necessary skills so that they can successfully work the land.
“Look at the dam, who will get the plots? So, let us give locals plots there so that they look after themselves – it is not regionalism at all,” he said, adding: “But do not label them as lazy or anything, without any effort to empower them first, but if you equip them with necessary skills and they fail then, you can call them names.” New Era Reporter
2018-01-12 09:33:45 | 1 years ago