• August 15th, 2020

SOEs drag feet to list expatriates

Parastatals are dragging their feet to provide details related to foreign nationals occupying some strategic positions in the country’s public enterprises. 

The ministry’s executive director, Annascy Mwanyangapo, in a circular sent to SOEs in January, requested CEOs and managing directors of public enterprises to submit lists and academic qualifications of all expatriates employed at these institutions.
However, when contacted for an update, the ministry officials said out of the 81 country’s public enterprises, only 38 responded, while 43 public enterprises have failed to respond to the request.

According to the statistics provided by the ministry to New Era, of those who responded, the University of Namibia (Unam) tops the list with the number of foreigners, standing at 30, followed by Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) with 18 foreign nationals, shadowed by Air Namibia with 14, Namport with 13 and the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with nine.
Overall, according to the ministry statistics at hand, there are currently 102 foreign nationals working in the country parastatals, with Zimbabweans leading the pack with 30, followed by 19 South Africans, six Finnish, five Ugandans and four British, Cubans Nigerians, Russians and Ugandans.

Others include one American, two Angolans, one Batswana, three Cameroonians, three Congolese, one Cuban, one Egyptian, one Ethiopian, one Ghanaian, one Kenyan, one Libyan, two Malawians, one Nigerian, two Rwandese and two Tanzanians.
According to the statistics, 50 of the foreign nationals are on work permits, three on domicile, fourteen on permanent residence, while the status of 35 foreign nationals in SOE’s was not provided.

In January, Mwanyangapo requested SOEs to prioritise the employment of Namibians ahead of foreign nationals, saying she noted a growing trend of foreign nationals occupying some strategic positions in public enterprises.
This, she said, in many cases, was being done at the expense of locals, especially at this stage when the country is grappling with high unemployment rates and high poverty levels.

According to her, foreign workers should only be employed when there is a dire need and if it is difficult to get local workers. “This matter is of great concern that foreign expatriates continue to be employed at this stage when the country is experiencing a high unemployment rate,” Jooste stated in the letter.

“You are hereby urged to ensure that in your institutions, recruitment priority is given to Namibians who possess the skills and only in exceptional cases where specialised skills are not available within the country can expatriates be considered,” further stated the public enterprises minister

The executive director said to ensure the employment of foreign expatriates in public enterprise is fairly regulated and monitored, the ministry is developing a policy framework in line with public enterprise governance.
Questions have been raised especially by members of opposition parties in parliament in the past as to why SOEs continued to employ foreign nationals in some cases as chief financial officers as if there are no qualified Namibians to hold such positions.
Unemployment in Namibia continues to go up yearly, with tens of thousands of university graduates failing to secure employment despite having a tertiary degree. 

By the beginning of last year, Namibia had 67 000 unemployed graduates hoping to get a job in the field they had studied for.
According to the latest figures from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), about 46.10% of the country’s youth are without jobs, while the national unemployment rate stands at 33.40%.
– ktjitemisa@nepc.com.na

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2020-05-19 10:47:24 | 2 months ago

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