PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA
BY Chief Ankama, SWAPO MP & Deputy Minister: MWT
The Bill on the floor of this eminent House in my view is long overdue. Almost two years ago for three consecutive sessions of parliament I tabled here a motion on unemployed Namibians both professional trained and those without. When I motivated the said motion for the first time, the idea was to get a prompt reaction from the floor of this august house across the political spectrum represented here. Sadly the debate was shoddy and it had to tabled for the second time in hope for improved contributions.
Even for the second motivation many of us in this house did not take the motion on unemployed Namibians as serious shown by the poor debate and therefore the motion was re-tabled for the third consecutive time.
The Employment Service Bill squarely responds to motion on unemployed Namibians with or without professional qualifications as tabled during the last session of our parliament which was aimed to; (quoting myself-open quote)
1. discuss, assess and ascertain the seriousness of unemployed Namibians with professional trainings and qualifications obtained from recognized educational institutions here in Namibia or abroad;
2. which further examine the general unemployment of all able bodied people in Namibia in view of government sponsored initiated projects such as the green schemes, agricultural colleges in the country and vocational training institutions as a matter of example.
3. it challenged the government and private sector partnership to open up in the provision of relevant skills and creation of job opportunities for the unemployed Namibians.
4. and insisted that unemployment be critically investigated in relation to our national investment policies and further discover the unemploy-ability of all those unemployed for recommendation and appropriate action in favour of their predicament. (Close quote)
Now the Employment Service Bill before us as introduced by the Hon. Minister of Labour and Social welfare, seeks our undivided support for us to meet the unemployment situation in our country head-on and thereby suppress financial dependency, economic trauma and criminal activities just to mention but a few.
My focus is more on the Employment Service bureau –article 13 and my concern is mostly centred on the questions of;
1. how much we know about employees and employers out there including private institutions and individuals who by hooks or crooks hop from one employment opportunity to the other without notice (as employees) or those (employers) who fire and hire job-seekers without registration. In other words, the regulatory mechanism thereof.
2. Reference to the motion on unemployed Namibians with or without professional qualifications tabled earlier here I called for the
“Establishment of a centralized research centre in the country, with decentralized data bank to, readily facilitate access of data for private and collective research and planning. “ This tallies with article 14 sub-articles 1 and 2 under the heading ‘integrated employment information system’ on page 10 of the Employment Service Bill.
I cannot let go without taking issues with the current system of recruitment and filling of vacancies in our ministries and perhaps state owned enterprises. One can call it a confusing and perhaps discriminatory or some kind of a pathetic recruitment system. Such a questionable system comrade speaker is bamboozled by individuals within our employment, those dishonest people who are entrusted with responsibilities of recruitment and management. It may partly be due to a number of conflicting laws we have which some may need be repealed or those which may need amendment including the public service act and the likes of tender board act and some others.
Recruitment in our system has become a serious concern. Some departments in our ministries and agencies are turned into mini-empires and are run in a mafia style management where some individual heads of such units freeze vacancies which budgeted for on their establishment for years allegedly waiting for their next of kin to graduate from institutions of learning or to complete the required years needed for consideration of promotion. Instead other Namibians who may be readily qualified for promotion are prevented from applying as a result of frozen vacant posts.
I was also reliably informed that even foreigners are benefitting from these crooking behaviours by being extending their contracts indefinitely.
It is therefore in my view not just enough to pass the Employment Service Bill alone without identifying those laws that need be repealed, those need amendment and those need harmonised. I further would like stress review of policies and regulation which go along with the laws that we are enacting in order to simplify for example the SWAPO party election manifesto which is the SWAPO party government working document leading this vibrant nation towards vision 2030.