It is exactly 25 years after independence and we have crossed three major pillars of progress which are the establishment of peace, stability and prosperity.
We have come of age as a country and we are fast becoming an economic force to be reckoned with on the African continent. We have had our own troubles fighting poverty and creating employment but we have certainly been our own worst enemy in dealing with some of the realities on the ground.
We are still condoning issues that say something black is not good and white is the best way to go forward. This is even affecting our own operations and now it is all over our work force.
Only this week we uncover that the tour guiding industry of the tourism sector is riddled with a two tier salary structure managed on race. We have a representative from the Namibian Tourism Board as the custodian of the tourism sector confirming that black tour guides receive meagre salaries compared to their white counterparts who go smiling to the bank because they apparently speak better international languages.
The irony here is that even the NTB representative says that in most cases the black tour guides have better knowledge of the country and some of the landmarks that it has to offer. He also mentions that the black tour guides seem to display even better intelligence when it comes to the tourist sites we have but as if a curse is married to their colour they always have to be the ones going home with a miserable wallet.
Honestly with all efforts that the Government is making to have an equal society, we still have a tourism sector which is seen as a pillar of economic development giving people salaries based on their skin colour. What a shame. We are a cursed nation if someone has to be paid in accordance with their skin colour instead of qualification and ability.
What is particularly insulting is that tourism is one of the key sectors meant to drive economic growth. It is even enshrined in the National Development Plan 4 (NDP4) as one of the sectors with potential to create jobs and stimulate the economy, but surely even an unbaptised fool would know that this will not happen if this sector does not treat all Namibians equally.
It is in this same vein that we call upon the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Tourism to jointly probe these disturbing circumstances and bring the culprits to book. In any case the country fought a biter liberation struggle that came with all the privileges and never should anyone be subjected to such inhuman, uncouth and primitive employment conditions.
It should be investigated to the final conclusions and promises by the Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation to probe this regrettable scenario should come to fruition and findings shared public to shame such unruly elements.
Both white and black Namibians who live in the land of the brave deserve to be remunerated in accordance with their ability and qualification. There should not be anything more or less in determining a remuneration ceiling then ability, qualification and efficiency. Anything other than that is a diabolic way of treating someone’s intelligence especially a professional.
Even the African Union anthem clearly states that let us unite celebrate together, the victories of our liberation. There is no better way of living together than through respecting human dignity and professionalism. This is done through doing away with a segregationally beliefs like instituting two tier salaries.