Unemployment fund could reduce poverty: Ndemula

29 Sep 2015 17:10pm


An unemployment insurance fund could reduce poverty by providing members with an income when they are no longer working and searching for new jobs, Erongo Regional Council Chairperson, Hafeni Ndemula proposed.

He made the suggestion during a public meeting under the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare?s National Dialogue on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication at Swakopmund on Monday.

Ndemula explained that most people in Namibia, especially low-income earners and contract workers who have no pension benefits, suffer when they lose their jobs.

He thus suggested that the line ministry establish an unemployment insurance fund and compel every employer and employee to make monthly contributions towards the fund.

"An employer must contribute a high percentage for their employees but the employees themselves must also contribute part of their salaries. This is so that one day when they are no longer employed they have money to survive on," he said.

Ndemula said the fund should also accommodate those who run small businesses such as street vendors and 'kapana' (roasted meat) sellers, so that they can save part of their profits towards their financial security. 

"When our people have such a fund, they can be receiving the same salary they were receiving for six to 12 months while looking for new jobs. I believe this will be better than losing a job and salary at once, and face the streets without money," he said.

Ndemula, who is also the councillor for the Walvis Bay Urban Constituency, encouraged people to use their monies wisely to avoid borrowing from cash loan businesses.

"Our people do not save money anymore. Their Identity Documents (IDs) and debit cards are with the cash loans because they owe such companies. Their money just come and go to cash loans," he stressed.

In this case, Ndemula suggested that all employers must introduce a fortnightly pay, where employees receive a salary every two weeks. He said this will help keep money in the pockets of the employees and stop them from borrowing large amounts.

"Even if such salaries will not be big, it will help because now they have money to buy food for their families to last for two weeks before they get paid again," said the councillor.

The one-day dialogue led by Deputy Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Revered Aino Kapewangolo, was attended by politicians, young people, farmers, business owners, company representatives and senior citizens.

The ministry held similar dialogues in the //Karas and Oshana regions last week to collect ideas on poverty reduction and wealth redistribution for consideration and implementation.

The series of meetings are set for all 14 regions, and will end in the Khomas Region on 01 October.