NEEEF not the solution to poverty eradication: Kapwanga

27 Apr 2016 10:10am
WINDHOEK, 27 APR (NAMPA) – The Namibia Chamber of Mines says the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF), in its current form, is not the solution to eradicating poverty and creating equality in the country.
This was said by Chamber of Mines president Kombadayedu Kapwanga during the opening of the Chamber's 37th annual general meeting in the capital on Tuesday.
Kapwanga said the Chamber is of the opinion that the NEEEF's policy framework and Bill focuses on the empowerment of individuals and not the poor majority of the population.
“While the Chamber fully supports the purpose and objectives of NEEEF, we respectfully submit that the Mining Charter is able to achieve these objectives in a more sustainable and meaningful manner in the mining sector.”
Kapwanga said the unintended consequences of NEEEF in its current form will result in a dramatic reduction of foreign direct investment, loss of revenue to Government and a decline in overall economic growth.
He said the NEEEF will thus be counterproductive to poverty eradication and other objectives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the fourth National Development Plan.
The Chamber has engaged with and submitted counter proposals on the NEEEF to all relevant Government bodies, including the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Kapwanga said the Chamber is optimistic that reason will prevail to enable the mining industry to grow and be fully integrated with other sectors of the economy to attain the much-desired industrialisation as per Vision 2030.
Government has extended the ongoing public consultations on the NEEEF Bill to 29 April 2016, with proposals to be submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister before 29 April 2016.
The NEEEF Bill is designed to restructure the private business sector through empowerment pillars that are aimed at addressing a variety of needs of previously disadvantaged people and integrating deprived Namibians into the economic mainstream.
According to the draft NEEEF Bill, the empowerment pillars are aimed at promoting, facilitating and coordinating all economic empowerment policies of the government such as the Black Economic Empowerment policy.
The empowerment pillars include the ownership pillar; management control and employment equity pillar; human resources and skills development pillar; entrepreneurship development and marketing pillar; corporate social responsibility pillar; and the value addition, technology and innovation pillar.
The Bill also aims to provide a structure that private sector empowerment initiatives must conform to in seeking to achieve economic equity in planning, decision-making and monitoring or the assessment of economic policies.
The draft indicates that every Government body must apply relevant economic empowerment standards in determining qualification criteria for the issuing of licences that include the mining licences, concessions or other authorisations in respect of economic activity in terms of any law.
The NEEEF Bill is one of 40 Bills expected to be discussed in the National Assembly during the course of this year.