Progress on economic equity slow: PM

30 Sep 2017 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 30 SEP (NAMPA) – Only 29 per cent of top management positions in Namibia’s private enterprises are occupied by previously disadvantaged persons as of 2016, Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, declared Friday night.
Speaking at a gala dinner held by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said despite progress made in reducing income inequalities on a macro-level, various disparities still remain.
“Unfortunately the progress in achieving economic equity in Namibia is slow, for example, only 29 per cent of the top management positions in private enterprises were occupied by previously disadvantaged persons during 2016.”
She further said apart from the highly skewed occupational distribution between the previously advantaged and disadvantaged, the numbers remained stagnant and in some cases had even regressed.
“It is therefore important that we act to ensure that the Affirmative Action measures yield the desired outcomes,” she said.
The Premier explained that the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act, Act 29 of 1998, was created to achieve equal opportunity in employment and to eliminate employment barriers that have kept some members of the society out of a job.
The Act, she explained, merely seeks to ensure progress towards a more diverse and representative workforce that is reflective of the demographics of Namibia at all occupational levels.
On the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework, the Prime Minister told guests that her office had reviewed the input from the public and she was now busy preparing a submission to Cabinet to seek guidance on the way forward.
“Naturally there will be room for further public consultations and as we have indicated in the past we can make adjustments where we are convinced that this adjustment can add value but we would stick to the position that there would have to be a transformation of the economy.”
On his part, guest speaker from Kenya, Professor Patrick Lumumba warned that although the empowerment and equity bill would be a good thing, it might create opportunities only for tenderpreneurs, if not supervised properly.
“You must do it in such a manner that it addresses the historically disadvantaged people whether they are black, women or persons with disabilities so that it can change the circumstances of Namibia,” advised Lumumba.
The event was attended by representatives of government institutions and business communities.