Ministry of Poverty Eradication to strengthen social protection system

05 Oct 2017 17:00pm
RUNDU, 05 OCT (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare plans to strengthen and expand its social protection system.
Lien minister Bishop Zephania Kameeta said this during his ministry’s workshop on the popularisation of the Blueprint on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication here on Wednesday.
The blueprint contains cross-cutting sectoral strategic priority areas that will be implemented by all ministries, agencies and state-owned enterprises.
The objectives of the countrywide workshops are to inform stakeholders of the blueprint and its implementation plan; to seek stakeholder buy-in in the activities contained in the implementation plan and to forge collaboration with stakeholders and enhance coordination of the activities under the implementation plan.
Kameeta said although it has been reported that Namibia has one of the best social protection systems across Africa, the system is fragmented and not inclusive.
Having listened to people during national dialogues and taking into consideration what emanated from President Hage Geingob’s town hall meetings, it appears there is a need to enhance the social protection system in order to address poverty and inequality, he said.
“I am aware of the many criticisms associated with giving people cash grants, and that these will render people dependant and lazy,” Kameeta said.
He, however, asked participants to imagine what the situation in Namibia would have been without the social grants given to pensioners, people with disabilities and orphans and vulnerable children.
Kameeta said these grants have helped many children to attend school and have helped to avert severe hunger and malnutrition such as has been witnessed in many other countries.
He said the ministry has already embarked upon a process of creating a more inclusive social protection system, which includes discussions on introducing a Basic Income Grant to cover poor and vulnerable people who are currently excluded from grant systems.
The next workshop is scheduled for Friday at the Sam Nujoma Multi-purpose Centre in Ongwediva for the Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions. The series of workshops started in Katima Mulilo on Monday and will end on 24 October in Keetmanshoop.