Government has no guts to implement NEEEF: Maamberua

13 Apr 2018 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 13 APR (NAMPA) – Swanu Parliamentarian Usutuaije Maamberua believes that Government does not have the necessary mettle to implement the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) amid mounting pressure to do so.
In an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, Maamberua said there is no political will or guts from the government to address structural inequality.
“Even if it is adopted by Parliament, they are not going to implement NEEEF,” he said.
The draft NEEEF Bill caused a stir due to, among other things, the now removed clause that made it mandatory for white-owned businesses to sell a 25 per cent stake of their business to black Namibians.
According to Maamberua, Government is currently listening to NEEEF’s antagonists at the expense of the economically oppressed Namibians.
“They are just listening to dissenting voices that have colonised us, that have exploited us and want to keep themselves in the status quo,” he said, adding that the government has not been listening to the voices of the masses.
Maamberua said NEEEF was a good idea, but it was rather unfortunate that Government is ambivalent about its implementation.
Additionally, NEEEF in isolation cannot address inequality in a country where the means of production remain in the hands of a select few, 28 years after independence, he noted.
“Inequality cannot be tackled by policies. Inequality is a structural matter that can only be tackled by a complete overhaul and restructuring of the economic relationships.”
The Swanu lawmaker argued that inequality was not brought about by policies, but through a well-engineered economic set-up.
“It is that set-up that ensured that black Namibians did not have access to economic opportunities.”
However, when delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, President Hage Geingob announced that the 25 per cent equity stake clause in NEEEF would not translate into broad-based empowerment and was done away with.
“We must strive towards inclusive broad-based empowerment focusing on the plight of farm workers, domestic workers, women, the youth and all disenfranchised Namibians,” he said.
The decision to remove the clause was informed by the fact that disadvantaged Namibians do not have resources to invest in empowerment transactions, nor are they able to obtain access to funding to participate in such transactions.
Earlier this year, Geingob reaffirmed government’s commitment to implement NEEEF, saying the country will not allow itself to be “bullied in passing the framework which seeks to address inequality in its purest form”.
An amount of N.dollars 700 000 is earmarked for the finalisation of NEEEF under the Office of the Prime Minister’s budget for the 2018/19 financial year.