NEEEF more than 25 per cent clause: PM

02 Jul 2018 12:00pm
WINDHOEK, 02 JUL (NAMPA) – Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has rebuffed claims that the now-scraped 25 per cent equity clause in the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) was its essence and that without it, the policy is useless.
Several opposition political parties have said NEEEF is useless without the clause, which would have forced white-owned businesses to sell a 25 per cent stake of their businesses to previously disadvantaged Namibians.
The Prime Minister (PM) made these remarks in an interview with Nampa recently when quizzed about the empowerment and wealth redistribution framework.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said NEEEF has six pillars, which are of equal importance.
“No, NEEEF is more than the 25 per cent. As I have indicated, NEEEF has six pillars and all those pillars are very important,” said the premier.
The pillars are ownership, management control and employment equity, human resources and skills development, entrepreneurship development, corporate social responsibilities and value addition, technology and innovation.
According to the PM, equity can only be achieved if people are empowered in greater numbers, instead of benefiting a select few.
“If you say 25 per cent must go to previously disadvantaged Namibians, and you end up with 10 people that have a stake in all of the companies, you will still have inequities,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
She said in its initial format, the 25 per cent clause would have created a situation whereby a few black people are enriched alongside the previously advantaged whites.
“You will not have achieved the transformation,” she justified the clause’s removal.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added: “We are not saying we no longer care about people from previously disadvantaged communities from participating. We are saying that we want to take a broad-based approach that looks at equity that incorporates more members of the community.”
Asked what the 25 per cent clause was replaced with on the NEEEF pillars, she replied: “Equity and ownership will still be there. But it will have the same weight as the others.”
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further explained that for as long as Namibia’s abundant resources leave its shores unprocessed, “we will still be in the same situation”.
The former finance minister pointed out that Namibia’s core problem is lack of value addition.
“The core of our problem in Namibia as a rich country but with poor people is because the economy is commodity-based and the commodities are leaving the country without much value addition.”
This, according to her, fails Namibians in terms of optimising on job creation through value adding processes.
The premier could not give Nampa a tangible date as to when NEEEF will be tabled in Parliament.
Government has set aside N.dollars 700 000 for NEEEF’s implementation in the 2018/19 financial year.
Earlier, Rally for Democracy and Progress Secretary-General (SG), Mike Kavekotora said NEEEF had collapsed and what is left is a mockery of the original plan.
Popular Democratic Movement President, McHenry Venaani said NEEEF is meaningless without the 25 per cent clause.
Meanwhile, Swanu’s Usutuaije Maamberua said Government had no guts to implement NEEEF.
(NAMPA)
MEM/PS