Government failing where it matters most: IPPR

04 Jul 2018 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUL (NAMPA) – A survey by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has found that the government is doing little to address unemployment and poverty, rated by Namibians as their most burning challenges.
The findings are contained in a summary of results of the Afrobarometer Round 7 survey carried out in November 2017, for which 1 200 people were interviewed.
“The majority of Namibians say the government is not doing enough to address unemployment and poverty,” the report, issued on Tuesday, states.
This, according to the IPPR, is despite the fact that the Harambee Prosperity Plan has prioritised unemployment and poverty as amongst the challenges that require undivided attention.
It found that 70 per cent of the people interviewed had gone without a cash income at least once over the year preceding the survey, with a stark contrast between urban and rural populations.
A further 47 per cent had gone without food at least once during the same period.
In addition, IPPR found that most Namibians are of the view that Government has “fairly badly” or “very badly” handled key issues related to poverty reduction.
To address poverty, 66 per cent of those interviewed suggested that Government increase social protection grants, while 64 per cent called for the reduction in the defence budget in favour of poverty eradication and development.
Fifty-three per cent of the people interviewed wanted a raise in taxes for poverty reduction.
“The majority of respondents say their government is handling key issues related to poverty and unemployment badly, including job creation (75 per cent), narrowing gaps between the rich and the poor (73 per cent), improving living standards of the poor (59 per cent) and ensuring that everyone has enough to eat,” the research found.
Statistics provided by IPPR show that 66 per cent of the respondents felt that unemployment is Namibia’s biggest problem.
Meanwhile, 34 per cent of the respondents said poverty is their greatest challenge, while 21 per cent viewed land ownership as Namibia’s most important shortcoming.
Seventeen per cent of the respondents listed education and corruption as Namibia’s major problems.
Fourteen per cent of respondents felt water supply and housing are the major problems in the country, while 13 per cent felt health delivery is the biggest problem.
In addition, 11 per cent felt food shortage/famine and electricity supply are their greatest predicament.
With regards to the 1 200 respondents interviewed, the statement said a sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of around three per cent at a 95 per cent confidence level.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in Africa.