Employers Urged to Recruit Namibians

The Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, has warned employers about recruiting foreign workers at the expense of unemployed Namibians, adding that the foreigners could be deported.

Iivula-Ithana made these remarks at the Workers’ Day commemoration held in Luumlderitz over the weekend. “Namibia cannot afford to employ foreign workers in jobs where we have local skills. This must be understood. I do not want the Swapo government to be forced to take steps that will put some companies in a more disaantaged position than they have been. If we find employees of some [companies] that have been smuggled in by dubious means we will have to deport them. We will withdraw permits. Do not abuse our peace,” emphasised Iivula-Ithana.

She urged labour unions to educate their members on their rights, stressing the stipulations put in place by the country’s labour laws. “Only if you know your rights can you be taken seriously,” she said.

However, although she highlighted the progress made in labour legislation she said workers continue to live in exploitative conditions. But she said workers put themselves in compromising positions that often lead to their losing their jobs.

“Young people do not take their jobs seriously they have earphones in their ears. They are forever on phones, Facebook-ing. The youths’ productivity is less than that of old people. Young people do not spite yourselves. While you feel you are discriminated against it is you who bring it upon yourself,” said the minister who encouraged young workers to organise themselves.

“Namibia needs dedicated and hardworking workers and the job market requires a skilled workforce. But this is only possible if we go through education. There is no reason for you not to go to university – bursaries are there – empower yourselves to be employable or to be able to employ others,” she said.

Meanwhile, Governor of the Karas Region, Bernadus Swartbooi, suggested that there was a g need for labour unions to become more visible and accessible to rural workers. He referred to a recent SMS in which Rosh Pinah workers asked about the visibility of workers’ unions.

Swartbooi, however, cautioned unions to re-assess their approach to formulating solutions and not to draw on the radical and inflammatory examples from neighbouring countries.

“If we look at neighbouring countries and the radicalised demands by workers – that can collapse the economy,” he said.

Mayor of Luumlderitz, Susan Ndjaleka, felt it was necessary for labour unions to educate workers to understand inflation rates.

Source : New Era