Open Letter to EEC in the Investigation of Murray Roberts With Respect to Tsumeb in Response to Letter in New Era On Friday May 23, 2014 [document]

THE Employment Equity Commission (EEC) wants to turn a blind eye on the broader issue of employment in Tsumeb. Thus their sudden investigation of Murray Roberts is nothing but contempt to us who are residents of Tsumeb.

The reality is that those who play the role of telling others who to employ did not have an influence, therefore they resorted to counter-measures by making this look like people in Tsumeb are only unhappy with the employment of foreigners in Tsumeb. The reality in the town is that the Affirmative Action Act has never been followed thus what makes this case unique and why has it being publicised to a large extent? We, the residents of Tsumeb, have turned a blind eye on the issues of employment and for years we have been under the socio-economic dictatorship of employers and business.

Our town has been served by the same people for years and as funny as that may sound it is indeed true. It is so shocking that the image that some people want to portray with regard to the employment of foreigners in Tsumeb is that the residents of the town seem to enjoy employment opportunities, but that is not true. The same persons have jobs and influence in all sectors of the local economy, while most of the town’s residents have been sidelined to do only low paying jobs. This is the reality we as residents have been facing for years. The EEC can do us all favour and investigate all sectors of employment at the town and they will discover how many of the town’s residents actually have jobs and what are the positions that they occupy.

From the era of TCL mine it is very much the same, the positions are occupied by the same persons. Now that we have Dundee smelter the same group of persons are in all well paying positions. As parents of this town we wonder when or how our children will ever benefit. What we see is that when new investors or companies open a business in the town, it is always the same people who benefit albeit with different job titles. This happens over and over again. The reality is that since the era of TCL through that of Ongopolo mine we have not seen any change in terms of employment.

A good example is Hans Nolte, who he has been at the smelter for years and years. Are we to believe that this is the only person who is qualified to operate the Tsumeb smelter or better is there no other Namibian who can operate the smelter? And he is not alone because under Dundee weonce again find the same persons in top positions and they know who they are. People in Tsumeb have been sidelined to low paying jobs for so long, because they cannot speak out simply because of the repercussions they might face, but we will not keep the silence any more.

At least what we can do is to speak out even though we don’t benefit. Our hope is that our kids will have a better future then some of us. We welcome and hope the Tschudi mine project will become a reality for the copper town, even though we expect the same persons to jump to the front of the line again or influence who gets employment in what I can only describe as the height of opportunism by implementing their model of “I know you, you know me.” Our sincere hope is that the directors of Tschudi mine will not pursue the same model of offering employment to the chosen few such as Dundee and others have done in the past.

EEC please don’t be blind about the case of foreigners, but if you care to investigate take it upon yourself and send your officials to Tsumeb to find out why the same persons are in certain positions from the time of TCL mine to date.

We are tired of the same persons having influence in the town. We must stand up and tell the truth for the sake of our children. After all this is a free and democratic country and we have freedom of expression. The wealth of the town can no longer only serve the few so-called elites in town because of their broader influences. Tsumeb belongs to all residents of Tsumeb, thus EEC investigate on a broad scale, rather than trying to single out the issue of indians, because the employment issue in Tsumeb is about mare than the Indians. We will remain objective and we will not hesitate to state the progress that the town has made, but being silent about the wrongdoings will create a wrong picture about the employment situation in Tsumeb.

Concerned Namibians. The voices of the voiceless. (Real name provided.)

Source : New Era