Swartbooi Unhappy With Importation of Semi-Skilled Chinese Labour

Governor of the Karas Region Bernadus Swartbooi has castigated Chinese businesses for bringing in semi-skilled expatriate workers instead of employing Namibians.

Swartbooi said this during the opening of the first ever National Council session to be held in Keetmanshoop in the Karas Region on Tuesday this week.

“Is China a good or bad friend? If good, why? China is importing labour, competing with our youths for wheelbarrow jobs. They compete for tenders against unable Namibians, who do not have sufficient resources to match Chinese state companies. Why are we as Namibia financing Chinese development, while China gives us little in the left pocket and take huge amounts from the right-hand pocket? How much do we owe, Honourable chairman, to China for aiding our liberation, they (inhabitants of Karas Region) asked me to [pose this question].” Swartbooi also argued that it makes no sense to have entrepreneurs of Chinese descent building houses in Khorixas and constructing roads, when historically Namibians built and constructed roads long before independence. Chinese businesses have been dominating the retail, mining and construction sectors in the country over the past twenty years, according to the governor. “They have said to me to ask you whether the parliament building proposed is genuinely a priority, given that many regional council’s do not even have their own regional administrative head offices?” Swartbooi continued, adding that there is also a concern that the Treasury does not go to the grassroots level in an attempt to hear what the communities’ priorities are. “Regional Councils are not financed properly and are merely financial hosts for sewer reticulation projects for local authorities, and are only receiving broadly, monies for salaries and small operational aspects of governance. When will regional councils and councillors be able to genuinely live up to the expected mandate for which they were elected into office, if they are so starved of resources?” Swartbooi continued his questions on behalf of the electorate in the southern region.

There has been a huge public outcry across the nation over plans to build a new building to accommodate parliamentarians, which is estimated to cost N$700 million.

Source : New Era