Deputy PM Denies Neglecting San Students

DEPUTY Prime Minister Marco Hausiku on Friday denied claims made by the San Development Programme beneficiaries that they are being neglected.

A group of about 20 San students made the claims that their living conditions were poor and that they had tried to have their concerns addressed by the deputy PM but to no avail.

The students are staying in Windhoek where they share two one-bedroom flats, use torn mattresses, and have no running water.

Speaking during a press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister, Hausiku said his office made massive progress in the lives of the San, Ovatwe and Ovatjimba.

He said that since the inception of the programme in 2005, a lot has been done to ensure that the San were integrated into the mainstream society and that they were not left behind.

“The programme was changed in 2007 to include all the other communities seen to have been left behind. Ever since then, it has been a long process to convince parents of these kids that the children need to go to school. So far, the increase in the number of these students show us that we are doing something good,” said Hausiku.

He added that at times it is very difficult to have these students stay in school.

“They have a g mother-child bond, for which one needs to gain the confidence of the parents and of the child for them to be allowed to go to school,” said Hausiku.

Office of the Prime Minister permanent secretary Nangula Mbako said the practice of placing students in houses and flats were reconsidered because, “One would always receive calls from the police or neighbours that the students were making noise or from landlords that they broke stuff,” said Mbako.

Deputy director of the programme Gerson Kamatuka said the water supply has been restored and that the students were no longer using the hosepipe.

Kamatuka said most of the students vandalise their surroundings and this has contributed to broken items in the flats.

“People need to take responsibility but what these students do is bring some of their friends to come and stay over,” said Kamatuka.

The Namibian visited the Vredehof flats in Eros where the students stay and witnessed one of them using a fire hose to access bathing water.

At Florence Flats where the girls stay, the electrical circuit was damaged, while the toilet pot was broken. Water was flowing, flooding the place. The girls said they had reported the breakages but nothing was done.

Melody Kakaubulwa (21) said they have called on the office to fix the broken toilet pot. She also said because of the damaged electrical circuits in the bathroom and kitchen, they cook in the bedroom.

“The number of people staying here increases mostly when new students are assigned to come stay here each new semester,” she said.

The students get N$1 300 in monthly allowances, which they use to buy the basic necessities.

Source : The Namibian