Are We 16 Years Better Off?


Sixteen years ago we celebrated this day with hope for a brighter future. We celebrated the end of an apartheid system which ruined so many lives and a system that destroyed people’s dignity. So everybody was excited because a system was coming where everybody will be equal. It meant the end of discrimination in every area of life including the end of discrimination at my workplace. Basically it meant equal opportunities for everybody. A Namibia with a brighter future. A Namibia for all. I realized recently that the Honourable President is being referred to as the Namibian President on NBC news. I like it. It means a President for everybody regardless of race, colour, etc. Not only for SWAPO’s. Can we also say the same about the government offices in this country? Is it the people’s government offices? Or the Namibian offices? Does every one have access to these offices? Can everybody with potential become ministers, etc., regardless of race, etc. Let us look at the education system. It is true that every Namibian has access to the education system. My concern is the quality of education. More Grade 10 learners for example are ending up on the streets with no hope, no future. Their future is being disrupted right there. Did our education system improve or did it get worse? We have one main campus in Windhoek which we also inherited from the previous system – where is our own dream system? We need doctors, scientists, etc. But we do not have the places where these people can be trained. We rely on outside systems. Let us build our own systems. How can our lost dignity be restored and the quality of life be improved if we do not have the right skills to do the job and be able to feed our children. Because it is being said that we do not have the skills and then foreigners are being employed in our places. Like most of the private sector employs foreigners, whilst the Namibian people do not have an income. More and more people from outside are being employed at the expense of our nation. Let us have a look at the health System. Did the system improve after 16 years of independence? Or did it get worse. The apartheid system at least built us a Katutura Hospital and a Central Hospital. What have our leaders built us? You get a deadly awful smell when you enter these buildings. A kind of smell that does not want to make you go back there. Of course everybody has access to the system. Does the system have quality? I understand everybody is being treated with painkillers. Are there doctors available? How many Namibians are employed? How can our dignity be restored if we do not have a job to look after our families? When a family suffers the whole nation suffers. A healthy family produces a healthy nation. We need to have the skills to do the jobs to feed the families. But the scholarships go only to the already haves. Jobs are only for the comrades and company, families and extended families etc. The diamonds are still being exported whilst the people of origin are unemployed. How can our quality of life be improved if the diamonds still belong to De Beers? People of origin have nothing. They drink tombo to forget their sorrows. Were De Beers there before our country was colonized? Are they the actual owners? People down south walk on the diamonds that once belonged to their ancestors looking at the dust with no hope and no future. Whilst De Beers’ families live in luxury. Sixteen years of independence? The inequality still continues. We want to see at least that these diamonds be processed in this country to provide jobs and a living to the people. No more exporting of our resources. We want this to stop. If De Beers want to help the people of this country let them set up places where the minerals can be processed. De Beers, empower the people. Help to train the people at least. Give the people shares not only leaders, help the people with small polishing businesses, small businesses where I can make my own jewellery. What are the UN and the international communities doing? How are we going to correct the past inequalities? We are fed up with handouts. The international community must help the governments of Africa, in our case the Namibian Government, with the resources to purchase back the property in order to restore justice and equality. We must start to correct the injustices done in this country, we must start to bring about equality before it is too late. We must start to empower the people and also train the people left and right. We must become desperate. The banks must stop discrimination. Are you there for certain groups or are you there for the Namibians? Help empower the people by financing their business projects, finance the education of their children, etc. Do we sit and wait till one day when all the handouts dry up the income dries up because of the corruption in Africa and start to grab land left and right. To solve problems. Or do we act now. A Namibian W. Bezuidenhoudt