By Emma Kakololo
The South African Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister to share her country’s experiences on Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).
The aim of the meeting was to better inform Namibia’s endeavour in coming up with its own Broad-Based Economic Empowerment (BBEE) policy.
Namibia is in the process of preparing its own BBEE policy, known as the “Transformational Economic and Social Empowerment Framework”.
What makes the South African BEE work, she said, is the good cooperation they receive from the private sector.
“People came with great proposals on how to empower their employees.”
According to Thabethe, the following are the major challenges the country is facing with regard to BEE : “The wage gap is still huge in South Africa. We need a good education system to build up the economy. The education system is not wide enough. We also don’t have all the requisite skills.”
Following Namibia’s independence in 1990, numerous efforts were undertaken by both the Government and the private sector to redress the inequities created by the apartheid era.
These efforts started with Affirmative Action (AA) which is aimed to address the issue of making the workplace reflective of the social profile of the country. In addition, there have been efforts to further the AA into Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).
Although some equity partnership agreements have already been concluded in the financial, mining, tourism and energy sectors, the manner in which some of those partners have been identified has received a lot of criticism from the public.