KARIBIB – The government should take another look at the implementation of the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg) as it currently does not benefit those at grassroots level, says the Rally for Democracy (RDP) councillor for Karibib, Uakutura Nguherimo.
Nguherimo said that the locals only get a small slice of the pie while bigger companies enjoy the real benefits of Tipeeg. According to him government must think of re-inventing Tipeeg if government wants to empower those that are doing the actual jobs. Nghuerimo was speaking to New Era newspaper during an exclusive interview in Karibib last week Friday on development at the town.
He reckons that government officials also physically needs to see how projects under Tipeeg are implemented at grassroots level, rather than sitting in their offices and sending out directives to local authorities.
“They should come down here and see how Tipeeg is implemented, only then we can re-address the areas where the programme is not functioning as it should. Sending out directives and instructing local authorities to meet the deadlines is not conducive at all,” he explained.
Nguherimo then explained that when tenders are invited most local companies do not meet certain requirements as set out by the tender board.
“If we say that Tipeeg is there to create employment for the local people we need to empower them as well. This is now in terms of equipment, leadership as well as practical skills. In many instances we know that these people can do the jobs but do not have the machinery and the big guns get the tenders and our people remain sub-contractors. When will they become the tenderers as we do not assist them?” he said.
He went on to say that this was some of the issues raised with the Development Bank of Namibia during visits to the town to sensitize the community about loans they can obtain.
“This is the reality and we need to address it,” he said. He added in many cases these business people are forced to look for someone with the equipment and will charge exorbitant amounts in the end.
New Era also spoke to a few workers that are employed through Tipeeg initiatives at Karibib and Usakos, who explained that although they can do the jobs independently there are forced by circumstances to work with bigger companies on Tipeeg projects. “We simply don’t have the means to buy equipment, especially earth moving equipment. What we also get from being subcontracted only covers the basics and we also need to pay our own employees, which means that we have a little left to save and probably buy our own equipment one day,” one of the contractors at Usakos said.
By Eveline de Klerk