Query: An article in The Namibian newspaper dated 19th January 2016 alleged the practising of child labour at the farms of Lt General Sebastian Ndeitunga, General (Rtd) Charles Namholo and Commissioner Olavi Auanga respectively, all located at Tare in Kavango West Region.
Response: The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation (MLIREC) being a custodian of the Labour Act (Act 11 of 2007) carried out inspections at the three aforementioned farms to establish facts regarding child labour as it is prohibited under the said Act, as well as to verify other basic conditions of service as reported. The inspections established that the farm workers employed were aged between 23 and 33 years old, and therefore no form of child labour was being practised at either of the farms mentioned. It was further found out that the workers were provided with conducive accommodation as well as protective clothing while on duty.
Query: Please, I would like the government, through the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation to help us security guards get a pension when we retire or resign. Please look at this proposal. The Namibian 23/02/2016.
Response: The ministry appreciates the initiative by the author of the SMS. There is no law at the moment that compels employers to offer pension benefits to their employees. The ministry would like to see employees having a decent and safe working environment. Therefore, it is currently in consultation with the Social Security Commission on the establishment of the National Pension Fund. More information will be emerging in the course of the year on this important fund.
The ministry would like to encourage workers to forward their queries to our SMS line 66111 for direct advice and where necessary, investigation.
• Bro-Matthew Shinguadja, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 061- 2066111