‘Southerners’ not reluctant, but neglected

The article ‘Southerners seem reluctant to be empowered’ in New Era’s edition of 26 July 2016 has reference.
I am quite sure that with “Southerners” it is referring to the Namas, because there is mention of “people from other regions”. All other tribes and ethnicities came to //Kharas and Hardap regions for economic gain, except for the Namas, who are originally from these two regions.

Such a title and the content thereof are discriminatory and might be confusing and misleading. I’m not blaming your newspaper, or the reporter, but the spreading of such misleading information, firstly by the two gentlemen who made such comments and secondly, by the newspaper, can’t be left unchallenged. This is because not long ago there was a so-called report, which stated that “Namas are drunkards and are lazy” that was discussed in the National Assembly.

The two gentlemen made those remarks without conducting a national survey, or using any scientific statistics. I am of the opinion that the Namas are not reluctant, but are neglected by those in offices and positions, either deliberately or by inefficiency on the side of the officials.



Regarding recruitment at the Neckartal project, a ‘Northerner’ was appointed as a recruiting officer, resulting in buses full of ‘Northerners’ arriving during the night in Keetmanshoop and being given the jobs.

This resulted in uprisings, which were reported in the media. Most of the sub-contracts to this project were handled in Windhoek. In general, companies who get tenders for projects in the South come with their workers for jobs that don’t require skills.

Some other practical examples of officials being corrupt at the expense of the Namas, which I can confirm are:
In 2003, a former learner of C. ǁOaseb SS, who received a bursary to study in South Africa was chased away by an official in the DPM’s office when he came to see former DPM for assistance (he forced his way through and is today a Ph.D holder at NUST);

In 2005, five former learners of C. ǁOaseb SS, who signed contracts to study in Cuba, were chased away by an official of the education ministry upon their arrival for the orientation programme. The Hardap director of education at the time wrote on the letter from the PS, who requested six names from each region: “Principals, facilitate because I don’t have time” and forwarded it to the secondary schools. //Kharas Region’s education leadership of that time did nothing regarding the request of the PS!

Farming units in the south are allocated to ‘Northerners’ under the resettlement programme. The ‘Northerners’ in most cases do not even take up the resettlement units. The cry of our traditional leaders and people of the South in this regard is totally ignored.
The above examples show how Nama people are deliberately and by the inefficiency of office-bearers neglected. Some leaders even fail to give information about opportunities to the people.

Another factor is that employers in the south employ ‘Northerners’ for cheap labour, because our brothers from the North accept, without choice, the low salaries/wages they pay. Later these employers have the excuse that “Nama people are lazy and stay away after the first pay”.

In conclusion, the Namas take some jobs in other regions as well, but it doesn’t mean people of those regions are reluctant. Secondly, there is no tribe in Namibia who doesn’t have drunkards and lazy people.

Zak Dirkse
Keetmanshoop

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