19 May 2009

Namibia: Fourth Employment Equity Commission Launched

THE fourth Employment Equity Commission was inaugurated recently. The commission's mandate is to ensure that affirmative action is implemented in Namibia's workplaces.

The term of office of the commission, which was created by the Affirmative Action Act of 1999, is three years.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Petrus Ilonga said the results of ten years of affirmative action had been unsatisfactory.

"The upper echelons of many a relevant employer, especially in the private sector, still reflect the gender and racial inequalities as inherited from the previous dispensation," he said.

"If the current inequalities would be rectified, the affirmative action law will become irrelevant and will thus be repealed," he continued.

He said the problems included ensuring that firms trained Namibian understudies to foreign employees, as is mandated by the Act.

Ilonga also said previous members of the commission had "seriously betrayed the trust of Cabinet and Parliament" by being absent or leaving early from meetings and warned current members not to follow this example.

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