11 January 2018

Namibia: SSC Youth Workers Feel Used

FORTY-SIX Social Security Commission contract workers who were informed that their contracts will soon come to an end have approached the President to intervene.

In December last year the SSC informed the contract workers, who have been employed on one to three-year contracts, that their contracts would not be renewed at the end of February.

In the letter to President Geingob, which is dated 8 January, the group of affected workers expressed disappointment with the SSC, stating that they were made to believe that they would be permanently appointed at some point.

"We have been working at key positions within the organisation's structures, therefore this created a perception that we will be employed on a permanent basis one day. We see the increasing rate of unemployed youth and look at the plan of our great President (Harambee Prosperity Plan) and decisions made by individuals who are anti-youth that are busy killing the plan," the statement reads.

In December, the SSC's general manager of human resources, Yulanda Marais, informed the affected workers about the termination of their contracts.

Marais' letter states that "this is to inform you that your services as per your employment contract will come to an end as from 28 February 2018 and your contract will not be renewed.The Social Security Commission will advertise priority vacancies only once the ministry has approved the budget and you will then be welcome to apply for suitable roles".

The affected group also wrote a letter to the labour ministry, alleging that the SSC contravened the labour law and they called on the labour ministry to seriously address their plight.

"We feel used as they [SSC] have kept us all these years and at the end sending us to the streets. Over the years we have been seeing people coming in without us given opportunities [sic]. Is it that we are either over-qualified or not? We want to know what is the Labour Act saying based on this issue, or is the organisation above the act of the country? [sic]," the workers complained.

The SSC, however, said that the human resources department would support the 46 affected contract workers to compile professional curricula vitae (CVs), as well as give them reference letters. The agency also said that the workers would be put in contact with a recruitment agency in Windhoek to ensure that they are absorbed into the labour market.

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