Namibia: Naute Dam Employment Dispute Resolved

23 September 2020

Keetmanshoop — The //Kharas region's political leadership has intervened in a labour standoff at the Naute Dam, which is run by the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (Nida), following allegations that people from the south were being overlooked in the hiring of seasonal workers.

The workers had claimed people from the north were hired at their expense.

The group of 47, who are residents of //Kharas region, according to Keetmanshoop Rural constituency councillor Elias Kharugab, petitioned //Kharas regional governor Aletha Frederick's office last week.

"They further claimed that only nine out of 104 seasonal workers who assumed duty at the Naute Dam project last week were Nama speaking and originating from the region," he said.

The councillor also said the group, in addition, regarded it unfair to be excluded from employment opportunities within their region.

Kharugab added the governor then referred the matter to his office to investigate and resolved it whereby he subsequently approached Nida executive director Uparura Kuvare to try and find an amicable solution to the group's concerns.

"After fruitful negotiations, it was then resolved that these people will be appointed as seasonal workers at Naute Dam," said Kharugab.

While addressing the group yesterday, the governor reminded them that it was a difficult and challenging task to solve their concerns amicably.

"You should be vigilant not to approach anybody when your emotions run high, rather consult with the regional leadership in such times," she then cautioned them.

Frederick urged the group to grab this opportunity with both hands in light of the current unemployment dilemma further sparked by the devastating effects of Covid-19.

"Please give your full cooperation to your employer and deter from staying away from work after payday," she added.

Frederick also expressed her profound gratitude towards the Nida executive director and management for providing employment to the region's residents as a means of much-needed income to sustain themselves and their families.

On his part, Kharugab reminded the workers to be grateful for being fortunate of having a job, a privilege not afforded to all in these difficult times.

"Show your employer from now on how productive you can be to ensure further employment opportunities," he advised them.

One of the workers, Katrina Bloodstaan, on behalf of the group thanked the governor and councillor for intervening and solving their problem.

"We are very happy and want to say 'thank you' to Nida for hearing our pleas," she added.

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