Namibia: Swapo in Oshana Wants NBC Dispute, Strike Resolved

The Oshana regional leadership of Swapo says it stands in solidarity with the Nambian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) in their quest to have a dispute about salary increases for employees of the public broadcaster resolved.

Swapo's regional coordinator in Oshana, Samuel Nelongo, in a press statement on Wednesday called on the government and Swapo leadership to assist the parties involved in the ongoing strike by NBC employees to reach an agreement without further delay and settle the dispute that has led to the strike.

"We recognise the vital role that the NBC plays in promoting national unity, reconciliation, reconstruction, development and international solidarity," Nelongo stated.

"We consider the work of the NBC as an essential service. Therefore, we emphasise that any delay in resolving the issue in dispute will affect our people negatively, particularly the rural workers and peasants who mostly rely solely on NBC radio for essential services," he said.

Nelongo also said the striking NBC employees should try to balance their interests in the context of the negative effect of Covid-19 on the national economy as well as the preceding and continuing recession, which have resulted in dwindling state revenue collection.

The NBC's lack of funding should be solved and the government should ensure that the state-owned media receive preference in public procurement to enhance revenue for their operations, Nelongo said as well.

He encouraged the government, NBC and Swapo party functionaries to reform the NBC to improve its efficiency and profitability within the milieu of a market-driven economy.

NBC employees have been on a strike for about three weeks and held demonstrations countrywide today. The workers are demanding better wages and improved working conditions.

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