Namibia: Employers, Employees Join Hands to Rescue Construction Industry From Sinking

THE Construction Industries Federation of Namibia is concerned about the economic downturn that has led to many closures and downsizing of businesses in the construction sector.

In a statement, the general manager at the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF), Bärbel Kirchner, said they signed a memorandum of understanding with the Metal Allied Workers Union to collaborate on issues affecting the sector.

"This includes the importance of the regulation of the construction sector, the creation of decent and sustainable jobs through the construction sector and the establishment of procurement as well as considering the size of projects to secure the optimal engagement of the Namibian capacity," she said.

The employers' federation and the union have decided to embark on joint advocacy efforts to continue working towards optimal development in the construction sector.

"This will allow space for small-to-medium-sized enterprises, emerging contractors, and large size contractors to operate profitably in the Namibian construction sector," said Kirchner.

She said Namibia's gross domestic product has declined from 6% in the first quarter of 2015 to 1,5% in the first quarter of 2020, due to the contraction in the construction sector.

"For these reasons, we decided to formalise our collaborations to raise awareness on both the plight of the employers and the employees in the industry to ensure a strong construction sector in Namibia," Kirchner said.

The secretary general from the Metal Allied Workers Union, Justina Emvula, said they have an obligation to ensure that the sector continues to provide decent jobs, which can be supported by a sustainable procurement system to benefit Namibians.

"This is the first time that an MoU is signed between employees and employers to advocate issues of common interest," she said.

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