Gobabis wants locals employed

03 February 2019 | Local News

Employing locals from a specific area will not only benefit the people but the community at large, says Gobabis municipality's chief executive Ignatius Thudinyane.

He feels that businesses intending to set up shop in his town must be prepared to prioritise the employment of locals over those coming from outside the Omaheke region.

He says that in the past few months, various businesses have been bringing their services closer to the people of the region. “We have large extended fa-mily setups here. As such, if one person is employed, then he is able to feed his family and through that, reduce poverty. We also need money to go around the region through more people being able to afford things, so that it benefits all,” he said.

Omaheke is one of the poorest regions in the country, with its main economic centre of Go-babis only supported by subsistence agriculture from largely communal farmers in the region.

According to Nampa, information provided by the Namibia Statistics Agency old age pension and other social grants form the largest percentage of income in the region.

This can especially be seen at Witvlei, 50 km from Gobabis, where only 3.1% of its 4 000 residents are employed.

Windhoek Express reported last year that most of the residents are waiting for the abattoir to re-open, which is a pipe dream since the factory closed down more than four years ago.



Crime

In the meantime, po-verty remains, with crime becoming a big problem. “Cattle theft is very high, while prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse is getting out of hand,” the settlement's CEO said when WE visited there last year.

Thudinyane, in an interview with Nampa, noted that despite the erection of a shopping mall amongst other developments in the town, only a handful of locals are employed at shops there. He said that even in the most basic positions that

usually attract a large number of local applicants, not many are eventually employed.

Thudinyane said there is no logic in employing a person who has to relocate from outside the region for a job that can be done by a local. “Even the presence of large multi-national retailers here has not solved the problem.”

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