Vision 2030 a pipedream?

While Vision 2030 sets out to look at the welfare and wellbeing of the people, most goals will likely not be met.

12 November 2018 | Social Issues

Yolanda Nel - With 12 years before Vision 2030 was set to change the lives of many Namibians currently living in extreme poverty, these goals seem unattainable given what has been achieved since the project was launched in 2004.

In the foreword of the Namibia Vision 2030 policy framework, Dr Sam Nujoma said that the future is about the people. “The centre of the visioning exercise is concern for the population in relation to their social (particularly health), economic and overall wellbeing.”

He added that the issue of Namibians' welfare at any point in time, even beyond 2030, is about the population and the conditions they live in. He said: “The Vision will transform Namibia into a healthy and food-secure nation, in which all preventable, infectious and parasitic diseases (including HIV/AIDS) are under control,” adding that people will enjoy high standards of living, a good quality life and have access to quality education, health and other vital services.

The reality today however, contradicts these statements.


Data in some sectors, especially housing, shows that the country has moved backwards instead of forward. According to the 2016 Namibia intercensal demographic survey (NIDS) carried out by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), more households (26.6%) live in improvised housing units (like shacks), compared to the 16% in 2011. In 2006, two years after Vision 2030 was launched, only 12.6% of households lived in shacks.

A report by First National Bank in February 2018 indicated that 31 613 of the 95 202 households (33%) in the capital, live in shacks. During a more recent council meeting, the City of Windhoek said that the backlog for low income housing in the capital is close to 56 000.

Of all households in the country, 92.9% has access to safe drinking water compared to the 80% that had access in 2011. Although the percentage of households in the country that practice open defection declined, 45.7% of households still make use of this method. Of these households, 26% live in urban areas.

The survey further shows that in 2016, only 63.2% of urban households had access to a flush toilet that is connected to a main sewer and cesspool, compared to 68.7% in 2011. The regular and irregular collection of garbage for urban households has declined by 10%, from 78.6% in 2011 to 67.8% in 2016. Although rural households have less access to refuse removal, more households have access to flush toilets.


According to the fourth National Development Plan (NDP) of 2012/2013 to 2016/2017, one of the economic outcomes was for Namibia to be the most competitive economy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. This is in line with the broad strategies of Vision 2030 that aim to maintain an economy that is sustainable, efficient, flexible and competitive, operate a dynamic and accessible financial sector, and establishes and operates a fiscal policy that distributes wealth fairly. According to the Africa Competiveness Report of 2017, Namibia ranked fourth in SADC, sixth in Africa and placed 85th out of 140 economies globally.


According to NIDS, Namibia is characterised by an internationally recognised education system that allows the population to meet current and future market demands for skills and innovation. The broad Vision 2030 strategies within this segment, includes providing full and appropriate education at all levels, leveraging knowledge and technology for the benefit of the people. In the education sector, strides have been made, “with a 76% literacy rate in 1991 to 89% in 2016 for those older than 15 years,” according to the survey.

NDP IV hoped to see an increase from the 2011 level of 17.9 to 25.0% in respect of grade 10 students achieving a pass mark (30 points overall, and at least an F for English) by last year. Furthermore, the goal was to see an increase from the 2011 level of 29.5%, to 45.0% in respect of students receiving a mark of at least 25 points overall at grade 12 level. Media reports at the end of 2017 indicated that 65.8 % of matric candidates obtained a grade of 3 and above, cognisant of the fact that grade 3 is the minimum requirement for admission to university.

In conclusion

Considering that in 2001, the population was a little over 1.83 million, which increased by almost a half a million to 2.32 million in 2016, data indicates that in most sectors work needs to be done in the next decade to realise the goals as set in Vision 2030.

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