WINDHOEK, 30 APR – The removal of the 25 per cent equity clause in the draft New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) bill has left political parties querying as to what is left in NEEEF.
The clause – the core of NEEEF in the eyes of the parties – would have forced white-owned businesses to sell a 25 per cent stake to previously disadvantaged Namibians.
Speaking to Nampa in a recent interview, Rally for Democracy and Progress secretary general (SG), Mike Kavekotora said the whole objective of NEEEF has “collapsed” in the wake of the clause’s elimination.
“If NEEEF is without the 25 per cent, you might as well scrap the whole thing; what is left is a mockery of the original plan,” said Kavekotora.
Sharing similar sentiments was Swapo Party Youth League secretary, Ephraim Nekongo, who said he could not pre-empt what the final NEEEF document would entail.
On the clause’s removal, Nekongo was “dismayed”.
“It is not a welcome one, because we want our people to also benefit,” he said.
Leader of the Popular Democratic Movement, McHenry Venaani agreed the bill was meaningless without the 25 per cent clause.
“Now they are bargaining in and out on the 25 per cent, so I don’t know what NEEEF is about without it,” he said before asking: “Those that are saying the 25 per cent is off, I am saying, what did they replace it with?”
Swanu’s Usutuaije Maamberua said the government did not have the guts to implement NEEEF.
“Even if it is adopted by Parliament, they are not going to implement NEEEF,” he told Nampa recently.
Maamberua elaborated: “They are just listening to dissenting voices that have colonised us, that have exploited us and want to keep themselves in the status quo.”
This, according to the politician, is to the detriment of economically oppressed Namibians.
Protagonists of the clause’s removal on the other end have welcomed the move.
“The 25 per cent clause was one of the biggest stumbling blocks to NEEEF as we saw it,” Namibian Employers’ Federation secretary general, Tim Parkhouse was quoted by a local daily earlier this month.