WINDHOEK, 24 APR – The SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) Information, Publicity and Mobilization secretary, Dumeni L. Gerson, lamented budget cuts, namely the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service that was slashed by 25%.
Gerson yesterday issued a statement focusing on unemployment; imports and exports; and National budget analysis.
The SPYL also “noted with disappointment” that N$288 million was allocated to the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service, which according to the statement: “represents a slash of N$97 million (a 25% decrease) as compared to the 2017/18 fiscal year when the Ministry was allocated N$385 million.”
“In this regard we observe that: Youth development activities had almost grinded to a halt due to budgetary constraints. Activities planned to improve the livelihood of young people in Namibia have not been realized because the budget allocation to the Youth Ministry get cuts every year. For the past years, budget allocation for the Youth Ministry has become so meagre that it will become almost impossible to run programs and projects meant to develop young people. The latest budget again is a clear indication that the local sports fraternity still has a long way to go and a lot to do to carve itself a place within the Government priority list. A continuous decrease in the budget allocation for the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service is of serious concern to the SPYL, therefore not a welcomed allocation.”
The statement also said that unemployment is one of the main challenges Namibia faces and remained a concern to the Youth League.
He added that the SPYL will advocate for an immediate implementation of the SWAPO Party Manifesto, National Development Plan (NDP5) and Harambee Prosperity Plan, underscoring that the HARAMBEE PROSPERITY PLAN (HPP) was not replacing any SWAPO Party or GRN Policies.
“The HARAMBEE PROSPERITY PLAN [HPP] is a targeted Action Plan to accelerate development in clearly defined priority areas, which lay the basis for attaining prosperity in Namibia.”
He also said that Youth Enterprises Development is one of the sub-pillars of Harambee Prosperity Plan and as such, is one of the prioritised key tools SPYL will use in addressing the challenges of unemployment.
“This sub-pillar has the dual objective, to create an enabling environment for private sector entrepreneurial startups and growth oriented SMEs, as well as to facilitate the establishment of 121 youth owned enterprises, through Government structures. SWAPO Party Youth League will also advocate for skills audit in the country and identify the programs and projects which are not responsive to the labour market. The government should continue the monitoring and evaluation of its programs and projects annually,” read the statement.
Turning to imports and exports, he said that the escalating number of imports in Namibia translated into a huge amount of Namibian Dollars going out of the country, thereby creating opportunities in other countries.
“We are calling on the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development together with the Team Namibia and Namibia Trade Forum to ensure mechanism to compel GRN agencies to prioritize locally manufactured goods. We also encourage Namibians to consume and utilize locally made goods.”
Gerson pointed out the Veterinary Condone Fence as a serious concern to SPYL, and said had a direct effect on the country’s exports all the while discriminating against the farmers in northern Namibia.
“It is very crucial that the all Namibians in the farming sector benefit and contribute to economic development. Veterinary Condone Fence must be removed to ensure market accessibility to the northern farmers.”
Regarding Basic Education that received N$13.5 billion, 4.0 percent more than the revised allocation for the 2017/18 Financial Year, he said SPYL remained concerned about the deteriorating circumstances under which arts and culture institutions operate.
“We furthermore note with concern the limited allocation towards infrastructure development and improvements. The appalling conditions in which many of our children receive education must be addressed urgently in line with the directives issued by H.E Comrade Dr Hage Geingob in the State of the Nation Address of 2017, in which he lamented this state of affairs and called for the implementation of an Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Improvement Program.”
He added that as a percentage of total vote, Agriculture, Water and forestry received 3.3% against the international standard (the Maputo Declaration) of 10% towards agriculture.
“In this regard, the SPYL regards this sector as pivotal in not only meeting our food security objectives but also as an instrument for employment creation.”