70% economic disparity a curse to national development – Vilho

By Confidente Reporter

Defence and Veterans Minister, Peter Vilho has warned that Namibia would be playing in the hands of apartheid architect, Hendrik Verwoerd if 70 percent of the economy remains in the hands of a few previously advantaged.

Vilho said that in keeping an unequal society was the desire and legacy of Verwoerd to maintain a policy of white supremacy and separate racial developments which will be an insult to Namibia’s independence.

Speaking at Berseba, he urged Swapo councilors vying for regional and local government office, to help Government in the equitable redistribution of Namibian resources.

“We cannot have a country with two economies. It’s not sustainable. We are playing in the hands of apartheid architect Verwoerd because his policy was a policy of separate racial development. We need to give special attention to women and youth because the playing field is not leveled.

“In order to achieve economic parity and inclusion, economic resources should be shared equally in contrast to the current economic disparity where formerly advantaged groups control 70 percent of the Namibian economy,” he said.

Vilho said Article 23 of the Namibian Constitution deals with redressing the economic imbalances of the country and thus compels us to give special consideration to the previously disadvantaged who control only 30 percent of the economy.

He said meaningful economic development will never be realized while 70 percent of economic power is still concentrated in “previously advantaged Namibians while 30 percent of the previously disadvantaged languish in poverty.”

“There is a need for synergies to level the playing field in order to have meaningful economic development,”

When we are running a tender, Vilho affirmed, “We need to give special consideration to these groups of our society.”

He went on to say that the opposition is trying to mislead our children and grandchildren especially the born-frees that, Swapo has not achieved anything over the past 30 years.

“We should inform our kids that these are lies. What you must tell them is that Swapo has done a lot for this country. At independence, Namibia’s economy was at N$7 billion. Today the economy is at N$180 billion. At independence, no previously disadvantaged persons had fishing quotas. Today, the Swapo government has awarded 206 quotas to previously disadvantaged groups. At independence the value of fish was N$1.6 billion and today it has increased to N$10 billion. Business parks have been increased to 12 from zero,” he said when he was recalling the Swapo-Party’s accomplishments since independence.

“Water supply pipelines have increased from 1000 to 6000 pipelines while boreholes increased from 2300 to 5000. Rural water points increased from 1800 to 7800. We had two power stations and now we have four power stations. TV coverage increased from 30 percent to 70 percent coverage while 90 percent of the population now has cellular network coverage. Old age pension increased from N$135 to N$1350. Schools increased from 13000 to 18000,” he said and added that since 1992, the government constructed 64 clinics, six health centres and four district hospitals.