Debt write-off – a relief for the poor
A motion, introduced in the National Assembly by the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) to write off electricity and water debts for the poor should serve as a model of alternative policy crafting by any substantive opposition parties.
The motion should not only be celebrated as a relief for the poor but should serve as a positive step for policy cohesion between the opposition and the ruling party.
Namibian parliamentary politics have over the years been characterized by a political culture of meaningless opposition and the dismissive attitude by the ruling party on the other hand.
As the saying goes, when the elephants fight, it is only the grass that suffers.
This old-adage is reflective of Namibians parliamentary politics in our National Assembly.
This has led to a lack of positive ideas which could have rescued our country.
The two bills dubbed the pro-poor Motions were tabled by the LPM in the National Assembly, which strives to offer relief to the poor.
As good as the idea may sound the lingering question is where will we get the funds.
Give a man a Fish you feed him for a day but teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime but does this help describe the stance by the LPM?
Or should this be held as a hand meant to bring help those in need of help?
At a time, inflation is on the up and many of our ordinary citizens are feeling the pinch, a number of Black owned businesses are also under threats from Banks that are threatening to close them down over debts.
Can LPM look into how they can help such entities in these difficult times.
With news that Bank of Namibia had increased repo rates by 75 basis points from 5.50 percent to 6.25 percent, this is not good for many Entrepreneurs.
It is important to note that such an increase in repo rate will directly affect banks’ lending rates and in order to compensate for the higher repo rate, the banks are likely to increase the interest rate they charge on borrowers. Hence, home loans, personal loans and other credit facilities are going to get costlier.
Many Black owned businesses were already between a rock and a hard place in this harsh economic environment and the latest repo rate increase on spell more trouble for them.
It is up to politicians like LPM, Leader and Chief Change Campaigner (LCCC), Bernadus Swartbooi and other politicians in the National Assembly to come up with people-oriented Motions to support business and promote entrepreneurship which is where the future of this country is.
The Covid-19 pandemic really did not do anyone any favours. It ruined many good businesses and left many people unemployed, hence the need to support business and come up with a plan which will allow for an understanding before action.
I am not advocating for the non-payment of debt but calling for a listening approach which give way to understanding in order to give business time to get their books in order without added pressure from creditors.
To this, an applied class-analytic perspective centered on the thought that society or business can be divided into hierarchical strata that have unequal access to material resources, power, and influence.
Therefore, informed by such critical class-analytic perspective, an understanding can be reached