Probe the race rot at NCAA

ALLEGATIONS of race salaries, corruption and favouritism at the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should not be taken lightly and warrant through investigation now rather than later in order to save the aviation industry.

Collusion to create a monopoly in the aviation industry for a preferred “club” seem to be at play and raises further eyebrows as to how Air Namibia’s air license was suspended by the aviation regulatory body when some executives at NCAA have close personal relationships with the national airline’s competitors.

Although Air Namibia was temporarily saved by the High Court ruling which overturned the cancellation of its air license by NCAA, there are serious questions concerning the wisdom of NCAA in cancelling Air Namibia’s license when the executives at the aviation body are befriended with owners of some of Air Namibia’s competitors.

Some of the executives at NCAA could potentially be conflicted and blurred in their decision making process with regards to the business threat posed by Air Namibia vis-à-vis its competitors who are mates of some NCAA executives.

It is obviously logical if Air Namibia is grounded then the airlines owned by the national carrier’s competitors would be booming in the absence of Air Namibia.

Concerns that some of the NCAA’s executives close relations are allegedly further manifested in the form of non-compliance with the NCAA’s enforcement procedures should be taken seriously. Allegations are that aviation operators who were guilty of non-compliance would bypass NCAA’s inspectors to get their way through approaching their friends at the aviation body.

Disaster is looming when aviation procedures are selectively bypassed by operators because of their close connections at the helm of the NCAA.

The procrastination in finalising the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit by the NCAA, which is due next year, is being allegedly used as a reason to renew the contracts of expatriate workers. The NCAA board has been urged to investigate and determine whether the audit project has been deliberately delayed to increase the working time in Namibia thereby “enjoying hefty salaries for a longer period than the initial arrangement”.

Failing the ICAO audit will have devastating economic implications for Namibia, in an economy which has already been devastated by Covid-19 and a recession.

The NCAA was beset with controversies of irregularities and discrimination by not employing locals and it seems obvious that this can only be corrected once we employ loyal Namibians.

Salary disparities based on race is humiliating, especially in an independent Namibia, and at a government-owned parastatal.

Allegations of advancing foreign and white employees’ interests at the expense of qualified Namibians at the NCAA is atrocious and need urgent attention.

The situation at NCAA could exacerbate into financial and reputational damage because of the lack of governance at the aviation body.