Poverty a historical problem
The welfare of the people remains a binding challenge. This condition, however, is not a result of lack of care, concern or compassion on the part of the government but is instead, rooted in the country’s history, according to Prime Minister Nahas Angula.
“Namibia shall celebrate its twenty-second birthday as a free, united and a democratic nation. At the eve of this momentous occasion, the Legislature, as the representative voice of the sovereign people of Namibia is called upon to reflect on the daunting challenges facing the nation. One of such challenges is the welfare of the Namibian people,” said Angula.
Speaking to the National Assembly this week, he said the consequences of colonial and apartheid pauperisation of the Namibian people through the dispossession of their means of production and exploitation of their labour are still visible among the people.
“The welfare of the Namibian people has been a concern for all of us,” the Prime Minister said.
He further said social exclusion, inequality and a lack of technical skills inhibit the people to unleash their potential in favour of their welfare.
“Namibia at the age of 22 years must reflect on this state of affairs. Our reflection should be guided by Article 95 of our national Constitution. Article 95 is about the principles of State policy on the promotion of the welfare of the people,” the premier said.
According to Angula, Article 95 of the Constitution is the moral yardstick with which the government should judge whether it is promoting the welfare of its people.
The Global Budget Ceiling for 2012/13 is over N$37 billion. The total allocation in the 2012/13 national budget is close to N$16 billion. Roughly 42% of the 2012/13 budget shall be spend on the welfare of the people or not.
Angula futher said that there are a lot of people falling between the cracks as far as their welfare is concerned. It will not be wise to increase the allocation to the social welfare sectors in the budget without establishing a target group, he said.
“There is a need for a thorough study aimed at identifying those households which need further social support in terms of Article 95 of our constitution. In this regard, it is noteworthy to report that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is currently undertaking a gap analysis of its social protection arrangements. The goal is to assess whether the current arrangements are adequately meeting the needy society,” said Angula.