Overcoming oppression in the finance sector
Chairperson of Nam-mic Financial Services Holdings, Mr John Shaetonhodi said the organisation strives towards overcoming oppression of previously disadvantaged people within the financial sector.
Nam-mic, which is a black economic empowerment company, has two-thirds of its shares owned by the trade unions affiliated to the National Union of Namibian workers and was established to exploit the potential residing in the financial services sector of the economy, Shaetonhodi said at the launch of their social investment fund.
“Ultimately the aim was to neutralize the financial exclusion deliberately being perpetrated in this sector and deal directly with the discriminatory practices which are prevalent in this area of our economy. We succeeded in penetrating the sector so much that we now own a significant stake in this sector worth more than N$1 billion. This is a great achievement as it was achieved within a period of 15 years,” he added.
The corporate social investment programme is driven by the Nam-mic Financial Social Investment Fund and supported by the Board of directors of the company as well as the wider labour movement represented in the Nam-mic group of companies.
“As we are ultimately driven by a great vision of empowering the end-beneficiaries; union members, our contribution needs not only be felt within the targeted beneficiaries but also the wider society. We believe that by doing this, we would remove the vestiges of economic sabotage being perpetrated by the vestiges of apartheid,” Shaetonhodi said.
The chief executive officer of the financial institution, Mr Walter Don said the social investment programme will set its focus on four pillars namely, training of union workers, education, sustainable employment of union workers and health amongst union workers.
Don said the sustainable employment will be created amongst union members who were retrenched at their workplaces by advancing their skills level in order for them to be deployed in different job markets.
During the launch two beneficiaries signed a memorandum of understanding; ‘Women at Work’ and the Labour Resource and Research Institute. The organisation, Women at Work will provide training to domestic workers, with the goal being to train at least 50 women by the end of this year. The labour research institute will be responsible to train union leadership, shop stewards and providing training opportunities to workers who loose their jobs.
Nam-mic will make bursaries available to children of members of the affiliated unions of national Namibian workers union. Students studying Accounting and Information technology at NUST and Unam can apply for such a bursary.
“Looking after the workers of Namibia and their dependants is no easy task, and I hope that with the establishment of this fund we addressed most of the social issues influencing the lives of the loyal members and dependants of affiliated unions of the NUWN and other community beneficiaries,” chairperson of Nam-mic social investment fund, Ms Connie Pandeni said.