Skills transfer to locals is imperative: Ithete

The chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration, Natangwe Ithete said it is important that skills are transferred to locals to empower them with knowledge and expertise.

Ithete made these remarks in Keetmanshoop on Monday in response to TransNamib grievances, which include that the company continues to acquire people from elsewhere but does not ensure that skills transfer takes place.

“It is illegal when skills are not transferred to the locals. When any foreigner or anybody that comes from elsewhere knows a certain job, that particular person must also be attached with an understudy and if that is happening here at TransNamib then the company is contravening the Affirmative Action Act,” said Ithete.

He added that the employees should understand that TransNamib has been under-funded in the past, adding: “There is not enough money pumped into TransNamib, we are aware of that and once Government pumps more money, then things will be better, but with the small resources that we have let us all treat one another in a human manner.”

Byron Engelbrecht who has been a train driver for nearly 19 years, said: “I am worried about the security of my job, I come to work once a week or so to drive that one locomotive, the other locomotives are driven by drivers from South Africa, we want those people to take us under their wings and teach us how to operate the locomotives, but that does not happen.”

TransNamib Keetmanshoop alternate shop steward, Johannes Hipulenga said TransNamib should address the issue of employees working on two different paying systems, noting that it sends out a picture that the employees are working for two different companies.

“Some of us are paid according to the performance management system while others are under the 13th cheque system. We also do not have any protective gear,” he stressed.

||Kharas Governor, Aletha Frederick said it is important that TransNamib addresses employees’ grievances while it is in the process of improving its infrastructure.

“Even if we bring the new infrastructure, new and fast technologies but the people that have to utilise the infrastructure which are the employees are not happy, then it’s a waste of resources, time and energy,” she added.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency