NEEEF no panacea but promises an incremental socio-economic reform

MID-TERM through his second and last term, the clock is no doubt ticking fast for incumbent President, His Excellency Hage Geingob, to establish a governance legacy, foremost for himself, and the country.

After 30 years plus of independence, freedom and sovereignty, for any incumbent president the colonial legacy can no longer serve as an excuse for non-performance and non-delivery on the promises of independence. That is why the incumbent president is in the unenviable position that he can no longer hide behind the colonial legacy if unable to deliver.

Thirty plus years is enough a time for the necessary foundation for tangible development to have been laid. So that the incumbent can now focus on real development without an excuse of still busy putting in place the requisite process, institutions and systems.

But with hindsight all things being equal. Assuming the incumbent’s predecessors indeed have laid the necessary foundations, structural, institutional, political and cultural. That democracy has now been entrenched and a culture of democracy, on which the incumbent could rely when and while focusing on the actual demand of his time, and of economic justice. Being delivering on and addressing the material needs and wants of the citizenry. Such a democratic culture must by now have been inculcated, with the only thing remaining now its continued nurturing and nourishing.

Whether this is the case is a question million Namibian Dollars question. But no reason for respite and excuse for the incumbent. That said Yours Truly Ideologically wishes focus is on a pertinent matter. The National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF). Categorical clear about any illusion that NEEEF might be the panacea to Namibia’s exploitative Capitalism, in which the workers have continued since independence to suffer unabated gross exploitation. In the same vein that he has been categorical that the Basic Income Grant (BIG) would not structurally and fundamentally transform Capitalism in Namibia.

It is and has never been the objective of both these policy frameworks, and/or mechanisms to bring about a radical socio-economic transformation in Namibia. Safe for giving the existing Capitalist mode of production a presentable face and making it bearable, for its own survival.

The President himself could not have been more to the point most recently. When quoted in the media as saying “the implementation of NEEEF was a matter of peace, which could destroy the private sector if not addressed”.

Exactly Yours Truly Ideologically’s submission that BIG, NEEEF and like but not synonymous policy instruments, are no more than survival imperatives of and for the Capitalist system, with no intention let alone pretense of overhauling it. A clear message that the President lately seems to sound out to some would-be captains of industries or their representatives, in my parlance the apologetics and defenders of Capitalism in the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), as well as to the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB).

It is not clear what issues the NCCI alerted and/or advised the President on but it is not difficult to deduce. Because the opposition to and rejection of NEEEF by the private sector is well documented. It is only ironic members of the NCCI, who are well conversant, or least should have been well aware of and familiar with the economic backwardness and disadvantage of the majority of Africans/blacks, including women, have a principled problem with NEEEF.

“WHEREAS there remains anxiety about continuing income disparities, skewed ownership of productive assets; low level of participation in business by previously disadvantaged persons; lack of socio-economic transformation in traditional communities; high level of unemployment; continuing racial imbalance in the management and control of private sector enterprises; the economic status of particularly racially disadvantaged women, youth and persons with disabilities; and the slow development of rural areas”. This paragraph encapsulates the objectives of NEEEF. How more honourable can these objectives really be within the context of Capitalism?

The very economic imbalance the President is proposing to address and balance with NEEEF. Where and how the NCCI, with the previously economically disadvantaged in its midst, may be at cross purposes with these objectives, with the President and NEEEF, only baffles Yours Truly Ideologically. Unless there is a notable ideological difference between and among them, including the President, which seems not so obvious. As much also it is not obvious at this juncture how ideologically the President and NEEEF, and the NCCI members may differ in terms of economic stability under Capitalism, which NEEEF is intended to achieve?

With regard to the NIPDB, it is really mind blogging that this board is further seeking NEEEF to be emasculated as if this has not happened already to NEEEF which today being but only a skeleton of its initial core essential formulation.

Foremost the removal from the NEEEF Bill of the 25 percent equity stake. How much more can and need NEEEF be stripped of its fundamentals, and in whose interest ultimately, than the status quo and Capitalism? And what could be the implication in the future for the much avowed economic stability? Capitalism in Namibia is leaving on borrowed time, sooner or later the wretched of its inhuman face, led by the workers, shall no longer be at peace with many of the cosmetic frameworks such as NEEEF, and its other previous superficial forerunner experiments, such as the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEP), the results thereof which remain ambiguous to this day, in terms of jump-starting in the least, a radical socio-economic transformation.

But is a radical socio-economic transformation, which is not based on socialist principles, but on the accumulation of wealth by a few selected pseudo-capitalists, the ideal vehicle for the transformation of a highly unequal society like Namibia’s? Where the richer are getting richer and the poor poorer! Certainly not! And herein lays the fallacy of frameworks which are not informed by ideology and/or based on socialist principles. Be that as I may be, NEEEF must be a much welcomed respite for the Capitalist system and its adherents,that defenders and apologists of Capitalism must and should gladly embrace for their own survival. As a necessary and critical beginning towards an orderly socio-economic reform.


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