Local content, beneficiation, inclusivity all flipsides of ideology of capitalism

The Namibian capitalist economic elite has just emerged from the Namibia Local Content Conference in Lüderitz.

Yours Truly Ideologically cannot but muse about what “local content” means. Because typical of Namibia, actually the socio-economic elite, things have been done at their behest and their agenda, and indeed, more than anything else their socio-economic, and indeed political interest. Even the definition let alone interpretation of operative words in the socio-economic sphere has been conceptualised and invented by them.

To use them as tools to maintain their stronghold and hegemony over the country all in the name of capitalism and all the goods it accrues them, only them. With no more than pretense, if anything, at national interest. With national interest all along have meaning nothing else but the interest of the elite. One looks no further than the pertaining socio-economic miseries the mass of the people are condemned to.

Condemned to because the horrible and unbearable socio-economic conditions in which the masses, including workers in country currently find themselves in, are the very making of the entrenched capitalist system in Namibia.

More often than not the rigours of the capitalists system are not laid bare for what they are but sugar coated with fanciful jargons, one of them the very subject of the just-ended conference in Lüderitz. LOCAL CONTENT!

One of many mumbo jumbos of the socio-economic elite, actually of capitalism, and its foreign operators, fronting as investors, businesspeople and entrepreneurs and what-have-you. The local petty bourgeoisie being on their leashes, many of the words that they have been using have at best been meaningless and devoid of any fundamental and/or ideological meaning in terms of real change for the better for masses/workers.

Camouflaging and giving effect to the continuous pillaging and exploitation of local resources whatever they are.

This, in Namibia lately, being gas and oil which has been making Namibia of late the darling so-called investment destination of choice. Not to mention the new capitalist kid in town, Green Hydrogen. With destination of choice for investors, an accolade that Namibia is lately glorified with by all and sundry except Namibia’s own downtrodden.

Which is for all intents and purposes is an euphemism for a target for the continued extraction of her natural resources.

In the ultimate interest, more than anything or anybody else, of the so-called investors and their metropoles and their peoples. With the real owners of the natural resources, the people, in whose trust the State must and should hold and manage these resources in total oblivion.

The best that those exploiting such resources in the pretense and under the camouflage of investing, are and have been doing, is preparing Namibia as a ground for a soft landing for the continuation of their heinous and predatory exploitation. Mechanising such exploitation, among others with high-sounding terms such as LOCAL CONTENT, INCLUSIVITY, BENEFICATION, EQUITY, WORKERS SHARE SCHEMES.

Since time immemorial when and where such exploitation had been taking place, there was and has been little material and/or fundamental meaning of the natural resources to the mass of the people, the ordinary people, local content and what-have-you notwithstanding..

Because whatever fanciful jargons capitalists and their accomplices have concocted and deployed, as the essence thereof has not been to ensure a fundamental transformation in how the natural resources impact the livelihoods of those whose livelihoods needed so much betterment. Which is transformation but to only play with the margins of the exploitative system to cushion off and absorbs whatever shocks may ensue.

Whether in the least, from the contradictions of its superficiality, designed or natural. Such as the local content and beneficiation which have nothing to do with addressing the fundamentals.

One of the fundamentals of the extraction and exploitation of Namibia’s natural resources, as Namibia Investment and Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB)’s would observe at the Lüderitz conference, is the unequal distribution of wealth. “Currently, despite large contributions to the gross domestic product (GDP), only a small portion of these revenues flow down to local communities,” says she.

The BIG ASK is why are the richness of the country, with ongoing exploitation, not reaching those deserving of it. It is either a factor of capitalist approach and/or ideology. The winner takes it all.

In the capitalist doings’ the winner takes all. The winner in this regard is the investor. But what about the owner and who is she/he? This is a question that Namibia has never had the courage to ponder.

Taking it for granted that things are best the way they are. Better the devil you know.

Despite the fact that this devil has been siphoning off the country’s resources to the bone with little to zero benefits if any to the country, and most of all, her people.

Conferences like the recent one in Lüderitz have been many and certainly there’s no need to guess and see many more coming with each toying with how to soften and facilitate the continued exploitation of the country’s richness with zero return by conferencing the best possible words to appease the country and its policymakers, assuming they are and have not been part and parcel of the grand scheme, which is hard to believe. But none have addressed the fundamentals. Because they have not been envisioned and designed to but to entrench the status quo of attracting investors, pillagers, for the continued exploitation of Namibia’s natural riches in the most possible and acceptable soft way possible. With the mother countries of the would-be investors holding up all their aces to their chests for when it may be necessary to shift to and engage Plan B. To ensure the continued exploitation of Namibia’s richness.

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