The Landless People’s Movement Youth Leader Duminga Ndala is calling for 80 percent employment in the mining sector to be filled up by young people, saying this will result in direct inclusivity for young people residing within the areas where minerals are being mined. Ndala says this translates to social responsibility by mining companies while ensuring that youth unemployment is tackled especially in regions where mining activities are being conducted.
The LPM youth Leader said this at a media briefing yesterday in Windhoek, where she explained that the mining sector is one of the sectors which exploits young people and underclasses them as they mostly occupy normal operation positions, which exclude them from occupying top positions such as mechanical engineers or shareholder ownerships.
The mining sector roughly contributes ten percent to Namibia’s GDP but the young people from the mining regions remain an exploited under-class with no ownership of these mines, Ndala reiterated.
According to her, young people are only absorbed in positions such as operators and laborers and there is no fundamental direction of them being shareholders in these companies.
Ndala cites this as a lack of social responsibility by mining companies, especially when it comes to uplifting the livelihoods of young people from where resources are extracted.
She believes that there is a need for these companies to intensify their social responsibilities, adding that in cases where these companies pay their dues, their contribution amounts to none or does not reflect the realities and conditions of the community. Ndala singled out Karibib, Uis , Rosh Pinha and Stampriet.
Subsequently, she emphasized that the mining sector is one of the key employers and role players in the development and growth of Namibia however, young people remain excluded from the economic swing-offs of this sector.
“When looking at the managerial position of these companies there is no representation of young people. Despite producing top young engineers and the like that could occupy these very positions”, Ndala added.
Ndala stressed that the ownership of Exploration Prospecting Licenses (EPLs) is solely issued to those with the financial means to carry out operations. The process, she added excludes young people.
She further lamented that due to this model, it is not user-friendly, as it does not provide a conducive environment for young people, thus calling for a revaluation to accord Small and Medium Enterprises owned by young people to be included.
Ndala has since suggested that mines should provide mobile plants to the youth, of which funds will help create business arms for the young people, as well as Intensify the social responsibility in regions where these resources are extracted.
Meanwhile, Manuel Ngaringombe, Secretary General of the Popular Democratic Movement said that despite the ongoing calls for solutions to be found for youth unemployment, his stance is on the collaboration of all stakeholders to come to one table and strategize.