After a disruption of close to a year, it is pleasing to see the construction of the Tauben Glenn Convenience Centre back in construction.
The cost of the delay due the pandemic to the developers-cum-investors must have been enormous and regrettable, as it may have been to the rest of the Namibian economy, including the impact on unemployment with the resultant impact on social decay. Thus the resumption and continuation of the construction cannot but be welcome. So much even to a section of the wretched of the Namibian capitalist system, Kapana sellers, to which the construction has been providing an opportunity for survival in the aftermath of the lockdown and slowdown of the economy because of the Covid pandemic.
This positive window of opportunity notwithstanding, the ugly face of capitalism and the class society and its contradictions has been playing itself out quietly undisturbed on the construction site. First in that the Kapana sellers have only been servicing the unskilled male black workers. The first obvious sign of the divide between the have and have nots.
This only a tip of the iceberg of the ugly and inanimate face of Capitalism. Yours Truly Ideologically has been observing the comings and goings on the construction side quietly and unobtrusively. The immediate picture noticeable being instructive of the general neo-Colonial economy where whites and their companies are ruling the economic roost. With little pretense at radical socio-economic transformation where African/black people have a fundamental role or stake. Client, quantity surveyor, mechanical and electrical engineer, consulting structural civil engineers and contractor all the usual suspects, lily white. It matters little whether Afrikaner, English or German.
Yours Truly Ideologically dare even challenge the developers/investors to show any African/black companies that were in the least offered the opportunity to be part of the project. Africans/blacks relegated to their usual lowest end of an economic activity of this nature, as unskilled workers at worst and at best as skilled artisans, if at all.
Yes, there’s no denying that once the centre is operative that Africans/black would be employed in various capacities. But what more can they and should dream of in our Capitalist Namibia? And ultimately when the centre is operative as cleaners and if lucky tellers/cashiers, cooks, you name them the usual manual jobs reserved in a typical Capitalist system to African/blacks and economic immigrants.
Most Namibians remain in their own country, which is independent and sovereign for that matter, literally internal economic immigrants. A situation many sons and daughters of the Land of the Brave today find themselves in as economic refugees in many metropoles the world over.
Beggars cannot be choosers and one would understand Namibian economic refugees in foreign lands occupying lowly menial jobs, of course depending on their ambitions to acquire qualifications and thus get better jobs.
But should Namibians on home soil, after a long and bitter struggle for political freedom, and ultimately economic emancipation as illusive as the latter may still be, be expected to really continue to be economic hostages in their own country? And for how long? And when they continue to protest against being economic hostages in their own country, they are chastised as speaking too much, irrespective that freedom of expression is one of the basic Constitutional tenets of the democratic culture. A culture they have been trying to learn and adopt and inculcate among one another, and nurture and nourish, ultimately for the prosperity, welfare and wellbeing of all and sundry.
Certainly Namibians did not fight and sacrifice for political freedom and economic emancipation to continue to remain economic hostages. Which in reality most of them in an independent and free Namibia, are and continue to be without a gleam of hope that sooner and/or later, they will be free from the economic bondage and its debilitating and crippling poverty and squalor.
They find themselves in an intricate and complex web, in which they are subjected more often than not camouflaged, spin doctored and portrayed as development, all in the name of unity, loyalty, peace and stability.
Namibia is free, and as every bon fide Namibia would say, free forever. Determined to be free forever, very Namibian must equally be determined that she/he and all of us cannot forever tolerate economic bondage and slavery most of our citizens find themselves in. The situation of socio-economic backwardness, neglect and retrogression prevailing, which has been continuing since independence without any meaningful semblance, pretense, let alone hope of arrest and reversal. A factor of ideological bankruptcy, unconsciousness if not a-consciousness and indifference if not complete lack thereof.
To the extent that citizens are with veiled threats cajoled into turning a blind eye to and against their continued exploitation and impoverishment. Where they are subdued in remaining docile and silent in reminding and pleading, in the least, with the would-be leaders, that their situation is becoming unbearable by the day.
Their message is and has been very clear. Developers/investors are in Namibia, and can come into the country with their investments in good faith, and at the behest of Namibians. For the best interest of the country’s economy, to the benefit of the general citizenry. To help build the country and improve the welfare and being of Namibians. To help reduce inequality and ultimately eradicate.
If developers-cum-investors are here, and/or intent to come to Namibia only to loot its resources, and repatriate returns on their gainful endeavours as guests of Namibia to their countries, at the expense of Namibians, surely Namibians cannot be expected to idle by and keep quiet about it. Namibians cannot and must at all not be expected to choose to remain beggars in their own country. Recon Africa and others are better advised to heed this! And as much Namibians who have been falling over one another to be used as tools of facilitating the continued loot and plunder of the resources of the country in the name of investment and development. Many local entities, more than helping the government achieve the requisite balance between investment and development, seems more cry babies for investors, if not wolves in sheep clothes, while the rest of the country, including workers, continue to revere them economic experts and what-have-you. A benign folk without a shepherd.