Today, that minimum wage still stands, and we hear that some security firms are not even adhering to that. Even worse, it appears that some of these non-adherents are politically connected.
Most government employees work a 40-hour week, or an eight-hour day. From this, I calculate that a security guard employed at minimum wage level would earn approximately N$670 per month if (s)he were to work a standard eight hour day! Naturally, security guards work much longer hours in order to get an amount they can barely survive on of somewhere between N$1000 to N$2000 a month.
In fact, were a security guard to attempt to achieve N$2000 per month at that minimum wage (s)he would have to work for 24 hours every normal working day. This is clearly not possible.Of course, there are rates for overtime, and working on weekends etc. Assuming that half the hours a security guard works are at double time (a best-case scenario) I calculate that the security guard would need to work 300 hours approximately each month. Assuming a 12-hour shift per day, this equates to about 29 days per month.
To summarise then, a security guard at minimum wage, fortunate enough to be paid double time for half his/her hours, working 12 hour shifts per day, would have to work 29 days each month to achieve a paltry N$2000
This means that this security guard has no time to rest, to spend time with family, and earns barely enough to survive and provide materially for the family.
This pitiful situation exists for the most marginalised of Namibians, whilst politicians arrogantly pronounce that a Basic Income Grant would “make people lazy”, whilst we have the most inequitable distribution of wealth in the measured world, whilst veterans make a fast buck, whilst cronies get rich and fat, whilst we complain about crime.
Do the arithmetic yourself, because in my haste to complete this letter, I might have made a mistake. But it is clear that in our grossly hypocritical society something else besides the arithmetic does not add up.