Nandi-Ndaitwah says southerners to be first to benefit from oil, gas industries

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah

Vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has reiterated that the government will ensure communities, particularly in the //Kharas region will be the first to benefit from the oil and gas industries.

Nandi-Ndaitwah was speaking at the 13th festival of the /Hai-/Khaua Traditional Authority on Saturday at Berseba.

Her comments come amid an outcry from Nama traditional leaders that the majority of southern youth did not meet the requirements to qualify for the second round of green hydrogen scholarships.

“With the diversification of our national economy, which is now venturing into new industries such as oil, gas and green energy, our government will make sure that communities, particularly in the //Kharas region, considering that most of those operations are based here, will be the first to benefit from these new industries in the form of job creation, housing, training,and health facilities,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.

She said allegations of discrimination against some communities should be investigated and if found to be true, would be deemed unconstitutional and must come to an end.

She said she would examine the facts and deal with the matter alongside all parties involved.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said the government will equally address economic challenges facing the country by embarking on the enhancement of natural resources and paying attention to agricultural production and processing.

She said the festival, held under the theme: ‘My Clan, My Culture, My Identity’, promotes unity and peace among the country’s various ethnic groups, languages and traditions.

She stressed the importance of traditional governance in preserving indigenous knowledge and fostering national cohesion.

“Guided by our Constitution, the government remains committed to the promotion of traditional governance in our communities. Traditional communities serve as the custodians of indigenous knowledge and shared cultural heritage.

“And in no way should tradition be used, seen or used to divide us. But rather to strengthen our nation. The traditional authorities are the custodians of our tradition. They have all the power, the knowledge and the skill to handle traditional matters, wherever they occur in our country,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.

/Hai-/Haua traditional clan chief Johannes Isack expressed concern about the youth not benefiting from the oil and gas industry.

“While we welcome these benefits for the upliftment of young Namibians, the youth of the Hardap and //Kharas regions visibly missed out on these training opportunities.

Our belated president also expressed similar sentiments that they should benefit. May his soul rest in eternal peace, as well as the chairperson of the Green Hydrogen Council, Obeth Kandjoze.

“The main reason cited was that they do not meet the entry requirements of the training programmes, which seriously begs the question, what kind of education are our children subjected to, that not even a handful are meeting the said requirements?”

In a recent article published by New Era, Kandjoze expressed dismay about the “under-representation of nationals from the Hardap and //Kharas region when the second round of scholarships for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) qualifications were awarded for green hydrogen.

“To this end, the government is exploring a bespoke TVET programme for the southern regions to ensure that when the Southern Corridor Development Initiative projects commence, Namibia has built local capacity across all demographics to absorb the employment opportunities in an equitable manner. We need to ensure that these aspiring students [from the two regions] are supported and uplifted so that they too can meet the requirements to get these scholarships,” said Kandjoze.

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