WINDHOEK: Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Immanuel Ngatjizeko says every country in the world provides for the designation of essential services in its laws, and Namibia is no exception.
At a media conference today, Ngatjizeko dismissed local media reports that Government is on the verge of trampling on important rights of Namibian workers’ with its plans to have certain sectors of the economy declared essential services.
He explained that this is simply not true, saying Government is bound by the Rule of Law.
The process of investigating possible essential service is ongoing, Ngatjizeko said Government has been, and will continue to commit itself to, promoting and protecting the rights of both employers and employees as provided for in the Namibian Constitution and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention.
Essential services involve a service of which the interruption thereof would endanger life, personal safety or the health of the whole or any part of the Namibian population, and which has been designated as such in terms of Section 77 of the Labour Act, No 11 of 2007.
The Essential Service Committee has engaged in two investigations so far. The first round included municipal and town councils, as well as private and public hospitals after public hearings were conducted earlier this year, while the second round, which continues next week, included the aviation, port and electricity services.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) will hold discussions in the capital next week on how farmers can improve crop production.
The first coordination meeting on the improvement of crops through the processes of mutation and biotechnology will take place at a local hotel on Monday.
A media statement issued by MAWF Liaison Officer Constance Mwilima today explained that the event is being organised in conjunction with the Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within the framework of the agency’s technical cooperation project RAF5066 titled ‘Improving crops using mutation induction and biotechnology through farmers’ participation approach’.
The meeting will amongst others focus on reviewing and discussing the details of the activities stated in the work plan to be implemented under the project, and on identifying and discussing the measures to ensure a sustainable continuation of work after the completion of the project.
Members of 16 nominated African countries including Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Ghana and Kenya will form part of the meeting.
MAWF Permanent Secretary Joseph Iita will officiate at the one-day event.