The Namibia Regional and Local authority’s elections are due to take place on the 25th November 2020, and this year Namibia has experienced a forceful participation of independent candidates, this follows political predicaments in previous presidential elections. Regional and local authorities integrate daily rural and urban economic development as the candidates are closer to the public at grassroots.
Former SWAPO Secretary for Information Publicity, Education and Culture Comrade Nahas Angula, made his remarks two months ago that “the election should serve as means of job creation and public services, as large communities rely on traditional means of survival, in regard, regional and local development plans should be designed to ensure economic resilience by identifying potential growth and introduce new technologies to assist developing business markets”.
There is an economic recession in SMEs following the Covid-19 pandemic, this should be a bell for local and regional candidate’s priority to support the community to revive the trading markets especially in informal settlement overlooked.
Biashara News visited Tokondjenii open market traders in Okuryagava to give their views on the upcoming regional and local elections as well as business services. Not thrilled by the elections is Titus Mondjila an informal trader selling fruits and vegetables, said that “I have been selling my goods at the road for about 4 years now and I have not experienced change in terms of service delivery from the council, the open market does not have sufficient stalls to accommodate a good number of vendors, all they do is send the police to come and chase us away, but if we don’t keep busy here, we will be forced to take people items not by choice”. Titus is one of many traders who will not be voting this year with unfortunate words of empty promises from candidates that are claimed to be participating for self-interest.
On the other hand, Emma Katanda, 32 operates at the Havana four way selling cleaning detergents, face masks and cosmetics said this year she will go vote maybe service towards business will be delivered. “The four way is unsafe and hygiene is the biggest problem we face as vendors, most of our customers do not buy the products because of the waste or contaminated water at site, but we don’t have an open market, for this reason we are forced to operate here. We operate every day but we are underestimated, retailers and suppliers are open because of us (small traders)”.
With more political rallies on the road by Namibian candidates, yet with little change on business revival strategies, local and regional elections should be the chance to revamp business operation with inclusivity of small scale traders.