PDM’s newly sworn-in parliamentarian Maximalliant Katjimune claims that the the City of Windhoek is running a modern-day labour exploitation ring.
According to the MP, the city’s municipality has a bulk of interns who have been working at the city for years with no offer of permanent employment while performing the duties of full-time employees who have made their duty stations part-time while they attend to their own private interests and businesses.
“The City of Windhoek employs more than 450 interns out of a staff complement of over 2 700. These interns are left to take up the bulk of the work that the permanent employees are supposed to perform on measly allowances ranging from N$3 500 to N$3 700. For the few that are lucky to land a fixed-term contract, their allowances can go up to N$10 000.”
Katjimune claims these interns are offered contracts of up to 6 months which are continuously renewed because the city does not, allegedly, want to offer them permanent employment.
“Some of these interns have been at the city for in excess of five years, which in contravention of our labour laws. Section 128C (1) of the Labour Act 27 of 2007 states that “an employee is presumed to be employed indefinitely unless the employer can establish a justification for employment on a fixed term,” he said.
Katjimune’s claims came as he queried labour, industrial relations and employment creation minister Utoni Nujoma whether he was aware of this matter.
“If yes, what has Honourable Minister done to ensure that this exploitation of interns at the City of Windhoek is stopped and that due compliance of the Labour Act is observed? Does the Honourable Minister agree that this modus operandi of public and private sector institutions offering internships does not create sustainable jobs but rather subjects mostly young and unsuspecting people to exploitative labour instruments?”
Katjimune stated there is no reasonable justification for how the municipality to keep an intern for more than five years on a continuous renewable six months contract without giving them permanent employment.
“The role of an internship is to give new entrants into the labour market skills. You cannot be training someone for more than five years, and this clearly presents a contravention of Section 128C (1) of the Labour Act.”