DR. A.C. OBHOLZER WRITES:
Our economy has been in recession since 2017 – BC (Before Covid-19).
Then came Covid-19 and lockdown in March 2020. We slowed the virus, but did not corner it. It spread from town to town. We lost about 100 already compromised lives, but we strangled our economy into a depression. Jobs and income were lost. Hunger and starvation stunted the next generation. Schooling stopped. Our population is two and a half million.
Although shebeens were closed, people can still buy alcohol and share drinks without control at home. A weak link in social distancing.
About half the population lives in shacks, in informal settlements, where water, toilet and air hygiene is poor, and social distancing impossible.
Covid-19 is not a threat to all. It is a 20% (high risk), 80% (low risk) pandemic spread by air droplets and touch.
The 20% at risk are at old age homes, obese diabetes, HIV/TB, smokers with emphysema, malnourished alcoholics and exposed hospital workers as well as cancer patients on chemotherapy. – Stay at home!
Healthcare workers need (PPE) Personal Protective Equipment and can rotate two-weekly.
Where possible, work from home or rotate in shifts to prevent hot spot spread. The new normal is endemic (low grade) Covid-19 for the next year. New hygienic measures are mandatory: masks for all in public, frequent hand sanitizing, social distancing, de-crowding of less than 10 people, unsocializing at home (no parties) and temperature checks.
The 80% low risk must be allowed to work to provide a service, income, tax, VAT – livelihoods.
To work a budget, one must apply the Bloomberg principles at all levels:
You cannot spend more than you earn (debt trap).
Try to save in good times to carry bad times.
Draw up an expenses priority list.
If you kill the goose that lays the golden egg, your future is dark.
Vision 2030 envisions prosperity, peace and opportunity for all, with the elimination of shacks (disease incubator for TB, influenza, measles, Covid-19, Hepatitis and gastro.)
The party we used to trust, owes Namibia Restorative Justice, to eliminate the legacy of colonialization i.e. ignorance, poverty, disease and greed.
In order to achieve good governance, we need to apply the principles of MPH – Merit (competence), Pragmatism (realistic compromise), Honesty (integrity).
Namibia needs Private Public Partnership (PPP) in tackling Covid-19. The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry must be involved directly, in policy and the consequences. We need common sense solutions, for the common good, in the spirit of Harambee. Take new normal precautions and lift the lockdown. For every one confirmed case there are usually ten unconfirmed cases.
If we need to borrow money from the IMF, we need to explain:
Size of civil service budget.
Need for NDF budget during peace time.
Mismanagement of Air Namibia (N$9 billion deficit).