AR’s economic impact

17 July 2015

The rhetoric by Affirmative Repositioning movement leaders has managed to galvanize landless youth to demand for cheap urban land across the country. Their relentless efforts should be commended.


What started as just the ramblings and misguided actions of a few youth has now evolved into a big national issue being debated daily across the country.

Every citizen in this country agrees that something needs to be done about the artificial shortage of urban land, but what many people might not agree on is the method by which this must be done.

The AR movement is advocating for a more militant approach to the urban land crisis and one cannot fault them for making their case.

However, we need to be cognisant about the effects of such an approach as a means to achieve the desired goals.

The chaos that the movement is advocating for come 31 July should be viewed in its proper contest. When all is said and done, what is the AR movement’s end game? What do they hope to achieve with their anti-government rhetoric and inflammatory statements?

What is the thinking behind inviting the international media to witness the landless youth illegally occupying land?

Do they really have the interests of the Republic at heart? These are all questions we need to ask ourselves before we cause any damage to the country’s economy.

This reminds us of the Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who invited sanctions on his own country in the hope of getting some political mileage.

The results of that selfish move have been widely publicised and Zimbabwe is now sadly a basket case despite boasting of one of the most educated labour forces on the continent and vast tracts of arable land.

The Namibian economy has been doing well compared to our peers and this is largely a function of the peace and stability that we have experienced since independence. We now seem to be taking that for granted.

Chances are that if no amicable solution is found before 31 July, the ensuing chaos would scare off any potential investor from this country and the tourists will also stay away.

The results of such a scenario would be catastrophic for an economy that relies heavily on foreign direct investment in the mining sector and the tourism sector.

This is what the youth excited about getting land come 31 July should think about.

Government has shown a willingness to engage the leaders of the AR movement which should be commended. It’s not too late to reach a workable, amicable solution that does not have dire consequences on the economy.



The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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