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Body Unpolitic

By Dishonourable Ember
I see our milk industry is asking for import protection against the rival products from SA and elsewhere. Laudable indeed because Namibia is being used as a dumping ground for surplus products by our big and friendly brother across the Orange.

But ... and isn't there a ' but' everywhere? ... should government grant this protection it must go concomitant with a promise by the industry to keep prices competitive and affordable. I reiterate: Most of our people really do not have the luxury to 'buy Namibian' when the prices of Namibia products are significantly higher that competing products from elsewhere.

An example being milk. Namibian milk will cost (at the time of writing) around N$ 14.00 per litre and right next door to the display of our own milk in various supermarkets is a huge display of imported milk of comparable quality at around N$10.00 per litre. Three guesses as to what the average Namibian consumer will buy.....

Purely by accident I happened to come across an article in one of the dailies from late May where the imminent taxing of the 'gated' communities around Windhoek were to fall under the City of Windhoek and would have to pay rates & taxes all property owners in Windhoek have to.

Now there are two trains of thought about this. The one is that the CoW is just greedy and wants to unnecessarily increase its revenue at the expense of people who sort of "opted out" of the hustle and bustle of city life and were quite prepared to go to a bit of extra trouble and some extra inconvenience in realizing their dream. The other - and I agree it is a point that may or may not apply to estates in and around Windhoek- is that certain sectors of our community once again sought elitist residential exclusivity and ways and means to be 'amongst their own'. Needless to say that an erven in one these new townships costs a pretty penny and that the houses to be built also have to meet certain minimum requirements as to style, size and costs.

If the latter was a motivating factor for seeking accommodation there, it is a despicablemove and, obviously, subject to the same suspicions as a club with its "members only" provisions. In this case the residents deserve to be taxed to the maximum - and the legal position of the estates re-evalued in terms of our constitution. Whenever pedestrians are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, one automatically thinks from the point of view of the motorist - mostly being that a pedestrian has no right to be on a road. To a large degree this is a valid argument, but what is easily forgotten in this regard is the fact that many pedestrians to not have a safe way to cross a busy road like, for instance, the Western Bypass.

No provision has really been made to provide a pedestrian bridge to safeguard both motorists and pedestrians. That some people will cross the road wherever they want irrespective of such facilities, is, however, also true. Here education will go a long way to preventing the regular accidents on this stretch of road.


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