Original article: https://www.namibian.com.na/107462/read/8ste-Laan-youth-demand-BIG
YOUTH living in Windhoek’s 8ste Laan informal settlement are demanding a basic income grant (BIG), while accusing the nation’s leaders of intentionally keeping the country in an enforced state of poverty since independence.
Christa Nekwaya (20), who was speaking at a BIG Coalition media conference today in Otjomuise, accused Namibia’s three presidents of being the engineers of poverty in the country.
Another speaker, Kevin Wessels (25), said the government should be held accountable for the low employment rate and poverty in the country.
“The BIG can help improve the lives of the youth. The N$750 we got from the government as Covid-19 relief funds last year has proven that it can help alleviate and reduce poverty,” Wessels said.
He added that the youth are told to create opportunities for themselves, but are expected to do so without funds.
“We are demanding a basic income grant. We are telling the president that the 42 000 people he wants to give the BIG to is nonsense. How do you determine that only 42 000 people are going to get it? That is where you create inequality,” Wessels said.
Josephina Nekwaya (21) said the majority of the country lives in poverty, which has exacerbated unemployment.
“Our supposed freedom only exists on paper but not in practice because we, the majority, which is 1.6 million Namibians, live in our own country as impoverished slaves and are struggling to survive while being lied to that Namibia is doing well,” she said.