LABOUR POLICIES IN NAMIBIA This article, although brief is an indicator to the labour situation in Namibia prior to independence and while Namibia was still a mandated territory under the administration of South Africa.
In a situation like this it is expected and mandatory for the mandated territory to be treated and trained in life skills in order to run the country should or when the country is fit enough to govern itself.
During the 1960’s there were few institutions for advanced education in Namibia. There was a technical college in Windhoek but it could not supply the required level of education.
People living and working in SWA were treated as citizens of SWA and not South Africans. ( when I moved to Copperton in 1973 I was signed up immediately as a South African taxpayer)
The South African government (South African railways) Proceeded to train apprentices of most disciplines en Massa : From carpentry to mechanics, fitters, boilermakers, builders, electrical and a host of other occupations. Training centres were well equipped and of the best quality. Training is expensive and the South African government had to foot the bill for costs and salaries. Due to the non-existence of Technical colleges the apprentices were sent to the RSA, mostly Germiston for further and advanced education. Full boarding and lodging plus salaries were paid.
The South African government also introduced Apartheid into the country. During earlier years SWA citizens lived under the shadow of apartheid but it never really gained momentum as it did in south Africa. There were locations (terrible word) hostels for the unattached males and separate amenities which was ignored anyway. The biggest perceived threat to the tranquil lives of the citizenry was the Rooi Gevaar which broadcast and advertised daily by the Nats. During the 1960’s, when a Russian Factory ship docked in Walvis Bay the children were collected and bustled into the house because the Reds had come to fetch them. The standard of instruction by the mentors and supervisors was at the highest level. Apprentices emerging from the training centres in Windhoek had of the highest pass ratings, technical and theoretical in South Africa.
South African results were generally included. The high standard was recognised throughout the country, SWA and South Africa, and those artisans usually found themselves in the best jobs. Throughout their careers most apprentices completed their military training. During my training period there were no black apprentices that I am aware of but that was due to government policy: that was the law and as such it was obeyed.What I am aware of is that senior military officers and mechanical engineers were teaching black children in the war torn northern part of South West Africa.
It should be borne in mind, too, that The railway system in SWA was part of the greater SAR but operated independently of it to a large extent.REFER TO NAMIBIA GOOGLE
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