Group claims Chinese artisans chosen over Namibian artisans

A group of Namibian skilled workers who could not obtain employment at China Harbour and Engineering Company (CHEC) says the award of tenders to foreign companies, at the expense of local businesses and employment amounts to colonialism.

The group organised themselves into a group called the Professional Artisans Skills Organisation (PASO), to give skilled Namibians who struggle without jobs a voice. PASO yesterday demanded the Namibian Government step in and end what they say are Chinese artisans working in Namibia and that whilst the local skill exists.
The Group held a peaceful demonstration on Thursday morning and delivered a petition to the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation at its Walvis Bay office.
The group claims Chinese Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), who is currently [among others] constructing a fuel storage facility at Walvis Bay has been rejecting applications by local artisans and employs Chinese nationals instead.
The group of over 200 qualified artisans claim they have applied several times for opportunities to work on the project, but have been rejected. The reason: they [the locals] are not fit to work on ‘their’ project and requiring them to be tested as artisans at own cost.
The group claims that more than 700 Chinese have been allowed to come to Namibia to work on this project, whilst Namibians are competent to do the job. The members of the group have worked on many projects with companies like Langer Heinrich Mine, Trekkope Mine, Dundee Precious Metals, B2Gold Mine and Husab Mine.
They demand now the Namibian Government step in and stop allowing Chinese artisans to take over jobs that Namibians are capable of doing. In their petition they also question why Namibian vocational institutions are not considered by the Chinese to produce quality and competent artisans.
They are also concerned that by giving foreign companies big tenders it returns some form of colonialism to Namibia.

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