Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Namibians vote out of loyalty and not satisfaction - Afro barometer

AN Afro barometer study revealed that 80% of Namibians vote out of loyalty and not for service delivery.

This means that the Swapo party wins elections by a landslide because of empathy and not because people are satisfied with its service delivery.

The Afro barometer is a comparative series of public attitude surveys, which measures citizens' attitudes on democracy and its alternatives, evaluations of the quality of governance and economic performance.

The current series - Round 6 - is for the period between August and September 2014 covering up to 35 African countries.

The study was launched in Windhoek yesterday by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), which coordinated the field work.

It reveals that 70% of Namibians think government has failed to create enough jobs and lists unemployment, poverty, land and housing as the biggest problems. The study also attributes this thinking to the high unemployment rate, which was revised downwards from 51,2% to about 27%.

Furthermore, the study shows that 80% do not agree with salary increases for office bearers and think that too much emphasis has been given to party loyalty over service delivery.

The same percentage also thinks the government has failed to arrest the persistent inequality gap, which is among the worst in the world.

The key findings of the study include strong public support for the government's policies on education, health and managing the economy.

It also shows that there is weak public support by the government on poverty reduction, income equality and job creation.

The study also found that people are satisfied with the basic health services offered by government as well as education. Sixty five percent believe government is handling corruption very badly if at all.

Namibians think the economy has been well managed but agree at the same time that government should introduce a basic income grant, even if it means increasing taxes.

Also key to the study is the conclusion that there should be reform on how government handles tenders to avoid nepotism and favouritism.

It concludes by saying that Namibians relate democracy to personal freedoms (speech, movement, organisation membership and access to information).

The Namibian

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