Liquor Group Invests Millions

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By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI The Distell Group recently boosted the local economy with the injection of N$9,5 million for the construction and opening of a newly commissioned beverages distribution centre here. The 2 000-square-metre centre which has provided employment to about 10 Namibians is expected to serve about 2 million potential buyers from Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Omusati and Southern Angola. The investment was welcomed by the Governor of the Oshana Region Clemens Kashuupulwa as yet another milestone in the economic development of the country. Speaking at the commissioning of the centre, Distell Group Managing Director Jana Scannell said the investment of his company is a mark of confidence in the overall Namibian economy. “We have long believed in the potential of this part of the country and our recent trading performance more than amply bears this out,” he said. Distell Group, said Scan-nell, has contributed N$45 million in excise duty and close to N$20 million in corporate income tax to the Namibian Government’s revenue. Besides, it contributed close to N$174 000 last year towards the training of 48 staff members in Namibia. The company is headquartered in South Africa with its subsidiary Distell Namibia operating locally. Its predecessors were Stellenbosch Farmers Winery (SFW) and Distiller Corporation (DC), which had been doing business in Namibia since 1962 and 1965, respectively. In 2001 they amalgamated to form Distell Namibia Ltd. In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, during the commissioning of the centre, President Hifikepunye Pohamba urged the private sector to join the Government in accelerating social and economic development in all parts of the country. “In my view the opening of this distribution centre should be seen as a response by Distell Namibia to the Government’s efforts which are aiming at combating unemployment and the alleviation of poverty.” The Head of State noted that the Government views the fight against unemployment and other social evils as a national priority. “It is also an important strategy to ensure that available resources are harnessed for the acceleration of Namibia’s socio-economic development,” he stated.