By Engel Nawatiseb
The proprietor of the Auto Tech Truck & Collision Repair workshop, Reinier Arangies, is setting up a donkey cart project at his huge business site to assist poor San community members in rural remote areas with mobility.
With the latest infusion – donkey cart project – Auto Tech is likely to establish itself as a formidable front-runner in the country’s manufacturing industry of traditional donkey carts.
“To ensure that all settings are in the traditional manufacturing specifications, we have employed five San men to manufacture the carts themselves,” Arangies said.
He noted that the San expertise was drawn from Gobabis, Tsumkwe as well as the Guinas constituency in the Oshikoto Region.
Arangies stressed that a unique design will be attached to the carts but that such a design should not compromise the original manufacturing style and image.
The unique features, he added would characterise a new brand only accustomed to the Namibian market.
“This should tell a Namibian story to the world. The tale should send out a special message that our San people are in the manufacturing business of their own local products. We need to conscientise our global market that we can do it at our own pace and style and fitted with our unique specifications.”
The company has decided to donate the first consignment of complete donkey carts to the San settlement at Bravo in the Guinas constituency.
New Era, however, could not establish whether the next consignment of carts will be sold to interested clients.
Due to lack of transport the San (Bravo) community finds it difficult to access the nearest health facility, a clinic at Tsintsabis, for medical attention.
Arangies noted that his company became involved in the San development project following an appeal by the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Libertina Amathila, to assist the San community as part of Government’s initiative to empower previously marginalised Namibians.
Among Auto Tech’s first support projects, was the upgrading and transfer of mechanical skills to four San graduates from the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC) since last year, also as part of practical empowerment.
He said some of these people face economic difficulties partly because they have not been able to take advantage of the opportunities offered to their fellow citizens due to remoteness, insufficient information about the availability of training opportunities or lack of technical assistance.
The hi-tech performance centre is a ‘genuine collaborator’ of the Government’s advocacy to the private sector to supplement its efforts of upgrading the living standards of the San people, said Arangies.