WINDHOEK – Executive Director of Women’s Action for Development (WAD), Veronica De Klerk, has called on government to ensure local people are contracted to provide uniforms for institutions in need of uniforms.
She wants local tailors to be given the opportunity to produce nurses uniforms, as well as uniforms for institutions such as the Namibian Police Force (Nampol), the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), prisons and security guards among others. “If local unemployed people are professionally trained and if the locally manufactured products are of similar quality than the imported products and sell at competitive prices there is no reason why further importation of these articles should be allowed,” remarked De Klerk last week.
She spoke at a certificate presentation ceremony of female entrepreneurs who worked on a project titled ‘Wise economy partner-driven cooperation, Sweden’. Noting the relatively high unemployment rate in the country, De Klerk said the ‘import syndrome’ is not justifiable and instead reveals a laid back attitude about poverty alleviation and development in Namibia. This, she added can only be regulated by the intervention of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to compel importers to first look for Namibian goods before imports are allowed. “In this context, I commend Prime Minister Hage Geingob, who recently stated it in no uncertain terms to international entrepreneurs who acquire contracts in our country not to import unskilled workers from foreign countries, but to instead employ local people,” she said. De Klerk further applauded government for recently taking a stand to protect the Namibian milk industry with the decision to limit the importation of milk products to allow merely the shortfall, which the Namibian industry is experiencing in milk products.
“This has the result that the Namibian milk industry will enjoy protection from imported cheaper products mainly from neighbouring South Africa,” De Klerk added. Also, she cautioned that the Namibian suppliers of food stuff should be mindful regarding exploitation the Namibian consumers. “We as consumers are very concerned and upset that the prices of especially Namibian chicken have sky-rocked since the importation of chicken has been limited. Unless Namibian suppliers come up with competitive prices, we as the Namibian consumers will have no choice but to refrain from buying local expensive products at exploitative prices,” said De Klerk.
By Staff Reporter