Cross-border chicken sales are booming

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Outapi

The northern border towns have recently experienced a high influx of Angolan nationals flocking to Namibia daily to trade livestock in return for Namibian dollars to buy basic commodities for themselves.

Such livestock include goats – but chickens are the most prevalent for trading as many claim they are easy to transport.

The situation is clearly observed at Oshikango where besides livestock other goods such as sugar cane are also brought into Namibia for trade in bulk.

When New Era visited the taxi terminal en route to Angola at Outapi last week, many women and young men were spotted selling live chickens.

The chickens are sold at prices between N$70 and N$90.

While some were seen to have many chickens tied to a stick, others carried one or two chickens which they sold to passers-by.

“This is the only manner in which we can buy food in local shops because our kwanza no longer has value and as a result we cannot afford basic commodities,” said a young man who identified himself as Pedro.

Another Angolan national, Maria Pau, said while Angola has received fair rainfall, many people are struggling to put food on the table.

Pau said that while Namibians receive financial support in terms of pension and grants, Angolans do not have such privileges.

“We fight for ourselves, even if it means coming to Namibia to make sales here,” said Pau.

Many Angolan nationals New Era spoke to refused to dwell on whether they receive daily permits to make sales in the country.

Petrus Kapetanga from Omundjavala village said he transports willing sellers to Namibia daily and in return makes a profit from the transportation fare.

Kapetanga reckons although there is a high demand for goats, chickens sell faster.

However, many of the chicken traders were not willing to speak to New Era and pretended not to understand the vernacular Oshiwambo but were observed making small talk with customers.

New Era could not obtain comments from the police or Home Affairs and Immigration officials as they were lodged in meetings.

New Era wanted to establish whether the traders obtain permits to cross the border and sell their goods and also to determine how safe it is to transport livestock between the two countries.

 

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