N$22 million factories for Keetmans

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Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop-Two manufacturing plants – one for garments and another for furniture – are nearing completion at Keetmanshoop and will create about 50 jobs once fully functional, the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) confirmed.

President Hage Geingob in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) recently alluded to these developments – which he said formed part of government’s ‘growth at home’ strategy that could propel Namibia to achieving her industrialisation ambitions by 2030.

Geingob said the construction of these two facilities at Keetmanshoop was proof that government is committed to achieve its targets towards the realisation of Vision 2030.

New Era spoke to NDC senior manager for corporate services Wessel !Nanuseb who shed more light on the two projects, saying the construction cost of the two plants is just over N$22 million, while about 50 jobs are expected to be created once the projects were fully functional.

He said at this stage the two projects, which are expected to produce furniture and garment, have been completed and fully equipped, with funding from the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development through NDC, the implementing agency.

“The furniture factory’s total project cost is N$11. 2 million and the garment factory’s total project cost amounts to N$10.9 million,” he said.

!Nanuseb said the two projects, which are adjacent to each other at the !Homs-Ai community market, situated between Kronlein and Tseiblaagte, were jointly initiated by the ministry through NDC, in collaboration with the town and regional councils, as well as the office of the governor. He indicated that with about 50 jobs expected to be created once the facilities are running at full capacity, the projects will look to employ local people, noting that all reasonable efforts will be made to source all semi-skilled and unskilled jobs from within //Kharas Region.
“Basic joinery and needlework skills are required, but extensive in-house training will be provided for those individuals who lack the required skills. Superior skills, which might not be readily available in //Kharas or Hardap, would be sourced from other regions,” he explained on the skills need.

He further told New Era that the town council donated the land for the factories to be set up, and that now that the projects are completed, operators have been identified to run the facilities on an economic basis, while NDC will be responsible for further guidance and supervision.

!Nanuseb furthermore outlined the importance of the two plants to the town and region, saying Namibia and the //Kharas Region in particular will benefit from the increased economic activity associated with the two factories, while dependency on imports from other regions and South Africa will also be lowered once factories are fully operational. Also, plans are to source raw materials from local entities.

“For the furniture factory, a local timber supplier has been identified in the Leonardville area, but the promoter of the facility will source from this and other suppliers depending on the needs of the potential customers, while the garment factory promoter will also source materials from local as well as international suppliers, depending on the products to be manufactured,” he noted.

//Kharas regional governor Lucia Basson strongly welcomed the two projects, saying this will not only benefit the people of the region but the whole of Namibia.

She was however concerned that after government spent so much money, the two projects are yet to open their doors, and she called on those responsible to ensure that the factories were up and running as soon as possible.
“I want these factories to come into operation as soon as possible – we do not want them to stand as white elephants. There is so much money spent on these projects and therefore they must now be open,” she said.

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