Procurement Bill to return
His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, addressed the Nation on the 21st of April and in his first State of the Nation Address one of the issues he raised was the Procurement Bill.
His Excellency said that the government will raise the bar regarding transformation of ownership structures. “Therefore, restriction of ownership over our natural resources will also be explored and enforced,” he stated. His Excellency said that he will direct that the Procurement Bill be brought back to Parliament as soon as possible.
“The Bill should deliberately favour local businesses, equally the completion of the Retail Charter should be fast-tracked and finalized before the end of 2015,” emphasised His Excellency. He proclaimed that it is unacceptable that a quarter century after independence, locally produced goods are denied shelf space in retail outlets.
“I call upon our Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development to ensure that our Industrial Policy and accompanying Growth at Home Strategy get implemented expeditiously, everything we do should be aimed at adding value locally and developing the local economy,” said His Excellency.
The Public Procurement Bill intends to empower the manufacturing industry in Namibia and it entails giving Namibian companies priority when tenders are awarded. The Bill also states that tenders with a value of N$20 million will be reserved for SMEs, while tenders valued between N$20-60 million will be reserved strictly for companies that are solely owned by Namibians. While tenders valued over N$60 million can be awarded to foreign individuals who are in partnership with Namibians, and that the Namibian individual should at least have a 50% stake in the joint venture
His Excellency emphasised that the State will play a more active role in the economy, but this is not to compete with the private sector but to acknowledge that the “invisible hand” of the market does not always work as it should.