Manufacturing enterprises receive procurement directive with open arms
The directive issued by the Minister of Finance under the Public Procurement Act to all government agencies to support local suppliers north of the cordon fence, has been described by the Namibian Manufacturers Association as a boost for the economy and a step in the right direction.
The association’s Chief Executive, Mr Ronnie Varkevisser said this week the ‘New Procurement Directives’ are welcomed by the business community as it was issued in consultation with the private sector.
On 23 May 2019, the Minister of Finance, Hon Calle Schlettwein, issued a directive in terms of Section 73 of the Public Procurement Act (15 of 2015) to all ministries, regional councils, town councils and boards of public enterprises, that meat, fresh produce, cereal and flour must be procured from local suppliers and abattoirs north of the cordon fence line. The directive was effective immediately.
The directive stated “Recipient offices north of the cordon fence/red line should include specific provisions in their specifications that meat, which includes beef, sheep, goat, pork, game, fish and poultry raised in Namibia and fresh produce, which includes vegetables and fruit grown in Namibia are to be sourced from suppliers north of the cordon fence/red line. It is discouraged to procure meat and fresh produce south of the cordon fence/red line, unless supply is insufficient to satisfy the· demand. Specifications should not include provisions that would negate the instructions issued herewith. The specifications shall not refer to a grade of meat that requires import of meat. The only source for the procurement ofmeat shall be the Meat Board approved abattoirs until supply is insufficient for the demand. This also applies for abattoirs north of the cordon fence/red line.”
In addition, the minister listed 27 products that must also receive preferential procurement, as well as 23 general and business services. In terms of works, the directive defined 12 types of construction services which fall in the same preferential category.
“The Manufacturers Association strongly supports this instruction and emphasizes that given the current prevailing difficult position of the manufacturing sector, all stakeholders must take hands to implement and execute this promptly and to full effect,” stated Varkevisser.
“The Association will continue to advocate and engage with government and all other stakeholders to maintain its efforts of raising awareness of the need to support local manufacturers, as manufacturing have a huge positive spillover effect to other economic sectors.”
The Namibian Manufacturers Association is a vital link between the sector and the government, playing an important role in the formulation of policies relevant to the private sector at large and manufacturing enterprises in particular.
The Association’s landmark event is the extensive annual Manufacturer of the Year awards covering a wide scope of industries.