Sound economic empowerment only functional on clear and precise standards and pillars
Taking its cue from the Economic Policy Research Association’s seminal work on the latest version of the Namibian Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill (NEEEB), the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF), this week said the bill lacks clarity and certainty.
For instance, the federation argues that the new version has not allayed fears that ownership as a fundamental economic pillar, will not be affected.
“Industry and various public [bodies] had called for more certainty, so that the public and stakeholders would be in a position to plan and act accordingly. That need for certainty was particularly linked to whether or not NEEEB would become enacted, and if indeed it would, what the respective [new] pillars and standards [will be],” the federation’s Consulting General Manager, Bärbel Kirchner said, adding that these are crucial issues which play a major role in investors’, both local and foreign, decision to make or to cancel investment.
“NEEEB in its current format, due to its vagueness, does not provide the required certainty. There is no clarity what the standard would be relating to each pillar and whether indeed compliance with a respective pillar would be compulsory or voluntarily. [If the bill were to pass in its current form], the assigned minister in this role would then have an unrealistically high authority to determine the standards and the legislation’s applicability,” she continued.
“At the same time, there is no clarity with regard to which business types might be affected, as according to NEEEB, it would relate to “any economic activity”. It was also unclear if measures to be taken as a result of NEEEB would ever come to an end, as the bill currently does not include a sunset clause.”