Plastic manufacturer seeks infant industry protection for locally produced stretch hood film
Namibia Plastics and Packaging Distributors, one of the only two active plastic manufacturing companies locally, is seeking approval for its application on infant industry protection for its locally manufactured product, stretch hood film, to safeguard local industry from foreign domination.
Stretch hood film, a type of plastic used for packaging, has the stretchability and adaptability making it high tear and puncture-resistant.
To manufacture the product, Namibia Plastics, a subsidiary of Ohlthaver & List, opted to commission the best technology on the market – the Reifenhauser Evolution, valued at approximately N$28 million.
“Due to the functionality of the product, our company decided that we could not opt for an inferior machine as that could affect the properties of the end product which in turn could affect legal requirements,” José-Luis Pretorius, Namibia Plastics’ Manager: Quality Assurance and Compliance said.
Pretorius said Namibia Plastics and Packaging Distributors identified a gap in the manufacturing industry for products that were imported and decided to develop and grow the local economy through job creation by manufacturing plastic products locally.
However, he said, the domestic plastic manufacturing industry is faced by many challenges such as logistics, financing, lack of protection, product dumping, importation of raw materials due to non-availability locally manufactured materials, unfair competition from foreign suppliers influencing local competition, and pricing.
Upon invitation by the company’s CEO, Johan Struwig, the Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, on Wednesday, 07 April, paid a visit to the plastics plant at Brakwater, in the outskirts of Windhoek. There she commended the manufacturer for its commitment to the government’s Growth-at-Home Strategy.
“I am pleased to note the investment that Namibia Plastics has made, not only with regards to employment creation but especially investing in skills and knowledge transfer in our people to operate some of the most technologically advanced equipment for manufacturing of flexible film in the plastics industry,” Iipumbu said.
The Minister’s visit was complemented with the attendance of the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade Executive Director, Sikongo Haihambo and Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Michael Humavindu; Namibian Manufacturers Association, Chief Executive Officer, Ronny Varkevisser as well as Namibia Trade Forum Trade & Investment Analyst, Roberth Simon.
Namibia Plastics supplies plastic products to beverages, milling, sugar, salt, poultry, and fish processing, construction, and the cement sector, agriculture and general manufacturing industries. The company has plans to commission additional machinery in the next 5 years, which in turn will lead to an increase in employee numbers.