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Local diamond industry players pledge N$26 million in support of vaccine rollout plan

Local diamond industry players pledge N$26 million in support of vaccine rollout plan

The De Beers Group, Namdeb, Debmarine Namibia and Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) on 04 June pledged a combined N$26 million to support the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Namibia.

The support will be funded through a contribution of N$13 million from De Beers Group and a
combined N$13 million from Namdeb, Debmarine Namibia and NDTC.

The pledge will comprise financial support as well as a range of in-kind support to assist with the rollout of the vaccination campaign.

“In Namibia and around the world, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives, and vaccines provide us with a path towards health and economic recovery. I would like to pay tribute to the sterling leadership provided by Otto Shikongo in Debmarine Namibia, Riaan Burger in Namdeb and Brent Eiseb in NDTC, during these most trying times. Through a combination of financial support for national vaccine procurement and the provision of medical facilities, personnel, equipment and supplies, we are committed to playing a meaningful role in supporting Namibia’s national vaccine rollout and helping protect its citizens from the virus,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, and Chairperson of the Namdeb Holdings Board.

The contribution to the national vaccine rollout programme in Namibia follows the support Namibia
De Beers partnership have provided to date in Namibia to help respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2020, De Beers provided N$15 million in-kind contribution, enabling the procurement of a PCR testing machine, support for the establishment of border screening facilities (in partnership with the Anglo American Namibia foundation), and supporting the upgrade of the Lüderitz Hospital High Care Unit in partnership with Debmarine Namibia.

Namdeb played a pivotal role in supporting communities around Lüderitz, Aus and Rosh-Pinah, as households’ means were coming under pressure during the early stages of the pandemic, by providing food parcels and increasing school support for vulnerable families. Namdeb also provided isolation facilities in Lüderitz, which are used by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to isolate and treat Covid-19 positive patients.

Debmarine Namibia was the first private sector corporate to collaborate with the University of Namibia (UNAM) to place two fully functional PCR testing units at UNAM. This collaboration has dual benefits; strengthening the UNAM knowledge base on Covid-19 testing, as well as supporting the Debmarine Namibia operations and complementing national testing efforts. Thirty high-spec ventilators were also donated to the Ministry of Health and Social Services for placement at various hospitals.

Meanwhile, NDTC provided a range of support to all its employees and their families to ensure safe and continuous operations, albeit with stringent Covid-19 related measures in place. This ensured an ongoing sale of diamonds by Namdeb and Debmarine Namibia, enabling them to continue to generate economic benefit for Namibia during this period.

Bruce Cleaver, Chief Executive of De Beers Group, and chairman of the Namdeb Holdings Board.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys