Namdeb aligns procurement spend to benefit Namibian suppliers
Namdeb stated this week, as one of the leading mining houses, it remains committed to Namibian suppliers, treating them as their procurement partner of choice except where other considerations are at play.
“[Namdeb] will procure goods and services from within Namibia except where there is an advantage in terms of availability, service, quality, price, technical expertise, stock holding and other factors in procuring such goods or services from outside Namibia,” said Namdeb Brand Manager, Pauline Thomas, in a statement to the Economist to address the issue of local and preferred suppliers
In its annual review, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia reported that Namdeb had spent approximately N$1.6 billion to acquire goods and services from Namibian registered businesses for its previous financial year. Namdeb’s financial year starts on 1 January and ends 31 December.
According to Thomas, Namdeb’s discretionary measurable spend in Namibia equalled 84% of its total procurement spend. “19% thereof was procured from businesses owned and managed by previously disadvantaged Namibians.”
“It needs to be noted that the previously disadvantaged Namibian spend is based on ownership and management information disclosed by suppliers and has not been audited. The onus to update their credentials are with the suppliers,” said Thomas. The absence of a formalized [independent] regulatory framework did not allow for further auditing by Namdeb” she explained.
“Information on spend with businesses owned and operated by women are not recorded,” she added.
In the absence of a legal framework aimed at empowering previously disadvantaged suppliers, she explained that the Namdeb Foundation had fostered the growth and development of previously disadvantaged suppliers, in particular small and medium enterprises. The Namdeb Foundation is the mining giant’s social corporate vehicle.
Said Thomas “We do not currently have a dedicated policy pertaining to this. However, through our enterprise development scheme under the Namdeb Foundation we have been illustrating our commitment towards small and medium enterprises, particularly those owned by previously disadvantaged individuals.”
“Since 2005, we give special attention to assisting such small and medium enterprises which have or may have the potential to be fitted into the company’s supply chain, providing products or services required by Namdeb’s operations,” she said.
“The company’s contribution towards the empowerment of these small and medium enterprise owners does not only centre around providing financial assistance to establish and or grow the business, but also the application of a close hand-holding approach by the Namdeb Foundation, that involves intensive monitoring, training and business advice.
Our future assistance to viable small and medium enterprises intends to concentrate even more on providing aid to previously disadvantaged owners’ businesses that could be linked with the company’s supply chain,” she said.
Two successful start-up businesses that are part of the current Namdeb list of suppliers are Evaflo Investments and Okovikenga Printing. Evaflo Investments CC provides cleaning and catering services to Namdeb’s corporate head office and Okovikenga Printing Works CC provides printing services to the mine operations.
“Namdeb management is committed to the adoption of policies and practices that contribute to addressing past imbalances, contribute directly to the empowerment of previously disadvantaged Namibians, promote sustainable economic growth and the integration of previously disadvantaged Namibians into the main stream economy according to commercially accepted principles,” she added when asked about an empowerment framework aimed to bolster such suppliers.
Said Thomas “Namdeb subscribes to the Chamber of Mines of Namibia charter which seeks to address legacy challenges.” The charter is yet to be released. On plans to fast track the number of disadvantaged suppliers, Thomas said, “No definite targets are set. We hope to maintain and or improve on last year’s achievement.”