Although it is yet to be passed as law, the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework(NEEEF) has already started to impact some local businesses. One of them being Element Engineering Consultants that recently unveiled new partners at a low-key ceremony held at its headquarters in Windhoek, saying the additional partners show the company supports government’s calls for increased local ownership in companies. The event was graced by some of the developers who work on collaborative projects, the City of Windhoek stakeholders and Namibia University of Science and Technology lecturers who have taught some of the engineers that are now employed at the company. Element Namibia is 100% owned by Namibian shareholders, who have a deep commitment to Namibia and its inhabitants.
Its journey to attain new partners started when the Namibian government embarked on the promotion of NEEEF and Element Namibia saw it fit to act proactively on the matter. Although NEEEF has not yet been finalised, the company said it forged the partnership to comply nonetheless because it realised that the company’s objectives align with those of the Government’s, according to NEEEF. “Element does not want to be followers, we want to be leaders in this transformation,” Element Managing Director, Braam Cilliers, said. He added: “Today is really about these young people who have shown excellent work skills and willingness to learn in Element Namibia. I am pleased to stand here today and introduce them to you as our new partners. I must say that the workshops that were held to sensitise everything have helped immensely.” Having had a relationship with the Namibian University of Science and Technology (then the Polytechnic of Namibia) for a good number of years, Element Namibia has taken it upon itself to not only offer permanent jobs to some of these students but, to also make them partners within the company.
Cilliers further stated that real empowerment is selecting shareholders from the ranks of own staff members, “When we considered our options, we felt that real empowerment would not be to simply find well connected PDP shareholders but rather to select from the ranks of our own staff members.” He said Element Namibia stands ready to face Namibia’s challenges, as it braces for a fruitful future. “To all our remaining staff members, this does not mean that the doors are closed for any one of you, as a matter of fact, the new Element Namibia will be able to take in NEW shareholders with a lot more ease. This process was not easy but we have learned a lot and we are ready for the challenges,” he concluded.
The newly introduced partners are: Martha Victor (who has been with Element Namibia since November 2008), Japhta Swartbooi (founding member of Element Namibia), Clinton Payne (started with Element South Africa and was later seconded to Element Namibia, he later decided to stay in Namibia), Showan Wurms (started with Element Namibia in September 2009), Junias Set (joined Element Namibia in 2016 and trained as a roads engineer). Others include Peet Bezuidenhoudt, Kenny Britz, and Ndeutala Iita, who are all shareholders.