By Ndapewoshali Shapwanale
Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein on 23 May 2019 wrote to all ministers, governors, mayors and board chairpersons to inform them of the replacement of a 26 February 2019 notice regarding the procurement of meat and fresh produce from local suppliers north of the red line.
Ministry of Finance in this notice stated that meat, which includes beef, sheep, goat, pork, game, fish and poultry raised in Namibia are to be sourced from suppliers north of the red line and that it is discouraged to procure meat and fresh produce south of the redline unless supply is insufficient to satisfy the demand.
The agencies were further told that the only procurement of meat will be the Meat Board approved abattoirs until supply is insufficient for the demand.
The minister’s letter reads that the directive is in line with the Public Procurement Act 2015, that provides all public entities are directed to reserve certain procurement contracts for 100% Namibian owned Small Market Enterprises and entities which are 51% or more owned by Namibian citizens.
The minister wrote that the procurement of the products as discussed would be from Namibian manufacturers, producers and suppliers only and the procurement of goods not manufactured or produced in Namibia is only allowed in the event that locally produced goods are not available and all local suppliers have confirmed in writing that the goods are not available in Namibia.
Before acquiring from outside, proof of non-availability must be submitted to the public entity that wants to procure the products from outside.
While a number of farmers and associations are welcoming the directive, they state that they now no longer have to fight for customers.
They also said that this will boost the producers and manufacturers in the area in working hard towards meeting the demands of not only the north but also the rest of the country.
Farmer and fresh producer Tuhafeni Andreas told The Patriot that he sees the directive as an empowerment for not only the commercial farmers, but the communal farmers also.
“Where we as commercial farmers are not able to meet the demand, the communal farmers may also assist and in turn make some money for themselves,” Andreas said.
Moses Theofelus said that while he welcomes the directive, he hopes that it will not affect some of them who operate in the north of the red line, but also keep their life-stock south of the line.
“Some of us move our animals south of the red line, like the Omaheke region because of grazing and space. Does that mean I am considered as being south of the red line. I just need clarity on that, other then that I am fine with the directive,”
Schlettwein said that the directive was in effect from the day it was published and all public entities were instructed to comply.