RA affirms commitment to local empowerment

04 Jul 2013 05:00

Roads Authority has re-affirmed its commitment to promoting local procurement through engaging small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

In a press statement, the parastatal’s chief executive officer, Conrad Lutombi said they have, in the past, given preference to SMEs in road construction and that the trend is expected to continue.

"Since the establishment of RA in the year 2000, we have made significant progress in the development of SMEs in Namibia.

“To illustrate that RA supports SMEs with tenders for maintenance such as blading of gravel roads, maintenance of bitumen surfaced roads and cleaning of road services etc, “hesaid.

His remarks come in the recent wake of media reports on the company’s links to small enterprises.

There have also been recent fears that the country does not have enough expertise in road construction and maintenance because of the alarming shortages of civil and technical engineers.

The situation - shortage of engineers - has been so dire that the Government has, in some cases, been pushed to acquire engineers from Zimbabwe and other countries while pushing the training of the professionals in the country.

The recent engagement of outside expertise came recently when the Ministry of Works engaged over 60 engineers from Zimbabwe.

Lutombi argues that in the operations of the company SME support has been prioritised and that the company have been involved in continuous training of small business in the past, a feat that he adds will continue in the foreseeable future.