Oshikango business not declining: Councillor

09 Dec 2014 17:00pm
ONGWEDIVA, 09 DEC (NAMPA) – The chairperson of the management committee of Helao Nafidi Town Council in the Ohangwena Region, Eliaser Nghipangelwa shot down allegations that business activities are downgrading at the town’s Oshikango suburb.
A section of the local community alleges that cross-border business between residents of Oshikango and Santa Clara in Angola has decreased, particularly due to the limited circulation of American Dollars in that suburb.
This limitation now prevents many Angolan nationals from flocking to Oshikango to do shopping as in the past.
The decline in business activities at Oshikango is said to have commenced some three years ago.
Speaking to Nampa at Ongwediva here this week, Nghipangelwa noted that the Oshikango business activities continue as usual.
“The Oshikango business has not been downgraded, but has just changed its products which were popular with our Angolan neighbours in the past years,” he charged.
According to him, the Oshikango-bonded warehouses, especially at the suburb’s export processing zone (EPZ), in the past vigorously engaged in the trade of Namibian-made beer and cooldrinks with their Angolan customers.
“This is no longer the case after similar trading facilities have been established at the border post of Santa Clara and elsewhere inside Angola after the civil war ended and peace has been restored in that country,” Nghipangelwa explained.
He admitted that those who made good business in trading with beer and cooldrink products from Namibia are now faced with a scaled down business undertaking at Oshikango.
Nghipangelwa said some car dealers are also experiencing less business.
“This is because the Angolan government has introduced a new law preventing outdated vehicles/cars to be exported from Oshikango into that country,” Nghipangelwa noted, adding that business is as usual for dealers of new cars.
He, however, sympathised with the owners of several garages that are stocked with old model cars, saying these owners suffer losses on the grounds that their vehicles are designed for the Angolan market and documented as such.
“Apart from being old-fashioned, these cars/vehicles are left hand-drive and, as such, they are not popular with Namibians,” the Helao Nafidi town’s management committee chairperson said.
Cars are expiring in garages at Oshikango, as it is not financially viable for such cars to be returned to places of origin.