N$4.3b set aside for developmental projects in Erongo
Government has set aside N$4.3 billion to support the Erongo Regions’ Mega Projects for the 2015/16 to 2017/18 financial years.
Projects being undertaken or in the pipeline in the Erongo Region in the current Mid-term expenditure framework (MTEF) include a new road to be built between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay worth N$1.3 billion while it costs N$537 million to upgrade the existing Swakopmund-Walvis Bay road.
In addition, it costs N$747 million to upgrade the road between Karibib, Usakos and Swakopmund, N$156 million upgrading the Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Kamanjab road while it would take N$447 million to upgrade the Walvis Bay Airport.
Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein said the Farm Land Purchase in Erongo for Land Reform was N$592 million, adding that the Namibian Navy Headquarters in Walvis Bay costs N$396 million.
“Servicing of residential erven at Swakopmund was N$386 million, Namibian Air Force Headquarters at Karibib was N $348 million, and the Desalination plant at Swakopmund was N$172 million,” said Schlettwein.
Schlettwein added that the service of residential erven at Walvis Bay would require N$157 million, and the Testing & Inspection Centre for NSI at Walvis Bay would be worth N$137 million.
“Service of residential erven at Henties Bay is worth N$124 million whereas upgrading the Railway Network in Erongo is worth N$123 million,” said Schlettwein.
Schlettwein reiterated these are the projects being planned and will partly be funded through the MTEF for the period April 1, 2015 to 31 March 2018 in the Erongo Region.
“These are major projects and I trust that the local business community will be fully participating in the supply chains involved with these projects. The question, however, is how we can empower the local community – and SMEs in particular – not only to enjoy the fruits of these projects once completed, but also to participate in the planning and construction of these significant development projects,” said Schlettwein.
Schlettwein stressed the advocacy of vision 2030 which is to promote self-employment by creating the enabling environment for the SME sector, including access to loans for micro and macro enterprises, as well as promoting new SME industries and improve financing schemes for new businesses by reworking current banking systems.
“NDP4 acknowledges that Namibia has a critical mass of knowledge workers and that SMEs contribute at least 30% to GDP and are responsible for a significant reduction in unemployment. However, according to NDP4, SMEs face a number of obstacles, such as access to finance for enterprises, particularly for start-ups and for micro and small-scale enterprises,” added Schlettwein.
In order to access finance, SMEs key limiting factors are high bank user charges and fees, high transaction costs, low levels of financial literacy and, partly, a lack of appropriate and innovative finance products (e.g. microfinance) and instruments.
Schlettwein noted that in addition to these, SMEs often lack the necessary collateral to qualify for bank loans, saying, this implies that SMEs are unable to buy equipment to invest in or expand their businesses in order to produce more goods and services, and to employ more people.
“Their source of capital for expansion is often limited to profit and inputs from family and friends,” said Schlettwein.
The Namibian Industrial Policy states that the robustness of the SME sector as a vehicle for job creation and economic development is again being amplified in the on-going global economic crisis.
Schlettwein said the SME sector is recognised universally as a key force in driving forward economic development, adding, that SMEs are active in virtually every sector, either as direct providers of services or goods or, alternatively, as component parts of complex supply chains, and a significant percentage of the world’s economically active population derives its living from SME sector employment.
Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development under the Product Development and Group Purchasing Project aims to enable SMEs to procure goods and services in a more effective manner and to meet product quality and standards required by the formal market.
Schlettwein said it further creates linkages between SMEs and buyers, as well as SMEs and production input and technology suppliers.
“The project also includes tailor made market outlets in the Namibia Trade House to sell locally produced products by SMEs and increase export of high value added products. The main beneficiaries are Emerging and existing SME manufacturers in selected priority areas to be piloted,” Schlettwein added.
Courtesy The Villager