After close observation of the international markets, the DTA of Namibia has raised concerns specifically on the precipitous decline in two major stock indexes in China, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, and the Shanghai Composite index.
In a press statement issued by the party yesterday, the party stated that the Hang Seng represents mostly companies that predate the Hong Kong territory’s reversal to the People’s Republic of China, and as such, have a much longer history than most mainland Chinese companies, and therefore greater exposure to trade in Europe and the United States.
“Our concern is seated in the fact that the Chinese Government and Chinese parastatal companies are major development partners of the Namibian Government. With some analysts predicting a so-called hard landing for the Chinese economy, projecting that growth will decline to around 5%, there is a serious risk to the continued involvement of China in Namibian projects”, read the statement.
While the party realises the chances of a complete divestment from the Namibian territory is extremely slim, it fears that even a moderate downscaling of Chinese involvement in local projects can have significant repercussions for the local economy.
The DTA says it realises that the Chinese government is the main financing and construction partner for the N$ 3 billion expansion project for Walvis Bay harbour. “This project is not carried by the Namibian government through the budget process and were it to be downscaled or delayed, it will have a very serious impact on developing the full potential of the Walvis Bay Corridor. The financial burden to complete the project will then fall on the Namibian government, diluting the budget allocations to other development projects which are of higher priority.”
The party made reference to Swakop Uranium and the Husab Uranium Mine which it believes, “even a suspension of this project will have a major impact on employment.”
In addition, the party mentions the Chinese’s major role in road construction, saying that if join-venture companies run out of funds, the full costs of all these road projects will revert to the Namibian government.
“We are cognisant of the fact that all emerging markets are under duress following the turmoil in international markets over the past three weeks. It is our contention that this most recent bout of international financial stability can be attributed, in part, to attempts by the Chinese government to stabilise its own markets. We therefore argue that there is a clear and present danger that large-scale infrastructure and resource projects in Africa can come under threat if the Chinese government is forced to disinvest or even divest completely. If this happens, Namibia will not escape the consequences.”
The statement concluded that the local economy is running on liquidity created by the Namibian government through the liberal funding available in the local capital market.
“It is our contention that the deficit on the trade balance is largely caused by the massive import of capital goods intended for the many large-scale infrastructure projects currently underway.”
Courtesy New Era
The business community in the North has called on the government to intervene in the legal process of estate administration in order to ensure that more local enterprises outlive their original owners.
During a meeting with government officials at the Oshana Regional Office in Oshakati last week, NCCI northern branch chairman Tomas Iindji said the current Administration of Estate Act, dating back to 1965, is cumbersome and too costly in terms of administration.
Speaking in the presence of President Hage Geingob, Iindji called on the country’s leadership to raise public awareness of the importance of estate planning and to bring about ways to speed up the process of executing deceased estates.
“Estate planning is not an engrained practice in our society, particularly in the northern regions,” Iinji said.
“When our business owners pass away, their businesses fall dormant, operations cease, and the economic value diminishes while the court system plays its role in sorting everything out and issues the executorships.”
He said many second-generation entrepreneurs are still ignorant of the types of paperwork and other procedures to be followed in keeping their deceased parents’ commercial interests afloat.
“These are major deterrents. If we want to encourage more business people to use the proper channels to transfer their ownership after death, then we must streamline this process with the courts,” Iinji said.
The NCCI branch chair also questioned government’s intentions with the Oshakati Deeds Office, intended to facilitate property transfers at the town, which he said had been standing dormant since its inauguration in 2005.
“The Ministry of Land Reform must make this a priority. The costs have already been incurred.
“The ministry must now staff that office with qualified people to attend to the land-reform needs and title deed transfers for Oshana and the neighbouring northern regions,” Iinji
The government delegation promised that these issues would receive attention when parliament reconvenes in September to discuss a number of legislative reforms.
A Korean construction company based in Suiderhof has made the residential area its dumping ground for discarded animal carcasses and offal.
Namibian Sun was called out early yesterday morning to a construction site at the Suiderhof military base in Windhoek.
A concerned citizen informed the newspaper that animal parts, human faeces, leaking water pipes and general filth lined the outskirts of the construction workers’ barracks.
Upon arrival at the public area located next to the construction site, which is also regularly used by Suiderhof residents, Namibian Sun found intestines strewn littering the ground.
Also thrown over the fence that separates the construction site from the public area were several dog paws, fish heads, a rabbit foetus, kudu horns and what seemed to be a either a dead cat or rabbit in a drum just outside the fence.
Human faeces and other rubbish littered the ground and water leaks could be seen at several places from the fence.
Bones were scattered across the area while rabbits were being kept in cages on the construction site and cats were seen walking inside the fence.
While Namibian Sun was walking around taking photos of the shocking findings, some workers were seen apparently tidying up the construction site. However, they were picking up sticks from the ground, not in the least bit worried about the rubbish lying around.
The resident who informed Namibian Sun about the conditions at the company said he had reported it several times to the City Police and the Windhoek SPCA but nothing was done.