Otjombinde Councillor stands up for SMEs

15 Sep 2013 06:40
TALISMANUS, 15 SEP (NAMPA) - The Councillor for the Otjombinde Constituency in the Omaheke Region has called on Government to come to the rescue of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the constituency.
Otjombinde councillor Karii Marenga made the call during a familiarisation visit of the Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Angelika Muharukua to the constituency on Wednesday, saying SMEs are struggling to break even due to an ‘unlevel’ trading field.
He said upcoming and small business owners in the constituency have been battling various factors such as inadequate trading places, lack of proper marketing for their businesses and a weak customer base, which needs to be urgently addressed.
According to Marenga, many small businesses trading in meat and meat products often have to dispose of some of their products due to a lack of cooling facilities where they operate from.
He said the same applies to other businesses trading in perishable goods as such goods get spoiled and have to be disposed of as there is nowhere to store them during the day.
“There is a serious shortage in our constituency of proper stalls from which SMEs can sell their products. Those trading in foodstuff often have had to do so in the dust and wind, which has in turn raised serious health concerns,” he said.
Marenga noted that the construction of SME stalls in the constituency will better the chances of small traders to break even, whilst creating a more conducive environment for them to conduct business in.
“We need to market the constituency and indeed the entire region through the indigenous and traditional products that we specialise in here in the Omaheke Region. But to do that, our small businesses need to be supported to lessen the burden on them,” he indicated.
While a number of other constituencies in the Omaheke Region, such as Aminuis, Otjinene and Epukiro have SME stalls constructed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Otjombinde is yet to acquire similar structures.