Local business people call for flexibility in NEEEF

20 Jul 2016 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 20 JUL (NAMPA) – Local business personalities who attended the National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) stakeholder consultative meeting have proposed for some regulations or pillars in the proposed Bill to be optional.
The regulations include the economic ownership and management control and employment equity that were proposed as mandatory.
The business people made the proposal during the final round of stakeholder consultation meetings held in the capital on Wednesday.
The meeting was facilitated by Chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC), Yvonne Dausab and was held to obtain input from the local business community on a proposed bill that, amongst others, aims to regulate the involvement of previously disadvantaged persons (PDP) in any registered business.
The participants have expressed worry regarding the minimum requirements set on the economic ownership pillars that a business must be 25 per cent owned by PDPs and the business may score more points if a bigger share of the company is owned by PDPs.
“I am proposing that the pillar of ownership be optional because it might be difficult to get the qualified and suitable PDP to take up 25 per cent ownership,” said one of the unidentified participants.
He also suggested that the management control and employment equity pillar be flexible on the provided minimum requirement that 50 per cent of the management control be of PDP’s due to the lack of qualified personnel in some industries.
The participants also raised concern regarding the human resources and skills development pillar that requires businesses to spend 0.5 per cent of gross wages on the training of personnel in the company.
They complained about the lack of experts in Namibia to train the local people and that some companies have to import foreigners for skills transfer.
The participants were also concerned about the issue of training young people who after a few months move to other companies.
Other pillars of the Economic Empowerment Framework include entrepreneurial development and marketing; corporate social responsibility; value addition, technology and investment; and financing of transformation which are proposed as optional to local businesses.
The purpose of the NEEEF is to provide an overarching policy framework comprising the pillars of empowerment, aimed at promoting, facilitating and coordinating all economic empowerment policies of Government.
The proposed bill is designed to restructure the private business sector through empowerment pillars that are aimed at addressing a variety of needs of PDP. This framework is designed to supersede all other transformation and empowerment policies in the country.
The Office of the Prime Minister, in collaboration with the LRDC, has started with the final round of stakeholder consultations from 18 to 27 July 2016.
These platforms allow everyone a fair opportunity to react to the proposed bill, which is one of 40 Bills expected to be discussed in the National Assembly during the course of this year.