Trouble in paradise as Namibians call for consumer boycott of Shoprite

29 Jul 2018 17:00pm

The boiling pot has finally tipped against Shoprite Namibia as citizens have come out to call for a boycott of Shoprite stores across the country following the supermarket’s move to sue 93 of its employees for N$4.3 million over a July 2015 strike.  

The southern African market continues to be the entity’s own paradise and last year it managed to grow turn over by 10.4% over twelve months inspite of the country’s bad economic conditions. 

The sudden drastic move to cripple the company’s profits by shunning to shop from it comes in the heels of The Villager having recently reported instances of abuse and unfair firings disclosed by aggrieved workers.

Speaking to The Villager, political analyst Ndumbah Kamwanya said that Shoprite bigwigs were exploiting workers because they have been having it nice with the ruling elite and thus no action had been taken against them. 

“I think it’s important that we send a message out there to any other company that this thing of exploiting workers has reached a boiling point, honestly speaking. We have to know that Shoprite and all these other companies benefited from colonialism and apartheid, they come a long way.”

“So they are not really contributing to reconciliation that the government has pronounced by exploiting workers. So you will think that they will be more careful and more uplifting and try to solve the poverty situation that we find ourselves in. Poverty is a historical issue,” he said.

Speaking on his behalf, Kamwanyah said his tolerance had been tested highlighting that the core of the country’s independence is the condition of the workers.

Does this boycott speak to the effect that Shoprite has to ship out, The Villager wanted to establish: “They should set their house in order. No one wants them to go forever. They should play a fair game in contributing to the well being and welfare of the Namibian people,” said Kamwanya.

He said the company is offside in failing to recognise that its profit base is being held by the very same poor people they are mishandling.

Parliamentarian, Jan van Wyk appealed for the nation to stand together in solidarity with the workers adding that it is a known fact that foreign companies do exploit Namibian workers.

“We will issue a statement tomorrow to request politicians to be a part of the boycott of Shoprite. For an employer like Shoprite to victimise workers, and we know that labour relations in that entity and others are not that good, it’s a problem. We can’t allow that,” he said. 

Consumer activist, Milton Shaanika also said as a consumer he had also taken a decision to not shop at Shoprite because of the way they treat their employees.

“Companies must understand that consumers make decisions on their buying based on corporate governance,” he said. 

Political activist Job Amupanda could not be available for a comment but taking to social media he said, “I am not entering Shoprite until further notice. Do not go to Shop “right”. If you do you are Shopping “Wrong”.