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Prioritize local manufacturing – Kandorozu

Zebaldt Ngaruka

EPUKIRO – Democratic National Unity Organization presidential candidate Vetaruhe Kandorozu is concerned about foreign dominance in Namibia’s manufacturing industry.

Kandorozu, who is vying for the party’s top portfolio, said the proliferation of Chinese and South African manufacturing companies is taking jobs away from local manufacturers.

According to the National Planning Commission, Namibia’s manufacturing sector is dominated by fish, meat processing and other manufacturing, including non-ferrous base metals, processed metals, diamond processing, leather and related products, non-metallic minerals, etc.

Last June, Cabinet resolved to ban the export of Namibia’s critical minerals, including raw crushed lithium, graphite, cobalt, manganese and rare earths, in a bid to create more local jobs and more local value.

Reinforcing this point, in August 2023, during the official opening of the 2023 Mining Exhibition and Conference, the late President Hage Geingob told government ministries to work faster on implementation modalities to accelerate the realization of mineral beneficiation of Namibia for sustainable economic and social development. .

The country is positioning itself to deliver clean, affordable energy to the global economy through the production of green hydrogen.

The discovery of large oil reserves in the Orange Basin and the development of the gas sector as transitional forms of energy will dramatically change the economic landscape of Namibia as well as the socio-economic conditions of Namibian citizens.

Kandorozu told New Era that local manufacturers will be one of the key factors in addressing unemployment in the country.

“Our party will provide subsidies and incentives to people who want to venture into manufacturing in Namibia when the government takes office,” Kandorozu said.

Kandorozu, who was also a councilor for the Okakarara constituency, mainly highlighted that plastic toys can be produced in the country.

“It is something we should not consider. Nudo will provide subsidies and equipment to these local entrepreneurs. The government will provide 50% of the subsidies, while the other half will come from the entrepreneur,” he said.

Kandorozu added that Chinese companies can coexist with local ones, but priority should be given to local manufacturers and equip them with all the necessary equipment.

The former councilor is opposed to Namibia exporting its zinc from the Scorpion zinc mine in southern Namibia to South Africa, as long as there is the possibility of adding value in the country.

“We have markets in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) where countries can buy our locally produced products,” he said.

The politician also questioned why Namibia should import batteries from China while Namibia has lithium.

“Our Nudo government will stop this trend. Why should we allow these products to go to China and buy from them?” Kandorozu asked.

He added that it is necessary to change some policies in that regard.

“The problem is that we are on the receiving end. Imagine we have tailoring companies, but we are importing t-shirts and caps from South Africa while we can do it here in our own country,” he stated.

Kandorozu said Namibia has the capacity to produce cotton and all the materials for clothing can be purchased in the country, which will be good to improve the local market economy.

“Those are interventions, and our government will be responsible for changing the current status quo,” he added.

Record

Regarding voter registration, which is currently carried out in the country, the former councilor urged eligible voters to register.

“All citizens exercise their democratic rights through voting, and Namibia lacks civic education on nationality and pride programs. The goal of this program is to educate people about the importance of voting and loving your country,” Kandorozu said.

So far, more than 300,000 voters have registered to vote. The voter registration process will be extended until August 1, 2024.

He further added that the people of Namibia do not demand to be cared for, but rather wait to be cared for, and that is why many depend on the government.

“Swapo became arrogant and now is the time for people to vote against Swapo, and we must start advocating from our homes and tell everyone to register for the next election. There is only one month left,” he added.

When asked what he brings to the table as Nudo’s presidential contender, Kandorozu told this publication that Nudo’s ideology is not well known.

“We will do a thorough investigation and work with regional councils to collect complaints at all levels for Parliament. We will turn those complaints into motions in the chambers,” she said.

He added: “It will be a challenge, but we will be happy if the community sees the need and participation is not a problem.”

Kandorozu also hinted that Nudo will change his name after the election.

He stated that unemployment remains a priority on the party’s agenda.

Kandorozu believes that vocational training centers and incubation centers will also be ideal to reduce unemployment in the country.

“We need to have these centers in all regions and create employment for our graduates,” he said.

Hunger in the Omaheke region is also a concern for Nudo, Kandorozu said.

The party’s current president, Esther Utjiua Muinjangue, is not running to retain the party’s top job.

Kandorozu is vying for the top portfolio against former Namibia Football Association general secretary Barry Rukoro, former Windhoek city mayor Joseph Uapingene and Aminuis constituency councilor Peter Kazongominja.

Kazongominja is the current vice president of Nudo.

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(Kandorozu)

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