CoW urges businesses to register

WINDHOEK: The City of Windhoek has urged unregistered business owners to register with the local authority, as failure to do so could result in a penalty.

The City of Windhoek (CoW)’s Manager for Corporate Communications, Marketing, Tourism and Customer Care, Josua Amukugo said during a media briefing here on Wednesday the City has noted with concern the slow registration and renewal of business establishments in Windhoek.

He said the CoW’s records indicate that there are 16 840 businesses registered in the jurisdiction of Windhoek, but only 5 836 of those are valid and operating with a Certificate of Fitness.

Amukugo said that although information-sharing platforms with the relevant stakeholders including the business community have been created, the registration of businesses and renewal of registration are being conducted at a ‘snail’s pace’.

He said that the City will embark upon extensive information and educational campaigns to sensitise the public about the importance of ensuring that businesses operating in Windhoek are operating in accordance with the laws and regulations set.

Campaigns will include raising public awareness and educating the business community to register their businesses with the CoW, encourage businesses to renew their registration annually, as well as to create awareness on the impact of businesses operating without a valid Certificate of Fitness or Registration to ensure compliance with the stipulated legislation.

“Those that are operating unlicensed businesses should be warned that the consequence of operating a business without a valid certificate of fitness or registration constitutes an offense, as it contravenes the legal requirement as stipulated by the law,” he said.

Contravention of the provisions of the regulations relating to the registration of businesses carries a penalty upon conviction of a fine not exceeding N.dollars 2 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, said Amukugo.

“If there are businesses that have ceased operations, business owners are required to inform the city in writing,” he urged.