Pipe Making Factory Opens

Rundu now manufactures pipes to cater for the growing demand for different kinds of pipes not only in Kavango East but for the entire Namibia and later for export.

The N$9 million Kavango Pipes was unveiled yesterday by the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa.

Speaking at the event, Mutorwa said the invitation given to him to bear witness as well as to officiate at what he referred to as an auspicious, historic and memorable occasion.

“I am happy to be here as a proud rate payer of the fast growing, strategically located and green agricultural town of Rundu but also as a public servant, as the minister of agriculture water and forestry,” Mutorwa said.

He further commended the Vermeulen family for the decision they took to invest in Kavango East, particularly in the town of Rundu, adding he was sure in the long run, their investments in the factory in one way or the other, may meaningfully contribute to the economic order.

“The economic order of Namibia shall be based on the principles of a mixed economy, with the objective of securing economic growth, prosperity and a life of human dignity for all Namibians,” said the agriculture minister.

He further appealed to local people to make use of the factory especially those that own hardware stores and also the community to stop with the negative attitude, saying that some might even not want to support the plant.

“They will say, no we will buy were we used to buy in the past and so on and the factory will even end up closing. People, we must try to convince others to buy from here because of the strategic location of Rundu many big companies are also planning to set up here,” he said.

The pipe manufacturing factory currently employs 30 Rundu residents according to its manager, Willem Vermeulen, who together with his father, Vic Vermeulen are the owners of the plant.

“The 30 workers were recruited straight from the streets and have been given training and they are getting on-the-job training,” Mutorwa said at the launch of the pipe factory.

Willem Vermeulen told New Era in an interview after the official opening that they decided to open the factory in Rundu after the agriculture minister requested them to consider opening a pipe-making factory in Rundu.

“Because of our factory in Ondangwa, Mutorwa approached us and said why don’t we try to develop this side and that is what motivated us, we bought the building some years ago and started re-building the old bread factory into the pipe factory in December last year and we extended it,” he told New Era.

According to him they have already started selling pipes in Rundu and soon if resources allow, they will consider the export market in neighbouring Angola and elsewhere in Africa.

“In the future, we want to expand, we want to do borehole casing pipes, injection moulders, make fittings and bigger pipes and buy all the machinery for which we will be able to provide over 300 jobs,” enthused the manager.

“We produce different sewerage pipes (vent and sewer pipes), electrical pipes and pressure pipes. We have invested N$ 9 million in the factory and we also got some financial assistant from Bank Windhoek,” he said.

Source : New Era

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