SACU arrangement not fair – NCCI

The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) has called for greater protection of the country’s fledgling industries that are at the mercy of the big South African companies.
NCCI President Taara Shaanika said his organisation has supported the granting of infant industry protection for some of the sectors in Namibia, as this will allow them to take off.
He said the has realised that for as long as Namibia is part of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) where only one member out of the five-member union has a developed industry and manufacturing capacity, it will be difficult for the other four member states to develop manufacturing industries because this member [ South Africa] has a habit of dumping products therefore other member states are not able to develop their own industries.
“A good example is the chicken price. You can go to any South African retailer in South Africa and you will see that the prices you get there are the same prices that we get here in Namibia. Clearly you cannot sell the same chicken at the same price that you are selling at source. You can’t sell at the same price that you sell in Namibia because you have transport costs to add into Namibia. Clearly they don’t want Namibian chicken to take off. So it will be difficult for the industry to take off as long as we are members of SACU. I am not saying we must leave SACU but there is a need for some degree of fairness and fair competition in the SACU market. At the moment it’s skewed; some guys are allowed to dump their products.”