SPYL meets Geingob over Chinese tenders

WINDHOEK - Concerned over multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development tenders being awarded to Chinese contractors the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) on Monday had an audience at State House with President Hage to express their concern over the deals.

In essence the youth wing of the party spoke robustly about what they feel are economic opportunities being deprived to local contractors by multi-national Chinese contractors that have a competitive edge over Namibian contractors that have been out-bade specifically on huge construction projects.

Before meeting the president SPYL had also intended to join yesterday's Metal and Allied Workers' Union (Manwu), and the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) and the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) against the recent decision by government's decision to award the Hosea Kutako International Airport Dual Carriageway and the upgrading of the Railway line in Erongo Region to Chinese companies, but they later pulled out of yesterday's demonstration.

The Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Calle Schlettwein the Minister of Finance, John Mutorwa the Minister of Works and Transport and the Presidential Affairs Minister Martin Andjaba were among others who attended the closed-door meeting on Monday at State House.

SPYL Secretary Ephraim Nekongo said among the demands made in the consultative meeting with Geingob in his capacity, as Swapo President was to iron out internal party matters.

But New Era understands among the issues discussed was the Hosea Kutako Dual Carriage Road, the Walvis Bay- Kranzberg Railway Project that the SPYL feels should have all sub-contracts inclusive of plant hire and basic services awarded to Namibian-owned companies.

SPYL led by its secretary Ephraim Nekongo was of the sentiment there should be no importation of skills that are locally available as this deprives Namibian contractors of economic opportunities.

Further to the above all future government capital projects shall encapsulate sub-contracting Namibian wholly owned companies including Namibian joint ventures and such sub-contracting arrangements must be certified fit by the main sub-contractor for the future existence and continued enterprising, forthwith amongst others cease exportation of unprocessed timber, industrial minerals and dimensional stones, stated SPYL in a media release that it issued on Tuesday.

Nekongo mentioned that it was further unequivocally resolved for the establishment of a timber processing and value addition plant to create jobs and optimise the creation of a sustainable local enterprise and this should include industrial minerals and dimensional stones processing and value addition plant as well.

The Public Procurement Act is stagnating the local enterprises and fragmenting the economy, thus the Procurement Act and parts thereof be amended. Against the above resolve, the Swapo Party Youth League thus solicited the necessary basis or premise warranting our further participation in the planned march unnecessary, the secretary added.

Nekongo stated, We were enlightened in terms of what has really transpired to get us where we are now.

In response to what the leadership think of the SPYL request, Nekongo said the president listened to them and further asked that the consultative meetings proceed to Politburo level where SPYL will present its entire stand on issues affecting the nation.

Nekongo said the SPYL as the transmitting belt of the ruling party policies and programs they anticipate every Swapo card carrying member to honour and support its quest to make Namibia prosperous.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia