THE business community in the northern areas is still aggrieved by foreign businesses that come into the country fronting as big investors, but who end up running retail shops.
Local business owners are now pointing an accusing finger at the government and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).
“This matter was repeatedly brought to the attention of the NCCI and the trade and industry ministry for more than 20 years, but our plight was completely ignored,” they said.
A group of local business owners held an urgent meeting in Ongwediva on Sunday to renew their plea for government intervention. Their main grievance is the mushrooming of Chinese and Indian businesses that negatively affect local business owners.
The urgent meeting was held following reports that a Chinese businessman is planning to enter the brickmaking business and has already submitted his application to the Oshakati town council, attracting a furious response from local brickmakers.
In the era of COVID-19 where businesses have taken hard losses, locals feel more affected by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
They then suggested for local business owners to drop NCCI and better form their own new brand association that speaks for them and for their interest.
Prominent businessman Erastus Shapumba better known as “Chicco” said that is better to drop NCCI and come up with a better organization that speaks for them than continuing to engage the same people over and over at NCCI.
“We should just resign from NCCI and come up with our own independent organization,” he said.
He said that NCCI is not an organization, but a way of putting business people in slavery.
Shapumba stated that foreigners are not a problem, but people that represent the local business communities are the ones not looking after the interest of local business people.
“Foreign businesses just need regulation that guides them all,” he said, adding that Namibian business owners are the ones suffering despite having the interest of the country.
At the same time, they had requested the government to protect them against foreign invasion in business for the protection of entrepreneurial.
They also claimed that the NCCI is doing nothing more than just collecting membership fees instead of being the voice of the business community in the country.
The issue of foreigners flocking to the country remains a long-overdue matter that needs to be addressed by the government.
Another local businessman, Ndali Nenkavu stated that the situation is a national concern, not only affecting the business communities but Namibian at large.
“The upcoming generation is going to suffer the most if nothing has been done,” he said.
Nenkavu stated that there are Chinese and Indians in this country, who were expected to come in the country as investors, but not as micro or small business as it’s currently happening.