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Mining sector to be hard-hit by COVID-19

Mining sector to be hard-hit by COVID-19

Business Reporter

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the coronavirus pandemic will cause a steep decline on global economic growth, with a reduction of 0.5% to 1% in economic growth projected.


Namibia will be amongst the countries affected as it is projected that the country’s primary sector, especially mining, will take a beating from the outbreak of the virus within its borders, as well as globally.


This was revealed by the Minister of Finance, Calls Schlettwein, who stated that smaller economies like Namibia will be most hard hit by the pandemic due to a trade and services reducing.


“The mining sector in Namibia will be most affected by COVID-19 as some parts or components needed in the production process of raw materials are not available from China. This has disrupted the supply chain,” Schlettwein stated.


coronavirus pandemic decline global economic growth
STEEP DECLINE: Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein – Photo: Informanté News


Asked whether this will result in the closure of some mining operations in the country, Schlettwein stated that the primary commodities demand is weakening and as such, prices are dropping.


He, however, stated that this will not have a severe impact and he expects operations to stay afloat.


He further added that other sectors of the economy affected are the stock markets, tourism, and transport sectors.


Schlettwein stated that a total of N$124 million has been set aside to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.


Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste, echoed Schlettwein’s concerns, and stated that parastatals such as the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) and the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) have been hard hit by the outbreak and that government within the upcoming budget will set aside funds to mitigate the losses made by these public enterprises.