New Namibian president to bring back Procurement Bill that will 'deliberately favour local business'

6 May 2015

The Namibian president has said a Procurement Bill will be reintroduced to parliament.

Giving his state of the nation address, president Hage Geingob, said the Bill would be brought back as soon as possible. It was withdrawn during its last passage through parliament in October 2013.

“This Bill should deliberately favour local business especially the previously disadvantaged,” said Geingob.

In his address, Geingob said solid progress in essential services such as housing and sanitation, electricity, telecommunications, and transport had been made, but that taking care of them started with procurement.

“Corrupt practices in the awarding of infrastructure tenders are costly and take away from the enabling function that such infrastructure should play,” he said. “It can thus not be condoned as it retards our development as a nation.”

He added he wanted the state to have a more active role in the economy, noting that the “invisible hand” of the market did not always act as it should.

“Therefore, restriction of ownership over our natural resources will also be explored and enforced,” said Geingob, who was elected in March.

Geingob also said the completion of the Retail Charter, which includes supporting domestic suppliers, should be fast tracked and finalised by the end of the year.

“It is unacceptable that, a quarter century after independence, locally produced goods are denied shelf space in retail outlets,” he said.

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