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Oversupply of cement a concern for NCCI

Published on: 6 September 2018

The chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) in northern Namibia, Tomas Iindji says there is an oversupply of cement, which has become a concern both locally and within the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu).

He was speaking at a stakeholders' engagement dinner held last week at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair. He said the current economic situation in the country shows an oversupply of cement already, and a new player will mean the production of an excess product.

Iindji said the business community reiterates that with an oversupply of cement in the local Namibian market as well as overcapacity in Sacu, it is questionable if a second cement plant would be beneficial for the country, unless it focuses on producing for the Southern African Development Community. 

Currently, Namibia's cement consumption is 600 000 tonnes per year. Namibia's first cement factory, Ohorongo Cement, can produce one million tonnes per year.

Iindji said while people believe they need to monitor the prices since they do not know what sort of products will be coming into the country in terms of the new entrants in the cement industry, they should be aware that the NCCI is not in support of low-quality products. 

“We need to make sure that consumers or end-users are protected, and that new products do not further compromise our market, which is already suffering due to the depressed construction sector over the years,” he stressed.

Furthermore, over-capacity in the market should not see all other activities being neglected, such as corporate social responsibility.

He added that with the current economic pressure, they also believe that there will be no major infrastructure projects and no major private, capital expenditure. 

“We have looked at all the projects that have been proposed: all the municipalities, government, foreign direct investments, but we see nothing on the horizon in the next 24 months which presents a major problem for this sector,” he said. 

Iindji noted that there are also fears that most countries in southern Africa will adopt protectionist policies, which could be disastrous for Namibian manufacturers.

“We must make sure that as much as we encourage foreign direct investment to come to Namibia, we need to emphasise that the Namibian interest should come first”. 

– tuyeimo@namibian.com.na

Source: https://www.namibian.com.na/71093/read/Oversupply-of-cement-a-concern-for-NCCI

Categories: Media Releases

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