First vehicle off the assembly one in W/Bay before Christmas

Floris Steenkamp

Trade Minister vents his frustrations over Customs red tape delaying the car assembly plant’s completion

The first completely assembled Peugeot will be rolling off the production line at a vehicle assembly plant in Walvis Bay by year-end, vowed trade Minister Tjekero Tweya on Wednesday. That is despite official red tape hampering the process to establish the plant.
Tweya was addressing an audience at the official opening of the 12th Erongo Business and Tourism Expo in Walvis Bay and used the opportunity to vent his frustrations over Namibian customs red tape which he feels are delaying the process for the establishment of the assembly plant.
Last Sunday the first consignment of plant and machinery arrived for this vehicle assembly plant. The plant will be established in the new industrial area.
However, according to Tweya Customs and Excise refused to release the consignment, as there are import levies payable.
“We said no. We said this is the wrong mindset. We contacted the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Finance to intervene”, explained Minister Tweya.
Once the levy issue was resolved, the process hit a new snag. Customs again refused to release the consignment. This time saying the warehouse (which is actually the factory building) was incomplete and it would expose the consignment to possible dam-age or theft.
“We are being kept hostage here. We had the Nama’s in that building. What is in-complete there?” fumed Tweya.
“This behaviour must end. That consignment was only released after I intervened by phoning the Minister of Finance (Calle Schlettwein). This behaviour cost us job opportunities”, explained Tweya.
The Minister compared the behaviour of customs officials in this particular event to economic sabotage.
“Your days are numbered”, the Minister warned Government officials in general whom he feels are incompetent and un-productive and who are hampering Namibia’s economic growth, job creation and attracting foreign direct invest-ment.
Note: the vehicle assembly plant is a joint venture by Groupe PSA and Namibia’s Auas Motors which is a subsidiary of Nictus Holdings. PSA purchased General Motors in 2017. Auas Motors represents the General Motors brand in Namibia.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login