What whites say…
The following comments were made by white business personalities, who run different sizes of business and who asked for anonymity.
Encourage businesses who do value addition, within Namibia, to reduce imports and dependence on foreign countries, as well as job creation, by providing tax rebates.
Encourage SMEs. Do not restrict them by implementing policies such as this one, which will basically “blackmail” businesses which are owned by previously advantaged to have an elitist previously disadvantaged member who demands an exorbitant fee, to remain a member, otherwise the SME may lose licenses, etc.
Make taxation easier for SMEs. Find a way to reduce elitism, for example if this policy were to be implemented it should ensure that a person may serve on no more than two management boards, and therefore no other previously disadvantaged person has gained anything.
Although I think I understand what the government aims to do, we are very disconcerted about this framework. In my opinion the framework will in its current format only serve as another form of tax and burden on businesses. More importantly, I am almost certain that the truly poor are the very last to benefit as this population group simply does not have the money to fork out millions to buy 25 percent of a business and neither have the abilities to perform as board members/management.
First, concerning the reference to ‘all enterprises’, I suppose this then includes farming business and one-man-shows as well? Or may I understand the reference to the AA Act mentioning 25 employees as lower limit also relevant to the NEEEF framework? If not, how should a one-man show deal with this?
Second, I am not sure how to understand this, but in terms of financing a business that is not NEEEF compliant, will banks be expected to refuse a loan/bank account? Similarly, will they cut off my phone if I am not compliant?
I thought that after 25 years of independence it would be high time for looking at phasing out Affirmative Action and empowerment drives, in order to focus on the real challenges of the future. If 25 years were not enough to bring about significant changes, then there is something wrong elsewhere. I think that we Namibian desperately want to utilise and promote all available skills, regardless of the ethnic group who has these skills to offer. We need to focus on the future and how to apply our minds in tackling the challenges. Only by doing so, regardless of race, gender or decent, will we be able to bring about some widespread improvement in per capita earnings and upliftment of the poor masses.The amounts required will run into many billions. Or is the intent to launch widespread de-facto expropriation? The damage to local businesses and those owned by foreigners will suffer severely, with dire results for the national economy. The poor people will suffer first and most from these effects.
Investors from outside the country investing millions will not easily part with 25% of their shareholding. We should actually create an environment where people and companies will be prepared to take more risk and invest more freely without all these barriers. How many Chinese companies have a previously disadvantaged shareholding and management? What is good for the Namibian should also be good for the Chinese.
Who in their right minds would invest in expanding or forming new businesses with the new NEEEF on top of the current Labour Act? We are totally overregulated.
In my opinion, the policy as it is formulated currently would be detrimental to the Namibian economy. I feel something like this would severely disadvantage especially the smaller businesses, eventually forcing them to close down. This would directly result in unemployment which is totally contradictory to the aim of NEEEF.