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30.10.2018 15:42 Age: 2 yrs

Annual General Meeting of the NMA and Presentation by Mr Roland Brown of Cirrus Capital

The Namibian Manufacturers Association (NMA) held its Annual General Meeting on 25 October 2018 at the Safari Hotel and Conference Centre in Windhoek. In addition to the normal AGM activities attended to at this meeting, new Board Member were also elected. The new NMA Board are as follow: Mr Brian Black (Chairperson); Ms Leonie Prinsloo (Vice-Chairperson); Dr Diana van Schalkwyk; Mr Andre Snyman; Mrs Angelika San; Mr Jaco Venter; Mr David Namalenga; Mr Koos Ferreira; Mr Hugo Horn; Ms Sandra Mwiifiangele; Mr Ronnie Varkevisser (CEO).

Mr Roland Brown, the well-known economist and co-founder of Cirrus Capital (Pty) Ltd was the key note speaker for the event. He did a presentation on “Rising from the ashes: Reigniting Namibia’s Economy”.

During his presentation, Mr Brown alluded to the following: Most social indicators shows improvement. Significant progress was made with poverty, basic health care and access to water. Slow rate of improvement with regards to access to other services, including electricity, sanitation and housing. Growth not translating to improvement in equality – questions around expenditure priorities. Fiscal and infrastructure challenges – how do we maintain, improve and expedite social development. He further said, going forward depends largely on the following two questions: Firstly: Fiscal Discipline, which include: A balanced budget, improved capital allocation, SOE reform and Wage-bill normalization. Secondly: Pro Business/Investments which include: Labour market de-regulation and work permit reform. Policy certainty. Better tax law and exchange control regulations and improvement of general bureaucracy. During the official part of the AGM, Mr Brian Black, the NMA’s Chairperson touched on some matters which the NMA noted with concern, such as the current economic situation in Namibia.

According to the NMA Chairperson “The Namibian economy has been in a prolonged decline, so too our debt to GDP ratio. This is partly due to our huge and unhealthy dependency on the SA economy and the fact that the entire World economy is not performing as it should. However a fair share of contributing factors can be attributed to our own failures at home such as our inability to tighten our own belts during hard times and the slow and inefficient implementation of our nation’s developments plans. Public debt remains beyond the government’s target of 35% of GDP. Moreover, following the deterioration of government fiscal position lately, it is clear that the sustainability of some of government’s spending and the increase of government in general must be questioned”. He concluded by asking “Are we as a nation doing enough to implement our wonderful plans to take our manufacturing sector and indeed our country forward?”

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