Local manufacture of coffins a priority

20 July 2021 | Local News

Accelerated efforts are underway to fast-track the manufacturing of coffins locally, as Namibia spends at least N$30 million a year to procure coffins from neighbouring South Africa.
Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu said government has set up a technical committee, spearheaded by the National Planning Commission, to assess the need and country capacity in terms of coffin manufacturing.
The committee is expected to make a final determination and submission of the financial resource envelope in supporting businesses and developing the local industry. She said the ministry is also busy assessing the capability of the economy to manufacturing coffins locally.
Iipumbu is of the opinion that the country has the capacity to manufacture its own coffins but is constrained by inadequate sector development. “The main limitations are that we need to adopt standards through our Namibia Standards Institute, ensure a viable funding scheme, enable a viable raw material sourcing strategy and work on integrating the short or near absent value chain between coffin manufacturers and funeral houses,” Iipumbu said.
The trade ministry has since identified 58 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are able to manufacture and or assemble coffins in Namibia. The room remains open for more MSMEs that are in the coffin manufacturing industry to present themselves to ensure that we enrich their database, she added.
This news comes following reports by Namibian undertakers and funeral parlours about a shortage of coffins amidst the rising Covid-19 death toll, forcing delays in burials and further overwhelming mortuaries across the country.
President Hage Geingob last week challenged Namibian manufacturers to produce basic goods such as coffins, saying the continued reliance on South Africa is unsustainable. – Nampa

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