Retailers say no need to panic

24 March 2020 | Economics

Management of food stores in Namibia agree: There is no need to panic since there are various measures in place to ensure that the country will not run out of food.
According to Eugene van Wyngaard, Regional Manager of Spar Namibia, Namibians need not be worried that South Africa will run out of products to supply our country. “Spar has good relations with our suppliers who promised that they would do everything in their power to deliver to us. We also arranged for ten additional trucks to deliver fruit.”
Questioned whether Spar will introduce limitations on the sale of products to pre-empt panic buying, Van Wyngaard said food freight may move freely across the border, “however there is congestion at the border posts, thus we ask the public to respect each other and not to panic buy. We also asked shop owners to keep a close eye on things and to implement limits should the need arise.”
Rudolph Fourie, Managing Director of Woermann Brock agrees. “At this stage there is no reason for anyone to panic regarding the availability of goods at our stores. We currently hold high volumes of stock in our stores as well as at our Central Distribution Centre in Brakwater. Furthermore, all prominent suppliers have indicated that they are well-stocked too.”
Fourie added that all trucks carrying goods from South Africa are still entering Namibia without a hitch. “We do not see this changing in the foreseeable future.”
In a media release by the Namib Mills Group of Companies, the company said they will strive to ensure continuous food supply for all. “Tables may not run out of food, thus we strive to keep shelves well-stocked. Also, we do not condone increasing margins during these times, as such opportunistic practices are not in the spirit of solidarity nor safety of people.
“We do, however warn that should input costs increase, prices will increase in the same way as we have been practising responsibly in the past. A concern currently is the depreciation of the Namibia dollar (currently 17.47, more than a 20% decrease in value over the last 14 days), which can lead to raw material price increases.”
However, the company said that Namib Mills has the wellbeing of all Namibians at heart and will do everything in their power to ensure food availability and food security for the country.
In conclusion Van Wyngaard said that the pandemic has an impact on everyone. “We must work together to conquer the pandemic. And we can do it together.”
Fourie adds: “All essential goods are still being manufactured locally as well as in South Africa, and this should give everyone a little peace of mind during this very difficult time. We urge fellow Namibians to stay safe by observing all the guidelines that the Ministry of Health and Social Services has been circulating.”

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