VIP visit to local plastic manufacturer
12 April 2021 | Business
Iipumbu’s visit aimed at highlighting the growth of Namibian industries through local production and skills development.
Namibia Plastics Manager: Quality Assurance and Compliance, José-Luis Pretorius, expressed his appreciation, saying that “As a proudly Namibian company, we are proud to highlight key products currently manufactured locally as well as afford industry the opportunity to provide government with insight to future growth and product development which will ultimately lead to job creation.”
During the minister’s visit, Pretorius shared a brief background on the company and stated that there are currently only two active plastic manufacturing companies in Namibia.
“Namibia Plastics and Packaging Distributors identified a gap in the manufacturing industry for products that were imported and decided to develop and grow the local economy through job creation by manufacturing plastic products locally. However, the plastic manufacturing industry is faced by many challenges such as logistics, financing, lack of protection, product dumping, the import of raw materials due to non-availability locally, unfair competition from foreign suppliers influencing local competition, and pricing, amongst others, while a lack of skilled and technical labour is another contributing factor.”
Growth at home
Iipumbu commended the local manufacturer for its commitment to the government's Growth-at-Home Strategy, saying: “I am pleased to note the investment that Namibia Plastics has made, not only with regards to employment creation but especially investing in skills and knowledge transfer in our people to operate some of the most technologically advanced equipment for manufacturing of flexible film in the plastics industry. This speaks volumes and is testimony that as Namibians we do not always need to stand back for any foreign expertise as we have it in our power to develop our own people.”
Namibia Plastics’ current employee numbers are set to increase, with the growth of the company when additional machinery will be commissioned over the next five years. The process of training and development of staff is a strategic priority and is part and parcel of our objective to ensure empowerment to the employees.
Namibia Plastics supplies plastic products to beverages, milling, sugar, salt, poultry, and fish processing, construction, and the cement sector, agriculture and general manufacturing industries and is currently seeking approval for its application on Infant Industry Protection (IIP) for the locally manufactured product, Stretch Hood Film, to safeguard local industry from foreign domination.
To ensure the best possible product is manufactured for the local and export market, Namibia Plastics and Packaging Distributors opted to commission the best technology on the market - the Reifenhauser Evolution (valued at approximately N$28 million) of which its key product range includes stretch hoods.
“Due to the functionality of the product, our company decided that we could not opt for an inferior machine as that could affect the properties of the end product which in turn could affect legal requirements,” Pretorius concluded.