VERNA Sinimbo, deputy minister of industrialisation and trade, says Namibia is interested in ensuring profitable jobs created by the Peugeot-Opel Assembly Namibia (POAN) plant at Walvis Bay.
This is in response to questions on her recent tour of the Erongo region to acquaint herself with the her ministry’s various projects and activities.
Part of the trip included a visit to the POAN plant, which, she says, has demonstrated its capability to assemble vehicles.
Sinimbo says the government takes an interest in value chain linkages, local content created through the setting up of the plant in Namibia, as well as the creation of regional sourcing opportunities to help drive both Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Southern Africa Customs Union (Sacu) industrialisation imperatives.
She could not say how many vehicles the 22 employees at the plant have assembled to date, but said the plant is gearing up to export vehicles once a few issues are resolved.
The plant is expected to have assembled 5 000 vehicles by the end of 2020.
“We are at the penultimate end to resolve the issue that has affected the opportunity to export. Other aspects of the production target were not an issue as we have demonstrated the ability to assemble here in Namibia,” Sinimbo says.
Last November, the company gave the government an ultimatum to resolve issues hampering exports to prevent it from shutting down.
The N$190 million-dollar plant was opened by president Hage Geingob at the beginning of 2019, and has since been experiencing export duty issues, which Sinombo says are being addressed.