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Manufacturers to get tariff relief

13 September 2007 – July 2008 may see a further 10 percent tariff reduction may be on the cards for manufacturers in Windhoek, the Namibian Manufacturing Association (NMA)has announced.

This is the second reduction, with the first reduction of 10 percent being received in 2005.

Hennie Fourie, chief executive of the NMA said that the current high tariffs in Namibia made them less competitive than their SACU counterparts.

In an Electricity Price Comparison report in 2004, it was revealed that Namibian manufacturers paid between 60 and 70% for electricity than manufacturers in South Africa. Manufacturers in Windhoek also paid up to 20 percent more than other consumers. The NMA board decided to update the report to see how the situation has changed over the last three years.

"The NMA’s presentations and the intervention of the Electricity Control Board (ECB) have led to manufacturers getting a nine percent lower electricity charge increase in 2005 in Windhoek compared to other consumers," Fourie said.

He said the ECB has also taken measures to ensure that the tariff structure is investigated to ensure that Windhoek manufacturers pay cost reflective tariffs and bring the different tariffs in line.

Vision 2030, the Namibian roadmap, calls for manufacturing and services to contribute 80 percent of Namibia’s GDP – yet recent years have seen little growth in these sectors. Reasons for this included the high cost of electricity, transport and port charges.