When businesses don’t wait for government intervention

It is gratifying to learn of private businesses rolling up their sleeves to meet the local government, and indeed the State, half way in establishing bulk water supply. More so that this is at a time when there are ongoing discussions of state capture – of how businesses and business executives tend to use their financial muscle and market dominance to influence allocation of national resources, thus ensuring not only that those national resources come their way, but that the State’s national agenda is aligned to benefit their businesses.

Namibian businesses could have easily done this. They could have pointed out to the State, and to the regional council of Khomas, that having a steady water supply is crucial to keeping the capital city functioning. They could have easily reminded the State, for the attention of the regional council and indeed that of City of Windhoek, that a speedy government investment into boreholes near their plants around Windhoek would ensure that people remain employed and the businesses continue paying their taxes. And this they could have so done, as these are companies that employ thousands of Namibians, and who contribute millions of dollars to the Treasury, from exports of beer and other beverages to leather products and food items. In short, they keep not only the Windhoek economy running, but they are indeed the pillars of the national economy.

Yet this they did not do. Instead, Namibia Breweries dug deep into its pocket to find the N$4,9 million required to drill two boreholes that would keep the brewery in Windhoek’s northern industrial area churning out the much-loved lagers and soft drinks. Its immediate neighbour, Namib Mills, is doing the same. Spending N$2,5 million on drilling for boreholes. Nakara, on the other side of Windhoek, invested nearly N$1,2 million in one borehole.

It is indeed commendable when the private sector work to find solutions to a national problem instead of simply waiting on the government to come to the party. Well done to these truly Namibian companies.

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