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Peugeot plant sputters into first gear

2021-10-08  Maihapa Ndjavera

Peugeot plant sputters into first gear
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The N$190 million dollar Peugeot Opel Assembly Namibia (POAN) venture at Walvis Bay has since inception produced 150 vehicles, inclusive of testing vehicles. 

Currently, the assembly operation has 130 vehicles for sale on the floor. 

Responding to a question in parliament on the plant’s progress, trade minister Lucia Iipumbu said public procurement has started trickling in and she urged all public institutions to support the vehicle assembly plant going forward. 

“I duly appreciate those entities that have so far bought vehicles. To my utter disappointment, I was reliably informed that the party that Nico Smit belongs to decided to rather utilise the public funds that they have at their disposal to buy Mahindras, an imported product! Why not Peugeot?” asked Iipumbu while responding to questions posted by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian, Nico Smit. 

She further acknowledged POAN sales are governed by two off-take agreements with Peugeot RSA and Citroen RSA. 

“However, as we worked on the policy problem of the export duty, it was agreed at the company level to enable sales to the public sector as those are exempted through Southern African Customs Union (SACU) from the export duty. This has enabled the plant to operate and pay salaries as we worked on the policy problem,” she explained.

Iipumbu also alerted the August House that indeed Namibia’s International Trade Management Bill is imminent and once tabled in parliament, it should be given careful consideration.

Furthermore, the trade minister stated after the Automotive Policy framework was approved in December 2019, the ministry commenced with work on a domesticated Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) for Namibia, with the support of the finance ministry as the custodian of the customs function. 

She noted the domesticated APDP would thus ensure that any assembler in Namibia is able to apply for a reprieve on the 18% SACU duty levied due to identified rebate provisions. 

“This should therefore ensure that the export problem of any assembler here, meeting the production parameter that we have included in the domesticated APDP could export seamlessly. The gazetting of the APDP was completed and published, which will allow any assembler to thus apply for the rebate provisions,” she stated.

Meanwhile, PDM’s Smit asked what was the financial outlay to PSA Groupe, to which the trade minister responded that the transaction structure was based on government providing land and building on a lease basis, as well as utilising the provisions in the SACU agreement to support the importation of machinery to Namibia. 

“There was no specific money or financial resources given to PSA Groupe. A comprehensive incentive package, therefore, consisted of land and building for leasing and a duty remission scheme that allows for rebates on imported machinery of production,” Iipumbu explained. 

- mndjavera@nepc.com.na

For sale… A file photo of a Peugeot vehicle being assembled at the Peugeot Opel Assembly Namibia plant at Walvis Bay. Photo: File


2021-10-08  Maihapa Ndjavera

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