THE recently established organisation, Save the Local Business Community, has threatened a mass demonstration at the end of the month if Government does not meet their demand to have two Indian-owned warehouses in Oshakati permanently shut down.
The organisation, made up of nearly 200 indigenous Namibian businesspeople from the Omusati, Oshana, Oshikango and Ohangwena regions, claims that Dharani Traders and Rani Wholesalers are sweeping aside local businesses in the warehouse sector due to unfair competition.
Dharani Traders is the umbrella company of Oneshila mini-market, Okandjengedi mini-market, Ongwediva mini-market, Oluno mini-market and Outapi mini market. Rani Wholesalers, which is slightly smaller than Dharani Traders, supplies products to Moskana and Aashi mini-markets and bakeries and Okatana mini-market.
On Tuesday last week, September 9, the organisation convened a meeting attended by well-known businessmen in the wholesale sector aimed at addressing what they feel is “dishonest trade amongst the Indians”.
Chairman of the organisation, Epafras Mukwiilongo, said large companies such as Namibia breweries, Coca-Cola and Makalani sugar were giving the two wholesalers an unfair advantage over local businessmen as they are selling their products to the Indians at a cheaper rate.
“We went to the NCCI with our complaints, but we were met with deaf ears. We are now urging mega companies to sell their products to the Indians at the same price they are selling to the local businesses,” Mukwiilongo said.
Mukwiilongo argued his point of unfair trade by making comparisons to the incident in which Oshiwambo farmers were evicted from Western Kavango and told to go back to the former Owamboland.
“They have no right to be here either…we also want the Indians out,” Mukwiilongo said.
Earlier this year, the same organisation held a meeting themed “Save Local Business Community from the Chinese Businesses”.
At the meeting, held on June 7, the group of local businesspeople discussed the proliferation of Chinese businesses in the retail sector and various other sectors the locals previously dominated.