Friday, April 27 2018 21 Ocean Economy Supplement Chinese ingenuity assists with Namibia’s prosperity The Port of Walvis Bay has always been known as the Gateway to Southern Africa, with its fast throughput times and efficient operations. Its Port expansion project aimed to further entrench this noble positioning and with it came the project, now commonly known as the Construction of Container Terminal on Reclaimed land in the Walvis Bay Harbour. NamPort invited tenders for the EPC construction of its Container Terminal in 2011. Following a very stringent selection process, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which specializes in marine engineering was awarded the contract to construct this 400,000 square metre “island in the sea” which, upon completion will be able to host 750,000 TEU per annum, up from the current 300,000 TEU capacity, making this one of the largest container terminals on the African continent. After the contract was awarded in November 2013, implementation started in May 2014 and is currently at 85% completion, with commissioning envisaged for 2019. According to the Project Manager for CHEC, Mr. Yuanfei Feng, CHEC has endeavoured to, since starting operations in 2014, ensure that the project holds value for local economic development. “More than 2,300 local employees were engaged during the construction phase of this project, contributing to local economic development through paying with their wages for goods and services such as housing and amenities; spending in local shops; ensuring their families are taken care of’, Feng says. He further emphasizes that CHEC made use of local suppliers and contractors as much as it could. “In fact, our contract stipulated that 31.8% of the total contract value must be spent locally. And this is something that we can proudly say, we have achieved through the procurement of bulk goods such as cement and fuel; services such as vessel repairs, design, insurance and customs clearance; construction services such as the camp, the substation, railway, control room, office and workshop; and consultancy services such as Human Resources and Public Relations.” CHEC also strongly believes in skills transfer at all its projects worldwide and Namibia is by no means an exception. “We are an internationally renowned construction company, specializing in civil engineering and therefore we strongly believe that Namibians should benefit from these expertise.” CHEC has, since construction started provided theoretical, practical and on-site job training opportunities to over 600 local employees in various areas such as professional skills; health, safety and environment (SHE) training and the like. “In addition, we have awarded two full scholarships to deserving students to study marine engineering at one of China’s top universities. These scholarships cover all tuition cost, living expenses (including accommodation and a living stipend) and twice-yearly return air tickets to Namibia to visit with family. Our hope is that when done, these two students, who stand out as beacons of hope for their families, will return home to Namibia and impart that knowledge in the local market,” a visibly proud Feng beams. In concluding our interview, Mr Feng maintains that CHEC as an international marine engineering company, fully understands the importance of health, safety and environment in its operations and therefore “we will never compromise on the safety of our employees, and sub-contractor. We will always ensure that no health harm comes to our stakeholders and we will strive to ensure that we protect the environments in which we operate.” Therefore, the company has developed various policies in this regard which are fully compliant with international standards and best practices and meet local Namibian legislation. In addition, regular drills and training updates are provided to employees to ensure they stay updated on safety issues. Finally, regular environmental assessments are conducted to ensure that CHEC stays within the prescribed international and national legal requirements and also to ensure that no harm comes to those in the proximity of our operations. As a parting shot, Feng maintains that “we are honoured to have been a part of Namibia’s history in the making in terms of its infrastructure development. And trust that our relationship with ordinary Nambians has been mutually beneficial as we have long-lasting mutually beneficial working relationships during this process, especially with service providers such as Usi Hoebeb Communications, our PR agency.” Fishing remains second highest FOREX earner Staff Reporter Windhoek The fishing industry remains the country’s second most important foreign exchange earner after the mining industry. In 2016 the fishing industry provided about 16 800 jobs directly and contributed about N billion in foreign exchange earnings while gradually increasing local value addition. The overall export value of fisheries in 2015/2016 of about N billion, when converted from the various foreign currencies received, was mainly attributed to improved catches with regard to sizes, favourable exchange rates, increased value addition and better prices in some markets. The fishing industry recorded investments totalling about N4 million in 2015, and N3 million in 2016. These consisted of about N3 million in hake, spent mainly on the purchase of shares in companies, N.8 million in horse mackerel, and N million in crab, spent mainly on the construction of a new factory. In 2016, the ministry extended several fishing rights, with conditions, in accordance with the provisions of the Marine Resources Act, 2000. A total of 33 fishing rights in several commercial fishing subsectors expired on December 31, 2017. These rights consist of one which has completed a 10- year duration, 19 which have completed 15-year duration and 13 which have completed the 20- year duration. In 2016 the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources started developing a scorecard for all right holders to streamline fishing quota allocation. This process was aimed at measuring performance of all right holders objectively and hence facilitated predictability in the quota allocation process, which is important for business planning. This scorecard was aligned to Sections 33 and 39 of the Marine Resources Act of 2000, and therefore did not require regulatory changes before implementation. At the time the minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, said all right holders submitted the requested scorecard data but noted that many right holders did not include critical data in their submissions. “I wish to inform all right holders that this scorecard is an important part of the transformation agenda on the fishing quota allocation process, which the Government is determined to implement. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is keen to reward those right holders who embrace inclusivity in their business operations; willing to increase their shareholding held by Namibians; keen to procure their goods and services locally; include women, workers, disabled, youth and people from economically d i s a d v a n t a g e d communities in their beneficiation mechanisms,” said Esau. The minister also warned right holders who do not sufficiently invest or participate in this fishery to expect less quotas going forward. “Our measure for employment creation is [the]number of quality jobs per metric ton allocated. Those who do not add sufficient value will continue to have their quotas transferred to those who add more value, create more jobs, pay more taxes, levies and fees, procure more locally and hence contribute to the government’s goal of equitable wealth distribution from our fisheries to all Namibians,” warned Esau. During 2016/17, the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for various fisheries was 521 714MT, which was a slight reduction compared to 528 696MT in 2015/2016. This represented a marginal decrease of about one percent. Esau also called upon all right holders and other stakeholders in the fishing industry to increase investments in the sector, especially in value addition and other land-based activities. “I am aware that in most fisheries we have sufficient fishing effort, and in this regard I would like to call upon Namibian shareholders to consider increasing their investments in shares in existing fishing vessels and processing facilities,” said Esau. The minister further noted that his Ministry lays special emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) by fishing companies towards less fortunate members of society. “I wish to thank right holders for heeding this call and contributing generously towards activities such as drought relief in several parts of our country that have been affected by hunger since last year, promotion of enterprise development, building of schools, hospitals and police facilities,” Esau stated. During 2016 about N million was contributed as CSR by various companies in the fishing industry, consisting of about N million from the horse mackerel subsector; N.6 million from monk fishery; N.4 million from crab fishery, and about N0,000 from the seals subsector. Meanwhile, overall taxes, levies and fees in all our fisheries was estimated by a previous study at less than five percent of the landed value of the entire fishery. “Our Marine Resources Policy provides that basic level of levies and fees will vary between five and 15 percent of the firsthand value. My ministry is keen to harmonise current levies and fees levels, while promoting value addition and employment creation. These levy and fees harmonisation are aimed at increasing state revenue, and ensuring that operational activities at the ministry, which are essential for facilitating fishing and other fishery activities by right holders, are sustainably managed,” Esau noted. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES
22 Ocean Economy Supplement Friday, April 27 2018 /SFG767 UPLIFTING NAMIBIA ONE WAVE AT A TIME.