The launch was hosted at NUST due to the long standing relationship that the Department of Mining and Process Engineering has with Prof Dirk van Zyl from the Norman Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Colombia in Canada. Van Zyl has worked closely with the CIRDI and MSV.
One of the main findings of the report is that there are significant challenges in both countries’ efforts to increase local procurement in mining and there are a number of opportunities for the governments to support current and future approaches in this area.
In the case of South Africa, the recommendations offer opportunities to support existing regulations and ease some of the tensions surrounding them.
The report recommends that similar interventions should be considered as options in Namibia for any future introduction of legislated requirements for mining local procurement.
In addition, the report states that companies are keen on local procurement as this drives host communities to support their mining operations.
However, while all the companies expressed a desire to purchase as many goods and services as possible, concerns over the ability of local suppliers to meet their needs were widespread.
One of the authors of the report, Emily Nickerson, from MSV, highlighted other key findings and potential future studies.
“This study provides policy insights for both South Africa and Namibia, as well as for policy makers across the continent.
However, there remains a large gap in empirical research on the effects of regulations requiring local procurement and this study in many ways is only a start,” remarked Nickerson.
The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Tjama Tjivikua’s speech was read at the event by Prof Errol Tyobeka, his Special Adviser. “While the economic relationship between South Africa and Namibia is significant, the South African mining industry is relatively bigger than that of Namibia. Nonetheless, it is important that Namibia also draws relevant lessons on how best certain regulations can be crafted and modified in the interest of increasing local procurement. It is possible to learn from the mistakes that other countries have made and build on the successes that we have registered to date,” he said.