WINDHOEK, 17 APR – Without the 25 per cent equity clause, the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) is meaningless, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) President McHenry Venaani has said.
Delivering the State of the Nation Address here last week, President Hage Geingob announced that the clause will be done away with.
The decision to remove the clause was premised on the fact that disadvantaged Namibians do not have resources to invest in empowerment transactions, nor are they able to obtain access to funding to participate in such transactions.
Speaking during his party’s ‘Real State of the Nation Address’ in the capital, Venaani said NEEEF now has no meaning in Namibia’s quest to realise shared prosperity.
“Now they are bargaining in and out on the 25 per cent, so I don’t know what NEEEF is about if you have taken the 25 per cent off,” he said.
Under the clause, local white-owned businesses would have had to sell a quarter of their companies to previously disadvantaged Namibians.
Venaani was, however, quick to note that he was yet to view the proposed NEEEF bill to have a better-informed position on the framework despite several attempts to do so.
“Those that are saying the 25 per cent is off, I am saying, what did they replace it with?” he asked, adding that PDM supports NEEEF in principle.
The scrapping of the clause was welcomed by the Namibia Employers’ Federation (NEF), which is in favour of employee share schemes.
“The 25 per cent clause was one of the biggest stumbling blocks to NEEEF as we saw it,” NEF secretary general, Tim Parkhouse was quoted as saying by a local daily this week.
N.dollars 700 000 has been set aside for the finalisation of NEEEF for the 2018/19 financial year.
Initially, the 25 per cent clause in the draft bill caused a feeling of animosity and reportedly left investors in suspense.