The notion of ‘Buying Namibian’ was given meaning when Dinapama Manufacturing and Supplies struck a deal to supply one of the country’s biggest companies with employee uniforms.
Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group executive chairman Sven Thieme and managing director of Dinapama Manufacturing and Supplies David Namalenga signed an agreement in Windhoek on Monday “in support of and celebrating local value addition taking place today”.
Dinapama, which supplies custom-designed clothing and bags of all sorts, will supply the O&L Group’s uniforms for all its companies across different sectors, such as food production, fishing, beverages, farming, retail, information technology, property leasing and development, renewable power generation, marine engineering, steel retailing, advertising and leisure and hospitality sectors.
Dinapama was registered in 2009 and started operating in 2010 with a workforce of seven and five machines at the Wanaheda municipal stalls, and has grown over the years to now employ 350 people. The agreement between Dinapama and O&L is a big boost for local value addition.
O&L, which was founded in 1919, employs 6 200 people in various industries, and has an annual turnover of over N$5 billion.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, an excited Namalenga said the partnership with O&L was the first of its kind for the company, and as a result, he was humbled. “We want to see organisations and businesses that live beyond ourselves. We are humbled and very happy and we will use this opportunity to contribute even more on building the Namibian economy,” he said.
Thieme said O&L was excited to improve local capacity as this would assist in getting more people off the streets. “I always say if we do not take people from the streets, they will take us into the streets,” said Thieme. He added that supporting local businesses would also keep jobs at home.
“For every single cent we import, we export a dollar out of the country,” said Thieme, who said O&L would no longer procure uniforms from outside the country.
Thieme added that there was a need to choose to support local and embrace the growth of Namibian businesses while developing local talent and skills, and investing in local infrastructure. According to him, this all starts with a commitment to grow.