Arandis Council acquires stake in charcoal company
13 February 2021 | Economics
Stanley Norris; CEO; "Central government has a very small income tax base to be distributed among smaller councils and local authorities."
The Arandis Town Council recently acquired a 10 percent stake in Unoo Investments CC, a charcoal processing plant established in January 2020.
Unoo Investments is a Namibian-owned company that employs 53 people of which 90 percent are locals and will officially reach full production by the end of April 2021, employing a total of 90 to 100 people.
Arandis Town Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stanley Norris said there is a section within the local authority act that allows the local authority to enter into joint ventures.
To reduce some of the pressure from central government which in essence provides capital funding to the local authority, the town decided to enter into different joint ventures, and is in the process of formalising all of them, he said.
“Central government has a very small income tax base to be distributed among smaller councils and local authorities. In order to manage that accurately, as a council we’ve decided to take some of the pressure off the central government, by entering into these ventures,” he said.
The CEO further said the council is completely geared toward industrialisation with five new industries that are all setting up, mainly based on manufacturing. They include a boot manufacturing factory, gypsum factory and garment manufacturer.
Unoo Investments managing member Augustos Unoovene said the business procures charcoal in bulk from producers at various locations in Namibia. It is then graded into small, medium and large sizes at the plant.
“The rest is produced into a substance from which briquettes are formed. The briquettes are then packaged and exported to Europe,” he said.
Unoovene noted that once the plant is completed and in full production, the company will have an output of up to 1 200 tonnes per month.