Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

21 May 2012

Namibia: Business Ethic Always Pays Off

A strong business ethic and a sense of duty to the community, is what differentiates Fish Trader from its competitors.

"We at Fish Trader have strong ethics. We do not short change clients or steal their money. We always try to give them good service," says Rojo van Wyk, owner of the business.

Fish Trader, a company which trades with horse mackerel, was first established in 2007. The company buys horse mackerel and sells it in Angola. Fish Trader buys its stock from Erongo Marine. The company makes 30 trips to Angola per month, to supply the market there.

According to van Wyk, the company sells to two specific clients in that country and the demand for horse mackerel continues to increase. "Horse mackerel is not exported to the EU market and is more popular amongst African countries such as Angola, so we do make good business and we are also supplying this product to small local businesses. To put it in perspective, the demand is 80% and the supply is 20%, so we cannot really complain about business being slow. We sell about 800 tonnes per month. We sell our product at N$9.50 p/k," he added.

Van Wyk however says small companies such as Fish Trader are severely taxed and are therefore suffering.

"Business is affected by value added tax (VAT). Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are suffering because of bureaucratic tax processes," he said.

In order to diversify his business, van Wyk acquired equipment that is now leased out to construction companies.

"We bought two loaders and tipper trucks that we are lending out to the construction industry as well as to salt producers, just to ensure that the business also derives other income and remains sustainable. We also invested in property development," he explained.

Fish Trader is also very involved within the Narraville community in Walvis Bay.

"The people are really struggling and therefore we try to give to the under-privileged within the community," said van Wyk.

Van Wyk says he is proud about the heights his business has reached thus far.

"I started Fish Traders alone, I did not even have an office. All I had was a few contacts. Now I invested in a building, equipment and other properties and we are giving back to the community. I think Fish Trader has made a name for itself in Walvis Bay," he concluded.

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