Namibia: 1,700 Oshakati Businesses Crushed By Covid-19

23 February 2021

SOME 1 698 businesses at Oshakati have been severely affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, forcing many to shut down or retrench employees.

The hardest-hit companies at the town are those in the hospitality industry, as well as small and medium enterprises.

Fidelis Kabozu, the local economic development officer at Oshakati Town Council, revealed this during the town council's eighth annual business breakfast at Oshakati on Friday.

"Most businesses at Oshakati have been affected by Covid-19, and at present only businesses that are providing basic necessities are still operating. From the beginning of Covid-19, the council managed to register all the affected businesses, and has so far registered about 1 698 ... and we have submitted that list to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development ... some businesses were referred to social security for funding," he said.

Kabozu said as a town council, they do not offer businesses funding as they only facilitate assistance.

Martin Iinkumbi, the chief executive officer of the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), at the same event said the country's economic activities are subdued, causing many businesses to collapse.

"We are not out of the woods yet, and many of us are starting to forget already that economic headwinds affected the economy even before 2019. We could see that starting in 2017 already, when the economy was on the verge of collapse. However, 2020 was the worst as many businesses closed down," he said.

Iinkumbi said the hospitality industry was the hardest hit at the town.

The bank has extended payment holidays to 12 months.

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