Cabinet approves Consumer Protection Policy

WINDHOEK, 08 December 2016 – Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya. (Photo by: Ndeshimona Ileka) NAMPA

Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-Information and Communication Technology Minister Tjekero Tweya has announced that Cabinet has approved the National Consumer Protection Policy for implementation.

Cabinet directed Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Immanuel Ngatjizeko to table the policy in the National Assembly when Parliament resumes.

The Consumer Protection Policy and legal framework aim to safeguard consumer interests and promote a fairer, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services, as well as establish national norms and standards to ensure adequate consumer protection.

It will, among other objectives, give guidelines for improved standards of consumer information that will prohibit unfair marketing and unfair business practices.

The policy forms part of the key objectives Ngatjizeko is expected to deliver in terms of his performance agreement, so as to provide the resources needed to fulfill the ministry’s mandate and attain strategic national objectives, including – but not limited to – those set out in Vision 2030, the Swapo Party Manifesto and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

Ngatjizeko’s performance agreement requires that the minister develop an effective framework for consumer protection to ensure consumer welfare, an essential touchstone of national economic growth, poverty eradication and a defining feature of a well-functioning domestic market.

“Finally, we now have a policy formulated after comprehensive consultation. There is now what is being referred to as ‘the finer blueprint’, so that legislation in the country not only favours the employers, or suppliers, but also the consumers.

“This will focus on protecting the consumers, who are really the people keeping the economy running. So, we should look after their interests, as well. That policy will find its way to the National Assembly soon,” Tweya noted.

He also said Cabinet took note of the detailed activities to be undertaken by offices, ministries and agencies to support the implementation of the wealth redistribution and poverty eradication strategy.

On that note, he announced that Cabinet has approved the implementation of the plan submitted by Poverty Eradication Minister Zephania Kameeta. He said the plan was an indication of government’s commitment to fight poverty:

“We cannot just be talking about poverty and look at one ministry, but to the entire government system.”

He said President Hage Geingob has on numerous occasions said poverty cannot be fought with only a single bullet, because it’s multi-faceted. Therefore, the blueprint brings all ministries, offices and agencies together to focus on health, trade, people and the quality of services provided.

Tweya said they adopted a multi-sectoral approach, including businesses for the young and banks in the development of the blueprint.

He said at an appropriate time the Ministry of Poverty Eradication would unveil the plan and when it is launched the various roleplayers, activities and targets will be revealed.

The National Renewable Energy Policy submitted by Mines and Energy Minister Obed Kandjoze was also approved by Cabinet. Kandjoze was directed to table it in the National Assembly.

“You will realise that when you have this blueprint, even energy is also linked there, because it’s a multi-sectoral approach. If energy is not accessible to the poor, then you are not addressing poverty. If telecommunications are expensive, then you are not addressing poverty,” Tweya stressed.

Cabinet also approved the National Energy Policy submitted by Energy Minister Kandjoze to ensure the development of Namibia’s natural resources, and the sustainable use thereof for the benefit of the country’s social, economic and environmental wellbeing, and authorised the minister to table it in the House.

Tweya said Cabinet further approved the tabling of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the National Assembly for ratification by Safety and Security Minister Charles Namoloh.
The Convention prohibits the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions.

In addition, it establishes a framework for cooperation and assistance to ensure adequate care and rehabilitation is provided to survivors and their communities, as well as for the clearance of contaminated areas, risk reduction education and destruction of stockpiles.

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