Spar exits Oshikango


he decline in cross border trade at the once flourishing northern border town of Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region has led to the closing down of several businesses, including retail giant Spar.

The official closure for business activities of the super market and retail giant Spar was confirmed by Johan Mostert, who is Spar’s regional buyer for the country.

“We closed down our business in Oshikango because we were losing a lot of money. We were not making any profit. We really made a big investment there but it is sad how things turned out. We will not be going back there even should the crisis be rectified,’’ said Mostert.

Mostert said Spar’s business activities, which has been in the area for close to five years, started to decline two years ago but the situation got worse after the Angolan Kwanza and Namibian Dollar currency exchange agreement between the central banks of Angola and Namibia.

“Since the currency agreement our business started going from bad to worse, and we resorted to closing down as a lasting solution. We don’t know if things will improve in the future but we are done,’’ he said matter of fact.

The past year saw thousands of people losing their livelihoods through retrenchments as many businesses at the border town closed shop due to the effect of an economic crisis. 

Most businesses are reported to have closed down because of the crisis caused by the fact that the American dollar, which was in circulation in Angola, became limited at the common border posts of Oshikango (Namibia) and Santa Clara (Angola) after Angola introduced the Kwanza in Namibia.

Mayor of Helao Nafidi Town Eliaser Nghipangelwa said he is aware that many more businesses are closing shop including Spar and revealed that the economic situation has not improved since.

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“Businesses are closing because obviously they are not making their target profits that they were used to making before the crisis and they see no reason in conducting business where they are making a loss. We are just hanging on here, the crisis remains the same, no improvements have been observed,’’ said Nghipangwelwa.