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By: Andrew Kathindi

Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Derek Klazen says that the Democratic Republic of Congo will buy 27 300 metric tons of horse mackerel for N$85.7 million after local companies were hesitant to take up the offer.

According to Klazen, local companies showed hesitancy to buy the 27 300 metric tons of horse mackerel, the remaining 87 500 metric tons from the last governmental objectives auction.

“It was a bit late in the season in terms of catching capabilities, so some of the companies did not take up the offer. That is around the time the DRC minister of economics Jean-Marie Kalumba Yuma visited Namibia,” Klazen told The Villager.

According to Klazen, the DRC was interested in getting into the Horse Mackerel business due to the high volumes of the product that it imports for consumption.

However, Kalumba Yuma was critical of the high cost of the landing out-of-Namibia horse mackerel to the DRC, which was believed to be caused by agents and middle men.

Klazen said that the Congolese were informed about governmental objective quotas.

“They made an offer to us that they wanted to buy the remaining quotas. The procedures needed to take place, currently as we’re speaking, it’s not done yet. The signing has not been done and the quota has not been given to them. This morning they had a meeting with the ministry of finance to sort out all the nitty-gritties so that they can deposit the money in treasury.”

Klazen said the purchase was for the season.

The fisheries minister further stated that the DRC plans to participate with local companies to catch the fish and allow for local job creation.

Klazen said that once the money is paid by DRC, it will go into the finance ministry’s account and will be part of treasury’s allocation in the midterm budget.

“From that point it will be out of our hands and between the DRC, government and the private sector. Because time is going, we really want to conclude this.

“Hopefully, during the course of the week, the money is paid into the account of the ministry of finance. And by end of this week or early next week, we can conclude it.

“The auction will proceed as is through the ministry of finance. From next year, we want to do the auction quite early, after we award quotas, immediately after we want to do the auction so that we don’t sit with the same predicament as this year.”

According to Klazen, the Horse mackerel auction has to date raised N$397.6 million.

Julia Heita

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