Swapo Party MP in the National Assembly, Dr. Tobie Aupindi, has emphasised the need for Namibia to criminalise the exportation of raw mineral resources in order to ensure that maximum benefits are retained within the country.
"It is almost a joke that 33 years after independence, we are still struggling with this issue. It should become illegal to export raw materials from Namibia in terms of mineral resources. We should beneficiate this, and I know you are saying there is a beneficiation policy coming and so on; it must be law, and there must be a transitional period in this act that allows that at a particular date, Namibia will no longer export its minerals in the raw form."
The existing mining act does not include provisions for local ownership of exploration and prospecting licences.
This has led to a growing concern among the public that Namibia is not adequately benefiting from its mineral resources, as many companies operating in the sector are owned by foreign investors without sufficient local participation.
In response to this issue, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has proposed an amendment to the law to ensure that Namibians have the opportunity to procure and maintain ownership of at least 5% of mining ventures.
Aupindi further proposes that the new law should stipulate that every company holding a mining licence must have a minimum of 50% local representation within its management structure to enhance local participation.