Arandis, a town commonly perceived as a ghost town over the years, is flourishing with a steel manufacturing company which produces goods for mining companies in Namibia.
Establishing a company of this nature was a stepping stone for business in Arandis as it attracts mining companies and Town councils. Daniel Amaambo, the owner and manager of Namibia Sheet Metal Manufacturing, saw it fit to establish his business there as the situation of going to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay every time the community needed materials was burdensome.
“I was presented with the opportunity for the SME development programme in the Erongo region, I realised there was too much competition in Windhoek and then I decided to open a business in Arandis although people used to move out because of it being a ghost town, some SMEs gave up and went back to Windhoek,” he explains.
Ammambo’s mission as part of the economic development is to reduce the importation of steel and sheet metal products that could easily be manufactured in Namibia.
“I buy my material directly from suppliers in Namibia. I do not want to export goods, but I can always export what I manufacture,” he says.
The company’s main activity is to manufacture various stainless steel, sheet metals and fibre glass products, as well as modification installation and servicing of air-condition and refrigeration components.
The company manufactures tables of all shapes and sizes for homes, offices, factories, catering, surgical, butcheries and hostel purposes. At home, a variety of tables can be used as coffee tables for sitting rooms, balconies and gardens. For office use they are essential as work stations. These tables can be paired with chairs, which is useful for bars and restaurants.
Moreover, Namibia Sheet Metal Manufacturers is the first Namibian SME company to have been contracted to manufacture fibre glass products, for example acid fibre glass pipes used in the Rosh Pinah based Iscor Zinc Mine (Scorpion). For the storage and cooling, of a variety of liquids from water to milk, including acids for the purification of containers and tanks can be used in the factories, brewing industries and mines. The pipelines are also acid resistant which prevents germ clots and rust.
In addition, to the manufacturing of various steel products, the company also does installation of and servicing or maintenance of air-condition and refrigeration components.
“We service clients like town councils, Rossing Mine and sometimes the mines come to us if there is something broken then we go there for maintenance,” he says.
Moreover, the business also looks at the production of sliding gates, safety doors and bars and cover cages for pumps and generators. Welding of exhaust pipes, petrol tanks, bull-bars and trailer-bars, it also does auto modification.
He says the company also manufactures hand railings for passageways stairs and balcony railings. Railings can be used in a variety of styles and manners for example as barriers for swimming pools and balconies, and thus play a vital role for home safety. For the stairs as a hand-railing in living and walking conditions they prevent accidents from happening. It is also used in bathrooms and toilets as support rails for people with physical disabilities.
Moreover, they manufacture air conditioning vents for offices, factories and mines. These vents can be utilized for the cooling and heating of office buildings and factories. In mines they are used to vacuum harmful gases and dust fumes.
He also adds that the company gives back to the community, and notes that it has an agreement with Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) to employ students when there are jobs to be done. “We can get students from there even four of them, two females and two males depending on how demanding the job is,” he says.
“We also try to share our expertise with apprentices from vocational training centres, in as much to promote a better labour force for the country that would be able to significantly contribute to the economic growth of the land,” he adds.
However, Amaambo elaborates that getting government tenders is not an easy job as it requires people who have ‘know-how’ to do the job. “The guys who get the tenders have come to Arandis with their own workforce and then our community does not benefit from that. We do not have a collateral to get the tenders and getting a tender is at your own risk when you do not complete the job at the end of the day you may lose your house and you can lose everything,” he laments.