Nedbank debunks brick procurement outcry
• By Hilary Mare
NEDBANK Namibia has moved to diffuse the adverse insinuations circulating in a social media video in which the bank is being accused of unjustifiably acquiring construction bricks for its head office in South Africa at the expense of Namibian brick producers.
The bank this week acknowledged that it has been made aware of a video clip currently being shared on some social media channels, which seems to take aim at material being procured for restoring public access ways around the construction site of its looming headquarters on Freedom Plaza.
Responding to a Confidente inquiry, Nedbank Namibia’s spokesperson, Gernot de Klerk, lamented the factual inaccuracies in the clip further justifying the procurement as necessary under the context in which the bricks are needed for.
“The reality is that 97 percent of the entire contract value has been allocated to Namibian companies. We have taken immense care to empower our local construction industry in every single facet of our new head office, which is now nearing completion. The material being shown in the video clip relates to restoring the walkways around the construction site, which has exact specifications to blend in with the existing buildings and public walkways in the area.
“Given these specifications, which, as can be imagined, dates back to the development of Freedom Plaza a number of years ago, the concrete pavers are not manufactured in Namibia, and therefore had to be procured elsewhere. Had it not been for the fact that some highly specialist elements of the construction are not available in Namibia, even the remaining three percent of the contract value would also have been awarded to local companies,” De Klerk said.
He went on to add that it is regrettable that the clip is clearly intended to convey a false impression, and stated that the company reserves its rights to recourse in the matter.
The circulating video shows a huge amount of bricks being loaded onto haulage trucks in South Africa and destined for Namibia.