BBLNN stands firm against property repossessions

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Black Business Leadership Network of Namibia (BBLNN) president Irene Simeon-Kurtz last Friday affirmed the decision to challenge the repossession of properties by commercial banks. She believes commercial banks are on an onslaught against the plight of black businesses in the country.

“Repossession and auctions from commercial banks are contrary to government goals and agendas. With current situations happening, government cannot be talking of job creation and alleviation of poverty if local businesses are forced to close down,” said Simeon-Kurtz during a media briefing.

The BBLNN was formed by a group of previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs from different business sectors.

Simeon-Kurtz emphasised the National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) and the Investment Promotion Bill as examples of government’s goals and agendas. She noted that such policies are earmarked to revive businesses, but that the delay in implementation is questionable. The gist of the NEEEF transformation policy is to serve as a corrective measure of the indisputable socio-economic inequality produced by past discriminatory laws and practices. More aptly, it is to amend the great income disparities that exist in Namibia since independence. 

Simeon-Kurtz told journalists that the network will not rest until the policies are implemented. “Soon, we will be visiting State House, and the discussion will be around these policies that are earmarked to tackle the issue of inequality between formerly disadvantaged Namibians. We are here to stay, and people should get used to it. Government should know we don’t want to just be mentioned as SMEs, we also want to be corporates” she stressed, adding that apartheid-era laws continue to benefit only some, thereby calling for urgent intervention. 

 “Anyone who is opposing these policies is sabotaging the local and developmental goals of the country, and we are coming for you,” said Simeon-Kurtz.

At the same occasion, chairperson of the BBLNN Eliphas Simon said the network is consulting relevant stakeholders to ensure they are noticed and bailed out.

“Our members are losing properties. We don’t sleep. We only think of who will it be tomorrow,” he noted.

Meanwhile, government, through the justice ministry, last month announced that it will conduct consultative meetings with key stakeholders to prevent vulnerable persons from losing their primary homes. This comes as banks foreclosed on houses valued at N$230 million during the first six months of 2021. 

According to justice ministry spokesperson Simon Idipo, the issue of defaulting debtors losing their homes, particularly primary homes, has been an ongoing concern for years. There is thus a need for acceleration in key policy implementation.