Trade minister Lucia Iipumbu says the government has revisited one of its restrictions of the lockdown and decided to open up shops not only to provide clothing and other materials for expectant mothers and their babies, but also to provide winter clothing and other materials such as blankets as winter approaches. Iipumbu said this at the Covid-19 Communication Centre on Wednesday afternoon.

Lucia Iipumbu

She added that the ministry has already drafted letters to retailers to open winter clothing sections, especially for children. These shops are expected to open their winter clothing sections by tomorrow or by the time they’ve received the letter.

The trade minister said going forward, the ministry is setting up the mechanisms to allow for online shopping. She noted that as a way of embracing the fourth industrial revolution and thus encourage consumers to shop online.

She said once the shops and businesses open , consumers still need to observe the hygiene and social distancing measures.

The Namibia Competition Commission chief executive officer Vitalis Ndalikokule says they have set up new regulations for retailers and they are monitoring all prices and shops that are suspected of profiteering.

Vitalis Ndalikokule

Also speaking at the CCC, he said if there is proof of such unscrupulous behaviour, those caught will be fined. However, emphasis is on engagement before prosecution.

Ndalikokule added that the NaCC issues a warning to retailers after preliminary findings showed that some prices increased sporadically and were not reflecting of operational costs. He said retailers took advantage in the increase in demand for health essentials and food items after the lockdown. He said the regulation is very clear on the actions to be taken against retailers who unnecessarily increase the prices.

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