by Taati Niilenge
The salt producer Walvis Bay Salt Refiners has continued to operate and make salt for domestic use and export during Namibia’s Covid-19 fight.
With salt production classified as part of essential services, and a demand from all over the world for the salt it produces, the company has been kept in business since restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Namibia came into force near the end of March.
“We are grateful to have been allowed to operate during the stage 1 lockdown,” the managing director of the company, Andre Snyman, said at a handover of food donated by the company at Walvis Bay on Tuesday.
“As the producer of a basic and essential foodstuff such as table salt, the company was allowed to continue to operate, concentrating a lot on strict precautionary measures against the spread of Covid-19. Most of southern Africa’s drinking water is also treated with salt from our company. We therefore had to keep on supplying into this market.”
Walvis Bay Salt Refiners gave back to the Walvis Bay community by donating basic food items to needy residents of the harbour town on Tuesday. The food was packed in 20-kilogram parcels that altogether are enough to prepare about 10 000 meals.
Some of the parcels were handed over to the office of the Walvis Bay mayor for distribution, while others went to old age homes and care centres.
Erongo regional governor Neville Andre and Walvis Bay mayor Immanuel Wilfried applauded the company for playing its part in taking care of the community during a period when many people do not have enough money to feed their families.
Walvis Bay Salt Refiners is the largest producer of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa. The company uses seawater pumped from the Walvis Bay lagoon to make salt through an evaporation process.
About 80% of the company’s salt production is shipped to international markets mainly in Africa, Europe and the Americas.
The company inaugurated a new salt processing plant that cost more than N$93 million in February this year.