Ohorongo dispute – hopes for amicable agreement

Ohorongo dispute – hopes for amicable agreement
Published: 04 April 2011

The Namibian organisation for commerce and industry is hoping to reach an amicable understanding with Namibian cement producer Ohorongo Cement on unfair trading practices.

The issue will only reach the Namibian Competition Commission if Ohorongo Cement “does not address the concerns or if it does not address them satisfactorily,” said the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).
Ohorongo Cement, which opened Namibia’s first integrated cement factory earlier this year has been accused by local retailers of monopolistic tactics and unfair trading practices.  The company does not allow local retailers, the majority of which are northern based, to use their own trucks to transport purchased stock unless they enter to an agreement with Ohorongo which have a number of conditions.
Ohorongo Cement Managing Director, Hans-Wilhelm Schutter, together with manager for sales, marketing and logistics, Johan Burger, have, however, said the comments are very surprising, especially that the company has one price for all without any discrimination.

"We have one price for all, everyone who adheres to certain condition buys from us. Everybody has the same bag price for that town or region," said Schutte adding that it is very important for the cement company to have "a very transparent pricing policy".

The conditions include credit checks unless the customer buys in cash and a minimum purchase of 680 bags of cement.

The company did, however, admit it does not allow retailers to use their own transport, other than that of the company. Retailers with their own transport must enter into a prior agreement with Ohorongo Cement. The agreement involves meeting specific requirements.