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Namibia Grape Company under new ownership

The Namibia Grape Company (NGC) is now under the full custodianship of the National Youth Service (NYS).

The official handing over of the company took place on Friday with vice president Nangolo Mbumba as the officiator of the event, according to The Namibian.

Mbumba said the change in ownership of the company was a Cabinet decision that directed the then Ministry of Lands and Resettlement to acquire full ownership of the NGC on behalf of the government.

The idea is to transfer it to the NYS which provides personal development and employment opportunities for the youth, he said.

"The ultimate goal of the acquisition of the NGC by NYS is to ensure institutional self-sufficiency and sustainable empowerment of the Namibian youth," Mbumba said.

Capespan South Africa is responsible for global sales and marketing, working with the local Namibian management of NGC to build up an extensive market presence.

Over the years Capespan has consistently provided a profit share to NYS in addition to the capital investments, over and above its contractual obligations.

Youth minister, Agnes Tjongarero said the NYS had provided guidance to the venture, ensuring good corporate governance and a positive contribution to the surrounding community.

“The farm provides employment for up to 2 000 workers during harvest season but is responsible for 300 permanent employees."

"The youth take up about 65% of these jobs, thus making an important contribution to tackling youth unemployment,” said Tjongarero.

Capespan managing director Tonie Fuchs said Capespan with its government partners had invested in the farm and its operations, but most importantly, the company also founded the NGC Foundation.

“Through this trust, we have supported local schools, bought ambulances, given bursaries and built houses for local teachers."

The NGC was started in 1998 by a group of previously disadvantaged Namibians who secured funding from the Government Institutions Pension Fund to acquire over 1,923 acres of land.

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