THE first Salt Conference on the African Continent

Africa's First Salt Conference in Swakopmund

(by Sharlien Tjambari) 
THE first Salt Conference on the African Continent covering key trends and developments, challenges, and influencing factors shaping world salt supply and demand, took place in Swakopmund on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Andre Snyman the Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings said the purpose of the Annual Salt Conference annually is to bring all the role players together in the salt industry across the world. “The main biggest benefit for us is that we can develop the salt market for Namibia in terms of more international export clients and the other main factor is the fact that we can learn from new developments in the world about salt and learn about new opportunities as well,” Snyman said.

While sharing a brief overview of the salt market in terms of production, Snyman said the annual salt production in Namibia is near to 1.3 million tons per annum. According to Snyman, Walvis Bay Salt annually produces 1.1 million tons of crude salt depending on the evaporation rate and Swakop Salt produces 120 000 tons. Snyman mentioned that salt is Namibia’s biggest export product in terms of volume and exports through the Port of Walvis Bay alone are between 800 000 and 900 000 tons per annum.

Namibia exports salt to Southern Africa – going into the clinical industry, but also for industrial markets. Namibia also exports its salt to West Africa, East Africa, and neighbouring countries. According to Snyman, Namibia also exports on a regular basis to North America. “We are hoping to open up entrance into Brazil.”

Like many other industries, the Salt Company faces huge challenges that hamper production such as dust storms, which cause dust particles on the salt. “Because our salt is open, we are going to construct an 18 000 square m2 warehouse in the port, that process has already started and will take a year- to protect the integrity of our product in the port – so that is what we are going to do to mitigate the risk of population in the port.”

Snyman said another challenge that they are faced with is climate fluctuations. The volume of the ocean is expanding, and it is projected a medium sea level rise by 2050 impacting all low-lying salt fields across the world and this is something that needs to be watched.

Snyman said, unfortunately, there is not a lot from a salt field perspective with rising sea levels that one can do, “unfortunately, we see already signs all across the world on low-lying areas where there are more instances of where the waves in springtime are causing damage to the operations and there is not a lot one can do about that.”

Veston Malango, the Chief Executive Officer for the Chamber of Mines of Namibia said it should be noted that although an industrial mineral, salt is a unique mineral, unique in several ways from the rest. According to Malango, the mining industry is often reminded that minerals are a depleting asset, especially when new policy considerations are being made. However, salt is an exception. Contrary to public perception, salt is a renewable natural resource, a renewable mineral.

“With global warming, there is no talk of a drop in ocean levels, the opposite is often the case. The real concern is a rise in ocean water levels.” Malango further stated that salt is a low-cost and high-volume commodity, implying a high sensitivity to logistical costs which can easily be more than the value of the product itself.

“This Forum is an opportunity for Namibia to learn experiences from other salt-producing countries on how efficiencies can be enhanced to remain competitive. I am pleased to note that all major players in Namibia are actively here, i.e., Walvis Bay Salt & Chemicals, the Salt Company, and Prime Salt at Cape Cross, the first two being major players at the Chamber of Mines of Namibia.”

Mining is the backbone of the Namibian mining industry, contributing 12.2% to GDP, over 50% of foreign exchange earnings, is an important source of taxes, royalties, and export levies for the government, provides employment opportunities, and above all, mining creates a multiplier effect in the economy.

 

Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (Pty) Ltd
P O Box 2471
Walvis Bay
Namibia

Tel:  +264 64 273 0200
Fax:  +264 64 20 9635
Email: info@wbsalt.com.test

Bulk Sales Agent:
Kevin Brett
Tel:  +27 11 803 2904
Mobile:  +27 83 627 2329
kbrett@ilangasel.co.za

Business Development Director:  Gregory Swartz
Tel:  +264 64 273 0200
Mobile:  +264 81 128 6355
Gregory.swartz@wbsalt.com.test

Uplifting local sports

Mineral benefication is on of Walvis Bay Salts major focus areas. Over the last 59 years Walvis Bay Salt has consistently reinvested its profits into the business , and Namibia which has seen our annual production of solar sea salt grow to over 1 million ton per annum. This makes us the largest solar sea salt producing entity in Sub Saharan Africa. We are honored to be involved with the development of the Namibian Child and the young talent on a National basis. Over the last 10 years we supported the Walvis Bay Salt Cricket Youth Week at the coast.

The majority of the U/19 team members participated in those weeks. And now with the international participation of the Namibian U/19 mens cricket team, we as the name sponsor for the next two years, have aligned our business strategy to become a fully integrated international salt export company. 

We wish the Team well in the upcoming tournaments. Make your country, your team and yourself proud. 

PHOTO: Walvis Bay Salt handed over cricket shirts to the Namibian U/19 mens cricket team on Monday, 10 July 2023 at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek.

An empowering Partnership

An empowering partnership

UNITRANS Africa Namibia empowers females through partnership with Walvis Bay Salt

 After eight months of intensive training, Uli Nuule can proudly claim to be the first female truck driver at Unitrans Africa Namibia qualified to transport bulk loads by road. She is one of 795 female hopefuls who in 2021 applied for the vacancy specifically targeting women, and the only one of two females who were selected to successfully complete the training program. 

“As there is no women representation in hazardous goods transportation, Unitrans Africa Namibia made a conscious decision to start changing the culture of this male dominated industry and to invest in training female driver,” says GM Phil Henning. 

Originally a firefighter by profession, Nuule wants to inspire her fellow females through this achievement: “We cannot be undermined by the perception that women cannot do certain jobs. Don’t hold back in reaching for your dreams,” Nuule says. She also wants to change the perception that truck drivers are uneducated. “I had to go through tough training to qualify for this job and had to achieve an average of more than eighty percent,” she adds. 

During August, celebrated as Women’s Month, Nuule proudly joined her male colleagues in transporting bulk salt to the port of Walvis Bay. Thanks to the transport partnership between Walvis Bay Salt and Unitrans Africa Namibia, Nuule can now set her eyes on racking up the hours to achieve her dream of driving bulk fuel tankers long distance in a few years’ time. 

Unitrans Africa is known for the reliable movement of products throughout Africa, focusing its Namibian operations on the bulk transportation of fuel and mining transportation of bulk salt for Walvis Bay Salt.

The short distance transportation of salt to the port of Walvis Bay is ideal as it requires skilled driving over short distances with frequent loading and off-loading. Although salt is not hazardous goods, the transportation of the cargo from the salt mine to the port of Walvis Bay demands the highest level of social and safety awareness. 

 The challenge for females, or any person for that matter, who wishes to pursue a career in the transportation of hazardous goods, is that specialised training and extensive experience is required, hence only skilled drivers are normally considered for the job. 

“As a company, we are extremely proud of Nuule for her dedication and perseverance in completing the rigorous in-house theoretical and practical training,” says Henning. He explains that this included nearly 37 hours of driving time in preparation for her Code CE license test. Due to the high standard and difficulty of the test, the chance of success on the first attempt is about 15%. Nuule’s fifth attempt was successful. She however still needs three years of driving experience before she will be fully qualified to drive bulk fuel tankers. 

After obtaining her Code CE license in June 2022, Nuule still had to go through Unitrans Africa Namibia’s defensive driving training and evaluation program before being certified to drive independently. This included nearly 145 hours of co-driving, covering a distance of 4 300km, during which time she was evaluated on a number of levels, including general driving skills, risk assessment and safety, turning skills, loading/off-loading skills, speed, gear ratio, to name but a few. The total investment by Unitrans Africa Namibia to fully qualify Nuule as a bulk load truck driver is N$166,000.00.

“As far as our mining operations are concerned, the salt road is one of our biggest safety risks. The intense training and high safety standards maintained by Unitrans Africa Namibia’s drivers is one of the reasons we have partnered with the company,” says Walvis Bay Salt’s Managing Director Andre Snyman. “Congratulations to Unitrans Africa for this initiative, and particularly to Uli Nuule. We wish her many thousands of safe kilometres and all the success with her achieving her dream of becoming a fully qualified hazardous goods truck driver,” Snyman adds. 

Walvis Bay Salt, through its various subsidiaries, is the largest producer of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa. The company transports annually in the order of 600 000 tons of processed salt to the port of Walvis Bay for exports to various markets internationally.

 

Brick-paving intersection

Another First for Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay boasts its first Brick-paving intersection

In the picture: the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Municipality of Walvis Bay, Frans Gonteb, The Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt, Andre Snyman, Walvis Bay Mayor, Trevino Forbes, Robert Schaaf from WML (Coast) Consulting Engineering, the representative of K Neumaier Construction, David Olivier, and Frans Nghifiua, Engineer at Roads and Building Control at the Municipality of Walvis Bay.

August 2020

The blacktop surface of the intersection between Nangol Mbumba Drive and 5th Road in Walvis Bay has been replaced by heavy-duty brick paving. This is to minimise the impact of salt trucks and other heavy vehicles on the road surface of this particular intersection.
A total of 55 000 brick pavers were used to complete the job.

Walvis Bay Salt, announced last year that it would fund the project, as it recognises the impact salt trucks have on the street surface on this intersection. Salt is hauled daily from the salt pans to the port of Walvis Bay, using Kovambo Nujoma Avenue and then 5th Road that leads to the port’s south gate.
The project was completed recently in conjunction with the municipality of Walvis Bay, WML (Coast) Consulting Engineers and K Neumaier Construction.
With salt production output increasing, approximately 1 million tons of salt could be hauled between the salt pans and the port of Walvis Bay in the foreseeable future.

Walvis Bay Salt Refiners is constantly looking at innovations to minimise the impact of its salt transport operations on Walvis Bay’s street infrastructure.
The Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt, Mr André Snyman said that the Walvis Bay Salt is proud to be associated with the upgrading of the intersection.
At a small ceremony recently to mark the completion of the project, the Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt, Mr André Snyman, said a number of new hi-tech salt hauling trucks would be introduced in the near future.

This new generation “smart trucks” are twenty-seven metres long and has the carrying capacity to reduce the number of daily trips between the salt pans and the port of Walvis Bay by almost half. The vehicles have a wider turning circle and would reduce the impact on any road surface. The trucks will also generate less noise, and less greenhouse gas emissions.

Snyman further reassured Walvis Bay residents that Walvis Bay Salt will continue to look at solutions to reduce the impact bulk salt hauling has on certain segments of Walvis Bay’s public infrastructure. “We will not hesitate to embrace new concepts and new technology as it develops. Bear with us”, concluded Snyman.

The General Manager of Roads and Building Control at the Municipality of Walvis Bay, Mr André Burger, explained the brick paving surface would better protect the road surface from deforming under the wheels of heavy vehicles. It has a better resistance against the torque of vehicle- and truck wheels.
The newly elected mayor of Walvis Bay, Cllr Trevino Forbes, also attended the ceremony and expressed his satisfaction with the initiative taken by Walvis Bay Salt Holdings to invest in protecting the harbour town’s public infrastructure. Cllr Forbes encouraged the private sector to engage in more such public-private initiatives with the municipality of Walvis Bay.

“I believe the rate of development of any town plays an important role in the country’s overall stability and growth”, the mayor said.
Cllr. Forbes assured residents that the newly elected town council of Walvis Bay is committed to improve Walvis Bay’s infrastructure, including much needed housing.

Havana Project School

Hopeless no more

Havana Secondary Project School gets development bailout

August 2020

After receiving basic education under tents during rain and storm, the learners of the Havana Secondary Project School have received N$100 000 from Walvis Bay Salt Holdings towards the development of the school.

Attending the ceremony was Walvis Bay Salt Holdings MD Andre Snyman, the director of education for the Khomas Region, Gerard Vries, and the minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo.

Alweendo said despite trying times and tough conditions, children should look beyond their present circumstances to a greater future.

“Don’t let your circumstances determine your future. Not so long ago you were taught under these tents that were almost flooded, but as you receive this donation, we hope that it will go to good use in building classrooms.

“This is not the only school that was started under a tree and this will not be the last, but I think it is important that we show our gratitude to the teachers who make sure that the children are educated nonetheless,” he said.

“Investing in education must come as second nature because there is a dire need for proper educational facilities in Namibia, especially in parts like the Havana informal settlement.”

The minister also said that his ministry would supply the whole area with electricity within the next few weeks.

The school principal, Simasiku Mweti, said words would never be enough to thank their donors.

“To everyone in attendance, thank you for the support and a bigger thank you to Walvis Bay Salt Holdings for this donation and this is the first of many steps in the right direction,” Mweti said.

“Slowly but surely good Samaritans all over Namibia are giving towards the education sector to help build the futures of all the young people and leaders that this country needs.

Wash Plant Opening

Wash Plant Opening

How a new wash plant injected innovation and growth into Walvis Bay Salt Holdings.

Published on: 25 June 2020

Salt of the earth

THE NEW WASH PLANT SAW A PROJECT COST OF N$93.6M RESULTING IN 220 TONS OF SALT BEING PROCESSED PER HOUR AND 4 750 TONS PER DAY, AT 90% OEE

Throughout history salt has played a dramatic and pivotal role through trade routes, voyages of discovery, power struggles, religious ceremonies, agriculture, medical treatments and more. Not to mention adding taste to make the most delicious dishes in the world.

At Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (WBSH) in Walvis Bay, Namibia, salt is literally of the earth. Harvested from the sea, the salt mine covers over 6,000 hectares of land, producing some 900,000 tonnes of processed salt per year. All it needs is seawater, sunshine and wind – luckily in plentiful supply in the area.

As Africa’s largest sub-Saharan salt mine, the traditional core business of Walvis Bay Salt Refiners (WBSR) is to produce, process and market solar sea salt in both bulk and bag formats for the local and international markets. The crude solar salt WBSR produces needs to be upgraded by being washed and processed to remove impurities such as calcium, magnesium and insolubles and to reduce the moisture content, in order to meet a wide range of client’s specifications.

Andre is upbeat about the opportunities to generate revenue from this low price commodity. “To be succesful there are a few key points – you must have volume, you must be in control of your logistics and have high economy of scale benefits in terms of your volumes,” he explains. “People think all salt is the same. That’s not true. Salt is not salt. It gets graded and you must have the ability to provide the correct technical specifications to a wide variety of markets.” As Andre explains, five years ago the company didn’t have that ability, but now, due to a new wash plant being installed, they do.

Internal innovation and growth

After a salt field expansion in 2015, WBSH required the ability to wash up to 1,200,000 tons of crude salt per year. The previous wash plant, which was constructed in 1989 and had reached the end of its life, had to operate at very high OEE levels, 365 days per year, 24 hours per day in order to meet salt field capacity and market demand. In addition, the facility had constraints such as a too small intake hopper, limited centrifuge capabilities and a relatively high operating cost per ton.

The biggest improvements of the new processing plant are anticipated to be lower processing losses, a drier product, lower power consumption, as well as the fact

that the larger plant intake capabilities will support harvesting and haulage operations at a constant feed rate. This investment enhances international sales and marketing efforts by offering a wider range of product specifications from a lower cost base. Added to the fact that the new plant increases the processing capacity of salt from

120 to 220 tons per hour, it also brings the benefit of improved product quality in terms of lower insolubles, lower calcium and magnesium levels, and in general improves the company’s ability to produce chemical grade product.

“Initially the new wash plant has had a few challenges but we have met them all,” says Andre. “The WBSR site is located in the Kuiseb river delta close to the sea, which made it necessary to cast raft foundations

on a sand basis just 300mm above the water level on the site. The harsh, highly corrosive environmental conditions also required special design and standards to ensure a plant life of more than 30 years.”

By investing in the new wash plant, WBSH have seen improvements all round. The new wash plant requires lower operator input, making more time available for monitoring, measuring and maintenance work. The capital investment of N$93.6M ensures sufficient salt processing capacity in order to target various international markets with confidence as they can meet the ever- increasing international specifications. “We think of ourselves as salt farmers,” says Andre. “This new plant makes our efforts more effective and sustainable and it wouldn’t have been possible without a great multi-national design team with extensive knowledge of salt and the conditions on the Walvis Bay Salt Refiners’ site behind it.”

Salty Facts

  • Salt was one of the greatest treasures of the ancient world.
  • Man found his way to salt by following animal paths to salt licks and so salt trails developed.
  • The oldest known salt production site is in the city of Provadia, Bulgaria, dating from about 4,500 years BC.
  • Salt was used as currency in ancient Rome, and the roots of the words ‘soldier’ and ‘salary’ can be traced
  • to Latin words related to giving or receiving salt.
  • Salt taxes and monopolies have led to wars and protests everywhere from China to France, India and parts of Africa.
  • Salt has had cultural and religious significance in every religion from Buddhism to Christianity. Salt is mentioned often in the bible, most famously when Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.
  • Salt was so valuable it was traded for slaves, which is the origin of the expression ‘not worth his salt’ or ‘not worth his weight in salt.’
  • Someone who is the ‘salt of the earth’ is a dependable, unpretentious person, a saying which originated from the bible.
  • ‘Salting the earth,’ however, refers to an ancient military tactic of plowing fields with salt so that no crops could be grown.
  • Salt could mean life or death when it was used to preserve meat and food.
  • Superstitions around salt had people believing that spilling salt meant bad luck. Throwing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder was a way to cast off the evil.
  • taking something with a ‘pinch of salt’ means remaining sceptical about its truth, which relates to the fact that salt makes everything more palatable.

PEOPLE THINK ALL SALT IS THE SAME. THAT’S NOT TRUE. SALT IS NOT SALT. IT GETS GRADED AND YOU MUST HAVE THE ABILITY TO PROVIDE THE

CORRECT TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

TO A WIDE VARIETY OF MARKETS.’

Andre Snyman
WBSH Managing Director

Download document here

WBSR ground breaking ceremony

WBSR ground breaking ceremony

Walvis Bay Salt Refiners invests in new salt wash plant

Published on: 25 June 2020

Walvis Bay Salt Refiners will soon invest more than N$90 million in a new wash plant, the single biggest capital investment since the inception of the company in 1964.

The last major investment was in 2015 when the company expanded its salt field’s footprint by adding an additional 1,100 hectares of concentration and evaporation ponds to its network of ponds, now covering a total area of 5,300 hectares. The company also installed an additional seawater intake and a feeder pipeline.

The current maximum output of the company’s 30-year old wash plant is about 900,000 tons per annum if operated at full capacity all year round. At this rate of production, the wash plant is only able to process about 80% of the expanded salt field volumes. The new wash plant will have a washed salt capacity of 1.1 million tons per annum.

Walvis Bay Salt Refiners, a subsidiary of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings, is the largest producer of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa. The company produces solar sea salt by pumping seawater from the Walvis Bay lagoon through a series of concentration and crystallisation ponds. Over a period of 18 to 24 months, the seawater is evaporated to ultimately form a thick layer of salt crystals on crystalliser pavements, which are mechanically harvested, washed, dried and stored to yield chemical grade or general purpose salt. Products, which fully comply with international quality standards and certifications for various consumer markets, are supplied in both bulk and bag formats.

“The rapid expansion of our business during the last couple of years has necessitated this investment in latest technology to keep up with the higher demand,” says Andre Snyman, Walvis Bay Salt Holdings Managing Director.

Since the company’s inception just more than 50 years ago it has increased production more than 20-fold. Apart from supplying to the local market, roughly 80% of products are exported to various markets internationally. In recent years Walvis Bay Salt Refiners made great in-roads in opening up new markets in Europe and the United States.

The new wash plant will offer a range of benefits including a reduction in washing losses, lower moisture levels and improved product quality. In general, international markets require moisture content to be lower than three per cent. The new salt wash plant will have the capacity and ability to ensure Walvis Bay Salt Refiners meets this and other stringent international quality standards.

Different plant designs and layouts were evaluated through a process of intense research that commenced in 2015. Where the current wash plant consists of a single line, the new plant design will cater for two independent wash lines, reducing downtime and risk of defaulting on a shipment.

The management and execution of this project will be carried out by a team of appropriately qualified and experienced personnel from the internal resources of Walvis Bay Salt Refiners, as well as local engineering service providers overseen by an independent project manager.

“Walvis Bay Salt Holdings is well respected in the mining and manufacturing sectors of Namibia, contributing significantly to the local economy. Through ongoing investments in infrastructure development and human capacity building the company clearly shows its committed to supporting our Government’s ‘growth at home’ strategy,” says Snyman. The group also produces high-quality table salt for the premium Cerebos brand for local and export markets.

Construction of the new plant will commence during June 2018. It is planned to start cold commissioning in October 2019 and handover of the plant for production is scheduled for mid-November 2019.

The infrastructure investment will also include a new reception, security office, induction office and information centre training room as well as warehouse and ablution facilities.

“Walvis Bay Salt Refiners is operating its business in a Ramsar site. It is an important tourist visiting point and is also a place of learning for regular school tours. The new reception area will provide space and will be equipped to accommodate school tours and tourist visits, which ultimately not only contributes to the image of the company, but also the town of Walvis Bay,” says Snyman.

END

For more information please contact:

Marinda van Wyk (Executive Assistant)

marinda.van.wyk@wbsalt.com.test

Tel: 064-213 352

Donation contribution – Media release

Donation contribution - Media release

Walvis Bay Salt Holdings Female employees contribute own money to purchase re-useable sanitary pads for school girls

Published on: 25 June 2020

100 girls ranging in ages 12 -18 at the Okamwandi Combined School in Henties Bay can now confidently attend school during their menstruation cycle, thanks to the initiative of female employees at Walvis Bay Salt Holdings.

As part of the company’s Women’s Day celebrations earlier this year, female employees pledged N$200 of their own money to be used towards the purchase of re-usable sanitary pads for underprivileged schoolgirls. The money raised by the employees was matched by the company and 100 washable sanitary pads and panties were purchased. It was decided to make the donation to the girls of the Okamwandi Combined School in Henties Bay. The school is the only public school in Henties Bay and accommodates nearly 1300 learners in two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The initiative was spurred by the fact that research has confirmed the negative effects of poor menstrual health management on a girl’s education.  The lack of access to sanitary wear and adequate sanitation facilities can affect a girl’s attendance at school by 25% per year. 

The company’s current theme and focus in terms of its CSI initiatives is the “Namibian child.”

“Management always consider the impact and sustainability of its corporate social investment initiatives.  Unfortunately, the reality is still, that girls in our society suffer inequities and discrimination, due to the mere fact of the gender roles ascribed by society.  So, it is imperative on us that we ensure girls are not further deprived of valuable lesson time, by something so common, as a menstrual cycle.  This small contribution; has opened the dialogue with the school management on other avenues where we as a company and as individual employees can empower our Namibian girls”, explained HR Manager Brumilda Britz of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings. She added that this is a project that the company would like to repeat every year.  

The product purchased is a patented design where the washable, reusable sanitary pad clips directly onto a 100% cotton panty.  The products can last a girl from 3 to 5 years. The pads are eco-friendly, contain no chemicals or gels, are washable and reusable.  The pad is made up of 6 layers of fabric, the outer being the 100% cotton knit, water proofing, 3 layers of hydrophilic fabric and then the inner is a hydrophobic fabric.

Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (WBSH) female employees address some girls from Okamwandi Combined School in Henties Bay, explaining to them how to use the washable sanitary pads and panties. From left to right is Lydia Akawa, WBSH HR Assistant, Brumilda Britz, WBSH HR Manager, Marinda van Wyk, WBSH Executive Assistant and School Principal Mrs Dalina Sabtha.
These girls at the Okamwandi Combined School in Henties Bay can now confidently attend school during their menstruation cycle after receiving washable sanitary pads and panties purchased through money raised by the female employees of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (WBSH). WBSH HR Manager Brumilda Britz (right) officially hands over a sample of the product to School Principal Mrs Dalina Sabtha (left).

Covid Parcel Donation

Covid Parcel Donation​

Walvis Bay Salt Holdings’ 10,000 meals a ray of hope for the restituted

Erongo Chief Regional Offices Ludumill Habate Doëses, Mayor Immaneul Wilfred, Erongo Governors Neville Andre, Walvis Bay Salt Holdings MD Andre Snyman, Erongo Regional Council Chairperson Juuso Kambueshe, and Walvis Bay Rural Constituency Councilor John Nangolo with some of the food parcels.
Published on: 25 June 2020

Although the COVID-19 global pandemic has to date spared Namibian lives, many communities across the country have been hugely impacted in terms of food insecurity and livelihoods. Walvis Bay Salt Refiners (WBSR) has extended a helping hand and donated much needed food parcels to alleviate the plight of the elderly and most vulnerable citizens of the coastal town.

‘’Walvis Bay Salt Refiners has been a corporate citizen of Walvis Bay for more than 55 years. We are part of the fibre and heritage of this town. It pains my heart to see fellow citizens of our town suffer during this time. Despite the economic impact of Covid-19, in times of crisis such as this, we cannot stand idly by and see our vulnerable community members suffer,” says Andre Snyman, Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings.

According to Snyman, much-needed basic meal ingredients (such as maize meal, sugar, bread flour, yeast, cooking oil, tins of fish, soup packets, coffee and tea) were packed into 20kg parcels, enough to prepare roughly 10,000 meals. “Although this might feel like a drop in the ocean considering the widespread need at the moment, I will sleep better at night knowing that we could at least provide some sustenance for individuals and families for a few weeks to come,” Snyman noted.

Some of the food parcels were handed over to the Office of the Mayor of Walvis Bay on Tuesday, which will be distributed to the homeless and destitute citizens living in shacks. This forms part of the ongoing drive by the Office of the Mayor through the Mayoral Relief Fund for assistance from the private sector to address the most pressing social needs during Covid-19.

WBSR also donated food parcels to Huis Palms old age home and His House Care Centre, a convalescent home that cares for underprivileged and elderly people.

As a producer of a basic and essential foodstuff such as table salt, WBSR were allowed to continue with operations during Stage 1 of lockdown, implementing strict precautionary measures to safeguard all its stakeholders against the potential spread of Covid-19. These measures remain in place and are strictly enforced.

“As one of the largest producers of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa, we have to ensure that we comply with the most stringent health and safety protocols. For example, most of South Africa’s drinking water is treated with salt from WBSR, so we have to keep on supplying into this market in order to ensure sufficient good quality drinking water,” Snyman added.

Fortunately, the company’s international export business has not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.