Articles on this Page
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Anger at poor publi...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Meat Board sub-comm...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Managing fall armyworm
- 04/23/19--16:00: _E-tax rollout postp...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Watch your mouth
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Violent Easter weekend
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Auto giants battle ...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Do good for others
- 04/23/19--16:00: _ACC: Budget not eno...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Solving your challe...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Warning of dire foo...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Hengari says justic...
- 04/23/19--16:00: _Anger grows over ki...
- 04/24/19--05:16: _ SA storm death tol...
- 04/24/19--08:08: _No more minting of ...
- 04/24/19--08:51: _Police mum on NIMT ...
- 04/24/19--16:00: _GIPF ready to serve
- 04/24/19--16:00: _Football a legal ba...
- 04/24/19--16:00: _Simon Jr calls out ...
- 04/24/19--16:00: _Hot-shot scorers in...
- 04/23/19--16:00: Anger at poor public services 25 years into SA democracy
- 04/23/19--16:00: Meat Board sub-committees meet
- 04/23/19--16:00: Managing fall armyworm
- 04/23/19--16:00: E-tax rollout postponed again
- 04/23/19--16:00: Watch your mouth
- 04/23/19--16:00: Violent Easter weekend
- 04/23/19--16:00: Auto giants battle used car dealers for Africa's huge market
- 04/23/19--16:00: Do good for others
- 04/23/19--16:00: ACC: Budget not enough to fight graft
- 04/23/19--16:00: Solving your challenges with remuneration
- 04/23/19--16:00: Warning of dire food shortages
- 04/23/19--16:00: Hengari says justice will prevail
- 04/23/19--16:00: Anger grows over killing
- 04/24/19--05:16: SA storm death toll rises to 51
- 04/24/19--08:08: No more minting of 5c coins
- 04/24/19--08:51: Police mum on NIMT killings
- 04/24/19--16:00: GIPF ready to serve
- 04/24/19--16:00: Football a legal battlefield
- 04/24/19--16:00: Simon Jr calls out Indongo
- 04/24/19--16:00: Hot-shot scorers in the Cosafa Cup
She pauses at one that declares: "The people shall share in the country's wealth!" and remarks wryly: "Where is that wealth?"
Hlatshwayo then slowly recites another: "There shall be houses, security and comfort!"
"Where [is the] comfort?" the 79-year-old asks. "Instead, we are still crying."
Hlatshwayo hails from Kliptown, a suburb of Johannesburg's Soweto township. Many people here live in crowded, makeshift homes built with corrugated iron sheets and other rudimentary materials.
Several families share a single, outside toilet.
"All these things written [here], none of them have been done," Hlatshwayo said, pointing at the triangular bronze slabs arranged to form an imposing, gleaming circle at the monument's heart.
As May 8 general elections approach, South Africans who accuse the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of reneging on Nelson Mandela's 1994 promise of "a better life for all", have staged often violent demonstrations in townships that still lack basic services 25 years after the country's first democratic vote, which ended white minority rule.
It was in Kliptown in 1955 that about 3 000 anti-apartheid activists adopted the Freedom Charter, a pinnacle document which became the cornerstone of the ANC's stated policies and the foundation of South Africa's much-admired constitution.
The monument erected on a civic square of the 116-year-old township attracts thousands of tourists each year.
But for local residents, the grandeur of the tower and its 10 surrounding pillars belies their suffering.
According to the 2019 Socio-Economic Survey published by the Centre for Risk Analysis, a policy research institute, the number of regular houses in South Africa has increased by a quarter since 1996.
The number of people with access to electricity went up by 61%, and access to flushing toilets rose 30%.
However, official statistics from 2017 show that 13.6% of South Africans were still living in informal settlements, more than a third had no access to flush or chemical toilets, and more than half had no piped water where they live.
The official unemployment rate - which does not count people who have given up looking for a job - is 27%.
"Where are the free houses? Our kids are staying in shacks," said Hlatshwayo, letting out a deep sigh. "A shack [is] for chickens to stay in."
She walks down a muddy street sporting a row of plastic, green, portable toilet cabins, and lovingly waves at a teenage girl stepping out of one.
"Imagine if you have a runny stomach at night, can you come out several times to such a toilet, in the dark?" Hlatshwayo asked.
Community leader, Bob Nameng, 49, runs a centre in Kliptown that aims to help unemployed and disillusioned young people.
"I'm very bitter inside," he told AFP from the patio of his house, which features colourful portraits he painted of some of the country's anti-apartheid struggle heroes, including Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
"ANC has been in power for many years, we were all ANC ... but right now I don't want to hear anything about ANC. ANC has never done anything for me," he said.
Nameng's home attracts many people with seemingly nowhere else to go.
Josiah "Fire" Nkosi, 69, whiles away the afternoon on its veranda, puffing away on a cigarette and reminiscing.
"Apartheid was better because there were plenty of jobs," he said. "But now there are no jobs, our children are not working."
Around the corner, under a footbridge, a man who identifies himself only as Dingo smokes shisha with friends.
"Instead of change, there is disaster. Our government is failing us," says the 42-year-old engineer who lost his job in December, pointing to a muddy, potholed street.
The government admits it has failed to fulfil the expectations of South Africa's 57 million citizens, and says the anger of the poor is justified.
"There are pockets of inadequacies. The only thing that we need to do is to up our game and ensure that we improve on those areas," public service minister Ayanda Dlodlo told AFP.
But she cautioned: "Let's also be pragmatic when we talk about 25 years: it's 25 years of trying to undo a special planning system that catered for a few" - referring to the apartheid regime which denied non-whites access to certain jobs, equal education, and public services.
"Much as we would have loved that in 25 years we could have reversed more than 40 years of inequality, it is impossible," said the minister. – Nampa/AFP
The committees are the Livestock Marketing Committee (LMC), the FANMeat Committee and the Animal Health Committee (AHC).
The most important feedback was with regards to the annual farm inspections by the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), which forms part of animal disease monitoring.
Due to financial shortages, DVS is reviewing this system.
According to the Namibia Agriculture Union as soon as more detail is available, members will receive proper feedback.
“In short, it comes down to the fact that farms that do not form part of the surveillance zone will only receive farm inspections on an ad hoc basis,” said the union.
This puts emphasis on the importance for producers to submit their Animal Health Declaration (AHD) forms twice a year.
“Failure by producers to do so may lead to the prevention of livestock movement and resulting marketing restrictions.”
The union said that the NamLITS system will automatically identify these farms.
According to the NAU the implementation of the action will be formally backdated from July 2018.
“This means that if a producer has not submitted an AHD form for this period, he may be penalised. AHD information can be entered directly onto the NamLITS system, or the form can be downloaded from the NAMLits system and submitted by a producer at DVS offices.” The union stressed that getting proof of submission is important.
Meanwhile during the Livestock Marketing Committee meeting, the agriculture ministry gave feedback on the drought relief scheme.
This scheme applies from 1 April 1 to 31 December this year. The scheme has five components, of which the following three are implemented, namely the livestock marketing incentive, the emergency grazing support and the transport to and from emergency grazing.
Producers must also note that documentary evidence such as permits, VAT invoices, movement registers need to be carefully kept and handed in, to receive the drought aid.
Regarding the FANMeat scheme, the improvement and effectiveness of this system is being internally examined to ensure that it is reliable and up-to-date to ensure that producers are able to market their animals.
Namibia is one of the many countries which has already detected and reported the outbreak of fall armyworm this year.
Fall armyworm is a dangerous trans-boundary pest which can produce several generations per year. It has a high potential to spread continually - by travelling up to 100 km per night, and through trade routes.
The FAO says that farmers need significant support to be able to manage FAW sustainably in their cropping systems through integrated pest management activities.
According to the FAO, countries should scale-up efforts to collect specific evidence on the spread and impact of fall armyworm in African and Asian countries, with a specific focus on countries known to be at high risk of food insecurity due to the pest.
“Increase the use of the Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS) - a mobile application to identify and report the level of infestation and map its spread. The app also contains a training component which works offline and advises farmers on sustainable pest management.”
The FAO also recommends that since the pest cannot be eradicated, the long-term focus should be on the development of economically sound and sustainable pest management techniques for smallholder farmers.
“Support natural biological control efforts, such as use of predators and parasitoids rather than pesticides. Pesticides provide ineffective control of FAW and pose high risks to human health and the environment,” says the FAO.
It also says that the implementation of farmer field schools should be supported for the training of smallholder farmers on pest management.
Fall armyworm larvae prefer maize as a host plant, but can feed on more than 80 other plant species including rice, sorghum, vegetable crops and cotton.
Fall armyworm was first detected in central and west Africa in early 2016. Today, it is present in almost all countries of sub-Saharan Africa, with tens of millions of hectares of maize infested.
In Namibia a fall armyworm outbreak was reported on 14 February this year in areas such as Sacona, Kongola, Bukalo, Kasheshe and Musanga.
Following these reports the agriculture ministry undertook assessment missions in the affected areas, which confirmed that over 100 hectares of maize farmland was adversely affected by the worms.
In Namibia fall armyworm poses a significant threat to smallholder crop farmers, mainly maize farmers and has become a threat to food security. In the 2016/17 cropping season approximately 50 000 hectares of maize and millet were estimated to have been damaged by the pest which adversely affected 27 000 households.
The date when the new system must become operational has been delayed by a seemingly ineffective system.
Experts are critical of an apparent lack of project management, which usually provides a systematic introduction in stages, with the old system running parallel to the new one as a back-up.
Yesterday morning, the ministry announced that the monthly declaration of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) deductions, which employers had to make from 1 April, has been postponed to 20 September 2019.
The 30 June deadline for the submission of individual tax returns remains unchanged, but it will have to be done manually as in the past.
The Receiver of Revenue had instructed businesses to declare each employee's tax deduction monthly from the beginning of the new fiscal year.
According to the Receiver, most companies were not ready to make these declarations.
But sources in the business community say in principle these declarations do not pose any challenge, as any electronic payroll system provides data on individual tax deductions. They say the problem is more likely that the ministry required the data in a format different from those used by payroll programs used in the private sector. In an attempt to solve the problem, the finance ministry created an Excel spreadsheet, which companies were expected to fill in by copying and pasting data entries.
Some professionals fear this will expose the tax system to fraud.
Meanwhile, taxpayers are unsure what to do as the deadline for tax returns draws nearer.
The revenue office has repeatedly reminded all registered taxpayers to register on its internet portal, called the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS).
According to experts, no individual is obliged to register electronically, nor is it obligatory to file income tax returns electronically.
They say even the business community is not obliged to do so yet, but will eventually have to switch to the electronic system.
In the case of companies, ITAS provides a fully integrated system to control employees' tax deductions, value-added tax (VAT), and the tax liability of each company and its owner/s.
Therefore, at the beginning of the year, the tax office had also requested that future VAT periods and declarations be aligned with the company's financial year-end.
Again, treasury backed off when this turned out to pose a massive challenge to various businesses' cash flows. The backlash was accompanied by a promise that there would be no fines for outstanding VAT payments. Here too, many experts have their doubts, because if the system has to be constantly rewritten and adjusted, it is reasonable to assume that a perfect storm is brewing, where people will be inundated by demands and penalties.
Afrobarometer concludes that there are growing concerns about threats to democracy, such as “creeping restrictions” on individual rights and the exercise of basic freedoms.
On the other hand, it acknowledges that since 1999 these liberties have been better protected than it had been under previous authoritarian regimes.
The Afrobarometer policy paper also states that the percentage of Africans who believe people must be careful what they say about politics has increased.
The report states that only 77% of Namibians believe they enjoy freedom of expression, while 49% of Namibians feel they have to be careful when they talk about politics.
It shows that 44% of Namibians feel they have to be careful about which political organisations they join, while 41% of Namibians feel they must be careful about how they vote in elections.
The report says support for associational freedom has declined in some of the continent's leading democracies such as Namibia, Ghana, Benin, South Africa and Senegal.
The report also finds that 37% of Namibians believe the government has the right to monitor communications, while 61% support privacy of communication.
The country seems to be divided on the issue of freedom of religious worship against the government's right to regulate religious speech.
About 51% of Namibians said they would support a government decision to impose curfews if they were faced with threats to public security.
The study also highlights that citizens' assessments of how free they are, and of how cautious they must be in exercising their rights, have worsened considerably over the past decade.
Hambeleleni Inamulyange Gabriel (25) died late on Saturday night after she was reportedly stabbed multiple times in the chest and stomach by her boyfriend, Festus Tuhafeni Frans (36), who committed suicide shortly afterwards. The murder and suicide took place at Oshimumu village in the Ohangwena Region.
Police at Gobabis arrested a 39-year-old suspect in the Epako residential area after he reportedly terrorised his girlfriend for three days.
He allegedly broke into her shack, stole corrugated-iron sheets and assaulted her several times. She eventually reported him to the police on 20 April, accusing him of raping her and causing serious injuries. Police have charged the unnamed man with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, housebreaking and rape.
Four other suspects were arrested for rape, including a 27-year-old man in Mariental who is accused of raping a 24-year-old woman in the early morning hours of Friday and a man (31) in Oshakati accused of raping a 27-year-old security guard on duty at a bar.
At Aussenkehr, a 33-year-old man was arrested after he was accused of raping a woman in the bathroom of a bar, and at Aroab police arrested a man (53) accused of raping a 39-year-old woman on Sunday night.
Eenhana police are investigating the rape of a 43-year-old woman who was attacked in the bush late on Sunday evening by a man still on the run.
Five armed robberies are being investigated by Windhoek police. Most of the victims were foreign nationals, including embassy staff from Angola.
An Angolan embassy official (65) sustained injuries after four masked men broke into his Klein Windhoek residence in the early morning hours of Thursday and assaulted him.
Four masked men reportedly overpowered two security guards at gunpoint, tied them up and entered the residence. They locked the official's two adult children in a bathroom and assaulted the man before fleeing with electronic equipment, money and clothing. No arrests have been made.
Another armed robbery was reported in the Otjomuise residential area of Windhoek on Friday. Three Egyptian nationals were attacked in their house by six suspects, armed with guns and machetes.
The robbers stole N$50 000 in cash, six cellphones and other electronic equipment. Two of the victims were treated for injuries they had sustained while fighting with some of the suspects.
Two of the suspects were arrested at the scene and another at a hospital where he had gone to have injuries treated.
A Cuban national sustained serious injuries when he and a colleague, also a Cuban, were attacked by three unknown men armed with knives on Friday.
The men were in a government bakkie when they were attacked. No arrests have been made.
Another armed robbery is being investigated after two tourists from the United Kingdom were attacked in their car while waiting for a gate to open at a Windhoek West guesthouse. The couple were attacked by four suspects who stole a handbag containing cash and cellphones. No arrests have been made.
Another armed robbery took place while a man was parked outside a house in the Auasblick suburb early on Tuesday morning.
Two armed suspects threatened the man at gunpoint, forced him to unlock the house and stole electronic equipment, jewellery, clothes and N$7 000 in cash. The suspects fled in a Jeep Cherokee which was later found abandoned in Havana. No arrests have been made.
Imported from Japan or the Middle East, they offer an affordable route to vehicle ownership in Kenya and have dominated the market for decades.
That is an obstacle big carmakers must overcome if they are to crack Africa, a market promising rapid growth as trade tensions threaten sales elsewhere. African consumers also still need conventional engines just as demand in more traditional markets is curbed by restrictions on carbon emissions.
Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota, Nissan and others have joined forces to lobby governments for steps that would reduce the imports that have made Sub-Saharan Africa notoriously difficult terrain and allow local production to flourish.
"The question on Africa isn't, 'Is it a market of the future?'" Mike Whitfield, Nissan's top executive for Africa, told Reuters. "It's a case of when."
Four years after forming the Association of African Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) their efforts are starting to bear fruit. Carmakers that set up local assembly plants could get tax holidays of up to 10 years and duty exemptions in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, according to government plans seen by Reuters.
Thomas Schaefer, who heads Volkswagen's Africa business, said there is a potential market in Sub-Saharan Africa for 3 to 4 million new cars, up from just 420 000 in 2017.
But that will require addressing the well-entrenched interests of second-hand car dealers, smugglers and lowering the price of new cars.
"It will largely depend on how successful the African governments are in limiting the amounts of second-hand imports and how price-competitive new vehicles can be with their tariffs," said Craig Parker, Africa research director at Frost & Sullivan, a US-based market research firm.
Africa's population and household incomes are rising rapidly. But its one billion inhabitants account for only 1% of the world's new passenger car sales, industry data shows. South Africans bought over 85% of those vehicles.
The AAAM identified Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana as potential manufacturing hubs and helped draft legislation setting up standards and incentives.
Details of governments' plans provided to Reuters demonstrate that African nations are keen to secure a spot as a beachhead for the industry.
Nigeria and Ghana are preparing to offer automakers tax holidays of up to 10 years and duty-free imports of parts and components used in local assembly. Nigeria also plans to double the levy on new, fully-built imported vehicles to 70% to boost demand for locally produced cars, though the policy's approval has been delayed.
In Kenya, automakers will pay no import or excise duties and get a 50% corporate tax break.
For African nations facing massive demographic pressures, such concessions make sense if they create jobs, said Jelani Aliyu, of Nigeria's National Automotive Design and Development Council.
"The multiplying effects are exponential," said Aliyu, who foresees supporting industries developing around the plants.
Legislative and fiscal frameworks are being finalised, but companies are already investing millions of dollars in new plants.
VW and Nissan have set up operations in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana or have pledged to do so. Honda and Peugeot have launched assembly plants in Nigeria, and Peugeot has done the same in Kenya.
Carmakers sorely need the business. Their South African divisions, which typically direct operations elsewhere on the continent, face stagnating domestic sales and scant growth prospects in their main export market, Europe. A chaotic Brexit or US tariff hikes could further dampen sales.
Toyota South Africa's chief executive Andrew Kirby said the strategy is: "Focus on Africa because Africa is going to grow significantly."
A pivot to Africa could also help insulate automakers from the immediate effects of the electric vehicle revolution. The continent is ill-placed to join it at the moment due to the higher prices of EVs and unreliable power grids.
Just 66 electric cars were sold last year in South Africa - the continent's most developed economy.
"Africa will most likely remain as the last bastion of internal combustion engines," Parker said.
Nevertheless, industry officials say the biggest hurdle to developing the market for new cars is dumping from countries such as Japan, where strict vehicle inspections force cars out of circulation after just a few years.
They say this distorts the market by allowing dealers to buy the cars at scrap prices and export them to Africa.
They blame the cheap imports for killing off assembly sectors in a number of African countries including Nigeria, which built around 150 000 cars per year until the 1980s.
Political will is needed to change that, and without it there is little point in considering a country for local production, according to VW's Schaefer.
"The markets ... are literally not functioning right now due to importation of used vehicles," he said.
In Kenya, the government plans to wind down imports of cars more than three years old by 2021. Exceptions will be made for passenger vehicles with 1.5 litre or smaller engines.
The policy could see mid-range imported models double in price, according to the 300-member Kenya Auto Bazaar Association (KABA). The lobby group has taken out ads in local newspapers denouncing the policy and is demanding a meeting with Kenya's president.
Mark Oburu, KABA's vice-chairman, said the move would hit an industry that delivers 85% of Kenyan car purchases.
"The middle class will not be able to own a vehicle of their choice," he said.
In the Nairobi bazaar, Grace was shopping for her eldest son's first car. She said she could not afford to buy a new one.
"If they don't rescind that decision, we will be on boda bodas (motorbikes)."
Both Ghana and Nigeria have also pledged to tackle the issue. Nigeria hiked taxes on imported used cars in 2014, but smuggling has undermined that effort to boost demand for local production, according to manufacturers and government officials.
Used cars are also among the leading imports in many African countries, and governments will have to wean themselves off the associated tax revenues.
There are other stumbling blocks: access to financing is limited, and countries that don't host assembly plants must also be persuaded to limit used imports and reduce tariffs on African-made vehicles. That will be hard to do if the only outcome they see is higher sticker prices.
"The purpose is not to take the most lucrative slice of the industry," said Ghana's minister of trade and industry, Alan Kyerematen, suggesting that neighbours could produce components for his country's assembly plants.
Auto executives acknowledge the challenges but point to a famous precedent.
When VW and GM entered China in the 1980s and 90s, vehicle ownership rates were lower than in many African markets. Today, those two companies alone sell over 3.5 million vehicles annually in China.
"Everybody was laughing, saying China doesn't need cars, they only need bicycles," Schaefer said. – Nampa/Reuters
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says the N$61.6 million budget proposed for its operations is woefully inadequate.
The ACC has pointed out that it needs at least N$62.4 million just to fulfil its contractual obligations such as salaries and transport expenditure.
The budget allocation means that it will barely be in a position to pursue its two main mandates, which are to investigate allegations of corruption and to prevent corruption.
The ACC at this stage does not have enough funding to fill two critical vacancies for investigators.
The ACC’s organisational structure provides for 36 investigating officers. In Botswana, with about the same population size, the anti-graft body has over 100 investigating officers.
The proposed operational budget also does not cater for additional special investigators such as auditors, engineers or quantity surveyors for forensic investigations.
The ACC’s special operations account has been depleted, and its plea for more funding in the 2018/19 financial year was unsuccessful.
“We will simply not be in a position to fully execute our mandate,” says the ACC deputy director-general, advocate Erna van der Merwe.
Namibia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which requires member states to adequately operate and fund their anti-corruption agencies.
Companies are looking for new ways to drive value from reward spend and help support the business imperatives. Overlaying this is pressure to respond to changes in the cost of living, inflation pressure as well as the equal pay agenda.
The information to establish the right level of compensation to attract and retain key talent is key to this.
PwC's REMchannel®, Namibia largest online salary survey, allows you to effectively benchmark your compensation packages against the competition and help to inform your reward strategy.
Our latest publication provides remuneration data for 100 Namibian companies covering more than 45 000 data points.
Extracting insight from an organisation's data is nothing new –it's long been seen as important in supporting forecasting and business planning. But data analytics has now become a top priority issue, seen as critical to unlocking future growth, managing cost and decreasing risk.
Data alone is not enough however. There are broader trends around performance management systems and the pay outcomes, pay progression and the employee value proposition.
Here are a few pointers to salary benchmarking, providing a step-by-step layman's description of the lifecycle of the remuneration process.
1. Companies have employees who need job profiles (descriptions) summarising what their duties entail.
2. Each job should be evaluated, i.e. graded to test the complexities of the responsibilities, both internally and externally against similar positions in other organisations. There are several job evaluation tools available for this purpose. We recommend our own REMeasure® on-line system, which can correlate to any of the major grading systems used today.
3. As economies grow, salaries and benefits need to keep in line with this growth, so annual increased are awarded. But providing blanket increases for a number of consecutive years may not be sufficient and competitive when compared to the overall market's salary movements.
4. The development of pay scales, based on market remuneration information and also taking present salary levels into account, ensure that salary increases are not thumb sucked. Believe it or not, this still happens.
5. To explain market remuneration information and salary benchmarking - organisation provide their salary information, to their choice of survey provider, and all these “payrolls” are consolidated into one big pot from which can be extracted data by position, grade, region, industry, gender, age, etc. Choosing a survey house is critical to ensuring you will have access to relevant, current market data.
6. Next, the sample of information in either the national database, or by the relevant industry sector, is then extracted for use of remuneration benchmarking and used to develop a market related pay scale.
7. Once the pay scales are developed, an organisation can compare employee salaries to the revised scale and determine whether an employee 'fits' in to the new scale and calculate the potential cost implications of adjusting employees to align to the pay scale, i.e. to the market related salary.
The implementation need not necessarily happen all at once, a phased approach may be followed over a period of 2-3 years. The alignment or increases awarded should be based on the company's budget, affordability and sustainability of the wage bill.
8. It is important to note that a market alignment of salary scales is a once-off exercise, however benchmarking should be performed every 3 to 5 years to ensure alignment to market remuneration and to ensure the company's remuneration remains competitive to retain the necessary human capital for your business.
It is also important to remember to adjust the pay scale annually with the annual increments provided, if the blanket increment approach is followed. This will ensure the pay scale keeps up with annual increases until the next benchmark phase.
Mari-Nelia (Mimi) Hough is the senior manager of PwC Namibia's reward and benefit consulting services. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The report states that combined cereals such as maize, pearl millet and sorghum production show that Namibia can expect a reduction in harvest of at least 53% of last season's harvest and over 42% below the average production.
The report also pointed out that while household food security remained satisfactory in most regions of the country following good improvements in agricultural production recorded in the last two seasons, the situation is expected to weaken from next month onwards amidst poor crop production while pockets of food insecurity are also still being reported in various areas especially those that suffered poor agricultural production due to prolonged dry spells or floods during the last rainfall season, coupled with the current ongoing drought conditions in the country. Due to the prevailing drought conditions all major communal crop producing regions and commercial grain-fed cereal crop producers are expecting a massive reduction in the expected harvest.
The report further states that grazing conditions continue to deteriorate in most parts of the country in the midst of very poor to below average rainfall conditions experienced countrywide and that the central, southern, north-central and the north-western regions of the country are the most affected. Livestock mortalities as a result of malnutrition were also reported.
In most areas, grazing is reported to vary between fair to poor in the Zambezi, Kavango West and Kavango East regions.
According to the report maize production forecast in the communal areas in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions indicated a considerable reduction of 79% of last season's harvest, and 78% below the average production.
“This reduction is largely attributed to the general poor rainfall performance, which is said to have dominated the 2018/19 rainfall season and to some extent, fall armyworms reported in the regions. Maize production in the commercial area has also showed a slight reduction in the expected harvest of about 15% of last season's harvest, but is still 5% above the average production,” the report states.
Furthermore, it reports that pearl millet production has also showed a considerable reduction in the expected harvest of at least 78% of last season's harvest and 68% below the average production, while sorghum production is said to be the hardest hit and losses of over 75% of last season's harvest and about 86% below the average production can be expected.
Meanwhile, the report stated that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has a total of 3 799 tonnes of maize grains with Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA), already procured for milling.
The OPM has also procured 343 tonnes of pearl millet grains from AMTA for distribution to drought affected households.
Meanwhile, government has announced the Comprehensive Drought Interventions aimed at providing relief to the affected communities countrywide.
These measures are to be taken between April 2019 to March 2020 and include food assistance, water provisions, livestock marketing incentives, lease of grazing and transport, as well as fodder and licks subsidy for core herds.
According to the report this programme was preceded by earlier food relief intervention which was implemented in the Omaheke, Erongo, Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Hardap and //Karas regions between November 2018 and March 2019.
Hengari confirmed the suspension in a brief telephonic interview.
“All I have to say is that I know justice will prevail, given a transparent and fair platform for me to tell my story.”
She said the suspension was indefinite, pending the outcome of the investigation. She added that it was likely to continue until her contract with NWR expired in July.
Hengari said she was informed of the suspension yesterday morning, and was called out of an executive meeting to be handed the letter, dated Thursday, 18 April.
Earlier this month, NWR board chairman Leonard Iipumbu blamed Hengari for the cancellation of a joint-venture agreement with Sun Karros Safaris.
Iipumbu said the agreement, which was signed by the managing director of Sun Karros, Bertus Struwig, on 30 May last year and then by Hengari on 11 June 2018, was cancelled by the current board because it had been approved by Hengari “without the knowledge and authorisation of the [previous] board of directors of NWR and the minister of environment and tourism”.
The joint venture has in the meantime been restored.
Namibian Sun approached Iipumbu for comment yesterday, but he had not responded by the time of going to print.
Namibian Sun was reliably informed that Hengari's suspension was linked to allegations that she had agreed to a public-private partnership between NWR and Sun Karros “without the necessary approval to do so and without following correct procedures.”
The suspension letter also claims there is “prima facie proof” that Hengari engineered the partnership between NWR and Sun Karros without adhering to the provisions of the Public-private Partnership Act.
Another reason for the suspension was the alleged risk that Hengari would interfere with witnesses or tamper with evidence linked to the investigation against her.
Hengari was suspended with full pay and benefits until further notice.
Reliable sources informed Namibian Sun that both environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta and minister of public enterprises Leon Jooste had ordered the NWR board to take disciplinary action against Hengari earlier this month, following a meeting where the Sun Karros partnership had been discussed.
Addressing the media on the plight of Namibian workers yesterday, Muniaro emphasised that “exploiters” of Namibian workers must be careful and must start respecting the laws of the country.
“The issue of the normal criminals that are called Chinese, that barbaric incident that happened in Kavango East. We condemn that barbaric action, China itself has a death penalty in their own country and they are coming here to come and kill.
“Is it because they are not in China that they are not afraid to kill?
“So a worker is not allowed to talk about mistreatment in his workplace? If you talk you get a bullet. That is satanic,” he said (sic).
Muniaro also said the problems Namibians experience with the Chinese would never end if “we don't get them out of this county,” or otherwise they must behave.
“This is Namibia, it is not China. Namibia is for Namibians. You will never hear of a Namibian contractor going to China and shoot a Chinese worker who was complaining. What the hell is going on, comrades (sic)?”
He also questioned calls by political leaders that the Chinese must be tolerated.
“Apparently you must respect them, for what good reason? The Chinese must know that the workers of this country are fed up,” he said.
At the same time Affirmative Repositioning (AR) leader Job Amupanda has slammed the Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, for his “arrogant, insensitive and patronising conduct” in Namibia.
This followed Zhang's decision to send a team of Chinese officials to Rundu in response to the killing of 32-year-old Haushiku Muyevu last Wednesday.
Two Chinese businessmen were arrested for the murder and appeared before the Rundu Magistrate's Court yesterday.
They were denied bail and the matter was postponed to 22 July.
The accused, Xuefeng Chen (29) and Zhenhai Zhou (31), appeared before Magistrate Sonia Samupofu on charges of murder and illegally discharging a firearm.
The State opposed bail.
Chen and Zhou were arrested on 17 April after they allegedly murdered Muyevu at Andara.
Muyevu allegedly demanded severance pay after he was fired and that led to an argument.
Amupanda also took on the ambassador for defending Chinese nationals living in Namibia despite the numerous cases of wildlife crimes against them.
“Ambassador, why do you think that you and the Chinese are special in our own country? We will no longer wait for politicians to raise concerns involving you on our behalf for they have evidently failed to deal with you. We do not appreciate nor approve of your conduct in our country. We expect you to re-orientate yourself and control your language going forward,” he said.
Meanwhile, at Rundu the Muzokumwe Volunteers Organisation handed over a petition to the court's prosecutor to express their anger over the shooting incident.
The chairperson of the group, Paulus Mbangu, said there was no justification for the accused persons to have committed the crime.
“The shooting was premeditated and unnecessary. The late Haushiku Andreas Muyevu was a husband, brother and a breadwinner. He did not deserve to die in such a brutal barbaric manner like an animal with no mercy by his offenders who left him for dead and helpless,” Mbangu said.
“The constitution of a free and independent Namibia protects and values the lives of its citizens unlike it was with the apartheid dispensation. It is for that reason as we now do call a stiffer sentence and in the preliminary incidence oppose any consideration for granting bail.”
Their petition was signed by over 300 people.
JEMIMA BEUKES & KENYA KAMBOWE
The death toll from severe storms in South Africa has risen to 51, authorities said today.
All the deaths were reported in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province where heavy storms have battered various parts of the province since Monday night, the provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (COGTA) said in its latest update on casualties caused by the storms.
The storms have left behind a trail of destruction and displaced hundreds of people, the department said, adding that five people remain unaccounted for.
Rescuers will continue searching for survivors, the department said, indicating that the death toll might rise.
The department said earlier that at least 32 people had been killed.
The Eastern Cape province also experienced severe weather conditions. In Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, serious flooding prompted the South African Air Force to dispatch helicopters to assist with rescue operations.
Also on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in the KwaZulu-Natal province to visit the affected areas, after returning from Egypt where he attended the African Union Troika Summit on the changing situations in Libya and Sudan.
Ramaphosa expressed his personal sadness at the loss of lives and damage to property.
"As South Africans, the entire nation's thoughts and prayers are with the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape who have been affected by the forces of nature against which they had little defence.
"Our hearts go out particularly to families and communities who have been directly affected by death, injury and the loss of property. This situation calls on all of us to pull together as a country to reach out to affected communities and to help alleviate their hardship," Ramaphosa said.
The president lauded the response of provincial authorities and national agencies to the calamity, as well as the support and goodwill - material and otherwise - provided by various sectors of civil society.
He reiterated the call made by the government for community members to avoid crossing low-lying bridges, streams and rivers; and for motorists to exercise caution and avoid driving in flooded areas.
The coin will, however, remain legal tender in the country and will be accepted by shops and businesses indefinitely.
The Namibian police have remained tight-lipped on any new developments regarding the double murder of the two NIMT executives Eckhart Mueller and Heimo Hellwig last week. Social media however, has been abuzz with updates regarding the possible killer, but the police have not yet charged anyone in connection with the grisly killings.
By this afternoon no one had appeared before the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court in connection with the killings. This was after the police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a suspect who was supposed to appear in court on that same day. This afternoon, the police upon enquiry did not provide any information on the current situation.
Eckhart Mueller (72) and Heimo Hellwig (60) were shot dead in cold blood on the morning of April 15 in front of the main entrance of the Institute for Mining and Technology (NIMT) in Arandis. A total of eight shots were fired, the police said. The murder weapon is yet to be recovered.
Since the brutal murders, the NIMT campus in Arandis remains closed. Today, no students were allowed to enter the renowned training centre as the police are still busy conducting a thorough investigation of the murder scene.
In the meantime the assumption has surfaced that NIMT instructor Ernst Lichtenstrasser (pictured) may be involved in the double murder. This was neither confirmed nor denied by the police. Lichtenstrasser was arrested last Thursday for contravening the arms and ammunitions act, after he was found to be in the illegal possession of two live .22 bullets. He has been in custody since his arrest on those charges.
The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) will once again take part at this year’s Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition (OTIE) as part of its stakeholder engagement outreach programme.
The programme is part of the institution’s campaign to reach out to members and inform the public of the fund’s activities and mandate.
“It is our duty to make sure that our members and the general public are informed and well educated about our roles and responsibilities as a Fund,” says GIPF marketing and stakeholder engagement manager Amos Kambonde.
“The Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition is just one of many trade shows across the country that GIPF participates in.
“It is with great pleasure that we invite all our members to make use of these member information sessions. We wish to emphasise that it is our members’ responsibility to make sure that they visit our stands at the upcoming events and find out about their membership status.
“GIPF has many other platforms of engagement and information sharing, such as targeted member education sessions at various member institutions.
“As a forward-thinking fund, we have also embraced the use of new technologies and urge members to use our Facebook, Instagram and website pages for interactive sessions and to gain further information about activities taking place in the Fund.
“We further wish to remind our members and beneficiaries that it is important to understand the rules of the fund and how they are applied.
“We therefore encourage all GIPF members to visit our offices countrywide and be briefed on their rights and responsibilities and to find out what benefits they are entitled to. Members seeking specific updates related to their benefits are encouraged to bring their identity documents as well as their latest payslips.”
By yesterday, the two parties confirmed that they had reached an agreement at an emergency meeting held on Tuesday.
This follows a decision made by the normalisation committee that the Premier League should reinstate the club until an appeal committee was in place.
The committee referred to Article 53, which states that the NFA Appeal Committee is responsible for hearing appeals against decisions by the NPL Disciplinary Committee.
The committee also relied on Article 54, which states that the Dispute Resolution Chamber was not in place when the club was relegated. In a letter dated 23 April, the league questioned the normalisation committee's powers to order the league to reinstate the club.
It cited Article 55 (1), which states a team that is found guilty may be issued a warning, a reprimand, a fine, or the return of awards.
The league further cited Article 59, which states that a member will be responsible for all acts or omissions of its officials, shareholders, members, employees, players, supporters and any other person directly or indirectly associated with it.
“On 6 March 2019, you wrote a letter in parallel terms to the legal practitioners of Young African FC in support of their application in Court.
“We disregarded it and dealt with the matter in court. You write this letters even though you are still a chairperson of the NPL Legal Committee (sic)” the letter reads.
The NPL informed the normalisation committee that the letter written to them was from a member (Franco Cosmos) who is also on the NPL's disciplinary committee.
They therefore deemed the letter as unprofessional and contradictory to the constitution of the NFA and the NPL. “We highlight the above to alert you that you have compromised yourself and now threaten to do the same with the NC.
“In any event, there is no substance or merit in your letter. We take no issue with Articles 53 and 54 which you rely on.
“However, we find it strange that failed to engage provisions of Article 55(1) and 59 (2), at all in your letter.
“We draw your attention to Article 55 (1) and inform you that Young African FC was notified of the Disciplinary Committee's decision of 5 December 2018.”
The NPL further questioned the legal knowledge of the person who wrote the letter.
“Even if you strain your misconceived but hopeless contention, which we deny, Article (59) 2 serves as a clear impediment to your none-existent common law.
“Lastly, kindly but urgently inform us where you or the NC derives the powers to instruct the NPL?”
Last month, the High Court dismissed an application bought by Gobabis-based Young African because of technicalities.
It was the second time in less than a month that the court had struck the matter from the roll.
The Namibia Premier League's disciplinary committee had found Young African guilty of registering Zimbabwean player Tapiwa Simon Musekiwa with a fake identity document last season.
This resulted in the club being demoted from the league and being fined N$50 000.
The club is now asking to be granted full NPL status and rights while the Namibia Football Association (NFA) re-establishes its judicial structures.
On 30 January, Young African lodged an appeal with the NFA appeals committee.
Their appeal fell on deaf ears after former NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro wrote a letter to Young African indicating that the NFA had no structures. He suggested that the club skip the internal remedy and lodge a direct appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It was for this reason that Young African decided to take the matter to the High Court, given the absence of judicial structures in the country's football governing body.
After the court's ruling, the club held talks with the normalisation committee pleading for their reinstatement in the league until a disciplinary committee was in place.
NPL CEO Harald Fuller yesterday confirmed that the two parties held a meeting on Tuesday evening to iron out the issues.
“We agreed to work together to ensure that football becomes the winner. “The NPL is also not mad at the committee but we just stated facts that are in the constitution.”
Promotion and relegation
It was also resolved that there will be a promotion and relegation despite an earlier decision made by the normalisation committee.
A task force from the NPL and NC committee will be appointed to oversee and find workable ways for the relegations and promotions to take place.
With only his ninth fight in the bag, and bagging the National Junior Welterweight title last weekend against John Kaimbi, Simon Jr said he was ready to clean up the local junior welterweight division, but there was only Indongo left before he could face international opponents.
Simon Jr has declared his readiness to face the former world champion in his next fight and said he was ready to match him in every department.
“I feel pretty confident right now and I'm happy with the progress I have made so far. My trainer and mentor has taken me a step closer to much bigger fights step by step and every fight I have had so far was a step in that direction.
“I'm ready to take on Indongo, anytime, anywhere and at any place and I think that it will be my biggest fight so far,” said Simon Jr in a statement from his camp.
Nestor Tobias, trainer and promoter of the MTC Nestor Tobias Sunshine Promotions, has taken note of his boxer's ambitions.
“Well, I'm sure he has discussed it with the coaching staff and if they say they are ready then I believe them.
“Best sportsmen don't last. We are putting our money where our mouth is. It's not disrespect, we need to move on.
“I'm ready to make this fight happen and start getting negotiations in place. What a fight that will be for such a young and talented boxer like Simon Jr and I am confident that he will win,” said Tobias.
Indongo's trainer, Immanuel 'AC' Moses, said Tobias was pulling a publicity stunt.
“Don't destroy the boy's career by calling out seniors. He called out 'Desert Storm' so many times, knowing that they wouldn't come through. Indongo is not at the level of Simon Jr. If you are a promoter, do the right things the right way,” said Moses.
Who has been the top marksman from each of the 14 member nations of Cosafa and who leads the tournament honours overall ahead of the tournament that will be played in Durban from May 25-June 8?
Check the list out.
Ahmed Ali, Mohamed Mouigni (Comoros Islands) 1 goal
Only two players have found the back of the net for the Comoros in their six previous matches in the Cosafa Cup, a record they will definitely be looking to improve should they return to the showpiece event in May.
Pollen Ndlanya, Patrick Mayo, Katlego Mphela, Teko Modise, Gift Motupa, Lebohang Maboe (South Africa) 3 goals
Perhaps because they change their squad so often, South Africa have not found a regular goal-scorer in this competition, but these six players all have three goals to their name. Maboe is the one who could add to his tally next month.
Jones Nkhwazi, Esau Kanyenda, Gabadinho Mhango (Malawi)
Malawi legend Kanyenda is among the leading marksman for The Flames in the Cup and current striker Mhango will be looking to add to his haul.
He was a lead forward for the Mauritians in the early years of the tournament, playing between 2000 and 2007.
Onkabetse Makgantai (Botswana) 6 goals
Makgantai scored five goals in the 2018 Cosafa cup to boost his overall tally to six; his form earned him a move to Baroka in South Africa's Premier Soccer League. He has one more career Cosafa Cup goal than current teammate Kabelo Seakanyeng, who has scored in the last three tournaments.
Philip Zialor (Seychelles) 4 goals
All Zialor's goals in the cup came in one game as Seychelles stunned Mauritius with a 7-0 victory, still the largest win in the history of the competition. His four goals in a single game is also a Cosafa record.
Fabrice Akwa (Angola) 5 goals
Akwa was a star striker for Angola at the turn of the century, who turned out for Portuguese giants Benfica, among other overseas clubs. He scored a hat-trick against Mauritius in 2006 to go with goals in 2000 and 2001.
Deon Hotto (Namibia) 6 goals
Hotto was level with Namibia legend Congo Hindjou going into last year's Cosafa Cup, but his strike in the Plate semi-final defeat to South Africa took his career tally to six. Hotto was a star player for Namibia when they lifted the title in 2015 and will be a key man again for them in May.
Collins Mbesuma (Zambia)
Mbesuma is one of the best strikers to come out of southern Africa, who might have achieved more were it not for crippling knee injuries that stunted his career. He scored four goals in the 2005 and found the back of the net in 2003. He is still playing second-tier football in South Africa.
Maile Tlale (Lesotho) 5 goals
Tlale shone in the 2013 Cosafa Cup with four goals and got another in 2015 as he showed his prowess in the box.
Sarivahy Vombola (Madagascar) 5 goals
All Vombola's goals came in the 2015, where he was in electric form and took the Malagasy to third place. He has since battled to repeat that feat.
Felix Badenhorst (eSwatini)
Badenhorst was in superb form in the 2016 Cosafa Cup with five goals as Swaziland finished third. He added another goal in 2017 and will be looking to take his tally further this year after recently being named captain of the side.
Manuel 'Tico-Tico' Bucuane (Mozambique) 7 goals
Tico-Tico is one of the leading strikers from the Cosafa region and displayed all his talents in the cup, with goals between 1997 and 2008. He is a legend of southern Africa.
Peter Ndlovu (Zimbabwe)
Ndlovu always made himself available for the cup despite playing in the big leagues in England and his goals return was impressive, stretching over some seven seasons. His hat-trick in 2004 against Swaziland was the final goals he scored in the regional championship.