Articles on this Page
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Aakomeho yiiputudhi...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _RDP a tula einekelo...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Get serious about w...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Hainghumbi in the d...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Ondangwa war graves...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Timber shortage tig...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Rumpf appointed to ...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Export meat for Nam...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Soldiers, police ac...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Police pounce on po...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Border reopens for ...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Departures at SOEs ...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Competition is good...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Be mindful - boardr...
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Cat among the pigeons
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Nujoma snubbed by cops
- 06/04/19--16:00: _Driving the fiscal ...
- 06/05/19--01:22: _Another recession y...
- 06/05/19--05:27: _ China donates N$2....
- 06/05/19--16:00: _Close encounter
- 06/04/19--16:00: RDP a tula einekelo lye muKavekotora
- 06/04/19--16:00: Get serious about water
- 06/04/19--16:00: Hainghumbi in the dark about charges
- 06/04/19--16:00: Ondangwa war graves are safe
- 06/04/19--16:00: Timber shortage tightens screws on Zim carpenters
- 06/04/19--16:00: Rumpf appointed to Meatco board
- 06/04/19--16:00: Export meat for Namibians
- 06/04/19--16:00: Soldiers, police accused of assault
- 06/04/19--16:00: Police pounce on poachers
- 06/04/19--16:00: Border reopens for mahangu imports
- 06/04/19--16:00: Departures at SOEs could drag out Ramaphosa's reforms
- 06/04/19--16:00: Competition is good for democracy
- 06/04/19--16:00: Be mindful - boardroom fatigue is real
- 06/04/19--16:00: Cat among the pigeons
- 06/04/19--16:00: Nujoma snubbed by cops
- 06/04/19--16:00: Driving the fiscal borrowing agenda
- 06/05/19--01:22: Another recession year expected in Namibia
- 06/05/19--05:27: China donates N$2.1m towards drought
- 06/05/19--16:00: Close encounter
Okwa popi kutya nonando iikondo yimwe otayi pewa iizemo yili nawa, ope na omaupyakadhi galwe ngoka ga dhidhilikwa na oga pumbwa okutalika.
Kombinga yegwanithepo lyiilonga, omuprima okwa dhimbulukitha aanambelewa mboka kombinga yetseyitho lyoongeshefa dhawo moka ye na ohokwe, opo ku yi we moshipala okudhengela ondhi peho nokukwashilipaleka uuyuki.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila okwa gandja woo ekunkililo kombinga yiifuta yondjambi yaaniilonga yepangelo mbyoka tayi yi pombanda noonkondo.
Okwa lombwele mboka ya li momutumba ngoka kutya okwa pumbwa okushunithwa pevi iifuta mbyoka opo ku vule okukondopekwa egandjo lyomayakulo koshigwana.
Omuprima okwa popi kutya Namibia okwa taalela nale onkalo yeliko yanayipala oshowo iifuta yi li pombanda megwanithepo lyiiilonga mwakwatelwa oondjambi dhaaniilonga naashoka otashi gwitha pevi egandjo lyomayakulo koshigwana.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila okwa tsu omuthindo opo ku shunithwe pevi iifuta yoondjambi mwakwatelwa eshunitho pevi lyiifuta yomalutayima oshowo omalweendo.
Okwa popi kutya oompito dhiilonga ndhoka tadhi ka pewa aaniilonga oondhoka owala dhi na oshilonga unene na otadhi dhana onkandangala megandjo lyomayakulo. Okwa popi woo kombinga yiifuta yomasiku gomafudho nokupula aaniilonga ya ye momafudho dhawo pethimbo ko kuyandwe onkalo yomasiku gomafudho taga taagulukile koshikako sha landula.
Omuprima okwa popi kutya otaku lopotwa kehe esiku uulingilingi niipotha oyindji otayi ukithwa kOkomisi yOkulwitha Iimbuuma, naashoka otashi limbilike sho onkalo yuulingilingi tayi londo pombanda miiputudhilo yepangelo.
Okwa popi woo kombinga yiipotha yomitumba dhomautho mbyoka hayi kwata unene ethimbo nokweetitha oonakuningilwa omitumba ndhoka ya vule okukala inaya ungaungiwa nayo omolwa okupogola oompango.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila okwa pula opo ku kale taku longithwa omayakulo gomoshilongo oshowo ku landwe iinima mbyoka ya ndulukwa moshilongo.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila okwa popi wo kombinga yokwiiyamba koshigwana mokugandja oopresenda 2 dhiiyemo yawo opo yi vule okukwathela omolwa onkalo yoshikukuta ndjoka ya taalela oshigwana.
Okwa popi kutya monena aakuthimbinga oyendji oya popile oshiyetwapo shoka.
Okwa popi kutya oompangela nkene taku ka tamekithwa oprograma yoshikukuta odha manithwa netanga lyegameno otali ka yambidhidha moprograma ndjoka.
Ongundu ndjoka ya popi kutya aakuthimbinga ye li po 625 oya gongala moRamatex moshilandopagelo opo ya vule okukutha ombinga omahogololo gaaleli yongundu, mboka taya lele ongundu uule woomvula ntano dhili komeho.
Aakuthimbinga yeli po 490 oya kutha ombinga momahogololo.
Palopota yokomisi yomahogololo moRDP, omawi geli po 14 oga yonuka momahogololo guupresidende.
Kavekotora okwa mono omawi ge li po 243 (51.1%), a landulwa kuKandy Nehova (133) omanga Hamutenya a mono omawi 100.
Kavekotora ina vula okuholeka enyanyu lye nonando okwa zimine kutya oku na oshinakugwanithwa oshinene ngashiingeyi shi li komapepe ge.
Sho Nehova a ningilwa omapulaapulo okwa holola kutya omahogololo ngoka oga ningwa pauyuuki nopaundemokoli.
“Otandi dhilaadhila kutya ogali paundemokoli. Atuhe otwa sindana ngashiingeyi otatu ka ninga omahwahwameko twamanamo, omolwa omahogololo guupresidende oshowo gomutumba gwopashigwana. Otandi yambidhidha Kavekotora. Ngashiingeyi oye omupresidende na oye te tu kwatele komeho mokwaadha esindano lyetu.” Kennedy Shekupakela, okwa sindana po omahogololo guupeha presidende, na okwa dhengemo methigathano Heiko Lucks, omanga okandindate yimwe yiikutha mo.
Shekupakela okwa mono omawi 231, a landulwa kuLucks nomawi 137, Tjinezuma Kavari okwa mono omawi 76 omanga Eino Heelu a mono omawi 32. Pakotampango lyoRDP kape na ngoka a mono omawi ga gwana okumu petha oshipundi shoka onkene osha etitha Lucks a gandje po omawi ge kuShekupakela, ngoka kumwe omawi ge ga ningi 368.
Iizemo yamushanga gwongundu oshowo omupeha gwe nokomitiye yomahogololo oyali ya tegelelwa mOmaandaha.
“Overconsumption is worrisome, because it means we are over-exploiting our last resource, which is the boreholes,” City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya says.
The municipality's water report for the week that ended 27 May showed a 10% over-consumption despite persistent warnings about the urgency of saving every possible drop.
The weekly target consumption is 465 000 cubic metres but the actual consumption recorded that week was above 500 000 cubic metres. Monday's weekly water watch, for the week ending 3 June, showed a more positive trend, with consumption only 1% above target.
“The weekly water watch below shows that there was slight progress in water saving for the past week, although the over-consumption stood at 1% more than allowable,” Amutenya says.
The municipality urges all residents to frequently check their water meters to ensure leaks are detected quickly. Individuals should use no more than 90 litres per person per day at home, and 20 litres per person at businesses.
“We should not wait for the seriousness of severe water scarcity to hit us, when there is no single drop of water coming from the taps, but we should do it now when we still have a little water available,” Amutenya says.
With dam levels low after a poor rainy season, the City is increasingly leaning on its own water sources - the Windhoek Aquifer and reclamation plant. These two sources are supplying 65% of Windhoek's targeted 465 000 cubic metres weekly consumption.
The 15% savings target is crucial to the City's management of the available water.
Amutenya says if residents continue to consume more than allowed, “it is just a matter of time before the resource reaches its limit.” Once this happens, the taps will run dry because no other water sources are available.
“It is of critical importance for all of us to revise our water consumption and save every drop.”
Amutenya says City officials believe that “residents will respond to water saving calls, not only because it is affecting their pockets, but also because it is the right thing to do, looking at the current severe drought situation we are in.”
In July, when the City's new water restrictions become effective, new penalty tariffs will become applicable.
Amutenya says this penalty tariff is “simply an indicator of the consumption limit” to remind clients they are consuming more water than allowed.
“The call to save water relies on the consumer's cooperation and understanding of the reason why it is important to save water. Our preference is to encourage water savings to change consumer behaviours and to make it part of our lifestyle,” she says.
Hainghumbi, who was suspended in January for alleged misconduct, and whose suspension was lifted in April, said he has only read about being charged in the media.
Last month The Namibian reported that Hainghumbi had been given until 17 May to respond to the charges levelled against him by the municipality.
“I know nothing about those charges and I have only heard about it from newspaper reporting. Since my reinstatement, I am always present at work, but I did not receive the said charges. I think they were only presented to the media, while snubbing me,” said Hainghumbi.
“I think all these are just plots to get rid of me from the municipality, because I understand that the chief accountant and the town planner have been charged for the same issue as me, but they were never suspended or exposed in the media.”
A charge sheet dated 9 May, which was leaked to the media, reveals that Hainghumbi allegedly defied orders and made several payments amounting to N$768 500 to different accounts.
When contacted for comment the municipality's acting CEO Arnold Ameb refused to shed light on the matter.
“Hainghumbi's issue is an internal matter and it is none of your business. We are resolving it internally,” said Ameb.
The town council has approved a request by the Ondangwa Private Hospital to use the land for a parking lot.
Town council CEO Ismael Namgongo says the hospital and the developer have promised not to harm the graves during the project.
“We have informed the CWGC about our decision and it is up to them to decide whether they will relocate the graves or to keep them as they are,” Namgongo says.
The CWGC is an intergovernmental organisation representing six Commonwealth member states. Its principal function is to mark, record and maintain war memorials and the graves of Commonwealth soldiers who died in the two world wars.
Responding to Namibian Sun's enquiries from the commission's headquarters in the United Kingdom, CWGC spokesperson Peter Francis said they welcomed the Ondangwa town council's plan to enhance the appearance of the area surrounding the two Commonwealth war graves, to make them more accessible and to guarantee their security.
“The exhumation and relocation of any war grave under threat is always a last step for the CWGC and something we only consider in cases of overwhelming public necessity. We look forward to working with the council to ensure the graves remain a fitting tribute to those who died, and a place of pride, learning and remembrance for generations to come,” said Francis.
“In Namibia we commemorate almost 650 individuals at 39 different locations. The majority of those buried and commemorated in Namibia died during the First World War.”
According to Francis, across the world, CWGC commemorates 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and -women who died during the two world wars.
“We care for their graves and memorials at 23 000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories,” he said.
"I cannot get timber the way we used to," he said at his workshop in the city of Bulawayo where he makes wardrobes, beds, chairs and other wooden furniture.
"Suppliers tell us there is no timber - and I am hearing it for the first time that there can be a shortage of such things as wood," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The situation has arisen as Zimbabwe's forests are falling at a rate that has pushed authorities to try to stem the trend.
About 70% of the country's population of 13 million lives in rural areas where there is no electricity, with many still using wood to cook and cure tobacco.
Meanwhile, the revenues of timber-dependent small businesses such as carpenters and wood-workers – some of whom make coffins - are coming under pressure, not just from the country's economic hardships but deforestation as well.
Wisborn Malaya, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations, said timber shortages were hurting the more than 20 000 carpenters operating in backyard workshops across the country.
Suppliers are facing difficulties in sourcing enough timber as some forests have been invaded by people seeking land to build homes, while illegal settlers are burning down trees to clear land for farming, which is damaging timber stocks, Malaya said in emailed comments.
Zimbabwe loses about 330 000 hectares of forests annually, according to forestry commission spokesperson Violet Makoto.
Forest and woodland resources now cover 45% of the country's land area, down from 53% in 2014, she said.
"Already this points to major deforestation," Makoto said by email.
As part of its national action plan for the UN Paris Accord on climate change, Zimbabwe aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Trees release planet-warming carbon dioxide when they are burned or rot.
It has a national tree planting day, and expects to plant 15 million trees annually, according to the forestry commission.
But stemming deforestation remains a tall order, said Andrew Mills, director of the Harare-based Sustainable Afforestation Association, a group of tobacco farmers who are leading a campaign to plant about 9 million tree seedlings per year.
Mills said felling indigenous trees for tobacco-curing was a "significant factor" but not the biggest cause of deforestation, accounting for about 15%, the association estimates.
Other major factors are the use of wood as cooking fuel, and the clearing of land for homes and farms.
"Part of the problem with deforestation is that there has been no serious attempt to combat it. The laws are there, but there has been no real effort to enforce [them]," Mills added.
Under the Forest Act, anyone who cuts, damages, destroys, collects, takes or removes trees or timber without a licence faces a fine of about US$100 or two years in prison, he said.
In March, forestry commission general manager Abednigo Marufu told parliament unchecked deforestation would see Zimbabwe importing timber by 2030.
He also highlighted its struggle to meet international commitments to protect endangered species and biodiversity, which also rely on thriving forests.
"The [deforestation] figures can generally be attributed to weak enforcement mechanisms in the country to curb deforestation and forest degradation," said Washington Zhakata, climate change director at the ministry of lands, agriculture, water, climate and rural resettlement.
The problem is undermining Zimbabwe's desire to meet its international obligations to protect forests and is "a serious national concern", he added.
Hundreds of small-scale farmers have turned to lucrative tobacco production, cutting down trees to cure the leaves in wood-fired ovens.
Appeals by government and conservationists for tobacco farmers to plant wood lots on their land to protect wild forests have fallen short, as forest timber offers cheaper fuel and policing of its use remains weak, experts said.
"Enforcement [of the law] needs to be up-scaled if we are to get anywhere," Zhakata said.
For carpenters such as Mbuyazwe who have no idea about forest conservation or the source of the wood for their trade, how they will continue working amid shortages remains uncertain.
"It's just like bread - does anyone ever ask where the wheat to make bread comes from? We know we need timber to work. Where it comes from is another issue altogether," said the carpenter. – Nampa/Reuters
Rumpf's appointment came into effect on 20 May and will end on 15 February 2020.
According to a statement issued by Meatco, Rumpf is a commercial farmer at Farm Cook No. 239 in the Omaheke Region. He is the director and co-owner of a Namibian charcoal packaging plant and export company, and was involved in the local and southern African agricultural sector as vice-chairperson of the Animal Health Consultative Forum from 2015 to 2016.
He further holds an N5 diploma in mechanical engineering, obtained from the Benoni Technical College in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1991 he obtained a qualification as a fitter and turner artisan at the Atlas Aircraft Corporation in Johannesburg.
!Naruseb expressed his confidence and trust in the ability, commitment, fairness and professionalism of Rumpf, in terms of discharging his national duties and responsibilities as a member of the Meatco board. Rumpf's appointment comes after the resignation of Stefanus Oosthuizen, who was the commercial representative on the Meatco board after receiving the most votes amongst three other nominees during a nomination process that took place at a Meatco special members meeting on 26 October 2018.
HOT SEAT: Kay-Dieter Rumpf is the new director representing the interests of commercial farmers on the Meatco board. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
The meat processor and marketing entity last week announced the launch of its export quality products on the shelves of local retailers as from 1 June.
The company said in a statement that its primal cuts such as rump, fillet and strip loin will be available in Wernhil Park's Food Lover's Market from this past Saturday.
“Meatco has decided to put the export quality meat on local shelves in order for Namibians to experience the same quality that the company produces for international markets,” the company said.
Namibian meat products are available in many overseas markets, including the European Union, Norway, the United Kingdom, Reunion, China and selected African countries.
Meatco spokesperson Rosa Hamukuaja-Thobias said by penetrating the local market, the company will regain market share, as part of the trade ministry's Growth at Home strategy, which is aimed at diversifying the economy and encouraging local value-addition and consumption.
“At Meatco we do not compromise on the quality of our beef. It is the best or nothing, at all times, in order to keep the trust our clients have in our meat,” she said.
Hamukuaja-Thobias said as the company's vision states, Meatco will have the most sought-after meat brands in selected markets in the long-term interests of stakeholders.
“We put this into practice by guaranteeing that our clients get consistently high-quality products every single time.”
In the lawsuit filed with the Windhoek High Court in April last year, Klementine Tjilepo Mungeli claimed her right to dignity was violated by at least three members of a team of soldiers and police. She claimed they slapped and beat her with a rifle after handcuffing her.
Initially, Mungeli's legal team cited the ministry of safety and security as the sole respondent in the case. But the case was amended to include the environment and tourism ministry and the defence ministry as second and third respondents.
The respondents have denied any wrongdoing.
The safety and security ministry stated that an internal investigation showed that three of the arresting officers were defence force soldiers, and that the police officer involved in the arrest denied she was tortured.
In papers filed last month, the government attorneys acting on behalf of the respondents asked the court to dismiss the claim with costs for a number of reasons.
In her particulars of claim Mungeli alleges three men assaulted her in the presence of another three arresting officers or soldiers, who did nothing to prevent the others from assaulting her.
She claims she was slapped, handcuffed and hit with an assault rifle on her upper body and buttocks several times. She has submitted photos to the court showing the bruising she allegedly sustained.
Further, she claims that she was forced to crawl on her knees for about five metres while handcuffed.
She claims that while shuffling on her knees, the beatings continued as she was hit with a stick and the butt of an assault rifle, while others aimed the rifle at her and threatened to kill her.
She says she “reasonably believed the members of the Namibian police were going to execute such threats.”
Mungeli claims she remained behind bars for three days and was not given an opportunity to visit a hospital or clinic.
She further claims that despite informing the personnel that she was diabetic, she was not given any food and she was also not provided with bedding while in custody.
The contains a list of damages Mungeli claims she sustained during her time in custody, including pain and suffering, injury to her self-esteem, bruised and swollen feet and toes, bruises and swelling to her buttocks, and general body pain.
“For two days Mungeli was unable to sit on her buttocks and thereafter for a further six days it was painful to sit on the buttocks,” the claim reads.
She claims that she had to undergo medical treatment and counselling because of the alleged assault.
In the past months, lawyers acting on behalf of the opposing parties have applied for the claim to be dismissed, based on legal wrangling around the respondents initially not listed in the claim filed by Mungeli.
Lawyers for the safety and security ministry further note that according to police records Mungeli had no injuries after her arrest. They further deny that the police failed to offer to take her to a hospital or clinic.
In addition, the papers claim she was released a day after her arrest, on 11 February, and rearrested ten minutes later for further investigation. Mungeli claims that she initially believed her alleged torturers were all members of the police force.
However, at the start of the criminal trial in which she is accused of illegal possession of elephant tusks, she realised the team had consisted of soldiers, police and employees of the environment ministry
Mungeli was represented by Ricardo Mukonda while government attorney Wensie Uakuramenua represented the ministries. Judge Herman Oosthuizen presided.
In May the case was postponed to 1 July for a case management conference hearing.
Police are still searching for other the suspects involved in these wildlife crimes, who managed to get away when the arrests took place.
This was confirmed by the spokesperson of the environment ministry, Romeo Muyunda, who said the three incidents all took place on 2 June.
Muyunda said the arrests and discoveries were made in joint operations by the ministry and the police.
According to him 11 elephant tusks were confiscated at the Chotto compound in Katima Mulilo. Based on photos taken at the crime scene, the elephant tusks were buried under the floor of a bedroom and had to be dug up.
A 27-year-old man, Mabuku Pedro Lute, was arrested. He appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate's Court for the possession and dealing in controlled wildlife products.
He remains in custody. His case has been postponed to 24 June. In another incident, six pieces of elephant tusk were confiscated at Lubata village.
A 28-year-old Zambian, Dennis Mubita, was arrested. The ivory was found in the trunk of a car.
Mubita also appeared in the Katima Mulilo court and was refused bail. His case was postponed to 24 July.
While the police were tracking the Zambian national, they came across two Namibian children - aged 15 and 17 - who had two live pangolins in their possession at Sachona village.
The children were released in the custody of their parents.
“The ministry commends the Namibian police as well as our officials for their hard work and determination in making these significant busts,” said Muyunda. He said the success of this operation was a boost to Namibia's anti-poaching efforts.
“We warn those involved in such activities to stop or risk being caught to face the full wrath of our laws, with increased fines.”
The punishment for wildlife crimes has become stricter. If convicted, a person can be sentenced to 25 years in prison, a N$25 million fine, or both.
The latest data provided by the ministry shows that seven elephants and 16 rhinos have been poached this year.
A total of 57 rhino and 26 elephants were poached last year, while more than 120 suspects were arrested for wildlife crimes.
The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) notified mahangu processors that there has been an insufficient supply of locally produced mahangu since the beginning of May. Therefore, the agriculture ministry lifted the import ban. Mahangu is a subsistence rain-fed cereal crop which is the major staple food for over half of the Namibian population.
The CEO of NAB, Dr Fidels Mwazi, advised processors to apply for import permits at the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) as soon as possible. Namibian Sun reported that Namibia had run out of mahangu for commercial milling purposes. Namib Mills said AMTA had confirmed that it had bought the last70 tonnes of locally produced mahangu. To supply the market demand for its Meme Mahangu brand, Namib Mills needs to mill 11 tonnes of mahangu daily. AMTA had advised that the border was opened for mahangu imports on 18 December last year, but was closed again on 22 January to allow farmers to sell their surplus product from the 2018 harvest. It will take 65 days from the contract date to receive mahangu supplies from India. Mwazi thanked millers for their understanding and support of government initiatives to boost local food production. “The NAB appreciates the usual support from the ministry in the implementation of the Agronomic Industry Act as we strive towards becoming a world-class regulator of a vibrant, diversified and sustainable industry,” said Mwazi.
Investors say the CEOs' resignations could slow the implementation of turnaround plans seen as critical to shoring up confidence in Africa's most industrialised economy, which has for years struggled to grow and whose last investment-grade credit rating is hanging by a thread.
Since becoming president in February 2018, Ramaphosa has pledged to woo investment, create jobs and tackle deep-rooted corruption.
The roles at Eskom and SAA are some of the most challenging in corporate South Africa, with fierce disagreements over how the companies should operate, meaning it will be difficult to find replacement leaders quickly.
Both have received government bailouts in recent years but executives say that financial support was insufficient.
Eskom is choking under R440 billion of debt - equivalent to around 9% of South Africa's 2018 gross domestic product - and this year implemented some of the worst power cuts in several years. It said last month that CEO Phakamani Hadebe would step down in July for health reasons.
But two sources close to Hadebe told Reuters that another reason for his departure was that he felt frustrated at being excluded from important decisions affecting the utility.
Ramaphosa has appointed a raft of advisors to come up with solutions to Eskom's woes and has preferred to listen to their views rather than consult Hadebe, the sources said.
"The government needs to understand that if it wants these companies to be run properly, then it needs to create an environment where the new CEOs can function," said Pavel Mamai, partner at fund manager ProMeritum.
"The CEO changes make the task of fixing Eskom and SAA more urgent."
SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana wrote in his resignation letter last week that his plans to revive the loss-making airline were being undermined by a lack of state funding and too much bureaucracy.
Jarana, who will leave SAA at the end of August, told Reuters in a May 2018 interview that government funding was critical to fixing the airline.
Hadebe and Jarana had both been in their roles for less than two years when they resigned - a common trend at South African state firms.
"The revolving-door policy at key state-owned enterprises does little to instil investor confidence," said analyst Shaun Murison at IG Markets.
Hadebe's phone was switched off when a Reuters reporter called on Monday. An SAA spokesman said Jarana was not available for comment.
The search for replacements for Hadebe and Jarana has only just got under way.
But the new Eskom and SAA executives will face monumental challenges, which include navigating the competing interests of different sections of government and society.
Eskom and SAA report to South African public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, a close Ramaphosa ally respected by investors for running a tight ship while finance minister but whose management style opponents call interventionist.
Gordhan's aides told Reuters on Monday that the financial and operational crises at Eskom and SAA necessitated close attention from the minister.
They said the scale of the problems facing Eskom, which range from liquidity issues to coal quality, meant it was unrealistic to expect the CEO alone to solve them. Fiscal constraints meant the government had to opt for a "phased recapitalisation" rather than giving SAA all the money it wanted in one go, they added.
The new executives will also have to establish a close working relationship with finance minister Tito Mboweni, who this year likened giving state funds to Eskom to pouring water into a sieve and last year said SAA should be closed down. The airline has not made a profit since 2011.
A further complication comes from labour unions and sections of Ramaphosa's governing African National Congress party that vehemently oppose efforts to trim the two firms' bloated workforces.
Analysts say job cuts should be a key component of the companies' recovery plans and that the stakes are high if those plans fail. Eskom employs roughly 48 000 people, after hiring about 12 000 additional employees in the past decade. A World Bank research report published in 2016 said it was significantly overstaffed.
"If Ramaphosa does not come up with a solution to this crisis soon, there is a good chance Moody's will remove South Africa's last investment-grade credit rating," said Nigel Rendell, a director at Medley Global Advisors.
"Eskom is the biggest issue hanging over financial markets, and there won't be a happy ending unless there is a significant capital injection from somewhere."– Nampa/Reuters
However, during the month of August the focus will shift towards “boardroom fatigue and associated risks”. This upcoming seminar will focus on offering management and directors the tools to reduce, mitigate or altogether avoid the dreaded executive burnout: expectations of executive management and board members have increased over the past decades.
Shareholders and companies rely increasingly on their corporate executives and the board of directors to deal with commercial issues and move a company into the realm of success, profit and returns.
Daily pressures in dealing with tight budgets, confusing legislation endless meetings, conflicting messages, unrealistic expectations and deadlines, excessive workloads, targets, succession planning and the ‘blame-and-shame game’ are all considered to be common stress inducers.
Physical or mental slowdown results in reduced productivity, miscommunications and in some cases, accidents. Directors and executives who display signs of irritability, cynicism, sarcasm or inability to focus or commit could seriously affect commercial decisions and negatively influence outcomes and relationships. Understanding the causes of workplace and boardroom fatigue assist you in finding ways to reduce the associated risks and improve personal and corporate performance.
When we are highly stressed and worried, we often act and react instinctively – the knee-jerk reaction. Irritation and resentment may surface because we feel threatened or just plain worn out. When we learn to manage stress, we can teach our brains to react with intent rather than through instinct. We can employ tools to work smarter and more efficient.
PwC and the Namibian Institute of Corporate Governance (NICG) offer a two-day seminar in which many professionals will address the physical and psychological fall-out from burnout. Special focus will be given to working smarter at executive level and in the boardroom to limit exposure to boardroom fatigue.
This seminar is definitely not to be missed and all interested directors, company secretaries and executive management are welcome to visit our website at http://www.pwc.com/na/events for more details.
In 2014, riding a wave of popularity, Geingob received 86.73% of the vote in the presidential race, while Swapo received 80.01% of the National Assembly votes, thus continuing the longstanding tradition of Swapo presidential candidates garnering more votes than the party during general elections.
However, times have now changed. Dr Panduleni Itula, who some argue is still aligned to the Team Swapo faction within the party, has already indicated he will be standing against Geingob as an independent candidate while stubbornly refusing to relinquish his Swapo membership.
It is widely expected that former National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) secretary-general Evilastus Kaaronda, who is now at the helm of the non-aligned Namibia National Labour Organisation (Nanlo), will announce his candidacy next Sunday.
Kaaronda refused to confirm or deny this yesterday, but said he will be making a “big announcement” on 16 June that would “bring about real change in this country”.
There are also persistent rumours that former Namibian Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam) executive director Dr Joseph Diescho, who remains an ardent Geingob critic, will also throw his hat into the ring at a later stage.
Constitutional expert Nico Horn believes Geingob's popularity has taken a huge beating since the last election.
He, however, anticipates that Geingob's presidential vote will not be lower than 65% this time around.
“You must understand that people north of the old Red Line will never vote for an independent candidate. The president's vote will drop dramatically, but I cannot imagine it will go below 65%,” he said.
Social commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah also believes that unhappiness among the youth, and the growing negative reactions towards government, will hurt Geingob's popularity.
According to him the recent announcement by government that workers should make a voluntary contribution towards drought relief has put Geingob in a bad light.
Henning Melber argued that if independents stand as presidential candidates, they may, to a small extent, affect the votes cast for Geingob.
However, they would certainly not pose a threat to presidential candidates of opposition parties, such as McHenry Venaani and Bernadus Swartbooi, he said.
“They have their own support bases, which will not move away from them. If at all, some voters will, as a form of protest, not vote for Geingob, but for one of 'independents'. At the end, the difference will be rather small. I would be surprised if it would change voting patterns more,” said Melber.
He added the current debate might, however, indicate some seismographic shifts from Team Swapo, which Geingob will have to observe carefully.
“It is of course not the first time that in an election year the party's internal differences are also publicly visible. It remains to be seen to which extent this leaves a mark on the electoral college of the party. For the time being, I am sceptical that it is more than a storm in a tea cup, and rather much ado about nothing, since I cannot see that the anti-Geingob forces have any coordinated, broadly-based and anchored approach,” said Melber.
Kamwanyah said independent candidates are critical, as they give voters options, rather than focussing on just one candidate.
He, however, said their decision to stand must be based on issues.
Kamwanyah cautioned that independent candidates should not just stand because they lost out on opportunities within their parties, but should rather be driven by issues, policy change and nation-building.
“They must bring new energy, new thinking and new perspectives. An empty independent candidate does not add to a country's democracy. Such a candidate must be driven by hopes and development, and must be linked to issues,” he said.
Kamwanyah too is not convinced that Geingob's vote will be affected significantly.
“It is difficult to predict because we do not know what their platforms are. What I can say is that it will be difficult because they will be facing a Goliath in the form of Swapo. Swapo is very strong in the squatter camps, the rural areas and the north of the country. But Swapo may face serious problems in Windhoek, among the youth and educated people,” said Kamwanyah.
He added the emergence of independent candidates is an indictment on Swapo's non-performance and poses no threat to opposition parties and their presidential candidates.
In a letter dated 13 November 2018, marked “strictly confidential”, Nujoma's office requested that police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga consider promoting one of his current bodyguards, Chief Inspector Wilhemina Nikanor, to head his security. This was after the retirement of his previous head of security. Nujoma's office motivated the recommendation, saying Nikanor has always displayed a high sense of security responsibility and commitment.
“As a female police officer, who works hard and is mature enough to fulfil her duties, Chief Inspector Nikanor becomes His Excellency, the Founding President's first choice to fill the vacant post of deputy commissioner.
“This would also be in line with the government's policy of gender balance at the workplace, which promotes the advancement of women,” the letter reads.
It had allegedly been preceded by a “consultation” between Ndeitunga and Nujoma's office. In his initial response, Ndeitunga's office - in a letter signed off by deputy inspector-general Anna-Marie Nainda - acknowledged receipt of Nujoma's request and suggested the matter was receiving positive consideration and that internal processes were underway. However, a few days later, the police made a dramatic U-turn in a letter dated 21 November.
“I should inform the Office of the Founding President that it is unfortunate that the recommendation was received after the said post was already filled.
The post was filled on 8 October 2018,” the second letter said.
The request by Nujoma's office came after former head of state Hifikepunye Pohamba was given the green light to shuffle his security detail after his second presidential term ended in 2015.
Nujoma's senior aide John Nauta confirmed the retirement of Deputy Commissioner Henock Kambala, but added that he was not aware of a letter.
“We are not aware of that.
Just follow it up where you got that information,” Nauta told Namibian Sun this week.
Approached for comment, Ndeitunga said it was his discretion to appoint officers, as recommended by their respective supervisors.
“I did not receive a letter from them telling me that they prefer who, but myself I appoint people that are recommended by their supervisors. For instance, if someone is going on retirement, I am advised by the seniors in that directorate as to who should follow. There are those who want to jump the queue and maybe they are not happy because they are not allowed to jump the queue,” he said. “People want to do things that are beyond their power.”
Asked whether Nujoma's office had made the request on the basis of being familiar with Nikanor and her security pedigree, Ndeitunga questioned: “Are you saying that those who were promoted were not in the division for long?”
The police chief also added there were no consultations needed before a security appointment is made.
“We normally inform them who is coming,” he said.
“The law is clear. So that is the issue; if there was anyone who was positioning himself or herself to take over that position, and unfortunately did not take it because someone else was identified and appointed, they should blame themselves. How should they position themselves?
“Or they should wait for another chance because this chance was given to another person who is also from the same VVIP directorate, not from anywhere else. And those who recommended that one to me, I have no doubt that they are honest,” Ndeitunga added.
Nainda denied knowledge of Nujoma's request, adding she is currently on leave.
“I don't know anything about that. Maybe you should just call the office of the inspector-general. I am not aware of what you are talking about,” she said.
Whether this will pay off for investors in the long term, only time will tell, local analysts agree.
Finance minister Calle Schlettwein last year gazetted regulation 13 of the Pension Fund Act, stipulating that pension funds had to invest 40% of their total assets locally by the end of August 2018. This figure was increased to 42.5% by the end of November and at the end of March this year, it was upped further to 45%.
Regulation 13 repealed regulation 28, which was first introduced in 1994, pinning the minimum requirement of pension funds’ local investment at 10%. In 2014, this was increased to 35%.
Figures released by the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) recently showed the investment of the local pension fund industry in different asset classes at the end of March 2019 totalled nearly N$167.8 billion. Of this, 40.33% - or around N$67.7 billion - was Namibian investments.
Should the industry have met the required threshold of 45%, approximately N$75.5 billion would have been invested in Namibian instruments. That means that about N$7.8 billion of the industry’s assets is still looking for a local investment home.
At a press conference recently, Schlettwein said government’s borrowing requirement for 2019/20 stands at N$10.1 billion, of which N$7.1 billion will be sourced from the domestic market. That will bring government’s estimated domestic debt for the current fiscal year to about N$61.4 billion, up nearly 12% from 2018/19.
Domestic debt is projected to make up nearly 63.8% of government’s total estimated debt of about N$96.3 billion in 2019/20.
“The N$7.1 billion will be raised through instruments ranging from 1 years to 30 years of maturity and based on the market/investor demand,” Schlettwein said.
“The higher local asset threshold has undeniably increased the demand for government bonds, which is evident in higher bid to offer ratios and declining spreads over the benchmark South African bonds,” says Dylan van Wyk, researcher at IJG Securities.
According to Eloise du Plessis, research chief at PSG Namibia, regulation 13 has “likely had the effect of driving pension and long-term assets into government bonds and cash”.
Megameno Shetunyenga, researcher at Simonis Storm (SS), says the “only sizable and available investments right now” are fixed income investments like government bonds and treasury bills.
“Whether they are quality investments, that is debatable and only time will tell,” Shetunyenga says.
Although fixed income returns are currently “still quite attractive”, it is “certainly not sustainable in the long term given the pressure on the economy and our country’s fiscal position”, he says.
Van Wyk says the increased demand for government bonds stemming from regulation 13 is evident in higher bid to offer ratios and declining spreads over the benchmark South African bonds.
“Higher competition for these assets have led to lower average yields on auctions, decreasing the returns on these investments for future investors,” he says.
The expected return on fixed income investments are lower than that of equity, given the lower level of risk, according to Van Wyk.
“Thus, pension funds targeting higher returns will have a more difficult time finding assets to meet their objectives,” he says.
This is especially troubling for defined benefit funds, he points out. A defined benefit funds is a type of pension plan in which an employer promises a specified pension payment retirement that is predetermined by a formula based on the employee's earnings history, tenure of service, age, ect., where liabilities are independent of underlying asset returns.
“Essentially, if pension asset returns are lower than the growth in pension liabilities, the employer will have to make up the shortfall through additional contributions,” Van Wyk says.
The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) is a defined benefit fund and is the biggest player in the local industry. At the end of 2017, N$110 billion of the industry’s total assets of N$152 billion belonged to the GIPF.
“At this stage, performance is still ahead of the target of the consumer price index (CPI) plus 3%,” Du Plessis says.
However, she points out: “Assets need to be allocated to keep up with this target, so the risk of underperforming lies with the GIPF itself. They will need to allocate assets to investments outside the 45% that will still ensure that the liabilities can be met.
“If that growth is still not enough, contributions will have to increase, which comes from taxpayers. The pensioners of the GIPF do not carry the risk,” Du Plessis says.
The other pension funds in Namibia are “very small” compared to the GIPF and are mostly defined contribution funds, she says. This means that the risk of underperformance is “squarely on the shoulders of the members of the fund”.
“In my opinion, it is these members that will see the effect of lower-growth assets the most,” Du Plessis says. “The asset managers only has the responsibility to perform in line with the benchmark, which already takes account of the 45% requirement in Namibia.”
Van Wyk says the issue with increasing the local asset requirement is that artificial demand can be created for government bonds by increasing the local asset requirement.
“As government borrowing requirements increase, the domestic asset requirements can be systematically increased to ensure demand for the debt.
“Theoretically the local asset requirement can be increased to 100%, until all pension fund assets are invested locally. Although this is an extreme scenario, there has to be some balance between investing money at home and earning the best possible risk adjusted return for pensioners,” Van Wyk says.
Regulation 13 will “absolutely” make it easier for government to borrow domestically, Shetunyenga says.
This in itself is “not a bad idea, given that risks are minimal when a government borrows via its local market”. “However, any unsuitable borrowing (whether local or foreign) could and will put the country’s future economic well-being at risk,” he says.
“Borrowing that produces enough economic benefit to pay for itself is considered a good thing. Hence, the question to ask is rather whether the past and current government borrowings will produce enough economic benefit to pay for itself. We certainly do not concur,” Shetunyenga says.
Asked whether there are enough quality investments in Namibia which could absorb the extra money resulting from regulation 13, Shetunyenga answered: “Definitely not.”
The lack of local assets has been a bit of a headache for many fund managers, especially those with high equity mandates or higher targeted returns, Van Wyk says.
“Although there is sufficient fixed income assets, mostly in the form of government debt, corporate debt and bank deposits, there is definitely a lack of riskier assets such as listed and unlisted equity,” he says.
Additionally, Namibian equities lack the diversification benefits that foreign markets can offer, seeing as there are only ten locally listed equities on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) and a handful of dual-listed stocks. Furthermore, dual-listed stocks’ local asset status have also been capped at 10%, so equity options are quite limited, Van Wyk says.
Du Plessis points out that the weak uptake of the recently Oryx Properties rights offer and the initial public offering (IPO) of Letshego Namibia in 2017 indicates that pension fund managers are not “desperate” for Namibia equity assets.
Shetunyenga also points out that local investment opportunities on the equity front are “very limited especially in the listed space”.
“However, there are prospects of further listings on the local stock exchange which is positive and will create avenues where funds could be deployed,” he adds.
In this regard, state-owned MTC recently announced that it will start formal procedures and is likely to list on the NSX next July. Bidvest Namibia, however, is expected to delist on the Local Index of the NSX this month following a take-over offer from the JSE-listed Bidvest Group in South Africa.
Shetunyenga says there are opportunities available in the unlisted space, like the infrastructure sector. “However, whether they will generate sufficient return than investment outside Namibia, certainly requires time and an enabling economic environment,” he says.
One of the benefits of the new regulation is that it forces a deepening of the Namibian capital markets, Van Wyk says.
“Because assets are so scare, this should incentivise more companies coming to market to raise equity and debt capital though initial public offerings and medium term note programmes,” he says.
Shetunyenga adds: “The fact of the matter is we need the economy to start growing again and this can only be attained through having structural reforms.”
According to him, these reforms include: policies certainty and a business friendly environment, increasing efficiency in the public sector, reforming state-owned enterprises, improving capital allocations and strategic service infrastructure, and attracting the relevant talent and skills.
The IMF has just completed its yearly Article IV consultations with government.
Finance minister Calle Schlettwein in his budget speech in March forecast positive growth of 1% for 2019.
Die IMF attributes its negative forecast on the drought, as well as lower expected diamond production for this year.
Chinese ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming today announced that China’s Red Cross Society has decided to provide US$150 000 (about N$2.1 million) cash as an urgent humanitarian assistance to the Namibian government as drought relief.
Yiming said this money will be handed over to the Office of the Prime Minister as soon as possible.
“We are still assessing the drought situation throughout the country. China is considering to provide further possible assistance, maybe including urgent food assistance after the complete assessment,” Yiming said.
Yiming said founding President Sam Nujoma recently appealed to the Chinese government to speed up the process of establishing a new desalination plant to help relieve the drought.
He said other Chinese financial institutions, like the China Africa Development Fund (CADF), have also offered assistance through the line ministry to see how to facilitate the government to build new desalination plants “in the near future”.
“With these kinds of cooperation we hope will effect relieve in this crisis,” Yiming said.
The Namibians arrived more determined to win and showed glimpses of brilliance, which augurs well for their upcoming 2019 Japan World Cup campaign.
The Argentinians, who were the favourites, played well below their best, with Namibia controlling the first 17 minutes. They scored the first try through Obert Nortjé. Cliven Loubser missed the conversation, but Namibia held off Argentina until the 27th minute when they scored a try through veteran winger Manuel Montero, which also wasn't converted.
In the 33th minute Oderich Mouton stormed through to score another try for Namibia, which Loubser converted with ease. The Namibians then led 12-5.
They had a chance to increase their lead via a penalty, but Loubser's effort hit the crossbar.
Before halftime, Argentina scored a converted try to level the score at 12-12 at the break.
In the second half, while the Argentinians appeared to be napping, Namibia attacked again and winger JC Greyling found himself on the receiving end of a kick by Loubser.
Greyling scored, much to the surprise of the Argentinians, and Loubser made no mistake with the conversion. The scoreboard then read 19-12.
In the 46th minute Argentina scored another try through Nicolas Sbrocco, which was converted to leave the score at 19-19.
In the 51th minute Argentina took the lead through a Facundo Cordero try, which was also converted. The score then stood at 26-19 in their favour.
In the 60th minute Loubser stepped up and took a penalty, which he converted successfully to bring the score to 26-22.
A penalty was awarded to Argentina in the 66th minute, which they successfully converted (29-22), as they started taking control of the match.
Loubser converted another penalty in the 69th minute to bring the Namibians within three points. With 10 minutes to go, Argentina's Cordero exploited signs of fatigue showed by the Namibians, and ran through their backline without any trouble to score a try. The conversion was successful (36-25).
In the 78th minute Argentina received a penalty, which they then converted. The match thus ended 39-25 in their favour.
In the other match of the evening Uruguay beat Russia 48-26. Namibia will now play Uruguay on Sunday in their second match and Russia on 15 June.