Articles on this Page
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Boom! I'm back baby!
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Facelift for nation...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _SMEs plead for lowe...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _//Karas boreholes t...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _PPP could boost wat...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Confusion over squa...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Impunity fuels corr...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Hope rekindled at L...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Zero cattle on offe...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Vulnerable and alone
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Understanding econo...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Company news in brief
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Continuously impact...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Rundu surveys new e...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Just a click away
- 07/18/19--16:00: _The great unwind an...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Being unapologetica...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Resilient and strong
- 07/18/19--16:00: _No dazzling half-ye...
- 07/18/19--16:00: _Fascinated by consu...
- 07/18/19--16:00: Boom! I'm back baby!
- 07/18/19--16:00: Facelift for national archives
- 07/18/19--16:00: SMEs plead for lower interest
- 07/18/19--16:00: //Karas boreholes to be rehabilitated
- 07/18/19--16:00: PPP could boost water security
- 07/18/19--16:00: Confusion over squatters 'deal'
- 07/18/19--16:00: Impunity fuels corruption
- 07/18/19--16:00: Hope rekindled at Linus Shashipapo
- 07/18/19--16:00: Zero cattle on offer at Oshana auction
- 07/18/19--16:00: Vulnerable and alone
- 07/18/19--16:00: Understanding economic jargon
- 07/18/19--16:00: Company news in brief
- 07/18/19--16:00: Continuously impacting lives
- 07/18/19--16:00: Rundu surveys new extensions
- 07/18/19--16:00: Just a click away
- 07/18/19--16:00: The great unwind and calls for reforms, structural change
- 07/18/19--16:00: Being unapologetically you
- 07/18/19--16:00: Resilient and strong
- 07/18/19--16:00: No dazzling half-year for Namdeb
- 07/18/19--16:00: Fascinated by consumers
Asked how she has been, since it has been a while since we heard from her, Teqla said she is doing well, adding that she has grown so much personally and musically. “After some time away I feel this is the right time to step back in the music industry with all the inspiration I have gathered,” said the singer.
She mentioned that her upcoming album is going to be different from her previous work in terms of content, genre, and the energy it will exude. She has worked with new talented producers as well as artists she worked with before. “In a way this album represents the journey I have been on for the past three years,” said Teqla.
Even though the month for the release of the album has been set, Teqla and her team have not yet agreed on the title of the album. She however emphasised that they have a couple of options. “We just cannot settle on one yet, but it will come,” she chuckled.
Speaking on how long it took her to write, conceptualise and record the body of work, the singer shared that she pretty much knew the sonic direction she wanted to take. She added that creatively, she had to spend more time on instrumentals and delivery.
“Gazza, who is the executive producer of this album, had his own ideas which were crazy but beautiful. We had to incorporate these ideas so we spent a lot of time recording last year and wrapped it up this year.
“We released the first single, Still in love, from the new album last year. The single received a nomination at the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) and reached gold status in its first week after release by being downloaded more than 10 000 times,” added Teqla.
She announced that she will release another single which will be complemented with a music video before the album is released later this year.
On the album, Teqla worked with Arrafat, Glo, Sam-E Lee Jones. “Jeiyo produced the music I worked on with KK and Patrick from PDK; the rest is a surprise.”
Commenting on why she has rebranded, Teqla told tjil that she felt she had changed from who she was; emotionally, musically and socially. “I just feel like I am a different woman now. I have evolved and I want to introduce the new me to my fans so that they can know what I am about now,” she said.
This is her second year being signed to GMP and has plans of exporting her music beyond borders with the help of the stable. This will be her first album under GMP and describes it as her favourite body of work. “We definitely have big plans for this album. It is not only going to be marketed here - it is a continental music project.
“I am really excited for this new upcoming single and video. Boom! I'm back baby,” promised Teqla.
Work began this month and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2020.
The education ministry said in a statement that it prioritised the renovation project because of frequent downtime experienced by both institutions.
The N$18.5 million is funded by the African Development Bank, the ministry confirmed.
The funds will be used to replace all the water pipes and wiring in the building, overhaul the air-conditioning system and repair the fire sprinkler system.
“The renovation process is essential to ensure that the country's documentary heritage is preserved for research and for posterity,” said Absalom Absalom, the ministry's spokesperson.
The National Library is a public research institution mandated by the Namibia Library and Information Act.
Absalom said the National Library is a crucial contributor to the “socio-economic, cultural, educational, scientific and innovative development of Namibia by collecting, recording, preserving and making available the national documentary heritage and promoting an awareness and appreciation thereof, by facilitating access to the world's information resources.”
The National Archives, on the other hand, promote “efficient, accountable and transparent government through the proper management and care of government records”.
Moreover, the National Archives house the national documentary heritage dating back to the 1800s.
The National Library is tasked to collect, preserve and promote access to its collection, nationally and internationally.
It is also responsible for the allocation of international standard book numbers and international standard serial numbers (ISBN/ISSN) to publishers and authors of books or magazines published in Namibia.
The National Archives are responsible for setting standards, inspecting records and ensuring that all offices, ministries, agencies and state-owned enterprises follow proper record management.
The education ministry has warned the public to expect periodic interruptions to services for the duration of the renovations.
This was one of the points raised by youth during a DBN information-sharing meeting that took place in Rundu on Wednesday.
They said they are discouraged from applying for loans, due to the high interest rate.
The bank makes use of the current prime lending rate of 10.5%.
DBN senior portfolio manager Hellen Amupolo explained it will not make economic sense for the bank to lower its lending interest rate to below prime. Amupolo said this is because DBN also borrows money from elsewhere and the bank's mark-up results in the 10.5% interest rate.
“We also borrow from somewhere else and just like any business we have to add a mark-up on our investment. We, as a bank, also do not want to under-price ourselves. What we get is what we give, with due diligence. That is why we cannot lower our lending rate,” Amupolo said.
She, however, stressed that DBN is willing to fund projects, especially involving SMEs, which do not have anything to offer as collateral.
Amupolo said the main factor when lending money and supporting entrepreneurs is their innovation and showcasing that the business will be viable. She encouraged those people sitting on viable business plans to approach DBN, and hopefully get the necessary funding, so they can subsequently contribute to the development of the country.
She also revealed that at 31 March, DBN's loan book stood at over N$8 billion. However, the collateral attached is less than 50% of this amount.
Other issues discussed included the funding of intellectual property and research. “The research and coming up with intellectual property is not funded by DBN; we only come in once it is being translated into a business,” said DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi. He also elaborated on the funding of rural projects, saying once a person has acquired a leasehold for land and their project is viable, DBN will be able to fund it.
Inkumbi also used the opportunity to market their new office in Rundu, which was officially opened in February. He called on potential clients to approach the bank.
During its 14-year existence, DBN has loaned out N$15 billion, with Kavango East benefitting to the tune of N$228 million to date.
“People, in the past, from the north-eastern areas used to complain that we are just in Windhoek, now we are here in Rundu, we have an office; make use of it,” he said.
Speaking at the town hall meeting of the Office of the President held here, Basson said the procurement process will be done by the end of this week and rehabilitation will kick off soon.
“There is a big problem with water in the region, especially in the communal areas and we are thankful for the rehabilitation of these boreholes as it will address the issue of water,” she said.
Basson added that 5 795 households have registered for the drought relief food programme in her region, an increase from the 4 147 reported during her State of the Region Address delivered in June.
She added that to date, 137 claims have been made by farmers under the marketing fodder subsidies with a combined total value of N$940 092.
The marketing and fodder subsidies are aimed at providing assistance to the farmers in light of the drought period.
Also speaking at the meeting, President Hage Geingob reiterated that the town hall meetings are not aimed at campaigning.
“People might disagree on this but if people are engaging with one another, there will be harmony but when there is exclusivity, it brings conflict,” he said.
The purpose of the countrywide town hall meetings is to directly engage with inhabitants of the various regions at grassroots level and listen to their concerns and challenges, in particular the drought situation, wellbeing and collectively seek solutions as well as provide feedback on the issues raised since the last meeting in October 2015.
Geingob was accompanied by other high-ranking government officials including the vice-president and prime minister.
A roundtable discussion hosted by Open Africa yesterday focused on a range of issues related to water delivery projects in Namibia, with a key focus on financing mechanisms such as PPPs or project financing for procuring and developing major water projects and services.
NamWater CEO Abraham Nehemia said Namibia needs to tackle the issue of ensuring long-term water security overall.
“We really need to address this aspect of uncertainty, and work towards coming up with sustainable systems. Whether we have rain, or no rain, we should have sufficient water. Now is the time we really have to look into sustainable water security for this country,” Nehemia said. He warned that water scarcity will remain a problem and “we have to plan and find ways to get water”.
“And that will cost money. We have to think outside the box here.”
Water and agriculture executive director Percy Misika highlighted that among an array of challenges to ensure water security is that the “the water sector is particularly underfunded”.
Misika said PPPs “can be a mechanism, among others, to help government fund much-needed infrastructure and bring technology and efficiency that can improve the performance and financial sustainability of the water sector”.
Apart from financing gaps, Misika highlighted that Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, and while the population is small it is scattered, which makes water provision costly and challenging.
Misika underlined that a key development goal for Namibia is to ensure that by 2022, 100% of its urban population should have access to safe drinking water, and 95% of the rural population.
However, currently many Namibian's struggle to access water points, with some stationed as far as five to seven kilometres from the nearest water tap. He said in rural communities, access to drinking water currently stands at around 83%, compared to 95% in urban areas.
He outlined that the development budget allocated to the water sector during the current medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) is N$1.7 billion for water supply infrastructure development, of which 71% has been allocated for emergency water supply projects.
“Only 12% - N$204 million – is for rural water supply infrastructure,” he said.
Moreover, N$22 million has been allocated for sanitation infrastructure and N$45 million for integrated water resources management.
Misika added that in total, rural water supply and sanitation infrastructure requires around N$2 billion, yet only N$271 million is budgeted for the current MTEF.
“The emerging funding gap therefore is N$1.429 billion,” Misika stressed.
Additionally, NamWater requires about N$12.6 billion. The state-owned enterprise confirmed to the ministry they could raise N$2.3 billion over the next five years, “that leaves a funding gap of N$10.3 billion”.
Misika said this funding would be used towards the development of new water schemes and to rehabilitate aging infrastructure.
The executive director said the technical committee, established by government to address Namibia's emergency water security issues, received numerous offers from private individuals proposing a host of solutions.
These range from desalination of seawater to developing groundwater resources and the construction of inter-basin water transfer schemes and pipelines.
“Establishing strategic alliances through public-private partnerships to address the financial constraints facing the water sector, is one of the financing strategic options aimed at achieving the objections of Namibia's Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5),” he said.
This is according to a letter seen by Namibian Sun dated 5 June in which former acting Rundu CEO Sikongo Haihambo says the municipality had engaged the community and this had birthed the decision to enter into an agreement.
However, Rundu mayor Isak Kandingu, who was also among those who attended the 24 May meeting, said he is not aware of a MoU.
He indicated all he knows is that the people living along Cuma Road are there illegally.
New acting Rundu CEO Herman Haingura said he also attended the meeting on 24 May.
“This is news to me. I do not know about any MoU,” Haingura said.
He maintained this position despite being informed that he was copied in the letter.
Haingura briefly explained that a MoU or a settlement agreement can only be entered once a council resolution has been taken, which should have emanated from the management committee through the relevant departments.
The intent of Haihambo's letter addressed to NamWater's manager for the two Kavango regions, John Muremi, was to request that the water utility continue its supply of water to the community.
It also explained the MoU.
Haihambo said a meeting with the community took place on 24 May, where the Cuma Road Temporary Committee was established.
The committee will play an oversight role in terms of land dealings, while combatting further illegal land grabs.
This meeting was attended by the Kavango East police leadership, council employees and the region's political leadership.
“At this meeting, the said committee was entrusted with the responsibility to oversee land-grabbing and infrastructure development matters in and around the Cuma Road area (which is unsurveyed land),” letter reads.
“This will be regulated through a MoU with the Rundu town council.
“This therefore is a request to your office to provide water strictly and directly to the Cuma Road area, noting that management measures are put in place. The supply of purified water may commence/continue with immediate effect within your schedules and at your rates to the users until the Rundu town council advices otherwise.”
When Namibian Sun visited the Tumweneni informal settlement, vice-chairperson of the group, Alexander Muyambango, said they are happy to have been accorded an opportunity to engage the town council and for the establishment of the Cuma Road Temporary Committee.
“We are happy to have a place which we can call a home,” Muyambango said.
He also shed light on their one-year anniversary event they had on 25 June to mark a year of living in the area.
When asked why they took the route of grabbing land, he explained this has been the “Rundu way” of getting land, saying that the majority of townships at the town were the result of illegal land grabs.
“People call it illegal land grabs, but ask them how Kehemu and other townships were formed; they were formed the same way,” he said.
He added their actions were the result of the town council's inability to service land for people to buy and settle on.
“Some of us have applied for land since 2002 and yet up to today no land was approved for us. Renting is expensive, as we are poor, therefore this is the only way we can get a piece of land and settle,” he said.
When asked about the MoU, Muyambango said they are still waiting on council to come forward with the process.
He, however, indicated they have lived up to the agreement reached on 24 May meeting, as no new land occupations had taken place along Cuma Road.
“Currently no new registrations and land occupations are taking place. The only people setting up are those who were allocated plots and they did not secure the materials at the time,” he said.
About 700 structures have been erected at the area. A pre-primary school has also been established.
There is “a smaller system within a bigger system”, as well as a “smaller council within the council at large”, he claimed. The under-fire CEO left no stone unturned, saying he wants to create a culture of teamwork, transparency, accountability and fair treatment of residents.
Over the years, the City has been hogging headlines for all the wrong reasons, especially when it comes to allegations of corruption as part of its land delivery programme.
We all know the country is already grappling with an acute housing shortage, with rising prices putting houses out of the reach of ordinary Namibians.
The problems at the City are well-known by all and sundry. However, it is the deafening silence among councillors and senior government officials that underlines where the real issues are, in terms of resolving corruption at the municipality.
We have seen ministers responsible for urban and rural development getting tough on local municipalities such as Okahandja, where a moratorium on land sales is still in place.
The Rehoboth council was also dissolved and placed under administration, due to infighting. What is so special about the City of Windhoek, where allegations of dubious land deals have been rearing their ugly heads? The anger about corruption has led to a number of protests in the past, yet nothing has been done to bring the culprits to book.
This undermines the fight against corruption and should be nipped in the bud. Lastly, as the accounting officer, Kahimise must do what is right, including submitting a report on allegations of corruption to allow the anti-graft agency to deal with such matters. Clearly a culture of impunity, coupled by weak systems, has left the municipality open to abuse.
This comes after a tender to do major renovations at the school was recently advertised. Contractors also visited the school this week to evaluate the work to be done, before submitting their bids. The due date for bid submissions is 15 August. According to Kavango East education director Fanuel Kapapero this is a step in the right direction. Kapapero said once the school is renovated it will improve the situation, which is currently bad for teaching and learning. Kapapero hopes the tender does not get cancelled, as this is not the first time that government is planning to renovate the school, which is situated about 110 kilometres east of Rundu.
The project had been left hanging due to budget cuts. “Something is being done; we only pray that the tender will not be cancelled,” Kapapero said. Established in 1974, the school is one of the oldest in the Kavango East Region, and its infrastructure is in a sorry state.
Last November, Namibian Sun visited the school and observed how the classroom ceilings appear to be ready to collapse at any moment, while there are massive cracks in the walls. Roofing has also blown off and remains unrepaired since 2015. The school, which accommodates 630 learners, is also faced with an inadequate number of classrooms and teachers. The hostel has an unbearable smell. This is what the 480 hostel occupants have to endure on a daily basis. The teacher houses are in a dire state and health officials have declared them inhumane and unfit to live in. Linus Shashipapo Secondary School has a rich history, as a number of cabinet ministers, politicians and well-known businessmen and -women have been taught in its classrooms. The situation at the school led to learners holding a demonstration in January 2017. It was also reported that in 2015, surveyors visited the school and it was determined that government would have to fork out about N$150 million for renovations.
This amount was reduced in March 2018 to N$100 million, after surveyors removed some elements.
No sellers turned up for a scheduled auction at Ompundja in the Oshana Region last month.
The coordinator of the Oshana Regional Livestock Marketing Cooperative, Kalimbo Ipumbu, says the auction attracted many prospective buyers, but not a single farmer brought livestock for sale.
Kalimbo says this was the second failed auction in the region this year.
“We are disappointed that farmers who are losing their cattle due to drought are not taking their livestock to auction instead.“
“We marketed the auction through the radio and the committee that manages the auction kraal also mobilised their fellow farmers, but no one turned up,” Kalimbo says.
“Buyers were there in large numbers. We suspect that the low livestock prices in many of the regions are the reason why farmers decided to stay away.
“At the last auction we organised a few months ago, many farmers and buyers turned up but not a single cow was sold because the farmers were asking a lot of money.”
Contacted for comment, the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) president, Jason Emvula, attributed the situation to poor marketing.
“Farmers informed me that they were not aware of the said auction because it was not well marketed. Many of the farmers are desperate and it is impossible that they will snub such an opportunity,” said Emvula.
Because of the drought many farmers are struggling to find fodder and water for their livestock.
The farmers' union is therefore urging its members to sell most of their cattle and use the money to buy fodder for the few remaining animals.
The ministry of agriculture established the Ompundja auction kraal for the Oshana Region in 2016.
With an estimated 344 000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) across the country, increasing numbers of pupils from child-headed households are dropping out of school.
According to social activist Rosa Namises there appears to be very little political will to address the issue.
“Government is doing very little; the only thing they are doing is to take children to the Namibia Children's Home or to SOS Children's Village, but these are only temporary solutions,” she says.
Although she commends the new Children's Act, which has reviewed adoption procedures and makes provision for kinship care, she says people's attitudes are a problem.
Kinship care is the care provided by relatives or a member of a child's social network when a child cannot live with his or her parents.
Namises believes Ubuntu has died and people are no longer willing to take care of other people's children, let alone troubled children.
According to the executive director in the ministry of education, arts and culture, Sanet Steenkamp, child-headed households remain a huge challenge. She emphasises that not all vulnerable children are receiving social grants, and that orphans often have to fend for themselves.
She says more and younger children are taking up the responsibilities of adults in caring for their siblings.
“Just the other day at a United Nations Partnership Framework the issue of child-headed households came up. You have various factors that contribute,” Steenkamp says.
According to her this is driven by many factors, including migration, where parents leave their children behind to find jobs elsewhere.
Another factor is HIV/Aids.
“Many years ago, the HIV rate was very prevalent. It has increased again in Namibia, and we see more and more adolescents becoming HIV positive. That is another matter of concern, but we have done a formal study about child-headed households,” she said.
The principal of Dr Frans Indongo Primary School, Job Shipanga, told Namibian Sun yesterday that teachers often spend more time persuading children not to drop out of school than actually teaching.
“Some of the parents have passed on so the children drop out of school. We encourage them to return to school. This is a problem because the time a teacher is spending with them at home, the other children at school are left out,” he said.
The majority of these children live in informal settlements, he added.
The Khomas Region education director, Gerard Vries, says there is a perception that better education is available in urban areas and the older siblings are often sent to the city to take care of their younger siblings while the parents remain in the village or smaller towns. “Now this impacts what happens in school, because there must be oversight with what happens with homework. So it is a serious challenge,” he says. During the recent #BeFree outreach to the Osire refugee camp one of the key issues raised was the issue of child-headed households created by children fleeing their home countries without their parents or losing them along the way.
According to Dr Veronica Theron, child protection expert and an aide in the Office of the First Lady, the issue needs to be addressed urgently.
She points out that the issue is picked up on an ad hoc basis, which makes it difficult for people to determine the true magnitude of the problem.
“It is a recurring issue in most of the regions,” she says.
She adds that in the northern parts of the country the biggest factor is HIV/Aids.
According to a report titled 'A Namibia Fit For Children – 25 Years of Progress' more children in rural areas than in urban areas are orphans, with the highest percentages recorded in the Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshana regions, where approximately 20% of children were orphaned.
According to this report, 48.6% of Namibian children live in overcrowded conditions where they have to compete for resources such as school uniforms.
The report also highlights that 7 500 children aged six to 12 years in rural areas (6.5%) and 44 090 children in towns (20%) are deprived of education, housing, sanitation, caretakers or electricity.
The result is that school uniforms and shoes are not priorities in child-headed households where children barely have enough to eat or a place to stay.
In 2008, during Nangolo Mbumba's tenure as education minister, the Education Sector Policy for Orphans and Vulnerable Children was launched.
It was revealed at time that since 2004, the ministry of gender equality and child welfare had registered 142 777 orphans and vulnerable children and that this number was increasing. It was projected that by 2021, Namibia will have approximately 250 000 OVC under the age of 15 and therefore the situation must not be taken lightly.
During his 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA) President Hage Geingob said the number of orphans and vulnerable children receiving grants had increased from 285 431 in the 2016/17 financial year to 344 055 in the 2017/18 financial year.
In 2001 the census recorded 97 000 OVCs and four years later, in 2005, the ministry of education recorded 142 777 OVCs.
This year the annual economic workshop, hosted by the Bank of Namibia (BoN), took place from 8 to 9 July.
It hosted 20 reporters and media students from the capital.
Jargon is special words or expressions used by a profession or group that is difficult for others to understand and this is what BoN wanted to highlight.
Economic and banking terms are often not understood by ordinary citizens.
The main aim was thus to inform and educate journalists, so they are able to report on economic- and bank-related matters in a way that the public can grasp.
With well-seasoned economists and the BoN executive management doing the presentations, it was quite an informative and event.
One of the many presentations that took place over the two-day period was that of Dr Johan van den Heever, the technical expert at BoN.
He spoke about the evolution of central banking and highlighted some of the main duties of BoN.
“As Namibia’s central bank, BoN can be seen as the banker to the government, as well as other commercial banks,” said Van den Heever.
He added that BoN is entrusted with functions such as supporting economic growth and development, the managing and printing of currency and conducting economic research.
“I did not only get a professional advantage, but on a personal level, I felt that so many of my questions finally got answered,” said one of the workshop attendees.
Another one of the many interesting presentations was that of Sam Shivute, the director of banking services at BoN. His presentation covered the management of currency in the country.
One of the topics of discussion was the five cent coin. The minting of this coin was discontinued due to the fact that the cost of production exceeded the actual value that the money has on the streets.
“We do, however, want to remind people that this coin is still legal tender in Namibia, so no one can defer you from purchasing with this coin,” said Shivute
The highlight of the workshop was the closing and networking dinner, which was also attended by the deputy BoN governor Ebson Uanguta. He expressed his gratitude towards the attendees as well as the BoN staff, for their efforts to make the workshop a success. The dinner was held in honour of the workshop attendees and they also had the opportunity to engage on a more social level with some of the presenters and invited editors. The attendees were also awarded completion certificates. Kazembire Zemburuka, the deputy director of corporate communications at BoN, and his team, played a key role in the organisation and smooth running of this event.
“Please go out there and use what you have learned here; make us proud,” Zemburuka said.
Zambia expects nine companies to submit bids for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) within weeks, mines minister Richard Musukwa said on Wednesday, even as a court case with Mumbai-listed Vedanta over its ownership was underway.
Musukwa told a media briefing he was confident the government could win the case with Vedanta in any country in the world, and that companies from Russia, Turkey, Australia, Canada and China were currently conducting due diligence for potential bids for the KCM business.
"Currently we have about nine companies," Musukwa said, adding that they had visited KCM.
"The bidding process will start once all the companies have conducted due diligence and we are hoping this can happen within a couple of weeks," he said.
The case has intensified concerns among international miners about resource nationalism in Africa.
It is one point of contention in a row between Zambia and its powerful mining industry, which has contested new taxes the government has imposed, saying they will stymie investment, push some producers into the red and hit production. – Nampa/Reuters
Anglo American's Q2 output rises 2%
Anglo American yesterday said the ramp-up of iron ore at Minas Rio in Brazil and higher volumes of coking coal had offset reduced diamond production, raising second-quarter output by 2% and keeping the company on track to meet its 2019 targets.
Prices of iron ore, used with coking coal to make steel, have outperformed other base metals, reaching five-year highs, after a Vale dam disaster in Brazil led to production shut-ins.
CEO Mark Cutifani said Anglo American's production had been boosted following the ramp-up of Minas Rio and a strong performance from coking coal after plant upgrade work in the first quarter.
"We remain broadly on track overall to deliver this full year's production targets," he said in a statement.
Copper production increased by 1% and platinum rose 3% year on year. – Nampa/Reuters
SA subsidiary of Ford to add 1 200 jobs
The South African unit of Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it would hire an additional 1 200 staff at one of its local assembly plants, an increase of over 25%, to add an extra shift and raise production.
The additional shift, which will increase production to 720 vehicles per day, is the result of a R3 billion investment in South Africa that was announced in 2017, aimed at increasing annual production to 168 000 units.
The US-owned company currently employs around 4 300 people in South Africa, at the plant in the Silverton suburb of Pretoria, which will add the extra shift, and at another site in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth.
The extra shift will satisfy the strong demand from customers in South Africa, as well as for the company’s crucial exports to 148 markets around the world, Ockert Berry, vice president of operations for Ford Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.
Around a third of Ford's local production is sold in South Africa and other Sub-Saharan African countries, with the rest exported elsewhere. – Nampa/Reuters
Huawei: Italy's new 5G powers discriminate against it
Chinese telecoms equipment group Huawei Technologies criticised the Italian government's newly beefed-up powers to intervene in the development of fifth-generation (5G) telecom services, saying they discriminated against the company.
Luigi De Vecchis, chairman of Huawei Italia, made the comment in a parliamentary hearing, after the government moved by urgent decree last week to strengthen its existing so-called "golden power" to intervene in the private sector.
It did so due to concerns over the potential involvement of Huawei and fellow Chinese equipment maker ZTE Corp in the development of 5G networks, a government source has said.
The United States has lobbied Italy and other European allies to avoid Huawei equipment and to also pay close scrutiny to ZTE, alleging the vendors could pose a security risk. Both companies have strongly denied any such risk. – Nampa/Reuters
Netflix’s global growth falls short
Netflix Inc said on Wednesday it lost US streaming customers for the first time in eight years and missed targets for new subscribers overseas, an announcement that jarred investors ahead of looming competition.
Netflix shares sank nearly 12% in after-hours trading after the company posted quarterly results that showed it shed 130 000 US customers from April to June.
The world's dominant subscription video service said its slate of new shows during the quarter was not as appealing as expected and price increases in some markets dented growth.
Netflix reported that it added 2.83 million paid streaming subscribers outside the United States, below analyst expectations of 4.8 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Analysts had forecast a US gain of 352 000.
Looming in November is the launch of Disney+, seen as a formidable entrant into the streaming market, and original programming from Apple Inc. AT&T Inc and Comcast Corp have said they plan their own offerings next year. – Nampa/Reuters
Morné du Toit is a driven career man when it comes to his responsibilities as the acting vice-chancellor of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).
He is also a family man who enjoys spending time with his wife and children.
He is chartered accountant and is the holder of B.Com, B.Com honours and M.Com degrees.
Du Toit started his journey at Nust on 1 August 2018 as the deputy vice-chancellor for administration and finance.
When former vice-chancellor Dr Tjama Tjivikua retired, Du Toit was asked by the Nust council to act in the position until a new vice-chancellor is recruited. He has then been acting in the position since 1 April.
Before he started at Nust, Du Toit worked at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia for a period of five years.
He said his proudest career moment was when he was promoted to associate professor at the University of Johannesburg, three days after his 30th birthday; although he confessed he would have liked to reach this milestone before the age of 30.
In 1999, Du Toit was also among the top 10 countrywide in the chartered accountancy qualifying exams (audit specialism) in South Africa.
“Nust is a complicated environment with many different stakeholders with differing needs and expectations,” he said.
Being transparent and open with stakeholders, as well as engaging with them with utmost honesty, is how he tries to overcome challenges.
Du Toit believes his foremost task is to build on previous successes achieved by those before him.
He also steadfastly believes in utilising the experience he has to make any improvements he can.
“As only the second vice-chancellor ever at Nust, and it being a young university, there is significant energy, opportunities and growth going forward,” said Du Toit.
He hopes to harness these to ensure that the institution moves forward, and upwards, towards being a world-class university.
In his free time, Du Toit enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the beautiful areas in Namibia.
He obtained his private pilot’s licence in 2000. One of the reasons Du Toit enjoys working at Nust is because he finds fulfilment in working with people who want to make a real impact in the lives of young Namibians.
In addition, knowing he contributes to this brings immense satisfaction to Du Toit.
Gende said the council is planning to do the surveying themselves and is starting with Tuhingireni before moving on to other settlements such as Ndama and Sauyemwa.
“Planning is already done, however, due to our financial constraints we are unable to get surveyors to do the groundwork which is why we are doing the basic part of it by ourselves,” she explained.
One of the two extensions has already been completed and the other is on hold as the council awaits the procurement of new pegs that will be used on site.
Explaining why they are starting with Tuhingireni, Gende said the residents of the settlement collected funds to purchase a transformer to electrify the location.
“This has come as per Nored’s requirement as they cannot electrify a settlement that does not show clear indications of how the roads will be demarcated. The setting out of pegs to indicate the streets has come as our immediate action so that we allow Nored to go on with electrifying of the settlement,” Gende said.
The department still has six other new extensions that they need to set up - four in Ndama and two for Sauyemwa.
Gende pointed out that this can only be realised if the council could source funds to get surveyors on board or still take the same route of doing the basic part of the surveying to allow people to get access to the services.
It costs N$500 000 to survey one extension.
Residents who are currently occupying the plots in municipal areas where there are services rendered by the council will be required to pay N$50 per month for residential rent prior to them getting their plots priced for final purchase.
Businesses and institutions will be notified about the amount that they will contribute to the council as their occupational rent on those plots. - Nampa
Organic Box is an online grocery shop specialising in selling organic vegetables, meat and dairy products, farm produce, and speciality homemade products.
It was founded in 2012 when it started off with a weekly product offering consisting of only milk products and some vegetables. In 2014 the first online platform was launched and a steady clientele started ordering every week.
Suitable premises for the collection point on a Tuesday was at times tricky, but Organic Box has been located in the Grünerkrantz Complex in McAdam Street since 2015.
Carola Raad had been a customer of Organic Box since its inception and jumped at the opportunity when she heard the business was for sale in 2017.
In January 2018, Raad took over Organic Box and Heidi Camarate de Campos-Smit joined her in June 2018.
“We launched a brand-new online platform in August 2018 and broadened our product offering to about 40 suppliers offering collectively 460 products on average every week,” Raad said.
The team consists of four members - Carola Raad, Heidi Camarate de Campos-Smit, Tara Hein (shop assistant) and a driver for deliveries.
“We have a flat hierarchy chain of command, which is in line with running an online shop in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, as decisions need to be made on the spot, and one needs to adapt accordingly and be flexible,” Raad said.
This online retail shop whole-heartedly supports the war on plastic and encourages customers to return used containers.
It also encourages farmers to sell their produce without packaging and recently introduced a range of products such as the cassava shopping bag, Bonnie Bio compostable cling wrap, bin bags and straws.
Furthermore, Organic Box is set to continue being an online shopping pioneer in the organic, speciality food industry.
Their mission statement is to welcome everyone to the Organic Box family.
“We greet our customers by name, know their preferences, will continue to seek those special products that our cancer patients, the mom with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) children, the man who is at risk of becoming diabetic, the Banters and everyone in between needs,” Raad said.
It is the aim of Organic Box to introduce new, healthy and better products with no toxins that can go in the soil, in order to conserve our environment for future generations. This online grocery shop courier orders countrywide from Eenhana in the north to Aus in the south and pursues a primarily digital marketing strategy, using social media as a base for communication and promotions.
All the products that the clients collect from Organic Box on a Tuesday are freshly harvested and the homemade products are freshly baked/cooked on Tuesday mornings. To place your orders visit www.organic-box.com or call 081 259 9027.
During balance sheet recessions, asset values dissipate, while debt commitments become increasingly challenging to service.
As a nation, Namibia finds itself in this predicament, as over the last few years households have lived beyond their means.
For as long as households can leverage wages that are growing ahead of inflation, living on credit is not an issue. But, as a nation we have pushed debt to unsustainable levels, therefore to service our debt commitments we must resort to asset redemptions.
We now have to unwind the excess built up over the last decade, the result of an extended expansionary fiscal policy and private sector credit extension growth that was way ahead of real GDP growth. In short, we printed too much money.
Asset redemptions in themselves result in a downward spiral, knocking consumer sentiment and investment confidence.
Households are stretched: the Namibia financial stability report released in April 2019 indicates that non-performing loans (NPLs) in the local banking sector have increased to N$3.5 billion as at the end of 2018 from less than N$1 billion recorded at the start of 2014.
NPLs increased by 53% between 2017 and 2018.
A closer look at the quality of banking sector mortgage exposure indicates that around 10% of all mortgage holders are now in arrears.
Households are increasingly resorting to micro-lenders and short-term borrowing to live from month to month. Outstanding micro-loans and credit agreements now stack up to N$6.4 billion compared to N$3.4 billion in 2014. This segment of credit has compounded at a rate of double the growth of overall private sector credit extension between 2014 and 2018.
Usually, at this stage of the cycle, the slack in the economy is shored up by the combination of an expansionary fiscal and loose monetary policy.
However, fiscal space does not currently exist for the government to boost the economy. The government is at the opposite end of fiscal policy, consolidating the budget.
On the other hand, little help has come in the way of easing interest rates through monetary policy, which begs the question why the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Namibia has not come to the rescue.
The MPC seems comfortable with the current level of inflation at 4.5% and reserves at N$34.1 billion, which translates into 5.4 months of import cover, enough to protect the peg of the Namibian dollar to the rand.
However, in our view the MPC has not provided enough communication as to why it has not adjusted the repo rate lower from 6.75%, at which it has been since August 2017 - particularly in light of the fact that the level of reserves and rate of inflation are not an issue.
Furthermore, the local economy is contracting, with first quarter GDP growth reported at -1.9%. Both regional and global economic conditions have deteriorated – our largest trading partner, South Africa, recorded a -3.2% GDP growth in the first quarter and global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have downgraded global growth expectations for 2019 and 2020, including that of Namibia.
It is our view that monetary policy will be ineffective as a policy tool in resuscitating the local economy, because of the type of recession we are experiencing is a balance sheet recession.
During balance sheet recessions, households are more concerned with paying down their debt and increasing savings as quickly as possible rather than increasing consumption. Therefore, lower interest rates would not entice the uptake of credit but would certainly assist households in paying down their debts.
Equally, during balance sheet recessions lenders are more concerned about managing the quality of their assets (managing their balance sheets) as opposed to growing incomes.
The combined net effect of household deleveraging and financial sector reluctance to lend means that a significant portion of deposits do not re-enter the real economy. Rather financial institutions will park these deposits in treasuries.
As of the end of 2018 the banking sector had N$15.5 billion in treasury holdings compared to N$8.9 billion in 2016. Holdings in treasury bills grew by 32% per annum during 2017 and 2018.
Therefore, there is an interruption in one of the key functions of a deposit-taking financial institution, which is intermediation aimed at matching borrowers with lenders.
This interruption results in a major leakage in incomes, which has deflationary implications for the economy. The resulting deflationary impact further perpetuates the balance sheet recession, causing a downward spiral that damages household sentiment and business confidence.
The FNB house price index points to average prices having receded by 6.8% over the first quarter of this year. Residential property valuations are off 20%-30% compared to their 2016 peak prices.
Considering that houses in most cases are the largest component of household balance sheets, the lower values are a massive blow to consumer sentiment. Reported closures of mom and pop shops in the local media add further evidence to the leakages referred to above.
The solution to get the economy going again in a balance sheet recession is for government to step in with an expansionary fiscal policy, mopping up savings and expanding spending with the aim of stimulating the economy - at best to cushion the economy, but ideally to expand growth. The goal is to increase incomes, thereby increasing the ability of households to service debt commitments and ultimately drive consumer demand and defeat asset deflation.
However, the ratio of total public debt to GDP is 45% and projected to peak above 50% over the current fiscal period according to the 2019/20 fiscal budget.
Public debt service costs as a percentage of revenues have more than doubled since the 2014/15 fiscal period to approximately N$7 billion. As a nation we now spend more than 10% of revenues on servicing interest payments.
Elevated interest servicing costs means that there are less resources to invest in the productive capital formation. In short, government does not have the capacity to stimulate the economy through fiscal policy.
This means we need to reform the economy and initiate structural changes to get the economy going again.
Adriano Visagie went from playing in the dusty streets of Katutura to becoming a powerhouse in the entertainment industry and has created a successful career as a private banker analyst for First National Bank (FNB).
Visagie was born in 1991 in Katutura in Windhoek and despite his parents separating at a young age he was privileged enough to have both parents still active and supportive throughout his life.
“My parents always wanted the best for me and I truly believe if your parents are supportive of what you do and what you want to become in life, you can accomplish anything,” he said.
Believing that he should not be limited to just one thing, Visagie used the platforms created by his high school, Dawid Bezuidenhout in Windhoek, to make a change in his community.
This star athlete, champion debater and head boy made sure to always take time and energy to give back to the community.
“Part of what I’m doing now comes from high school. I did debating and later formed part of the national debate team. I loved high school as it drove us as learners towards doing community work,” Visagie stressed.
During his high school career Visagie joined Teenagers Against Drug Abuse (TADA) and is still passionate about this initiative. The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) also has a special place in his heart and many weekends have been dedicated to raise funds for this initiative.
“I am extremely passionate about social issues and addressing those issues that others are not comfortable talking about.”
Visagie went on to study accounting at the University of Namibia (Unam), but realised this was not the career path for him.
“If you sit in a lecture and realise that the course does not ignite something in you, you know you are not doing what you need to do with your life.”
After taking a gap year exploring in Cape Town, Visagie returned to Namibia and started working at Katutura Community Radio, which is now known as Base FM. “I absolutely loved it, especially community radio, and this is where my love for radio started.”
Now Visagie is working at Radio Energy 100 FM, with his love for radio continuing to grow.
“I think growing up and listening to ‘Rick Dees Weekly Top 40’ has really made an impact on me. He had the ability to transform the show to become his own, and that is what I believe I have achieved with my radio show as well.”
Not only does Visagie excel behind the microphone, he also comes alive when he is on stage.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be Joseph in our Sunday school plays, but for some reason I always ended up as one of the wise men or an animal of some sort.”
This, however, did not discourage this rising star, as he joined the production of Sandy Rudd's highly-anticipated ‘Meme Mia!’ in 2012. He was also cast in the Namibian play ‘Lammie Beukes’, which further nurtured Visagie’s passion for acting.
“Being on stage allows me to become someone else and is truly a space where I can be happy and free. I was further cast in the lead role in the feature film ‘Salute’ that went on to receive a nomination at the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCA) in Nigeria.”
While working at Base FM Visagie then applied to work at FNB in 2011 and has in the past nine years achieved what most employees have achieved in 20 years.
“I have worked so hard and elevated myself every second or third year, by reviewing myself and asking if this is really where I want to be in life.”
Staring at entry level as a waste clerk, Visagie has worked himself up to the position of private banker analyst and works with high-profile clients.
Visagie’s key to success has been his dedication, hard work and always staying true to who he is.
“Learn to explore through your career and remember that your job does not define you. Try to find the thing that ignites you and pushes you out of our comfort zone,” he said.
Photos Mariselle Stofberg
With her tenacious attitude, collaborative nature and desire to always learn and draw from other people’s knowledge and experience, Leorine Waggie is clearly on the road to more successes.
Waggie is the finance manager in the exploration and production (E&P) department at the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) in Windhoek.
While numbers and reports might intimidate others, this independent woman is passionate and excited about the work she does.
She draws her inspiration from Nangula Uaandja, the country senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who went on to become the first black women to qualify as a chartered accountant and was named Namibian businesswoman of the year in 2011.
“I strive to become better at what I do and grow with Namcor, as it becomes a big player in the oil and gas industry, and finally to inspire people to learn more about the oil and gas industry,” Waggie said.
She hopes to one day also broaden her knowledge by learning Korean.
Waggie is responsible for financial management and reporting, which includes producing periodic financial reports, maintaining an adequate system of financial records, preparing and reporting on budgets and cash flow.
“Additionally, I have to ensure that the relevant controls are observed and that the financial records are accurate and comply with the relevant accounting policies, principles and international financial reporting standards.”
Waggie grew up in Rehoboth, where she matriculated from M&K Gertze High School. She later moved to Windhoek when she started working. Not only did she manage her work, but used this drive to simultaneously study and successfully complete her bachelor’s degree in accounting and a postgraduate diploma in internal auditing at the University of Namibia (Unam).
Her hardworking nature is the core character trait that enabled Waggie to qualify for a bursary that enabled her to study abroad.
“In 2015, I was awarded the Petrofund/ Namcor scholarship to study at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, Scotland.”
This scholarship allowed her to obtain her MSc degree in oil and gas accounting at RGU. “This achievement resulted in me being promoted to the financial manager position for the E&P department where I can specifically apply what I have learned for the benefit of the E&P department and Namcor,” she said.
Even though Waggie has achieved great success, she always gives credit to her hardworking team. “I am inspired by teams that work hard to achieve common goals.” Waggie explained that planning, organising and prioritising allows one to achieve as much as possible with each day you are given.
Being strict with employees, in order to achieve these common goals, has been a challenge for Waggie, but she has never been one to turn down a challenge, as she also looks up to the tenacious former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.
“I needed to learn how to manage and motivate employees in order to align and work hard to meet deadlines to provide accurate, relevant and on-time information for management decision-making purposes. Another challenge that just comes with the nature of the job is maintaining a healthy work and life balance.”
Waggie’s guilty pleasure is reading romantic novels, especially Afrikaans ones, and she enjoys building jigsaw puzzles when time permits.
She also auditioned for the Big Brother reality show, pushing herself outside her comfort zone. This quiet yet tough and determined woman stresses the importance of education and empowering yourself with knowledge.
“Education is key, so never stop learning and pursue careers that you are passionate about,” Waggie added.
Photo 1: Leorine Waggie is passionate, resilient and strong.
Photo 2: Leorine Waggie and her team at Namcor.
Namdeb Holdings recorded its worst first half-year since 2016, with diamond production for the six months ended 30 June plummeting by nearly 22% compared to the same period in 2018.
Production results released yesterday by Anglo American show Namdeb Holdings delivered 335 000 carats of gems in the second quarter, down 180 000 carats or nearly 35% from the same three months last year. The latest results mark the worst performance in a second quarter since 2016, when Namdeb Holdings produced 296 000 carats.
Anglo American said the matte performance was mainly driven by the land operation transitioning Elizabeth Bay into care and maintenance in the last quarter of 2018, as well as the planned maintenance for the Mafuta crawler vessel.
Namdeb Holdings' land operations produced 209 000 carats in the first six months of 2019, nearly 37% or 121 000 carats less than the same half-year last year. Debmarine Namibia produced 609 000 carats, down 105 000 carats or about 15% from a year ago.
Total production was 818 000 carats, a drop from 225 000 carats in the first six months of 2018.
Anglo American is the holding company of De Beers. De Beers and the Namibian government each own 50% of Namdeb Holdings.
The local mining giant is the worst contributor to De Beers' total production in the past half-year. Of total production of 15.551 million carats, Namdeb Holdings provided about 5.3%. In the same period in 2018, Namdeb Holdings contributed nearly 5.97% of the 17.495 million carats produced.
Diamond mining is expected to grow by -12.5% this year, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) forecast in its latest Economic Outlook released in April. This follows positive growth of 13.7% and 12% in 2018 and 2017 respectively.
Should the BoN forecast prove to be spot-on, 2019 will record the worst contraction in diamond mining since 2009.
According to the BoN forecast, diamond mining is expected to contribute nearly N$17.4 billion at current prices to Namibia's forecast gross domestic product (GDP) of about N$202.8 billion. Last year, the sector's contribution was about N$18.2 billion.
Anglo said demand for rough diamonds remains subdued as a result of challenges in the midstream with higher polished inventories, and caution due to macro-economic uncertainty, including trade tensions between the US and China.
The average realised rough diamond price in the past six months was US$151 per carat, a decrease of 7% compared to the same half-year in 2018. This was driven by a 4% reduction in the average rough price index and a change in the sales mix in response to weaker conditions, Anglo said.
Rozanne van der Merwe comes across as being the epitome of female empowerment and friendliness. And this is exactly who she is.
After a firm handshake we make ourselves comfortable in the Ogilvy boardroom for the interview.
“I was born in Windhoek in 1985, I am the proud mom of two beautiful children, I am married to an extremely supportive partner and I hold the position of managing director at Ogilvy,” she says.
The first thought that comes to mind is about how she is able to juggle all these responsibilities and still reach the level of success she has at such a young age.
Growing up, Rozanne dreamt of becoming a paediatrician. Career options were limited in the 1990s and advertising was also never really on the cards.
That changed when she realised in high school that she loved the psychology behind consumer behaviour, consumer preferences and the motives behind this.
She also excelled in sport and has her Namibian colours in netball. After completing her grade 12, she studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, South Africa, where she obtained her degree in marketing management, graduating cum laude.
Van der Merwe decided that she needed a change of scenery and moved to London to pursue a career in marketing and see the world. London was her home for two years, after which she returned to Namibia.
“The transition was tough, I won’t lie, after living away for six years. After I got back I urgently needed a job and that’s when I applied to Ogilvy for an account executive position.”
For the last nine years Van der Merwe has called Ogilvy home.
Three years ago she was appointed as the managing director of the agency. She admits that her job thus far has been quite challenging, but the rewards have also been immense.
“The most exciting thing about my job is seeing how the team and company have grown since I started here. It all comes down to great strategy, teamwork and good client relationships,” Van der Merwe explained.
She enjoys travelling and makes a point of doing it at least once every two years, if she has the time.
Places she has visited include Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Turkey, France, Italy and Amsterdam. Next year she looks forward to visiting Japan.
“Keeping my family and work balance has been the hardest obstacle, but if you have a support system, nothing should stand in your way,” explained Van der Merwe.
It is clear that her passion is not only that of a career woman, but juggling the role of mother, wife, boss, colleague and friend. One of the things she likes most is spending quality time with her loved ones.
When it comes to work, she ensures that she maintains good relationships with employees and clients, because this builds a good understanding.
Like David Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising and the founder of the advertising agency, she also believes that “like a midwife, I make my living bringing new babies into the world, except that mine are new advertising campaigns”.
“It is our job to take care of brands and grow them into their best self,” explained Van der Merwe
When asked what advice she would give her 18-year-old self, she said: “You need to ask yourself one simple question: Will you be able to do this every day of your adult life.” According to her passion, drive and confidence are key in making career decisions.
She explained if you do what you love, and believe in yourself, anything is possible. “If you’re not sure, take a gap year and figure it out, but most importantly follow your gut.”
Being a 33-year-old woman, a managing director and a shareholder at a great company, she can’t help but be proud and grateful for her accomplishments. Her plans for the future are to continue building and growing the agency and her team, but most importantly to make brands matter in Namibia.
She is currently reading a book called ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek. She admits that she does not read a lot, but when it is related to business, she always finds the time. “This book is about how to be a good leader and inspiring people to take action,” explained Van der Merwe.
Building strategic client relationships, empowering the team and adapting to change is what she takes pride in.
Photos: Evany van Wyk