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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 08/05/19--16:00: Gold surges to 6-year high
  • Gold surges to 6-year highGold surges to 6-year high Gold rose to a more than six-year high yesterday, gaining over 1%, as an escalating trade conflict between the United States and China sent investors scurrying for the safety of bullion. Spot gold was up 1.2% at US$1 457 per ounce as of 1037 GMT, after hitting its highest since May 2013 at US$1 460.60. "This [price action] is still about the escalation of trade tension between the US and China ... risk aversion is spreading in financial markets and that is something which definitely helps gold," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said. Fears of a slowdown in global economic growth and expectations of more rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve were also supporting bullion, he added. Photo Nampa/Reuters

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    Yuan falls to weakest level since 2010Yuan falls to weakest level since 2010Central bank promises ‘crack-down’ China’s central bank says it will maintain stable operation of the foreign exchange market and stabilise market expectations. Kelly Wang - The Chinese yuan fell to its lowest level against the US dollar since August 2010 in morning trade yesterday, fuelling speculation that Beijing is allowing currency depreciation to counter threatened US tariffs.

    The offshore currency weakened to 7.1085 to the greenback, days after US president Donald Trump announced a plan to impose fresh tariffs on another US$300 billion in Chinese goods, escalating trade war tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

    The onshore yuan also tumbled, hitting 7.0307 in morning trade to reach its lowest level since 2008.

    Both the onshore and offshore yuan breached the 7.0 level against the US dollar, which investors see as a key threshold in currency value.

    Trump has frequently accused China of artificially devaluing its currency in order to support its exports - charges long denied by Beijing.

    The US president jolted global stock markets last week when he issued the threat of more tariffs just a day after US and Chinese trade negotiators revived talks aimed at ending the year-long dispute.

    The extra 10% duties Trump threatened to implement from 1 September would mean he has now targeted virtually all of the US$500 billion in goods America buys from China every year.

    China on Friday threatened to retaliate to any new tariffs slapped on by the US - it has already imposed its own duties on US$110 billion in American goods, almost all of the products it imports from the US.

    Stable

    The yuan is not freely convertible and the government limits its movement against the US dollar to a two percent range on either side of a central parity rate which the People's Bank of China (PBOC) sets each day to reflect market trends and control volatility.

    The daily central rate was at 6.9225 per US dollar yesterday, 0.33% weaker from Friday.

    "It appears that the tariffs hike suggests the return of tit-for-tat moves and a suspension of trade talks, and the PBOC sees no need to keep the yuan stable in the near term," Ken Cheung, a senior currency strategist at Mizuho Bank, told Bloomberg News.

    In a statement yesterday morning, the PBOC said it would "resolutely crack down on short-term speculation and maintain stable operation of the foreign exchange market and stabilise market expectations."

    It went on to say that it had the "experience, confidence and ability to keep the RMB exchange rate basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level."– Nampa/AFP

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  • 08/05/19--16:00: Breast milk power!
  • Breast milk power!Breast milk power! Almost two years after Namibian Sun reported on a plan by two medical professionals to establish the country's first breast milk bank, the initiative finally came to fruition yesterday.

    The Namibia Breast Milk Bank has been officially opened in Windhoek, which is a significant milestone towards promoting exclusive breastfeeding, which will go a long way to improve infant nutrition. This is one aspect that Namibia has struggled with for many years. In 2017, Namibia was called out for performing dismally on an international scorecard for the recommended standards for breastfeeding. Namibian Sun reported at the time that health facilities in the country do not fully meet the recommended standards for breastfeeding, as stipulated by Unicef and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and had therefore scored zero on the then global scorecard.

    According to the Global Scorecard on Breastfeeding, 71% of babies born in Namibia are put on the breast within one hour of birth. It further stated that only 49% of babies are exclusively breastfed for the first five months.

    It also stated that 64% of these babies continue to breastfeed until they are one year old, while only 21% still breastfeed until they are two years old.

    This is despite a rigorous campaign initiated by the health ministry. However, it is not all doom and gloom, and we have to commend the two pioneers behind the Namibia Breast Milk Bank, namely Birgit Mayer and Professor Clarissa Pieper, for spearheading research efforts for the establishment of this excellent initiative.

    Breast milk is considered more effective in reducing the risk of disease and infections, compared to instant formula, which according to experts lack essential nutrients.

    It is therefore our sincere hope that more of these initiatives will crop up and demonstrate our country's commitment to increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding among babies by 2025. This is a necessity if we want healthy babies to grow into healthy teens and adults.

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    Hippos trapped in drying ChobeHippos trapped in drying ChobeNamibia, Botswana discuss situation Environmental officials are considering the best way of saving the lives of 63 hippos trapped in the receding waters of the Chobe River on the Botswana border. More than 60 hippos are trapped in the shallow waters of the Chobe River between Namibia and Botswana, which is drying out due to the drought. Environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda confirmed on Friday that 63 hippos as well as crocodiles are struggling to get out of a pond in the Chobe River. “The river is drying out, breaking into little ponds of water, and the 63 hippos are in one of them,” said Muyunda.

    According to him the water level is becoming extremely shallow and calls have been made for intervention by both Namibia and Botswana to save the animals.

    He said talks are currently under way between the two countries to look at how best to address the situation. Possible action could include drilling holes to pump water into the ponds, before relocating the hippos to another part of the river.

    “The hippos could also move by themselves, when the situation subsides,” said Muyunda.

    According to him the ministry is continuing to monitor the hippos, while discussions are ongoing with Botswana.

    He added that the ministry will also undertake a helicopter assessment this month to verify whether there is any other similar situations in other parts of the Zambezi and Kavango East regions.

    In 2016 about 100 hippos were also stranded in the Sampisi River channel, which flows from the Linyanti River in the Zambezi Region, due to the severe drought and poor rainfall experienced over the past few years.

    The ministry then conducted an assessment on the situation and resolved that fast intervention was needed to prevent the situation from deteriorating and the animals dying. The ministry at that time decided to drill boreholes to pump water into the ponds and the river channel, so there would be enough available water for the animals.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    President celebrates his birthdayPresident celebrates his birthday President Hage Geingob celebrated his 78th birthday over the weekend. The Zone asked Unam students what they would say to the president if they had the chance to ask him a favour.

    Tuilika Andreas

    I would ask him to try and redefine the future of the schooling system. Some schools are disadvantaged when it comes to facilities, whereas others are privileged. The realisation that learners stay in unsanitary hostels, while others are taught under trees, is hurtful.

    Michael Petrus

    I’d ask for politicians to have reflective conversations about their failures. Our healthcare system needs attention and there is no excuse for schools not to have proper funding. Ministers should sign contracts that state what they aim to improve, and this should be pragmatic, because goals are often there, but action is rarely taken.

    Charmaine Goreses

    I would ask the president to allocate more time and money towards educating and training Namibian youth, considering our small population and the great potential we have to impact our economy, and not just become statistics. The government needs to interject and shape the youth.

    Zawady Tjijombo

    I would ask for university systems to be more favourable towards the students. SRCs need to have a greater impact on the design and improvement of university systems, as they would ensure that student needs are prioritised and met.

    Jane Hango

    Unnecessary government costs such as state funerals should be cut. The money should rather be invested in health systems and the education of the youth. He should also engage them on political issues. Currently I don’t believe that Namibian youth are ready to run the race and should thus be nurtured.

    Nabot Tomas

    I would ask him to make our healthcare system the number one priority. People go to clinics or hospitals to seek proper medical care, but are often sent home without any treatment because medicines are unavailable. Healthcare should be patient-orientated and not administration-orientated.

    Paulina Hambata

    I would ask him to facilitate political mentoring for the youth, because they are willing and ready to learn how the administration of the country should be. It is of utmost significance that we prepare for spearheading further economic and social emancipation.

    Madelene Reuter

    His excellency should please direct government investment more towards tertiary education. Students received a big fright when NSFAF turned away some of them. Students should not need to worry about funds, after they have worked very hard to meet and/or exceed the set requirements.

    Roselli Shiluama

    Heroes/heroines should not have state-funded funerals. Most of them have insurance policies that can cover their funerals. This money can be used to improve informal settlements or fund students/learners who are struggling to fund their education.

    Annely Ipangelwa

    I would ask for the re-evaluation of the structure of the entire political landscape. Perhaps the discrepancies in how you promise to lead and how you lead are affected by a system that can no longer positively maintain the population. This reassessment would aid in improving transparency.

    Ainley Amunyela

    I would ask that government to be pragmatic about how it wants to address issues, because we have heard a lot of promises that sound good in theory, but the execution is not realised. Government positions should also be stripped of their extravagant privileges.

    Saskia Coertzen

    I would ask for our own occupational therapy building at the Hage Geingob campus, because it is a new course and I feel like is very valid for Namibia, and more students are needed. I’d also ask for the psychiatric unit at the Windhoek Central Hospital to be renovated.

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  • 08/05/19--16:00: More to life than memes
  • More to life than memesMore to life than memes Octavia Tsibes

    I recently attended a conference and many young people had so much to say about social media and what they use it for. When I was still in school, young people used Facebook, in particular, to ‘roast’ their peers. Now it is used to share memes relating to anything and everything.

    Social media is an essential part of any young person’s life. Five years ago Facebook was a leading part of many young people’s lives. For many it is a way to connect with others and make new friends, and for those who have too much time on their hands, social media can be used as an entertainment source and to kill boredom.

    Now I personally don’t have a problem with on how you use social media. I just want young people to use social media wisely. If you cannot afford a newspaper, but you have Wi-Fi at home, and all you do with your time is to read and share memes, it is about time you use social media for the right reasons. There are so many Facebook pages that post vacancies or free short courses at universities and non-profit organisations.

    Don’t get me wrong, sharing memes is fine, as we cannot be all serious all the time. I am talking about graduates that complain that there isn’t jobs for them or opportunities to develop themselves.

    Social media plays a bigger role in our lives than we think. Some of the things we post on social media sites can be destructive. It can be fun posting things on social media, because we do not think about the consequences. We tend to upload too much personal or inappropriate information and photos on our social media profiles. This is again where memes come in.

    Many employers also browse through potential employees' social media profiles before hiring them. Imagine losing out on a job because of the content you post on social.

    You need to practice social media politeness; it’s very important. This is where one has to know what to share and where to comment. Protect yourself! Always be very modest, because not all of your friends are going to be happy about what you do. Yes, you need to engage in talks on social media.

    But I believe this should only happen if it benefits you. In fact, you can be part of an online engagement only if it adds value.

    Many feel if people do not like what they post, then it means they are not popular or nobody likes them or what they do on social media. At the end of the day, likes and social media fame do not pay the bills, so do not get your blood boiling over simple things. Also, go easy on the filters and edits when you are trying to touch up your photos. It has come to a point on social media where people have distorted themselves and they are so out of touch with themselves and who they are.

    There is nothing wrong with filters, but people abuse them. How do you edit a picture to a point where we do not know the real, when compared to the ‘edited version’ you upload on social media? Clearly, if this is happening, it could mean disaster. Take it easy and be safe on the net.

    octavia@myzone.com.na

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    Food versus fuel versus forestsFood versus fuel versus forestsEcological land grab A world of narrowing options threatens to pit biofuels, forests and food production against each other. 9.8 billion people by 2050 would require 56% more food relative to 2010. Fred Stolle, Adjunct professor: Johns Hopkins University Marlowe Hood - The overlapping crises of climate change, mass species extinction, and an unsustainable global food system are on a collision course towards what might best be called an ecological land grab.

    Coping with each of these problems will require a different way of using of Earth's lands, and as experts crunch the numbers it is becoming unnervingly clear that there may not be enough terra firma to go around.

    A world of narrowing options threatens to pit biofuels, forests and food production against each other.

    Experts who once touted "win-win" scenarios for the environment now talk about "trade-offs".

    This looming clash is front-and-centre in the most comprehensive scientific assessment ever compiled of how global warming and land use interact, to be released by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Thursday.

    New report

    Proposals to convert areas the size of India and the United States to biofuel crops or CO2-absorbing trees, for example, "could compromise sustainable development with increased risks - and potentially irreversible consequences - for food security, desertification and land degradation," a draft summary of the 1 000-page report warns.

    Meanwhile, the fundamental drivers of Earth's environmental meltdown - CO2 and methane emissions, nitrogen and plastics pollution, human population, unbridled consumption - continue to expand at record rates, further reducing our margin for manoeuvre.

    Case in point: to have at least a 50/50 chance of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius - the temperature guardrail laid down in a landmark IPCC report last year - civilisation must be "carbon neutral" within three decades.

    Earth's surface temperature has already risen one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, enough to trigger deadly extreme weather and sea level rise that could swamp coastal megacities by 2100.

    And yet, 2018 saw a record 41.5 billion tonnes of planet-warming CO2 added to the atmosphere, up two percent from the previous record, set the year before.

    At this pace, humanity will exhaust its "carbon budget" for a 1.5 °C world before US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, turns 45 (in 16 years).

    Carbon pollution

    Slashing carbon pollution remains the surest way to curb climate change, but - absent a sustained crash of the global economy - that can no longer happen quickly enough to singlehandedly keep global warming in check.

    This harsh reality has put a spotlight on two ambitious schemes that would cover millions of square kilometres of land with CO2-absorbing plants.

    Nearly all Paris-compatible climate models slot in a major role for a two-step process that draws down carbon by growing biofuels, and then captures CO2 released when the plants are burned to generate energy.

    The amount of "bioenergy with carbon capture and storage", or BECCS, required in coming decades will depend on how quickly we sideline fossil fuels and shrink our carbon footprints.

    The new IPCC report, for example, outlines two scenarios based on the reasonable assumption that the world will continue to be dominated by "resource-intensive consumption patterns," as least in the coming decades.

    Proposals

    Capping global warming at 1.5 °C under these circumstances would require converting some 7.6 million km² - more than double India's land mass - to BECCS. Even if temperatures were allowed to climb twice as high, the report concluded, biofuels would still need to cover some 5 million km².

    A second proposal unveiled last month calls for blanketing an area equivalent to the United States (including Alaska) with new trees, nearly 10 million km².

    "Forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today," said Tom Crowther, a professor at the university ETH Zurich. "If we act now, this could cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 25%, to levels last seen almost a century ago."

    Crowther's "trillion tree" initiative made headlines, but has come in for a drubbing.

    His calculations, according to several climate scientists, appear to assume that every tonne of CO2 stored in replanted trees would be a tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. In fact, the ratio is 2:1 due to the nature of Earth's carbon cycle, which vastly reduces the scheme's projected benefits.

    In addition, it takes decades for trees to reach their maximum CO2-absorbing potential, as the authors themselves point out.

    ‘Moral hazard’

    Other critics warn against the "moral hazard" of an apparently simple solution that may dampen resolve to purge fossil fuels from the global economy, a danger underscored, perhaps, by the enthusiasm of oil and gas giants for planting trees.

    "Heroic reforestation can help, but it is time to stop suggesting there is a 'nature-based solution' to ongoing fossil fuel use," noted Myles Allen, a professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford. "There isn't."

    The sharpest objections - which may also apply to BECCS - had to do with assumptions made about the type and quantity of land available for reforestation.

    "It might sound like a good idea, but planting trees in savannahs and grasslands would be damaging," Kate Parr and Caroline Lehmann from, respectively, the Universities of Liverpool and Edinburgh, commented recently in a blog.

    The landscapes of lions, giraffes and vast herds of wildebeest cover more than 20% of Earth's land surface and can be as rich in biodiversity as tropical forests.

    They are also home to a billion people, many of whom grow crops and raise livestock.

    Carpeting savannahs with trees would destroy unique ecosystems, threaten species with extinction, and upend the lives of millions of people, the researchers warned.

    Enough land?

    But the bottom-line question for humanity is whether these proposals will leave enough land to ensure the next generation has enough to eat.

    "We project that under 'business-as-usual' growth, 9.8 billion people by 2050 would require 56% more food relative to 2010," said Fred Stolle, an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of the UN-backed report, Creating a Sustainable Food Future.

    "That would require clearing nearly six million km²" - ten times the area of France - "of additional forests for conversion to agriculture," two-thirds for pasture land, and one-third for crops, he told AFP.

    But the same food system that has helped to halve global hunger, Stolle points out, is no longer sustainable: it accounts for 25% to 30% of greenhouse gases, and is choking the life from fresh and coastal waterways with nitrogen.

    "To have any chance of feeding ten billion people in 2050 within planetary boundaries, we must adopt a healthy, plant-based diet, cut food waste, and invest in technologies that reduce environmental impacts," Johan Rockstrom, former director of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Change Impact Research told AFP.

    But whether that "great food transformation" is compatible with plant-based schemes to suck CO2 out of the air remains uncertain. – Nampa/AFP

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  • 08/05/19--16:00: Ex burns house down
  • Ex burns house downEx burns house down A man who was out on bail for allegedly raping his own daughter is alleged to have burned down his ex-girlfriend's house in Stampriet at the weekend.

    According to the police the incident occurred on Sunday night when the man allegedly set the corrugated iron house on fire, which was completely destroyed, all with all his ex-girlfriend's possessions inside. No casualties were reported.

    The suspect was out on bail after he allegedly raped their biological daughter, according to the police.







    In another incident at Tses on Saturday, a 42-year-old woman was hit with an axe on her head by her 52-year-old boyfriend and sustained serious injuries.

    She was taken to hospital, but did not want to open a case against him. However, due to the seriousness of the domestic violence matter, the state opened a case and the suspect was arrested by the police. In another incident, a nine-year-old boy died after he and a boy of the same age became embroiled in a fist fight after school at Eenghango village in the Ohangwena Region. According to the police, the fight occurred on 26 July when Tangeni-Omweni Haufiku was assaulted by the other boy.

    It is alleged that the deceased was severely assaulted, which resulted in heavy bleeding from his nose.

    He was taken to the Ongha clinic on 29 July for treatment. He, however, died this past Friday at his house. Haufiku was a grade 2 learner at Epoli Combined School.

    Four suspects were arrested in Wanaheda this past weekend in connection of the murder of a 31-year-old man. The police did not specify when the murder occurred, but said the suspects are aged 23, 27, 29 and 30.

    According to the police one suspect was also charged for defeating the ends of justice, after he hid and refused to hand over the panga used in the attack. The weapon was later recovered.

    The victim, who was a resident of Rehoboth, was identified as Lorenzo Beukes. A 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 27-year-old man, after attending a wedding ceremony. The incident occurred on Friday at Ashitata village in the Tsandi constituency. The man apparently grabbed the girl, who was on her way home from the wedding, and pulled her into the bushes, undressed and raped her. He has been arrested.

    In another incident, an 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 48-year-old uncle at the Etaneno village in the Onankali area.

    The incident occurred on Friday when the girl arrived home from school while her parents were away. The girl entered her bedroom, and while she was busy removing her uniform, her uncle entered. He allegedly pulled her onto the bed and raped her.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 08/05/19--16:00: Ondangwa 'ghost town' fears
  • Ondangwa 'ghost town' fearsOndangwa 'ghost town' fearsNorthern bypass faces opposition The Ondangwa town council has objected to the proposed northern bypass road, claiming it would turn Ondangwa into a ghost town. ILENI NANDJATO



    The Ondangwa town council has objected to the proposed Ondangwa-Oshakati bypass project, amid fears that the northern hub would be turned into a ghost town.

    The Roads Authority (RA) and the transport ministry were considering a new bypass that stretches from the B1 at Onethindi, which will relieve the congestion on the current Ondangwa-Oshakati road.

    This came after the RA abandoned plans to expand the Ongwediva-Ondangwa road into a dual carriageway, due to buildings constructed in the road reserve.

    According to Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi, the presidential advisor on constitutional affairs and private sector interface, who was speaking during a town hall meeting at Ongwediva yesterday, the Ondangwa town council objected to the proposed project, claiming it will turn the town into a ghost town.

    "Due to the congestion on the Ondangwa-Oshakati road, there is a proposal to construct a bypass between Ondangwa and Oshakati. The Ondangwa town council requested the government to revisit the plan, claiming that once it goes ahead, it will turn Ondangwa into a ghost town," said Zaamwani-Kamwi.

    "This road in any event is not in the current plans and is not yet prioritised, and therefore it is not an issue for now."

    Last year, RA spokesperson Hileni Fillemon confirmed to Namibian Sun that the design for the new project was nearly complete.

    She added the RA was also establishing how many people would be affected by the road cutting through their mahangu fields.

    The road project is meant to reduce car crashes and traffic congestion.

    “The design section of the Ondangwa-Oshakati bypass is near completion. We are positive that it will be completed before June this year,” Fillemon said at the time.

    She added that construction would commence once funds were made available for the project.

    The RA had initially planned to expand the Omuthiya-Ongwediva road into a dual carriageway or a highway, but due to the number of structures erected within the road reserve, the company rather opted to construct a new road bypassing Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati to the south.

    “We are only going to expand the Omuthiya-Onethindi road into a dual carriageway,” Fillemon said.

    She said the project would start at 15 kilometres to Omuthiya from Oshivelo, and follow the current alignment up to Onethindi.

    “From Onethindi it will bypass Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati in the south and will join the main road just after Oshakati. It means we are going to construct a new road, a bypass between Ondangwa and Oshakati,” Fillemon said.

    The RA changed the plan after it failed to convince owners of the structures close to the road to halt construction, although their buildings are within the prohibited distance from the main road.

    Sources privy to RA affairs told Namibian Sun this was the third time that the plan had been altered.

    The previous plans were also deemed too costly, according to an expert, who requested anonymity.

    The RA would also have spent lots of money compensating landowners.

    This was confirmed by the traditional leaders of some villages along the route. They said residents who would have been affected by the road plan were informed that it was no longer going to happen.

    Denial

    Fillemon denied these claims, however, saying there was no other road plan, and that the RA would not spend a lot of money on compensation.

    “This information is incorrect. However, the RA's intention is to relocate a minimum number of landowners and this exercise requires a lot of route alignment planning, which we are currently busy with,” she said.

    Namibian Sun reported previously that the RA was embroiled in a dispute with traditional leaders over their subjects, who are building too close to the main road between Ongwediva and Ondangwa.

    Some of the builders were issued with letters ordering them to demolish their structures, but they refused and accused the RA of failing to embark on a public awareness campaign to avoid the current situation.

    “It was this dispute that forced the RA to cancel the plan to expand the Ongwediva-Ondangwa road, because many builders have constructed their buildings within 100 metres of the main road, which is against the Roads Authority Act,” the source said.

    In a meeting with traditional leaders at Omuthiya last month, RA engineering technician Silas Titus Temba was quoted by the information ministry as saying members of the community were cautioned against building within 100 metres from the road between 1993 and 1995.

    Cuca shops under threat

    If the bypass is not constructed to reduce the traffic pressure, it could mean that the cuca shops along the Oshivelo-Onethindi and Ondangwa-Oshakati roads, which are situated within the prohibited 100 metres, would be demolished to make way for the road expansion.

    It was previously reported that the RA had failed to conduct public awareness campaigns to inform people not to build in the road reserve. Fillemon said the public awareness campaigns carried out between 1993 and 1995 were adequate.

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    Van Wyk asks for child rape convictionVan Wyk asks for child rape conviction Jeremiah van Wyk, 50, yesterday pleaded guilty to one charge of rape, one of abduction and an alternative charge of kidnapping in the Katutura Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Atutala Shikalepo.

    The charges relate to the kidnapping and rape of a five-year-old girl on Thursday.

    Yesterday afternoon, Van Wyk told the magistrate that he was “guilty on all charges” and refused legal representation, telling the court that “he does not want to waste the court's time”.

    Van Wyk told the court that he “was a drunk and I was drugged” and testified to some of the details of the sexual assault, admitting that he “knew it was wrong”.

    He told the court that although he tried to use his penis, he was unable to “because I lost my erection”. Instead, he used a finger. He said he realised then that what he was doing was wrong “so I walked away”.

    He said “I knew I would be punished.”

    He insisted yesterday that he does not dispute any of the charges against him, and told the magistrate that if he was convicted and sentenced he would no longer be able to abuse drugs, which had caused his actions.

    “If I had not used alcohol and drugs I would not have done it,' Van Wyk told Magistrate Shikalepo.

    He said he does not dispute that the victim is five.

    “I did not know her exact age; I just knew she was underage.”

    Victoria Likius appeared for the State.

    Namibian police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi on Friday told Namibian Sun that Van Wyk was arrested on Thursday afternoon soon after the girl had been found and returned to her worried family.

    She said Van Wyk had a previous conviction of murder and rape.

    Van Wyk is not related to the child.

    The girl's family contacted the police and appealed for help on social media after they discovered she had been picked up by an unknown man from the Blink Ogies pre-primary school in Khomasdal at lunchtime on Thursday.

    She was found several hours later, after several search teams had been dispatched.





    Child rape in Namibia has been described as an alarming crime that continues to plague Namibian children.

    Namibian Sun reported that in July three girls, aged 10, 13 and 16, were among the victims of five rapes reported to the Namibian police over just four days. At the end of July, the Namibian police said they were tracing a man accused of raping his eight-year-old niece multiple times between January and July this year.

    A spokesperson for the Lifeline/Childline Namibia counselling centre in 2017 told Namibian Sun “the number of cases being reported is rising and is definitely not normal. It is rather alarming.”

    The matter was postponed to 19 November for further police investigations. Van Wyk remains in custody.

    jana-mari@namibiansun.com

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 08/05/19--16:00: Chasing your dream
  • Chasing your dreamChasing your dreamTaking the marketing world by storm Aina Johannes is a 21-year-old student at the International University of Management, a mother, an entrepreneur and a Southern Africa Startup Awards nominee. She is also a partner and marketing advisor at Manpower Development Centre, a consultancy firm that focuses on Human Capital Development and Organizational Effectiveness. Ester Kamati

    Aina Johannes completed her matric at Windhoek High School in 2015 and is currently pursuing her studies in marketing management at the International University of Management (IUM). The young woman is focused on developing marketing strategies for businesses, including SMEs, and has developed other skills along the way in, for example, graphic designing, which aids her to excel in her career.

    She currently works on a part-time basis for UGO Activations, which is a Namibian experiential marketing company within The Sign Shop Group of Companies. Johannes developed a passion for marketing and grew as a leader, through her interaction with the UGO team.

    “The interactions with the UGO team allowed me to understand the connection between client briefs and execution, which results in sales,” she said.

    Her experience in the marketing industry includes having led the marketing team of Dawn Water Solutions for two years, as well as having worked as a marketing advisor for Grans IT (Investment) - a start-up firm located in Oshakati. She currently works as a creative director for Kern Investments, after her appointment in February this year. Her proudest moment in her career was being nominated for best water crisis management solution and best female role model of the year at the Southern Africa Startup Awards in 2018. She was a finalist in both categories.

    Johannes was also actively involved in marketing Erica Gatawa’s public speaking book titled ‘It’s Your Turn to Speak’.

    “Marketing her book has been amazing because a salesperson always needs to relate to the product and needs to be passionate about it,” said Johannes.

    She also co-founded a project called ‘Louder’ that she works with in conjunction with two other phenomenal women, Raynel Kahenge and Eva Asheeke.

    The project is focused on empowering women to start their own businesses and not be dependent on anybody else.

    The main idea behind its establishment was to help other teenage mothers, who are going through the same challenges she faced when she became a teenage mom.

    “My dream was to have enough money to establish a daycare centre where young mothers can leave their children, while going back to school to matriculate.”

    She said there are young mothers who are abandoned and sometimes quit school because they don’t have anyone to care for their baby.

    She wanted to give these young women a support system and make them realise that their dreams are still attainable.

    Johannes is motivated by her son and loves to learn and experience new challenges.

    She believes in the power of motivation and lives by Lee Iacocca’s famous quote: “Motivation is everything; you can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people. Instead you have to inspire the next person to inspire other people.” When she is not reading up a storm in a free time, you will find Johannes watching her favourite series.

    She mentioned The Garden Inn as one of her favourite places to visit and just take a breather.

    Age and gender discrimination were some of the biggest challenges she has faced in the business world. After high school, she started a business and had a part-time job, but it was difficult for her to sell her brand because she was so young.

    “You need to believe in yourself,” she said, adding she had to overcome several challenges, learn from her mistakes and never give up.

    Johannes is constantly trying to improve herself and wants to be an example for other young women.

    Fun facts about Aina:

    She is a sociable character;

    She is spontaneous;

    She is likeable and easy to relate to;

    She is not afraid to take charge; and

    Has a great sense of humour.

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    Health facilities to be constructed in //KharasHealth facilities to be constructed in //Kharas KEETMANSHOOP – Discussions are ongoing to resolve the impasse between the ministry of health and social services and its contractor for the completion of the tuberculosis hospital at Keetmanshoop.

    According to the ministry’s executive director, Ben Nangombe, the construction of the hospital started in August 2015 and was expected to be completed in August of 2016.

    The hospital is 86% completed, Nangombe said. About N$46.2 million has been budgeted for the hospital, of which some N$34 million has already been spent.

    Nangombe further said that the ministry appointed a new contactor to build prefabricated staff accommodation at Tses, Warmbad and Aroab clinics after the initial contractor failed to carry out the job.

    “The contract was terminated on 5 October 2015 due to non-performance and a new contractor appointed in 2018 is on course to finalise the project within the stipulated contract period,” he said.

    For this project, about N$4.7 million was budgeted and around N$2.3 million was spent so far.

    Deep South

    The Oranjemund town council has provided the ministry with land for the construction of staff accommodation and a health centre.

    The designs for the construction of those facilities are finalised and approved by the ministry of works and transport and will cost the N$49 million.

    The ministry plans to build a staff accommodation and a new health centre at Aussenkehr as the current clinic is too small, Nangombe said.

    “The clinic has limited consulting rooms as well as no space for overnight patients. During the peak grape season Aussenkehr has a coverage population of 40 000 people,” he said.

    The //Kharas regional council provided land for the construction of these facilities and a detailed design was also approved by the ministry of works and transport. - Nampa

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    More and more unqualified teachersMore and more unqualified teachersBasic services at schools drop A new progress report on sustainable development highlights problem areas in the country’s education. A worrying decrease is visible from 2011 in the proportion of teachers having attended formal training. - NSA Jo-Maré Duddy – The number of qualified teachers in especially primary schools in Namibia has dropped sharply.

    The Sustainable Development Goals Baseline Report, released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) last week, shows 87.2% of teachers in 2017 had formal training, down from 94.4% in 2011.

    According to the report, 85.5% of teachers in primary schools in 2017 were qualified, compared to 91.5% in 2012. In secondary schools, 93.9% of teachers were formally trained, down from 97.1% in 2012.

    “A worrying decrease is visible from 2011 in the proportion of teachers having attended formal training,” the NSA says in the report.

    Overall adult literacy improved, but the NSA remains concerned. “Despite a high portion of literate adults in the country the efforts to include the remaining part of the society do not show progress,” the agency says.

    The report shows that Namibia’s literate population of 15 years and older grew from 83.9% in 2004 to 88.7% in 2016. In the rural areas, literacy increased from 78% to 82.7%, while in urban areas, it rose marginally from 93.9% to 94.1%.

    About 89.4% of adult males were literate, up from 83.9%. Adult literacy among adult women rose from 83.8% to 87.9%.

    Basic needs

    Although schools’ access to electricity improved from 2012 to 2017, access to water and sanitation deteriorated.

    Only 86.7% of schools provided learners with access to sanitation, down from 90.8% in 2012. In 2012, 97.4% of schools could provide water. By 2017, only 88.6% had access to it.

    About 81.7% of schools had access to electricity, an improvement from the 71.7% in 2012.

    //Kharas, Erongo and Hardap were the only regions in 2017 where 100% of schools could provide access to electricity and water. With only 54%, Kavango West was the region with the lowest access to electricity. Schools in Kavango East were the worst off in terms of water. Here only 67.1% of schools could provide learners access to the basic necessity.

    In Khomas, 95.9% of schools had access to electricity in 2017, an improvement from 91.5% in 2012. Access to water rose from 92.5% to 99.2%.

    “The provision of access to water, electricity and sanitation is not increasing sufficiently in all aspects to include the remaining 15% of unsupplied schools,” the NSA says.

    According to the NSA, “positive trends” can be seen for the enrolment in pre-primary education countrywide and in all regions, as well as the international support for scholarships.

    “No significant trends are visible for the achievements in English, mathematics and physical science and computer science skills in secondary education,” the NSA says.

    jo-mare@republikein.com.na

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    Gladiators collect goals in last matchGladiators collect goals in last match No chance for Mauritius Namibia found the opener four minutes into the match after Zenatha Coleman was fouled at the edge of the corner. In classy Coleman fashion, she buried the ball in the back of the net with ease.

    Soon after, the Namibians had ample chances to follow up on Coleman's goal but squandered them.

    In the 24th minute they found their feet again and Beverly Uueziua registered the second goal, which was followed by a third by Anna Shikosho.

    Defender Lorraine Jossob also came through to end the first half with a goal, leaving the score-line 4-0.

    In the 47th minute of the second half, Coleman exploited the error in defence by the islanders to land herself a second goal.

    The Gladiators gained momentum as the match progressed playing more in the islanders' half as they defended in numbers, blocking their attempts to score.

    In the 69th and 71st minute the Gladiators could have upped the tally but Millicent Hikuam and Iina Ndapewa Katuta failed to convert.

    The 74th minute saw a counter-attack by Namibia with Thomalina Adams laying it off for Coleman to get her hat-trick.

    Another Coleman goal followed soon after as she ran though the opponents' defence to slot a goal in the net.

    The Namibians piled on the pressure, forcing the islanders to commit an error outside the box; Coleman took the long free kick, but shot wide. But that was not the end of torment for Mauritius as Lovisa Mulunga found herself in the box, thus placing a well-taken shot in the back of the net to end the match 8-0 in the favour of the Namibians in the 88th minute. Coleman was voted player of the match, ending Group B led by Zambia, second, followed by Botswana in third. The islanders ended at the bottom.

    The semi-finals in the championship will take place on Thursday. South Africa will take on Zimbabwe, and Zambia will face Botswana.



    Limba Mupetami

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  • 08/06/19--16:00: Technical team for //Karas
  • Technical team for //KarasTechnical team for //KarasPreparations for Skorpion Zinc U-17 Cup heat up Preparations for the Skorpion Zinc Under-17 Cup are in full swing, as regional teams get hyped for the tourney. //Karas has appointed a technical team to prepare its football team to defend the Skorpion Zinc Under-17 Cup title they won last year.

    This year's edition is scheduled to take place in the capital between 23 and 26 August.

    In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Emrico Blaauw, who will serve as the team's manager, said they will start with preparations on 11 August, and have retained a large contingent of the team that won the competition last year. “We have most of the players from last year and will add a few from the three academies we have in the region. We had an under-17 team that played against a Northern Cape team in Oranjemund earlier this year and will also add some players from them,” Blaauw said.

    Suzel Cloete will serve as the head of delegation for the tournament, while Neville Willemse is the head coach.

    He is deputised by Tuhafeni Fillipus and Robert Kooper will serve as the kit manager.

    The defending champions have been grouped with Hardap, Omaheke, Kavango East and Oshana in Group B.

    In Group A, hosts Khomas will go up against Erongo, Kunene, Zambezi and Otjozondjupa. Group C is comprised of Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati and Kavango West.

    The top three teams and the best-placed runners-up will qualify for the semi-finals of the competition.



    Nampa

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    Wildebeest spread fatal cattle diseaseWildebeest spread fatal cattle diseaseLivestock owners in the north warned With increasing numbers of wildebeest entering the northern communal area in search of grazing, cattle are being put at risk. Livestock owners are urged not to allow their livestock to graze among wildebeest because of the risk of contracting catarrhal fever.

    According to the ministry of agriculture, the occurrence of catarrhal fever in Namibia is linked to the contact of cattle with blue wildebeest and sheep.

    The ministry's executive director, Percy Misika, says it is believed that wildebeest calves are a source of the virus that infects cattle.

    The ministry of environment and tourism has reported that because of the drought many wild animals have escaped from Etosha National Park over the past two months to find water and grazing, and are now mingling with livestock.

    “The disease is most common among cattle when wildebeest calves are two to three months old. The owner or keeper of wildebeest must confine such wildebeest in approved camps as specified by the chief veterinary officer,” says Misika.

    “An application for approval of a wildebeest camp must be made to the local state veterinarian in an approved form according to Annexure 16 (Animal Health Regulations: Animal Health Act, Act 1 of 2011) and the approval made by the chief veterinary officer must be in the form set out in Annexure 17 (Animal Health Regulations: Animal Health Act, Act 1 of 2011).”

    Misika says people may not introduce or move wildebeest from one area to another without a movement permit set out in Annexure 23 of the Animal Health Regulations.

    Catarrhal fever spreads easily to cattle, which usually die within a week of getting ill.

    The disease can be transmitted between wildebeest and cattle over a distance of 100 metres.

    It is suggested that cattle should be kept at least one kilometre from wildebeest.

    Game farms with wildebeest are obliged by law to have double fences.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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    NAC to announce airport tender soonNAC to announce airport tender soon The successful bidder for the expansion of Hosea Kutako International Airport is expected to be announced next week, Namibian Sun has learned from a reliable source.

    It is not yet clear how the Namibia Airports Company intends to finance the project, or what it would cost.

    “The plans for the expansion of the airport have been approved by the special cabinet committee. The appointment of a contractor for the construction of the airport should be announced this month,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

    According to the source, the top brass of the NAC is rushing to finalise the issuance of the tender to the successful contractor. “Timelines are timelines,” the source said.

    “We should have an idea of who the contractor will be this month,” the source indicated.

    A total of N$245 million has been earmarked for the airport's planned upgrade. The NAC is expected to fund N$95 million of this amount.

    The project will include a revamp of the check-in and departure halls, security screening point, arrivals hall and the luggage handling areas. Installation of a CCTV and intrusion detection system at the airport has started already.

    The project will have minimal effect on the current airport operations, which will continue as usual.

    The old terminal, known as Terminal One, currently only used for VIP arrivals and departures, will also form part of the project. The plan is to have a dedicated terminal for international departures and arrivals, and another one for domestic departures and arrivals.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    NAU applauds suspension of small stock schemeNAU applauds suspension of small stock schemeDid not enhance growth in the sector The Namibia Agricultural Union has expressed satisfaction with the suspension and review of the marketing scheme for small stock. The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) has applauded government's willingness to suspend the Small Stock Marketing Scheme for a period of one year in order to find a sustainable way forward to put the sheep industry back on a growth path.

    This was one of the policy recommendations made by the high-level panel on the Namibian economy during the recently held economic summit.

    NAU president Ryno van der Merwe said in a statement that there had been a 40% reduction in sheep production and hundreds of millions of dollars lost to the industry since 2004, due to the implementation of the scheme.

    In 2004 government instituted the scheme to stimulate local meat processing and imposed quantitative export restrictions on the export of live sheep from Namibia.

    Currently the scheme restriction involves a 1:1 ratio, allowing for one sheep to be exported for every sheep slaughtered in Namibia.

    The panel found that this scheme had not produced the intended result and should therefore be abolished.

    Cabinet however directed that the scheme should be suspended for a period of one year to allow the agriculture ministry to thoroughly review it and establish an incentive to discourage the exportation of livestock on the hoof.

    “We firmly believe that we need to find a sustainable solution in the interest of Namibia as a whole in collaboration with government and other stakeholders. Although cabinet directed that producers should not be disadvantaged to slaughter sheep in Namibia, this never materialised,” said Van der Merwe.

    He further said that the charcoal industry is a growing industry and the decision to allow the production of charcoal in communal areas is welcomed and will provide opportunities for all producers to earn an additional income during the disastrous drought conditions.

    According to the recommendations made during the summit, wood for charcoal is harvested mainly from commercial farms in central and northern Namibia.

    There are currently around 650 charcoal producers in the country, however, the majority of these producers are commercial farmers, as charcoal harvesting is not permitted in communal areas.

    The panel therefore recommended that bush harvesting permits be issued to communal farmers and that government avail mechanisms to assist the harvesting of charcoal in communal areas.

    Cabinet agreed to the recommendations.

    “A healthy productive primary agricultural sector in Namibia creates rural jobs and improved livelihoods, curbs rural to urban migration and multiplies job opportunities in the rest of the value chain. However, the opposite it also true when the primary agricultural production is destroyed; the total value chain, including input supply, processing and marketing, disintegrates,” said Van der Merwe.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    An update for the design iconAn update for the design iconNew Audi TT and TTS Coupé The Audi TT stands for driving pleasure, design and close attention to detail. Familiarly known as Audi’s design icon, the Audi TT’s third generation takes the stage with a facelifted appearance: sporty and refined exterior design, higher-powered engines and an extended scope of standard equipment.

    The Audi TT stands for driving pleasure, design and close attention to detail: aluminium elements in the driver-oriented interior, progressive rim design, a short, ball-shaped gear lever knob, characteristic tank flap and round, dual-branch tailpipes are among the typical features of this compact sports car. The design with its incisive geometric forms has fans located all over the world.

    Refined, enhanced, extended

    Audi has accordingly refined the design of the new TT range, enhanced its performance and extended the range of standard equipment.

    Besides the driver-oriented Audi virtual cockpit with racing gauges, the basic version of the new model now features the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, Audi smartphone interface, parking aid plus, power-adjustable front seats and the multifunction steering wheel plus, with which the infotainment and voice control system can be controlled entirely using the steering wheel. Also standard are the illuminated USB ports as well as MMI navigation plus.

    Sporty and expressive

    The exterior design of the new TT range is now more masculine, more progressive and even sportier than before. The front features a three-dimensional Singleframe radiator grille and large side air inlets emphasise the vehicle’s width dimensions.

    At the rear, horizontal lines again underscore the breadth of the new Audi TT. There is no cap underneath the tank flap with its classic TT design; the driver can insert the fuel pump nozzle directly into the opening, thereby showcasing a typical sports car feature.

    Headlights with LED technology is part of its standard equipment, however Matrix LED technology is optionally available. The dynamic turn signals are usual visual highlights on this model as well.

    The new designed, optional S line exterior package underscores the athletic character of the Audi TT range even more. It includes a full-length front splitter, vertical air inlets, a radiator grille in titanium black and specific side sills with inserts as well as a sporty rear end. Added is a wider diffuser and vertical air inlets below the rear lights with three horizontal fins each.

    The Audi TT and TTS Coupé are 4.19 metres in length with short overhangs and the wheelbase measures 2.51 metres. The facelifted TT range includes 19-inch wheels in five different designs. Three new body colours complete the range of paint finishes: cosmos blue, pulse orange and turbo blue (S line models only).

    High-powered

    Audi South Africa will offer two petrol engine derivatives as part of the local Audi TT range.

    The Audi TT Coupé 45 TFSI S tronic includes 169 kW of power and the Audi TTS Coupé quattro S tronic produces 228 kW of power. The 45 TFSI is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the TTS is mated to a six-speed S tronic transmission. The close-ratio lower gears enable powerful acceleration, while the wide ratio of each transmission’s highest gear keeps the engine speed down.

    Effortlessly sporty

    The new Audi TT range offers handling that is both dynamic and precise. If the customer chooses the S line sport package or Audi magnetic ride, the body is lowered by ten millimetres. Other chassis highlights include progressive steering, four-link rear suspension and Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC). The wheel-selective torque control is activated in fast cornering and improves handling as required by means of precise brake interventions on the unloaded wheels on the inside of a curve.

    Driver-oriented

    The sports car character is also underscored by the driver-oriented interior with its clear lines. The slender instrument panel resembles an aircraft wing; the round air vents with integrated controls allude to jet engines – a classic TT detail.

    Sport seats with integrated head restraints are standard on the Audi TT range. S sport seats with pneumatically adjustable side bolsters are optionally available. The luggage compartment of the 2+2 seater affords 305 litres of space underneath the stretched tailgate.

    All indicators appear in digital form on the 12.3-inch display of the Audi virtual cockpit. The driver can choose between two modes: in the classic view, the speedometer and tachometer take centre stage. In “Infotainment” mode, content such as the navigation map is enlarged.

    The new sport display is available for the TTS and provides information on the engine output currently in use, as well as the torque and g-forces.

    The MMI terminal on the centre console has just six keys. The top-of-the-line MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard equipment for both models and integrates a touchpad on the upper surface of the rotary/push-button control that recognises handwritten input and allows zooming, for example. The voice control system understands formulations from everyday speech.

    The Audi smartphone interface connects smartphones with the car and can stream content seamlessly to the Audi virtual cockpit via USB.

    The high-end, optionally extra, solution when it comes to hi-fi systems is the Bang & Olufsen Sound System. Its amplifier offers 680 watts of performance and a total of 14 channels. It fills the interior using twelve speakers, including two centre speakers and two bass boxes.

    The driver assistance systems embody the TT philosophy: they relieve the driver of work, so that he or she can fully concentrate on the road. The line-up extends from the lane change assist, Audi side assist and park assist with a display of the surroundings and a rear view camera. - Motorpress

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    Taxi union renews court threatTaxi union renews court threat The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) is threatening to move forward with a lawsuit against government for failing to reduce “unconstitutional and unjust traffic fines”, among other demands.

    The taxi union held a media briefing yesterday at the offices of its legal practitioners, Kishi Shakumu & Co Inc., to canvass support from taxi drivers and members of the public.

    It said it hopes the court will find that the traffic fines are unlawful.

    NTTU president Werner Januarie said the aim of the meeting was also to introduce the legal practitioners to union members and make the intention of the court application against government clear.

    He said the union is calling on all affected and interested parties to attend a general meeting on 18 August between 14:00 and 18:00 in front of the legal firm's offices, in order to give the lawyers' proper instructions.

    Januarie also urged all interested parties to support the union by any means, including contributing financially to the court challenge.

    “We call upon all members of the public to support our court bid, chief among which is to attend the court hearings, as well as to support via various other means, such as financial support; or rather we are calling on all fellow citizens, members of the public, as well as taxi drivers, to contribute financially to the constitutional challenge against the high, unconstitutional and unjust traffic fines.” Januarie previously said it would cost N$500 000 and upwards to launch a successful court application against the government.

    He further said although NTTU is contemplating legal action, it will still be embarking on peaceful demonstration on 20 August to State House.

    The union is also demanding the implementation of the “rapid results strategy”, a 20% increment on taxi fares across-the-board, the recognition of taxi drivers and their representative union by the ministry and government as a whole, as well as the speedy provision of solutions on other issues.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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