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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Namibiër is toppresteerder by Nasa-ruimteskoolNamibiër is toppresteerder by Nasa-ruimteskool Christo Boshoff, ? graad 11-leerling van Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool, het onlangs die Amerikaanse ruimteagentskap (NASA) se ruimteskool (USS) bygewoon waar hy die Toppresteerder-toekenning ontvang het. Dit word gegee aan die leerling wat die beste gemiddelde akademiese prestasie behaal het vir al die take en opdragte wat vooraf en tydens die program voltooi is. “Ek het die USS baie geniet en ek het so baie geleer. Dit was een van die moeilikste goed wat ek al moes doen en ons moes baie hard werk,” het Boshoff gesê. Deskundiges het praatjies gelewer oor al die verskillende aspekte van ? sending na Mars. Leerlinge is in vyf groepe ingedeel wat elkeen op ? sekere aspek van die missie moes fokus. Daarna moes almal saamwerk en verseker die saamgevoegde aspekte is suksesvol. “Ek was in die rooi span wat die transit vehicle moes ontwerp. Ons het ook op uitstappies gegaan en onder meer die Johnson-ruimtesentrum besoek,” het Boshoff gesê.

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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Domestic workers struggle on
  • Domestic workers struggle onDomestic workers struggle onAlmost 80% say nothing has changed No job descriptions and no contracts remain the norm for domestic workers. Nearly 80% of domestic workers surveyed in a new study have seen little improvement in working conditions since the implementation of a minimum wage and sector-specific job regulations in 2015.

    Of the 203 domestic workers surveyed, 162 (79.8%) said they did not observe any changes in their work tasks and only 13 (6.4%) said their working conditions were good, while two domestic workers said they had experienced a lesser workload.

    The findings are contained in the study titled 'When the Minimum Wage Is Not Taking the Worker Home', which was commissioned by the Labour Resource and Research Institute Namibia (LaRRI) and launched last week.

    The report warns that available data makes it clear the minimum stipulated wage for domestic workers does “not constitute a living wage that will ensure a decent standard of living for domestic workers and their families – it is a bare minimum”.

    Among several conclusions, the authors of the report state there is a “clear demand for domestic workers in Namibia and the sector shall continue to grow”.

    Although a minimum wage has been set for the sector, “its enforcement remains weak” and most domestic workers do not know about it.

    The research found that most domestic workers, 77% of those who participated, do not have a signed employment contract.

    “Written contracts of employment remain a pipe dream for many,” the authors state.

    They add that an absence of job descriptions is the norm in a sector which employs more than 72 100 workers, an estimated 10% of Namibia's workforce.


    The study further highlights that awareness of the minimum wage, and what it means, was mixed among both employees and employers.

    Based on the results, researchers further concluded that non-compliance with the minimum wage order is a concern and that misconceptions about the minimum wage are rife among workers and employers alike.

    The study concluded that many domestic workers and their employers still believe that the minimum wage means a maximum wage, and that “no employer should pay above that amount no matter how long an employee has been in employment”.

    As a result, some domestic workers experienced a pay cut to align with the minimum wage.

    The 2017 revised minimum wage order decreed a minimum monthly salary of N$1 502.05, or weekly pay of N$346.89, or N$69.37 per day or N$8.67 per hour.

    Part-time domestic workers must earn a minimum of N$43.35 per day if they work five hours.

    Just over half of the respondents, 104 (51.2%) were aware of the minimum wage while 99 (48.8%) did not know about the minimum wage at all.

    Of those who knew about the minimum wage, 55 (27.1%) understood it as pay stipulated by law, while 39 (19.2%) understood it as the lowest possible pay and 7 (3.5%) said it is the highest possible pay.

    The study concluded there is significant room for improvement in spreading awareness of the minimum wage.


    The study confirmed that the majority of Namibia's 72 184 domestic workers are women.

    The majority of domestic workers are aged between 30 and 50, which implies that the sector remains an important employment opportunity for older women.

    One of the reasons the sector attracts older women is likely because domestic work in Namibia offers a relatively low income and unstable working conditions, which discourages young Namibians from entering the sector.

    It could also be argued that because of limited employment opportunities in the country, “old or middle-aged incumbents of the jobs tend to hold on to their positions for much longer”.

    The fact that employers “feel that the older generation of domestic workers are more trustworthy, experienced, stable and reliable” could be another cause, the report notes.


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    Strengthening news from the sub-regionStrengthening news from the sub-region The Southern African Broadcasting Association (Saba), in partnership with the national broadcasters of countries in the region, officially commissioned the Eye on SADC news programme in Windhoek on Friday.

    'Eye on SADC' is a regional current affairs programme that is aired by the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) weekdays at 13:30.

    The programme is hosted by Ndishishi Hamufungu, and the content is contributed by the 16 member states sent via a link to NBC. Currently, Eye on SADC is broadcast in 10 SADC member states.

    “It has been a very interesting journey to witness the development of this programme and being the bridge between the news and the people,” said Hamufungu.

    The event was officiated by President Hage Geingob, who handed over the chairmanship of SADC to John Magufuli this weekend. Speaking at the event, Geingob said SADC member states understand and appreciate the role of the media.

    “The fourth estate helps our governance architecture by ensuring that government and the private sector are regularly scrutinised, thereby ensuring transparency and accountability across the board.

    “This is truly a realisation of our regional integration agenda and speaks volumes about the notion of Africans working towards creating, managing and disseminating their own narrative as far as news is concerned,” said Geingob.

    The commissioning of the programme was also attended by information minister Stanley Simataa, NBC director-general Stanley Similo and eSwatini's television authority CEO Austin Dlamini.

    “About two years ago we were informed that we must come up with a product offering that should speak to the region; where stories are told from the perspective of what is happening within SADC, but with an influence that should be going beyond SADC and globally,” said Similo.


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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Taking calculated risks
  • Taking calculated risksTaking calculated risksMercy off to La Roche University Mercy Namases will be living her dream of studying abroad, while majoring in finance management and minoring in information systems at La Roche University in the US. Ester Kamati

    Mercy Namases, who was born in Okombahe village, describes herself as a dynamic young lady with an outstanding personality. She exudes confidence in all she does and ensures that all her endeavours are aimed, ultimately, at success and are in her best interest.

    Mercy was initially registered for a public management course at the University of Namibia (Unam) and applied for a loan. Upon receiving the news about being rejected for financial assistance, Mercy was distraught at the thought of not being able to study, simply because she could not afford the tuition fees.

    While on the verge of dropping out of school, a ray of sunshine came in the form of an acceptance letter from La Roche University.

    She will be pursuing her studies through a scholarship programme known as the Pacem in Terris Legacy Scholarship. Having applied to the university only to see what would happen, Mercy nearly turned down the opportunity upon receiving her acceptance letter, because yet again she could not meet all the expenses.

    This was until the scholarship programme was recommended to her by her admission counsellor, who guided her through the process.

    Her history of volunteer work, as well as her good academic record, were what landed Mercy the scholarship opportunity, which only chooses two recipients globally.

    Mercy is keen on becoming a financial expert, mainly focusing on investment banking, and is ready to undertake her studies at La Roche University.

    “I have chosen finance because I would like to be in a competitive industry,” she said, adding that her ambitious character makes her perfectly suited for the industry, as she is motivated by competition.

    All her life, Mercy has wanted to study in Germany and had polished her German quite well over the past six years, until she became a fluent speaker. She has visited the country a couple of times and always hoped that one day she would be able to stay there.

    But as fate would have it, she will instead be studying in the United States.

    “I would love to take advantage of their education system and I would love to improve my proficiency in English,” she said.

    She said she is most excited about encountering snow for the first time, because she has always wanted to see it in real life, and now she will get the chance to when she relocates to Pennsylvania.

    “I am ready for the adventure,” Mercy shared, adding she is looking forward to the new experiences and cultures, in addition to meeting new people.

    “It is an international university, so I’m looking forward to interacting with the various students from different countries.”

    Mercy looks forward to visiting one of the famous lakes in Pittsburgh, as well as the famous Yellow Bridge. “People always stand there and take pictures, so I am looking forward to doing that”.

    As much as the journey is exciting, however, Mercy is not too keen on leaving her family behind, as this is one of her biggest fears.

    “I’m scared of leaving everything behind; memories and especially my grandmother, whom I stay with.”

    Mercy is leaving today and will fly via Dubai. During the flight, she will be catching up on her reading, while anticipating her new adventure. Mercy is a talented dancer. She also does yoga and is looking forward to utilising the free gym at the university.

    She plans on keeping herself busy with her studies, as well as regular exercise as a coping mechanism for being homesick.

    Mercy, who is her father’s third eldest daughter, is determined to keep working hard and continue being the best version of herself.

    She is driven by the fact that she has eight siblings who she needs to set an example for.

    “I would love to be a role model, because growing up, I didn’t have somebody to look up to,” she said.

    She further acknowledged the efforts and input of her father. “I am the result of what he has worked hard for.”

    Did you know?

    La Roche University was initially a college for religious sisters, before its current incarnation as an institution for students from around the world.

    Mercy fun facts:

    · She has appeared in two music videos as a dancer - one by local artist Tequila and another by international artist Petite Noah.

    · She speaks five languages, including German.

    Caption: Mercy Namases is ready to take on the United States. Photo Ester Kamati

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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Natau elects new leaders
  • Natau elects new leadersNatau elects new leaders The president of the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Natau), William Claasen, retained his position at the ninth national congress held over the weekend.

    Claasen garnered 43 votes, while the other candidate, Ndapewa Johannes, received 25 votes.

    The other office bearers were elected unopposed. They are: Albertus Monde (vice-president), Aloysius Katjito (national treasurer), Nicky Ourub (deputy treasurer), Martin Nghidengwa (national secretary), Louis Skrywer (deputy secretary) and John Kwedhi (general-secretary).

    To cut costs, the congress delegates decided not to nominate anyone for the position of deputy general-secretary.

    The Central Executive Committee members are: Elgiva Baptista, Erastus Shigwedha, Helena Newaka, Michael Amalwa, Immanuel Hangula, Benjamin Shilongo, Edwin Forbes, Gabriel Sheehama, Ruth Munzule and Ronald Mutonga.

    The deputy minister of labour, industrial relations and employment creation, Tommy Nambahu, delivered the keynote address on behalf of Minister Erkki Nghimtina.

    He said the transport and security sectors are vital for wealth creation.

    “However, a study done by the Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI) in 2012 about working conditions of security guards paints a gloomy picture,” Nambahu added. He continued by saying that the same can be said for long-distance drivers.

    “We have noted reports that some long-distance drivers have suffered violence in some countries where they deliver goods and services. Also, long-distance drivers are exposed to the danger of HIV/Aids.”

    The deputy minister urged the delegates to discuss these issues and advise the government how to deal with them.

    Speaking off the cuff, the deputy minister urged union delegates to avoid tribalism and strive for unity.

    Nambahu said it was long overdue that trade unions in the transport sector establish a Transport Sector Bargaining Council.


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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Towards a fish-eating nation
  • Towards a fish-eating nationTowards a fish-eating nation The eighth National Fish Consumption Day was launched in Walvis Bay on Friday.

    This year's fish consumption day is slated for 28 September and will be hosted at Omuthiya in the Oshikoto Region.

    The theme for this year's event is 'Towards a Fish-eating Nation'.

    A gala dinner will be hosted the night before the event to raise funds for schools in the host region. In May this year, 1 387 mattresses valued at N$478 510 and 12 computers valued at N$221 490 were handed over to the education directorate in the Kunene Region, the host of last year's fish consumption day.

    The governor of the Oshikoto region, Henok Kankoshi, highlighted the challenges faced by the 221 schools in the region. Oshikoto has about 72 066 learners and 3 001 teachers.

    “Fifty-seven of the schools do not have electricity and 24 schools do not have clean running water or ablution facilities. Some of our learners in the remote rural areas travel long distances each day to attend school. Some of these distances are about 15 kilometres to school and back. Amidst these challenges the region still performs exceptionally well academically,” Kankoshi said.

    He said Oshikoto needs computers at schools and at the community libraries at Tsumeb and Omuthiya.

    “Nowadays computer literacy is equivalent to reading and writing. At times there are very long queues at the community libraries as there are not enough computers. Our community hostels need mattresses for the learners, as well as beds, laboratory equipment, library books, photocopier machines, printers and sanitary pads for the girls. We are also in the need of chairs and desks. In the rural areas many classrooms are made of corrugated iron or traditional huts which offer little protection from the elements.”

    Kankoshi said his office would set up a steering committee to account for all donations. “We will appreciate all the help we can get as our learners' education is being jeopardised by all these challenges.”

    The minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernhardt Esau, said the fishing sector was crying for quotas but neglected giving back to the community in the form of corporate social responsibility.

    “This is what is happening in our rural areas. Our children are in need of scholarships, facilities and equipment. I am calling on everyone ... to assist these schools in the Oshikoto Region.”

    Esau said the government was determined to promote fish consumption.

    “We believe it is good for the health of our people, it is good business for our rights holders, and it will unlock enterprise development in our rural and urban areas. Our immediate goal in this financial year is to achieve a per capita fish consumption of 20.4 kg per person per year, which translates to about 47 000 tonnes. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that at least 30% of the horse mackerel total allowable catch, or about 110 000 tonnes, is consumed locally,” Esau said.

    “I am calling on members of the fishing industry, and all our partners and stakeholders to come forward and support the National Fish Consumption Day. This is our day to come together as the fisheries sector, and take our fish to the people - in their towns, villages and homes. It is a day to celebrate our fisheries with the people. It is a day when we give generously to support the needy in our communities, focusing mainly on the development of our children through education.”

    National Fish Consumption Day was initiated in 2012 to promote fish consumption at regional level. It was launched at Swakopmund in the Erongo Region, and has since been held in seven other regions, namely Erongo, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Omusati, Oshana, Kavango West and Kunene. To date, this initiative has contributed over N$3.1 million to community projects.

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    Anti-crime operation starts at RunduAnti-crime operation starts at RunduCriminals warned Operation Kalahari was officially launched at Rundu and the troops are rearing to go. The acting police commander for Kavango East, Commissioner Vilho Kalwenya, has issued a stern warning to community members who are in cahoots with criminals, saying there is no room for crime in the region.

    Speaking to the media after the launch of the second phase of Operation Kalahari Desert at Rundu on Friday, Kalwenya said the days of those who aid and abet criminals are numbered, as they will be brought to book.

    Kalwenya said community members who benefit from keeping quiet about crime make it difficult for the police to do their work.

    “Some people cooperate with law enforcement as they do not like crime, but there are some people who are benefiting from crime.

    “That is why you will see that they are against the police.

    “Those are the anti-peace-loving Namibians who are working hand in hand with the criminals and they want to tarnish the image of the police so that we go down and that will not be tolerated by the police force. They must know that their days are numbered,” Kalwenya said.

    Other challenges the police face at Rundu are the bushy areas, lack of streetlights and absence of video surveillance.

    Kalwenya said Operation Kalahari Desert phase two will see 24-hour police patrols, especially in the informal settlements of Rundu.

    Rundu has an estimated population of 90 000, many of them living in informal settlements which are known to be a hotbed of crime.

    “We will do 24-hour police patrols in all locations, especially those which we know are hotspots for crime,” Kalwenya said.

    On the lack of streetlights, Kalwenya said the police have engaged the various stakeholders to try and see how the situation can be addressed.

    Kalwenya also called on business people who have businesses situated along the main roads to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) outside their shops, as it would help the police to fight crime more effectively.


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    The new Mercedes-Benz B200 and B200dThe new Mercedes-Benz B200 and B200dJustify nothing The new B-Class is more practical than ever, more chic than ever. In our portfolio of compacts, it’s the perfect vehicle for the whole family. - Selvin Govender, Marketing director: Passenger cars The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class puts the emphasis on sport with the Sports Tourer.

    It looks more dynamic than its predecessor and is more agile on the road while offering greater comfort. Its avant-garde interior makes for a unique feeling of space with the distinctive design of the instrument panel.

    One of the special features is a basic volume, which drops away towards the occupants and has cutouts in the area of the driver and front passenger. The intuitive user interface of the adaptive MBUX multimedia system is groundbreaking. Its strengths include brilliant graphics, “Hey Mercedes” voice control, a standard touch screen and functions such as MBUX Augmented Reality.

    When it comes to active safety, state-of-the-art driving assistance systems make the B-Class one of the segment leaders with functions carried over from the SClass. In addition, the interior is now more spacious, while the engines are more efficient and cleaner. The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission makes its debut.

    Customer satisfaction

    The new B-Class is more practical than ever, more chic than ever. “In our portfolio of compacts, it’s the perfect vehicle for the whole family. And MBUX – the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience – provides also the B-Class with an all-new customer experience with functions that were previously the reserve of the luxury class,” says Selvin Govender, marketing director for passenger cars.

    When ordered with LED headlamps or higher, the B-Class comes with its own daytime running light signature in the form of a double torch. The optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps have an especially sporty look. They allow fast, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic conditions.

    This feature from the luxury class, which made its debut in the compact segment in the new A-Class, now produces striking looks and added safety also in the new B-Class.

    At the back, the width of the vehicle is accentuated by two-part lamps, reflectors integrated in the bumper and a distinctive black bumper bottom section with diffuser look and chrome trim strip. The large roof spoiler, along with high-gloss black spoilers at the sides of the rear window, makes for improved aerodynamics while ensuring a sporty appearance.

    The improved seat geometry and lower belt line make for an even more generous feeling of space than in the previous model. The driver sits 90 millimetres higher than in an A-Class, thus enjoying an especially good all-round view – also thanks to optimised cross-sections of the roof pillars, which obscure less of the surroundings.

    Interior design

    The interior of the B-Class is as avant-garde as the much-praised revolutionary interior architecture of the new A-Class, yet distinctive: while the instrument panel of the sister model is split into two horizontal basic bodies, that of the BClass has a single basic volume, which drops away towards the occupants and has cutouts in the area of the driver and front passenger.

    The cutout in front of the driver houses the fully free-standing display unit, which comes in the Widescreen version, with two 10.25-inch displays. A head-up display is optionally available.

    The five round air vents feature a high-grade turbine look with finely styled air ducts, inspired by the world of aviation. In the Style equipment line, the vent surround is colour-accentuated in the depth of the vent geometry to give the impression of an afterburner.

    The centre console with touch-based control and input system comes with a black panel look similar to the E-Class. The ambience lighting with 64 colours and ten colour schemes, unique in this segment, allows individual adjustments, even to suit the mood.

    The seats offer a flatter and, therefore, more comfortable seating position as well as a larger adjustment range, which also increases the maximum headroom. There is also more space in the width: at 1,456 millimetres (plus 33 mm), the front elbow width now has the dimensions of a mid-range vehicle.

    Energising seat kinetics

    With seat climate control and multicontour seats with massage function, the new B-Class is available with optional extras that were previously reserved for vehicles from much higher segments. This opens the way to even better seating comfort.

    The new ENERGIZING seat kinetics is particularly good for the back. It can support orthopaedically beneficial changes of posture by regularly making minute adjustments to the angle of the seat cushion and backrest. The innovation is available for the front seats in combination with all-electric seat adjustment with memory function.

    The interior has been fine-tuned in many places: the improved passage over the centre tunnel in the rear makes for a more accessible middle seat. The rear seat backrest comes as standard with a 40:20:40 split. Although the capacity is roughly the same as in the previous model, the luggage compartment can be more efficiently used thanks to the improvements.

    With the rear seat folded down and luggage loaded to the roof, the luggage compartment, which is flat thanks to the adjustable load compartment floor, can accommodate up to 1,540 litres behind the front seats.

    An EASY-PACK tailgate is optionally available. It can be conveniently opened or closed automatically at the press of a button, even by means of a foot movement in combination with optional HANDS-FREE ACCESS.

    Unique experience

    What goes for A also goes for B: the new B-Class is the second car model after the A-Class to feature the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system, which ushered in a new era with Mercedes me Connectivity. Its ability to learn thanks to Artificial Intelligence makes the system unique. MBUX is customisable and adapts to the user. It thus creates an emotional link between vehicle, driver and passengers.

    Its other strengths include touch screen control as standard as well as, depending on equipment, a high-resolution Widescreen cockpit, navigation display with Augmented Reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes”. The touch screen is part of the integrated MBUX touch control concept – a trio consisting of touch screen, touchpad on the centre console (optional) and touch controls on the steering wheel. - MotorPress

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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Reading the signs
  • Reading the signsReading the signsCLaSH teaches hearing-impaired children The Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia is the only specialised early childhood development facility for hearing-impaired children in the country. Ester Kamati

    Since May 2011, Hazel Josob has been the principal teacher at the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia (CLaSH) pre-school unit.

    She initially learned sign language out of interest, not knowing that it would merge with her love for children and lead her to become a haven of understanding and an early childhood developer for hearing-impaired children in Namibia.

    Josob admitted that it is difficult to get through to the children, especially those who come to the unit not knowing how to communicate.

    However, the children easily learn from one another through interacting with those who already know how to communicate through sign language, she said.

    Patience is a key characteristic, which continually surfaces, along with Josob’s love for children.

    CLaSH currently has one classroom located at the SOS Children’s Village in Khomasdal, where it has been for the past ten years, after moving from an old venue in Katutura.

    The facility currently has ten children between the ages of three and five, and ensures that by the schoolgoing age of six, the children are mentally developed and prepared for their next academic stage.

    The daily programme for the children starts with breakfast, after which they wash their plates and begin their Montessori exercises, which they choose themselves.

    Montessori is a child-centred educational approach, which is based on a child’s eagerness for knowledge.

    Josob guides the children on how to use the material, but ultimately, the exercises promote independence among the children.

    According to Josob, good morals and an atmosphere of understanding are upheld through drama and teaching the children to love and respect each other, while discouraging aggressive behaviour through signing and playing.

    Heide Beinhauer, the director of CLaSH, shared that the centre uses the Montessori educational approach along with deaf education principles and language development. She said there is a shared vision between CLaSH and the education ministry, which she is grateful for, as the ministry often steps in to assist.

    The unit, which has been running since 1989, has four teachers, including the principal teacher. Two of the teachers are hearing-impaired.

    Beinhauer mentioned this is deliberate because it is easier for them to effectively communicate with the children, compared to someone who has learned sign language and can hear.

    The CLaSH centre tries to create their own reading material, which is easily digestible for the children. The early development centre follows the government school calendar and had their last school day of the term on 9 August.

    What is unique about the centre is that teaching is carried out through playing, and it is not just about digesting information, but using your body and capabilities to grasp information.

    At the learning centre, the children are each provided with hearing aids, which help them hear loud sounds.

    “We try to give everyone a hearing aid to get them in tune with their natural environment,” said Beinhauer.

    CLaSH also had a home visit programme, which they organised to meet up with the parents of hearing-impaired children in the country. Through this programme, they identified children that they can take in, and for those who have already reached a schoolgoing age or are too young to join CLaSH, the parents are given recommendations and advice on special grants, deaf education, as well as communication.

    Deaf children are not disabled, added Beinhauer.

    Caption 1: One of the children doing a puzzle.

    Caption 2: Some of the learning equipment used at CLaSH.

    Caption 3: Geography illustrations used by CLaSH.

    Caption 4: Some of the Montessori equipment used for learning processes.

    Caption 5: More of the items in the classroom.

    Caption 6: Some of the items created to illustrate the story of the Nile crocodile.

    Caption 7: One of the children carrying out her Montessori exercise.

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    Employers fail to submit AA reportsEmployers fail to submit AA reports Many employers are failing to submit their Affirmative Action (AA) reports to the Employment Equity Commission (EEC) on time, while some do not submit them at all.

    A report by the labour ministry, which focuses on different activities undertaken during the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year, says when looking at the past three years, it is evident that the timely submission of AA reports by the relevant employers remains a challenge.

    “Relevant employers are required to submit these reports every 12 months. Many, however, fail to submit reports on time or at all.”

    During the corresponding period for the 2017/18 financial year, a total of 221 reports were submitted, while 231 reports were received by the ECC during the 2018/19 period and 210 during the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year.

    The report further notes that only 202 AA reports were reviewed, which is far below the set target of 257 for the first quarter of 2019/20.

    “However, 249 Affirmative Action reports, which in total covered about 22 751 employees (below the set target of 70 000 employees), were reviewed and recommended for approval. This is inclusive of the 47 Affirmative Action reports which were carried over from the last quarter of 2018/19.”

    Out of these only 212 reports were brought before a commission meeting and 200 were approved. The remaining 37 were deferred to the next quarter.

    The commission, which is an integral part of the labour ministry, also held a total of 76 stakeholder engagements in the Khomas, Oshana and Erongo regions during the first quarter of this year, which was above the set target of 31 stakeholder engagements.

    These engagements essentially involved direct contact with employers, unions and employees to improve their knowledge on the Affirmative Action Act and the mandate of the commission.

    The commission has for the past two years been engaged in the process of reviewing the Act.

    According to the report, only eight AA workplace inspections were carried out during the period under review, due to some operational constraints. This was far below the set target of 20 investigations to be carried out by the commission.

    “During these inspections, a number of complaints and/or allegations relating to the violation of the Act were attended to and the relevant employers were engaged and educated on matters, in order to enhance their understanding.”


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    Don't allow child marriage - GeingobDon't allow child marriage - GeingobTraditional leaders must do their bit The president has urged traditional leaders to help stamp out violent crime and discrimination. President Hage Geingob has called on traditional leaders to do more to root out violence, discrimination and crime in the country.

    He also urged them not to allow child marriages and labour, and to report such incidents.

    Speaking at the opening of the 22nd annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders, Geingob applauded the country's traditional leadership for their stance against gender-based violence.

    He, however, said more should be done and that traditional leaders should continue to work with the government and law-enforcement agencies to root out crime.

    He said traditional authorities and their leaders have a huge role to play in terms of the promotion and creation of conditions for the empowerment and protection of women and children in society.

    “Do not allow, within your respective jurisdictions, the archaic cultural practices of child marriages and child labour which enslave our children to lifelong serfdom,” the president said.

    Geingob said traditional leaders should rather vigorously discourage such practices, by bringing them to the attention of constituency councillors or regional governors, while ensuring that all children receive a proper education, which will help them become productive citizens of Namibia. He further expressed concern over the continued incidents of factionalism and the ongoing succession disputes.

    According to him constant applications are being received for the recognition of new traditional authorities, communities and leaders.

    He said if these are accommodated, it may not only become financially unsustainable, but also lead to further tribal divisions within the Namibian House.

    “We cannot have a situation where people suddenly want to establish distinct traditional communities and chieftainships, premised on personal motives, preferences and ambitions, while all these years they have peacefully resorted under one traditional leader, sharing the same customs, values, language and culture without any problem.

    “Where there are legitimate cases for recognition, facts should be established beyond doubt, based on thorough investigation,” the head of state said.

    Geingob stressed that government's priorities are issues like nation-building and economic advancement, as opposed to unending tribal disputes, dissensions and quests for recognition.

    He therefore called on all citizens, especially elders and traditional leaders, to uphold their traditional norms and customs, and avoid fuelling and planting seeds of division and dissent.

    “You are the torchbearers of our cultural norms and traditions, which have as their goal, the advancement of peace, unity and the welfare of the community.”

    Geingob said the Council of Traditional Leaders has the important responsibility of advising him on the control and utilisation of communal land in the country.

    “This is a critical role, given the centrality of the land question to the sustenance of our hard-won peace, stability and social harmony.”

    Referring to the second national land conference, which was held last year in October, Geingob said traditional leaders must play an active role in the implementation of the recommendations of the conference, and therefore urged traditional leaders to work together with the commission of inquiry on ancestral land.


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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief BMW urges staff to narrow sales gap with Mercedes

    BMW's new chief executive urged employees to embrace change and to find innovative ways to help the Bavarian carmaker overtake rival Mercedes at a time when demand for luxury cars is waning.

    Oliver Zipse addressed staff in an internal email a day after his predecessor Harald Krueger stepped down. BMW has lost ground to Mercedes-Benz producer Daimler in the past five years and seen rivals such as Tesla jump ahead in electric car sales.

    "Instead of blaming the current situation, conditions, political landscape or particular individuals, a positive spirit will enable us to seize the opportunities available to us. Such a positive spirit will be reflected in our culture: the harder the job, the more innovative our solution," Zipse said.

    BMW has already narrowed the sales gap between BMW and Mercedes and is preparing to launch more models, Zipse said.

    BMW's flexible production methods, which allow the carmaker to build electric and combustion-engined cars on the same production line, provide a major competitive advantage because it will allow the carmaker to scale up or slow down production of electric cars in line with demand, Zipse said. – Nampa/Reuters

    Airbnb records 30% growth rate

    Airbnb Inc recorded US$9.4 billion in total booking value in the first quarter, up 31% from the year-ago quarter, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, a key number that could help pull in investors as the home-sharing company plans its foray into the public market.

    The San Francisco-based home rentals company booked 91 million nights on its platform in the quarter, leading to the surge in total booking value, which measures the transaction dollars on its platform, the source said.

    Airbnb had about US$3.5 billion in cash on its balance sheet as of 31 March, the source said. The company reported a 40% revenue growth rate in 2018 compared with the previous year, according to the source.

    Airbnb is readying for a listing in the first half of 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported Airbnb's first-quarter financials earlier in the day.

    This year marked several high-profile IPOs including Uber Inc and Lyft Inc, but the companies have fared poorly after their launch, amid investor skepticism over their lack of a concrete plan to profitability. – Nampa/Reuters

    Uber appoints new boss as London licence renewal nears

    Uber appointed a new boss for Britain and Ireland yesterday just over a month before its licence expires in London, one of its most important global markets where the regulator has previously stripped it of its right to operate.

    Transport for London (TfL) rejected the Silicon Valley company's licence renewal request in 2017 due to failings it said it found in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and driver background checks, prompting court action.

    A British judge in 2018 then granted Uber a probationary 15-month licence which expires on 25 September.

    Melinda Roylett, former head of Europe at digital payment company Square, began her new role at Uber yesterday, replacing Tom Elvidge, who moved to co-working space company WeWork earlier this year.

    Uber has introduced several new initiatives in London to assuage regulator concerns, including 24/7 telephone support, the proactive reporting of serious incidents to police and the ability to share journeys with friends and family. – Nampa/Reuters

    Rosatom interested in Bulgaria nuclear plant tender

    Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom said yesterday it had filed an application to be a strategic investor in a nuclear power plant project in Bulgaria.

    Bulgaria is seeking a strategic investor for its revived Belene project on the Danube, which is estimated to cost at least 10 billion euro (US$11.1 billion).

    Sofia cancelled the project in 2012 after failing to find investors and as it faced pressure from the United States and the European Union to limit Bulgaria's energy dependence on Russia, which had been under contract to build the plant.

    The deadline for submitting letters of interest for investing in the project expired yesterday.

    A Rosatom spokesman declined to provide further details of the company's application. – Nampa/Reuters

    Google cuts some Android phone data

    Alphabet Inc's Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network coverage, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, because of Google's concerns that sharing data from users of its Android phone system might attract the scrutiny of users and regulators.

    The withdrawal of the service, which has not been previously reported, has disappointed wireless carriers that used the data as part of their decision-making process on where to extend or upgrade their coverage. Even though the data were anonymous and the sharing of it has become commonplace, Google’s move illustrates how concerned the company has become about drawing attention amid a heightened focus in much of the world on data privacy.

    Google's Mobile Network Insights service, which had launched in March 2017, was essentially a map showing carriers signal strengths and connection speeds they were delivering in each area.

    The service was provided free to carriers and vendors that helped them manage operations. The data came from devices running Google’s Android operating system, which is on about 75% of the world's smartphones, making it a valuable resource for the industry.

    Google spokeswoman Victoria Keough confirmed the move but declined to elaborate, saying only that changing "product priorities" were behind it. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Schoolgirls inspired
  • Schoolgirls inspiredSchoolgirls inspiredWomEng workshop a first for Namibia Khomas schoolgirls were inspired to pursue careers in the STEM fields, after the De Beers Group, along with the Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation, invested in women empowerment. Evany van Wyk

    Woman in Engineering (WomEng) is a non-profit organisation that originated in South Africa.

    The organisation, which was started in 2006, aims to encourage young girls to take up studies in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

    The first-ever WomEng workshop in Namibia was held at the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam) in the capital on 14 and 15 August.

    Over 130 high school girls from Khomas attended the event.

    Guest speakers included various Namibian women engineers, as well as representatives from the ministry of education and the De Beers Group.

    Starting off the programme was civil engineer and lead programme coordinator for WomEng, Aditi Lachman. She encouraged the learners to be motivated to learn, ask questions and be ready to have their minds blown. While continuously referencing the ‘mind blown’ emoji, she quickly had the girls come out of their shells.

    “Engineering and tech is a fun space,” Lachman said.

    The mission of WomEng is to develop a more diverse engineering workforce through education and technology.

    Daniel Kali, the De Beers Group resident director, gave a heart-warming and rather humorous speech. Referencing the time he injured his finger, and had to go to the doctor, he explained how scared he was.

    “I really didn’t want to do the procedure, because I was sure it would hurt a lot. As it turns out, anaesthesia is the best scientific invention ever made. I didn’t feel a thing. STEM can improve a lot of things,” he explained. His said STEM isn’t just about a career, but about making life better for society.

    Unique Karaerua, a grade 8 learner at Jan Möhr Secondary school, told The Zone that Kali’s speech really helped her.

    “I want to make life better for society,” said Karaerua.

    All the speakers had a unique story to tell, while emphasising that becoming an engineer is not easy.

    Sarah Kahima, an electrical engineering student at Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) spoke about sleepless nights, hard work and rewards.

    Wollen Nell, a metallurgical engineer, said: “Perseverance is what ultimately pushes you through the hard times.”

    Johanna Haufiku, a mechanical engineer, said you will not succeed by simply being a woman, but that hard work is needed.

    “Be proactive and ignore the naysayers,” Haufiku said.

    The workshop attendees each received a gift bag with a notebook, craft kit and a pink hard hat.

    They then decorated their hard hats with the craft kits, in order to represent the change they wanted to make in the world.

    “My hat is covered with all the formulas that I know. I am very passionate about knowing things; that’s why I want to help people understand the power of knowledge,” one schoolgirl said.

    There was also a question and answer session where the girls had the opportunity to ask the engineers all about their jobs.

    “Reach out to us on our website and social media platforms. If you need help or just a little motivation, we will be there,” Lachman added.

    Photos: Evany van Wyk

    Cap1- Aditi Lachman, a civil engineer and the lead programme coordinator for WomEng, during the workshop.

    Cap2- The group of schoolgirls who attended the WomEng workshop.

    Cap3- The girls enjoyed the various activities they had to do.

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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Bringing growth, innovation
  • Bringing growth, innovationBringing growth, innovationAgri4Youth spurs youth involvement in agriculture Despite its marginal contribution to GDP, the agriculture sector remains central to the lives of the majority of Namibia’s population. Justicia Shipena

    The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit Agricultural Business and Capacity Development (GIZ-ABCD) project, in collaboration with the agriculture and youth ministries, the National Youth Council (NYC) and farmer unions, hosted the first-ever Agri4Youth conference at the Safari Court Hotel last Friday, under the theme ‘Inspiring the Future of Agriculture in Namibia’.

    This event was aimed at creating awareness, educating, inspiring, connecting, uniting and engaging Namibian youth in the agriculture sector, while providing them with a platform for dialogue, peer-learning, networking and creating business linkages to industry stakeholders.

    According to Tino Hess, project manager of GIZ-ABCD, some say that youth are not interested in agriculture, but this is not the case.

    “Within 48 hours after announcing the event, we already had more than 400 young people from all over the country expressing their interest,” he said.

    Hess said over the past year he had the opportunity to listen to many youth about their innovative ideas for the agricultural sector and was amazed.

    “So out of these conversations and impressions, the idea was born to organise the Agri4Youth conference, the first of its kind,” he said.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, agriculture deputy minister Anna Shiweda said a holistic policy approach is needed for youth to explore and tap into the latent business and job opportunities that exist along the entire agricultural value chain.

    Shiweda added that the lack of interest of the youth in agriculture is often manifested by the high level of rural to urban migration of young people.

    She further stressed this should be addressed at regional and national level.

    “Under the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United Nations programmes are being implemented with the objective of making agriculture more attractive to the youth, focusing, among others, on ICT utilisation,” she said.

    Shiweda said SADC, under the chairmanship of Namibia, adopted the theme ‘Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development’.

    The adoption of this theme is an indication that at regional level, the importance and plight of the youth, in terms of high unemployment, is being recognised, along with the declining participation of young people in agriculture.

    “In line with this theme, multimedia messages to promote the active participation of youth and a programme to mainstream the youth agenda, as part of SADC’s continuous initiatives, were developed,” she said.

    Shiweda said the Harambee Comprehensively, Coordinated Integrated Agricultural Programme has 11 value chain schemes that present an opportunity for youth to participate.

    According to sports minster Erastus Uutoni, Namibia is blessed with rich natural resources, well-developed physical infrastructure and political stability.

    “Despite its marginal contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the agriculture sector remains central to the lives of the majority of the population. Directly or indirectly, it supports over 70% of the country's population,” he said.

    Uutoni said the ministry is currently busy with the full implementation of the 121 rural youth enterprises, as per the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).

    “We are currently busy engaging financial institutions to increase and create access to collateral-free capital for the youth,” he said.

    He added this underscores the need for deliberate efforts to win over the hearts of the uncaptured, highly productive youth for better returns in agricultural development.

    Maness Nkhata, the managing director and founder of the Lakeshore Agro- Processors Enterprise (LAPE) in Malawi, spoke on digitalising agriculture and improving food and nutritional security.

    Nkhata said youth who have advanced in agriculture can be used as a vehicle for advocacy, in terms of youth involvement in agriculture.

    She added they can use ICT in agriculture to help maximise scarce resources, such as land, and produce more food that can improve nutrition and food security.

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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Poll buzz still missing
  • Poll buzz still missingPoll buzz still missing The low voter turnout in the local and regional authority elections of 2015, and to some extent the general election in 2014, was attributed to voter fatigue.

    Poor voter turnout is an issue that should concern all of us. Namibia still suffers high voter apathy, especially within the ranks of the youth.

    Bar the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2014, there have been significant signs that the enthusiasm to vote in local and regional authority elections has been waning in the country. The youth vote will once again prove to be decisive later this year and political parties will be hoping to use their campaigns to entice this specific bloc of potential voters. The Electoral Commission of Namibia and political parties will have to focus a greater part of their voter education programmes on targeting the youth, who make up more than 60% of potential voters.

    Although Namibians are going to the polls within three months, election fever is yet to set in. With daunting challenges such as job-creation, economic growth, corruption, education and health, among others, one would expect political parties to come out strongly and unveil their package of policy proposals well ahead of time.

    A wait-and-see attitude discourages potential voters, who would want to read about substantive pledges on reforms. Potential voters want to know what promises political parties are making on key issues such as land, housing, education, health and economic growth.

    Voters simply want to know what political parties stand for on an array of issues and that is what democracy is all about. Political parties must be open and allow for a battle of ideas, in order to help create the necessary buzz around elections.

    A continuous voter awareness campaign by the ECN and other roleplayers, such as the media and civil society, will not be enough for voter sensitisation. Voters must be spoiled for choice in choosing their preferred candidates and political party to represent them in the National Assembly.

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    Easy credit poses tough challenge for RussiaEasy credit poses tough challenge for Russia‘Diabolical cost’ The level of loans has grown so much in the last 18 months that the economy minister warned it could contribute to another recession. The situation could blow up in 2021. - Maxim Oreshkin, Economic minister Andrea Palasciano - New machines popping up in Russian shopping centres seem innocuous enough - users insert their passport and receive a small loan in a matter of minutes.

    But the devices, which dispense credit in Saint Petersburg malls at a sky-high annual rate of 365%, are another sign of a credit boom that has authorities worried.

    Russians, who have seen their purchasing power decline in recent years, are borrowing more and more to buy goods or simply to make ends meet.

    The level of loans has grown so much in the last 18 months that the economy minister warned it could contribute to another recession.

    But it's a sensitive topic. Limiting credit would deprive households of financing that is sometimes vital, and could hobble already stagnant growth.

    The Russian economy was badly hit in 2014 by falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Moscow's role in Ukraine, and it has yet to fully recover.

    "Tightening lending conditions could immediately damage growth," Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank, told AFP.

    "Continuing retail loan growth is currently the main supporting factor," she noted.

    But "the situation could blow up in 2021," economy minister Maxim Oreshkin warned in a recent interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.


    He said measures were being prepared to help indebted Russians.

    According to Oreshkin, consumer credit's share of household debt increased by 25% last year and now represents 1.8 trillion rubles, around US$27.5 billion.

    For a third of indebted households, he said, credit reimbursement eats up 60% of their monthly income, pushing many to take out new loans to repay old ones.

    Alfa Bank's Orlova said other countries in the region, for example in Eastern Europe, had even higher levels of overall consumer debt as a percentage of national output or GDP.

    But Russian debt is "not spread equally, it is mainly held by lower income classes," which are less likely to repay, she said.

    The situation has led to friction between the government and the central bank, with ministers like Oreshkin criticising it for not doing enough to restrict loans.

    Economic growth

    Meanwhile, economic growth slowed sharply early this year following recoveries in 2017 and 2018, with an increase of just 0.7% in the first half of 2019 from the same period a year earlier.

    That was far from the 4.0% annual target set by president Vladimir Putin - a difficult objective while the country is subject to Western sanctions.

    With 19 million people living below the poverty line, Russia is in dire need of development.

    "The problem is that people don't have money," Andrei Kolesnikov of the Carnegie Centre in Moscow wrote recently.

    "This is why we can physically feel the trepidation of the financial and economic authorities," he added.

    Kolesnikov described the government's economic policy as something that "essentially boils down to collecting additional cash from the population and spending it on goals indicated by the state."

    At the beginning of his fourth presidential term in 2018, Putin unveiled ambitious "national projects."

    Grandiose projects

    The cost of those projects - which fall into 12 categories that range from health to infrastructure - is estimated at US$400 billion by 2024, of which US$115 billion is to come from private investment.

    A rise in value-added tax on 1 January that was presented as crucial for the projects contributed to Putin's fall in popularity over the last year.

    "If the debt bubble suddenly bursts, how will people behave?" Kolesnikov asked.

    "They will be left without money" while authorities continue to spend on grand but ultimately unprofitable projects, the analyst warned.

    He cited grandiose "patriotic" undertakings such as a bridge connecting Sakhalin island to the mainland in far eastern Russia, and the creation of a "Russian Vatican" in the ancient monastery town of Sergiev Posad outside Moscow.

    That will come at a "diabolical cost", he quipped. – Nampa/AFP

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    The stress-filled lives of teensThe stress-filled lives of teens Leia Boulogne

    In today’s society, teenagers are prone to experiencing more stress than the average teenager should.

    A main factor of this stress is schoolwork. Each year academic systems change, bringing in higher levels of education for each grade, which causes younger individuals to start doing higher level work, and not starting with the basics at a younger age. They end up drowning in the huge amount of work and knowledge. Individuals are pressured into getting good grades from a young age. They are taught to get good grades, in order to get a good job. They are taught that if they do not get a good job, they will not make enough money and create a better future for themselves. What they do not realise is that, in order to create a better future for themselves, they need to do what they enjoy doing.

    Instead of enjoying the high school experience, individuals get pressured into deciding what they need to become in the future. Some teenagers do not even know what they want to do yet, because they try to actually enjoy their own high school experience. If learners get too pressured, they end up not caring about their work and grades, and consequently, they have to redo their current grade, or in a worst case scenario, they drop out of school. After they drop out, they do not end up becoming independent and they struggle to get a job. In other cases, individuals end up taking a gap year, to take a break from any sort of school activities, and to sort out their financial situations, before embarking on their college journey, if they do choose to study further.

    Furthermore, once a learner steps into high school, they are constantly reminded of having to decide what they want to do in their future. They receive aptitude tests, left and right, and they have to do every sort of task in order to choose a career path. For example, they have to work during their vacation time doing different jobs, in order to get insight into a job they would like to do. For some individuals, this might seem like a great idea, but in other cases, some would like to spend their vacation time relaxing and staying away from any hard work or labour.

    Most individuals are rooted in their sport. It is what drives them and it is what they see themselves doing in their future. It may be the only thing they would want to do. But, with the overwhelming amount of schoolwork, which the teachers provide, they end up not being able to maintain their priorities. They start slacking in their homework and in class they do not care to listen. Their main focus is on their sport, but if they do not start to succeed in their schoolwork, they may have to leave their sport. All of this leads to an imbalance in their priorities. If they do not pay attention to one thing, the other one will not succeed. This causes the students to become stressed. They end up not knowing what they have to do and that leads to more stress.

    As a result, individuals start living unhealthy lives and struggle mentally and physically. This can be the main cause of anxiety and depression. They do not know how to live their lives creatively and on their own terms, without the stress of school and homework looming over their heads.

    Consequently, all of these factors lead to an unhealthy relationship with friends and family. While they are consumed by the stress of completing an assignment or learning for an important test, they are not able to spend time with their friends and family, and that leads to unbalanced relationships.

    In conclusion, if a student would like to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce their stress levels, they need to know how to manage the imbalance between school and their personal lifestyles. Teachers need to take it slow in terms of forcing students to choose their career paths. They should let them think about it in their own time, without any pressure, because with the constant pressure of having to choose the right career, they might end up choosing the wrong one. Let teenagers enjoy their school journey, and let them live in a stress-free environment, and they will most likely succeed.

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    The Zone dropped in at the Unam main campus to ask students’ views on how they and fellow youth can remain financially sound, amid the current economic situation in the country. Here are some of...The Zone dropped in at the Unam main campus to ask students’ views on how they and fellow youth can remain financially sound, amid the current economic situation in the country. Here are some of... Benjamin Van Wyk (6304)

    Prioritise what you are going to spend your money on. Additionally, if you saved the previous month, you will definitely be good to go for the following month. The saving’s process is not a once-off thing and should be practiced throughout all months.

    Maria Daniel (6277)

    I personally sell lollipops, Nik Naks and recharge vouchers on campus to survive in this critical economy. Despite the fall in the GDP and the balance of payment deficient, as a business person, I believe that the economic situation will eventually improve.

    Terence Namalambo

    Spend more on needs rather than wants. Youth are spending money that they don’t even have, on things we should not be spending on. My advice is to just guide yourself, when it comes to your pockets. There is nothing wrong with spending on yourself, as long as you don’t regret it the next day.

    Laurentia Roman (6286)

    I have my own business. I have a T-shirt brand, which caters mainly for women. I am also an MC and promoter, so those are some of the ways in which I secure money to survive in this tough economy. I advise youth to push for their dreams and secure the bag.

    Fortune Lizazi

    I plan out my finances and stick religiously to the plan. We need to have our priorities straight and distinguish them from our wants. It takes discipline, and if you are not disciplined when it comes to managing your funds, the situation will humble you.

    Kahewa Endjala (6312)

    I make sure to always budget and plan before I act or spend, and I follow the plan I have drawn up for myself. Another thing is the value of investing; allow your money to grow and at the same time be smart about your spending.

    Teodor Iita

    Utilise your money responsibly. For instance, first pay the most vital expenses and then you can treat yourself with what’s left. Sometimes there are events, public lectures or seminars that you may want to attend, but you do not have the money.

    Michelle Nyambe

    I avoid going out with friends and spending money unnecessarily. If I do, I schedule it to ensure that it is in my budget. The secret is to not put yourself in temptation’s way. Pack lunches for school and go straight home. You can only spend if the opportunity arises.

    Hilkka Amweelo (6245)

    I own a small business of selling lollipops at school, which my fellow students really support. From this business, I generate an income from which I pay for my monthly cosmetics and taxi money every day.

    Victoria Mabuku

    I remain financially sound by firstly limiting my spending and cutting out unnecessary expenditure. Secondly, budgeting is of great help, and lastly, staying home whenever I can to refrain from bad financial decisions.

    Firmino Johannes

    With what I get, I try to make the most out of it. For example, I normally buy things and resell them to make additional cash. Find as many ways to generate income with the limited funds you have, such as through selling affordable items.

    Alexandra Dunaiski

    I honestly feel like we are in a big problem. This is caused by not putting money where it is supposed to go; in other words, not spending it on the intended purpose. We need to focus on the bigger picture and it starts with a change of mindset.

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    Buchters livid about manganeseBuchters livid about manganese The transportation of manganese ore in open TransNamib wagons, exposed to gale-force winds, once again has Lüderitz residents up in arms over the government's apparent inability to act against environmental transgressions.

    TradePort Namibia, a South African company registered in Namibia, has entered into an agreement with TransNamib to have its manganese ore moved by rail from Ariamsvlei to Lüderitz harbour since the beginning of this month.

    Eyewitnesses said a trainload of manganese in about 100 open wagons rolled through the town on Saturday in flagrant contravention of the conditions set out in the environmental clearance certificate (ECC) issued by the ministry of environment and tourism.

    Pictures showed how the train proceeded through the town and where the containers were offloaded on the southern end of Namport's facility on Shark Island.

    The ECC was issued in February after TradePort had initially brought in manganese ore without the requisite documentation in January this year. No legal action was taken against the company.

    Contravention of the Environmental Management Act of 2007 is liable to a fine not exceeding N$500 000, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 25 years, or both. The ECC stipulates that the manganese ore and all other materials to be transported must be “contained and be in a stable state, covered in trucks and treated against dust-generation properties”.

    Moreover, it states that the manganese ore must be sieved at the mines in South Africa, handled with appropriate moisture content and “always [be] covered to avoid dust emissions” along the way to the port.

    The ECC conditions further stipulate that only fully enclosed, bagged or containerised materials may be stockpiled in line with TransNamib and NamPort requirements.

    Lüderitz-based environmental activist Reginald Hercules wrote to environment minister Pohamba Shifeta at the weekend, demanding an answer. “I guess those strict provisions [contained in the ECC] are not worth the piece of paper it is written on,” he commented.

    Hercules further wrote that the manganese ore illegally dumped at the edge of town last December had generated “large amounts of dangerous dust” on the town and its seafood farms.

    “This illegal activity of course triggered a strong community response as people were worried about pollution and health issues and were angered by the lack of transparency by TradePort and NamPort,” Hercules wrote.

    TradePort has in the meantime erected a shed where its manganese ore is to be stockpiled, but Hercules said this was not yet in use.

    Hercules asked if TransNamib and NamPort were aware – “and therefore complicit” – of the apparent non-compliance with the ECC stipulations. He also wanted to know who is responsible for monitoring ECC compliance.

    “What is the use of environmental regulations if they are not applied or enforced transparently?” he asked.

    Minister Shifeta could not be reached for comment, as he is currently in Switzerland.

    NamPort commercial executive Tino Hanabeb said the company “fully supports compliance” with ECC requirements.

    “You would appreciate the fact that NamPort became aware of this upon arrival of the train with the cargo at the port of Lüderitz. We are informed that compliance issues are attended to. This will not happen again. Tarpaulins and lids for all containers en route to Lüderitz and Ariamsvlei [are required].”

    NamPort stated that it was not responsible for regulations pertaining to the transportation of the manganese ore, but only for the warehousing in an enclosed area in the NamPort facilities.

    TransNamib said it would comment on this matter at a later stage.


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  • 08/19/19--16:00: Lured into sex slavery
  • Lured into sex slaveryLured into sex slaveryNamibians duped by 'lucrative jobs' in foreign countries The police are warning young Namibians to beware of promises of lucrative jobs abroad. The police have warned young Namibians of traffickers who lure jobseekers with false promises of jobs into forced labour or sex enslavement in foreign countries.

    The statement was issued alongside statistics that indicate 48 cases of human trafficking have been recorded countrywide since 2010. Of these, 13 cases were finalised and six people were convicted.

    About 15 cases are still being investigated, while 20 are on the court roll.

    The police said human trafficking cases are on the rise globally and Namibia is no exception. Among the recruitment strategies seen by law enforcement, is a new modus operandi in which traffickers target young Namibians, especially women, through advertisements offering lucrative jobs in foreign countries.

    Once the victims arrive their personal papers are confiscated and they are denied free movement.

    During the day they are forced into domestic jobs while at night many have been forced to sell drugs or engage in illegal sexual activities.

    “These people literally become slaves,” NamPol Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi wrote in the statement.

    “As we speak, there are a number of Namibians in foreign countries that have been trafficked in this manner, and investigations are under way.” He warned Namibians to beware of this scam and to liaise with the local Interpol Bureau to verify the authenticity of foreign job offers before agreeing to them.

    Moreover, the police warned that while women and children are particularly vulnerable to traffickers and their strategies, “men are no exception in today's world”.

    Human trafficking does not necessarily include movement from one country to another. The criteria for human trafficking boils down to the trade of people through acts of exploitation and enslavement into forced labour or sexual servitude through force, fraud or coercion.

    Fresh statistics

    Since 2015 Namibian courts have convicted six persons on charges of human trafficking, with two new convictions handed down in 2019.

    The first conviction was that of Johanna Lukas in 2015. She was found guilty on five charges of trafficking in persons and five counts of rape. She was sent to prison for 13 years.

    The court at the time found there was sufficient proof that Lukas had lured two teenage girls to be sexually exploited by a South African citizen, Marthinus Pretorius, in 2012.

    Pretorius was extradited to Namibia and admitted guilt to the rape charges, but denied the trafficking charges. His trial continues.

    Between 2016 and 2017, David Nauyala Shoombe was convicted on charges of trafficking in persons related to forced labour, and sentenced to 12 months behind bars.

    In October 2018, Bertus Koch was convicted on charges of child trafficking and the sexual abuse of five minor girls. He received an eight-year prison sentence.

    Henock Kaveto was convicted on charges related to child labour in 2018, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment or a fine of N$12 000.

    This year, Dragan Vujicin, another South African male, was convicted on three charges of trafficking in persons and seven rape charges. He is serving a 35-year prison sentence.

    The most recent conviction took place in the Windhoek High Court this month. Tuufilwa Ndawina Jonas (34) was found guilty on three counts of rape and three counts of human trafficking. The court has not handed down a sentence yet.


    Namibia remains classified as a Tier 2 country in the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report issued by the US State Department in June 2019. The classification indicates the government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.

    The TIP report did note that Namibia had increased efforts to protect trafficking victims, which included the identification of 21 trafficking victims, including five women, 10 girls, and six boys, and referred 14 victims to an NGO shelter, which was partially government funded.

    Moreover, five Namibian child victims were reunited with their parents and two Zambian nationals were repatriated.

    In 2017, 21 victims were identified. Seven of the victims were Namibian and 14 were foreign nationals from Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

    The TIP report further noted that 13 victims were exploited in forced labour, including domestic servitude and cattle herding, seven were sex trafficking victims, and one victim was exploited in both sex trafficking and forced labour.


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