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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 174 | 175 | (Page 176) | 177 | 178 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Tiger to make High Noon return alongside ReedTiger to make High Noon return alongside Reed Former world number one Tiger Woods, sidelined for 15 months after back surgery, will make his return to competitive golf at High Noon on Thursday alongside Patrick Reed at the Hero World Challenge.

    Pairings for the 18-man invitational event were released on Monday and Woods, a 14-time major champion who has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open, will be the second to play in the sixth group out.

    It will be the first time Woods has played competitively since he shared 10th at Greensboro in August of last year. Woods, who fell to 898th in the world rankings on Monday, missed the cut at the US and British Opens and the PGA Championship last year. Woods, whose 79 career PGA titles are three shy of Sam Snead''s all-time record, has not won a tournament since the 2014 Bridgestone Invitational, a World Golf Championships event at Akron, Ohio.

    It will be the first time Woods has played in the event owned by his charity foundation since it moved last year to the Bahamas and the Albany resort''s par-72, 7,267-yard Ernie Els-designed course. Defending champion Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler are the first duo out at 11:10 a.m. followed at 10-minute intervals by two more US pairs, Jimmy Walker and Brandt Snedeker then J.B. Holmes and Zach Johnson. Reigning Olympic champion Justin Rose of England and Sweden''s Henrik Stenson, the runner-up in Rio, will start at 11:40 in a repeat of their dramatic last-round Olympic pairing, with past winner Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar next followed by Woods and Reed. Reigning US Open champion Dustin Johnson and fellow American Brooks Koepka follow Woods onto the course with the final two duos consisting of international talent - Japan''s Hideki Matsuyama and South African Louis Oosthuizen followed by Scotsman Russell Knox and Argentina''s Emiliano Grillo.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Slumping Man Utd pursue League Cup 'revenge'Slumping Man Utd pursue League Cup 'revenge' Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera says his side will be out for “revenge” when they welcome West Ham United back to Old Trafford in the League Cup quarter-finals today.

    West Ham held Herrera and his team-mates to a 1-1 draw on Sunday in a Premier League match that saw United manager Jose Mourinho sent to the stands for angrily kicking a water bottle.

    United have made their worst start to a league season since 1989, drawing their last four home games, and Herrera warned Slaven Bilic''s West Ham players to brace themselves for a backlash.

    “It''s positive that we are playing on Wednesday, when we can get revenge. We can turn our luck in the next game in the EFL Cup,” said the Spaniard, who won the FA Cup with United last season.

    “It doesn''t matter the competition, it doesn''t matter the game; we just want to win. We want to fight for everything and we want to make our fans proud.

    “West Ham are a good side - it is not easy to stop them creating chances. They have (Manuel) Lanzini, they have (Diafra) Sakho, they have (Dimitri) Payet, they have (Michail) Antonio. They have very good players.

    “But they just created two chances in the whole game. We were the dominant team, so hopefully on Wednesday we can create as many chances as we did (on Sunday) and normally we should win.”

    United will be without midfielders Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini through suspension.

    Having started on the bench against West Ham on Sunday, captain Wayne Rooney will hope to return to the starting XI as he chases a record-equalling 249th United goal.

    Arsenal will have a spring in their step ahead of their home game with Southampton, also on Wednesday, after ending a run of three successive draws by beating Bournemouth 3-1 on Sunday.

    But Southampton were also bolstered by a positive weekend result, having consigned former manager Ronald Koeman to a 1-0 defeat on his return to St Mary''s with Everton.

    “I felt it played a little bit on the confidence of the team when you do not win for three games,” admitted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has never lifted the League Cup.

    “Suddenly, there''s questions. ''Why do we not win?'' And the fluency goes a bit. These three points (against Bournemouth) will help us.”

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has pledged not to take unnecessary risks with his team selection for Tuesday''s game at home to second-tier Leeds United.

    Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho is out with suspected ankle ligament damage, while Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana are also sidelined.

    Klopp made 11 changes for Liverpool''s win over Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round, but the only change he would confirm was Simon Mignolet replacing Loris Karius in goal.

    “It is about having a line-up which can stand the intensity of the game because Leeds are in a really good moment,” said Klopp, whose side lost on penalties to Manchester City in last season''s final.

    “They are a football-playing side and they will force us into a lot of things. We need to work hard in these games so the players need to be fit for this.

    “We don''t want to rest somebody who doesn''t need a rest. It is possible we make a few changes; it is possible we will play nearly the same team.”

    Leeds, fifth in the second-tier Championship, overcame Norwich City on penalties in the previous round and are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

    There could be an upset on the cards in Tuesday''s other fixture, where Premier League strugglers Hull City entertain Rafael Benitez''s Newcastle United, who are flying high at the Championship summit.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    NZ win after final-session Pakistan collapseNZ win after final-session Pakistan collapseTaylor ton guides NZ into winning position Neil Wagner ripped through Pakistan''s tail with three wickets in six deliveries to help New Zealand dismiss the visitors for 230 and secure a 138-run victory on the final day. New Zealand took nine wickets in a dramatic final session of the second Test against Pakistan to win by 130 runs in Hamilton yesterday and sweep the series 2-0.

    It was New Zealand''s first series win over Pakistan since 1985 and a relieved captain Kane Williamson called it one of the most remarkable Test finishes he had ever played in.

    “Without a doubt,” he said, admitting he felt Pakistan had a chance to win when they started the final session needing 211 off 204 balls.

    “You take nine wickets in a session, they''re all pretty big moments... from the feeling at tea time to the feeling now is pretty contrasting and will go down as a great Test victory.”

    Pakistan were faced with an imposing 369-run target but set themselves up for a run-a-ball slog when they reached tea on the final day at 158 for 1.

    At that stage Williamson began to question whether he had declared New Zealand''s second innings too early at 313 for 5.

    “It does cross your mind, but at the point of declaration we did know that the opposition needs a sniff,” he said.

    “They tried to chase it and we were able to get opportunities.”

    Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said they tried to pull out of the chase and play for a draw when Sarfraz Ahmed was run out to make it 199for 4 but they could not hold on.

    “We thought that''s it because the new ball” was due, he said.

    “We did not want our lower order to be exposed to that but at the end if did happen and unfortunately we could not get the result we wanted.”

    The match edged towards a cliff-hanger finish before Tim Southee removed Pakistan''s leading run scorer Sami Aslam for 91.

    That started the collapse which saw eight wickets fall for 49 in 20 overs with Neil Wagner taking the final three for no runs in just six deliveries.

    New Zealand''s series win means Pakistan fall from second to fourth in the world rankings while New Zealand move up to sixth.

    Pakistan were left to ponder whether they left their charge too late.

    Azhar Ali (58 off 161 deliveries) and Aslam (91 off 238) laid the platform with a record Pakistan fourth innings opening stand of 131 but it lasted 60 overs before Azhar was dismissed.

    The arrival of Babar Azam was a signal to lift the pace but the pitch was still offering support to the bowlers on the fifth day.

    Azhar (58) played on trying to hit leg-spinner Mitchell Santner out of the ground and Azam (16) went in similar fashion fourth ball after tea.

    Aslam, trying to raise the tempo having reached his highest Test score, mistimed a drive off Southee to Williamson at mid-off.

    Sarfraz Ahmed was run out for 19 off 21 balls and Asad Shafiq did not get off the mark. Veteran Younis Khan, on his 39th birthday, struggled to 11 before he fell lbw to Southee.

    Colin de Grandhomme snapped up Sohail Khan for eight before Wagner removed Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Imran Khan all without scoring.

    It was a Test that had begun in Pakistan''s favour after they won the toss on a lush green surface and celebrated with a wicket in the first over.

    But that bright start faded rapidly and even the loss of more than four sessions to rain could save them.

    Reaching 369 would have meant overtaking the record fourth innings chase in New Zealand of 348 for 5 by the West Indies 47 years ago in Auckland.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    IMF-Mozambique discuss debt reformIMF-Mozambique discuss debt reformCountry struggles to repay its debts Mozambique has approached the International Monetary Fund to ask for urgent financial support. The International Monetary Fund will begin discussing a new programme for Mozambique after the country asked for urgent financial support.

    The initial talks will run from 1 December to December 12 when IMF officials led by mission chief Michel Lazare visit the country, the IMF said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

    The country has taken steps toward stabilising the economy to clear the way for discussions, the fund said. The IMF had earlier said it wanted Mozambique to improve its macroeconomic policies and start an audit of public debt.

    In September, “the authorities requested the fund to resume discussions on financial support as soon as possible,” the IMF said in the statement.

    “Since then, these conditions have been met, opening the way to the upcoming mission.”

    The IMF was joined by other donors in suspending assistance to Mozambique after the government in April disclosed loans that it had previously kept hidden, and the fund has insisted on an international audit.

    The country''s deepening debt crisis has rattled the economy, with growth forecast to slow to 4.5% this year, about half the average in the decade through 2007, and the metical has dropped more than 35% against the dollar since January.

    The IMF said its discussions with Mozambique are expected to continue into the first part of next year.

    While the country is one of the world''s poorest, the government says that discoveries of vast natural-gas deposits in recent years hold the potential to boost revenue and buoy the economy.

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Edgars returns to profit
  • Edgars returns to profitEdgars returns to profitRetailer under new ownership Edgars has returned to profit and is also under new management. Edcon Holdings Limited returned to profit in the second quarter after debt repayment costs eased following the exit of United States private equity firm Bain Capital, while South Africa''s biggest clothing retailer cleared unwanted stock to boost sales during the busy festive period.

    Net income for the three months through September was N$163 million, the Johannesburg-based owner of the Edgars and Jet chains said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. That compares with a N$2.1 billion loss a year earlier. Cash sales increased 0.8%, although a slump in purchases on credit meant total revenue declined 6.8%. “Within each of the Edgars, Jet and Specialty divisions, there is significant momentum underway of internal change,” chief executive officer Bernie Brookes said. “While we still have some way to go, progress is pleasing.”

    Under Brookes, Edcon has embarked on a four-year plan to turn around the business after Bain''s exit in September eased the debt burden from the United States-based firm''s 2007 takeover to N$6 billion from N$26.7 billion. The company needs to boost sales and profit at the same time as South African consumer confidence is struggling amid the weakest economic growth since 2009 and unemployment of 27%.

    Rival clothing retailers The Foschini Group Limited, Truworths International Limited, and Mr. Price Group Limited have started legal action against South Africa''s national credit regulator and department of Trade and Industry over the new rules.

    “The difficult consumer environment, led largely by challenging macro-economic factors, continued to weigh on the group''s share of profits,” Brookes said. “To improve the aged stock profile ahead of the third quarter, we undertook increased and focused clearance during the quarter, specifically in the Edgars division.”

    Some of Edcon''s stock in September was two years old, Brookes said at the time, and getting rid of it had already cost the company more than N$300 million. A range of new clothing was needed for the third quarter through December as almost a third of Edcon''s annual sales is generated in that period.

    Meanwhile, Franklin Templeton, a fund based in San Mateo, California, became Edcon''s single largest shareholder after Bain''s exit, Brookes said 20 September 2016.



    BLOOMBERG

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    Changes at Maerua Mall, Gustav VoigtsChanges at Maerua Mall, Gustav Voigts ''



    Oryx Properties is ringing the changes at its Maerua Mall and Gustav Voigts shopping centres.

    This includes a new gym, an increase in the generational capacity of a solar plant and a new food court at Maerua Mall, and the addition of a rooftop restaurant at Gustav Voigts. This was announced in a results review prepared by IJG Securities. “The Virgin Active facility is nearing completion and the tenant is expected to relocate before the end of the calendar year. This is an important development for the Maerua property as Virgin Active has agreed to a 10-year lease, providing stability and predictability of earnings for a large portion of gross leasable area.

    “Similarly, the solar installation has proven to be a yield accretive addition to the mall [Maerua], yielding in excess of the expected 13%, and Oryx is exploring the possibility of increasing the output potential to 3 megawatts take further advantage of expected future tariff hikes,” IJG said.

    “The new Virgin Active premises currently under construction at a development cost of N$80 million are sure to be a positive addition to the Maerua portfolio provided that the space currently occupied by this tenant is effectively utilised,” IJG said.

    According to IJG, Oryx plans to turn the old Virgin Active gym into an entertainment and leisure space. Development of this space is expected to start early in 2017 and will include an upgrade or facelift to the food court.

    “Panarotti''s is likely to return at some point in 2017 and a John Dory''s will complement the current tenant composition,” IJG said.

    According to IJG, the Gustav Voigts upgrade has been in the works for a few years now and received the go-ahead after the end of the financial year. Quoting Oryx''s management, IJG said: “The upgrade will mostly entail cosmetic changes to the inside of the centre and a relocation of the Avani lobby area to the street front. Also included in the project will be a new rooftop restaurant and banqueting area for the hotel”.

    These upgrades are to be complemented by the addition of two new parking decks. The whole project is budgeted at N$110 million and construction expected to start early in 2017, IJG said in its report.

    Commenting on Oryx''s financial performance, IJG said: “Net rental income increased by 1.5% year-on-year to N$196.7 million, in stark contrast to the 19% increase in financial year 2015 as a result of a negative straight line basis adjustment, and higher than anticipated rental expenses. Rental expenses increased by 21% to N$91.5 million, close to, but exceeding [our] expectations. Oryx reported a profit of N$105.6 million for the period, down 45% year-on-year, as a result of lower valuation gains on the property portfolio which is reasonable in the current economic climate.”



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Rand gains against greenback
  • Rand gains against greenbackRand gains against greenbackCredit ratings have positive effect The South African rand gained traction following a credit rating affirmation by agencies Moody''s and Fitch. South Africa''s rand firmed to near three-week highs against the dollar and yields on government bonds fell on Monday after rating agencies Fitch and Moody''s affirmed the country''s investment-grade credit ratings.

    The market''s focus was also on scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma, who is facing a vote of no-confidence by the ruling party''s executive committee.

    Some analysts said Zuma''s hand would be weakened by the challenge even if he survived the vote - as expected - boosting sentiment in financial markets that see him as a liability.

    Stocks fell led by a sell-off in the resources sector, as the rand''s recent strength made companies who earn the lion''s share of their revenue outside South Africa, among them mining firms, less attractive.

    Fitch and Moody''s affirmed South Africa''s investment-grade credit ratings late on Friday.

    At 1620 Greenwich Mean Time, the rand was at 13.7325 per dollar, a gain of 2.6% from its New York close on Friday. The currency was trading at its firmest levels since 10 November, according to Thomson Reuters data.

    “The rand has had a gap open this morning which is likely due to the combination of a weaker dollar but also the positive news from the rating agencies,” Standard Bank chief currency trader Warrick Butler said in a note.

    “If markets perceive that the president could be weaken, whether that happens or not is not irrelevant, if they believe it to be so then the currency will strengthen,” NKC Independent Economists political analyst Gary van Staden said.

    Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns however said that the markets should be cautious about expecting too much from the vote, “having been disappointed so often in the past.”

    The yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 25 basis points to 8.87% percent.

    On the stock market, the Top-40 index fell 1.34% to 43,617 points while the broader all-share dropped 0.99% to 50,194 points. The mining sector fell 2.7% leading the bourse lower, with platinum miner Lonmin tumbling 4.5% to N$28.41. Further losses were curbed by a resurgent banking sector, which firmed by 3%, led by FirstRand whose shares rose 3.29 percent to N$52.17.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Drought forces
month-long
shutdownDrought forces month-long shutdown Meatco announces longest closure ever Meatco''s Windhoek abattoir will be closed for a record 30 days during the festive season as a result of low cattle numbers and water shortages. Due to the challenges being experienced in the meat industry such as the low volumes of cattle being delivered for slaughtering, the prolonged drought of the past three years and the water shortages Meatco''s Windhoek abattoir will close for a month during the festive season.

    According to the company, abattoir operations will officially close on 16 December and resume on 16 January.

    This is the longest period ever that the factory has been closed and requires that employees start slowly to get back into routine.

    According to Meatco the last day for slaughtering is 7 December, followed by slaughters from the wholesale section and private Hartlief slaughters on 8 December 2016.

    The deboning section will close on 9 December 2016, with the largest portion of production closing as from Monday 12 December. Dispatch and private chillers used to load carcasses slaughtered for the wholesale and other private clients will operate from 12 to 16 December.

    “It should be noted that if animal availability increases in January 2017 and the need arises for operations to resume earlier than scheduled, Meatco will inform staff through the relevant radio services,” Johan Goosen, plant manager for Windhoek said.

    In addition to the reopening of the different factory sections on 16 January next year, medical tests and induction training will take place until 18 January.

    Cattle offloading for 2017 will resume on 18 January, with only 200 to 250 head of cattle expected due to the closure of the factory for five to six weeks

    Slaughters will commence on 19 and 20 January, with the first deboning to commence on 23 January.

    Because of the closure dates as stated above, producers are urged to contact their nearest livestock procurement office and confirm whether they have met the 90% delivery contract agreements in order to plan accordingly.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Take care of your own grass
  • Take care of your own grassTake care of your own grass The sustainability of the implementation of the National Rangeland Policy is of critical importance to ensure a permanent driving force for the actions which are currently put in place when the current project is ended in 2019.

    This is according to the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) which says that currently three working groups are established which respectively represent communal, emerging and commercial producers.

    According to the NAU the commercial working groups comprise of game, small stock and cattle working groups with the function to implement actions which will realise the policy on long term on the ground.

    The union says that last week commercial cattle producers had a session in Otjiwarongo which was attended by representatives of the cattle producing regions.

    According to the union reasons were reflected why the national rangeland resource is degenerating while this resource is the critical factor which ensures long-term competitiveness.

    “Everybody agreed that producers have to take own responsibility for the restoration of rangeland without financial aid from government,” says the union.

    The group was convinced that if a total mind shift does not take place, nothing will be changed. The most important factor which will increase production is the increase of stocking which cannot take place if the rangeland does not recover.

    Alternative financing models must be investigated whereby the remainder of the value chain has to be involved.

    The union said that completely new solutions have to be found. The game farmers also had a discussion, while the small-stock producers will come together early in 2017. All producers are invited to come up with constructive proposals in order to overcome these challenges in the long term.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Tributes to Castro
  • Tributes to CastroTributes to Castro Castro''s ashes taken to Santiago de Cuba today Leaders of Cuba''s leftist allies and other developing countries descended on Havana yesterday for a mass rally commemorating Fidel Castro, the rebel who seized power in a 1959 revolution and ruled the island for half a century. Fidel Castro, who ceded control to his younger brother Raul Castro a decade ago due to poor health, died on Friday at the age of 90, leaving behind a mixed legacy.

    For many, especially in Latin America and Africa, he was a symbol of resistance to imperialism, having ousted a U.S.-backed dictator, and a champion of the poor.

    Others condemned him as a tyrant whose socialism ran the economy to ruin. Cuba announced nine days of mourning after his death, including the mass rally on Tuesday evening in Revolution Square - the same massive space where Castro once held fiery, marathon speeches.

    Many leaders of Latin America''s left, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Bolivian President Evo Morales, were to attend the ceremony.

    Shortly after landing in Havana on Monday night, Maduro paid tribute to Fidels “immortal force”.

    Also expected are several African leaders such as Zimbabwe''s Robert Mugabe and South Africa''s Jacob Zuma along with Namibia''s Hage Geingob.

    Yet few leaders from the world''s major powers are heading to the Caribbean island, with many sending second tier officials instead to pay their respects to a man who built a Communist state on the doorstep of the United States.



    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Zuma stays, for now
  • Zuma stays, for nowZuma stays, for now A new leader will lead party in 2019 We have a conference in 2017 which will elect a new ANC leader who will be a new face of ANC in 2019 election, Gwede Mantashe, secretary-general of the ANC in South Africa. Following a marathon ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, the NEC announced that it rejected the call for President Jacob Zuma to step down and the party does not expect mass resignations as a consequence.

    The rand weakened in response to the news that President Jacob Zuma had survived a three-day attack on his leadership from within the ANC''s National Executive Committee (NEC).

    The rand opened at R13.73 to the dollar on Tuesday and was approaching the R14 mark by midday, trading at R13.95.

    “The fact that the rand has moved so much shows that it is politically driven,” Petri Redelinghuys, independent trader and founder of Herenya Capital, told Fin24.

    Speculation around Zuma possibly leaving office indicated some sort of political stability and the currency strengthened, he explained. Following the new developments, the currency has taken a dip.

    According to the chief economist of the Efficient Group in Gauteng, Dawie Roodt, the removal of Zuma will not be good for the medium term as this will introduce an element of uncertainty which will impact the currency.

    Among the negative influences, Roodt said that high inflation, political uncertainty, weak economic growth and the increasing current account deficit all contributed to the currency''s depreciation.

    “If we do not add to the woes, the chances are the currency will appreciate,” said Roodt.

    Among the “woes” would be a possible credit downgrade by ratings agency Standard and Poor''s to junk status, which will result in the withdrawal of institutional investors.

    Roodt added that although institutional investors are important, speculators are just as important. They may view the undervalued currency positively and see it as “cheap entrance” to markets.

    After surviving an unparalleled attack on his leadership of the ANC, a defiant President Jacob Zuma told the party''s NEC that stepping down would be like handing himself over to the enemy and he would never do it.

    Zuma addressed the NEC following a gruelling three-day battle over his future, initiated by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

    The NEC deliberated on Zuma''s fate following a “surprise” motion by Hanekom on Saturday that the party''s highest decision-making body recalls the president or that he steps down.

    “The president told us that he will never step down, as it would be like handing himself over to the enemy, and that there are people who want to see him in jail and they will never stop,” an NEC member told News24.

    Zuma faced his toughest battle yet within the party. At least three of his cabinet ministers (Hanekom, Thulas Nxesi and Aaron Motsoaledi) called for his head, supported by senior NEC members. It was reported that Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor also supported the anti-Zuma motion.

    A source told News24 that plans for the motion had been in the works for a couple of weeks, but the numbers had stayed low.

    Zuma told the NEC that attempts against him have been long in the making, dating back to former president Thabo Mbeki''s era.

    Mbeki sacked Zuma as deputy president of the country on 14 June 2005, weeks after Zuma was implicated in the corruption and fraud of his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.

    “The president told us these attempts come from far and that if he was the problem, he would consider stepping down. But Nkandla, corruption charges and the spy tapes were created by the enemy,” the NEC source said.

    Zuma had to pay back R7.8 million to the state for the Nkandla upgrades after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had failed to uphold the Constitution. Zuma declined to implement former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela''s remedial action that he pay back the money spent on upgrades to his Nkandla home.

    A source inside the NEC meeting said there was no voting on the motion as Zuma''s supporters had regrouped and were on “fire defending him”. They had felt “ambushed” on Saturday as they did not expect Hanekom''s motion. But on Monday they are said to have dominated the “long speaker''s list”.

    Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane apparently spoke out against the motion, while former National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu strongly pushed for a consultative ANC conference to be held.

    This follows meetings by more than a hundred party stalwarts with the ANC''s national working committee including Zuma last week, calling for a consultative conference to rebuild the party

    It is unclear whether Sisulu''s call succeeded. While one NEC member said calls for a consultative conference were completely rejected, some of Zuma''s supporters appeared willing to consider a compromise. One proposal is that next year''s policy conference be extended to focus on rebuilding the organisation.

    Indications that Zuma was winning the battle emerged late on Monday afternoon when he left the NEC meeting to meet with his Ugandan counterpart Yuweri Museveni. He departed for Cuba yesterday to attend the funeral of late Fidel Castro.

    NEWS24

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day MAGNIFICENT: Namibia is renowned for her endless horizons and joyous spreads across the land when golden sunsets are shaded by heavy rain clouds. PHOTO: JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Poachers are winning the war
  • Poachers are winning the warPoachers are winning the war Namibia is a country hit by devastating poaching there is certainly no doubt about that. Activists and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism have particularly turned the tide against this surge for rhino horns and elephant ivory and while it has led to a number of arrests, there is still no end in sight to this disturbing phenomenon. Efforts to combat poaching have been complemented by the Namibian police, which have carried out a series of operations across the country. There have been success stories here and there, which led to the arrest of perpetrators, but the wider problem of demand, corruption and organised crime still continues to rear its ugly head. At this rate it seems that the poachers are winning this battle as global efforts against rhino horn traffickers still fall short. Wildlife trafficking is estimated to generate billions of dollars a year globally and AFP reported in September this year that poaching syndicates have shipped large amounts of African elephant ivory last year despite global calls to dismantle the trafficking networks. In most cases, these networks collude with corrupt officials and conservationists, while the middlemen and kingpins orchestrating the trade continue to live at large. This begs the question if law enforcement is winning the war against illegal rhino horn trafficking. Just a week ago a Chinese strolled through airport security with a suitcase containing 18 rhino horns. The horns were detected on the scanners, but he was nevertheless allowed to proceed. Ye Zhiwei who was in transit from Windhoek to Hong Kong, was still allowed to board a South African Airways flight bound for Johannesburg where he was fortunately arrested. Again this shows that there is plenty of corruption. Yet, nobody is really uncovering the identities of these kingpins, the well-connected ringleaders and the corrupt officials who aid and abet them in their heinous crimes. There is little hope of success given the organised crime syndicate behind rhino horn trafficking. Guns alone will not win the war against poachers. Bigger fines, longer jail sentences and the political will to enforce the law might do the trick.

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    RDP councillor feels left outRDP councillor feels left out The only opposition councillor serving on the Helao Nafidi Town Council Vilho Shimuoshili said he feels isolated because his input in meetings are either not considered or dismissed as baseless.

    In a letter dated 11 November, and addressed to the town''s mayor, the RDP councillor expressed dissatisfaction at the manner in which he is treated by fellow councillors from the ruling party.

    “As an elected local councillor representing the community of Helao Nafidi town, I have been mistreated, discriminated against and isolated in this chamber under your leadership as a mayor,” Shimuoshili said in a letter addressed to the town''s mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa.

    “I am feeling very much uncomfortable, frustrated, disturbed and discouraged by the Helao Nafidi Town Council practice during our deliberations. My contributions as an elected councillor are not taken into account although they are of importance.”

    Shimuoshili also asked the mayor whether it is worth making contributions to the deliberations if his input is not taken into consideration.

    He also wants to know whether the alleged condescending attitude is because he is a member of an opposition party.

    Contacted for comment, Nghipangelwa confirmed that he had received the letter and that he announced its content at the 10th ordinary council meeting which took place last week but Shimuoshili was not present at that meeting.

    Commenting on the concerns raised by Shimuoshili, Nghipangelwa rubbished them all saying they were baseless.

    The mayor further said that the aspect of majority rule applies not only at Helao Nafidi Town Council but in any organisation.

    “I don''t understand him saying that he is isolated in the chamber, he should present you with evidence,” Nghipangelwa said.

    “When it comes to council meetings where we discuss issues, decisions are made based on what the majority agrees.”



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Contraband Zambian pap still a concernContraband Zambian pap still a concern Product is rife in Zambezi because it is cheaper Illegal Zambian maize is still being imported into the Zambezi Region and continues to sell because it retails for cheaper than our local products. Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu has called on residents of Katima Mulilo to stop buying contraband maize meal from Zambia.

    Sampofu said the maize meal, branded ''Breakfast Meal'', is brought into Namibia via undesignated entry points, adding that it is a serious concern as it is killing the market for locally produced maize meal.

    “We are urging all those who are supporting this illegal activity to stop,” he said.

    If confiscated, the maize meal is donated to the Zambezi Regional Council drought relief programme, which is then tasked to distribute the 25 or 50 kg bags of maize meal to needy persons, including vulnerable children and women.

    At the same event, deputy director in the finance ministry''s customs and excise division for the north-eastern regions, Willbroad Poniso told Nampa 491 bags of maize meal worth N$98 000 were recently intercepted before it could be sold.

    He said since the beginning of the year, the ministry has managed to confiscate Zambian maize meal worth N$220 000.

    “This is a serious concern. It is being brought into the country because locals have created a market for it via suspect routes. We will continue trying to curb this trend as best as we can,” Poniso said.

    In September this year, Nampa reported that residents of Zambezi prefer the illegal products because it is cheaper than locally-produced maize.

    A 25 kg bag of maize meal in Zambia costs Kwacha 80 000 (about N$137).

    One bag sells for N$200 in Namibia, which is cheaper than the about N$250 for local maize.

    The Zambian product is brought into Namibia at non-designated entry points near Katima Mulilo and as far as the Schukmannsburg area in the Kabbe North constituency.



    NAMPA

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Land issue heats up
  • Land issue heats upLand issue heats up People of //Karas express anger and frustration The residents of the //Karas Region have asked government to engage absentee landlords and further maintain the land should be expropriated. The residents of the //Karas Region have asked government to engage absentee landlords and further maintain the land should be expropriated.

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    Reho CEO arrested for child maintenanceReho CEO arrested for child maintenance The CEO of the Rehoboth Town Council, Christoph |Uirab was arrested Friday morning at his home in the Hardap town for outstanding child maintenance.

    A warrant of arrest was issued in Swakopmund against him for allegedly failing to appear in the maintenance court.

    According to court records, |Uirab is allegedly in arrears of N$60 000.

    He appeared on Friday in the Rehoboth Magistrate''s Court in front of Magistrate Salome Bampton and indicated that he will obtain a private lawyer. Public prosecutor Leonard Mateus proposed that the accused appear in the Swakopmund Magistrate''s Court on Tuesday.

    |Uirab, however, indicated he will need reasonable time to obtain a lawyer and search for proof of payment he made towards the child maintenance order he appeared for.

    He said he has given money to the mother of the child and should only be in arrears of N$8 000.

    The town CEO said he can only afford a bail of N$ 1 000. The State recommended a bail of N$30 000 and the court set the bail at N$ 15 000.

    He posted bail of N$15 000, was released and warned to appear in the Swakopmund Magistrate''s Court on 9 December.

    The case was registered at the Swakopmund Magistrate''s Court Maintenance Office.

    NAMPA

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    Excavation work delays fresh produce hubExcavation work delays fresh produce hub The construction of the Windhoek Fresh Produce Hub is progressing at a snail''s pace owing to hard rock excavations encountered on-site.

    This is according to agriculture ministry spokesperson Margaret Kalo who updated Namibian Sun on work done to date.

    “The progress is slow and the contractors are behind schedule. The contractors applied for an extension to complete the earthworks in December this year, due to hard rock excavations encountered,” Kalo stated.

    Kalo could not give an indication when actual construction would start, merely stating: “The contractors contracted to construct the Windhoek Fresh Hub project, Uundenge Investment, in joint venture with China Zhengtai, are busy with earthworks, and actual construction will only start after the earthworks have been completed.

    In March 2015, agriculture minister John Mutorwa, stated that the construction of the Windhoek Fresh Produce Business Hub was progressing very well with completion expected in less than three years. Mutorwa made the announcement during the launch of the Agro Marketing and Trading Agency''s strategic plan of 2014 to 2019.

    Upon completion, the hub will be the biggest of the Agro Marketing and Trading Agency''s bulk storage facilities. The Windhoek hub will be twice the size of the existing hub at Ongwediva which already measures at a staggering 10 000m3.

    Cabinet in 2004 approved a programme of investment and promotion for increased food production through irrigation, which led to the establishment of the Green Scheme programme implemented in 2008.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 11/29/16--14:00: Unrest at Mass Housing site
  • Unrest at Mass Housing siteUnrest at Mass Housing siteWorkers up in arms over outstanding wages A large group of construction workers gathered at a building site in Swakopmund last week where they threatened to burn down houses because they had not been paid their wages. Some Mass Housing houses built by the Delta Group in Swakopmund were nearly destroyed by a group of about 50 of the company''s employees last week after they had not received their wages.

    The workers gathered at the construction site on Wednesday for the first time, where they threatened to burn down the houses if their outstanding wages were not paid by 17:00. Police managed to calm the angry workers, who left the site with the promise of returning again on Friday to collect their wages.

    Although the company again failed to pay the outstanding wages on Friday, its managing director, Koos Gouws, left two of the company''s vehicles at the Mondesa police station as surety that the wages would be paid.

    “We have advertised both vehicles and we have found a number of interested buyers. As soon as we receive a payment we will follow the necessary steps to ensure our workers are paid,” said Gouws.

    According to Gouws the company, which was awarded a tender to build 400 low-cost houses under the Mass Housing programme, ran into cash-flow problems after the government failed to pay them for the work.

    The Ministry of Rural and Urban Development called an urgent meeting on Friday to discuss outstanding payments due to the company. Gouws said yesterday that they had not received any feedback from the ministry and that they were looking at alternative options to raise money.

    Although selling the vehicles will enable the company to pay the outstanding wages, Gouws said it would not be enough to cover all its outstanding debt.

    “The amount we need to pay workers and subcontractors is about N$200 000, but we also owe other people and suppliers money. How do you decide who should be paid first?” said Gouws.

    A spokesperson for the workers, Gerson Kandjeje, said they had already approached the police, the Erongo regional council and the ministry for assistance.

    “No one could help us and we did not have any other choice but to come here with threats. We are tired of waiting, we are hungry and we have no money to care for our families. What must we do,” he said.

    On Friday, the workers agreed to leave the construction site and to wait until the vehicles are sold so that they could get their pay. A group of workers however went to the Mondesa police station where they made further demands for their money to be paid.

    The ministry''s permanent secretary, Nghidinua Daniel, was not available for comment this week and all calls were referred to Don Kondunda in the ministry''s department of mass housing. There was no answer at Kondunda''s office on Monday morning, but a message was left with his secretary on Monday afternoon.

    JESSICA BOTES

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    Govt workers accuse OPM of secrecyGovt workers accuse OPM of secrecy A group of disgruntled civil servants has accused the office of the prime minister (OPM) of conducting an underhanded salary regrading process.

    Adeline Black, the chairperson of the ''re-grading committee'', said staff only learned of the re-grading process “in the corridors” and had received no formal notification from the OPM.

    According to Black, at least 21 job categories across government ministries have been affected by the re-grading, which has reportedly left some staff worse off than before.

    “Some of the excluded staff members handed over a petition to the permanent secretary at the OPM but they were referred to their respective permanent secretaries, who had very little knowledge about the exercise,” she said.

    According to Black it appears as if the government is unwilling to answer questions about how the re-grading was done and which criteria were used.

    She also accused the government of denying public servants access to justice for over a year.

    “The government lawyers postpone proceedings habitually in an attempt to deny the majority of civil servants justice,” she said.

    The group called upon President Hage Geingob to intervene and compel the OPM to produce documents for scrutiny in the interest of fairness and transparency.

    The OPM notified the media that no comment would be issued as the matter had been referred to the office of the labour commissioner as per Namibian regulations.

    When contacted for comment, labour commissioner Henri Kassen confirmed that the case was registered with his office and was postponed to February next year for further hearings.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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