Articles on this Page
- 12/19/16--14:00: _MTC purchase is a t...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _NBL excited about c...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Aleppo evacuations ...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _shot of the day
- 12/19/16--14:00: _The Nama have a claim
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Analysing poor livi...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _By Matheus Pendapal...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Do not forget the d...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Haufiku condemns HI...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Bicycle thief must ...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Minor children requ...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _N$100 000 stolen fr...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _SELCo's days numbered
- 12/19/16--14:00: _N$57 million due to...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Two women narrowly ...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _Farmworker struggle...
- 12/19/16--14:00: _‘Need more than 5 g...
- 12/20/16--01:14: _21 291 pass Grade 1...
- 12/20/16--14:00: _Maova desperate for...
- 12/20/16--14:00: _NSC studies Haseb’s...
- 12/19/16--14:00: MTC purchase is a test run
- 12/19/16--14:00: NBL excited about craft beer
- 12/19/16--14:00: Aleppo evacuations resume
- 12/19/16--14:00: shot of the day
- 12/19/16--14:00: The Nama have a claim
- 12/19/16--14:00: Analysing poor living conditions in informal settlements
- 12/19/16--14:00: By Matheus Pendapala Taapopi
- 12/19/16--14:00: Do not forget the downtrodden
- 12/19/16--14:00: Haufiku condemns HIV prophets
- 12/19/16--14:00: Bicycle thief must wait
- 12/19/16--14:00: Minor children require special documents
- 12/19/16--14:00: N$100 000 stolen from shoe box
- 12/19/16--14:00: SELCo's days numbered
- 12/19/16--14:00: N$57 million due to SSC
- 12/19/16--14:00: Two women narrowly escape death
- 12/19/16--14:00: Farmworker struggles continue
- 12/19/16--14:00: ‘Need more than 5 goats’
- 12/20/16--01:14: 21 291 pass Grade 10 as Oshikoto tops again
- 12/20/16--14:00: Maova desperate for SA move
- 12/20/16--14:00: NSC studies Haseb’s report
With the acquisition of MTC a mere formality, Namibian Sun asked Jooste what the rationale behind the purchase was in light of the increasing number of state-owned enterprises, which are now just over 100, and why the government would not rather let MTC list directly on the Namibia Stock Exchange.
Jooste explained the need for state-owned enterprises, saying that in most cases, the provision of goods and services in especially far-flung rural areas was not a priority for the private sector if the economic benefit was not there.
“We need to ask ourselves whether these institutions are relevant, whether they are competing with the private sector and whether it is in the best interests of the public. We will be testing.”
Making the case for MTC, Jooste said state-owned enterprises were generally founded to provide goods and services in areas the private sector would not service.
Speaking generally, he concluded: “We have reached a space where we should consider listing on the Namibia Stock Exchange.”
Jooste indicated that his ministry was working on a position pertaining to the ownership of commercial public enterprises.
“We have developed a framework for the ownership policy for commercial public entities. This policy will guide government in its ownership role of the commercial enterprise and it will be a practical working policy tool which will be used to gauge the enterprise and then recommend appropriate reforms where required.”
His deputy, Engel Nawatiseb, strongly came out in defence, reiterating statements made by Jooste. He said: “The ministry makes recommendations that will allow the cabinet to make a collective decision. We are not going to push agendas.”
A report that will determine the viability of listing various state-owned enterprises is expected to be out by January 2017, Namibian Sun has established in the meantime. On the surface it appears that several discussions have already been held to determine the viability of listing several state-owned enterprises.
Responding, Simonis Storm head of research Purvance Heuer said: “We have had various meetings with the Ministry of Public Enterprises and numerous state-owned enterprises as part of an information-gathering exercise. We are currently working on a report that we would like to release early in January. The idea is to determine the viability of listing coupled with the value that can be extracted from listing.”
Referring Namibian Sun to the ministry, Namibia Stock Exchange chief executive officer Tiaan Bazuin said: “I suggest you ask the ministry what they have done and where they are in the process. I don’t think it’s fair for the Namibia Stock Exchange to disclose what has or has not been discussed.”
Namibia Breweries Limited has recently partnered up with South African-based microbrewers Stellenbrau and Soweto Gold. Speaking to its CEO Wessie van der Westhuizen, explained its roles in the brewers and why NBL chose to become involved.
Said Van der Westhuizen: “Since 2010 there has been a significant growth in the Craft sector in South Africa. There are currently 180 licensed craft micro-breweries in SA. We estimate the current volume of craft in South Africa to be in the region of 180 000 hectolitres growing at a historic rate of 35% per annum. Due to NBL’s participation in the Premium Category we have identified this growing sector as an area of potential future opportunity and are currently investigating various opportunities. In the last 18 months NBL has started contract brewing and packaging for two micro-breweries Stellenbrau, based in Stellenbosch, and now more recently Soweto Gold based in Soweto, Gauteng.
“We expect the growth of craft to continue in South Africa and Namibia. Regarding projections the craft [beer] sector is still in its infancy so it is very difficult to predict future volumes at this stage, however we would assume that volume would continue in line with historic growth as per the above.”
Providing clarity on its roles in Soweto Gold and Stellenbrau, Van der Westhuizen said, “We do not have interests in both micro-breweries; we co-pack for Stellenbrau in South Africa and distribute and sell their brand in Namibia. The Camelthorn brand on the other hand is owned by NBL. NBL currently brews and packages beer under license for the two micro-breweries mentioned above for the South African market. NBL are also the official distribution, marketing and sales partner for Stellenbrau in the Namibian market. At this stage the focus is on South Africa and Namibia only. ”
He also noted that the growth of local brewer had not been exceptional, saying, “There has been limited growth.”
About ten buses left the Shi'ite Muslim villages of al-Foua and Kefraya, north of Idlib, towards the government lines in Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, reported.
The evacuation of civilians, including wounded people, from the two villages which have been besieged by rebels for years, is a condition for the Syrian army and its allies to allow thousands of fighters and civilians trapped in Aleppo to depart.
"First limited evacuations, finally, tonight from east Aleppo and Foua and Kefraya. Many thousands more are waiting to be evacuated soon," Jan Egeland, who chairs the United Nations aid task force in Syria, tweeted late on Sunday night.
Yesterday the UN Security Council was set to vote in New York on a resolution to allow the international body's staff to monitor the evacuations. The draft resolution was the result of a compromise between Russia and France, and the United States said it was expected to pass unanimously.
On Sunday, some of the buses sent to al-Foua and Kefraya to carry evacuees out were attacked and torched by armed men, who shouted "God is greatest" and brandished their weapons in front of the burning vehicles, according to a video posted online.
That incident threatened to derail the evacuations, the result of intense negotiations between Russia - the main supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - and Turkey, which backs some large rebel groups.
At stake is the fate of thousands of people still stuck in the last rebel bastion in Aleppo after a series of sudden advances by the Syrian army and allied Shi'ite militias under an intense bombardment that pulverised large sections of the city.
They have been waiting for the chance to leave Aleppo since the ceasefire and evacuation deal was agreed late last Tuesday, but have struggled to do so during days of hold-ups. The weather in Aleppo has been wet and very cold and there is little shelter and few services in the tiny rebel zone.
Assad is backed in the war by Russian air power and Shi'ite militias including Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and Iraq's Harakat al-Nujaba. The mostly Sunni rebels include groups supported by Turkey, the US and Gulf monarchies.
In the square in Aleppo's Sukari district, organisers gave every family a number to give them access to buses.
"Everyone is waiting until they are evacuated. They just want to escape," said Salah al Attar, a former teacher with his five children, wife and mother.
Thousands of people were evacuated on Thursday, the first to leave under the ceasefire deal that ends fighting in the city where violence erupted in 2012, a year after the start of conflict in other parts of Syria.
They were taken to rebel-held districts of the countryside west of Aleppo. Turkey has said Aleppo evacuees could also be housed in a camp to be constructed near the Turkish border to the north.
For four years the city was split between a rebel-held eastern sector and the government-held western districts. During the summer, the army and its allies managed to besiege the rebel sector before using intense bombardment and ground assaults to retake it in recent months.
A Reuters reporter who visited recaptured districts of Aleppo in recent days saw large swathes reduced to ruins, with rubble and other debris clogging the streets and sections of the famous Old City all but destroyed.
They arrived in this country in the 1200s, roughly 300 years before the massive migration from central Africa into Namibia and South Africa and when the first settlers arrived, the Nama people were persecuted. They fought the Germans and they fought the South Africans. There losses were many. And once the South African government formalised in Namibia, they lost their land, once again, to a government that had no interest in their rights or their plight.
They suffered at the hands of the German colonial regime and fought them, valiantly, where they met them, often times, winning great victories. The erection of Schloss Duwisib came directly as a response to a great victory by Nama soldiers against Hans Heinrich von Wolf, a captain in the Schutztruppe. So despondent was he by having incurred such a great defeat, having to leave his weaponry to flee, he returned to Germany and set up a therapy session with Dr Sigmund Freud who advised him to build an edifice at the site of his destruction. And so Duwisib was erected.
When the liberation struggle for Namibia started, the Nama people did not hold back. They joined the ranks of Swanu and Swapo and fought hard alongside their countrymen. They also suffered at the hands of Swapo in Lubango, more so than most other tribes.
And then came freedom for Namibia. And what did the Nama get? Nothing. The south of this country is so vastly underdeveloped and yes, land reform is a mess. Nothing comes to the south and those people, those Namibians, still have to fight marginalisation.
The reparations talks have not delivered any more rights to the Nama people either. Independence and freedom has not delivered them from poverty or brought them any real joy.
So if there is a people in this country who have a case, who have a claim and who have a right to be angry, it is them.
Most academic scholars have researched poor living conditions among Namibian people for the past 25 years but nothing has been really upgraded to help better the lives of these people. People still live in abrupt poverty and in worse conditions than ever imagined. Just imagine people living without proper sanitation and they are forced to expose themselves in river beds and open areas which is compromising their dignity and self-respect.
What is the government really doing to help out the citizens because nothing relevant have been done to help people out but other unnecessary things like building new parliaments and other unnecessary projects are launched all the time. But nothing has been done to help people live in a better Namibia. People have entrusted their votes in these leaders to help develop this country but it seems to be crumbling day by day because most people in offices lack corporate governance qualities which are needed to run those offices. Leaders do not have the flair to run offices, they are greedy, wanting to enrich themselves and making short-term decisions that are not beneficial at all. People always wonder where the problem really lies that development is not really transparent and one reason one can think of firstly, is that most leaders are very corrupt to the core and they are so deep in it that they can’t come back from it.
What our leaders need is to be taught what transparency really is, because this term cannot be underestimated at any cost. All relevant information should be made available to all interested parties in the same way. Albeit information to protect business or the competitive element of a tender has to be kept confidential, the principal rule should always be to publish as much information as possible. The face of poverty especially in Windhoek is among the women, children and young people found in the informal settlements. Today’s informal settlers are also students from rural areas attending universities because they cannot afford reasonable comfortable accommodation. Imagine living in Havana and knocking off at 21:30 which is very dangerous because that place is not safe at all. Something should really be done. Climbing out of poverty is almost impossible because most of them do not have regular employment. Nor do they have the necessary education required to land steady-paying jobs. If employed at all, these would be your security guards, cleaners and domestic workers and this won’t be enough to help move from shacks to better houses.
These informal settlements are filled with piles of dirt, water-filled potholes and streams of smelly running water from the communal pumps. The roads are not tarred with any safe walkways and residents have to fork out N$20 in taxi fares from home to the city centre where most of them do odd jobs. Just imagine having to share a toilet with 15 people for example, how will that toilet be and not all people like to keep things clean. Think of having to carry water for a long distance which is not good for the health of women and young children. Politicians are clearly not interested in the lives of these people and yet they flock to their settlements to do campaigns for them to be voted.
One might be sympathetic with the City of Windhoek’s action because it is trying to promote lawful and planned settlement. However, the City of Windhoek should not use police but rather should use policy to address its mushrooming urban problems. The problem with our urban development is dual: 26 years after independence a clear and coherent formula/model for addressing Windhoek’s or Namibia informal settlement has not yet emerged in the city/town, government or community level. The government intervention though the mass housing scheme and Tipeeg are too magnificent ideas to make any noticeable effects on the lives of the people living at the periphery of Windhoek which Tipeeg has cleary failed to reach its objectives and goals. The truth is that the proposed mass housing project is not for the informal settlement because they have no regular jobs or assets to qualify for a house or maintain them even if they were given one for free.
People are frustrated at the pace of urban development and poverty seemz to be rising all the time which is depressing. The government dumps funds on ministries every year for changes to be brought and lazy ministries are throwing money back to the Ministry of Finance without full accomplishments of the duties - so much has been preached but nothing has been done. The government should not just remember these masses when it comes to voting. People need to see good practice happening throughout the country. The system really needs to change and leaders should stop being so greedy because they are corrupting the country. Even young leaders who are graduating would one day want to follow suit because it seems like the protocol of this country. We need educated leaders with a vision to develop this country and bring about changes because all the leaders in place are all the same. Please allow young graduates to take over and retire because we need fresh ideas and not this mentality of using traditional ways of doing things, it’s a new era and things are changing and so should people.
*Nambinga Kuume is fourth-year student studying towards a Bachelor’s degree in Public Management (Hons) at Unam
There are contradictions and self-imposed myths that continue to manifest in our society that beg for critical assessment, engagement and analyses. Relatively, we have a serious misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the relationship between crime and poverty, because we are ignorant and we have no appreciation of the historical constructs of our country and the current socioeconomic status quo that are contributing factors to crime.
Fallacious arguments continue to manifest in our social circles that misunderstand reasons and sources of unfavourable violent social behaviour. Strategies, policies, financial and human resources have been availed to ‘fight and combat crime’, yet these blanket interventions, including the community policing initiative, the ‘neighborhood watch’ that operates in affluent locations with very racist tendencies, have failed to prevent crime as evidence corroborates with the news in our daily newspapers. What we have set forth is a counter-revolutionary anti-black precedence of launching war against the wrong enemy, engaging on the wrong battlefield and fighting with the wrong weapons.
An analysis of the Namibian police’s weekly crime bulletins of 2015/16, illustrates that about 99% of the population in prison are from the black community and only 1% or less are from the white. Studying the reports further reveals that as compared to whites, 99,5% of blacks are relatively involved in crimes from armed robberies, assaults, theft, house break-ins, gender-based violence, rape and murder cases. While a breakdown of the findings inform that more blacks under 35 years old more are involved in these crimes. Alarmingly 25-year-olds are more than 79 times likely to be arrested for theft, murder or violent cases. Hence on a per capita basis; blacks commit more violent crimes than whites do.
All these crimes are characterised by common triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequalities. It is young people that are presently disadvantaged; it is young people that commit these crimes who are not in education, employment or training. And they all live in neighborhoods characterised by poverty and shanty towns. Because of this structural displacement, desperation, dehumanisation and hopelessness, last options are to disengage and employ survival strategies of crime to keep up and provide for themselves and their families.
These triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and structural inequalities are born from a historical construct of the white man’s colonialism and the apartheid legacy. For instance, the classical deliberate displacement that birthed Katutura which further extended to informal settlements; the subsequent birth of black markets and the Bantu education system exacerbated by the dispossession of urban land and farms unjustly acquired and compounded by the strategic economic sectors in the hands of the minority few who are white.
Crime is also provoked by the government of the day that have paid less attention and made little effort to address the manifestations and contradictions of the colonial and apartheid legacy and having failed to re-imagine, reconstruct, develop and deliver a cured, just, thriving and inclusive society beyond rhetoric. As a result blacks are institutionally excluded from social, political and economic opportunities. These are realities that explain the reasons for crime committed by young black men.
Our solutions should be combined with radical development and empowerment interventions to restore the dignity of the black man and woman. Instead of slogans and symbols, making institutions more inclusive is about changing the politics of a society to empower the poor, disenfranchised and the excluded is what is needed. Social investment, to the youth in rural communities, to free housing and free inclusive decolonised education funded by our natural resources, should be encouraged. Also education is key, for educated citizens and communities with higher education degrees report a higher level of employment, health and happiness. In fact, societies with a high rate of degree attainment have lower crime rates and higher rates of social welfare.
As Motsohi (2016) highlights; the International Labour Organisation has pointed out that; “young men and women are among the world’s greatest assets. They bring energy, talent and creativity to economies and create the foundations for future development”, however Freedman stated; “without a stake in the system, [young people] are more likely to become alienated and engage in anti-social behaviour (Freedman, 2005:4). It is philosopher Aristotle that warned a thousand years ago that: “poverty breeds criminal behaviour”. He meant to say that in politics poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
*Matheus Pendapala Taapopo is a third-year student studying towards a Bachelor of Public Management (Hons) at Unam
Health Minister Bernard Haufiku said this is “utter nonsense” and puts patients’ lives at risk.
Handing over two of eight prefabricated ART therapy clinics to the Oupili and Omutwe-Womunhu communities in the Okongo District last week, Haufiku also deplored the sale of supplements that are apparently equal to ART therapy.
He said ARTs are medications specifically designed to tackle HIV and no supplement would be able to work the same way it does.
“Do not abandon your medication for supplements and expect to get better.”
Haufiku said most people infected by the virus between 2010 and 2015 are younger than 24 years of age.
“Men are mainly the ones who fear getting tested for the virus and in most cases, they hide behind their women by sending them to get tested instead.”
He said this should come to an end and that each person needs to be tested individually.
The minister called for a change in attitude to help fight the epidemic and urged medical practitioners not to scold young people coming to ask for contraceptives, because once they are intimidated they will never seek and use them, and this could lead to unprotected sex, sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies that result in baby dumping.
“Be patient and never be arrogant with patients, it is the only way they would put their trust in you.”
The eight prefabricated containers were donated by the United States Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton to the ministry in the Okongo District in June this year to be delivered to various sites.
The Onamihinga, Onghalulu, Oshalumbu, Oshitishiwa, Olukula and Oshifitu communities also benefited from the initiative.
The US government spent N$5.2 million on the fully furnished container clinics to provide ART to patients, as well as free HIV and tuberculosis testing.
The panel of two judges of High Court, Justice Christie Liebenberg and Nate Ndauedapo reserved judgement in the appeal of Lourenso Pieterse to 17 March 2017.
Pieterse was convicted of theft after he was found guilty of stealing a KHE Stunt bicycle worth N$3 000 belonging to a boy between aged 10 and 11. The bicycle was parked at a playground in Suiderhof, Windhoek.
He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on 23 September 2016 and is now in custody for almost three months.
Pieterse’s lawyer, Florian Beukes, argued that the sentence of three years’ imprisonment has “induced a sense of shock”.
He maintained that the approach of direct imprisonment applied by the magistrate was wrong as he did not open his mind to a fine.
Beukes stated that the lower court avoided an appropriate sentence when it did not consider personal circumstances and the fact that the Pieterse was a first offender.
“The magistrate erred on facts with regard to personal circumstances. The misdirection is that there is no appropriate sentence other than direct imprisonment,” Beukes argued.
He requested for the reduction of the three-year term to a fine of N$2 000 or 6 months in default of payment.
State Advocate Eric Moyo argued that the court applied a global approach as opposed to considering mitigation circumstances, each on its own.
“Therefore the sentence of direct imprisonment imposed on the appellant cannot be wrong, but the type of the sentence is a question of whether the court considers it appropriate or objective,” he argued.
According to him the magistrate opted for deterrence and added that retribution is part of the country’s law.
“The courts get angry on behalf of society,” he emphasised.
In this regard, Kambala has strongly advised all travellers with children under the age of 18 to adhere to the following:
Travellers should at all times carry a certified copy, if not the original, of the full, unabridged birth certificate of the children, in addition to the children's passport;
Adults travelling with children that are not their biological children should be in possession of an affidavit (sworn statement deposed to before a commissioner of oaths) from the child's parents where they consent that the child may travel with particular traveller;
When a child is travelling with anyone other than his or her own parents, the traveller should have copies of the identity documents or passport of the parents or legal guardians of the child;
If a child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent should, by way of affidavit, provide consent for the child to travel with the other parent;
Where applicable, if one parent is has died, travellers should be in possession of a death certificate of the other parent of the child on the birth certificate;
Any unaccompanied minor may be required to produce proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of an affidavit for the child to travel, a letter from the person who is to receive the child, containing his or her residential address and contact details where the child will travel to, a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child, and the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
Kambala outlined that these measures are serious and have been implemented in most of the border management systems. To avoid disappointments when travelling, Namibians should adhere to these guidelines.
Two incidents of rape were reported in Tsumeb and Onayena in the Oshikoto Region. An uncle is alleged to have raped his minor niece repeatedly in Onayena. It is further alleged that the crime was committed in the bedroom of the suspect where he allegedly forcefully undressed her before proceeding to rape her. In Tsumeb, a 23-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with statutory rape. The suspect is alleged to have had consensual sexual intercourse with a minor girl aged 13.
At Hoachanas in the Hardap Region, a 23-year-old suspect set fire to an enclosure where ten cheetahs were held. The animals escaped harm. According to Kanguatjivi, it is further alleged that the suspect threatened to burn the complainant's property. No damage to the property was reported and the suspect appeared in the Mariental Magistrate's Court yesterday. According to Kanguatjivi, the suspect was denied employment by the complainant resulting in the fire.
In the Kavango-East Region, a woman was asleep in her hut when it was struck by lightning. Efforts were made to rescue her but failed. She has been identified as Iyanga Kayando, age unknown as her documents allegedly burned in her hut.
In a similar incident, two males were fatally struck by lightning in the Zambezi Region.
In the Erongo Region, an incident of vehicle theft was reported. It is alleged that the complainant parked his vehicle in Second Street in Walvis Bay. While seated, a gentleman approached and asked him why he was parked there. He got angry, left the vehicle and the suspect got into the vehicle and drove off. The vehicle was recovered in the Omaheke Region at the Buitepos border post. The suspect was arrested together with a Botswana national.
Nampa reported this week that fuming Keetmanshoop residents wanted SELCo out, a sentiment shared by the Keetmanshoop Town Council while the Electricity Control Board told Namibian Sun that a southern regional electricity distributor would be established in the near future
Responding to questions sent to the Electricity Control Board, its CEO Foibe Namane said, “As part of the electricity distribution industry (EDI) reform being spearheaded by government, discussions are underway to set up a regional electricity distributor (RED) that will be responsible for supplying electricity to southern Namibia.”
She explained that SELCo is not a RED but was instead contracted by the Keetmanshoop municipality to do electricity distribution in the Keetmanshoop municipal area.
“The licence holder is Keetmanshoop municipality. SELCo only has a service level agreement (SLA) and a management contract with Keetmanshoop municipality for the past 15 years. The SLA between Keetmanshoop municipality and SELCo expired in October this year but consultations are underway to ensure supply of electricity until an eventual take-over in June 2017,” Namene said.
The south is with the greater Windhoek area the only extensive areas not currently served by a RED. Economist Robin Sherbourne wrote that local authorities partly fear the impact the existence of REDs may have on their revenue bases.
“The policy framework was created with the twin aims of encouraging private investors to invest in independent power producers and foster competition,” Sherbourne wrote.
Meanwhile, SELCo is coming under increasing pressure from the residents of Keetmanshoop. A group of residents made it clear on Thursday last week that they were against a proposed six-month contract between the municipality and the SELCo.
“What have you been doing all this time? We have elected you to solve our problems, but you continue to allow our economic suffering under this foreign company,” one resident said in frustration.
Keetmanshoop Town Council CEO Gaudentia Krohne told the crowd the council had yet to sign the contract and the only solution at the moment points to an extension of the municipality and SELCo's relationship for six months to prepare properly and take over the technical service. “We also do not want SELCo but we have no choice now,” she said.
- Additional reporting by Nampa
Furthermore, the commission is running a deficit of approximately N$17.3 million on its Maternity, Sick and Death Fund, figures provided by the SSC show.
The commission recently put out a tender for the collection of outstanding money owed.
SSC spokesperson Castro Tjizoo sought to explain how the debt accumulated and where the fault was.
“The total Employees Compensation Fund (ECF) at the end of October 2016 stood at N$57 million. The Maternity, Sick, Death Fund (MSDF) debtors have positive balances of N$61.5 million and a negative balance of N$78.8 million.
“Negative balances on the MSDF accounts are mainly due to the outstanding returns. This is a form prescribed and provided by SSC which must be completed by all employers, providing details of employees with their salaries and the contributions deducted,” he said.
He explained the rationale behind the issuing of the tender, saying: “Debt collection is an ongoing process, as the Social Security Commission has its in-house debtors' officers who are responsible for reconciling debtors' accounts and collection of outstanding monies, among other tasks.
“Services of collection agencies will only supplement an in-house effort. It is for this reason that the SSC intends to enter into service-level agreements with credible and reputable role players in the market to provide such services.
“The SSC's principal purpose is to administer the funds established under the Social Security Act and the Employees' Compensation Act, as amended.
“In administering these funds, SSC's principal operations include collecting and investing contributions, assessing and paying claims and providing benefits. The funds collecting may thus be used for the SSC to deliver on its mandate.”
According to police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, both incidents occurred on Sunday.
He said that at about 10:00 on Sunday a man fired four shots at his wife, Susan Niinkoti, 34, after a quarrel erupted between them at the Oshikondeilongo village in the Onyaanya area. All four shots missed her.
The husband then took a knobkierie and continuously assaulted his wife all over the body until the neighbours came to her rescue.
The victim was taken to the Okatope clinic and then transferred to Onandjokwe hospital for further treatment where she was discharged the same day.
According to the police her husband, 43, was arrested and his firearm confiscated.
At Swakopmund a couple from Windhoek who were on holiday and staying at a youth hostel were involved in a heated argument at about 08:30 on Sunday.
According to the police during the argument the 51-year-old suspect threatened to kill his partner, Elisabeth Lucille, 53. She ran outside and locked herself in the car and the suspect set the car on fire. The woman then jumped out and ran to the police station where she reported the incident.
The suspect was arrested.
Further to this, alcohol abuse still remains a major concern amongst farmworkers and it is one of the biggest reasons for dismissals.
This was revealed in the latest survey that has been conducted on wages for farmworkers on commercial farms.
The survey is published every second year by the Agricultural Employers’ Association (AEA) to determine the average wages farmworkers receive on commercial farms.
According to the survey, out of the 3 497 employees represented a total of 57 employees (2.28%) received a cash wage below the minimum hourly rate of N$3.70 that came into force on 1 July 2014.
These workers were paid between N$2.02 and N$3.69 per hour.
The survey on the other hand notes that whereas the current minimum wage agreement is N$3.70, that on average, farmworkers in Namibia received N$6.90 in 2015/16.
The survey says that the average basic monthly monetary remuneration of permanent employees on commercial farms amounted to N$ 1 975.12, while the total remuneration package of permanent employees on commercial farms amounted to N$ 3 320.64, on average.
A remuneration package is made up of a cash wage, a cash allowance, dry rations, wet rations, other farm-produced foods (these all constitute the monetary remuneration or basic salary) as well as housing, livestock and free transport.
The total remuneration of farmworkers has increased by 9% since 2014, according to the survey.
However, it also indicates that the total remuneration packages of farmworkers have increased from N$1 211 since 2002 to N$3 320. This is a mere increase of N$2 109 over 14 years.
The statistics show that over the period of 2008 and 2010 the total remuneration of farmers was quite good with up to 22% and 24% in increases, but there was a steep fall in 2012, 2014 and 2016 when Namibia started to experience drought. The increases over those periods were respectively, 11%, 8% and 9%.
The total monthly remuneration packages of employees differ from region to region. In Omaheke and //Karas, the highest average remuneration packages were recorded at about N$3 450.
Just below them follows Khomas (N$3 357), Otjizondupa (N$3 291), Hardap (N$3 291) and Kunene (N$3 053).
The lowest average packages are Erongo (N$2 982) and Oshikoto (N$2 777).
Drug and alcohol abuse among farmworkers has remained rampant.
According to the survey 40.87% of the farmers reported cases of alcohol and substance abuse among their employees. A total of 593 incidents of drug- and alcohol-related transgressions took place within the reporting period of the survey.
The survey further says that 23.81% of the total dismissals on farms were because of alcohol abuse. This figure increased from 16.8% from 2014.
It was also the second highest reason for dismissals with only being absent from work that was rated higher at 27%.
According to the survey there are on average a total of 7.6 farmworkers employed per commercial farm in Namibia in comparison to the 6.63 employed in 2014.
The Oshikoto and Otjizondjupa regions on average employ the largest number of workers with about nine and eight workers respectively while the Hardap and //Karas regions employ the least workers with about four workers on average.
According to the survey a total of 63.8% of all permanent employees in the survey have their dependents living on farms with them. This is an increase from the 62% in 2014.
The survey says that the average dependants per employee are 1.68 and this figure increased slightly from the 1.62 dependants per employee in the 2014 wage survey.
Respondents of the 2016 wage survey indicated that there are a total of 2 834 employee houses on their land where they conduct their farming activities. This brings the average number of houses to 6.16 per employer. The average size of these houses is 45.46m² with an average of 2.49 rooms per house.
It must be noted that the calculated total monthly pay package does not include bonuses, clothing, medicine, school- and hostel fees, pension and social security contributions as well as water and energy (wood/electricity) costs. These mentioned items are a cost to employers and form part of the employees’ benefits.
He added that the economy needs the revenue collected from these farms and therefore must ensure the land is productively used.
He also pointed out that government is aware of the acute demand for land for agricultural purposes and the responsibility it has to bridge the gap in access to land.
“It must be balanced… you must see those who are capable. Not all of us are farmers… farming is a very difficult exercise. It is not just about ‘I need land’ and then you come and ask government for rations for drought relief,” he said.
Nujoma also emphasised that there has never been a deliberate campaign to deny some Namibians access to land.
“The ministry is committed to a transparent, fair and equitable land reform process that is guided by our agreed policy and legal framework. We reiterate our support of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and will further work smarter to fully strengthen the said initiatives as articulated under the land reform process,” he said.
This comes at a time when Nujoma is accused of driving a skewed resettlement process which deliberately sidelines people from the south.
Nujoma has also been attacked by his former deputy Bernadus Swartbooi who said he must be called to order for the way in which he is handling the land resettlement process.
A group of landless Namibians and supporters of Swartbooi on Friday handed over two petitions decrying the ministry’s handling of land.
The two groups called on the ministry to suspend the land resettlement process with immediate effect pending the outcome of the scheduled land conference.
They also demanded a reshuffling of the land reform department as it is allegedly full of corruption, nepotism, favouritism, discrimination, ethnicity and tribalism, and is ‘rent-seeking’.
Nujoma however said he is not in a position to respond to these calls as he has not yet seen the petition.
“We must guard against incitement that promotes tribalism, we are a unitary state. We must guard against inciting violence,” he pleaded.
Meanwhile a local agricultural expert who spoke on condition of anonymity said the resettlement process has not been thought through and is fundamentally on the wrong track.
“How do you make a living in an area that needs a large piece of land? What can you do with a little plot? You can only squat,” said the expert.
The expert also took issue with the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme which according to Nujoma is approved to beneficiaries who can prove to be productive farmers.
“Look at the number of farmers who rent out their farms to white farmers. What does this say about the scheme?” he asked.
This represents a pass rate of 55.7% compared to 54.2% achieved in 2015. "The number of candidates qualifying for admission to Grade 11 in 2017 might increase to approximately 24 291 because part-time candidates build up subject credits over a couple of years and normally meet the admission requirement to Grade 11 only after a number of years," the minister of education Katrina Hanse-Himarwa stated. "The 2016 results for Grades 10 and 12 full-time and part-time show much improvement in performance when compared to the 2015 results."
Oshikoto tops again
Northern schools have yet again managed to outperform schools south of the red line with Oshikoto, Oshana and Omusati and Ohangwena enjoying the top national rankings. Kavango East also retained its fifth position, while Zambezi improved two places to finish at number 6.
The shot-stopper says he is concerned that his dreams of playing at the highest level might die out if he does not travel to South Africa to look for a club early next year.
He says he has asked several of the Namibian players plying their trade in South Africa to get him a team.
Maova revealed that he has been in talks with former Brave Warriors skipper Henrico Botes.
“All I need now is videos of me from NBC which I can take along to South Africa next year.
“The thing is that the future of Namibian football has been uncertain for some time now and I believe it is time to take desperate measures by following my dreams.
“Clubs in SA have been reluctant to come to us because we have not been active for almost a year,” Maova said.
The keeper also revealed that his biggest wish has been to play in Europe and therefore feels that South Africa will be the right gateway to continent.
“The problem with Namibia is that there are very few people with connections to South African football clubs and that is why it has been so difficult for me to make that dream move,” he noted.
The player has been part of the senior national team setup including the junior teams. He has however often missed games for the senior team due to injuries.
The 22-year old started his career at the Otjiwarongo Football Academy in 2007 before joining Eleven Brothers and later Rundu Chiefs.
Maova than joined Civics in the 2014/15 season were he has been playing until the league came to a standstill.
JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA
Haseb, who resigned from the position earlier this month, was required to submit a report to the board before he leaves.
He has forfeited his December salary after opting to resign with immediate effect and not on 30 days’ notice.
His resignation came after he was moved back to his position of head of finance from acting chief administrator, where the board cited that they preferred him in a position to sort out the commission’s financial issues.
Of the instructions given, he was required to explain the pension monies that were deducted from the employees but not paid over.
According to the commission’s acting chief administrator Peter Wilson, Haseb has complied with what was required of him to do.
“He has given me a report just before he left and we are busy studying it and we will then discuss it during the next board meeting in January,” he said.
He mentioned that he thus far sorted out the pension issue but was now dealing with the medical aid issue where payments were also not made.
Wilson also mentioned that water bills at the commission have also been settled.
“So far I am just putting things in place and making sure that I pave the way for the incoming chief administrator,” he said.
Wilson’s contract acting in the position ends in January but he is hopeful that by February there will have full-time administrator appointed.
He indicated that so far interviews have been done and three candidates have been shortlisted.
“Three candidates have been shortlisted and are just waiting to receive the offer so hopefully by February we will have someone appointed,” he said.
Meanwhile the commission has three other vacant positions to fill, that of head of marketing, driver, and head of finance and administration.