Articles on this Page
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Stop with the cold ...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Opec spares Asia oi...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Pay hike for constr...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Aunty Nangy
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Taylor Jaye launche...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Stanzo untamed
- 02/02/17--14:00: _It is more than sho...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Salshi's
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Dear artist manager...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Love, Sex & Flight ...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Record keeping 101 ...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Erongo Enterprises ...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Customs officers re...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Mineworkers Union c...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Congo at crossroads...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Key Gambia minister...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Kenya agrees to rej...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Goats eat where the...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _How the chicken got...
- 02/02/17--14:00: _Letting life mark you
- 02/02/17--14:00: Stop with the cold drinks!
- 02/02/17--14:00: Opec spares Asia oil cuts
- 02/02/17--14:00: Pay hike for construction industry
- 02/02/17--14:00: Aunty Nangy
- 02/02/17--14:00: Taylor Jaye launches Suko Kool Kids
- 02/02/17--14:00: Stanzo untamed
- 02/02/17--14:00: It is more than showing up
- 02/02/17--14:00: Salshi's
- 02/02/17--14:00: Dear artist managers and record labels
- 02/02/17--14:00: Love, Sex & Flight Tickets out
- 02/02/17--14:00: Record keeping 101 for businesses
- 02/02/17--14:00: Erongo Enterprises appoints Uumati
- 02/02/17--14:00: Customs officers receive training
- 02/02/17--14:00: Mineworkers Union calls for nationalisation of mines
- 02/02/17--14:00: Congo at crossroads as opposition chief Tshisekedi dies
- 02/02/17--14:00: Key Gambia ministers sworn in
- 02/02/17--14:00: Kenya agrees to rejoin South Sudan UN force
- 02/02/17--14:00: Goats eat where they are tethered
- 02/02/17--14:00: How the chicken got wings
- 02/02/17--14:00: Letting life mark you
Parliamentary hearings on the proposed sugar tax began this week on Tuesday, the first of what could be many more.
Government officials seek to engage in robust discussion with the public and consider all views and data presented to ensure that their decision will be in the best interest of the public. Health professionals were out in force, showing their support for the proposed tax on fizzy drinks. Experts from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) School of Public Health, University of Cape Town (UCT) Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) Healthy Living Alliance as well as the University of Illinois – Global Health Advocacy Incubator, all provided extensive data from various studies that showed why the move to implement a sugar tax on sweetened beverages in South Africa would benefit the health of low income communities in the long run. A recent study from Wits University again put the spotlight on the proposed tax, finding that at least a third of the average South African's daily sugar intake is derived from sugar-sweetened beverages. These statistics are indicators of the impact sugary beverages have on the daily lives of individuals in this country.
The average amount of sugar in a single 330ml carbonated beverage is eight teaspoons of sugar. A single 330ml fruit juice contains nine teaspoons of sugar. The World Health Organisation, however, has guidelines recommending a limit of six teaspoons of sugar per day. There are many reasons why liquid sugars are more harmful:
Liquid sugar is absorbed in 30 minutes, causing a spike in blood sugar
These spikes lead to sugar changing into fat in the liver, contributing to the development of diabetes and heart disease
Calories from sugar-sweetened beverages do not leave one feeling full, unlike calories from food or milk; sugar-sweetened beverages add to calories consumed; sugar-sweetened beverages have no nutritional value. Many people believe that in reality a sugar tax will not stop consumers from buying sugar-sweetened beverages. It might reduce the consumption of these beverages, however, which is a step in the right direction. The proposed sugar tax hopes to see members of low-income communities – those who are most at risk and most likely to use public health facilities – choose water rather than sugar-sweetened beverages.
Instead, they have reduced deliveries to Europe and the Americas as they implement a coordinated agreement to cut supply by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), seeking to reduce a global supply glut and lift oil prices.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries' oil supplies to Asia rose by 7% between November and January, to 17 million bpd, meeting two-thirds of the region's oil consumption, data from Thomson Reuters Eikon showed.
Under a deal agreed last November, Opec pledged to cut production by around 1.2 million bpd in the first half of 2017. Other producers, including Russia, pledged to cut another 600 000 bpd.
“For Opec, and here we mean the Mideast countries, Asia is their core and growing market,” said Tushar Bansal, director at Singapore-based consultancy Ivy Global Energy. “The last thing Opec would want is that as they develop newer markets outside the region, some other players like Rosneft or Venezuela increase their market share in what is their backyard.”
While the Opec and Russian cuts should eventually rebalance the market after a three-year glut, it will be slower in Asia unless regional demand picks up. In a sign of ongoing Asian oversupply, Eikon data shows that around 30 chartered supertankers, known as Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC), are sitting in the waters outside Asia's oil trading hub of Singapore and southern Malaysia, carrying about 55million barrels of oil, enough to meet almost five days of Chinese demand.
Asia has been the main source of global oil demand growth for the past two decades as consumption in economically developed nations has stagnated.
Therefore, Opec has raised its supply to Asia, and Russia has also re-routed a great chunk of its rising production towards China and the Asia-Pacific over the past decade. Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as China's biggest supplier last year, exporting 1.05 million bpd of crude versus Saudi Arabia's 1.02 million.
The increase in Asian deliveries contrasts with Opec's global cut of over 1 million bpd in January, uprising market watchers with a compliance rate of over 80%.
Russia, the world's biggest oil producer, also said it cut supplies by 100 000 bpd in January. “Oil stocks are drawing, especially in Europe. In Asia, strong demand is tightening the market, but it will take time,” said Oystein Berentsen, managing director for crude at oil trading firm Strong Petroleum in Singapore.
For the moment, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggests that global markets remain oversupplied, with around 95.8million bpd of demand being met by 96.4million bpd of supply.
But given the cuts and an expected demand increase of up to 1.6million bpd this year, the global market will likely balance this year.
The Government Gazette No. 5917 stipulated the adjustment to the minimum wage, which had to be increased by 10% for the first year (i.e. from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016) and by a further 10% for the subsequent year (i.e. 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017). The minimum wage for a labourer in the construction sector is now N$16.04, explained Construction Industries Federation general manager Bärbel Kirchner.
The promulgated collective agreement in Government Gazette No. 5917 covers minimum wages for labourers and different categories of skilled and semi-skilled artisans, health and safety standards, minimum protective clothing, minimum productivity levels, living away allowances and service allowance, according to Kirchner.
“We realise that during an economic slowdown, it would be difficult for employers to further increase the minimum wages in the construction sector.
“Unavailability of work in the sector and serious cash-flow crises have forced businesses to cut costs and make retrenchments.
“In order to adhere to the legislated minimum wages and minimum employment conditions, with limited scope to reduce salaries, businesses cannot avoid but retrench more individuals,” she said.
“However, as the nature of our industry is cyclical, and as we will see better times again, it is important that we remain cognisant of the legislation that needs to be adhered to in our industry.
“Companies that operate in Namibia's construction industry must be aware that adherence to the minimum wages and the minimum conditions as promulgated in the Government Gazette 5917 remains a requirement,” added Kirchner.
“This will ensure that despite a serious downturn in our industry, optimal work conditions are maintained. This will ensure the avoidance of costs differentiation to the detriment of workers in the industry and would help the industry in getting closer to a more equal playing field. Increasing the cash flow in our industry, use of local Namibian capacity for all upcoming projects, would definitely alleviate the situation and would help to avoid retrenchments in our industry,” she concluded.
Dear Aunty Nangy, I am a 23-year- old woman. My question is; is it possible to fall pregnant while taking contraceptives?
The pill, like many other contraceptives are NOT 100% effective which means yes, you can fall pregnant while using the pill. Some of the reasons for the failure are the result of not using them properly. But, even with correct use one in 100 women will still fall pregnant while using the pill. According to Planned Parenthood there are six reasons why you can fall pregnant while taking the contraceptive pill. If you vomit within two hours after taking your birth control pill and have diarrhoea that lasts more than 24 hours. There are other medications used for fungal infections, HIV, and seizures that can weaken the contraceptive and make you fall pregnant. If you do not store your contraceptives properly like keeping them in your car or purse where temperatures are too high they start to lose their strength. Taking a herbal anti-depression medicine called St John’s Wort can also render contraceptives useless and make you fall pregnant. Often you can forget and cannot remember if you took one. Lastly, start taking your pill right after your periods rather than starting in the middle of the month because ovulation takes place in the middle of your menstrual cycle.
I don’t trust her
Dear Aunty Nangy, I am 33 years old and my girlfriend is 25 years old. We love each other but she always tries to cheat on me.
My dear at 33 you are mature enough to be street wise. If you know that this woman is always trying to cheat on you then I don’t think it is healthy for your love affair and your health. The decision is yours to remain in this relationship well knowing that if you your chick is forever taking chances to dish it away to someone else. You are behaving like a man who jumps into a river well knowing that there are crocodiles. Would it surprise you if you are eaten by the crocodiles?
Dear Aunty Nangy, I am the 24- year-old old virgin who was raped by a witchdoctor and infected with HIV. You advised me to report the case to the police. I just want to inform you that i reported the matter to the police and the man was jailed for 25 years. Thank you Aunty Nangy for the encouragement.
Thank you. Aunty Nangy appreciates your acknowledgement.
I found my love on Facebook
Dear Auntie Nangy, I am 18 years old and I have a guy I found on Facebook but he is not a Namibian. He is from Germany and he told me that he has fallen in love with me too. He is coming here. Do you think I should meet him?
I know there are many people who met online and the romance ended in a permanent relationship or marriage. However, many more have fallen in love online and have become rape or even murder victims. The internet is now a platform for the commission of many heinous crimes. Just make sure a relative or friend of yours is with you when he comes and that you tell them about your every move. There are genuine and criminals searching the internet every day. You have to be very, very careful. The challenge with falling in love with someone you don’t know and worse still from another country is huge. If he turns out to be a good guy then good for you. Otherwise treat him with caution. He could be in the human trafficking gangs and is that what you want?
When is it right to fall pregnant?
I am a 24-year-old woman dating a guy who 26. We love each other. My boyfriend wants me to fall pregnant. Each time we try but nothing happens. Do we try when my period starts or stops? Help me Aunty Nangy.
There are many reasons why a woman cannot fall pregnant. Sometimes it is that anxiety to fall pregnant that can make you not to fall pregnant. I don’t know if you are living with your boyfriend or not. If you are and young as you are, I know you would probably be having sex every day. In that case and if everything is okay health wise and physiologically then you will fall pregnant one day. It may also be because when you meet and have sex it will not be the fertile time or the time a woman can fall pregnant. Remember it is only a few days in your menstrual cycle when you can fall pregnant.
The graceful urban hip-hop sound of ‘Dakishi’ becomes immediately addictive and reflects the inherently African identity of the group. Suko Kool Kids is currently in studio working on their very first commercial urban mix tape which is expected to be released to Namibian audiences in early 2017, in support of this debut single.
Produced by KVNO of Sukoro Production Studios, the track is already experiencing active download traffic during its market sample phase and is currently trending strongly on the prime Namibian download website ahead of its submission to local radio.
The track celebrates and explores African fashion from an urban perspective through the medium of the Afro Trap sound. ‘Dashiki’s’ message is centred on the typical African T-Shirt called a “dashiki” which is essentially a light, colourfully designed garment, worn throughout the African continent that reflects our cultural heritage, social standing and pride as a people.
In a light-hearted manner, the artists are reflecting on how wearing a dashiki imbues them with a sense of pride in their African identify and also how it encourages stronger social and cultural connections to each other as people with a common destiny.
Suko Kool Kids is a collaboration of similar-minded artists signed to Jaye’s World Entertainment, whose purpose is to experiment across musical genres and create a movement of unity. While each individual member is an independent artist with ongoing projects of their own, their collaboration sparks a unique creative vibe that is certain to generate much attention in the near future.
He realised his talent at a very tender age when he sold music beats to his friends and other artists like KK, LMPC, Lil D and Jaleel, just to mention a few. After matriculating he moved to Cape Town where he took a gap year whilst doing music and trying to figure out what his next moves will be. “I got to know producers whilst I was there which was inspiring. I eventually came back and studied sound engineering but I dropped out because it became a frustrating process. I’m the type that knows what I’m doing without knowing what I am really doing,” said Stanzo.
Stanzo is currently not signed to any music label and says he won’t anytime soon as most Namibian labels are not serious. “Name one that has produced an artist bigger than the owner then we can talk,” he says. His latest project is titled Not Enough Has Changed which consists of a collection of his unheard songs. He described it as his life story in total and a side of his country that nobody has ever shown before. “Not Enough Has Changed shows a who I am and that is what the video visuals portray. The visuals will drop commercially,” said Stanzo. The launch will be in late February and further details can be found on his social media platforms. “Those that will attend the launch will see how I see music. It’s a personal biography,” said Stanzo
Stanzo is one that can be called a jack of all trades as he produces his own music from scratch including mixing and mastering all 10 songs on the mix tape. As if that is not enough, Stanzo is the proud director and cameraman of his Loud music video which has been making headlines in the Namibian rap community. “It’s that one song that I didn’t expect to do well but it did great. Loud is really loud,” said Stanzo. Stanzo makes sure that he goes the extra mile to stand out with his creative work and to deliver his maximum best for his fans.
The workshops will be of immense value for all artists, promoters and event organisers. The speakers will be sharing their knowledge and experience, giving hands-on advice on all levels. Comedian Slick the Dick says the workshops are beneficial to everybody in the arts industry. “This is an experienced based workshop so you get first-hand information and knowledge from someone working in the industry. This is critical for those that are new or have never been exposed,” he said. Bank Windhoek proudly supports these workshops financially, encouraging all performing artists to attend these workshops. The three speakers of the first workshop include Slick the Dick, Lizer Ehlers and Conny Pimenta.
The workshop will take artists back to the basics, to the groundwork that needs to be done for a production, focusing on the performance, technical, financial and marketing aspects. “It is only once the artists have grasped what a production truly entails, that they realise there’s far more to show life than merely a couple of rehearsals and pitching up for the event” says Lize Ehlers. Lize further said the workshop is not aimed at hobby artists as they would like to engage those who have real questions based on their past show experience.
The second workshop takes place two weeks later, on Saturday 18 February, same place, same time, and is entitled Corporates & More: Working with Events Organisers. This workshop sees three of the top events organisers in Namibia, who hold a lot of influence over which artist can and should be hired for their well-paid events based on past experiences and word-of-mouth of course. More workshops will be presented on a monthly basis at the Warehouse Theatre. Join the movement by booking your seat for the first workshop by latest Thursday 2 February at 17:00. A registration fee of N$50 will cover your food and drinks for the afternoon and give you free entrance too.
Salmi who goes by the name of Salshi which is also a combination of her names and the name of her clothing line says she personally as a designer says comfort comes first all the time so that's the first thing that comes to mind every time she thinks of fashion. “So something that definitely does not to make you sweat is what comes to mind when I think of summer and it is comfortable not to sweat in summer Lol,” said Salshi. tjil caught up with the trendy designer on what fashion lovers can stick to and how to look hot at events in 2017.
(T): Does your approach differ when designing menswear compared to women's wear?
Salshi (S): Not so much I try to keep looks in a collection as close as it can. It might be in fabric, print, colour, pattern or accessories. So, you will notice the similarity and see the difference
T: What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
S: At the moment I am fascinated by neatness and simplicity. According to my personal research and attention to details in fashion trends it continues to get simple in a good way like in colour, fabric, print and pattern.
T: How do you stay updated on the current trends?
S: Social media basically. I look at bloggers mostly on Instagram and Pinterest and I believe is the best way to update your work at the right time.
T: As a designer name the top three must have accessories.
S: Personally my top three must haves are internet, sewing machine and sharp scissors
T: What inspired your 20k7 collection?
S: Fabric manipulation was my new collection touch. I actually used an existing fabric manipulation technique that is pleats and that takes it back to one of my current fascination of neatness and simplicity. So I'm using pleats to give an extra taste to it just to make it little extra spark to the 20k7 collection that is neat and simple but stands out.
T: What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
S: A perfect Salshi team! It came to a point where I can't do everything alone so I want to have zero disappointment from Salshi to clients as I had a few disappointments from my end in 2016 and that I was really not happy with so, end of 2017, I want to have a large dose of a successful brand by having a perfect productive team .
T: The biggest music awards ceremony is coming up and this is where many people go right and wrong fashion wise. Last year we saw a lot of lace, what do you think will be in fashion this year?
S: I have been seeing a lot of silk and velvet so I presume that will dominate the awards this year. I don't get a chance to see the red carpet as most of the time I am not around when the awards take place. I also feel there will be a lot of wrap dresses.
T: What would you advise (textures, colours and materials) people to wear to be safe on the red carpet at the NAMAs?
S: I'll say it again that people should keep it neat and simple. Keep it simple but not too much. Let one thing shine the whole night. Don't force everything to work because that will get the look mixed up. If it is the shoes, focus on that alone. Everything should stand out together. It shouldn't be too noisy or messy.
T: For the current season, what should people be wearing, throwing out of closets and staying away from?
S: It's hard as my job is not the same as a stylist because I feel as a designer everything made is beautiful and one just needs to find a purpose for it. Know the purpose of what is in your closet and don't use it at the wrong time to make it look bad. My advice is to keep up with the style of the season. Don't be that odd one out even though being different is ok.
T: Do you look forward to this year's Fashion Week?
S: Honestly I'm not sure because the whole week is attended because people show up for the designers and the previous Fashion Week didn't really show much of that. I got exposure but it isn't as much as when I upload my clothes on social media. It's a good opportunity and platform but I won't go back unless changes are made because I experienced disappointments. The designer was left alone in the whole process and whilst the models are compensated for what they did. I kind of suffered a little bit but if there are changes I will absolutely do it again.
T: Any last words?
S: To those that want to join the design world have something planned out and I'm talking from experience. I want to thank my clients because without them I wouldn't be where I am today. To those that I have disappointed I apologise and I haven't forgotten about you guys.
Whether you manage an unknown or popular musician it is important you understand your field of music in which your client operates. All music genres have a different fan base and unique way of working. You need to make sure you research your artist’s field of music and make sure the research works to your advantage.
As I was listening to most of the albums I realised that most managers do not represent their artists accordingly. Some of the albums I have listened to have little to no promotion and this was very sad. Your client who spends many hours coming up with ideas and concepts for their songs do not get the fair share of the deal. Our artist managers in Namibia need to step up and make sure they work hard to ensure that artists are visible in their respective industries. This means that music videos shoots need to be planned, simple things like a documentary that explains the creative process that an artist went through to create albums and songs need to be prepared. There are so many ways that artists can be promoted and they should be explored. You can easily have tours, album signing sessions and album listening sessions with fans to create more hype around your artist. Plan for competitions and activities that generate opinions about your artist and to test how your artist is perceived.
This is a new year and if you represent an artist ask yourself: “Do I have a vision board for my artist?” “How will I get people to talk about my artist for the next six months?” “What are some of the songs I want to promote for my artist and what songs deserve a music video?”
If you have answers to all the questions you need to have an action plan and ensure that everything for your artist is implemented. We have seen so many artists drop out of music labels because of a lack of promotion and many other reasons. It is your responsibility as an artist manager to make sure that your artist gets noticed and has a great amount of presence in the industry they find themselves in.
tjil caught up with the author on her latest work and this is what she had to say.
tjil (T): It has been three years after your first book Modern Relationships. What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
Monica (M): I made a lot of mistakes in my first book. I was excited and I just wanted it out. It had a lot of spelling errors and other complications, but people still bought the book. So my number-one goal was to make sure my second offering is a killer. I need my readers to know that I have put in effort.
T: Without giving anything away, what can people expect in your latest book and what is it about?
M: All I can say right now is that the book is not for sale to people under the age of 18, or 19 in fact let's just say 20.
T: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your current book?
M: Love, Sex and Flight tickets ... look around you. People are giving/ getting love, others are simply just having sex and well others, are flying. It has become a daily sight… people in love, people having sex and others flying. Levels on levels they say.
T: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
M: Sex sells.
T: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
M: DO NOT RUSH IT.
T: Do you believe there is a market for authors like you in Namibia to achieve your maximum potential?
M: Namibians authors in general? They have a long way to go. Authors like me; it's not that difficult. Controversies are a Namibian delicacy.
T: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
M: I believe it's the life I have lived, the roads I have walked, the people I have met and the mistakes I have made that have given me the ability to write the way I write.
T: As a writer, what do you believe is your role in the community and what cultural values do you see in
M: Basically I want to develop a reading culture, a writing culture ... I really just want to inspire, not just young authors but anybody who wants to do something but feels it's impossible.
“Records vary from files about clients and projects, to staff and financial records. We will briefly look at some records small businesses should keep and why this is important.
“Please note that this is not an exhaustive list,” he said.
“Without the necessary staff to deliver service to your clients, your business will not succeed. It therefore makes sense that small businesses should keep staff records to help manage employees.
These records will include contracts of employment, performance records of employees, date on which they started working and so forth.
“This information will be very useful for determining which of your staff consistently performs well and may be promoted.
“In addition to these internal benefits; proper employee record keeping is a requirement under the Labour Law,” said Luvindao.
There are numerous accounting software programmes available that can make life easier when recording your business' financial transactions, however, a basic understanding of bookkeeping is vital for the effective use of the software. In most instances, cost is also a hurdle in acquiring the software. Many small businesses in Namibia still record transactions by hand or use Microsoft Excel, which may work well, he advised
“The method of record keeping will often depend on the size of your business and the complexity of your transactions. There are numerous short courses in bookkeeping offered by learning institutions that can greatly improve your bookkeeping skills and enable you to successfully manage your business' finances. Keeping proper records of your business operations will therefore ensure that you stay on a measurable track and can lead to further growth in your business,” said Luvindao.
“Her appointment follows the recent retirement of Erongo's previous managing director, Callie Jacobs, after a successful 18-year career with the company,” the company announced in a statement this week.
“Erongo Marine Enterprises is a Namibian horse mackerel fishing company operating two dedicated midwater trawlers that account for a combined annual catch of approximately 60 000 tons.
As one of the largest fishing companies in Namibia and second largest employer in the horse mackerel industry, it enjoys joint ventures with key empowerment partners,” the company said.
“In her new role as managing director of Erongo, Uumati will oversee the company's horse mackerel business. One of her primary roles is to provide strategic leadership that will further develop and strengthen relationships within the fishing industry and fishing rights holders.
She combines impressive academic credentials with a wealth of practical, high level experience in fisheries management,” Erongo said.
“Erongo welcomes Martha and takes this opportunity to wish her everything of the best in her new role,” the company said.
Hambira was speaking at the opening of a four-day workshop on enforcement of intellectual property rights on Monday.
The workshop was held under the theme 'Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, Health and Safety'.
“Counterfeit goods can also have a negative bearing on our health, thus customs administrators are charged with enormous responsibilities and accountabilities to safeguard our nation,” Hambira said.
She said decisions and actions in this regard must be proactive and calculated to ensure minimal risks and threats that come as a result of increased international trade, while at the same time facilitating legitimate trade.
The workshop facilitator from the World Customs Organisation (WCO), Sandra Wens, said faking goods or products such as aircraft parts, car parts, medical goods, clothes and shoes posed serious health and safety risks for the country.
“People who are producing counterfeit products do not care what is happening to people, but for them to make profit,” she said.
Wens said customs officers were responsible for protecting the health and safety of consumers from fake products.
She added that customs officers were also obligated to protect the nation's rights and enforce compliance with customs regulations at border posts.
Thus, Wens said, capacity building in the fight against infringements of intellectual property rights was increasingly necessary for customs administration.
The workshop was composed of two elements: a theoretical component which focused on risk analysis techniques, and a practical element that simulated the customs officers' day-to-day working environment.
The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Finance's Directorate of Customs and Excise in collaboration with WCO and Japan Customs.
About 30 customs officers attended the workshop.
In a statement on Wednesday, branch chairperson Shavuka Mbidhi said exploitation of workers would persist in Namibia for as long as mines were owned by foreign companies.
He accused the government and the minister of labour, industrial relations and employment creation, Erkki Nghimtina, of being silent on the planned retrenchments.
“The minister should come out of hibernation to rescue the workers. He has been sitting comfortably in his office without attempting to resolve the matter,” Mbidhi said.
He said the workers faced losing permanent jobs at Skorpion only to be absorbed as cheap labour at the mine under a labour contract system.
Skorpion Zinc Mine, owned by Indian company Vedanta Resources, is in the process of outsourcing its mining department which will see the 278 workers employed by private South African company, Basil Read Mining.
The affected workers are expected to be part of 450 workers to be employed by Basil Read on a contractual basis.
Skorpion said the outsourcing was necessary to prolong the limited lifespan of the zinc mine, given the company's own capacity constraints to access new mineable ore.
Mbidhi labelled the mine's decision to retrench the workers as “inhuman, ill-conceived and unpatriotic”, further dismissing Skorpion's reasons for the layoffs as “pathetic, lacking substance and capitalistic in nature”.
He called on the government, through Nghimtina, to show political muscle and to intervene in favour of the workers.
“Our forefathers already fought the labour contract system and we cannot allow this neo-colonisation by foreigners in the name of investment. We already gave them permission to exploit our natural resources, but not to exploit our workers,” Mbidhi said. The MUN branch said nationalisation of mines would ensure decent jobs, job security and maximum benefits to the country from its natural resources.
Skorpion Zinc Mine currently employs around 1 500 people.
“President Tshisekedi died today... in Brussels,” Bruno Tshibala, an official from his Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, said of the burly figure who had remained largely out of sight in recent years due to frail health.
Tshisekedi, who had only flown from Kinshasa to the capital of former colonial power Belgium on January 24, for medical treatment, died at 5:42 pm, Tshibala said.
After two years of medical treatment in Belgium, Tshisekedi had made a triumphant return in July with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets to welcome him home.
The opposition coalition he headed is negotiating the next steps in a power-sharing deal agreed on New Year's Eve to avoid fresh violence after President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his mandate in December.
Tshisekedi's death swiftly brought the country's tensions to the fore in Kinshasa as police fired tear gas on a crowd of his supporters who had gathered to mourn. About 100 supporters were out in the open when security forces moved in, and dozens took refuge inside his party's headquarters to escape the gas, an AFP journalist said. Eventually those inside were forced to leave after a police officer threatened to open fire at them. The Tshisekedi supporters were struggling to take in the news their chief was gone. “Our leader is dead. We have no other leader, like Tshitshi, who can fight without the need for guns. How could he die in Belgium?” asked UDPS activist, Yves, using Tshisekedi's nickname. The power-sharing deal, brokered by the country's influential Roman Catholic bishops, allows Kabila to stay in office until late 2017 in tandem with a transitional body and a new premier, yet to be agreed. Before his death, the UDPS said Tshisekedi would return to DR Congo soon to “take up his historic responsibilities” but there had been great concern for “the Old Man”, as he was affectionately known Voters in DR Congo were originally to have chosen a new president in 2016, but the authorities said the electoral registers must be revised, a huge enterprise in a country almost the size of western Europe. And in a highly controversial ruling, the constitutional court said Kabila could remain in office until an election was held. The ruling fed opposition fears that he planned to amend the constitution to allow him to run for a third term. Kabila, 45, has been in power, in one of the least developed countries in the world, since the 2001 assassination of his father Laurent at the height of the Second Congo War.
Among the cabinet members sworn in were Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe, a veteran of the opposition to Jammeh's regime.
Special advisor to Barrow, Mai Fatty, was sworn in as interior minister, while the ex-treasurer of the main former opposition, Amadou Sanneh, became minister of finance.
Fatty was the defence lawyer for several opposition figures before going into exile and setting up his own dissident party in 2009. He returned to The Gambia in 2011.
Darboe, the head of the United Democratic Party, ran for president against Jammeh four times - in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 - but was defeated. Along with several other opposition figures, he was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail last summer for participating in an unauthorised protest.
He was released four days after Jammeh lost the vote to Barrow on December 1.
Sanneh too was sentenced to five years in prison in 2013 for writing an open letter alleging that two opposition activists risked death if they were not allowed to go into exile. He was granted a presidential pardon on Monday.
Barrow last week chose a former minister of Jammeh's government as vice-president.
Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang has been described as the woman who persuaded The Gambia's divided opposition parties to club together and field a single candidate in the election which Barrow eventually won.
Eight more ministers have yet to be named.
Kenya pulled its peacekeepers from South Sudan and announced it would not contribute to the planned regional force after Guterres' predecessor, Ban Ki-moon, fired the Kenyan commander of the peacekeeping force.
The commander was sacked following a report that showed the UN peacekeepers failed to protect civilians during heavy fighting in Juba in July.
Guterres told reporters that he had “reached full agreement with Kenya in order for Kenya to participate in the regional protection force” to be deployed in Juba. The UN Security Council decided in August to deploy the 4 000-strong regional force to bolster its peacekeeping mission, but the plan has been bogged down in delays and bureaucratic hurdles.
Guterres returned from a series of meetings with regional leaders on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, saying that peace efforts on South Sudan were back on track.
The UN chief, who also met with President Salva Kiir, said the African Union's mediator for South Sudan, Mali's former president Alpha Oumar Konare, would led the new diplomatic push, backed by the United Nations.
The IGAD regional bloc and the African Union have made little headway in efforts to end the three-year war in South Sudan, one of Africa's worst conflicts, that has killed tens of thousands of people.
Guterres will deliver a report to the Security Council on Friday on his diplomatic efforts on South Sudan.
It usually starts with the asking of the question ‘Why did the chicken cross the road’ and can be answered in almost any fashion based on the topic at hand. Seeing that most our leaders take things literally, I had always wondered how they would reply to this riddle.
To put our curiosities to rest, below is a list of possible answers that can be obtained for this riddle from the following esteemed institutions and individuals. Eish, truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
Bank of Namibia:
“We believe that the chicken assumed that it will grow in stature and value by crossing the road. When you take the number of times a chicken crosses the road, in any part of the country, minus the number of times it actually remains in its cage, it goes without saying that its trips across the road are highly likely to reach economic maturity by 2030.
Domestic Workers Union:
“How can a person let the chicken cross the road instead of at least giving it to the domestic worker to eat? Our members deserve more for their hard work. This just shows how much disregard employers have for our members.”
Prime Minister’s Office:
“Well, we are proud to note that because of Government’s efforts in fighting poverty and bringing development to marginalised communities, chickens are nowadays crossing roads. If it were not for the tireless efforts of the government of the day, a chicken would have never even imagined crossing the road. Mind you, that road that it crossed was once known as J.G Strydom Avenue!”
“Our chickens are tired. If they don’t cross the road to greener pastures, they will starve. Give them pay hikes and they might just stay in their cages. By the way, when did the chicken cross the road?”
Swapo Party Youth League:
“This cannot be allowed to continue. For how long should chickens cross the road? The politics of yesteryear does not apply to the youth. Let the chicken remain home and send the chicks out and guide them across the road. The future belongs to them.”
Council of churches in Namibia;
“This is an indication that we are living in the last days. Can you imagine a chicken crossing the road? Isn’t it enough that we had a talking donkey already? One talking animal is about all we can handle at the moment.”
“This is a warning to all chickens attempting to cross the road; please cease with this practice immediately. The police will not be held responsible for our actions. We will not hesitate to open fire when safety is compromised. In fact, once we are done with you, we will bury you – whether you survive or not.”
City of Windhoek
“We cannot allow chickens to cross the road at any given place. We are building a new crossing lane to the cost of N$ 4.5 million to allow for the safe crossing of chickens. All chickens will soon be moved to that area. Those still using un-demarcated areas to cross the road will be evicted.”
When I put the question to some of my friends from various ethnic groups, I was even more baffled by the responses.
“Mbuae, me I don’t care about the shicken. Why you don’t ask me about the cow – we are facing drought and if we do not get enough water for our cattle we will face calamity and because….”
“That one she is a marathon chicken, you won’t catch her! I always tell Meekulu to chop its neck closer to the body – now look, it has ran away and crossed the road.”
“Etse, why the siken did not fly. Aram tog, now they are going to catch him and cook him to sell at Soprite.”
“Watse dom vraag is daai (What kind of stupid question is that…) F$%%^K jou man. Die blerrie chicken was probably tired of stupid questions like this. Well done, bra chicken. You rock!”
Need I say more?
“The scars I carry are a stark reminder of how privileged I really am to be alive. Losing my breast to cancer did not make me less of a woman. When it happened to me I was ashamed at first and withdrew from society. I eventually made peace with it, moved on, recovered and have been cancer-free for more than six years.”
When Rashida discovered a small lump in her breast in 2009, the two doctors she consulted told her it was a milk clot.
When the lump grew bigger, she visited a third doctor for an opinion in 2010. He took x-rays and did a biopsy for the tissue to be analysed.
The results were 'benign' indicate the lump was not malignant.
Rashida nonetheless decided to have the lump removed and the doctor who did the operation submitted it for tests which detected the presence of cancer.
“When I received the news I did not know what to do and was initially devastated. My daughter Cherizaan, 22, and close friends supported me in getting assistance to deal with the issue.”
Rashida started chemotherapy in 2010, underwent a mastectomy and the reconstruction of her breast commenced in 2011.
“The chemotherapy was a painful experience. I opted to cut my hair in advance in order to avoid the trauma of having to lose it due to the treatment. I also had to undergo radiation treatment and another set of chemo. I was on medication for five years, but the rest is now history.”
Rashida says she was fortunate to have a medical aid that covered the hospital and treatment costs while her friends were always prepared to lend a helping hand.
“The spirit within me and the acceptance of my journey is how I overcame my fate. Today I am feeling healthy. I am no longer sick and I live for every day. Do not allow cancer to get the better of you and don't be scared. Rather act immediately and fight it. Surround yourself with positive people, eat healthy and get active.
The longer you wait the more serious it will become. Women are a proud species and we must not allow things to put us down - we need to do things for our own interests. God won't put us in situations that we cannot handle.”
Rashida is willing to advise other women and share her experience with women in similar situations. She can be contacted on 081 250 8501.