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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Zim predicts better growth
  • Zim predicts better growthZim predicts better growth Zimbabwe expects higher economic growth of 3.7% this year, from an initial projection of 1.7% following a better than expected agriculture season, the finance minister was quoted as saying by a state-owned newspaper on Friday.

    The southern African nation's economy stagnated last year following a devastating drought while its budget deficit exploded as President Robert Mugabe's administration struggled to pay its workers, which helped fan anti-government protests.

    Patrick Chinamasa told military officers at the Zimbabwe Staff College in the capital, that agriculture would spur higher economic growth, with grain deliveries expected at 3 million tonnes, the highest since 1984, according to official data.

    “I anticipate after the revision, our growth to be around 3.7% from 1.7% or so that we had anticipated in the 2017 national budget,” Chinamasa was quoted as saying by the state-owned Herald newspaper.

    Zimbabwe received above normal rainfall during the 2016/17 agriculture season, following an El Nino-induced drought the year before that scorched crops and left more than 4 million people in need of food aid.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Armyworm tackles soya
  • Armyworm tackles soyaArmyworm tackles soya The fall armyworm plague, which started marching through South African maize farms in December 2016, has now been found in soya bean crops.

    This is according to Igni Bouwer, a Laeveld Agrochem agent in the Ermelo area, who says the pest was identified on a soya bean farm in the Dirkiesdorp district between Piet Retief and Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga last week.

    “So far it seems as if the spread to soya beans in the area is only limited to one farm that has about 250 hectares of soya beans under irrigation,” Bouwer said.

    This latest development comes after the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) last week founded a pest action group to help combat the spread of the fall armyworm, which threatens to severely impact food crops, especially maize.

    Since the fall armyworm started moving south in Africa at the beginning of 2016, it has since appeared in Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

    It has primarily damaged maize crops, but Potatoes SA says an isolated case of a potato infestation occurred in the Loskop Valley in Limpopo. According to a CropLife South Africa, the fall armyworm has even been found in sorghum, cotton, some vegetables, probably in groundnuts and in natural veld around maize fields.

    The pest has since spread to farms in all provinces except the Western Cape, according to the Laeveld Agrochem.

    Meanwhile, Corné Liebenberg, marketing director at Laeveld Agrochem, said that to control the pest, early detection is essential and specific insecticides must be applied in the early stages of the larvae's development.

    “It is very important to stay updated and to only use insecticides that are registered and recently confirmed to be effective against FAW as resistance to even some relatively new active ingredients has appeared. Furthermore, as with all Lepidopteran pests on maize, corrective control after cob and stalk penetration is not possible,” said Liebenberg.

    Fin24

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Africa critical for SA
  • Africa critical for SAAfrica critical for SAIf sub-region underperforms, South Africa feels the brunt The importance of Africa and the sub-region for the economy of South Africa cannot be overemphasised, says the International Monetary Fund. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is currently the main destination for South African exports and its influence on the economic performance of South Africa is being “underestimated by many commentators”, International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior resident representative in South Africa Dr Montfort Mlachila avers.

    Speaking to students at the University of Johannesburg on Thursday, Mlachila pointed out that the rest of Africa accounted for 30% of South Africa's total exports in 2015, which was significantly larger than China's 12% contribution. In addition, South Africa's foreign direct investment flows to SSA were rising, driven by high profit margins in the rest of the continent.

    “This is something most people don't realise. People think that South Africa mostly exports to Europe, or America, or China,” the Malawian-born economist, who has spent 20 years at the IMF, highlighted.

    Therefore, SSA's growth performance, which weakened sharply in 2016, had a “material impact” on South Africa. Likewise, South Africa's performance influenced the rest of the region.

    However, the growth performance across Africa, where growth on average slowed to only 1.5% last year, was by no means uniform. Some countries, including Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Kenya and Senegal, continued to grow strongly. In fact, the IMF estimates that median growth across SSA was 3.8% last year, with the overall average weighed down by the poor performance of large commodity-linked economies such as Angola, Nigeria and South Africa.

    For Mlachila the obvious policy implication of this “mutual interdependence” is for South Africa to intensify efforts towards regional integration. “Although relations have already expanded between South Africa and the rest of the region, trade is not nearly has high as it could be.”

    Trade and industry minister Dr Rob Davies has described the promotion of African regional integration as South Africa's “overriding” trade priority, but has admitted that progress on the Trilateral Free Trade Area (T-FTA) has been slower than initially hoped.

    Should the T-FTA materialise, it will encompass the 26 member States represented in the Southern African Development Community, the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and create a market of 600-million people, valued at US$1 trillion a year.

    Besides regional integration, the IMF felt South Africa needed to pursue a comprehensive package of structural reforms to extricate itself from its current low-growth path. South Africa grew by only 0.3% in 2016 and has recorded negative per-capita growth for the past three years.

    The IMF currently expects the economy to expand by only 0.8% in 2017, which Mlachila admits to being near the bottom of the current consensus among economists – the IMF will update its regional and world growth figures in April.

    Economic policy uncertainty was a key concern, as were the rise in debt levels and the risks associated with government guarantees provided to support the debt-raising efforts of State-owned companies.

    Analysis conducted by the IMF drew a direct correlation between economic policy uncertainty and the muted export response of South African firms to the fall in the value of the rand during 2016. It was also constraining investment, as well as business and consumer confidence.

    “Growth in South Africa is fundamentally a structural, rather than a cyclical, problem – the underlying potential growth of the country has fallen. And we see structural reform as being the fundamental problem to address urgently to facilitate and increase growth and to make it more inclusive.”

    In the short-term, the country could adopt “an initial set of targeted measures” to lower uncertainty and bolster confidence. The measures could include ensuring that there was a consistent economic policy message across government, expanding access to broadband and reducing the cost of exporting through South African ports.

    By contrast there was limited scope to deploy fiscal and monetary policy to stimulate growth, although the IMF did not expect interest rates to rise in light of the fact that inflation expectations appear to have been brought under control.

    “On the fiscal policy stance, the recent budget we think manages to balance the need to lower the medium-term debt burden without unduly constraining growth.”

    ENGINEERING NEWS

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    Training leaders in the health sectorTraining leaders in the health sector The African Leadership Institute (ALI) hosted a celebration evening at which students, who started in the FNB Hospitals Academy in 2016, were celebrated for completing their training.

    Revonia Kahivere, corporate social responsibility manager at FNB Namibia expressed her delight at attending the occasion representing the FNB Foundation – together with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and ALI - have thus far provided transformational leadership training for 48 leaders of MoHSS.

    Since August 2015 ALI completed the training of 33 leaders from the health ministry and 15 are currently in training. Of these trained leaders, six have completed all assessment requirements and have graduated with the Institute's Certificate in Transformational Leadership (level 5) which is accredited by the Namibia Qualifications Authority. To date FNB Namibia has invested N$846 000 in the training of 48 leaders from the MOHSS. Says Dr Chrisna von Gericke-Fourie, marketing and training director at ALI: “This is the 47th celebration evening of its kind at the African Leadership Institute. And the second reason why we celebrate is because of the partnership between FNB, the health ministry and the African Leadership Institute who provide the service. We are grateful that the ministry accepted the help of the private sector to train their leaders and we are very grateful to FNB who are willing to invest in the leaders of the Ministry of Health and Social Services and plough back in the field.”

    “At FNB we believe in the power of partnership and the importance of education and skills development. We know that it is indeed in the best interest of our country that this partnership continues far into the future. We trust that the Module on Delivering Results helped in understanding what it takes to get the job done as a leader within the MOHSS,” Kahivere said. She added: “Helping others should always be our obligation; our communities count on us to be available to serve; and as we do so we start to know ourselves as people who contribute. Not only will our self-image and confidence grow, our families, schools, neighbourhoods, indeed our nation, will thrive.”

    The ALI and FNB partnership initially focused on training of Inspectors of Education through the FNB Inspectors Academy and then on the training of Heads of Department of schools through the FNB HOD Academy. Through these leadership training interventions 57 inspectors of education and 59 heads of department of schools were trained as leaders. In agreement with the FNB leadership, ALI started to focus on the training of leaders from the Ministry of Health and Social Services in 2015.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Budget is pro poor - LikukelaBudget is pro poor - LikukelaEconomist says budget to expectations Local economist Mally Likukela is of the view that the budget, while pro poor, also failed to address rating agencies' concerns. Twilight Capital Consultants managing director, Mally Likukela says the 2017/18 budget presented in parliament by Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein is pro poor because it addresses the growing public debt.

    “The budget was very much according to my expectations, which is focus on assuring rating agencies that they are dealing with the expanding public debt and also the growing wage bill.”

    Speaking to Nampa Likukela said the national document appears to be consolidating government expenditure, but the wage bill remains the same.

    “This huge public structure that we have currently will continue. Forty-five to 50% of our budget goes to salaries.”

    On the freezing of employment in the public service, Likukela said this will have a negative impact on fighting poverty as this is one way of pulling people out poverty.

    Schlettwein said effective measures are required to manage the annual growth in the wage bill.

    “This includes managing the growth of the public sector through natural attrition such that each office, ministry or agency identifies non-critical positions which should not be filled once they fall vacant and that annual cost of living adjustments are capped at levels not more than annual inflation.”

    Last year, two international credit rating agencies, Moody's and Fitch, downgraded Namibia's economic outlook to negative and raised alarm about the public expenditure.

    Likukela said nothing should be expected from rating agencies right now, as they will monitor the situation but noted that the budget failed to address two of the three issues raised by the agencies.

    “The agencies had highlighted slow growth, huge public debt and the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF). The budget alluded to these three but only addressed satisfactory the measures to curb the ballooning public debt.”

    Schlettwein said NEEEF and the proposed Bill is an important tool for an economic transformation and closing inequality gaps.

    “While government and industry embrace this principle, we should seek win-win approaches to give effect to the national objective enshrined in the Bill through ongoing consultation under the Office of the Prime Minister and bring it to finality.”

    Likukela said the budget suggested no significant measures to see economic growth in Namibia, with predictions pointing to 1.3% in 2017/18 from 5% in the previous two years. He said it will take Namibia two to three years to stop consolidating and start expanding.

    NAMPA

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Will Power wins it
  • Will Power wins itWill Power wins itStreet circuit comes alight The famous street circuit competition produces thrilling results after most drivers gave it their all in the competition. Will Power won the pole for IndyCar's season-opening race at St Petersburg, proving he still is the best driver at navigating the temporary street circuit.

    It is the seventh pole in eight years at St Pete for Power, who also won the pole for this race last year. But he became ill after his qualifying lap and IndyCar ultimately benched him for the race because of concussion-like symptoms.

    It turned out Power had an ear infection, and not racing in the opener likely cost him a chance to win the championship. Power finished second in the IndyCar standings last year to Team Penske team mate Simon Pagenaud.

    Scott Dixon qualified second Saturday in the new Honda that Chip Ganassi Racing is fielding this year, followed by James Hinchcliffe. New Penske driver Josef Newgarden qualified fourth while Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan round out the final six for Sunday.

    The third turn of the circuit was reconfigured Thursday evening, the day before Indy cars hit the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit. What once was a fast, sweeping right-hand turn now has curbing that changed the apex and made the corner a traditional braking area. Also, 180 feet of wall on the drivers' left side was moved back almost 40 feet.

    “I would say turn three is going to be the biggest difference on passing,” Graham Rahal said. “Turn three is obviously so much tighter now with a brake zone there and stuff. It will be interesting to see.”

    The track has retained its character, although it was repaved last month, with new asphalt on about 70 percent of the circuit.

    “It's definitely different,” Kanaan said. “I was expecting there to be a little more grip and for it to be smoother. In other words, I was expecting us to lose a little of the beauty of this track.”

    Juan Pablo Montoya won this race the last two years, but isn't part of the field because he took a deal with Team Penske to run only the Indianapolis 500.

    But team owner Roger Penske has added another race to Montoya's schedule and will enter him in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis two weeks before the Indy 500. Montoya will be driving a fifth Penske car.

    Also, Penske said Montoya is in the mix for a role with a sports car team if the owner can get a programme put together for next year.

    “We'd like to put all the pieces together and hopefully will have something by mid-summer if we're going to go for next year,” Penske said. “I don't want to wait another year, to be honest with you. We've waited a year now.

    “If we run a sports car programme (Montoya's) on the top of the list of those to drive for us. That was part of the discussion. When we talked about wanting to run him this, when we talked about doing this, he'd be at the top of the list.”

    Penske wouldn't say how many sports cars he'd run - “it won't be three,” he said - and that Helio Castroneves is also in the mix for a sports car seat.

    It was a rough opening qualifying session for Sebastien Bourdais, who spun off the track during his run. His car was towed back and his qualifying session came to an abrupt end.

    It was a disappointing start to the year for Bourdais, who joined Dale Coyne Racing this season and brought two top engineers with him. Bourdais also lives in St Pete, so the event is considered his home race.

    Bourdais will start last in the 21-car field.



    NAMPA/AP

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Bayern enlarge advantage
  • Bayern enlarge advantageBayern enlarge advantage Bayern Munich extended their lead in the table after beating Frankfurt 3-0, while Leipzig and Dortmund suffered defeats at the 24th round in Bundesliga on Saturday.

    Robert Lewandowski's brace helped front-runners Bayern to edge resilient Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 and to reap their third win in row.

    However, it was a stiff piece of work to overcome the “Eagles”, who gave the visitors a hard time, especially in the opening period.

    Frankfurt grabbed a good start into the game and almost broke the deadlock through Danny Blum, who forced goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to make a save.

    The hosts reaped another chance as Branimir Hrgota rounded Neuer before defender Mats Hummels' last-second tackle retained Bayern from a setback with 19 minutes played. The German giants doubled their lead only three minutes later after Douglas Costa made use of David Alaba's build-up play to volley home the two-goal lead.

    Carlo Ancelotti's men continued with their clinical chance conversion after the restart as Lewandowski sealed his brace to score his 21st goal of the season putting the result beyond doubt in the 55th minute.

    With the result, Bayern extended their lead to 10 points atop the standings, while Frankfurt, who suffered their fifth loss in row, slumped to seventh place.

    Third-placed Dortmund lost 2-1 to Hertha Berlin as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's equaliser was not enough to secure points in the German capital.

    Both sides staged an evenly balanced start with promising opportunities at both ends of the pitch.

    It was nonetheless the hosts who opened the scoring through Salomon Kalou, who tapped in Vedad Ibisevic's square pass from three metres in the 11th minute.

    Kalou had another two chances to add a second goal to Berlin's lead, but the striker's long-range effort was tipped over the bar from custodian Romaen Buerki before Raphael Guerreiro cleared another opportunity off the goal line.

    Dortmund lacked in penetration and had a hard time to overcome Berlin's well-positioned defence. Hence, Thomas Tuchel's men had to wait until the 55th minute before Aubameyang was able to restore parity following Shinji Kagawa's assist.

    Hertha Berlin remained unfazed and had an ace in the hole as Marvin Plattenhardt unleashed a free kick into the top right corner to make the game safe in the 71st minute.

    Despite the defeat, Dortmund stay in third place whereas Berlin continue on fifth place of the standings.

    Elsewhere, runners-up Leipzig suffered a surprising 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Wolfsburg as Mario Gomez' early goal smoothed the victory on the road.

    Hoffenheim shared the spoils with newly promoted Freiburg following a 1-1 as Andrej Kramaric cancelled out Maximilian Philipp's second-half opener.

    Last-placed Darmstadt showed a vital sign by courtesy on the first-half goals from Aytac Sulu and Sidney Sam that wrapped up a 2-1 win over Mainz, and Ingolstadt and Cologne played out a 2-2 stalemate.

    The following fixtures complete the 24th round on Sunday. Schalke host Augsburg and Hamburg encounter Monchengladbach.



    NAMPA/XINHUA

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Shenhua cling to draw
  • Shenhua cling to drawShenhua cling to draw Tianjin Quanjian's Brazilian import Alexandre Pato missed an 88th-minute penalty as 10-man Shanghai Shenhua held on for a fiery 1-1 draw in the Chinese Super League on Saturday.

    The Brazilian, who cost 18 million euros (US$19.2 million) from Villarreal in January, blazed over the bar after referee Li Haixin provoked a furious reaction from fans at Shanghai's Hongkou Stadium by awarding the spot-kick for a handball.

    Former AC Milan star Pato was mocked after the miss by Shenhua midfielder Sun Shilin, who sarcastically patted the striker on the back and gave a thumbs-up to his face.

    The 27-year-old Brazilian, recruited by manager Fabio Cannavaro in the winter transfer window, has endured a torrid and goalless start to his career in China.

    He missed several chances to open his goal account when Tianjin slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Guangzhou R&F in their season opener a week ago.

    “In football, a lot of players miss penalties,” said Cannavaro, according to the Shanghai Daily newspaper. “I regard it as bad luck. I'm generally happy with the team's performance.”

    It was a dramatic end to a bad-tempered and dramatic encounter that had seen Gus Poyet's Shenhua reduced to 10 men in the first half.

    Qin Sheng was given a straight red card for a stamp on the ankle of Quanjian's Belgian star Axel Witsel.

    That left Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, reportedly the world's highest paid player with a salary of 38 million euros (US$40.5 million) a year, largely isolated up front.

    But Shenhua, roared on by a vociferous near 33 000-capacity crowd, took a surprise lead with 16 minutes to go when Giovanni Moreno latched onto a clever backheel by Cao Yunding to fire home an unstoppable left-foot finish.

    Witsel equalised with his first goal since his 20 million euro (US$21.35 million) move from Zenit St Petersburg.

    The 28-year-old shook off marker Fredy Guarin to lash home a superb left-foot volley from Wang Yongpo's corner.

    But many thought Witsel was lucky to be on the pitch after minutes earlier receiving only a yellow card after appearing to elbow the Colombian Guarin.

    “Both teams picked up a lot of yellow cards in the match,” said Shenhua boss Poyet. “Controlling emotions is a complicated issue, and our team should have done better.

    “But this is our players' character. If you force them to control themselves, it might affect their performance.”

    The other two matches played Saturday also ended in 1-1 draws.

    Hong Kong international Festus Baise gave Guizhou Zhicheng a 23rd-minute lead at home to Beijing Guoan. But Turkey's Burak Yilmaz equalised before half-time.

    And Che Shiwei put Hebei Fortune into an early lead against Chongqing Lifan before Brazilian Alan Kardec's 32nd-minute strike ensured the points were shared.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    Chiefs advance in Nedbank CupChiefs advance in Nedbank Cup Kaizer Chiefs made sure there were no upsets in Cape Town when they wrapped up a 3-0 Nedbank Cup win over Stellenbosch FC in businesslike fashion at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.

    The National First Division side had given themselves hope after going into the break at 0-0. But Chiefs remained cool and composed and were able to run out comfortable victors after two goals in quick succession early in the second half from Joseph Malongoane and Siphiwe Tshabalala put them firmly in the driving seat.

    A perfect evening was completed when newly-signed striker Gustavo Paez netted his first goal for the Soweto club later on.

    Stellenbosch were by no means overawed by their opponents and they had the first chance of the game when Diego Brown let rip from 30-yards and forced Brilliant Khuzwayo into making a good diving save. Amakhosi, meanwhile, had to wait until the 15th minute for their first attempt on goal as Lucky Baloyi fired a first-time effort over the bar from the edge of the box.

    The Cape side, however, were showing promise on the break and Cleopas Dube and Jamie Webber were able to get in shots on goal, but from outside the box, they were both off target.

    The best opportunity of the opening half came on 32 minutes when Siphiwe Tshabalala played Paez in on goal, but home keeper Washington Arubi did well to smother the Venezuelan's deflected shot with Edmore Chirambadare lurking.

    Chirambadare also headed over the bar before Baloyi shot wide from range and then Khotso Moleko failed to find the target with a 45th-minute header as Chiefs failed to work Arubi.

    Paez though had shown some glimpses of his class, and in particular, his game awareness, and it was a perfectly-weighted cross from him just two minutes after the restart that allowed Joseph Malongoane to nod in a close range header unchallenged at the back post.

    The second goal arrived not long after, Tshabalala showing his class in the 58th minute with an emphatic strike into the bottom corner from 20-yards out after Stellenbosch had failed to clear a cross adequately.

    To their credit, the team from the Winelands came fighting back in search of a goal and enjoyed a good period of possession in the opposition half, but they couldn't find the means to unlock the Soweto side's defence.

    Tshepo Mabua did come close 11 minutes from time when his shot was saved by the feet of Khuzwayo, but it was Paez who was to have the last word of the night when he underlined an excellent performance with a smoothly-taken goal which saw him rounding Arubi with ease on 81 minutes before slotting into an empty net.

    NAMPA/ANA

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    Jones wants England to seize 'greatness'Jones wants England to seize 'greatness'Coach confident after win England will break the world champions' mark if they beat Ireland in Dublin next weekend, where a win would also see them complete a second straight clean sweep in the Six Nations. England coach Eddie Jones challenged his side to achieve “greatness” by completing back-to-back Grand Slams after they retained their Six Nations title with a round to spare following a 61-21 thrashing of Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.

    Jonathan Joseph scored a hat-trick as England ran in seven tries, with Owen Farrell overcoming a leg injury to kick 26 points as they overpowered Scotland in posting a record score in the 135th edition of rugby union's oldest international fixture.

    Victory also saw England equal New Zealand's record of 18 successive Test wins by a leading nation.

    No side has done that in the Six Nations era, with France achieving consecutive Five Nations Grand Slams in 1997 and 1998.

    England last managed the feat in 1992 and 1993.

    “We've got a fantastic opportunity,” said Jones, yet to lose a match as England coach since taking charge following the hosts' first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup.

    “It (would) mean for the players they've achieved greatness,” the Australian added.

    “How many times in your life do you get to be great? It's exciting. They're in the dressing room now talking about it. They want to do it.”

    Next Saturday's match takes place on St Patrick's weekend, with Ireland looking to bounce back from a 22-9 loss to Wales in Cardiff on Friday.

    Jones said Ireland, who ended New Zealand's winning streak, would love nothing more than to spoil England's party.

    “Ireland, psychologically, are in a very strong position,” he added.

    “They're beaten, they're out of the tournament and they love spoiling parties.

    “And the party they'd love to spoil the most is the England party,” insisted Jones, coach of the Australia side beaten by England in the 2003 World Cup final.

    “We're vulnerable, because we've won, we're champions of the Six Nations.

    “We're going to have to work really hard to get ourselves right for the game. And we will.”

    Having established a 30-7 lead at half-time, England didn't let up and added 31 more points after the break on Saturday.

    “The number one team in the world goes on and finishes that off,” added Jones, whose ultimate ambition with England is to dethrone the All Blacks by winning the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

    “We're not beating our chests and saying we're the number one team in the world, but we aspire to be the number-one team in the world.”

    Scotland kicked off one win away from a Triple Crown and with high hopes of a first victory at Twickenham since 1983.

    But they were never in the game, with their wafer-thin defence repeatedly ripped apart.

    However, a win over Italy at Murrayfield next weekend could still see them finish second for the first time since the tournament became the Six Nations.

    That would be a fitting way for Scotland to see off coach Vern Cotter.

    The New Zealander is leaving to join French club Montpellier after Scotland felt they had to get Glasgow boss Gregor Townsend - 10 of whose players were in the starting XV at Twickenham - on board as coach of the national side or risk losing him to an overseas offer.

    “It just got away from us quite quickly,” said the understated Cotter.

    Scotland captain John Barclay was more blunt, saying: “We just didn't show up today... that was useless.”

    A bruising encounter saw England's Elliot Daly and Scotland's Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Ryan Wilson all exit early with head injuries - a worrying sign given rugby union's growing number of concussions.

    “It is a contact sport,” said Cotter. “That's why the players play it - they enjoy the contact.

    “Some days you have them (head injuries)) and some days you have more of them,” he added.





    NAMPA/AFP

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    Mayweather wants McGregor fight in JuneMayweather wants McGregor fight in June Floyd Mayweather has declared himself “out of retirement” to fight Conor McGregor and demanded the Irish mixed martial arts champion commit to a crossover bout in June.

    “I'm not ducking or dodging anyone,” American Mayweather told British media.

    “I'm only coming out of retirement for one person and that's Conor McGregor.

    “We don't need to waste no time. We need to make this ... happen quickly. Let's get it on in June.”

    McGregor has been challenging Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with a 49-0 record, to a fight for months.

    The two sides have yet to reach terms and have a number of major hurdles to overcome.

    Mayweather has asked for a guaranteed US$100 million to make the fight happen, with US$15 million going to McGregor, while UFC president Dana White has talked of US$25 million to each plus pay-per-view money.

    McGregor, the biggest pay-per-view draw in mixed martial arts, is contracted to UFC and the organisation would have to approve any fight.

    The pair will also have to agree to a format which Mayweather insisted would be straight boxing.

    “We cannot mix up the rules and regulations because I'm the A side,” he said.

    “He called me out. You call me out, then, we have to go by my rules.

    “If I called you out then we'd have to go by your rules.

    “It's always boxing.”

    The pair have done their part to drum up interest, exchanging a number of verbal barbs at public appearances.

    Mayweather reiterated his claim that McGregor was all talk and no action.

    “Conor McGregor, stop ducking and diving Floyd Mayweather. Tell the UFC to let's make this fight happen. I don't want the UFC to look bad.”



    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Sport budget cut by over N$100 millionSport budget cut by over N$100 million Nearly N$385 million has been allocated to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service in the 2017/18 National Budget, more than N$100 million less than last year.

    Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein tabled the N$62.5 billion budget in the National Assembly on Wednesday last week.

    The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service received an allocation of N$384 963 000, which is N$106 082 000 less than in the 2016/17 budget, when it was allocated N$491 045 000 for the three directorates - sport, youth and national service.

    The sport directorate this year plans to construct, maintain and renovate sport facilities in Eenhana, Katima Mulilo and Rundu at a cost of N$23 million, while the youth directorate plans to spend N$37.5 million on amongst others constructing multi-purpose youth resource centres in Otjiwarongo, Opuwo and Nkurenkuru.



    NAMPA

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: The kids come out to play
  • The kids come out to playThe kids come out to playKatutura gets cricket development Children from the dusty streets of Katutura were given lessons by cricket Namibia about cricket on Saturday morning. Cricket Namibia on Saturday held a cricket developmental programme known as 'Kwata Cricket' at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

    Over 360 children attended the event which was held in conjunction with First National Bank Namibia (FNB).

    Explaining the concept, one of the coaches, Festus Siputa said the aim of the programme is to catch the children's dreams of playing sport at an early age, especially those who want to play cricket.

    Speaking to Nampa at the stadium, Siputa said the aim of the programme is to grow the capabilities of each player so they can become quality players.

    He said the session went well as besides demonstrating to the children how to play cricket, they also allowed them to play mini cricket games.

    “It seems all the kids loved it,” he added.

    He stated that such programmes should be held regularly to allow children to catch the basics at an early age.

    Thirteen-year-old Martha Nambiya from People's Primary School said she enjoyed the experience.

    “It was my first time playing cricket and I enjoyed it. I will consider playing cricket when I grow up,” she added.

    Romario Velino, who is 10 years old, also enjoyed the session, saying it was a great experience for him to play a game of cricket with his peers.

    Racheal Muhuure from Cricket Namibia's marketing department said they chose Sam Nujoma Stadium as the venue so as to bring the game to the people.

    “We want them to start young and develop them to national material,” she said, adding that sport develops the ability to work in a team work environment.

    It also teaches children to be active and disciplined.

    The Kwata Cricket development programme was launched in October 2011 as a way of identifying and developing cricket in Namibia. It also aims to increase interest in the sport from an early age.

    NAMPA

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: It's a girl thing
  • It's a girl thingIt's a girl thingWomen of steel speak out More women are needed in sport reporting to balance the gender representation in the industry. Female sports journalism has been historically rare since many of sport codes were played, covered and 'understood' by men for many years.

    Sport is historically a male domain.

    This was not because women lacked an understanding of sport, but cultural and mythical barriers prevented them from getting involved.

    However, as the years have gone by and the world is advancing and equal rights agendas have been introduced, some of those cultural norms and values that trampled on these rights have consequently bitten the dust.

    This has led to the emergence of women sports journalists who are competing shoulder-to-shoulder with male sports journalists around the world.

    Namibia has been no different from the rest of the world and it has been difficult for women to break through the sports journalism industry for centuries.

    Many women prefer choosing arts, politics, social and business reporting rather than sports reporting.

    However, two out of a paltry four women sports journalists in Namibia, Kaino Nghitongo and Katrina

    //Gowases have already beat the odds.

    They have made a brave step to kick the male dominance iron ball in sports journalism in the proverbial you-know-what and have proven their mettle by becoming stars in the industry.

    As a sports journalist myself, I still question how they have managed to survive in an industry dominated by men.

    My first guest would be my very own colleague and award-winning sports journalist Kaino Nghitongo.

    A bit scheming and shy, Nghitongo softly said: “When I started doing journalism, I didn't know what beat I wanted to do.

    “However, things changed when I was doing my internship at the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) in

    2013.

    “Nampa did not have a sport reporter at that time and so the editor asked me to do sport reporting.”

    Just as many young women out there, the closest interest she had in sport was football.

    “This means I knew what was happening in football and I did not find it a challenge to do sports reporting. The only challenge I faced was that I did not know the local players.

    “However, I took this industry on with so much interest and willingness to learn.”

    What made work easy for one of Namibia's top sports writers was that the men she found in the industry were overwhelmingly welcoming.

    The assistance that she got from her fellow sports journalists made it easier for her to gel and grow into an award-winning writer.

    Her biggest moment in the industry has been reporting on the African Women Championship which took place in the country in 2014.

    To Kaino, to see more women sports journalists emerging in the country she loves, is one of her biggest wishes.

    However, this will require lots of encouragement from tertiary institutions and women sports clubs.

    The challenge still remains that many of the young and vibrant women prefer to wear heels than to sit on wet grass with a camera, notebook and a pen.

    The other rare species is a veteran sports journo Katrina //Gowases who's been in the industry longer than when I had my first kiss.

    An employee at the Namibia Broadcasting Co-operation (NBC), //Gowases has made an incredible impact on the life of many sports personalities. I must admit by the time I came in as a young and upcoming journalist, I would question myself why she never chose to become a politician or even a model.

    But her CV is probably bigger than any of my stupid imaginings given that she started back in 1999 at NBC.

    “I remember we were only two females in a male-dominated industry.

    “It was quite tough to get stories from male newsmakers who first wanted to go under the skirt before they can give you the news.

    “I survived all that, because I had the mentorship of the late Moses Kandjoze.

    “I was also very fortunate to have worked under ace reporter Carlos Kambaekwa, Wiets Coetzee and Johan Nel.”

    //Gowases also shares the same views as Nghitongo, stating that it is important that more women join the industry. Citing the struggles of raising her children on her own, //Gowases is urging young women to stand up and start doing something meaningful with their lives.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Two boys, two bikes
  • Two boys, two bikesTwo boys, two bikesDifferent but the same, they each excel Two young Namibians are making waves in their respective sport codes, both of which involve bicycles. From a young age, every child would want to try out different sport types and codes and Sport Wrap spotted two young men who have bigger dreams for the codes they have chosen to compete in.

    The 17-year-old Mocks Mbako trades between different sport codes and still manages to excel in all of them, as he recently won the Nedbank cycle challenge 24km, after having won bronze already in 2015 in addition to his athletics medals and a medal for football.

    A huge fan of football, Mbako also plies his trade in athletics, specialising in short distances.

    “I am a soccer player and I was on the team at my previous school but my current school does not yet have a soccer team.

    “I do athletics, specialising in short distance running of 100m and 200m and I have qualified to take part in the regional athletics which will take place during the weekend of 24 and 25 March in Swakopmund,” he says.

    He added that his love for football come from way back when his late father would take him along to matches.

    Now also a cyclist, Mbako said he started cycling professionally with Physically Active Youth (PAY) Namibia in 2015.

    “My mother took me to the centre for extra classes in the afternoon, which is when I found out that there is a team of young ones that were part of cycling team. After having done my homework, I joined them to assist in repairing their bicycles, watch them and just admire them as they go around with their bicycles.

    “I then got an old bicycle from a friend and started cycling and later I was also enrolled as one of the cyclists with PAY,” he said.

    In 2015, he won two medals, a bronze in the Nedbank Cycle Challenge and a silver in the Windhoek Pedal Power.

    He said 2016 was however good for him as he did not have a bike and was not part of PAY any longer.

    “This year, my mother bought me a second-hand bicycle. My thanks to her for always trying her best to support my career.

    “The bicycle needed a lot of fixing which I did until few minutes just before the race but I must say I was shocked and extremely happy as I heard my name being announced as the winner of 24km race.

    He said with cycling being an expensive sport, it becomes a challenge for someone to really excel. “I will continue to dream big and still search for a sponsor or brand to cycle for, so that I can achieve my dreams.”

    The young cyclist is inspired by two of his senior cycling mates, whom he says they instil self-discipline in him.

    “They assist me whenever my bike is broken and whenever I cannot afford to repair or buy parts for my bike; they motivate me to move on and remain focused,” he said.

    A different bike

    The flipping of bikes and all the styles performed by BMX riders, leaves viewers astounded as to how it is done.

    Namibia’s upcoming rider Eric Garbers started his career at the age of 14, and has matured into being the country’s top BMX rider.

    “I started BMX at the age of 14, but I use to ride motocross from the age of four until 13, then I stopped. I then went over into cycling but BMX was just my favourite.

    “I started to ride with a few local people but there was nothing much at the beginning, just building our skills and having fun with it. In terms of tricks, it was not really involved. At around 15 I saw some locals who actually did a few tricks and that got me involved in trying some of them,” he said.

    He said after meeting Austrian Red Bull BMX rider Senad Grosic, and working with him, he was motivated and just wanted to excel in the sport.

    “He returned to Namibia again and did a workshop with all of us who were doing BMX and basically taught us how to build jumps, the discipline of the sport and how to do media interactions. He also motivated us to continue with the sport and in that process I was basically the only one who continued with it,” he mentioned.

    Despite so much passion, the 22-year-old Garbers said there are no enough facilities for the BMX riders.

    “We do not have enough facilities to ride on so we do it the old-school way of building yourself a dead jump and get a few mattresses and make the best of what you have. Then try back flips or some other trick that you have watched online,” he said.

    Garbers said despite having won two gold medals in South Africa already, he mostly does the sport for fun.

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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    Kudus victory shrouded in controversyKudus victory shrouded in controversyReferees become centre of attention The rugby match between Kudus and Walvis Bay was far from welcoming after controversial decisions were made. Kudus recorded a controversial 23-22 Premier NRU League victory against Walvis Bay in Narraville on Saturday.

    When the final whistle was blown, Walvis Bay celebrated what they thought was a perfect start to the season with a hard-earned 26-24 victory in Narraville.

    Their joy was however short-lived and turned into anguish when one of the assistant referees informed referee Oscar Lambert that a conversion was wrongfully added to the tally of Walvis Bay in the first half, after the final whistle.

    Lambert subsequently acknowledged the mistake and accordingly informed Walvis Bay that Kudus had won the game.

    “The conversion went straight over the upright. This meant that Kudus won the match 23-22,” announced Lambert after the game.

    Everybody else was unaware of the missed conversion and though Walvis Bay had secured a hard-earned victory after full back Charlton Stevens struck the upright and scrumhalf, Percy Nash missed penalty attempts for Kudus in the dying moments of the match.

    A fistfight involving supporters from Kudus and players from Walvis Bay Rugby Club subsequently erupted after the match. Some supporters invaded the pitch and exchanged blows with players from Walvis Bay after one of them allegedly insulted and swore at an assistant referee during the game. Officials from both clubs intervened and stopped the

    fracas.

    Fly half Dirk von Weidts converted a penalty and registered the first points for Walvis Bay. Inside centre Charlton Brussel crashed over for the first try of the match on behalf of Walvis Bay and also took the conversion which was dismissed as not over at end of the match by the referee.

    Left wing Paulo Andrews crashed over for Kudus. Fly half Ulratio Lawrence added the conversion (7-8). Lawrence then added three penalties and handed Kudus an eight point lead (16-8) at half time.

    Eight man Riaan De Klerk scored a second try for Walvis Bay when play resumed. Von Wiets added the conversion and made the score 15-16.

    Referee Lambert then yellow carded Kudu lock Wardo Sitser and awarded a penalty try to Walvis Bay, which made the score to 22-16 in favour of Walvis Bay.

    Kudu wing Elton De Smit crashed over after a quick and well-executed counter attack. Stevens took over the kicking duties from Croza who injured his knee. He added the conversion and made the final score 23-22.

    Kudus had to make do with 14 men during the final 10 minutes of playtime. Referee Lambert showed Paulo Andrews a red card for stamping.

    Kudus II defeated Walvis Bay II 28-19 in a NRU 1st league match.

    Eight man Anthony Jevu scored two tries. Lock Irvin Damants and inside centre Zane Williams also visited the try line. Fly half Benito Bezuidenhout converted all (4) tries for Kudus.

    Fly half Stuart Mc Alpine, right wing Chris Olivier and inside centre Ruan Kotze scored tries for Walvis Bay II. Kotze also added two conversions.

    Referee Caleb Mutombwa showed yellow cards to Kudu scrum half Cameron Stevens (1st half) and Walvis Bay flank Almercer van Wyk (2md half). Walvis Bay prop Nigel Tjongarero were red carded in the 2nd half.

    The West Coast Sharks defeated Erongo Rugby Academy ERA 41-12 in a NRU 1st league match.

    Inside centre Louwrence Brand, outside centre Lovelle Delie, left wing Wilburt Henckert, flank Virgil Bampton, scrum half Herman Van Syl, full back Shaun De Klerk and replacement fullback Jandre van Eck scored tries for the Sharks.

    Fly half JP Jordan managed three conversions.

    Wing Bradley Baumgartner and prop Eldio Jenneker scored tries for ERA. Fly half Wilfred Maasdorp added one conversion.



    OTIS FINCK

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Harders Cup brings boots
  • Harders Cup brings bootsHarders Cup brings bootsLüderitz expects football flair The Harders Cup will bring a new football feel to the sleepy bay town in March. Players playing in the Harders Cup will now have a chance to brag as they will be playing with brand new boots.

    The town of Lüderitz awaits magical football when the competition starts on 25 March.

    The much-anticipated event has a grand cash prize award of N$100 000 for the winners and N$50 000 for the runners up.

    The team which secures a third place will be compensated with N$20 000 for their efforts.

    Each of the six participating teams will receive N$5 000. All six clubs will also receive one set of brand new soccer kits for the tournament.

    Chairperson of the tournament Tim Ekandjo said: “Yes, we have decided to give the top 15 players of every team a brand new pair of Olympic soccer boots because we don't want to assume they all have boots.

    “We want the players to have the basics and soccer boots is a basic need.

    “All they now need to worry about now is to play football, and beautifully so,” Ekandjo said.

    The chairman also confirmed that the finals of the tournament will air live on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

    The semi-finals and third-place play-offs will be recorded and broadcast later on national TV.

    “Live games naturally excites players and makes them play better because they know the entire Namibia is watching. “This is our contribution to exposing the talents,” he said.

    The competition will be spiced up by a music bash taking place on Saturday night.

    Local artist Gazza and South Africa's wonder man Heavy K will be entertaining the crowd.

    Entry to both the soccer tournament and the music bash is free of charge.

    Tafel Lager, Standard Bank, Debmarine, Seaflower, Profile Investments, Marco Fishing, Naftal Trading and Ricky Hameva Properties are the sponsors of the tournament.

    The entire budget of the event is N$895 000.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Honouring women in sports
  • Honouring women in sportsHonouring women in sports From whatever perspective you may look, the sport industry is dominated by men. Recently the world celebrated International Women's Day so let me also take this opportunity to honour fellow women in this male-dominated industry.

    Sports journalism is generally viewed as a beat that is assigned mainly to men, but many women the world over have overcome the challenges they encounter in their daily duties in order to attain their occupational goals and expectations. This in itself is testimony to how determined women are.

    In journalism, sport is a beat that is paralleled with other beats, but it is sad that most people view it as a beat that must be assigned only to men. In recognition of the women who have taken the bull by its horns and broken into this male-only beat, I am dedicating this column to these women.

    I am however not going to praise the brevity of these women but rather focus on what women in Namibia's sports fraternity can do to uplift the girl child whether you are a journalist or sports administrator.

    Firstly, my salutations to the football association's women's desk that is led by women and going all out to promote women's football. They are working hard to bring women's football on par with that of men in this country.

    The level at which women's football is being promoted in the country is incredible and I like the fact that it is not just about playing football, but also about promoting the well-being of the girl child and assisting her to excel in her academic studies.

    This is just one of the associations or departments that I have observed doing so very well and I believe that it is doing much to promote women's sport and to bring the girl child on the same level at that of the boy child.

    Let me however not forget to hail the rugby, hockey and cricket too for their incredible work in promoting women participating in these sport codes.

    What I find amazing is seeing women playing rugby. This is a sport that has been described by many as not meant for the fainthearted, because of the nature of the game that is dominated by crude attacks and injuries suffered by the players.

    Tennis, amongst other sports has also been doing an incredible job in promoting women and therefore this contribution cannot go without acknowledgement.

    What upsets me in boxing is the fact that female boxers in this country are not properly looked after, especially at professional level. I ask myself, “Are we doing justice to the talent and aspiring female boxers out there?”

    As the country is busy reviewing the Sport Act, I hope women boxers at professional level will receive the much-needed attention they deserve. The directive by the International Boxing Association last year compelling every international event to feature female boxers is a step in the right direction for countries to ensure that administrators promote the game to encourage the interest of the girl child.

    It should be the aim of each sport code in the country to promote women in sports, but I am not apologetic about my view that the National Women in Sports Association (NAWISA) is not doing enough and can do better than what it is doing.

    It is not surprising that there are people who do not know about the association and that shows that there is a need for innovative thinking beyond the administrative work to reach out to the communities in order to gain the interest of Namibian women.

    We are not doing badly as a nation, but I believe we can do more than we are doing now to promote women in sports. It is only when we all cooperate that the world will notice our footprints and consequently attract investors in our programmes.

    There is still so much that we can do to promote women in sports than what we are doing now. Bravo to all the women in sports!



    kaino@namibiansun.com

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Exciting rugby drama thrills
  • Exciting                  rugby drama thrillsExciting rugby drama thrillsUnam defeats Suburbs The national rugby league kicked off with a good start this weekend, with a fantastic display of rugby. Unam rugby team proved why they are champions after narrowly defeating Western Suburbs by 24-23 points in the Namibian rugby league on Saturday.

    Rugby thirsty fans cheered their respective clubs as the players on the field did not fail to disappoint.

    The game was won in the first half when Unam's Martin Camlo gave his team the first try of the match.

    However, suburbs dominated the second half with some intriguing thrust as they pushed for what was to be an incredible comeback.

    Suburbs where pushing to get more points on the board, but Unam's defence had the last say in the match.

    The teams started off cautiously until Martin Camlo made the most of interchange passes to score the game's first try in the 15th minute.

    Chessborough Lawrence and Klim also gave the visitors two tries in the match.

    Suburbs responded with scoring two penalties which got the stadium roaring.

    The Khomasdal based side surrendered a 23 -19 lead in the second half of the match after failing to sustain their momentum.

    One of the turning points in the game was when two Suburbs players got sin bins for reckless playing.

    JC Winkler and Nikin Cloete's sin bins made it hard for the Suburbs team to make a comeback.

    Unam's coach Johan Diergaardt expressed his joy after a hard fought victory.

    “The players tend to relax and take things easy if the game becomes easy for them.

    “The team lost concentration in the second half and that almost cost us a game.

    “I think we almost lost this game because we did not use our chances when we had them,” he said.

    Western Suburbs officials also praised the Unam Rugby team for giving them a tough game.

    The Suburbs officials felt that Unam was stronger than them in many aspects of the match.

    The other matches played on Saturday saw Rehoboth claiming bragging rights after defeating their bitter rivals Reho Falcons 22- 19.

    Kudus also earned good points with a narrow 23-22 victory over Walvis Bay.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 03/12/17--15:00: Botswana journos detained
  • Botswana journos detainedBotswana journos detained Three journalists who tried to get a closer look at Botswana President Ian Khama's holiday home last week were allegedly detained and threatened by plain clothes security agents, according to a local NGO.

    The Ink Centre for Investigative Journalism, which is based in Gaborone, says the three were briefly held on Wednesday after they travelled to investigate “unexplained developments at President Ian Khama's holiday home near Mosu village”, around 600km northeast of the capital.

    “Seven armed plain clothes security agents on quad bikes and SUVs, barred the journalists near Mosu village... and warned them never to 'set foot' near President Ian Khama's private compound or risk death,” said the centre in a statement on Friday.

    Private radio station GabzFM claimed the journalists' had been following up on reports “suggesting that the military and other government agencies are alleged to be constructing a multi-million pula compound for Khama using tax payers money”.

    Khama's closely-guarded compound at Mosu appears to be a sensitive subject in Botswana.

    The Botswana Guardian reported in 2013 that Khama “settled” in Mosu in late 2000, using a luxurious caravan as temporary accommodation before being allocated land to construct a lodge and an airstrip.

    The Ink Centre for Investigative Journalism claimed that Wednesday's incident “was part of a growing pattern of official harassment of the private media in Botswana”. The centre's co-founder Joel Konopo was one of the three reporters who say they were detained. He told the US-based Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project that the reporters had been able to call a lawyer and identify the men as intelligence agents using the number-plates of the vehicles they were driving.



    NEWS24

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