Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 410 | 411 | (Page 412) | 413 | 414 | .... | 1152 | newer

    0 0
  • 06/29/17--16:00: Kavango West budget halved
  • Kavango West budget halvedKavango West budget halved Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku has expressed disappointment over the decreased developmental budget allocation for 2017/18 financial year for the region.

    The budget has decreased by more than half from N$346 241 000 for the 2016/17 financial year to N$157 331 000, with 44 projects to be implemented by various offices, ministries and agencies.

    During her State of the Region address at Nkurenkuru on Tuesday, she explained that being the poorest region, it expected to receive an allocation commensurate to the region's status of development as a new region.

    “With this little allocation received, we are requesting those in charge to implement all our programmes and projects on time before the budget review period,” said Ausiku.

    Amongst the 44 development programmes is the construction of the regional office park, roads construction, installation of water pipeline alongside the national roads, construction of clinics and a district hospital in Nkurenkuru, a sport stadium and police station. She further requested the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to continue with the construction of classrooms and ablution facilities.

    The region also needs a new fully fledged secondary school with a hostel.

    On the positive side, Ausiku said the region will host three events in Nkurenkuru which are the Nkurenkuru Expo, Africa Public Service Day and National Mahangu Festival to enhance economic advancement.


    0 0

    Demo in solidarity with Shoprite workersDemo in solidarity with Shoprite workers A planned demonstration by various stakeholders is expected to take place this afternoon in front of the Shoprite Katutura outlet in Windhoek.

    This is according to the Economic and Social Justice Trust (ESJT) Chairperson, Herbert Jauch, who said the trust in collaboration with other organisations and individuals will be at the forefront of the demonstration.

    Jauch said the demonstration will take place at 13:00 and 14:00.

    Jauch indicated that during the demonstration they will hand over a signed petition to Shoprite's management.

    He said the petition is about the disciplinary cases Shoprite workers are currently faced with to be dropped and for the company to improve the working conditions of its employees.

    “We will hand over the signed petition to Shoprite management to renew our demand for the disciplinary cases to be dropped.

    “We hope that renewed pressure will help Shoprite to realise that instead of further victimising workers the company needs to take steps to improve labour relations and working conditions,” Jauch said.

    The over 100 workers in 2015 were charged with violating several company regulations - participating in an unlawful strike, gross insubordination, absence from duty without authorisation, incitement and the organisation of an unlawful strike, assault, destruction of private property and interfering with a company investigation. Meanwhile this action by ESJT comes after Jauch, in strongly worded statement dated 17 May, said they cannot allow the mistreatment of workers. Jauch questioned why consumers continue to buy from Shoprite's stores while the company tramples on workers' rights and continues to exploit them.

    He further stated that the reason why the unions representing Shoprite employees are not getting it right for Shoprite to comply with the Namibian laws is because they are divided.

    “For the past four years, there were three different trade unions operating at Shoprite, none of whom represented an outright majority. Shoprite seized the opportunity provided by a divided labour movement to side-line the unions' altogether…. Shoprite has continuously violated workers' rights and used the rivalry between various trade unions to its own advantage,” Jauch argued.

    Regarding exploitation of workers, Jauch explained that an average employee at Shoprite earns less than N$2 500 which he views as totally unacceptable coming from a company which last year declared that it made a profit of about N$130 billion of which N$50 million was diverted to then CEO, Whitey Basson as a bonus.

    Meanwhile the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) recently has come out strongly and called on Shoprite employees countrywide to join the union in order for their concerns to be heard and taken up.

    When contacted, Shoprite Namibia's human resources officer Karen Smith indicated that she has no comment over the matter.


    0 0

    Namcol adapts to thinner purseNamcol adapts to thinner purseCreative solutions to keep teaching afloat Namcol says its students will remain its main priority as it thinks out of the box to keep afloat with far less money. With a possible 47% budget cut on the cards, the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) says it already implemented several steps to mitigate the thinner purse without negatively impacting the more than 47 000 students enrolled for the 2017 academic year.

    At the launch of the institution's groundbreaking online student portal 'myNAMCOL', Namcol director Heroldt Murangi yesterday said government funds to the college will more than likely be reduced by roughly 47%, down from last year's N$151 million contribution to between N$80 and N$70 million. He said Namcol “hopes to” receive in the region of N$84 million.

    In line with Namibia facing an economic recession and as a funded agency of government, Murangi said the college has “put some measures in place to cope under these difficult circumstances.”

    Murangi said Namcol has “adopted a culture of operating within our means”.

    Nevertheless, Namcol board chairperson Justin Ellis explained that Namcol has nevertheless been forced to dip into reserves the institution has built up and which were earmarked for a number of projects, including the development of centres across the country.

    Ellis emphasised that drawing from the reserves and slowing down a number of projects has been “quite painful”.

    One of the measures adopted to reduce expenses is the suspension of revision sessions for secondary education in the last term, Murangi said.

    “Normally learners receive tuition for three weeks in the last weeks of the year, for revision purposes. We have observed over the years that average attendance drops to as low as 30% at the various tutorial centres, because of the external examinations starting mid-September”.

    Instead of offering revision classes, Namcol will use those three weeks for the Grade 12 learner oral assessments in English and African languages.

    Murangi urged students, in light of these amendments, to attend the mid-year mock examinations to ensure that they are prepared.

    A second measure, to be implemented as of next year, is the reduction of the number of weekly contact sessions for Grade 10 students, from five to three hours a week.

    Murangi said these steps will lead to approximately N$3.9 million savings for this year.

    He emphasised that the austerity measures mean Namcol has to “think out of the box” but underlined that the “limitations necessitated by our current economic landscape will not impede our delivery. Our learners will remain our first priority.”

    He added that the college is also increasingly focusing on revenue possibilities, one of which will be the sale of Namcol study guides to Namibian schools. Ellis said while Namcol has run the numbers on a “very cautious and conservative basis”, the coping strategy will hopefully only be needed for the short term, and there are concerns for the long-term under the current budget cuts.

    “The difficulty is going forward, if the budget continues to be at this reduced level. At the moment we are able to cope, but we are concerned about the situation going forward.”

    He said the current strategy would be difficult to sustain over a long term period. Ellis said Namcol caters to a key social group in Namibia - the youth - who are one of the most impacted groups who grapple with job security, poverty, education and more. He said as such, he is sure government is aware of the needs going forward.

    “It should be a high, political priority” he said, to consider the long-term financial framework for the college.

    Meanwhile, Namcol yesterday announced the advancement of its learning programmes, noting that since 1997, the number of tertiary programmes offered has increased from one, to nine.

    Thirty people enrolled to obtain a certificate in Education for Development in 1998, and this year more than 3000 students enrolled.

    Murangi yesterday announced the launch of a Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship and the Bachelor's Degree in Youth Development. He said the college will offer a diploma in business and entrepreneurship in 2019, which will be followed by a Bachelor Degree in Business and Entrepreneurship.


    0 0
  • 06/29/17--16:00: NMC sticks by NBC decision
  • NMC sticks by NBC decisionNMC sticks by NBC decision Namibia Medical Care has defended its decision to suspend the medical aid coverage of NBC employees, saying that it had a fiduciary responsibility to its existing members.

    “The NMC board of trustees is compelled to make certain decisions in terms of its rules and the fiduciary responsibility the trustees have to all the members of the fund,” said NMC principal officer Alison Begley.

    “While the question between NMC and NBC is being addressed, it is not appropriate for NMC to discuss the issue with the media,” she added.

    Begley denied allegations made by the NBC that NMC had acted in bad faith by announcing the suspension on social media. She said the fund would never disclose information of such a nature, whether the NBC was involved or any other employer.

    “The communication via social media was not from NMC and we underline that NMC has never, and will not operate like that with employer groups.”

    The NBC owes NMC approximately N$15 million in member contributions, which resulted in the suspension of coverage to the broadcaster's staff.

    The NBC then approached NMC seeking to make monthly payments of N$50 000 until the end of August while seeking a lasting solution to its cash-flow situation.

    “It is true that the national broadcaster is challenged with arrears as regards the medical aid payments for the past few months which have accumulated to an amount of close to N$15 million,” NBC director-general Stanley Similo said this week.

    According to him, the NBC showed good faith by making weekly payments and was seeking a lasting solution to its money woes.

    “We have committed ourselves to a weekly payment of N$50 000 as we are looking to have a permanent redress through our shareholder. The latter position was and is aimed at showing our commitment and resolve in this matter,” said Similo.

    “We also requested NMC to accommodate the NBC until the end of August 2017 to allow the necessary payment arrangements to come to fruition. NMC committed to referring our request to their board of trustees, hence our disappointment with the premature announcement of the suspension of the medical aid services through the social media platforms without prior official notice to our company,” Similo added.

    “As management, we acknowledge the unfortunate situation and will remain steadfast in our efforts to engage our shareholder for assistance to remedy this unfortunate state of affairs.”

    0 0

    Omusati falls back on suspended duoOmusati falls back on suspended duo The Omusati Regional Council finds itself in an awkward position after it emerged it has been making use of the services of its suspended chief regional officer and deputy finance director to sign off council transactions.

    The two officials - chief regional officer Protasius Andowa and deputy finance director Elizabeth Mutota - were suspended almost a year ago amid accusations of corruption.

    The two, along with finance director Gervasius Kashindi, are the only officials with signature rights to the council's account.

    Three signatures are needed to sanction a transaction.

    “Even though we are on suspension we are still the ones holding council's cheque signatory power, especially for the governor's office,” said Andowa.

    “They always call us whenever they need money. When we were suspended they told us not to go far because they will need us from time to time.”

    He told Namibian Sun no one from the regional council contacted them regarding their suspensions following reports that a resolution was passed to have them reinstated.

    The two officials have, however, used their power when required to sign off transactions during their suspension.

    They officials have receiving their full salaries and benefits since their suspension in August last year.

    The Public Service Commission endorsed their suspension two months after the regional council presented it with the basis for the suspensions.

    An investigation was since lodged and completed in November last year. The findings are yet to be made public.

    The suspended officials have also not been informed of the outcome of the investigation, Namibian Sun understands.

    The chairperson of the regional council, Modestus Amutse, has refused to comment on the issue.

    This week Andowa said he was contacted by the attorney-general's office, informing him that consensus was reached with the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) for them to return to work this coming Monday.

    “Nobody told me anything from the regional council. I only received a call from the attorney-general's office that Napwu would contact us for us to report for work next week Monday.”

    Napwu general secretary Peter Nevonga refused to comment on Wednesday and referred Namibian Sun to the Omusati Regional Council.

    It has also emerged that Kashindi, who was acting chief regional officer in the absence of Andowa, has handed over the office keys about the three weeks ago.

    0 0
  • 06/29/17--16:00: Black Thursday for IT sector
  • Black Thursday for IT sectorBlack Thursday for IT sectorInternet Solutions' clients lost millions Some of the largest companies in Namibia was without internet connectivity for at least a day after the communications regulator pulled the plug on Internet Solutions, a South African company that offered cloud and internet services without the necessary licence. Losses by roughly 40 companies that were without internet services for at least a day or more, some of them in key industries including financial services, retail and travel, have run into millions.

    Companies, including Shoprite, Game, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Namibia Beverages, Ellerines, Beares and Sure Ritz Travel, were in internet darkness from 15 June to late in the afternoon of 16 June, some longer, following the disconnection of the Internet Solutions company server by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN).

    CRAN announced the switching off of the company's server as it did not comply with article 37(1) of the Communications Act. Internet Solutions is a South African-based company that offered cloud and internet services to clients in Namibia. It did not have a licence to operate in the country.

    According to CRAN's CEO, Festus Mbandeka, a warrant was issued which allowed CRAN's inspectors to enter the data centres of both Telecom Namibia and Paratus Telecom.

    Both companies were instructed to switch off the services of Internet Solutions. The company purchased network services from both Telecom Namibia and Paratus Telecom and resold these services under its own label.

    “CRAN arrived with a warrant on 15 June and asked for the list of clients serviced by Internet Solutions and following this, we were instructed to switch their services off,” said Barney Harmse, Paratus CEO. He said about 300 clients, of which 40 were large corporates, were affected.

    “In this industry we speak of Black Thursday because the communications of so many companies were utterly crippled. They had no internet, no email could be sent or received and in some cases, the telephone systems did not function. There were no transactions and losses on that day run into the millions,” he said.

    “Critical stakeholders in the economy were also affected,” Harmse added, but would not provide any names.

    The managing director of Telecom Namibia, Theo Klein, said it was difficult to estimate the impact of the action in monetary terms.

    Klein confirmed that some of the country's biggest retailers including Shoprite and Game, and financial services companies like Old Mutual and Sanlam, were affected.

    “The question is who actually provided the telecommunications services – is it us that provided the network or Internet Solutions that concluded agreements with clients?” Klein asked.

    According to Klein, CRAN confirmed that Telecom had not acted outside of its licensing requirements, while Harmse said that a lot of work was done behind the scenes to ensure that CRAN's requirements were met.

    “It is not that simple to switch to another telecommunications provider and we had companies that were completely stranded and needed urgent help. We decided to move those clients to licensed operators in the country to prevent any further losses and to get then online as soon as possible,” Harmse added.

    “I am however, pleased with the way in which CRAN enforced the regulations in the country.”

    0 0

    Poultry farmers worried about bird fluPoultry farmers worried about bird fluBorder closure could be devastating An outbreak of bird flu in South Africa could have dire consequences for Namibian poultry producers. Concern is growing among poultry producers in Namibia and could develop into panic if borders remain closed for poultry imports for more than a month.

    This follows the outbreak of bird flu (H5N8) in South Africa, after which Namibia suspended the importation and in-transit movements of live poultry, birds, poultry products, ostriches and ostrich products from South Africa and Belgium.

    The acting chairperson of the Namibian Poultry Association, Rene Werner, yesterday told Namibian Sun that the impact on the industry would be huge if the border closure for poultry imports remained in place for more than a month.

    Werner, who owns Wentscher Poultry Farm at Okahandja, said he was already feeling the impact of the suspension.

    Werner explained that poultry producers renew their gene pool in cycles and every three months they get rid of old chickens and get new chickens in.

    “What has happened now is that the cycle has been broken because we are not getting new chickens in and although it is currently still fine, if it lasts longer it will become a serious problem.”

    Werner said should the disease spread to Namibia's commercial poultry sector it would be devastating.

    “I could just as well close my farm and declare myself bankrupt.”

    He added, though, that the government compensates for losses that farmers incur in such a situation.

    The problem is that it is not easy to recover from a mass cull of 10 000 chickens or more.

    He said although there are some South African farms that have been declared free of the disease, Namibia and South Africa would have to discuss whether they would allow poultry to be imported from these farms.

    Meanwhile, South Africa has decided to vaccinate birds and poultry following the outbreak of bird flu. That will affect exports with trade partners such as Namibia.

    While South African producers have urged the government to permit vaccination against the disease, experts have advised that this would not be in the best interest of both the country and its producers.

    “Vaccination of birds will create an endemic situation, affect surveillance efforts and affect our export certification because all our trade partners only want products from a country that is free of avian influenza where vaccination is not practised,” said South African agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana.

    Namibia, which is one of South Africa's main destinations for poultry exports, has banned imports of all live birds and poultry products.

    According to the South African Poultry Association, poultry exports from Namibia made up 4.0% of poultry production in 2015, compared to 3.9% in 2014.

    The main destination countries for poultry exports were Lesotho (28.7%), Mozambique (28.7%), Namibia (21.9%), Botswana (5.5%), Zambia (4.6%), Zimbabwe (4.5%) and Swaziland (2.6%).

    Other than Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have also banned products from South Africa.

    A number of trade partners have suspended trade of raw meat, eggs and live birds from South Africa. That is mainly because South African veterinarians have to certify that the country is free of bird flu, and since 22 June, they could not provide this certification. However, processed meat is considered safe for trade, and some countries still accept this.

    South Africa is only the third country in Africa that has been affected by this disease. It has already been reported in 14 countries.

    Two cases of the disease have been reported since 22 June, one in a broiler breeder farm in Villiers and another in an egg farm in Standerton. Both farms are in Mpumalanga province.

    “We have placed the affected farms under quarantine and the affected birds have been euthanized and the eggs destroyed,” said Zokwana

    Approximately 260 000 birds have been culled.

    He said in order to contain the disease a ban on the sale of live chickens was implemented.

    The buyers or sellers of more than five live chickens for any purpose other than direct slaughter at a registered abattoir must register with the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA).


    0 0
  • 06/29/17--16:00: Abortion debate rages on
  • Abortion debate rages onAbortion debate rages on Social advocate Bience Gawanas has joined health minister Bernhard Haufiku in calling on Namibians to revive the decriminalisation of abortion in a bid to cut down on risky illegal abortions and baby dumping and urged Namibians to clamp down on its judgment and instead accept the hard reality.

    “We need to debate this, and face the ugly truths. A lot of us are not for abortion, but I will not stand in judgement of somebody that wants to do it.”

    She said instead, Namibians should look at the high number of women who are risking their lives in order to obtain an abortion.

    Health minister Bernhard Haufiku said earlier this year that more than 7 000 women were treated at state health facilities for complications arising from suspected illegal abortions, noting that while some Namibians can afford safe and legal abortions in neighbouring countries, less affluent Namibians are forced to accept risky options in Namibia.

    “We need an honest and thorough national reflection on the reasons why so many women risk their lives by getting unsafe abortions, in a country where contraceptives are widely available.”

    Gawanas said although Haufiku's plea made many people uncomfortable, he “spoke truth to power”.

    She said desperate girls, many underage, some who have been raped or coerced, seek out unsafe abortions that put their lives at risk, and then face the scorn of society, forcing them into secrecy.

    “So cultural and religious judgements, that is what drives our children from our clinics and from ourselves, to do a lot of things in the backstreets. We need to face reality,” she stressed, adding that avoiding the debate forces Namibians to “live with the consequences of not doing anything.”

    Instead, she urged Namibians to “take action and take action together. We owe it to our young girls and boys, not to become mothers and fathers before they are ready to do so.”

    Gawanas also highlighted the high rate of teenage pregnancy overall, and said it's urgent that the issue be addressed because it's robbing youngsters of their youth, while at the same time they are not prepared for the role of parenthood.

    “It is a really sad state of affairs, that we can only blame ourselves for,” she said, pointing out the feelings of shame, guilty and blame that surround teen pregnancies.

    Some, she said, choose to avoid illegal abortions and instead, desperate, dump their babies after birth.

    “And we look for her. Because she is a criminal, she has murdered, she has dumped. But as a society, we do not ask ourselves, how is it possible that in Namibia these things still happen.”

    She said it's critical that families accept that children become sexually curious and active at earlier ages and that Namibians need to help them understand the issue and avoid unwanted pregnancies, diseases, and more.

    Family health is all of us

    Gawanas, speaking on the issue of maternal health and child mortality, said a key factor is choice, emphasising that family planning is not a “woman's issue, it is a family issue.”

    Moreover, she said there is a clear link between poverty and mental and physical health.

    In line with this, maternal mortality usually affects the poorer members of society, who grapple with issues such as malnutrition, lack of access to clinics and hospitals, lack of care and a safety and more.

    She said maternal mortality “does not start when the woman enters the delivery ward. It starts from the day the woman falls pregnant, and how well she is taken care of.”

    Gawanas said ideally, “every baby that is born should be a wanted baby; a baby that is born out of love, by a person who is willing and able to take care of that child.”

    She said currently the voices of men are missing in talks on sexual and reproductive health rights.

    She said men should learn to communicate more effectively and openly with their female counterparts, noting they could be critical “change agents” to the cause.

    “Make sure your daughters have access to education, which can make a huge difference in the life of a woman, not only empower them economically, but help them make those choices in their lives on whether they want to have a child. Talk to your sons about responsible sexuality and masculinity. Promote gender equality and condemn violence against women and children.”

    Menstruation is not taboo

    Gawanas said that she “can't wait” for the day Namibia's government follows in the footsteps of Kenya, which recently announced the free distribution of sanitary towels to schoolgirls.

    “If we can give free condoms, surely we should be able to give free sanitary towels and make those girls feel that they can stand up and go to school when they are menstruating,” Gawanas said.

    She said such a national move would help address the taboo around menstruation, and help girls “feel that it is not wrong and not shameful to menstruate”.

    She said another issue the government could look at is out-of-pocket expenses, such as providing free medical care to pregnant women and to children of a certain age group.

    Gawanas, currently a special advisor to the minister of poverty eradication, was speaking to the Rural Woman's Parliament in Windhoek, where she addressed the group on maternal health and child mortality.


    0 0
  • 06/29/17--16:00: Ondangwa prevails
  • Ondangwa prevailsOndangwa prevailsTown gets nod for referral hospital Politicians in the Oshana Region have unanimously agreed to establish a referral hospital at Ondangwa. The Oshana Regional Council has approved the construction of a referral hospital at Ondangwa, Namibian Sun has learned.

    The location of the state-of-the-art 1 000-bed hospital has divided opinion in recent months. Town councils such as Ongwediva and Ondangwa have been lobbying the government to establish the planned hospital in their towns. A delegation from the Ondangwa council even succeeded in having a meeting at State House with President Hage Geingob and health minister Bernard Haufiku to discuss the matter. The matter appears to have been put to rest now after the Oshana political leadership unanimously agreed to have the referral hospital built at Ondangwa ahead of Ongwediva and Oshakati. The decision was made a resolution of the regional council. The council's management committee chairperson, Gerson Hanu Kapenda, confirmed yesterday that it had been decided earlier this month to build the hospital at Ondangwa.

    Oshana chief regional officer Martin Elago confirmed that the council had passed a resolution to this effect on 8 June. According to Kapenda, the decision was based on the development needs of the region, and was supported by all eleven regional councillors. “Ondangwa needs a hospital and the cabinet had already approved a district hospital that had to be cancelled because of the referral hospital plans. Our resolution has already reached State House and it will reach the minister of health very soon,” Kapenda said.

    The hospital will house among others an oncology centre, a maternity block and a cardiac unit.

    The proposed hospital will serve all the northern regions, including the Kavango regions, Zambezi and Kunene. It will also admit patients from southern Angola.

    Initially, the government had planned to construct a C-class district hospital by 2021.

    However, this plan was shelved after a consultative meeting concluded that a much bigger hospital should rather be constructed in Oshana instead of the much smaller district hospital, which comes with an estimated 300-bed capacity.

    Oshakati, which already has an intermediate hospital, was considered to be flood prone, and fell out of the bidding race.

    At the moment Ondangwa has a private hospital and a state clinic.

    The town's spokesperson, Petrina Shitalangaho, said the council had allocated land to the ministry of health in 2007, but engineers advised that the land was unsuitable for a hospital.

    A new piece of land was then identified in Extension 4, behind the Ondangwa Industrial Park.

    “Burmeister and partners presented the hospital design to the councillors on 20 May last year and the council, together with the ministry's representative, was impressed with the design. Construction was set to start in May 2017 and was expected to be completed by 2021,” Shitalangaho said.

    “As a council we were excited about the district hospital as it would have added value to the town. Currently, town residents who cannot afford the services of the private hospital in town have to go to Onandjokwe and Oshakati.”

    In a recent interview with New Era, Haufiku said the region was asked to propose two sites in either Ongwediva or Ondangwa to enable experts to assess the feasibility of building a referral hospital. “Overwhelmingly, and we have the data, more than 60% of referrals come from the north. We need a referral hospital in the north, central north. We consulted with town councils on where to put it. We agreed it should be in Oshana,” he was quoted as saying.


    0 0

    Only 1 800 mass houses deliveredOnly 1 800 mass houses delivered Government appears to have failed dismally as far as the successful implementation of the mass housing project is concerned.

    The minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, has announced that only 1 804 houses have been delivered, in stark contrast to the target of 8 800 set for the first phase of the ambitious project when it was launched by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2013.

    Government revised the initial target to 3 958, a presentation to President Hage Geingob showed. This was revealed in a presentation made by Shaningwa at State House.

    No indication of the number of plots serviced was given by Shaningwa. Her presentation to Geingob also lacked detail pertaining to the money spent on the project thus far.

    The plan was to build 185 000 affordable houses by the year 2030, which was to be implemented in phases at a projected cost of N$45 billion.

    The first phase was meant to run for two years and target all 14 regional capital centres by building an approximate 8 800 housing units, while 10 200 plots were to be serviced at an estimated cost of N$2.7 billion.

    According to Shaningwa, the challenges that affected the successful implementation of the project included banks' reluctance to lend money to would-be homeowners because some local authorities were declared non-lending zones. Affordability was also an issue, while contractors also failed to meet deadlines.

    She said there were plans to aggressively sell the houses built under the programme through the NHE, that they were looking at means to penalise non-performing contractors and that they would expedite the servicing of land and the proclamation of townships.

    The mandate for the project was removed from the NHE and given to Shaningwa's ministry because of the parastatal's non-delivery on key objectives.

    Selling his vision at the launch, Pohamba said many Namibians did not have access to basic amenities.

    “For far too long, many families have lived in difficult conditions, without basic services such as clean drinking water, electricity and ablution facilities,” he said, adding that now Namibians would not only get affordable housing, but have access to better sanitation.

    “This is an important national initiative. Housing is one of the basic needs for dignified human existence.”

    The programme was aligned to the implementation of the Fourth National Development Plan.


    0 0
  • 06/30/17--08:51: Fuel price drops
  • Fuel price dropsFuel price drops There is good news for cash-strapped consumers. The mines and energy ministry has announced a 50c decrease in the price of both a litre of 95 unleaded petrol and diesel. The reason is the stronger performing rand against the US dollar and a drop in the price of Brent crude oil due to over-production in the United States. The new prices become effective at 00:01 on Wednesday, 5 July.

    0 0

    Young African set eyes on big prizeYoung African set eyes on big prizeDebmarine Cup heads into last eight Confidence is running high in the Young African camp at the moment as they prepare for the quarterfinal stages of the Debmarine NFA Cup. Young African FC has whatever it takes to win the 2017 Debmarine Cup, the club chairman, Marley Ngarizemo says.

    The team defeated Life Fighters 5-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the competition.

    Life fighters were expected to reach the later stages of the competition based on their reputation.

    Ngarizemo's team however proved that they want to win the tournament more after an incredible performance against the Otjiwarongo-based club.

    With premier league clubs like Eleven Arrows and Unam FC exiting the competition during the round of 16, Ngarizemo fancies his team's chances to win the competition.

    “We are in it to win and I guess many people now believe that my club is a force to be reckoned with.

    “This tournament is important for us and that is why the boys have been playing with all their hearts.

    “I am very happy with how the players have managed to play good football during this tournament,” Ngarizemo said.

    The draw for the quarterfinals is expected to take place soon with only Civics, Mighty Gunners, Young Chiefs, Young African, Eastern Chiefs, Try Again, Rundu Chiefs and Tura Magic remaining in the competition.

    The venue of the games is still to be confirmed even though it was speculated that the quarterfinal matches might take place in Gobabis.

    With some of the premier league clubs still remaining, Ngarizemo will be hoping to avoid the tournament favourites Tura Magic and Civics in the last eight.

    “The boys are working very hard to ensure that they continue with their formidable form in the next stage.

    “I do believe that the other clubs will do whatever it takes to try and eliminate us too.”

    Elvis Patire, Himee Hengombe, Saladuel Kaunatjike and skipper Wesley Ballack Katjiteo are the players expected to keep Young Africans hopes alive.

    All five players were on target for Young Africans in their last encounter of the competition.

    Despite the absence of top league clubs, the competition has not fail to disappoint.

    The last games of the competition in Mariental and Walvis Bay produced a total of 36 goals.

    The last eight clubs in the Debmarine Namibia Cup will receive an increased amount of N$20 000 to prepare for the matches, the same amount will also be given in the semi-finals.

    The two finalists will each get N$30 000 to help prepare for the title-deciding match on 25 November.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

    0 0
  • 07/02/17--16:00: Brexit bites
  • Brexit bitesBrexit bitesConsumers suffer longest decline in spending power since 1970s British consumers have suffered the longest decline in their spending power since the 1970s, official data showed. The figures from the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics painted a bleak picture for British consumers who are facing the double hit of rising inflation - caused in large part by the fall in the pound since the Brexit vote - and slowing wage growth.

    Household disposable income, adjusted for inflation, fell for the third quarter in a row, the ONS said, putting some of the blame on the timing of tax payments.

    That was the worst run since the 1970s and took the household savings ratio down to an all-time low of 1.7%.

    The Bank of England is watching for signs of a pickup in the economy after the weak start to the year as it plans when to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade.

    The ONS confirmed that the economy grew by just 0.2% in the January-March period compared with the previous three months, slowing sharply from the fourth quarter of 2016 when it grew by a quarterly 0.7%.

    The sudden slowdown meant Britain went from being one of the fastest-growing economies among the Group of Seven rich nations to its weakest performer in the first quarter.

    The BoE expects growth to increase speed to 0.4% in the second quarter - despite the inconclusive outcome of this month's national election - and has said it might start to raise interest rates if it sees stronger exports and investment in the coming months.

    Real household disposable income fell by 1.4% in quarterly terms, the third fall in a row and the biggest drop since the first quarter of 2013.


    0 0
  • 07/02/17--16:00: Fukushima trial kicks off
  • Fukushima trial kicks offFukushima trial kicks offFormer Tepco executives plead not guilty The long-awaited Fukushima trial has started in Tokyo with three not guilty pleas and experts say convictions are unlikely. Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) on Friday pleaded not guilty to professional negligence leading to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, though an analyst said there is little chance they will be convicted.

    Despite the not guilty pleas, former Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and former executives Sakae Muto, 67, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71, apologised during the hearing at the Tokyo District Court for causing trouble to the victims and society, according to a pool report for foreign journalists.

    They are the first individuals to face criminal charges for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster but a high bar for proof may prevent a conviction. Prosecutors earlier declined to bring charges but a civilian judiciary panel twice voted to indict the executives, overruling the prosecutors the second time.

    “I apologise for the tremendous trouble to the residents in the area and around the country because of the serious accident that caused the release of radioactive materials,” Katsumata said, adding he could not have anticipated the risk of high tsunami.

    Lawyers acting as prosecutors said the three executives had access to data and studies anticipating the risk of a tsunami exceeding 10 metres height in the area that could trigger power loss and cause a nuclear accident, according to the pool report.

    However, lawyers for the defendants said that such tsunami estimates were not well established, and even experts had divisive views.

    The defendants' lawyers were not immediately available to the media, a court official said.

    Citizen judiciary panels, selected by lottery, are a rarely used feature of Japan's legal system introduced after World War Two to curb bureaucratic overreach.

    In 2015, Tokyo prosecutors twice declined to bring charges against the three, citing insufficient evidence. But the 11 unidentified citizens on the panel voted for a second time in July that year to indict them.

    The panel found the former executives had failed to take countermeasures to strengthen the Fukushima plant despite foreseeing the dangers it faced from tsunamis, according to a copy of the 31-page ruling seen by Reuters.

    Indictments brought by the panels have a low conviction rate. One review of eight types of these cases by the Eiko Sogo Law Office found just one, equal to a 17% conviction rate, compared with an overall rate of 98% in Japan.

    “I think the likelihood of a conviction is exceptionally low, particularly a conviction that survives all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Colin Jones, a professor at the Doshisha Law School in Kyoto.

    “Tokyo District Court is probably one of the most institutionally conservative courts in the system, so it is a court that is very likely to be government/large company-friendly in this sort of case,” he added.

    The Fukushima plant, located 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo, was rocked by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011, sparking three reactor meltdowns. More than 160 000 residents fled nearby towns and radiation contaminated water, food and air in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

    The current trial is expected to last more than a year, the Asahi newspaper said.


    0 0
  • 07/02/17--16:00: Kandetu's no-show irks
  • Kandetu's no-show irksKandetu's no-show irksPublic Accounts Committee threatens to subpoena NA secretary Secretary to the National Assembly, Lydia Kandetu said she did not show up because the media was invited to the event. The chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Mike Kavekotora, has threatened to subpoena the secretary of the National Assembly, Lydia Kandetu should she again refuse to account to the committee.

    Kavekotora told Nampa that a public hearing was called by the committee at Parliament on Tuesday where Kandetu was expected to account but did not show up.

    “If she pushes us to the limit we would have no other choice but to approach the relevant authorities to compel her through the relevant procedures to account to the Committee,” Kavekotora told Nampa.

    The committee wants Kandetu to account on money appropriated under the account codes of Vote 3 of the National Assembly which include security contracts, capital budget for construction, renovation and improvement of parliament.

    The committee wants the secretariat to divert the money to functions of the parliamentary standing committees.

    Parliamentary standing committees conduct public hearings and collect evidence in the regions for policy formulation.

    They also provide a link between parliament and people, amongst other functions.

    He said they need the money for things such as travel allowance, accommodation and transport.

    Kandetu issued a media statement saying she did not snub the hearing as it was reported.

    She said she requested the committee to conduct the hearing in the absence of the media as it is parliamentary tradition that public hearings and inquiries are based on conclusive reports.

    Kandetu said she could not show up at the meeting because the media was invited.

    Kavekotora admitted that the budget allocation to the parliamentary standing committees was far too low.

    He added that they were reliably informed that there is money hidden by management in some of the mentioned votes and they want explanations in this regard.

    Kavekotora said there is money appropriated for security contracts while in another vote named 'others' another amount referred to as security contracts, is also hidden.

    He also said an amount of N$24 million has been appropriated for maintenance of the parliament.

    He said the committee has other mandates such as querying for appropriated funds and not only money spent.

    Kavekotora told this agency that they will not back-off until Kandetu accounts to the committee.


    0 0

    Namibia has never been downgradedNamibia has never been downgraded Economic Advisor to President Hage Geingob, John Steytler said Namibia has never been downgraded by credit rating agencies.

    Speaking during a meeting at State House Steytler said just last week, Fitch Ratings credit rating agency was in the country and confirmed Namibia's credit rating status as BBB- (satisfactory at the moment).

    “This means that we are currently the only African country with an investment grade rating, and I think that is something to be very proud of,” he told the governors of all 14 regions.

    The gathering was a consultative meeting between the governors, Geingob, some members of parliament, and presidential advisors.

    Steytler also updated the governors on the current economic status of the country, saying some expenditure has grown at high levels resulting in shocks, and expenditure arrest had to be made.

    He said the country is now at a level where the economy is starting to stabilise.

    “We are seeing some slight signs of recovery but it is going to be a slow growth,” he explained.

    Growth projection for 2017 will be less than 3%, according to Steytler, but it is a positive growth compared to last year when the growth was even weaker.

    Steytler said inflation has started to decline and is much stable than last year.

    “Commodity prices have declined slightly, so I think this year we could start to gradually get out of the economic downturn that we have seen,” he said.

    Namibia's inflation rate slowed from 8.2% in January 2017 to 6.7% in April the same year. The decline in the inflation rate was mainly due to lower food inflation.

    Inflation is expected to average 6.9% at the end of 2017.


    0 0
  • 07/02/17--16:00: Founder Koos Brandt retires
  • Founder Koos Brandt retiresFounder Koos Brandt retires The Capricorn Group announced the retirement of Koos Brandt as chairman of the boards of Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group on 30 June 2017.

    “Capricorn Group is fortunate that it will continue to benefit from Brandt's wise counsel as he has agreed to remain on these boards as non-executive director. He will also continue to be the chairman of Capricorn Investment Holdings (CIH). CIH holds 40.7% of the shares in Capricorn Group”, said Thinus Prinsloo, the group's managing director.

    Johan Swanepoel, the current vice-chairman of Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group will, in terms of the board succession plan, become the chairman of these boards with effect from 1 July. Swanepoel is a chartered accountant and was managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), before being appointed as MD of Bank Windhoek in July 1999. He retires as group managing director of the CIH group on 30 June, a position he has held since 2005. He has a wealth of experience in the financial services sector and is a seasoned director. He will remain a non-executive director of CIH but will relinquish a number of other group board positions including those on the Bank Gaborone and Cavmont Bank boards.

    “On behalf of the boards, management and staff of the group, we would like to thank Koos Brandt for his vision, leadership and exemplary service as chairman of Bank Windhoek since 1990 and also of Capricorn Group, since its incorporation as Bank Windhoek Holdings in 1996. It is well-known that Brandt was a founding member of Bank Windhoek in 1982, being one of the entrepreneurs who acted on their vision to establish a Namibian-owned bank in a pre-independent Namibia. He is a well-respected business leader with a passion for Namibia, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a determination to succeed against all odds and an uncompromising stance on ethical behaviour. A true philanthropist at heart, he lives by the principle 'let them know you by your deeds'. These values and humble attitude makes him stand out as a leader and guided the way that the Capricorn Group has conducted its business and engaged with its stakeholders since its establishment. Our congratulations are extended to Johan Swanepoel on his appointment as chairman of Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group. The boards of directors are confident that the group will continue to prosper under his very able leadership, ” said Thinus Prinsloo.


    0 0
  • 07/02/17--16:00: Pacquiao loses in Australia
  • Pacquiao loses in AustraliaPacquiao loses in AustraliaFilipinos stunned by shocking fight Some Filipinos found it difficult to accept the unanimous decision after they felt Pacquiao had dominated the fight. Filipino soldiers and refugees caught up in weeks of fighting with Islamist militants were given some rare respite on Sunday when they were treated to a live screening of Manny Pacquiao's WBO welterweight world title defence.

    However, the excitement and noisy fanfare at a government centre soon turned into shock and disappointment when the local boxing hero suffered a stunning points loss to unheralded Australian challenger Jeff Horn in Brisbane.

    The 29-year-old former school teacher extended his unbeaten record to 17-0-1 in front of a 50,000-strong hometown crowd.

    “It's a hometown decision,” Jamael Panggaga, a Marawi resident displaced by six weeks of fighting between security forces and pro-Islamic State militants in the southern city, told Reuters.


    0 0
  • 07/02/17--16:00: Dwyer on target
  • Dwyer on targetDwyer on targetDebutants strike as US down Ghana Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer shined for his country over the weekend. English-born striker Dom Dwyer scored a goal on his international debut as the United States defeated Ghana 2-1 in a friendly international on Saturday.

    Sporting Kansas City forward Dwyer, who became a US citizen three months ago, lashed home a first-half volley to fire the Americans ahead as they build towards this month's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

    Another debutant, FC Dallas's Kellyn Acosta scored the American side's second goal on 52 as Bruce Arena's team – with several first-choice players rested claimed a well-earned win.

    Ghana's veteran forward Asamoah Gyan pulled a goal back for the visitors with a stunning free kick in the 60th minute but the US held on for victory.

    Although a friendly international, the game pitted two sides that have battled against each other in memorable World Cup encounters during the 2006, 2010 and 2014 finals.

    The rivalry was evident at East Hartford's Rentschler Field on Saturday with a series of full-blooded challenges flying in throughout the game.

    Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori was lucky to stay on the pitch after a wild lunge on Dwyer as the striker raced in on goal midway through the first half.

    Dwyer, who moved to the United States to pursue football after being told as a teenager in England he would not be able to play professionally, enjoyed an impressive first appearance for his adopted homeland.


    0 0
  • 07/02/17--16:00: Indongo fight on Sky Sports
  • Indongo fight on Sky SportsIndongo fight on Sky Sports Terence Crawford will battle Julius Indongo to become the undisputed world super-lightweight champion on August 19, live on Sky Sports.

    The American has agreed to defend his WBC and WBO belts against Indongo, who puts his WBA and IBF titles on the line in a rare unification clash involving all four governing bodies, with Dillian Whyte making his US debut at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Nebraska.

    Crawford is regarded as one of the world's pound-for-pound best fighters after collecting world titles in two divisions during a 31-fight unbeaten career and will be fighting in front of his hometown fans

    Julius Indongo collected a second world title after defeating Ricky Burns

    Little was known about Indongo before his world title unification clash with Ricky Burns in April, but the Namibian proved himself as world class while adding the WBA belt to his IBF strap in a dominant points win.

    Whyte will be eager to impress the American audience as he continues his pursuit of a world heavyweight title fight.

    Dillian Whyte is back in action after his points win over Dereck Chisora in December.

    'The Body Snatcher' has been hunting down a shot at WBC champion Deontay Wilder and can boost his profile in the States with a destructive victory.

    Sky Sports

    FAMOUS: Julius Indongo and Terrance Crawford fight has been confirmed. PHOTO: FILE

older | 1 | .... | 410 | 411 | (Page 412) | 413 | 414 | .... | 1152 | newer