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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Top elite cyclists win again
  • Top elite cyclists win againTop elite cyclists win again Namibian cyclists Michelle Vorster and Xavier Papo successfully defended their titles as the reigning champions in the Nedbank national cross-country championship on Sunday.

    Vorster, who has won the title for three years in a row, said she was honoured to win the race as she had trained hard. “The trail was of world-class standard. It was well organised. From here I will focus on preparing myself for the world championship in Cancun in September.”

    Nedbank Namibia sponsored the event to the tune of N$68 000.

    “Cycling is as steadfast and resolute today as it was when we introduced the first edition of the renowned Nedbank Cycle Challenge in November 1986,” said Gernot de Klerk, Nedbank's head of marketing and communication.

    De Klerk said cycling had grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and the achievements of Namibian cyclists at local and international events were proof of their commitment and perseverance.

    Some of the Nedbank-sponsored cycling events this year include the Nedbank national mountain-bike championship, the Nedbank Cycle Challenge held in February, the Nedbank road cycling and mountain-bike series that ended recently, as well as this Nedbank national mountain-bike cross-country championship. This involvement will culminate in the popular Nedbank Desert Dash to be held in December.

    The competition was open to anyone who has a UCI licence to compete.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: South Africa take on England
  • South Africa take on EnglandSouth Africa take on EnglandWomen cricketers contend for final spot South Africa and England clash in the Women's World Cup semi-final today. England can book a place in the Women's World Cup final if they beat South Africa today as they go in search of a first major cricket trophy in eight years.

    The pair meet in the first semi-final at Bristol, a ground on which they played out a record-breaking encounter earlier in this tournament.

    Both sides surpassed the 300 mark on that occasion, going on to make 678 runs in total, and the highest cumulative score in women's one-day international history.

    Opener Tammy Beaumont top-scored with 148 and will once again be the key threat for England.

    Beaumont and Sarah Taylor (147) shared a 275-run stand in a match where England beat the Proteas by 68 runs.

    But it was captain Heather Knight who led from the front with a valuable 62 as England defeated the West Indies at Bristol last Saturday to finish top of the group table, having won six straight games since a surprise opening loss to India.

    “The best part about our squad is that someone steps up every single game,” said Beaumont.

    “Heather had a crucial knock with the bat and then everyone did their bit with the ball and that's really important.

    “We all need to be on form heading into a semi-final.”

    Their latest victory meant England could stay put to enjoy two full days of preparation in southwest city Bristol ahead of playing again in front of the loudest home support they've experienced during the World Cup.

    They will, however, have to once again overcome new-ball duo Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail, described as the “best opening pair in the world” by South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk.

    Whoever wins this contest will play either reigning champions Australia or India in Sunday's final at Lord's.

    Australia captain Meg Lanning is expected to return in the semi-final at Derby on Thursday, after being rested for the concluding group win over South Africa in an attempt to prevent her aggravating a shoulder injury.

    Lanning, the No.1 ranked ODI batsman, missed two of the group stage matches yet still struck 328 runs.

    NAMPA / AFP

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Eskom denies cash crunch
  • Eskom denies cash crunchEskom denies cash crunch NAMPA/REUTERS

    South African power producer Eskom is not facing liquidity challenges, the utility said on Sunday, after media reports alleging it would be unable to pay salaries by November.

    Eskom, which produces nearly all of the electricity in Africa's most industrialised economy and exports energy to neighbouring states such as Namibia, is backed by more than $10 billion in government guarantees.

    “Eskom refutes the notion that it is facing a cash crisis, and that it has only enough cash to last for the next three months," the state-owned utility said in a statement.

    The state-owned power producer last week postponed the publication of its annual results without giving reasons, but said later that external auditors had raised "reportable irregularities".

    Eskom has also come under scrutiny in the media after leaked documents put it at the centre of allegations of improper dealings in government contracts by the Gupta family, business friends of President Jacob Zuma. Zuma, Eskom and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

    “...the power utility is sitting on its last R20 billion. This means that unless something is done urgently, the parastatal could find itself unable to pay November salaries," the Sunday Times reported, citing the unpublished financial statements.

    Eskom last month appointed Johnny Dladla as acting chief executive after Brian Molefe, who was at the helm for 18 months from 2015 and reinstated in May, was removed following growing concerns about governance.

    Dladla, who has more than two decades' experience at the company, is the sixth person to take on the job of chief executive in three years.

    “External auditors have confirmed Eskom as a going concern, and as a result, the company sees these reports as being inaccurate and misleading,” Eskom said.

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Woermann's lucky winner
  • Woermann's lucky winnerWoermann's lucky winner ELATED: Lorenzo Gaweseb (centre) walked off with a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser in Woermann Brock's Royal promotion. Jonas Johannes (left) and Magnus Sechogele (right) were the other two finalists. He participated in Woermann Brock's Royal promotion competition finals at the Woermann Brock store in Khomasdal on Saturday. Magnus Sechogele and Jonas Johannes were the other two finalists. Konrad Schwieger, head of marketing, and Frieda Kandji, operations manager for the store, officiated. Each finalist had to choose a key and try the start the car with it. Gaweseb was the last to try his key and was elated when the powerful V6 engine came to life. Photo: AUGETTO GRAIG

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: A future for manufacturing
  • A future for manufacturingA future for manufacturing Development Bank of Namibia CEO Martin Inkumbi has reiterated the bank's support for the manufacturing sector.

    The bank is currently engaged in a drive to stimulate the sector with finance, and is reaching out to existing manufacturers with expansion plans, and potential manufacturing start-ups.

    This will be augmented by the ambitions of manufacturers to penetrate regional markets. Concerning regional markets, Inkumbi says although South Africa and Angola are experiencing recessionary economic environments, there are opportunities in other countries in the SADC. He says economic contraction is a cyclical phenomenon, and that the upward trend of growth resumes in the long-term.

    He points out that a viable manufacturing enterprise will have the scope to increase its output in future, and encourages entrepreneurs with plans to initiate them now, rather than delay at the expense of future productivity.

    “The bank also provides access to a network of consultant business professionals who assist with capacity development after lending. This can be used to develop skills or streamline and strengthen operations to the benefit of the borrower,” says Inkumbi.

    Talking broadly about access to finance for manufacturers, Inkumbi says manufacturing enterprises face challenges attaining the optimal financing mix. DBN's experience indicates that manufacturing enterprises with a higher equity capital in the financing mix tend to do better than those funded solely with debt capital. Manufacturing enterprises require a longer period to achieve break-even, given the complexity of their environments and the need to secure markets for their products.

    “Manufacturing requires vision and ambition, and the Bank recognises this, and has commenced engaging local manufacturers, to better understand their challenges in raising capital. Manufacturers who have ambition and plans should make use of the Bank's open door, and expect more,” Inkumbi says.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Land sales stalled
  • Land sales stalledLand sales stalledChallenges in acquiring land for resettlement Input gathered during the regional deliberations will be compiled into one document to be presented during the Land Conference from 18 to 22 September 2017. Inadequate budgetary provision for acquisition and limited supply are some of the challenges encountered in restoring land to landless Namibians since the inception of the land reform programme in 1991.

    Added to this is an uneven distribution of land offers, as most offers to the government are coming from the southern regions of Hardap and //Karas.

    This information was contained in a presentation on the state of land reform by the Ministry of Land Reform on Friday, during a two-day regional consultative meeting on the matter.

    The meeting was convened to gauge opinion and gather input from the public on land reform issues, ahead of the second land conference in September this year.

    According to the ministry, the government has been finding it hard to acquire land as owners register commercial land under companies and closed corporations to circumvent the law.

    There is also a high demand for land under the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme run by Agribank in areas with the most suitable commercial land such as the Otjozondjupa Region, which leaves the National Resettlement Programme with marginal agricultural land.

    The ministry's statement noted that the government has failed to fully address issues of farm land owned by foreigners and absentee landlords, mainly due to the slow pace of creating legislation to this effect.

    Although the Agricultural Land Reform Act of 1995 and the Land Bill both address the issue of land acquisition by non-Namibians and the registration of land under companies, such laws are yet to be implemented.

    As such, the amendment to existing legislation that deals with land ownership by foreign nationals is still pending.

    Government has also been hitting a brick wall continuously in some areas when it comes to the expropriation of farmland for resettlement purposes.

    Farm owners have also challenged the government for the use of the expropriation method to acquire their land, which hindered the effectiveness of this method.

    Input gathered during the regional deliberations will be compiled into one document to be presented during the land conference from 18 - 22 September 2017.

    Farmers, landless Namibians and other members of the public attended the deliberations.

    NAMPA

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: No tax write-offs
  • No tax write-offsNo tax write-offsNo legal provision to write off tax The special tax arrears programme lapses at the end of this month. Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has said that no debt write-offs will be entertained as that would be in contravention of the relevant tax laws.

    The government is owed N$19 billion in taxes. N$4 billion is principal tax while the remainder is made up of penalties and interest.

    According to the minister, defaulting taxpayers have been given ample time to settle outstanding debts and should visit the Inland Revenue directorate before the special arrears programme lapses at the end of this month.

    He made the comments when he addressed his staff members on Friday.

    “The tax arrears programme has yielded N$242 million. That is not a good performance. As we speak there is reason to be worried the target will not be met and then we will have to consider what we have to do thereafter.”

    According to him, the finance ministry was assessing the situation.

    “It is a very generous offer, if it is not taken up; we need to see what the next step is because those arrears cannot be written off. There are a number of options that we are interrogating. We will see where we end up in two weeks' time.

    “The [yet to be established] revenue agency must make sure we do not land ourselves in these situations,” added Schlettwein.

    Giving an update on the planned revenue agency, he called the development a step forward.

    “The establishment of the tax office is a significant change from what we are used to at the Inland Revenue directorate. It touches on all our lives,” said Schlettwein.

    The revenue agency is expected to become fully operational next year. “Day one is expected in 2018 once budget provisions and transition arrangements are finalised,” he said.

    “I want to appeal to all of you to make the transition smooth and as easy as possible. The change will be there for the better. Revenue flows must not be interrupted during the transition period,” Schlettwein said.

    He gave an update on proposed changes to the Financial Markets and Institutions and National Special Risks Association bills

    “The Financial and Institutions Market Bill is to be tabled in the last session of parliament. Its finalisation should not be further delayed. The National Special Risks Insurance Association Bill is also finalised. The NASRIA Bill will go to the National Council for scrutiny. It will come back to the National Assembly in September and then to the president for signature,” he said.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: NDP 5 translations necessary
  • NDP 5 translations necessaryNDP 5 translations necessary Residents of the Otjozondjupa Region on Friday called on the government to translate the Fifth National Development Plan document into indigenous languages.

    The Otjozondjupa residents made this call after a presentation on the development plan by senior officials of the National Planning Commission at the Swanevelder Community Hall in Otjiwarongo.

    “This document is very important. It should be translated into languages which people understand better,” said a senior traditional councillor in the Kambazembi Royal Traditional Authority, Annie Ngujapeua.

    Ngujapeua told Nampa afterwards that NDP4 was not translated into any vernacular, adding that the majority of people in the Okakarara Constituency still did not know what had been achieved in NDP4.

    Grootfontein town councillor Tjeripo Tjikuua also called on the government to make sure the NDP5 document is translated for everyone to understand.

    Tjikuua suggested the document could be summarised in indigenous languages.

    NPC spokesperson Fillemon Nangonya in a telephone interview with Nampa on Friday agreed with the Otjozondjupa residents' concerns.

    “Yes I agree with them, and NDP5 will be translated,” he said.

    Nangonya said the commission was still calculating the cost of translating and printing the NDP5 document.

    He said a decision had been made to translate the NDP5 document into Otjiherero, Oshiwambo, Rukavango, Setswana, Afrikaans, Damara-Nama, Silozi, San languages and Braille.

    The deputy permanent secretary in the NPC, Sylvester Mbangu, said the government had decided to popularise the NDP5 to the regional and local governments and institutions dealing with the implementations at grassroots level.

    Mbangu said the implementation of NDP5 was ready, and his office had embarked on popularising it in the different regions.

    His team on Thursday visited the Oshikoto Region and Khomas is next.

    The NDP5 is founded on four pillars - economic planning, social transformation, environmental sustainability and good governance.

    NAMPA

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Mazda recalls 19 000 cars
  • Mazda recalls 19 000 carsMazda recalls 19 000 carsMazda 2, Mazda 6 and RX-8 on list Mazda issued a global recall covering a wider manufacturing period in order to place the highest priority on the safety of Mazda customers. WHEELS24



    In 2015, many Japanese automakers, including Mazda South Africa, recalled local models fitted with defective Takata airbags. In July 2017, Mazda has extended its recall following an investigation and is recalling 19 000 Mazda vehicles.







    Takata saga continues



    According to the automaker, it had announced a global recall covering a wider manufacturing period in order to place the highest priority on the safety of Mazda customers.



    “This recall follows investigative recalls by Mazda in Japan and North America for three different types of Takata Corporation manufactured inflators and although no cases of abnormal deployment or dangerous flaws have been found in any Mazda vehicles in the course of the investigative recall; the concern had deemed an extended formal recall campaign necessary,” it said in a statement.







    Which models are affected?



    “To date it has been recorded that an additional estimated 19 000 units are affected in South Africa.” Affected units are Mazda2, Mazda6 and RX-8 vehicles produced from 2003 with VIN numbers starting with MM6DE, JM6GG and JMZSE. These include Mazda2, Mazda6 and Mazda RX-8 vehicles equipped with the “PSDI-4” driver-side air bag inflator, the “SDI-160” driver side air bag inflator, or the “SPI”, “SDI-230” and the “PSPI” passenger-side air bag inflators,” the Japanese automaker said.







    What is the issue regarding airbags?



    “The recall is due to an inappropriate production condition and storage of the propellant in the inflator. The density of the propellant may be insufficient in the inflator. This might cause the propellant to ignite abnormally at the time of airbag deployment and potentially result in extremely high inner pressure of the inflator causing a rupture of the inflator case. In a case of a rupture, the airbag might not deploy as designed and may lead to injury,” Mazda concluded.

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    SME Bank victims should be assistedSME Bank victims should be assisted The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for urgent assistance from the government and the Bank of Namibia to business depositors at the former SME Bank.

    NCCI's CEO Tarah Shaanika on Friday said the organisation was extremely worried about businesses that had banked with the SME Bank.

    “The fact that these businesses have their funds that are now trapped in the recently liquidated bank, completely stalls operations,” Shaanika said.

    He explained that members who had deposited their revenues in accounts at the bank were now unable to pay suppliers and their employees because they did not have access to their funds.

    “The closure of this bank is not of our members' making. Key stakeholders, especially the government and the Bank of Namibia, should make urgent provisions for victims with positive balances to access funding through other financial institutions to support their operations.”

    Shaanika stressed that businesses could no longer be allowed to close at a time when there was so much economic hardship and the financial squeeze was already crippling them.

    “Every effort must be made to ensure that the impact of the mess created at the SME Bank on the economy in general and business operations in particular is minimised as far as possible,” he said.

    The NCCI further called for alternative funding of start-up businesses and SMEs through the Development Bank of Namibia during and after the winding up of the SME Bank.

    The High Court on Tuesday made a provisional order for the liquidation of the loss-making bank.

    The Legal Assistance Centre said on Thursday that people who had suffered damages as a result of the liquidation of the SME Bank could lay criminal charges with the Namibian Police.

    NAMPA

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Inspired by his community
  • Inspired by his communityInspired by his communityAffordable houses for low income earners Johannes Kakoro, a Level 2 brick laying trainee at Windhoek Vocational Training Centre and one of the 2017 WorldSkills competitors shares his vision to see the poorer citizens sleep in proper houses. Twenty-one-year-old Kakoro describes himself as a hard working young man who is using his vocational skills to realise his dream. “My dream is to be able to build affordable houses to the masses, especially people in my community and that is why I decided to get training in brick laying,” he said. Kakoro said he was inspired by his father who has a construction company to choose his career path. “My father is one of my biggest motivators. I want to do the same profession but I want to just do it on a larger scale,” said Kakoro about his vision. He added that he enjoys making bricks and doing practical work in because sitting in an office all day doing white collar jobs has never been his dream. “I prefer a hands-on approach when work needs to be done. I also love the fact that as a bricklayer, I am constantly using my hands and I am able to see and touch what I make,” he added.

    Kakoro said it is sad that many people from his village at Okadila in Oshana Region struggle to build proper houses because they cannot afford to buy bricks because they are expensive. “I have noticed people want to build houses but bricks are just so expensive and that is why I want to have my own company that will supply bricks to not just people in my community but to the majority of the poorer masses so that many Namibians can be able to sleep in decent homes,” he said.

    Kakoro also said his plans for the future. He said he has already started refining his skills in Windhoek so that when he finally opens the doors of his business, he will be able to deliver quality work. “I get small tenders here in Soweto and most of the people who I do these small jobs for, love the quality of my work,” he said happily.

    Though he has not yet decided the name of his construction company, he said it is going to be a company that will serve people rather than just make profit. He also said the main purpose will be to help people to get affordable building material. “I am not a materialistic person, and I know the purpose of having a business is to make a profit, but I just want to help people to be able to afford proper houses by offering affordable building materials,” Kakoro said.

    Kakoro said he is proud to be one of the few trainees from various vocational training centres in Namibia who will represent the country at the WorldSkills Competition this year. “It is a feeling that I am yet to find the right words to describe. For now, I just feel proud and satisfied that I am one of the competitors,” Kakoro said. He explained that he is hoping to scoop a gold medal in his trade at the competitions that will be held later this year. He also shared he is spending most of his time doing practical lessons at the college in preparation of the competitions. “WorldSkills Competition is a big competition so, I really want to at least win a gold medal in bricklaying but more than anything, I am really proud that I am a competitor because not many get this opportunity,” he said.

    He said he hopes to learn new lessons about bricklaying that will help him grow as a brick layer. “I really hope to learn new things during the competitions that will contribute to my success. I do not have to win but, I will cherish the experience and lessons for the rest of my life,” he said. Kakoro also shared he hopes to inspire fellow youth that they can also become prosperous after studying at vocational schools. According to him, there are many young people who are hesitant to enrol at vocational schools because of the negative public perception associated with these schools. Kakoro hopes to see people with negative perceptions change their mind sets when he comes back from the competitions. “It is definitely better to study at a vocational school than sit at home doing nothing,” he said. He said although he feels the debate about the goodness of vocational schools is exhausted, it is important that this negative perception is addressed once and for all. “Young people in Namibia really need to do away with this negative perception about vocational schools. I hope this year's WorldSkills competitors will do well and maybe, people's negative perceptions will be changed.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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    Erongo Marine Enterprises ploughs backErongo Marine Enterprises ploughs back Erongo Marine Enterprises (EME) MD, Martha Uumati, handed over a donation of canned fish worth N$100 000 to the founding father and former president, Sam Nujoma.

    The fish will be distributed to marginalised schools and communities in Walvis Bay.

    The pledge of the donation was made by the company at Nujoma's 88th birthday celebration. Beneficiaries include Children Life Centre in Katutura, Ada Ma/Hao Senior and Ausens Kindergarten in Otjozondjupa region and the Omuangete Primary School in the Kunene region.

    “We are well aware of the fact that many of our fellow citizens do not enjoy the same privileges as we do. Sometimes we take liberties such as enjoying a healthy meal every day for granted. We hope to make a small contribution through our humble donation of canned fish products to vulnerable communities throughout Namibia, identified by the Sam Nujoma Foundation,” said Uumati.

    She pointed out that the fisheries sector is one of the highest contributors to the economy and comes after the mining sector in terms of exports.

    “The profits gained from one of Namibia's most precious resources should drive the industry to empower and contribute towards a better life for fellow Namibians,” Uumati added.

    Nujoma also expressed gratitude for a N$250 000 donation from EME made towards the completion of the Etunda Farm Clinic and primary school during another occasion and commended the company for responding to his call to assist Simon Petrus a young and gifted inventor who stunned the world with his invention of a mobile phone that works with radio frequencies and requires no SIM card or airtime.

    “I was touched when I read about Petrus and approached EME to sponsor him to further his studies. EME subsequently provided an all-inclusive sponsorship that will enable the young inventor to study for three years at the Vocational Training College in Windhoek,” Nujoma said.

    Uumati presented the educational sponsorship of N$135 000 to Petrus. She expressed EME's delight to be able to sponsor and support home grown talent and create an enabling environment for him to harness his energy towards the progressive realisation of Namibia's Vision 2030 goals.

    She commended Nujoma for his commitment towards addressing the education, health shortcomings among rural communities, especially farm workers and for supporting science and technology education and research. This follows an announcement this month which said mining and marine institutes will be established at the coast.

    She also pledged that EME would, through various corporate social investment initiatives, continue to convert its fishing rights into human rights that create shared value by investing in sustainable and empowering community programmes and advance the lives of local communities throughout Namibia.

    Uumati further acknowledged the commitment and contribution of the employees towards the success of the company and said they are its valuable asset.



    OTIS FINCK

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    School receives two classroomsSchool receives two classroomsCreating a conducive learning environment Ohlthaver and List Group donated two container classrooms and a soup kitchen to Monte Christo Project Primary School last week Wednesday. Eighty learners at Monte Christo Project Primary School previously learning in tents in Havana, an informal resettlement, are now learning in classrooms following a donation of two containerised classrooms donated by Ohlthaver and List Group.

    Sven Thieme, executive chairman of Ohlthaver and List Group, said the group apart from growing the economy, it also values contributing towards education and skills development.

    “Within the O&L group, driven by our purpose of creating a future and enhancing lives we acknowledge that our contribution to building the Namibian house is not only in our economic contribution or our role in creating jobs but also by playing our part in education and skills development,” said Thieme.

    Education minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, said plans are underway to construct three permanent schools for the learners. Hanse-Himarwa urged the school management, staff and entire school community to guard against any form of vandalism of the infrastructure. “The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture is battling over the past years with insufficient funds to meet the implementation of its capital projects and thus the least we can do is protect these properties for generations to come,” she said.

    Last year, the Ohlthaver and List Group promised to provide safe learning environment to all learners of Monte Christo Project Primary School who were learning under the harsh conditions in tents.

    Monte Christo Project Primary School was established to cater for the needs of learners in the area. The container classrooms provide learners with a safe environment and to protect them from harsh weather conditions.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: A culinary school for all
  • A culinary school for allA culinary school for allGet cooking with Silver Spoon Academy After opening its doors in February 2016, Silver Spoon Academy is aiming to grow into one of the country's biggest culinary institutions. “In Namibia, we only see waitressing, cooking and hosting as a job – not as a profession,” said Tom Mutavdzic, owner of Silver Spoon Academy in Windhoek.

    Mutavdzic feels that in Namibia, hospitality is still a growing industry.

    It is one of the many economic sectors that play a big role that contributes to gross domestic product and tourism and hospitality is probably one of the most dynamic, colourful and intricate, as it touches every part of life and truly has become “everyone's business”.

    “When people think of hospitality, they only think of hotels, lodges and restaurants.

    “Hospitality is more than that. What about the mines, hospitals and other facilities that require the care of our people?” asked Mutavdzic.

    Hospitality is an important element in every country's industry, hence the need to increase awareness of this important sector, as well the educating and making sure all Namibians are well equipped and skilled to enable them to become part of it.

    Tourism truly is a cross cutting sector and is one of the Namibia's fastest growing industries, providing significant employment opportunities at all skills levels and offering income and benefits well beyond the areas directly linked to tourism and hospitality.



    Industry demand

    According to Mutavdzic, about 1 000 chefs are needed in the country and only a few are qualified.

    “Most established hotels and lodges in Namibia provide training on the job, but it is not the easiest thing to execute,” explained Mutavdzic.

    With Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy, their main focus and end is to enhance culinary education and training in the tourism related areas at grassroots level with the existing tourism workforce and build more effective partnerships as set out in the Tourism Human Resources Strategy 2011.

    Privately owned by Mutavdzic, who has 42 years experience in the hospitality business and also plays the role of being a lecturer at the institution; he started his career in South Africa and furthered his education in Switzerland for seven years.

    “I started out as an army chef and I basically grew up in this industry.

    My father owned a hotel in Otavi so these are things I am well experienced with.”

    He was the managing director of the Canyon Hotel for 21 years and is a director of the Lüderitz Nest Hotel.

    In addition, Mutavdzic is also a founder member of HAN (Hospitality Association of Namibia) and chairman for three years.

    Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy offers different courses ranging from certificates and diplomas in restaurant management and becoming a chef.

    They also offer domestic cooking classes for those who would like to work on their cooking skills at home.

    “A lot of money is spent on the buildings on these training institutions, but not enough is spend on educating our people,” explained Mutavdzic.

    The school is also affiliated to Chef MLK School of cooking in South Africa, which is City and Guilds approved.

    “City and Guilds is an international qualification. We made sure to establish this partnership with them as it is recognised internationally and we do not want to limit our students. With this affiliation, our students will be able to get employed from anywhere around the world,” he said.



    Legacy

    Mutavdzic explained that it was always his father's dream to open up a culinary school and with hard work and determination, the dream came alive.

    “To join us, you do not need a grade 12. As long as you can read and write English and have the right dose of enthusiasm and will to succeed,” he added.

    Martin Shipanga, a 21-year-old chef student, says he enjoys his time with the institution and he cannot wait to see what the future holds.

    “Since I started here, I have learned different cooking styles and cuisines from all around the world, from Chinese, Arabic and Italian,” Shipanga explained.

    Growing up, Shipanga witnessed his grandmother experiment with different fruits to make jams. “My love of food started to grow as I was always fascinated with the way my grandmother cooked different meals,” he added.

    For his future plans, Shipanga would like to work in Doha, Qatar or in Dubai as he would like to make sure he works he gains world class experience.

    “I am very happy with our teaching style as we do more practical activities and less theory. It makes the lesson so much fun and the two compensate each other very well,” he further explained.



    Service is key

    The initiators of Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy are aware of the ever-changing and increasing demands of the international travel market in terms of service levels and gourmet and cuisine experience on their journeys.

    The school ensures that the Namibian tourism industry is equipped with suitably trained staff to meet and exceed the expectations of all travelers, both local and international, covering traditional, international and trendy cuisine. Mutavdzic also warned future students that culinary schools are not glitz and glamour.

    “Most of our students think that cooking is like what they see on these international television shows. We teach our student chefs that you have to start from the total bottom and then only you can work your up to the top. A senior head chef can tell you to wash the pots and clean the oven and this must be done,” he said.

    The aim of this educational institute is to train students for their future careers in the field of hospitality and tourism in Namibia. With the main purpose to provide education to students in Namibia, the academy's wish is to branch out to other parts of the country and educate future world class chefs, born and bred in the motherland. Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy is situated in the Old Power Station in Windhoek.



    TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Miss Generous
  • Miss GenerousMiss GenerousDanel du Toit loves giving back to her community A young girl who is taking part in the Miss Princess pageant speaks to The Zone about her preparations for the event and how it has impacted her life. Danel du Toit is no ordinary nine-year-old. She is one of the finalists for Miss Princess Namibia 2017 pageant. She recently started contesting in beauty pageants and says she enjoys the competitions she takes part in.

    She also shares how her random acts of kindness to communities in Windhoek have put a smile on the faces of the needy.

    The third grade learner at Pioneers Park Primary School, understands that her role as a finalist is not an easy job and is not just about being pretty and all dolled up.

    Du Toit said it's all about learning from a young age, giving back to those in need and being responsible for the choices she makes in life.

    “I like assisting people because when I usually help people I know that I can change their lives,” she said.

    Du Toit has been taking part in pageants because it has been a way for her to build her character saying she wants to assist more people in Namibia through various pageant platforms. “I compete in pageants because they are very great and build someone's character and instil discipline.

    “I also want to make Namibia a better place one day,” said du Toit.

    The soft spoken girl says more young girls should take part in pageants because they teach young ladies about the importance of life, leads to character development and prepares them for a better outlook for the future through interacting with different people. “I think pageants are important because you help people. It builds one's self-confidence and turns you into an emotionally stronger person.

    “It is also a good opportunity to interact with other people,” du Toit said.

    Du Toit said she does not let the pressure of the Miss Princess Namibia get drain her as she can she still enjoy doing regular things.

    “My favourite subjects at school are mathematics and arts. I enjoy reading and drawing,” said du Toit.

    She must do charity as part of her duties and in fulfilment if this mandate, she has visited the Katatura Old age Home and served them soup.

    During another visit, she delivered lunch packs for them. She also recently visited Dinosaur Land in Katatura with where she engaged different people and donated a few items to them. Du Toit also donated paint to Dinosaur land so that the school can have a face lift.

    Her mother, Rivonia du Toit, says the Miss Princess pageant has motivated her daughter to work harder and has since boosted her confidence.

    “What I have seen so far is that she has gotten stronger and more confident about the kind of things she does. The most important thing is that the girls have learned to give back to the community and that is a very important role they play.”

    The mother says Danela has so far been preparing for the event and that it has been a learning curve for the little one.

    “The theme of the event is based on the mermaid and she has been working hard working on the masquerade and costume dresses for the big night. She has been working hard through her charity initiatives.

    “She has amazed me because she is an introvert but she has changed and she communicates more and is not shy like she used to be,” said her proud mother.

    Du Toit engages in random acts of kindness once a week before she leaves for school.

    Throughout the week she collects food to make a hamper and then randomly select someone on the street to give.

    “I help whenever and wherever I can once a week by giving people a hamper of food every morning before I go to school I choose randomly.

    There is so much we can do to help one another and I really feel good that I give back to the community,” shared du Toit.

    She says she will continue helping people and giving back to the communities after the pageant and is calling on more people to assist people in their commiunities.

    Shona Ngava

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Perks of doing what you love
  • Perks of doing what you lovePerks of doing what you love Often, people complain about their professions and the jobs they do. I have noticed that most people, who complain about their studies or their work, are doing something they are not passionate about. There are various reasons which force many to venture into something they do not love. It could be for the money or sometimes because their parents made the career choice for them. It is not a bad idea to consider financial security but just make sure that your passion aligns with the career that will give you enough money that can sustain you and your family.

    This week, I just want to share with you the benefits of picking a field of study that you love. Firstly, studying something you love will eventually allow you to get a job that you will enjoy doing. Another reason is, you should always try to do what you love doing because it will give you more energy to perform all your duties and responsibilities. If you want to start jumping out of bed excited to start your day, try doing work that is meaningful and fulfilling. I believe when you are doing something that completely resonates with your character and passion, you will feel energised and not drained all day long. Therefore, you will be more productive.

    By doing something that you love, you will ultimately enjoy life more.

    When you are not happy with your work, your unhappiness and frustration will spill over into all areas of your life. Because it is difficult to contain this type of unhappiness, what you do in your life will be affected by negative work experiences. So, try by all means to do what you love. You will be happier and you will spread positive energy to people around you.

    Choosing the right career may sound like a far-fetched dream in a world with limited opportunities. However, it is possible and people should strive to realise this dream. By doing something that you love, you also become a source of inspiration to others. Someone who genuinely loves his or her job is not likely to complain and they complete tasks with minimum effort. In fact, you are motivated to help co-workers to realise the company's mission and goals and so, try to be that person.

    To parents and guardians, please do not choose careers for your children, because they end up in careers that just please you while doing work that they do not really love doing. I know sometimes, young people seem to not know what they want to do but your input should just be to help them choose a career path that matches their passion.

    When you allow your children to pursue a career of their choice, that liberty invigorates them to succeed. This is because when someone does what they are passionate about, their passion compels them to excel in that particular field. Everyone wants their dreams and aspirations to take them where they want to be because they are compelled by their dreams to realise their vision. Look around you and see how young people who have been fortunate enough to train in career fields they are passionate are excelling. They are thriving because they are doing what they love best and therefore are compelled to reach new heights. This effortless push is because they love what they are doing.

    Another advantage of doing something that you are passionate about is that your motivation to soar is effortless. If you are happy with your work, you are motivated to work hard. This means you will be more productive than someone who does not like what he is doing. Because there are so more benefits in doing work that you love than doing a job that you don't like, I wonder why people just don't choose careers in fields they are passionate about. This is a question that I keep pondering about. To the youth, you are also never too old to start doing something that you love. Do not live the rest of your sulking and blaming your parents for having selected a career that you do not like. You can be 30 something before you decide to take the plunge and start doing the work that fits your personality, interests, and passion. When you do, you will never look back because it's never too late to start something new. .

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

    michael@namibiansun.com

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    Teen pregnancies need to be curbedTeen pregnancies need to be curbed The problem of teenage pregnancy is an old one, which has proven difficult to contain over the years.

    It is particularly concerning when there is a high rate of schoolgirl pregnancy in our country.

    Our story yesterday highlighted the issue, which the authorities are grappling with at the moment.

    Although the story focused entirely on Ohangwena Region, which has recorded about 900 schoolgoing mothers last year, the situation is just as bad countrywide.

    In Ohangwena alone it is reported that 109 pupils fell pregnant in the first trimester this year.

    Of the 109, 16 are learners attending primary school in the region, while 93 are at secondary schools.

    It seems being pregnant in school has now become the norm.

    We are a nation battling with unacceptably high HIV/Aids infections and the phenomenon of teenage pregnancies raises relevant questions on whether sex education is effective in our schools.

    The high teen pregnancy rate has also resulted in many girls dropping out of school to stay home with their little ones even though there is a government policy in place which allows learner mothers to return to school.

    There is nothing good about girls and boys having sex at an early age.

    We have seen many incidences whereby teenage mothers don't graduate from high school, which in itself has long-term effects on them.

    There is a need to really look at new workable solutions to curb teenage pregnancies in our country, because it seems social campaigns geared towards practicing safe sex are not effective enough to change reckless behaviour among young people.

    This must be dealt with on a social level by addressing the root cause of teenage pregnancy in our communities.

    It is also important to hold the boys and the men accountable for impregnating young girls.

    However, the task to help reverse this disturbing trend should not be left to a few stakeholders.

    Everyone needs to be involved and help raise awareness to reduce the prevalence of teen pregnancy.

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    N$65m is waiting to be claimed from Guardian's FundN$65m is waiting to be claimed from Guardian's Fund The state has N$65 million worth of unclaimed monies in the Guardian's Fund, lawmakers were told last week.

    Briefing the National Assembly, Deputy Minister of Justice Lidwina Shapwa, also announced the Guardian's Fund currently has N$1.3 billion on its books, which includes N$1.2 million for minors and N$65 million for unclaimed monies.

    Shapwa also expressed concern about the quality service provided to the Master of the High Court by various stakeholders.

    The Master carries out supervisory duties in respect of administration of deceased estates, insolvencies, trusts and curatorship's directly to the public.

    The funds are paid to the Master on behalf of various persons such as minors, persons who are incapable of managing their own affairs, unborn heirs, missing or absent persons or persons having an interest in the use of monies held in the Guardian's Fund.

    The Guardian's Fund has currently 24 784 minors who are beneficiaries, consisting of capital received in the amount of N$883 million and accumulated interest earned in the amount of N$417 million.

    Shapwa further stated that public currently exerts considerable pressure on securing speedier finalisation of estates and payouts of inheritance from Guardian's Fund.

    “The passing on of loved ones negatively affects the livelihoods of those they leave behind, especially minors. They have direct interest in securing speedier finalisation of the affairs of the deceased which include inheritance,” Shapwa emphasised.

    She said in order to ensure speedy and quality service delivery to the public, additional personnel is required but the ministry has opted to utilise labour-saving devices to fast-track the process.

    “The Administration of Estates Act will be reviewed in order to address all these challenges,” Shapwa promised.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    San in dire need of hostel accommodationSan in dire need of hostel accommodation Learners at the Tianjiu Hope Happiness Primary School in Talismanus, some 220km east of Gobabis in the Omaheke Region, are in dire need of hostel accommodation.

    The school, which was built in 2015 for learners unable to secure placement at other schools due to limited places, has 270 learners in Grades 0 to 7.

    Besides being a relatively new establishment, the school has no accommodation for learners in the form of a hostel.

    The school population is largely made up of San learners, whose parents' original homesteads are more than 100km away from the school.

    In a bid to be closer to their young children, some parents built makeshift structures at Talismanus in which they reside with their children.

    This force learners to share a single room with their parents, which often expose them to the unbecoming conduct of their parents, especially related to intoxication.

    School management member, Jeanette Ruueza told Nampa on Thursday the lack of a hostel has placed the learners in undesirable circumstances.

    “When some of these parents are intoxicated, they end up doing things in front of their children which they (children) are not supposed to see. This is indeed a sad reality,” she said.

    There is no electricity at these makeshift structures and learners' problems are made worse by hordes of shebeens that emit noise and exhibit the noxious behaviour of adults in full view of learners, most of whom are younger than 14.

    “Bars and shebeens are a problem as learners' parents either work there or frequent these places, which lure these young kids to such places,” said Ruueza.

    Other parents have opted to have their children attend school from their home villages, but this forces learners to walk long distances to and from school.

    “Poverty is a problem this side for these learners too. Children are only fed maize meal daily through the school feeding programme without any balanced diet due to a lack of funds,” Ruueza said.

    Most parents approached by Nampa refused to speak on record, although they admitted that they had no choice but to move closer to their children to support them.

    Talismanus is the main economic centre of the Otjombinde Constituency and has a clinic, government offices and a police sub-station, amongst other services.

    -Nampa

    CHARLES TJATINDI

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  • 07/17/17--16:00: Nam gets food security boost
  • Nam gets food security boostNam gets food security boostMajor improvements in crop harvesting Commercial and communal farmers alike recorded above-average harvests this season, thanks to adequate rains. Revised crop estimates indicated a substantial improvement in the crop harvest, which is far better than last season in all the regions.

    Aggregate cereal estimates show the country is expecting an increase of at least 84% compared to last season's harvest and 16% above the average production.

    This improvement came as a result of a considerable increase from the producers both in the subsistence and commercial production system.

    However, according to the crop estimates only the Oshana and Oshikoto regions and the commercial areas recorded above-average harvests this season.

    The rest of the regions noted near normal to below normal crop harvests.

    According to the latest Crop Prospects and Food Security Situation Report issued by the agriculture ministry, the national aggregate coarse grain production (white maize, sorghum, pearl millet and wheat) is estimated at 140 000 tonnes.

    This consists of 68 100 tonnes of white maize, 57 600 tonnes of pearl millet, 2 800 tonnes of sorghum and 11 500 tonnes of wheat.

    Maize production in the communal area (Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions) indicated a significant improvement of 175% compared to the previous season's poor harvest, but it is 50% below the average production.

    According to the report, about 91% of this improvement comes from Zambezi while the remaining 9% is from Kavango West and Kavango East.

    During the February assessment, preliminary crop estimates, which were based on crop germinations, suggested normal production this season.

    “However, this could not be achieved because of the excessive rainfall and Fall Army worms experienced this season,” the report noted.

    Maize production in the commercial area on the other hand showed a considerable improvement of 53% higher than last season's harvest and 59% above the average production.

    This improvement is as a result of a recovery and good harvest received from the dry land maize producers.

    It was noted that the dry land maize area received good rainfall this season when compared to the severe drought conditions experienced in the past two successive seasons.

    According to the report pearl millet production also showed a significant improvement of 197% compared to that of last season, and 2% above the average production.

    Much of this improvement comes from Oshana and Oshikoto regions where bumper harvests were reported.

    Similarly, sorghum production has also showed a remarkable improvement of about 85% compared to that of season's poor harvest, but it is 63% below the average production.

    The report said, according to farmers, much of the below average yield is attributed to seed shortages for sorghum, which was experienced at the beginning of the season.

    Furthermore the area planted for cereal this season is estimated at 338 900 hectares.

    This represents a slight increase of about 9% compared to the previous season.

    However, it is 9% below the average planted area.

    The below average planted area came as a result of poor rainfall performance experienced in the north central regions as well as heavy rainfall experienced in Zambezi.

    In the two Kavango regions as well as surrounding commercial areas, most farmers covered greater parts of their crop fields.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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