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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 511 | 512 | (Page 513) | 514 | 515 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Otjombinde out of Swapo congressOtjombinde out of Swapo congressParty veterans say the district's behaviour unacceptable Following threats by the members of the party's Otjombinde district against senior party members, the district has been booted out of the congress to be held in November. Swapo has, in an unprecedented move, disqualified the Otjombinde district in the Omaheke Region from participating in the party's 6th elective congress later this year. The politburo meeting held last week also nullified all outcomes of the district's regional conference.

    About 600 delegates from Swapo branches, wings and affiliates will convene in Windhoek in November to elect a new leadership for the next five years.

    A well-placed source in the party said the decision is “unconstitutional” but that it was justified by acting Swapo president Hage Geingob who called himself the 'chief executive officer' of the party.

    “Imagine today it is district, tomorrow it will be a region and next week we will see some members of the central committee barred from the congress,” the source said.

    Party spokesperson Helmuth Angula said the behaviour of party cadres at the district was “unforgiving” and cannot be condoned in any manner.

    According to him, some party members threatened the senior party officials from Windhoek. “They were rogue and threatened the senior party leaders with cars and trucks. Usually we have conflict in some party conferences but this was different,” he emphasised.

    National party leaders were assigned to the regions to supervise the election processes.

    Swapo regional coordinator in Omaheke, Kejamuina Mungendje said the politburo report is devoid of all truth.

    “I am not happy with these decisions, what they say happened is not true all. Nowadays the Swapo party has become a police state ruled by one-sided opinions,” he said.

    He too accused the party top leadership of violating the constitution and making willy-nilly decisions.

    “We want fairness. You cannot interpret the constitution in order to promote your own interests. It was clear-cut that some leaders assigned to the region had a vested interest in the elections and pushed for their own agendas,” he said.

    National leaders assigned to Omaheke included fisheries minister Bernard Esau, deputy minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Christine //Hoebes, and deputy home affairs minister Erastus Utoni.

    The party has since assigned a verification team including party veterans Marco Hausiku and Libertina Amathila and education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa to Omaheke Region to investigate the allegations of misconduct.

    The politburo directed a verification team along with assigned leaders to the region to continue supervising the re-run of the district conferences of the Aminuis and Okorukambe districts.

    Geingob has urged party leaders at different regional levels to remain united and vigilant all times.

    According to him it was the party that fought for and brought democracy and it is therefore its responsibility to practice democracy.

    “We must be conscious of the fact that we only have one organisation – Swapo.

    When we contest for positions within the party we must [therefore] protect and safeguard it unconditionally.

    We must hold hands and march forward for the sake of our party, our country and our people,” he said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 09/10/17--15:00: Businessmen bash Calle
  • Businessmen bash CalleBusinessmen bash CalleN$10 million and not N$10 million Businessmen from the north have told finance minister Calle Schlettwein in no uncertain terms that they abhor paying tax while government overlooks Chinese illegalities in the region. Members of the northern business community said that in January of this year they reported a N$10-million find in the toilet of a Chinese-owned shop to finance minister Calle Schlettwein but said that he has still taken no action.

    This, they say, has angered them and they question why they have to formalise their businesses and pay taxes while the Chinese appear to be exempted.

    Said one, “There are many Chinese people running informal businesses and they do not pay tax. They are making a lot of money which they ship outside the country.”

    These statements were made during Schlettwein's national budget review organised by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (NCCI) northern branch last week in Ongwediva. Schlettwein did not confirm or deny the allegations made but, admitted that Chinese nationals doing business in Namibia are shipping large amount of money outside the country. Business tycoon Ben Zaaruka, supported by other business personalities who attended the event, claimed that for a long time they have been telling the government that foreign business owners, especially Chinese are shipping money out of the country in containers, but nothing was done about it.

    He also accused the Namibian government of signing a protection treaty with the Chinese government to protecting Chinese businesses in Namibia. Zaaruka said that shipping out of money is partly responsible for the recent Moody's downgrade of the country long-term senior unsecured bond and issuer ratings to Ba1 from Baa3 and maintained the negative outlook. He called on fellow business people to stand up and say enough is enough to what he termed the special treatment of the Chinese at the expense of the locals.

    “A large amount of money is being shipped outside the country by the Chinese who are operating multiple businesses. As you can see there was money hidden there. Why are the Chinese being treated so special? They do not pay tax or bank their money and they do not keep income records for their businesses,” Zaaruka asked.

    Contacted for comment, the Oshana police regional commander, Commissioner Rauha Amwele said that nothing of such nature was reported to her office.

    Schlettwein, who was accompanied by technocrats from his ministry, said government has approached international organisation to help in tracing monies that have been shipped out.

    “Most of those transactions are being done in cash and there is no record of how much money was made or how much tax is to be paid. We know that this is robbing the country, but the only way is to move away from a cash economy to an electronic payment system which will be difficult, especially in rural areas,” Schlettwein explained.

    “We have approached international organisations and the Chinese government to assist us in tracing this money. The Chinese government is cooperative and happy to help. We are on the verge of signing a memorandum of understanding.”

    Zaaruka also raised the fact that a certain businessman was issued with an N$1.3 million VAT invoice and has no way of securing such an amount. He urged fellow business people to stand up against paying tax if government continues to force them pay a lot of money in tax while giving special treatment to foreigners.

    Another prominent businessman, David Sheehama of Kambwa Trading said that if foreign business people evade tax they run away to their home country, but if a Namibian does so, he or she will be hunted down and their property will be repossessed. He concurred that foreigners are getting special treatment.

    Schlettwein urged the northern business people to honour their tax obligations saying that it is the only way government could be able to create a conducive environment for them to run their businesses. He said that tax is not a means to kill their businesses and if they feel their tax assessments are not properly done, they can approach revenue office.

    “We do not have a protection treaty for Chinese businesses. All we have is a foreign investment protection bill that protects foreign investors. We need foreign investors because our public sector involvement in the business is too low and cannot grow the economy. And yes we need to put the interest for our people first,” Schlettwein explained.

    He said that N$500 million was collected during the tax collection period and only N$15 million was collected from northern office in Oshakati, which is only 2% of what was expected.

    He said that government extended the tax arrears recovery incentive programme to 11 March next year because they realised that many were willing to pay, but due to the economic situation they could not.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Blossoming illegal fuel tradeBlossoming illegal fuel trade Despite being more expensive than the pump price of legal fuel, many northern motorists are flocking to Oshikango to fill up their vehicles illegally.

    According Helao Nafidi mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa the border town of Oshikango, especially the Okatwitwi location, has become a den of illegal Angolan products including illegal fuel. Namibian Sun visited the area over the weekend and found young boys, both Namibian and Angolan, busy selling the illegal petrol. Petrol is being sold in five-litre containers costing N$60, thus at N$12 per litre, while the current price for legal fuel in the area is N$11.30.

    Young boys were busy doing business at Okatwitwi and as soon as they saw this journalist taking pictures of them they fled. Others simply hid their containers and continued to seek out customers.

    According to the Ondangwa-Oshikango taxi driver Paulus Shipepe, he is a regular customer. He explained that the fuel may be more expensive but, many people prefer to use illegal Angolan fuel because its lasts longer. This made the taxi industry profitable for them.

    “If I fill at the local fuel pumps, five litres is nothing and I cannot even reach Ondangwa which is 60 kilometres away, but with Angolan fuel I can go three trips between the two towns for N$60. This is profitable for us because my car's tank size is 50 litres and if I fill it up for N$565 at the local pumps I can operate only for one day, but if I refuel for N$600 with Angolan fuel I can operate for three days,” Shipepe said.

    He said that the only challenge is that sometimes the boys mix the fuel with water and this is difficult for them to detect.

    Shipepe said that diesel is also available, but scarce and expensive.

    The police's Sergeant Kaume Iitumba confirmed that the illegal trading of fuel in Oshikango has increased and is a serious concern, but very challenging for the police to control. He also called on the mines and energy ministry to assist them especially with their fuel police.

    “Those boys are selling fuel in small containers and we cannot arrest them. The law states that one can only be arrested if found in position of large quantities. We do confiscate their fuel, but we have no fuel storage facilities at the police stations making it dangerous for us to store,” Iitumba said.

    He also said that these traders keep fuel in their shacks making it very dangerous for themselves and those in their immediate surrounds.

    “We suspect that there are Namibians who are in partnership with the Angolans and they employ these boys to sell in Namibia. It is not easy for Namibians to access that fuel. Due to our open border they smuggle the fuel into the country.”

    Helao Nafidi mayor Nghipangelwa said that they are cooperating with the police to do away with the Okatwitwi location. He said that illegal fuel sales is only one of the many illegal activities the police informed them about.

    “This is not within our function, but is for the police. However, the police have informed us that we have to remove Okatwitwi location because this is where many illegal and criminal activities occur. There are many illegal activities the police have informed us about but I am not at liberty to discuss them,” Nghipangelwa said.

    He said that they are already busy with relocating business activities from Okatwitwi to the new open market.

    “There are those who say that they are not going to move and we suspect that these are people who are behind all these illegal activities. There is no way we will let them stay. We will move all of them.” He said

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Deeper probe into N Korean tiesDeeper probe into N Korean ties The United Nations is deepening its investigations into Namibia's involvement with North Korea's multinational Mansudae Overseas Projects, and under the spotlight is the construction of the National Central Intelligence Services (NCIS) offices.

    This is among other activities that the UN's Security Panel of Experts is investigating in Namibia. Mansudae has been linked to an arms exporter, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).

    A leaked 109-page UN report that was supposed to be confidential, singled out several countries for bypassing legal prohibitions on financial activity with North Korea, allowing the Pyongyang regime to earn money for developing a nuclear arsenal.

    “The panel of experts has continued its investigations into the activities of Mansudae Overseas Projects in Namibia which the panel previously recommended for designation for evasion of sanctions and activities on behalf of the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation,” the leaked report said.

    The panel is currently investigating entities involved in the construction of the new headquarters for the intelligence services in the country as well as the local munitions factory that was constructed by Mansudae and the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, the report said.

    Late last year it was reported that Namibia's military-owned August 26 Holdings and the country's national intelligence service have emerged as key players in continued violations of United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea.

    Reports indicated that August 26 was currently using the North Korean company Mansudae Overseas Projects to construct a new headquarters for the NCIS in Windhoek.

    “Namibia has yet to respond,” said the UN report.

    The confidential report was temporarily posted on a Ukrainian government website as the result of a “technical error” and, but it has since been removed from the site.

    News of the report followed a call by the US to further penalise North Korea after it launched a missile over northern Japan two weeks ago, but additional sanctions might prove ineffective if the UN does not better its enforcement process.

    The report blames “lax enforcement” as well as North Korea's “evolving evasion techniques” for “undermining” the intent of sanctions intended to halt the country's nuclear programme. African countries, such as Eritrea and Namibia, dominated the list of nations that were assisting the regime.

    The report follows shortly after Japan and the US recently imposed sanctions against companies and individuals in Namibia that support North Korea.

    The sanctions were imposed against the Chinese construction company, Qingdao Construction for its links with North Korea.

    This followed after Qingdao Construction took over four Namibian government construction projects from Mansudae Overseas Group of Companies, after the North Korean company was told to leave the country.

    Sanctions were also brought against Kim Tong-Chol who is listed as the managing director of Mansudae Overseas Projects and as the deputy director of Qingdao Construction (Namibia). Mansuade Overseas Projects Architectural and Technical Services, the Namibian-based company of Mansuade, has also been sanctioned. The US treasury department also sanctioned Mansudae Overseas Projects for helping North Korean labourers work abroad, “usually in countries with authoritarian rulers, to build statues that immortalise the dictators.”

    The sanctions were aimed at disrupting the flow of cash that is funding North Korean weapons programmes, which are in violation of United Nations resolutions

    “North Korea continues to violate the financial sanctions by stationing agents abroad to execute financial transactions on behalf of North Korean entities.

    The UN panel is carrying out a series of investigations into allegations that African governments, including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda, have hired North Korean military experts to train their police, military, and presidential guard units in violation of UN sanctions. The panel is also probing reports that North Korean experts are upgrading air defence systems and surface-to-air missile systems for Mozambique and Tanzania.

    The release of the panel's findings coincides with a mounting standoff between the regime in Pyongyang, which recently tested a powerful nuclear explosive, and US President Donald Trump, who has threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Desert Jewels seek improvementDesert Jewels seek improvementPerformance in Pent Series to lift Nam ranking Namibia is currently ranked 37th out of the 38 countries ranked by the International Netball Federation. The senior national netball team, dubbed the 'Desert Jewels', are second from bottom on the INF netball world ranking log.

    The log was last updated on 4 July and includes matches up to 1 July 2017.

    According to Joan Smit, the International Netball Federation (INF) Africa regional development manager, the results from the Pent Series will be forwarded to the INF. They will then calculate ranking points for all the countries that took part in the tournament.

    Smit said Namibia gained a lot from the tournament and was sure to move up on the log.

    The local team took third place in the five-day Debmarine Pent Netball Series tournament which ended at the Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College in Windhoek on Sunday.

    Zimbabwe were crowned champions of the series after winning all four of their games and Zambia took second position after losing to Zimbabwe in their last game of the competition.

    Botswana took fourth position while Swaziland finished bottom of the group.

    Namibia started well by beating Swaziland 51-34.

    In the opening game, the hosts missed a lot of chances which could have set them apart from the group. In their last match of the series, Namibia lost 38-40 to Botswana.

    Despite being unable to take the cup, Manuel Tjivera, the coach of Namibia, said the team performed well and the exposure was what they needed.

    He said they were now preparing for the Africa Netball Cup which will take place early next year.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 09/11/17--15:00: MTC engages in rural sport
  • MTC engages in rural sportMTC engages in rural sport MTC says the first MTC-supported Okakarara horse-racing event, which took place on the fringes of the Okakarara Trade Fair, was a resounding success.

    MTC management has hinted that it might sponsor the sport.

    More than 5 000 fans flocked to the Okakarara horse races on Saturday.

    The telecommunication company sponsored the event to the tune of N$90 000, of which N$55 000 was monetary and N$35 000 in kind, in the form of equipment for the jockeys and umpires.

    Joseph Mundjindi, sponsorship manager at MTC, said: “MTC continues its commitment to give back to the community through its corporate social responsibility programme.

    “We have noticed that corporate support for sports have for a large part only being concentrated within urban areas, thus leaving the peri-rural areas neglected.”

    According to Mundjindi, the neglect of rural sport will lead to skewed sport development in the country.

    “The lack of support will not augur well for Namibia as a sporting nation, as it has the potential to deny deserving youth an opportunity to excel due to obvious reasons.

    “While it is important that we support sport development whether it is in urban or rural areas, I think the time has come that corporate Namibia focuses on our sport budgets to rural and less privileged communities to create the sense and spirit of oneness,” he said.

    An executive member of the Namibia Horse Racing Association (NHRA), Benjamin Itandua Kasuto, expressed concern about the level of funding when it comes to horse racing.

    “Horse racing as a sport code has been underfunded in the past and the sponsorship from MTC is invaluable and highly appreciated,” Kasuto said.

    MTC has been part of the Okakarara Trade Fair since its inception and the horse-racing event this year was added as an additional fun element.

    SPORT REPORTER

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    Nadal likely to surpass FedererNadal likely to surpass FedererTennis great making a name for himself Rafael Nadal has the chance to overtake Roger Federer at the top of the Grand Slam leader board after clinching his 16th major title. Rafael Nadal is hungrier than Roger Federer and is likely to overhaul his Swiss rival's grand slam title tally to become the most decorated player ever, according to former world number one Mats Wilander.

    The Spanish juggernaut crushed South African Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3 and 6-4 in a one-sided US Open final on Sunday to claim his 16th major, leaving him three shy of Federer's record.

    The two players each won two of the grand slams in 2017 and with his performance at Flushing Meadows; Nadal has already laid down a marker for 2018.

    “It was as easy as winning the French Open for Nadal. These guys are not even close, but he didn't play one player in the top 20,” Wilander, at the U.S. Open as an analyst for Eurosport, said in his daily chat with Reuters on Sunday.

    “But somebody's gotta be the best player in the world and Rafa Nadal is the best player in the world. There's nothing you can do to hurt him when they play on slow hard courts.

    “Maybe you'd have to go to someone like Novak Djokovic to maybe beat him.”

    Djokovic, as well as his fellow multiple grand slam champions Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray, skipped the tournament because of injury.

    “Nadal's playing better than he ever has,” Wilander, a US Open champion in 1988, added.

    “He's made changes to the serve, he's been varying more and he's also taken the backhand much earlier as he doesn't play as far from the baseline when the rally is in play.

    “I think the lesson he's that he's always learning and he's always gonna be changing things because he has that hunger to play the perfect tennis match.

    “We've never had a hungrier player than Federer and Nadal and I would say that Nadal is probably much hungrier than Federer,” the Swede added.

    Nadal's utter dominance on clay, which earned him a record 10 French Open titles, means that he is likely to prevail again at Roland Garros while Federer's age might be a concern.

    Nadal has time on his side as he will turn 32 next year while Federer will celebrate his 37th birthday.

    “I think that Nadal has a very good chance to catch Roger because he's gonna win the French Open again at least once or twice and suddenly you're one or two away,” said Wilander.

    “Do we think that Federer is going to win another slam next year when he turns 37? I don't know.

    “He can win another one maybe but Nadal has another four or five years and people are wrong when they think that he's physically wearing himself down.”

    Nadal, instead, is using his time off to further improve.

    “I think he knows what he's doing; it's just his nature. He'd run through the wall if he could, he gets hurt but every time he comes back he's a better player,” said Wilander.

    NAMPA / REUTERS

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    Farah to run 2018 London MarathonFarah to run 2018 London Marathon Mo Farah, one of the world's all-time greatest distance runners, announced on Sunday that he will return to the London Marathon in 2018, the organisers said.

    Farah retired from track competition this summer with an historic record of 10 global gold medals at world and Olympic Games over 5 000m and 10 000m.

    Now he wants to write his name into history on the roads, starting with his hometown race London Marathon on Sunday 22, April.

    “I am thrilled to be starting this new chapter in my career with the Virgin Money London Marathon,” said Farah, speaking after winning the Great North Run for a fourth successive time.

    “The London Marathon is my home race and it is so special to me. The previous times I have taken part (in 2013 and 2014) were amazing. The atmosphere on the course was unbelievable. Just like at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and at the World Championships this summer, those incredible home crowds really do give me that extra motivation. I can't wait to experience that again next year. “I can't wait for next April and will be training as hard as ever over the coming months to ensure I'm in the best shape possible.”

    Farah, 34, first ran the London Marathon in 2013 when he took part in just the first half of the race to gain experience of running a major city marathon. He returned the following year when he finished in eighth place in a time of 2 hours 8 minutes and 21 seconds.



    NAMPA / XINHUA

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    Benni McCarthy's Cape Town run continuesBenni McCarthy's Cape Town run continues A fairytale start to the coaching career of 2004 UEFA Champions League winner Benni McCarthy continued Sunday when his Cape Town City team reached the South African MTN8 final.

    Cape Town came from behind to triumph 2-1 at title-holders Wits in the second leg of a semi-final and qualify 3-1 on aggregate to meet SuperSport United for the trophy.

    Both teams conceded own goals during the opening half in Johannesburg with Robyn Johannes giving Wits the lead and Egyptian Amr Gamal bringing Cape Town level. Lehlohonolo Majoro, who has played for South African giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, got the winner 18 minutes from time at Bidvest Stadium.

    SuperSport are coached by Eric Tinkler, who quit City at the end of last season, opening the door for fellow former South Africa star McCarthy to get his first managerial position. McCarthy was part of the Jose Mourinho-guided Porto team that became European champions by defeating Monaco 3-0 in the final. He also played for Ajax Amsterdam, Celta Vigo, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United in Europe.

    Under McCarthy, who scored a record 32 goals for South Africa in 80 internationals, Cape Town have won all five league and cup matches this season. Apart from reaching the MTN8 final, they co-lead the Premiership with Maritzburg United after two victories, one of them at defending champions Wits.

    “It was ping-pong football at times,” McCarthy said of his third triumph over Wits. “We were a bit disorientated in the first half because Wits caught us out tactically. “The aerial bombardment we anticipated would occur from the kick-off failed to materialise until the second half.

    “All credit to the players. Coaches have a role, but once the team runs on the field it is up to them,” said 39-year-old McCarthy.

    Wits coach Gavin Hunt said: “I am disappointed because we failed to take many scoring chances and dominated Cape Town in the first half without leading at half-time.”

    The MTN8 involves the top eight league finishers from the previous season and offers a winners-take-all eight-million-rand prize.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    Elanditho lyomahooli lyaali paveta mOshikangoElanditho lyomahooli lyaali paveta mOshikango Nonando omahooli ngoka oge na ondilo okuyeleka nomahooli ngoka haga landithwa moshilongo, aniihauto oyendji monooli yoshilongo otaya tondokele mOndoolopa yaShikango, opo ya ka nwethe iihauto yawo omahooli shaali paveta.

    Pahapu dhaMayola gwondoolopa yaHelao Nafidi, Eliaser Nghipangelwa okwa popi kutya ondoolopa yaShikango, unene molukanda lwaKatwiwti oya ninga eyana lyokulandithila omahooli ngoka inaga pitikwa moshilongo.

    Oshifokundaneki shoNamibian Sun, osha talelepo ehala ndyoka mehuliloshiwike, na osha a dha aanona yaamati , aakwashigwana yaAngola oshowo AaNamibia yiipyakakidhila taya landitha omahooli gopetrol.

    Omahooli ngoka otaga landithwa muundini woolita ntano kondando yoondolaN$60, nokuyalula shoka otashi ulike kutya olita yimwe yomahooli ngoka otayi koho ooN$12, omanga omahooli ngoka haga landithwa pampango moshilongo, olita yimwe otayi pula oshimaliwa shooN$11.30.

    Aanona yaamati aashona otaya landitha omahooli ngoka mOkatwitwi, naasho ya mono omutoolinkundana ta thaneke omathano, yamwe oya yi ontuku, omanga yamwe ya kambadhala okuholeka uundini wawo womahooli ihe oya tsikile okukonga ookastoma.

    Pahapu dhomuhingi gwotaxi, ngoka ha longele pokati kOndangwa-Oshikango Paulus Shipepe, okwa popi kutya ye oha landa omahooli ngoka. Okwa popi kutya omahooli ngoka oge na ondilo kashona okuyelelka nondando yomahooli ngoka haga landithwa moshilongo, ihe aantu otaya landa omahooli ngoka molwaashoka ohaga kala moohauto shi vulithe pomahooli ngoka haga landithwa pampango.

    “Ngele onda nwetha omahooli gomoshilogo, oolita ntano kadhi shi sha, itandi a dha nokuli nokOndangwa ndjoka yili owala oshinano shookilometa 60. Shika otashi tweetele iiyemo molwaashoka otenga yomahooli yohauto yandje oyuunene woolita 50, ngele onde yi udha koshimaliwa shooN$565, omahooli ngoka taga landithwa moshilogo nena otandi longo owala esiku limwe, ihe ngele onda landa omahooli goolita dha faathana ngoka ga aAngola, kooN$600, nena otandi vulu okuhinga uule womasiku gatatu,” Shipepe ta ti.

    Okwa popi kutya uupyakadhi wemwe mboka haya mono, osho aanona mboka yaamati haya landitha omahooli ngoka, haye ga tula mumwe nomeya, naashoka oshidhigu okudhimbulula.

    Okwa popi kutya omahooli godiesel nago opo geli ihe oga pumba na oge na ondilo.

    Omupopili gwOpolisi yaHangwena, Kaume Iitumba okwa koleke elanditho lyomahooli ngoka mOshikango kutya olya londa pombanda na oli li omalimbililo omanene kuyo, ihe uupyakadhi oomboka kutya oshidhigu opolisi yi kondolole onkalo ndjoka, na okwa pula opo oshikondo shiikwanima niikwankondo shi yambidhidhe opolisil.

    “Uumati mboka otawu landitha omahooli muundini uushona, nompango otayi ti ngoka ta vulu okutulwa miipandeko, oongoka ta landitha omahooli ogendji. Ohatu kwatako omahooli gawo ihe katu na oompungulilo dhomahooli poosasioyona dhopolisi, na osha nika oshiponga opo tu pungule omahooli.”

    Okwa tsikile kutya aalandithi mboka ohaya pungula omahooli moombashu dhawo, naashoka osha nika oshiponga koyoyene nokuyakwawo.

    “Otatu fekele kutya opena AaNamibia mboka yeli mekwatathano nAangola na oyo taya kutu aanona mboka yaamati ya landithe omahooli moNamibia. Kashi pu opo AaNamibia ya vule okumona omahooli ngoka. Omolwa oongamba dhetu ndhoka dh eguluka, oshi li oshipu kuyo opo ya yakele omahooli ngoka moshilongo.”

    Nghipangelwa okwa popi kutya otaya longele kumwe nopolisi opo olukanda ndoka lu kuthwepo omolwa iimbuluma niinima yaaheli paveta mbyoka hayi longelwa molukanda ndoka.

    Okwa popi kutya oyiipyakidhila nokulundululila ongeshefa ndhoka tadhi ningilwa molukanda ndoka, komatala omape gondoolopa ndjoka.

    “Ope na mboka inaya hala okutembuka, na otatu fekele kutya oyo mboka ye li omitse ominene miimbuluma niinima yaali paveta mbyoka tayi ningwa molukanda ndoka. Itatu ka pitika ya kale pehala ndyoka, otatu ya tembudha ayehe.”

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Ta ku ningwa omakonaakono gekwatathano lyetu naNorth KoreanTa ku ningwa omakonaakono gekwatathano lyetu naNorth KoreanNamibia ta longitha omahangano gaN Korea mokutunga oopoloyeka dhe oonene Iigwana yaHangana, oya nkondopeke omakonaakono ngoka taga ningilwa ekwatathano lyaNamibi, naNorth Korea, omolwa oopoloyeka dhehangano lyoMansudae. Omakonaakono ngoka otaga ningwa koUN's Security Panel of Experts omolwa etungo lyoombelewa dhoNational Central Intelligence Services (NCIS) , ndyoka tai tungwa kehangano lya North Korea. Ehangano lyoMansudae Overseas Projects otali kwatakanithwa woo nehangano hali landitha iilwitho lyoKorea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).

    Olopota yIigwana yaHangana yomapandja 109, ndjoka yali yi na okukala ya holekwa oya popi kombinga yiilongo mbyoka tayi longo iinima ya indikwa na North Korea, na otayi gandja ompito koshilongo shoka shi vule okumona iiyemo.

    “Olutu ndoka otalu tsikile nomakonaakono ngoka taga ningilwa Namibia, omolwa oopoloyeka dhe dhoka tadhi tungwa kehangano ndyoka lyoMansudae Overseas Projects pehala lyehangano lyoKorea Mining Development Trading Corporation,” olopota ya holola.

    Omakonaakono ngoka taga ningwa otaga tala woo ketungo lyoombelewa oonene dhointelligence services moshilongo oshowo oopoloyeka dhilwe dhoka dha tungwa kehangano lyoMansudae noKorea Mining Development Trading Corporation.

    Omvula ya piti, okwa lopotwa kutya ehangano lyomilitali yaandjetu, lyoAugust 26 Holdings oshowo onational intelligence service oye li aadhaninkandangala aanene mokuya pondje omilandu dhoondjindikila ndhoka dha tulilwa moNorth Korea.

    Olopota oya holola kutya ehangano lyoAugust 26 otali longitha ehangano lyaNorth Korea lyedhina Mansudae Overseas Projects mokutunga oombelewa oonene dhoNCIS mOvenduka.

    “Namibia inaya yamukula natango,” olopota yoUN ya holola.

    Olopota ndjoka yomonanguwi, oya li ya tulwa kepandja lyopainternet lyepangelo lyaUkraine papuko ihe ngashiingeyi oya kuthwa ko.

    Olopota otayi pula woo opo ku gandjwe omageelo kuNorth Korea ngoka a ningile omalolelo giilwiitho ye monooli yaJapan, iiwike iyali ya piti.

    Olopota ndjoka otayi nyana North Korea ngoka ta tsikile nokuya pondje oompango dhiikwalute muuyuni, niilongo ngaashi Eritrea naNamibia, oyili momusholondondo gwiilongo mboka tayi yambidhidha North Korea.

    Olopota oya holola kutya Iigwana yaHangana oya tulilemo oondjindjikila omahangano noohandimwe moNamibia mboka taya yambidhidha North Korea.

    Okwa li kwa tulilwamo oondjindikila ehangano lyaChina lyomatungo lyo Quingdao Constrauction omolwa elongelo kumwe lyawo naNorth Krea .

    Shoka osha landula sho ehangano lyoQingdao Construction, lya kutha ko oopoloyeka ne dhepangelo lyaNamibia okuza kehangano lyoMansudae Overseas Group of Companies, konima sho ehangano ndyoka lyaNorth Korea lya lombwelwa li thigepo oshilongo.

    Oondjindikila ndhoka odha tulilwa woo Kim Tong-Chol ngoka kwa popiwa kutya okuli omunambelewa omukuluntu gwehangano lyoMansudae Overseas oshowo Qingdao Construction (Namibia). Mansuade Overseas Projects Architectural and Technical Services, na lyo olya tulilwamo oondjidikila.

    Oondjindikila ndhoka odha nuninwa okuya moshipala einyengo lyiimaliwa, mbyoka taku popiwa kutya oyo tayi yambidhidha ooprograma dhokulonga iikwalute moshilongo shoka, shoka shi li e yo pondje lyIigwana yaHangana.

    Epangelo lyaUS nalyo olya tseyitha pashigwana tali ka tulilamo oondjindikila mboka taya kwatakanitha naNorth Krea.

    Omapangelo giilongo yaAfrika, ngaashi Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, naUganda, okwa popiwa ga pula aatseyinawa yaNorth Korea opo ya gandje omadheulo gopakwiita, kaakwiita yawo. Omakonaakono otaga tala woo kaatseyinanwa yaNorth Korea mboka taya longo okuyambulapo omilandu dhopakwiita moMozambique naTanzania.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Namvet onkene ta pula omauwanawa okuza kepangeloNamvet onkene ta pula omauwanawa okuza kepangelo Ehangano lyoNamibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) olya popi kutya iilyo yawo itayi pula opo yi pewe omauwanawa goonakulwa aakulu, ihe otaya pula opo yapewe omauwanawa gaakwiita nale.

    Shoka osha hololwa kOmunashipundi gwehangano ndyoka, Jabulani Ndeunyema, mEtine lyoshiwike sha piti, sho a popi kutya aakwiita nale mboka itaya pula opo ya talikeko onga oonakulwa aakulu yoSwapo, na itaya pula ya kwatelewe mOmpango yOonakulwa Aakulu yomo-2008.

    Olutu ndoka olwa popi kutya Ompango yOonakulwa Aakulu oya nuninwa owala AakwaSwapo.

    Namvet okwa pula opo ku tulwe miilonga Ompango yAakwiita nale , ndjoka tayi kakwatelamo aakwiita nale yoPLAN, SWATF, Koevoet oshowo iilyo yoNamibia Defence Force (NDF).

    Okwa popi kutya aakwiita ayehe muuyuni ohaya mono omauwanawa okuza komapangelo gawo.

    Ndeunyema okwa popi kutya, Namvet okwa kala ta pula okuza omvula yo-2004 opo ya talikeko kepangelo yo ya pewe omauwanawa ngaashi ngoka taga pewa iilyo nale yoPLAN, mboka ya mono woo oshitopolwa shoomiliyona 36, ndhoka dha li dha gandjwa kepangelo lya South Afrika.

    Okwa popi kutya itaya tyapula iimaliwa yawo ngaashi yo ya tyapula yawo, omolwa omulandu gwedhiminathanepo moshilongo, nongele oongaka nena epangelo olya pumbwa okushunitha iimaliwa yaantu mbyoka yali ya gandjwa kepangelo lyaSouth Afrika.

    Okwa tsikile kutya iifuta yoo N$1 300.00 mbyoka ya li ya pewa aakwiita nale konima sho oshilongo sha manguluka, inayi gwana, ta tsikile kutya aakwiita mboka nale oya pumbwa omakwatho guunamiti, omazulonkalo nomahungomwenyo.

    Ndeunyema okwa yembe woo omapopyo gwomukomeho nale gwoNDF, Martin Shalli, ngoka iiwike ya piti a yambidhidha omapopyo gOmupresidende Hage Geingob kutya, iilyo nale yoSWATF no Koevoet itayi ka pewa uukwatya woonakulwa aakulu kohi yOmpango yOonakulwa Aakulu ndjoka yi li miilonga.

    “Aantu oye wete kutya otatu ningi omashendjo, otu shi uudhigu wolweendo lwetu ihe kape na shoka tashi tuyi moshipala mokukondjitha okwaahena uuyuki okuza kepangelo lyaaluudhe. Ope na owala iinima itatu tayi landula: etyapula lyuukumwe kutya Namibia limwe noshigwana shimwe, nenge ehanagulo, eso nenge ondholongo.”

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Aanangeshefa yomonooli yanyenyetaAanangeshefa yomonooli yanyenyetaYe wete taya thindilwa kongudhi Aanangeshefa yomonooli yoshilongo oya lombwele Ominista yEmona, Calle Schlettwein kutya oya kenyanana okukala taya futu iishoshela yepangelo omanga epangelo itali ningi sha kombinga yiilonga yaaheli mondjila tayi ningwa kaaChina moshitopolwa. Aanangeshefa mboka oya popi kutya muJanuari nuumvo oya lopotwa iimaliwa yoomiliyona 10 mbyoka ya adhika mokandjugo kostola yomuChina ihe Minista, Calle Schlettwein ina ninga po sha.

    Shoka oshe ya geyitha nokupula kutya omolwashike taya pulwa ya shangithe oongeshefa dhawo nokufuta iishoshela yepangelo, omanga AaChina taya pitikwa owala okuninga shoka yahala.

    Gumwe okwa popi kutya; ”Ope na AaChina oyendji mboka taya ningi ongeshefa shaaheli pamulandu, AaChina mboka ihaya futu iishoshela yepangelo, na otaya ningi iimaliwa oyindji mbyoka taya pititha mo moshilongo.”

    Omapopyo ngoka oga ningwa kaanangeshefa mboka, pethimbo lyomutumba gwekundathano lyolopota yiiyemo nelongitho lyiimaliwa yopashigwana, ngoka guunganekwa koNamibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (NCCI) moshitayi shomoNooli. Omutumba ngoka ogwa ningwa oshiwike sha piti, mOngwediva. Schlettwein ina koleka nenge a tinde omapopyo ngoka, ihe okwa koleke kutya AaChina otaya tutu moshilongo omwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa.

    Omunangeshefa Ben Zaaruka, okwa yambidhidha aanangeshefa yakwawo mboka ya kala momutumba ngoka, kutya oya kala nokutseyithila epangelo kombinga yaanangeshefa mboka AaChina, taya tutu moshliongo omwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa ihe kapena shoka sha ningwa.

    Okwa popi kutya epangelo lyaNamibia otali shaina omatsokumwe gegameno nepangelo lyaChina, ngoka ga uninwa okugamena aanangeshefa yaChina moNamibia.

    Zaaruka okwa popi kutya etutemo lyiimaliwa moshilongo kaakwashigwana mboka olyo woo lya etitha Namibia a tulwe pondondo yopevi kehangano lyoMoody's. Okwa pula aanangeshefa yakwawo ya thikame pamwe nokukondjitha onkalo ndjoka.

    Zaaruka okwa pula kutya omolwashike aakwashigwwana yaChina, taya ihumbatelwa nawa, ihaya futu iishoshela yepangelo, yo ihaya pungula moombaanga iimaliwa yawo nenge ya tule pamishangwa omalanditho goongeshefa dhawo.

    Sho a ningilwa omapulaapulo, Komanda gwOpolisi yaShana, Komufala Rauha Amwele ina lopotela oshipotha shi li ngaaka.

    Schlettwein, ngoka a li a kala momutumba ngoka pamwe naanambelewa ya za muuministeli we, okwa popi kutya otaya kongo ekwatho lyomahangano gopauyuni mokukonga iimaliwa mbyoka ya tutwa mo moshilongo.

    “Omalanditho ogendji ngoka ohaga futwa koomuma, na kape na omikanda tadhi ulike kutya iimaliwa ingapi ya ningwa niishoshela ingapi ya futwa. Otushi shi kutya shika otashi yeke oshilongo, ihe omukalo tagu opalele okuhulitha po efuto lyiimaliwa koomuna, nokukala taku ningwa omafuto taku longithwa omulandu gwoelectronic payment system, ngoka tagu ka kala omudhigu unene muushayi.”

    Zaaruka okwa popi woo kombinga yomunangeshefa gumwe ngoka ta futithwa oomiliyona 1.3 onga iishoshela yepanglo, na ke na mpoka ta a dha omwaalu ngoka. Okwa pula aanangeshefa yakwawo opo ya thikame nokukala ompinge nefuto lyiifuta mbyoka ngele epangelo otali tsikile okuya thiminika ya fute iishoshela yomwaalu omunene omanga aazaizai taya ihumbatelwa momukalo gwa yooloka.

    Omunangeshefa gumwe, David Sheehama gwoKambwa Trading okwa popi kutya aazaizai otaya yanda okufuta iishoshela yepangelo nokuya ontuku komagumbo gawo ihe Aanamibia ngele oyeshi ningi ohaya kongwa nomaliko gawo ohaga kuthwako.

    Schlettwein, okwa pula aanangeshefa ya gwanithepo okufuta iishoshela yawo yokongulu, ta popi kutya ngoka ogwo owala omukalo epangelo tali vulu okumona iiyemo.

    Okwa popi kutya itaya gamene aanangeshefa AaChina, ihe shoka sha tulwa miilonga ontotwaveta yegameno lyaapunguli aazaizai.

    Minista okwa popi kutya oomiliyona ooN$500,odha gongelwa onga iishoshela yepangelo momumvo gwa piti, noomiliyona 15 dha gongelwa mOmbelewa yaShakati, nonando okwali owala kwa tegelelwa oopresenda 2.

    Okwa popi kutya epangelo olya lelepeke oprogramma yotax arrears recovery incentive programme, sigo okomasiku 11 gaMaalitsa omvula twa taalela molwaashoka oya dhidhilike kutya aantu oyendji oya hala okufuta iishoshela yepangelo, ihe omwa onkalo yopaliko otaya nyengwa.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    General Electric looks to 3D printingGeneral Electric looks to 3D printingMajor investment planned GE to spend $1.4bn on 3-D printer makers for plane parts. General Electric (GE) Company announced US$1.4 billion in European acquisitions to add 3D printing technology to manufacture parts for jet engines and cars.

    The US company agreed to buy Sweden's Arcam for 5.86 billion kronor (US$680 million), alongside a separate transaction to acquire SLM Solutions Group of Germany, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

    GE's aviation division is looking to print more than 1 000 000 jet-engine parts by 2020. The US company is buying into Arcam's claim that its technology using electron beams to melt metal powder into firm objects is superior to competing laser-based processes.

    GE already became Arcam's top customer last year, placing the largest order to date to help produce turbine blades for jet engines.

    “We chose these two companies for a reason,” said David Joyce, CEO of GE Aviation.

    “They each bring two different, complementary additive technology modalities.

    “Over time, we plan to extend the line of additive manufacturing equipment and products.”

    The company offered 285 kronor per Arcam share, about 53% more than Arcam's closing price of 186 kronor yesterday.

    Arcam's board is backing the bid. Its shares had been little changed this year, valuing the company at 3.84 billion kronor.

    FIN24

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  • 09/11/17--15:00: SA may miss growth target
  • SA may miss growth target SA may miss growth target NAMPA/REUTERS

    South Africa is in danger of missing its 2017 growth target of 1.3% due to poor performance of major sectors of the economy that will likely restrain tax revenues, finance minister Malusi Gigaba said yesterday.

    "Our current level of growth is simply insufficient and not enough ... we cannot be complacent about the 2.5% second-quarter growth that got us out of technical recession," Gigaba said in a speech at a tax conference.

    South Africa aims to collect R1.3 trillion (US$98 billion) in taxes during the 2017/18 fiscal year that ends in March, versus the R1.14 trillion collected a year earlier.

    Africa's most industrialised economy emerged from a recession after a 2.5% expansion in the three months to the end of June. The economy had contracted by 0.6% in the first quarter and by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2016.

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  • 09/11/17--15:00: Nedbank empowers employees
  • Nedbank empowers employeesNedbank empowers employees Fifteen Nedbank staff recently graduated from an in-house Management Development Programme (MDP), bringing the total number of staff trained through the programme to just over 30 since its implementation last year.

    The MDP initiative is a collaboration between Nedbank Namibia and the Stellenbosch University Business School, with the purpose to build leadership and management effectiveness. It covers relevant subjects and competencies for today's manager to thrive in an increasingly complex environment.

    Richard Meeks, Nedbank's chief operating officer, said the MDP was part of the Nedbank's human capital development programme whose core purpose is to provide young Namibian professionals with learning and development opportunities in banking. He added that the programme also fed into the identification, development and retention of talent within Nedbank.

    “As we build Nedbank's employees to become 'money experts who do good', continuous learning and staff skills development remains an important part of the equation.

    “We know the world of banking is becoming increasingly complex, and therefore it's paramount that we improve our leadership capabilities and knowledge in order to navigate this growing complexity.

    “This is our flagship development programme and only a small group of staff is selected annually. The programme is distinctive because it is customised for our unique Nedbank Namibia environment.

    “Besides developing leadership capabilities, the MDP affords Nedbank an opportunity to identify and implement real business opportunities through the Business Development Learning projects,” Meeks said.

    In addition, the comprehensive MDP equips trainees with the necessary competencies to implement their organisations' strategic objectives and helps to develop a basic understanding of the different fields of management to ensure that managers do not perform their own management functions in isolation. It also provides a broader understanding of management and leadership and in this way brings real business benefits to participants and their organisations.

    “Growing and investing into strong influential managers is part of our people strategy and essential for us to win in 2020 as an employer of choice. Good managers ensure we successfully engage our staff, grow a winning high-performance culture and provide lasting support to our people,” Meeks said.

    “Since the inception of MDP in 2016 only positive feedback has been received from participants. Numerous interactions, constructive debates and collaboration between delegates stretching over all the departments and geographic locations have enhanced our innovation and execution capability,” said Meeks.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Petra found wanting in TanzaniaPetra found wanting in TanzaniaConsignment found at airport Petra Diamonds was forced to suspend its Tanzanian mining operation after the government seized a consignment of stones being exported to Belgium. Petra Diamonds has halted operations at one of its mines in Tanzania after the government seized a consignment and questioned some of its personnel as part of a crackdown on the mining sector.

    The diamonds were seized at the main airport in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar Es Salaam on 31 August as they were being exported by Williamson Diamonds Ltd to Antwerp, Belgium.

    The Tanzanian government said on Saturday it planned to nationalise the diamonds, whose value it put at US$29.5 million, after it accused the miner of under-declaring its mineral exports.

    Tanzanian president John Magufuli last week ordered a review of a Petra contract and asked public officials to resign over the outcome of an investigation into the mining sector.

    The president's actions are a continuation of a crackdown in a mining sector that accounts for about 4% of Tanzania's gross domestic product.

    Magufuli also said he had ordered law enforcement agencies to investigate allegations of under-declared diamond exports.

    Tanzania has passed new laws to increase mining taxes, to force companies to renegotiate their contracts and to allow the state to own up to 50% of shares in mining companies.

    A parliamentary committee said on Thursday there were “gross irregularities” in the manner in which the Tanzanian government diluted its shareholding in Williamson from an initial 50% to the current 25%.

    The mine is held 75% by Petra and 25% by the Tanzanian government. Operations at Williamson have temporarily been stopped for safety and security reasons, Petra said.

    The company said it had not been told the reason for the action, adding that it conducted all operations related to the Williamson mine in a “transparent manner” and in full compliance with legislations.

    Acacia Mining, majority owned by Barrick Gold Corp , said last week that it would stop underground work at its flagship Tanzanian gold mine and cut its production guidance in the face of a confrontation between the industry and the government.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Ngatjizeko wants local products at trade fairsNgatjizeko wants local products at trade fairs The minister of trade, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, wants to see unique and locally made products exhibited at trade fairs.

    Speaking at the official opening of the Okakarara annual trade fair on Friday, Ngatjizeko commended local authorities and the organising committees for creating platforms where local and international businesses can showcase their products and services.

    He said unique, locally manufactured products should be exhibited and discouraged the current tendency of purchasing goods with a plan to resell them at trade fairs.

    The minister said trade fairs are needed to create job opportunities.

    “Forty-four permanent jobs have been created at the Okakarara trade fair alone and that is commendable,” Ngatjizeko said.

    He said his ministry would continue to support all local trade fairs.

    Ngatjizeko noted that his ministry assisted 12 SMEs at Okakarara with funds to pay for their stalls as the businesses were unable to do so on their own.

    Several exhibitors expressed satisfaction with the 11th edition of the trade fair, which is taking place at the Okakarara Trade Fair Centre.

    Imelda Gawachas of Aqua Ozone Suppliers on Friday said she was happy with the setup and arrangement of stalls.

    She said each stall can be spotted from a distance and the space for visitors to walk between the stalls is also sufficient.

    Linda Nkya from Tanzania is exhibiting African garments and materials.

    “It is my first time to be here and I am very happy with the reception given and the interaction with these friendly people,” she said.

    Beatrice Mwangi from Kenya also sells African clothes and materials and said she will be back next year.

    She said several customers showed interest in her products, which she finds motivating.

    Okakarara CEO Ernst Katjiku on his part said the council allowed more than 100 informal traders from Okakarara to sell cooked food along John Tjikuua Street.

    “We however restricted the sale of alcohol, which is only allowed inside the trade fair,” he said.

    A total of 152 local and international exhibitors participated in the 2017 Okakarara trade fair, including four exhibitors from Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Bulgaria.

    NAMPA

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    Container depot planned for GrootfonteinContainer depot planned for GrootfonteinLocal company has big plans for northern town An entrepreneurial duo is planning to build a big depot which will store containers that come from Walvis Bay. Grootfontein could soon become a logistics hub, should a plan to establish a container depot there next year materialise.

    A Namibian company called Grootfontein Container Depot intends to construct the depot where they plan to store containers coming from Walvis Bay by rail.

    The containers will then be distributed by truck to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    In an interview with Nampa last week, Cedric Willemse, who co-owns the company with Charton Useb, said the empty containers would be returned to Grootfontein to be picked up by train to collect goods at the harbour town.

    Some goods from abroad will also be stored at the depot to be transported by rail to Walvis Bay.

    “The idea is to reduce the number of trucks on the road to Walvis Bay, reducing traffic congestion and the pressure on the road,” said Willemse, adding that it could also mean fewer accidents.

    They also plan to construct a fuel depot and cold-storage facility as part of the project.

    Useb said they started planning the depot in 2013 and applied for 30 hectares of land in 2014, which has now been approved.

    He said it would cost about N$500 million to construct the depots and cold-storage facility.

    “This project will boost the economy of Grootfontein in terms of employment and business operations,” he added.

    It is expected that about 10 000 jobs will be created from construction until the completion of the project. About 200 of the jobs will be permanent.

    The business partners are finalising the costing, which will be followed by the environmental impact assessment and submission of the business plan to the Development Bank of Namibia for funding. Construction is expected to start early next year.

    NAMPA

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  • 09/11/17--15:00: Leviathan Irma decimates
  • Leviathan Irma decimatesLeviathan Irma decimatesFlorida gets reprieve as hurricane weakens Several of the Caribbean's archipelagos were destroyed by Hurricane Irma and Cuba and Haiti took a massive beating. Hurricane Irma, which has toppled cranes, swallowed streets and left millions without power, weakened to a category one storm Monday but remained dangerous as it continued its furious climb up Florida's southwest coast.

    Warnings of hazardous storm surges remained in effect through vast swaths of peninsular Florida, where more than six million people had been ordered to flee Irma's path - one of the biggest evacuations in US history.

    “As little as six inches of moving water can knock you down,” tweeted the state's governor Rick Scott following the downgrade.

    “Stay inside. Stay safe,” he added.

    Maximum sustained winds had decreased to 85 miles per hour (137 km/h) as of 06:00 GMT.

    After wreaking a trail of death and destruction through the Caribbean, Irma had killed three people when it struck the southern Florida Keys island chain as a more powerful Category Four on Sunday.

    More than four million customers were without power throughout the state, according to Florida's division of emergency management. Florida Power and Light said it had “safely shut down” one of two nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point power plant.

    Handfuls of holdout residents, having defied calls to evacuate, hunkered down as Irma tore over the Keys, ripping boats from their moorings, flattening palm trees and downing power lines across the island chain popular for fishing and scuba diving.

    Hours later, one of the mightiest hurricanes ever to slam the state made a second landfall on Marco Island near the beach resort of Naples.

    “I am concerned about people that don't believe in the storm surge,” said Virginia Defreeuw, 76, who fled her mobile home in Naples to a shelter. “You need to be afraid of the storm surge! People are not listening.”

    As Irma appeared to set its sights on the Tampa area - home to three million residents, about half of whom live less than 10 feet above sea level - some people were taken by surprise by Irma's northwest shift.

    Facing Irma's wrath, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the city did everything it could to get people out of the coastal areas.

    “I never thought I would be quoting Mike Tyson, but 'Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face,'” he said.

    “Well, we are about to get punched in the face.”

    While southwest Florida bore the deadly brunt of Irma's wrath Sunday, the coastlines of Miami and the neighbouring island of Miami Beach were heavily inundated by storm surges as hurricane winds sent two giant construction cranes crashing down.

    The sea swallowed the coastal walkway of glitzy Brickell Avenue in the centre of Miami, flooding the streets and leaving cars half-submerged.

    “The wooden pier is basically gone,” said Steven Schlacknam, a 51-year-old visual artist watching from a 37th floor apartment.

    President Donald Trump, who vowed to travel to Florida “very soon,” approved the state's request for emergency federal aid to help with temporary housing, home repairs, emergency work and hazard mitigation.

    “Right now, we're worried about lives, not cost,” Trump said.

    At least 30 deaths are already attributable to the storm.

    Irma smacked the Keys 57 years to the day after Hurricane Donna hit the same area in 1960, destroying nearly 75 percent of the island chain's buildings.

    Before reaching the United States, Irma smashed through a string of Caribbean islands from tiny Barbuda on Wednesday, to the tropical paradises of Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos.

    Terrified Cubans who rode out Irma in coastal towns - after it made landfall Friday on the Camaguey archipelago as a maximum-strength category five storm - reported “deafening” winds, uprooted trees and power lines, and rooftops blown off.

    Hurricane Irma ripped roofs off houses and flooded hundreds of kilometres of coastline as it raked Cuba's northern coast after devastating islands the length of the Caribbean.

    There were no immediate reports of deaths in Cuba – a country that prides itself on its disaster preparedness – but authorities were trying to restore power, clear roads and warning that people should stay off the streets of Havana because flooding could continue into Monday.

    Residents of “the capital should know that the flooding is going to last more than 36 hours, in other words, it is going to persist,” Colonel Luis Angel Macareno said late on Saturday, adding that the waters had reached about 600 meters into Havana.

    As Irma rolled in, Cuban soldiers went through coastal towns to force residents to evacuate, taking people to shelters at government buildings and schools — and even caves.

    Video images from northern and eastern Cuba showed uprooted utility poles and signs, many downed trees and extensive damage to roofs. Witnesses said a provincial museum near the eye of the storm was in ruins. And authorities in the city of Santa Clara said 39 buildings collapsed.

    More than 5 000 tourists were evacuated from the keys off Cuba's north-central coast, where the government has built dozens of resorts in recent years.

    Civil defence official Gregorio Torres said authorities were trying to tally the extent of the damage in eastern Cuba, home to hundreds of rural communities and farmland.

    In Caibarien, a small coastal city about 320 kilometres east of Havana, winds downed power lines and a three-block area was under water. Many residents had stayed put, hoping to ride out the storm.

    Many of Irma's victims fled their battered islands on ferries and fishing boats for fear Hurricane Jose would destroy or drench anything Irma left untouched, but Jose veered away before doing much more damage.



    NAMPA/AFP

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