Articles on this Page
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Anglo Q3 output up ...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Media briefed on ba...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Unam students must ...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Neckartal costs bal...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Bank Gaborone brand...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Namibia launches fi...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Livestock farmers f...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Health ministry fre...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Still no trace of O...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Public 'let down' o...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Africa Briefs
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Hard choices face p...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Di Savino claims he...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Homegrown medicines...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Student sues Pep fo...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Nam rejects CNN report
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Two die in crash wi...
- 10/24/17--15:00: _Best anti-corruptio...
- 10/25/17--15:00: _Kasi Cup build-up b...
- 10/25/17--15:00: _Hage Cup trophy unv...
- 10/24/17--15:00: Anglo Q3 output up 6%, platinum cut
- 10/24/17--15:00: Media briefed on bad culture
- 10/24/17--15:00: Unam students must pay 50% of fees to write
- 10/24/17--15:00: Neckartal costs balloon by N$2.7b
- 10/24/17--15:00: Bank Gaborone brand realigned
- 10/24/17--15:00: Namibia launches first cancer e-registry
- 10/24/17--15:00: Livestock farmers feel the pinch
- 10/24/17--15:00: Health ministry freezes jobs for nurses
- 10/24/17--15:00: Still no trace of Oshakati pensioner
- 10/24/17--15:00: Public 'let down' on SME Bank matter
- 10/24/17--15:00: Africa Briefs
- 10/24/17--15:00: Hard choices face prospective manufacturers
- 10/24/17--15:00: Di Savino claims he was threatened
- 10/24/17--15:00: Homegrown medicines from Doré
- 10/24/17--15:00: Student sues Pep for theft slur
- 10/24/17--15:00: Nam rejects CNN report
- 10/24/17--15:00: Two die in crash with elephant
- 10/24/17--15:00: Best anti-corruption laws will not end the scourge - Alweendo
- 10/25/17--15:00: Kasi Cup build-up begins
- 10/25/17--15:00: Hage Cup trophy unveiled
Platinum miners in South Africa face an array of obstacles, including very deep, narrow seams along with a stubbornly low platinum price of around US$930 an ounce.
Union leaders on Monday said platinum miner Lonmin planned to cut more than 1 000 jobs before Christmas because of persistently low commodity prices and rising costs.
Anglo American lowered its production guidance for platinum to 2.30-to-2.35 million from 2.35-to-2.40 million ounces following the closure of unprofitable production at the Bokoni mine, which was placed on care and maintenance in the quarter.
CEO Mark Cutifani said the reduction in platinum guidance signalled the company's determination to remove "unprofitable ounces from production as we focus on value over volume".
Analysts said the results overall were positive and earnings forecasts could also be exceeded.
"Good result all up with production generally in-line to moderately ahead of our forecasts," Hunter Hillcoat, analyst at Investec, said.
Citing productivity gains, Anglo American raised guidance for iron ore output at South African's Kumba unit again to 42 to 44 million tonnes following a previous update in July.
Copper production increased by 5% in the third quarter to 147 300 tonnes, reflecting higher grades.
At De Beers, stable trading conditions supported an increase in rough diamond production, driven principally by Debswana, and the ramp-up of Gahcho Kue.
Cutifani, said the miner had delivered another strong production performance across its business.
"Grosvenor production has materially stepped-up as the new operating procedures have been implemented, while Gahcho Kue and Minas-Rio continue to make positive contributions," Cutifani said.
"We have further increased production guidance at Kumba Iron Ore as we continue to improve our broader productivity performance. In Platinum, we have taken necessary steps to remove unprofitable ounces from production as we focus on value over volume."– Nampa/Reuters/ANA
A media training workshop on human rights and culture, conducted by the Women's Leadership Centre (WLC) in Katima Mulilo last week, provided journalists the opportunity to learn how their work could help promote human rights and expose harmful practices that impact girls and women across the country.
A statement issued by the WLC said participants “were shocked to learn that over the past eight years, the HIV prevalence rate for women tested in Katima Mulilo was far higher than at any other testing site in the country.”
Data collected through the bi-annual sentinel surveys of the health ministry found that in 2016, in the age group 25 to 49 years, 44.2% of Katima Mulilo women were living with HIV, compared to the national average of 24%.
Liz Frank, WLC programme manager, said the workshop highlighted the fact that a number of cultural practices in the Zambezi Region can be classified as “child abuse and must be stopped to protect girls from violence and exposure to HIV/Aids.”
Studies have shown that some communities still force young girls to stretch their labia minora, or practice 'sikenge', an initiation practice, which involves cutting and scarring the bodies of young girls.
Moreover, in some communities, sexual readiness testing of girls by male relatives still takes place.
The workshop was also attended by traditional leaders from three traditional authorities and community leaders who support cultural transformation which will help uphold the human rights of girls and women.
“Traditional leaders and community members spoke out strongly against polygamy, forced marriage, widow inheritance, dry sex, widow cleansing, and high prices for lobola, stating that these practices violate women's rights to control their own bodies and lives, and fuel the high prevalence of HIV in Zambezi Region,” Frank wrote in the statement.
The workshop moreover covered national laws and international instruments protecting the human rights of girls and women in Namibia, and analysed how these rights are violated by an array of harmful cultural practices in various communities across the country that expose girls and women to all forms of violence as well a high risk of contracting HIV/Aids.
Participants welcomed recent recommendations form three United Nations human rights bodies to Namibia on the need to prevent harmful cultural practices and to protect women's rights.
An action plan adopted by government on the implementation of the recommendations from a UN committee on promoting human rights for women was also applauded.
The WLC has worked in Zambezi Region over the past 12 years on the need to prevent harmful cultural practices that subject girls and women to violence and a high risk of exposure to HIV and Aids.
The media workshop was sponsored by the British High Commission in Namibia.
In February, the British High Commissioner to Namibia, Jo Lomas, said at the opening of the WLC's conference on preventing harmful cultural practices in the Zambezi that the challenge is twofold.
“Firstly it about building a realisation and a consensus amongst senior members of the community that these practices are harmful mentally and physically. That these practices are directly responsible for the higher incident of HIV/Aids in this region than in other parts of Namibia.”
She added that it's “also about acknowledging that some traditions can and should change for the better without damaging those positive elements of this vibrant culture.”
Moreover, Lomas underlined that “these girls, wherever they are in the world, need mentors, teachers, families who will instil them with confidence who will teach them that their bodies are their own and that they get to make the decisions.”
A nationwide demonstration by the students has been called off following this announcement. Acting Student Representative Council (SRC) president, Bernard Kavau said the agreement was reached on Monday.
Kavau told Nampa that the planned demonstration came after the SRC last week learnt that students who owe tuition fees were not allowed to write exams.
However, he said management and the SRC came to an agreement on the matter, prompting the demonstration to be called off.
The two parties, he explained, have agreed that students with outstanding balances on their accounts will be allowed to sit for the examinations provided they pay a minimum amount of 50 per cent of their total outstanding balance.
The results of those with outstanding balances will be withheld.
However, in a media statement issued on Saturday already, Unam public relations officer Simon Namesho said students who fail to write the regular examinations, but are able to make the required 50% payment before 7 November 2017, are eligible to apply for a special examination.
“The special examinations will be the first and last opportunity for the said students,” said the statement.
It further said students should note that direct and electronic deposits into the university's bank account will only be cleared after two days to enable such students to be admitted for the examinations.
“The university will withhold all examination results for students with outstanding balances on their accounts,” it said.
Students with genuine and deserving special circumstances are encouraged to approach the office of the dean of students at their respective campuses.
This will be in the form of a loan that will have to be paid back with interest by the agriculture ministry to the parastatal.
The reimbursement will be done over a five-year period, starting in the 2018/19 financial year, agriculture permanent secretary Percy Misika said.
Misika toured the dam on Monday and in a media briefing afterwards gave revised figures and payment plans for the project's total debt.
The initial contract amount of N$3.02 billion for both the contractor, Salini Impregilo and engineering consultant, Knight Piésold, now stands at just over N$5.7 billion due to delays and cost escalations.
Government already paid N$3.121 billion, leaving a shortfall of N$2.6 billion.
In September, NamWater advanced N$200 million of its loan amount from its own reserves to help kick-start production halted at the dam in August due to non-payment.
The ministry added N$155 million, Misika said.
NamWater will obtain the remaining N$400 million through a bank loan and bond, he added.
Of the total project debt, a further N$1.374 billion will be sourced from the Infrastructure Fund which, according to Misika, is in the process of being set up by the finance ministry.
“The final shortfall of N$500 million for the financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 will have to be budgeted for by the ministry during 2018/19 and 2019/20,” he said.
These recommendations were made by a technical committee set up in recent months by the Cabinet Committee on Treasury to deal with the financing needs of Neckartal. It awaits approval from the full Cabinet.
The dam will be transferred onto the NamWater balance sheet upon completion.
The parastatal and ministry diverted funds that were budgeted for other strategic projects to Neckartal to avert more costs and delays, the PS said.
“Progress on the construction works of the dam stands at 92% and it is estimated that completion will be around April 2018 with a further retention period of a year.”
The plan is for the retention fee (N$500 million), which is about 10% of the total project value, to be disbursed during the 2018/19 and 2019/2020 financial years.
Capricorn Group embarked on a brand architecture journey in 2016 which has led to Bank Gaborone evolving its current brand to align with the brand of the group.
More than eleven years ago Capricorn Group decided to enter the Botswana financial services sector with the establishment of Bank Gaborone. By January 2017, Capricorn Group acquired the controlling shareholding of 68.7% in Capricorn Investment Holdings Botswana Limited, which in turn holds 100% of the share capital in Bank Gaborone.
Capricorn Group is a regional financial services group operating as an investment holding company with interests in banking, insurance, asset management and microfinance in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. The group was incorporated in September 1996 and has been listed on the local index of the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) since June 2013. Its main shareholders are Capricorn Investment Holdings (CIH) and the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), the largest institutional investor in Namibia.
Sybrand A. Coetzee, the managing director of Bank Gaborone, says “our refreshed brand signifies a pathway of progression for the bank and all its stakeholders. It gives us a fresh new look, along with the change in our look we have a new brand purpose - to be a connector of positive change, and new values – Open, Inspired and Dedicated.”
Marlize Horn, group executive for brand and corporate affairs said: “Bank Gaborone was the strongest performer in the group for the past fiscal year which ended on 30 June 2017, showing growth in revenue of 28.4% and 98% improvement in profit after tax.”
Horn further confirmed the intention of the shareholders to build a strong bank in Botswana. Capricorn Group will remain committed to providing support to the bank, so that it can become a more dominant player in the financial sector in Botswana. As the group’s identity and ethos are so closely linked to the well-being of the countries within which it operates: Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, there is a shared responsibility to bring positive change, thereby creating an environment of empowerment and prosperity for all, she said.
“You will start to see changes in our logo application on communication material and some infrastructure elements. We will ensure that our customers experience the positive change we are talking about,” said Sandra Mokobi, marketing and corporate communications manager of Bank Gaborone, when outlining the journey ahead.
Bank Gaborone provides retail banking services across a network of 9 retail branches, 12 Bank Gaborone Finance unsecured lending offices and 17 ATMs throughout the country. Bank Gaborone offers a suite of products and services ranging from transactional accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, business banking, SME banking, treasury services including foreign exchange services, property finance, vehicle finance, and electronic channels including E-pula Internet Banking and Tobetsa Mobile Banking and SMS Alertz.
CAN chief executive officer Rolf Hansen said the registry would give the organisation access to higher quality data, faster input time and easier access to patients.
The Namibia National Cancer Registry (NNCR) was started in 1995, when Rössing Uranium Mine, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Social Services Oncology Clinic and the Cancer Association of Namibia, collected all cancer cases reported to the Windhoek state pathology laboratory and the single existing private pathology laboratory from 1979 to 1994.
From 1995 onwards, the Namibia National Cancer Registry commenced active registration of both pathology-based and clinical cases for four sentinel regions namely the Erongo Region, //Karas Region, Oshana and Khomas.
The newly launched Namibia National Cancer Registry database will be managed by Hansen and co-managed by a technical and administration team funded by CAN, cancer specialist Dr Anelle Zietsman, as well as the staff of the Dr AB May Cancer Care Centre at Windhoek Central Hospital.
“Cancer is a major national challenge to the global community and Namibia is no different. Because cancer registries provide data that help guide effective planning to combat the disease, they are valuable research tools for those interested in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer,” said Hansen.
He explained the difference between a population-based registry and a hospital-based registry. The former collects data on all new cases of cancer occurring in a well-defined population, while the latter only records cases diagnosed at a particular hospital.
“In Namibia we have a unique situation whereby the Cancer Association of Namibia has started the monitoring of cancer cases since 1995 officially. The Namibia National Cancer Registry (NNCR), administered and funded by CAN is a population-based registry and includes data from all official regions and patients diagnosed with cancer, reported to the NNCR, or by active case-finding,” said Hansen.
At the recent annual general meeting of the Livestock Producers' Organisation (LPO), its chairperson Piet Gouws said farmers could no longer pay for unsustainable ideals at the cost of their very survival.
Transport permits allegedly cannot be issued in rural areas because electricity bills have not been paid.
He added that Namibia's favourable marketing situation would only be sustainable if the country's animal health status could be sustained and guaranteed.
He added that more new diseases would threaten the industry because of international trade in live animals, including wild animals.
This again indicated the importance of an effective veterinary department and expert laboratory technicians.
Gouws said there was concern over the financial limitations of the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), leading to non-payment of subsistence and travel (S&T) allowances and water and electricity bills.
“It is important that the government realise the critical importance of an effective, financially sound DVS to reach the NDP5 goals,” he said.
According to the annual report of the LPO the finance ministry is implementing stringent control measures, leading to budgetary constraints in government departments.
The DVS is also affected by this, specifically when it comes to livestock marketing.
Due to non-payment of electricity accounts at its offices in rural areas, transport permits cannot be printed.
“The LPO and the Namibian Agricultural Union have expressed to the agriculture ministry that DVS must be prioritised in the allocation of funds. If the economy wants to recover, the marketing of livestock must continue,” the report states.
It says foot-and-mouth disease remains the biggest threat to the Namibian livestock sector.
Since an FMD outbreak in the northern communal areas in 2015 the DVS has been controlling the disease with regular vaccination campaigns.
However, the state of the country's border fences is a major concern for the LPO due to lack of funds for maintenance.
The LPO wants a taskforce to be appointed to coordinate the upkeep of the fences. A new case of FMD was reported in the Zambezi Region on 17 July.
Also, the good rainfall received last season led to an outbreak of lumpy skin disease, which prompted restrictions on the movement of cattle.
Lumpy skin disease was first detected in the Gobabis district in Omaheke and later spread to other areas
In certain regions it infected many cattle because vaccine was not readily available.
Gouws warned farmers that because of the mild winter and with the rainy season on hand, it is critical that producers protect themselves against unnecessary restrictions by vaccinating their cattle against the disease.
The occurrence of a large number of cattle abortions in the Windhoek district of late has also caused huge losses for some producers.
In a letter addressed to the associate dean of the Unam Nursing School, Dr Louise Pretorius, dated 13 October, the health ministry's permanent secretary, Andreas Mwoombola, expressed hope that the financial situation would soon improve to enable the ministry to hire nursing graduates.
A ministry spokesperson, Sister Libita Manga, yesterday confirmed that the letter was the “real deal”.
“The ministry has its own nursing department which usually goes out to nursing schools to see how many nurses are graduating in order to make provision for them, but this time it will not be the case,” she said.
This notice came exactly two months after the ministry in August suspended the appointment of non-Namibian nurses, as well as the retention-of-service contracts of nurses over the age of 60.
According to the ministry's public relations office 714 foreign health professionals are currently employed by the ministry. Among them are 314 registered nurses.
“Please note that the Zimbabwean nurses are still working here because they only go as their contracts come to end. In other words they will leave on different dates and not all at once,” said Manga.
Unam spokesperson Simon Namesho said the health ministry takes up most of the nursing school's graduates but a number of graduates enter the private health sector.
“Nursing students who graduating this year are 189, including 50 Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery graduates and 139 Bachelor of Nursing Science graduates.
“The majority of the students enrolled for the diploma course are registered nurses employed by the ministry, and usually, after successfully completion of their studies, they return to their workplaces,” he said.
“We have questioned a number of people who could possibly know Shikongo's whereabouts but all we have obtained was just hearsay.
There is no factual information as to where the missing man is as yet,” Deputy Commissioner Hilja Haipumbu told Namibian Sun.
Haipumbu urged members of the public with information on the whereabouts of the elderly man to come forward and assist the police.
Shikongo was last seen on the afternoon of 1 February this year in the Oshoopala location of Oshakati while he was tending to cattle with his 57-year-old nephew.
Shikongo had been living with his sister, Serestina Shikongo, 97, and her children at their home in the Ehenye township of Oshakati.
His nephew, who was the last person to see him, at the time told Namibian Sun that at around 10:00 on 1 February, his uncle was wearing a green T-shirt, brown pants, a white cap and sandals.
He said he picked up his uncle with his car at around 16:00 to help him gather his cattle in the floodplain behind the Oshoopala location.
“He rode in the back of the car and we went near the Sky Bridge where we found the cattle.
I told him not to get out of the car while I was driving the cattle home from the other side of the oshana.
While driving the cattle home I saw him get out of the car and when I returned he was nowhere to be seen,” the nephew said.
“What possible plausible financial or moral justification can there be to compromise a government investment of over N$1.5 billion, hundreds of Namibian jobs and the livelihoods of the families they support in pursuit of an investment that was recoverable at the time?” questioned one reader.
This reader suggested that the BoN should have considered a “rehabilitation and corrective order” instead of first placing the SME Bank under curatorship and then applying for its liquidation.
“These options were never pursued but instead a take-over frenzy, first targeting the board and foreign employees but eventually jeopardising every Namibian and shareholder with an interest and stake in the bank, government included,” this sentiment goes.
The Namibian government, through the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, had capitalised the SME Bank with N$900 million at its inception in 2012.
Another reader, Marcus Shilongo, wrote that the BoN instead should have required evidence from the bank's directors and managers that the estimated missing N$200 million was a return on investment within 10 days of the maturity date.
In the absence of such information, Shilongo suggested, the BoN should have demanded that the shareholders of the SME Bank commit to repay that money.
“This could have been a simple process but BoN chose to do it differently because of their hidden agenda, which if the courts play into it, will be achieved,” Shilongo offered.
Yet another reader felt that “those chosen to lead” the SME Bank – Andrew Ndishishi and former board chairpersons of the bank, Frans Kapofi and George Simataa – “acted not only in bad faith but they have also neglected the national interest (to run the SME Bank for the benefit of the nation and small businesses in particular) and this negligence has led to a loss of work for about 200 Namibian employees and a loss of funds for ordinary customers”.
This reader accused the Namibian government of having retained controversial Zimbabwean banker Enock Kamushinda despite him having been blacklisted by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa.
Kamushinda is reported to be a close ally of Zimbabwe presidential couple Robert and Grace Mugabe.
According to the SME Bank 2015 annual report – the only annual report the bank has ever produced since it opened in December 2012 – Kamushinda was responsible for pioneering the “look East policy” for Zimbabwe and played a leading role in the so-called “indigenisation and empowerment in Zimbabwe”, both policies having had disastrous consequences for that country.
He was also involved in the establishment of the weekly Southern Times newspaper, published by Namzim Newspapers, a 50-50 joint venture between New Era Publication Corporation and Zimbabwe Newspapers for which the Namibian taxpayer so far has had to foot the bill.
Equally, the argument goes, when it was revealed that Kamushinda was blacklisted, the Namibian government “ran to change the shareholding” structure of the bank to “conceal the dirty name” of Kamushinda.
Kamushinda then had “disappeared” from the shareholding structure, but the Namibian government is accused of allowing him to stay on as a non-executive director and giving him free rein to fill all top positions with Zimbabweans.
According to the 2015 SME Bank annual report the agreed shareholders' agreement was that the Namibian government (holding 65% of shares), as per a cabinet decision, was to be represented by the Namibia Financing Trust (Pty) Ltd, an association not for gain.
Kamushinda's Metbank Ltd on 9 October 2013 had voluntarily resigned as shareholder of the SME Bank, stating that it wished to be a “technical partner”. This resignation was accepted by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) on 4 June 2014.
On 19 September 2014, Metbank Ltd. applied to the BoN to be reinstated as shareholder (for 30% shareholding), which the BoN approved on 21 July 2015 after having conducted a “fitness and probity test”.
This, however, meant that by 28 February 2015 the share certificates were not issued.
Five percent of the shares were held by WorldEagle Investment (Pty) Limited.
Fundamental to what went wrong, an expert in the banking sector preferring anonymity said, was why the SME Bank was given a banking licence without share certificates.
He questioned what happened to the money earmarked for the SME Bank and why the Financial Intelligence Centre did not pick up on the transfers to South Africa in September 2016.
Asked why it had approved a banking licence for the SME Bank without share certificates, the BoN's deputy director of corporate communications, Kazembire Zemburuka, responded that a share certificate was not a prerequisite for the approval of a banking licence.
Africa must double its spending on infrastructure over the coming years, the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) has said, warning that overall investment in transport, energy, water and IT/communications fell back last year.
In 2016, total investment in these four sectors - from public and private sources and international institutions - was US$62.5 billion, compared with US$78.9 billion in 2015.
"A spending requirement of around US$120bn-US$140bn (at 2015 dollar rates) (is needed) in the short-term," the report states.
African states invested US$26.3 billion in 2016 after US$24 billion in 2015. – Nampa/Reuters
Angola's Lourenço orders review of oil sector
Angola's João Lourenço has ordered a 30-day review of the nation's oil industry to address the "significant" challenges it faces, his first foray into the key business since he took office last month.
He directed a working group to determine how it can "improve the current conditions of investment in the oil and gas industry," and develop a "framework of cooperation" directly between the executive and oil companies.
The move came as Lourenço appointed Carlos Saturnino, a former head of Sonangol P&P, as secretary of state for oil. The president merged the ministries for oil and mining into one group, led by Diamantino Azevedo.
Sources say Saturnino's appointment signals a potential clash between the ministry and state oil company Sonangol, which is led by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos. – Nampa/Reuters
Sierra Leone to auction diamond to benefit poor
Sierra Leone hopes to raise millions of US dollars for development projects by auctioning a huge uncut diamond, believed to be one of the world's largest, in New York in December.
It will be the government's second attempt to sell the 709-carat gem, known as the "Peace Diamond", after it rejected the highest bid of US$7.8 million at an initial auction in New York in May.
Over half of the proceeds from the sale will be used to fund clean water, electricity, education and health projects in Sierra Leone, and particularly in the village of Koryardu, in the Kono region in eastern Sierra Leone, where the diamond was discovered. – Nampa/Reuters
Nigeria freezes bank accounts
A Nigerian court has ordered a temporary freeze on millions of bank accounts with incomplete identification documents and the forfeiture of funds in those accounts as the government seeks to ensure compliance with money laundering rules.
The government asked banks to disclose details of millions of personal and business accounts where holders have not provided biometric information and asked the court to stop the accounts operating. It seeks account holders' names, outstanding balances and any investments made with funds from the accounts, held with all the country's 19 commercial lenders and the central bank.
The court granted a 14-day period for owners of affected accounts to indicate interest and explain why their funds should not be permanently forfeited to the government.
back its own funds from lenders at an interest.
Nigeria has 98 million bank accounts, of which 67 million are active. – Nampa/Reuters
Tanzania tax expert named central bank chief
Tanzania's new central bank governor will be tax law professor Florens Luoga, the country's president said on Monday.
President John Magufuli said Luoga would take over in December or January after the tenure of current governor Benno Ndulu expires.
Luoga currently serves as the deputy vice chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), the country's largest public university.
President Magufuli's government accuses mining firms of cheating Tanzania out of its fair share of mineral wealth through tax dodging and smuggling, allegations they deny. Magufuli ordered the country's central bank to crackdown on capital flight by foreign investors companies. – Nampa/Reuters
Seasoned businesswoman and managing director of Leap Holdings Group, Ally Angula, reiterated these sentiments during the recently concluded Start Up Grind event, which was sponsored by Standard Bank Namibia, in collaboration with Windhoek Chapter of Start Up Grind.
“Namibians are not creators (manufacturers) of things but that is the one thing they need/want to be …The only thing that will save this continent is if we make and consume our own products, as well as export them,” Angula says.
Keeping in line with these sentiments, Karen van der Merwe, head of business banking at Standard Bank Namibia, gave a few guidelines to prospective entrepreneurs who wanted to venture into manufacturing.
“Manufacturing is central to Namibia’s export strategy, based on value-added, labour-intensive tradable products that generate revenues that have a significant, positive impact on the balance of trade,” Van der Merwe says.
‘Not taken lightly’
Starting a manufacturing business is not a decision to be taken lightly, she says.
“It involves a substantial commitment as it calls for a heavy up-front financial investment for specialised facilities, complex equipment and raw materials. You need to ready yourself for a broad array of responsibilities to effectively coordinate the many steps of the manufacturing process,” Van der Merwe says.
Manufacturing also plays a critical and indispensable role as a driver of innovation and productivity growth.
The choice to become a manufacturer involves a lot more than just having the perfect product, she says. “Prospective entrepreneurs need to think carefully about several things such as the potential market take off of your product both locally and abroad, competitor brand value, consider how economies of scale in terms of raw material procurement and the team required to see the product you are manufacturing to fruition.
“Obviously, manufacturing processes come in all shapes and sizes. The size, complexity, and total number of products you want to manufacture will all affect the way you plan your entry into the world of manufacturing,” she says.
It is imperative for the Start Up entrepreneur to ask themselves several questions to assess their readiness to move forward, Van der Merwe says.
“Questions such as do you have what it takes to be a manufacturer, what product you will manufacture, how will you protect your rights to the product and what is the most effective method to manufacture your product, to name a few.”
Van der Merwe also pointed out that one of the things prospective manufacturers need to know is that of not trading from their personal bank account.
“This (using the personal account) makes it harder to differentiate between your personal expenses and business expenses. It also doesn’t allow you to build up a credit risk profile for your business, which is an important factor should you ever want to approach a bank for financing. Rather, start trading as a business from the get-go by opening up a business current account,” she says.
Distinguishing your business from your competitors and how your products are more unique with more to offer should be what the Start Up entrepreneur strives for.
“It helps, too, if your customers see something unique and special about you and your company, not just about your product. The way you operate your business and the way you relate to customers offers additional opportunities to extend the distinctiveness of your entire enterprise.
“It takes a combination of character and capability to make an impression on your customers. Just like you must give them a reason to buy your product, give them a reason for doing business with you and your company,” she says.
Manufacturing has direct employment creation potential and is the engine of rising per capita income and employment through its stimulation of the rest of the economy.
Young entrepreneurs should be encouraged to venture into manufacturing for its wholesome benefits, Van der Merwe says.
“Rising per capita incomes are particularly important for sustained growth and employment creation in the consumption-driven service sectors of the economy, which have become critically dependent on unsustainable levels of household debt.”
Di Savino, a Windhoek businessman, yesterday made the allegation against former Chief Inspector William Lloyd and Chief Inspector Nelius Becker of the ACC.
Di Savino and former NWR boss Tobie Aupindi are facing charges of contravention of provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act. Their trial started yesterday in the Magistrate's Court in Windhoek. The State alleges Di Savino bought a swimming pool for Aupindi as a gift for a contract he had received from NWR.
Aupindi's appeal to the Supreme Court to have the corruption charges was set aside was dismissed in July.
The criminal trial has not been finalised because it was interrupted by a recusal application by the accused. A witness produced statements that he had procured from certain persons with allegations that Magistrate Helvi Shilemba and the prosecutors were plotting to convict Aupindi on the charges he is facing, prompting him and his co-accused Di Savino to make an application for recusal of the magistrate, saying they would not get a fair trial.
However Shilemba, after hearing the evidence, dismissed the application on the basis that the duo failed to establish facts to prove that there was reasonable apprehension of bias on their part.
She had also, after the conclusion of the State's case when both accused applied for discharge on all charges, dismissed the application and postponed the trial to a later date.
The State alleges that Aupindi had not paid the costs involved in the installation of a swimming pool at his residence.
Di Savino yesterday denied that he had bought the N$50 000 pool for Aupindi to return a favour.
“I did not do a favour for Aupindi by revamping his swimming pool. He paid me N$48 000 and was still to reimburse me the rest of the money after I completed the work, including the installation of the swimming pool,” Di Savino testified.
According to him he was pushed, shouted at and even threatened and consequently became nervous and shaken.
“I was in fact in a state of shock,” Di Savino told the court.
The trial continues. The State's case is led by Joseph Andreas while Advocate Richard Metcalfe appears for Aupindi and Advocate Louis du Pisani is in defence of Di Savino.
Doré is a fully Namibian-owned pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor based in Windhoek’s Prosperita industrial area.
The business has grown since its inception in 1997, making a name for itself with a range of locally made condoms, including the Smile condom which it supplies exclusively to the Namibian government.
In 2016 the name was changed from Global Pharmaceutical Exchange to Doré Pharmaceuticals and the condom business was separated to continue under the care of sister company Commodity Exchange.
Since then, work on building a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing plant has been continuing.
According to Doré’s industrial relations officer and human resource manager, Betranne Martiz, the plant meets the highest quality standards required by the European Union Good Manufacturing Practice (EU GMP) regulatory body and recently received its licence to manufacture.
It also has a GMP certification from the Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council (NMRC).
Regulatory pharmacist Durre Moodley says the company will supply diabetes drugs, blood-pressure medicine, painkillers, antibiotics and vitamins.
In future the product range will be expanded to include diuretics and respiratory drugs.
The company will supply the market with both scheduled and over-the-counter medicines, she says.
According to production pharmacist Diana Sheehama, local production of these essential drugs will naturally have a positive impact on the availability of medicines at local pharmacies.
“The tablets we target are essential drugs that the government needs,” says the chief financial officer for Doré Pharmaceuticals, Andrew Campbell.
N$100 million investment
According to director and owner John Maritz, once in full production the company will be able to supply all the medicines needed in the country within three months.
He says more than N$100 million has been invested in developing the company’s manufacturing capability since 2014.
With the latest blister-packaging machines, 300 blisters of essential drugs can be packaged per minute.
Averouz Maritz, who is responsible for research and development as well as new business at Doré, elaborates that phase one encompasses down-stream blister manufacturing of solid-dose medicines, commonly known as tablets.
By next year the company hopes to complete phase two, which will encompass the pressing of solid-dose tablets by compacting granules of source chemicals.
Phase three is planned for 2020 when they will take on granulation, entailing the mixing, sieving and granulating of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients.
By 2030 Doré hopes to embark on phase four with the formulation of active pharmaceutical ingredients from scientific research and clinic trials done on plants and biological sources indigenous to Namibia.
As the company grows it intends to educate the public and communicate important information to those who use its medicines. Moodley explains that a colour-coded system will be used on Doré packaging to indicate which types of ailments the medicine is best used for.
“We will also be the first to have Braille on our packaging,” she said.
The expansion also brings new job opportunities. Already ten new pharmacists have been employed in positions related to quality control, research and development, regulatory oversight, administration, production and warehousing, as well as supply-chain control of distribution and receiving.
By the end of phase two they expect to employ 100 more general workers, depending on the volumes demanded. With phase three the workforce should increase to 150 and by phase four, 200 to 300 Namibians may find work in the budding pharmaceutical industry.
The 24-year-old Mika Muunjua is suing the clothing retail shop situated in Windhoek's Frans Indongo Building for falsely accusing her of theft.
“I was embarrassed and harassed by Pep Stores, stripped of my dignity and sent off without any mitigating apology,” Muunjua argues.
The matter was heard by Judge Thomas Masuku.
Muunjua went to the Pep Stores branch on 7 August 2015. When she could not find what she was looking for she left the shop.
At the exit she was stopped by an unknown woman who asked to search her bag. She said she allowed the search after she realised that it was a security guard.
As the woman was searching her bag, a small container of petroleum jelly fell out. Muunjua said the woman accused her of stealing the Vaseline. Although she could not show a receipt, she explained that she had bought it at Shoprite two days earlier and that was why it was barely used.
She told the court that she had denied stealing the Vaseline and further denied that it belonged to Pep Stores but they did not believe her.
Muunjua said she requested them to look at the CCTV footage but they refused.
She alleges that the shop's staff kept calling her a thief and refused to accompany her to Shoprite in order to check the record of the purchase.
“They refused to accept my explanation and denial that I am not a thief, but continued to yell accusations at me in front of the customers and passers-by in the street, as well as in front of my schoolmates and clients entering the shop,” Muunjua told the court.
She said the security guards at Pep Stores detained her in a room at the back of the shop where they kept interrogating her and called the City Police to arrest her.
According to her, the manager demanded that she pay five times the value of the Vaseline in order to be released.
“I refused this and maintained my innocence. I was, on their instructions, loaded into the back of a City Police van and escorted to Shoprite where they initially refused to go.”
She said at Shoprite it was discovered that the Vaseline had been purchased there and did not belong to Pep Stores.
“They simply left me at Shoprite without as much as an apology,” she claimed.
Kadhila Amoomo, appearing on behalf of Muunjua, argued that Pep Stores stocks the same Vaseline product as Shoprite; that there is no CCTV system in Pep Stores; that no case was opened against his client; and that no apology was extended to her when it was discovered that she had not stolen the Vaseline.
Oral submissions on the heads of argument will be made on Monday. Shimue Mbudje from ENS Africa appeared on behalf of Pep Stores.
Namibia yesterday disputed a report by an international news agency which stated that the government had not submitted feedback on North Korea to the UN Security Council for more than a year.
The online report and a news clip produced by CNN have spread widely on social media since Sunday.
A statement released by the acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Lineekela Mboti, rejected the allegations made in the CNN report.
According to Mboti Namibia did submit reports to the Security Council as required, the last having been submitted on 8 April this year.
The reports pertain to the Namibian government's implementation of UN resolutions on North Korea.
On the UN Security Council's website Namibia's implementation report is available as of 18 April. This report does not deal with specific enquiries made by the UN Security Council however.
“The government is committed to complying with all relevant UN resolutions on North Korea and has therefore invited the Panel of Experts to visit Namibia to assess its compliance with the sanctions resolutions,” the ministry said.
According to Mboti the council acknowledged Namibia's invitation but the experts were unavailable. “The invitation still stands.”
Mboti added that the deputy prime minister and minister of international relations and cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, clearly stated during her interview with CNN on 10 October that Namibia had terminated its contracts with Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid) and Mansudae Overseas Projects for as long as the UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea were in place.
According to the ministry all North Korean nationals have left Namibia as part of the implementation of the UN Security Council sanction resolutions against that country.
However, the coordinator of the UN Panel of Experts, Hugh Griffiths, says the panel has not received responses from Namibia to specific queries for more than a year.
“It is not enough to talk in the media. It is not enough to say you have been exonerated by the UN for North Korean sanctions violations because that is not true. The panel deals with hard facts - with evidence - and this is what we have been asking for many months now,” said Griffiths.
Namibia and 14 other African countries are alleged to have supported North Korea's nuclear programme by funding various projects undertaken by Mansudae Overseas Projects, ranging from munitions factories, state houses and apartments, CNN reported on Sunday.
Mansudae, which was constructing the Namibian defence ministry's new headquarters, has been linked by UN investigators to alleged weapons exporters, Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).
According to the UN panel, Namibia contracted North Korean workers and state companies to construct a munitions factory, which is a clear violation of UN sanctions dating back nearly a decade.
Griffiths said that his predecessor travelled to Windhoek in 2013 and was told that Namibia was complying with all UN resolutions.
“In fact, at the time there was a large group of Korean workers building a munitions factory in direct violation of the resolutions. So they were being untruthful,” he said.
Namibia announced that it had stopped the construction in June 2016. But the panel has not received confirmation from Namibia of the closure or proof that the workers have left. Nandi-Ndaitwah told CNN that all the North Korean workers have left the country, but apparently would not specify when.
“Because as a member state we have to comply. And so we complied,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
She also told CNN that Namibia had invited the UN panel to come to investigate, but Griffiths and the UN panel wanted written proof and documentation from Namibia.
“The panel has visited Namibia before and as they say, 'once fooled, twice shy.' We are not going back for some tourist visit. We need to see the evidence,” he said.
According to CNN it seems it seems Mansudae's headquarters in Windhoek were active until just weeks ago.
CNN's review of title deeds shows that a property was sold in 2004 to Mansudae for around N$1.6 million (about $120 000) and the North Korean company still owns it.
Mansudae's statue business was put under United Nations Security Council sanctions in late 2016.
The UN panel says that the North Korean enterprise worked closely in Namibia with another entity called the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid), which the US Treasury Department describes as North Korea's chief arms dealer. Komid has been sanctioned since 2009. According to a UN Security Council report released in February it continued its investigation of Komid's involvement in Mansudae's construction of a munitions factory in Namibia. The Panel confirmed that Komid had provided key components to the Oamites munitions factory and that Mansudae had used labourers from North Korea.
Satellite imagery also showed that construction at the military base at Oamites continued until at least 2014. “Namibia admitted that Komid and Mansudae were involved in the project, and that it had been started by Mansudae in 2010 with labour from North Korea until it was discontinued in April 2015.”
The report says Namibia announced in June 2016 that it had decided to terminate the services of Komid and Mansudae, including the involvement of North Koreans in current or future projects. “The Panel requested confirmation of this termination and information on any repatriation of labourers from North Korea, but has yet to receive a reply.”
In a September report it says the Panel of Experts continued its investigation into the activities of the Mansudae Overseas Project Group in Namibia, which the Panel had previously recommended for designation for evasion of sanctions and activities on behalf of the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).
“The Panel is currently investigating entities involved in the construction of the new headquarters for the National Central Intelligence Service as well a munitions factory constructed by Mansudae and KOMID. Namibia has yet to respond.”
According to Deputy Commissioner William Peter the accident with the elephant occurred late at night.
He said two people died on the spot and another person was seriously injured.
The deceased has been identified as Kavari Uangandera (driver) and Festus Simon. Their ages are not known.
A shepherd, David Dantatzao (59) survived an attack by two leopards in the Karibib area on Monday.
He allegedly killed one female leopard with a pocket knife and a spear. He sustained serious injuries and was admitted to Usakos State Hospital in a stable condition.
At least five rapes were reported at the weekend. Three of the victims were mentally disturbed.
According to the police a 38-year-old man raped a 13-year-old girl on Sunday at Epupa Falls location, Epupa constituency. The girl is a mentally disturbed Angolan national. The suspect has been arrested.
In a separate incident on Sunday at Omugulugoonime village-Omuntele area, a mentally challenged woman was raped by two suspects. Her age was not given.
According to the police the victim was on her way home from Omulegongo cuca shops when two suspects assaulted and raped her. The suspects fled and have not been arrested.
On Saturday at Oshivelo a 26-year-old girl who is mentally challenged was raped by two men. Her mother called the police. The suspects are known but have not yet been arrested.
Meanwhile on Sunday at Gochas it is alleged that a 43-year-old man raped a 22-year-old woman. The suspect has been arrested.
Also on Sunday at Block E in Rehoboth a 25-year-old woman was raped by a 31-year-old man at knifepoint. The suspect was arrested.
In another incident a 26-year-old Chinese businessman was robbed in his shop in Oshakati.
The incident occurred on Sunday morning when the suspects entered the shop, hacked the victim with a panga on his head and arms and robbed him of N$50 000. The victim sustained injuries and he was treated at Oshakati State Hospital.
On Saturday in Ondangwa at around 20:00 near Okapya Bridge it is alleged that a Chinese couple were threatened with a screwdriver while in a taxi to surrender their money and cellphones by one of three men who were in the taxi .
They were robbed of N$11 000 in cash and a cellphone. The suspects are not known and no arrests have been made.
“There is a growing belief in society that the ACC is not doing its task and whether it is true or not, the ACC should do much more in terms of convincing the public that they are doing as per their mandate,” said Alweendo, who is also director-general of the National Planning Commission.
Alweendo was speaking during a workshop to asses and align the current subordinate legislation with international extractive industry standards.
He said the first step to promote transparency should be through the public declaration of interest.
Namibians should promote transparency, accountability and good governance when implementing economic and development goals, Alweendo said.
The government must publicly report the revenues received from the extractive industry while these companies must also publicly report the revenues they pay to the government. This should be followed by the full disclosure in the awarding of contracts and exploration licences, Alweendo said.
Global initiatives like Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Publish What You Pay Coalition have shown that the publication of information will improve governance in the sector and help maximise the development potential from these industries for the country, he said.
Lessons learnt from countries that have fallen victim to the resource curse suggest that management of natural resources significantly improves when effective regulatory frameworks are placed prior to their extraction, Alweendo said.
“There is clear link between establishing high capable institutional frameworks and enhancing regulatory capacity in monitoring transparency and tackling corruption,” said Alweendo.
Speaking at the same occasion, ACC director-general Paulus Noa said the workshop will help his institution identify gaps in Namibia’s legislation and develop proposals to address identified deficiencies.
“Good governance is the key to solving many of the economic challenges that we face. When we get good governance right the road to high and sustained economic will be smooth sailing,” said Noa.
The tournament hosted by the City of Windhoek will be played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium next weekend.
Some of the finest teams and players from the city's informal settlements will be in action in this competition.
Two giants of Havana, Havana City and City Stars, have been pitted against each other.
Both clubs' fans felt that the teams were unlucky to be drawn against each other so early in the competition.
However, this makes the prospect of a highly competitive match likely.
Six other teams from Goreangab, Otjomuise and Okahandja Park will take part.
The CEO of the City of Windhoek, Robert Kahimise, assured the public that the tournament will continue to grow.
He thanked the sponsors, Coca-Cola and OTB Sport, for being part of the event.
“We have a responsibility to focus on sport and recreation and that is why corporate companies should invest in the people,” Kahimise said.
The winners of the tournament will receive a trophy, prize money and medals for the players.
JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA
A new cup was unveiled because Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa won the first three editions of the tournament and earned the right to keep the trophy.
The prestigious cup honours President Hage Geingob for his contribution towards football and enabling the Namibian youth through sport.
In the past the tournament featured local and visiting premier league clubs.
This year the organisers adopted a new format, which will in turn help the senior national side players to use the match as preparation for Chan 2018 and to better their FIFA ranking.
Former Brave Warriors footballers Ricardo Mannetti, Congo Hindjou, Lolo Goraseb, Ronnie Kananelo and Amos Shiyuka were present at the unveiling to offer the organisers and players their support.
Hindjou, who is now the mayor of Okahandja, said the cup gives them a chance to honour the president and to offer him support as he has given back tremendously to football.
“Without him it would be difficult to get the ball rolling.”
NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro spoke metaphorically saying that the association is standing on the shoulders of giants, referring to the sponsors, and that is why they can touch the sky.
He further said that the game of football contributed to the brand which is Mannetti, Hindjou, Kananelo and Goraseb and thus needs further support from local fans as well.
Tafel Lager, the main sponsor, contributed a whopping N$2.5 million for this year's event while MTC contributed N$1.5 million and Huawei Technologies Namibia offered N$100 000, bringing the sponsorship to N$4.1 million.