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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Global vehicle sales to fall by 2040Global vehicle sales to fall by 2040 Global vehicle sales will decline over the next two decades as consumers embrace on-demand ride services like Uber, but demand for oil will keep rising, according to a study released Tuesday.

    Another counterintuitive finding from the study by IHS Markit was that more than 80 percent of the vehicles sold worldwide in 2040 will still use some form of petroleum-fueled combustion engine.

    Annual vehicle sales in the United States, Europe, China and India will decline over the next 23 years to 54 million in 2040, as total miles travelled rises 65 percent to around 11 billion miles a year, the study projected. About 80 million vehicles a year are sold currently in those regions.

    Although there will be fewer cars sold, demand for petroleum, especially for non-transportation uses, is expected to rise, from the current 98 million barrels a day to 115 million barrels a day in 2040.

    According to IHS Markit, which provides economic forecasts and data to the global energy and automotive markets, battery-powered all-electric vehicles will account for about 19 percent of sales by 2040. This compares with an estimated 14 percent of production by 2030 in a forecast by Boston Consulting Group on Nov. 2.

    IHS Markit forecast that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles - those with electric motors and combustion engines - will account for another 14 percent of sales in 2040.

    “Consumers are starting to embrace” the advanced technologies in electric and self-driving vehicles, Tom De Vleesschauwer, IHS Markit’s transport and mobility practice leader, said in an interview.

    While the adoption of electric vehicles is being driven in part by technology advances and government policy, “the part that’s most consumer-driven is ride hailing,” the on-demand service offered by such startups as Uber Technologies and China’s Didi Chuxing, according to Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit vice chairman.

    He said the firm was “surprised when we saw (oil) demand increasing rather than going down”. Yergin noted that cars only account for a third of oil demand.

    The study’s authors expect 43 million barrels a day of new oil production will need to be brought into development by 2040 as demand rises and existing fields decline naturally. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Amper-Bo residents receive toiletsAmper-Bo residents receive toilets Residents of Amper-Bo in the Gibeon Constituency in the Hardap Region received ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets on Monday to address the sanitation problem the constituency faces.

    A total of 22 residents received the toilets built at a cost of N$22 000.

    An elated 82-year-old, Trooi Hanse, who has been staying at Amper-Bo for 22 years, told Nampa she was happy to finally receive a toilet.

    “I am very happy for this day. I am an old lady and I am also disabled and had to go to the veld when nature called. I thank our government and councillor for this gesture,” Hanse remarked.

    Speaking at the handover ceremony, Gibeon constituency councillor, Jeremiah van Neel said government in line with the National Development Plans (NDP) and Harambee Prosperity Plan, prioritised sanitation as a primary focus for development interventions.

    Van Neel, who is also a National Council member, said according to NDP5, dry sanitation (pit latrines) is the most commonly used system in rural areas.

    He also quoted the Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey of 2015 that nationally, only 54% of households in Namibia have access to improved sanitation.

    “The problem is particularly acute in rural areas where only 28% of the households have access to improved sanitation facilities with an alarming 71.5% of households practicing open defecation,” van Neel noted.

    He said low access to improved sanitation constitutes a serious public health problem.

    Van Neel urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the VIP toilets and guard them jealously.

    Since 2012, over 3 855 sanitation facilities were constructed in all regions, except Khomas, in rural communities at household and public places.

    This was mainly done by the Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation Coordination in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.

    Amper-Bo is situated approximately 110 kilometres southeast of Mariental with some 350 residents and one primary school.

    NAMPA

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    State schools close 1 DecemberState schools close 1 December The education ministry has confirmed that the last day for all learners at government schools is 1 December and not 24 November as rumoured on various social media platforms this week.

    Education ministry spokesperson Absalom Absalom yesterday said “the last school day for learners writing exams during the third term, will be Friday, 1 December 2017 and it will also be the last day for learners”.

    Absalom added that 1 December is also the day hostel learners have to vacate the hostel.

    He added that the total number of school days for learners will be 63 days for the third term.

    “No schools are closing on 24 November and principals are requested to adhere to the circular issued,” Absalom told Namibian Sun. He emphasised schools have to comply with the instructions contained in the circular 7/2017, issued earlier this year, regarding the closing of schools for learners and teachers.

    The circular further instructed schools that the last school day for teachers during the third term this year will be Friday, 8 December. Prior to the circular, the last school day for learners had been 5 December 2017.

    Parents and learners from at least two schools this week questioned statements which indicated that the last day for learners would be 24 November. However, both Eros Primary School and Pionierspark Primary School confirmed to Namibian Sun that the last day of school for all learners is 1 December, dismissing the rumours on social media, including WhatsApp groups.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 11/14/17--14:00: Cops intercept phone calls
  • Cops intercept phone callsCops intercept phone callsFive murder suspects nabbed A swift police investigation led to the arrest of several suspects linked to a Windhoek murder, the High Court heard. The last cellphone communication between a wife accused of murder and another suspect emerged as a breakthrough for the police in a gruesome Goreangab killing.

    The phone records show that Annastacia Lubinda, 33, wife of Peter Muleke, 36, who was killed near Penduka around the Goreangab Dam area between 29 and 30 March 2015, actively communicated with one of her co-accused David Matali.

    Detective Sergeant Augustinus Iipinge this week testified in the High Court in Windhoek, that looking into the cellphone records of Matali led them to another accused in the matter, Dawid Kondjara.

    Kondjara allegedly sent a WhatsApp message to Lubinda asking: “What's up?” Iipinge said the police then intercepted and responded as if Lubinda replied, and asked him where he was.

    He then allegedly responded that he was at the Engen Service Station near Single Quarters whereupon 'she' purportedly replied that she is coming. At the service station the police called the number and when he answered the phone, they arrested him.

    Iipinge told Judge Johanna Salionga that Kondjara, without them even interrogating him, immediately said: “I am not the one who killed the man. It was the other guys. I only took the cellphone which the wife wanted to throw away.”

    He allegedly revealed the name of Dollam Tjitjahuma, 27, as one of the other suspects who was later arrested at a house near Single Quarters alongside Shanghai Street in Katutura.

    Lubinda, who is alone charged with murder read in conjunction with Domestic Violence Act, last week denied guilt and put the burden of proof on the State.

    Six people, Lubinda, Matali, Kondjara, Abiud Uazeua, 35, Donald Hindjou, 26, and Tjitjahuma pleaded not guilty on the charge that they conspired to murder the deceased, as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances, in that they after the murder robbed the deceased of his cell phone and a sim card.

    They allegedly connived and killed Muleke by hitting him with stones and other unknown objects.

    They denied all the charges.

    Tjijahuma, who alone was charged with possession of dagga to the value of N$45 and defeating the course of justice by burning the dagga when the police arrived, denied these allegations too.

    Last week Elias Eixab, a sergeant in the City Police who came upon Muleke and his abandoned vehicle after a tip-off by members of the public, testified that he picked up Muleke's car key.

    “I found the body of the deceased lying face down in the ground as well as a blood-stained stone next to his head,” Eixab testified.

    Salionga is presiding while the State prosecution is led by Martino Olivier.

    The accused are represented by lawyers Milton Engelbrecht, Trevor Brockerhoff, Tuna Nhinda, Mbanga Siyomuinji, Miriam Kenaruzo and Brownwell Uirab.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 11/14/17--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Billions in airline revenue blocked across Africa

    The global airline industry has US$1.2 billion blocked in nine US dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

    The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic US dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies.

    The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their US dollar profits in full.

    Of the total of US$1.2 billion, Angola has blocked the largest amount, US$500 million, while Sudan has held up US$200 million. Last year Nigeria owed airliners US$600 million but as of October the amount had fallen to US$221 million.

    Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are the other African countries. – Nampa/Reuters

    Asia beef demand to reach 50% of world market

    Beef processor Minerva SA said Asia will become the destination for up to half the world's beef in the next three to four years, up from just under 46% in 2017, amid rising demand in China.

    Changing consumer tastes are behind the rise in demand, Minerva COO Iain Anderson Mars said.

    The growing appetite comes as supplies of protein like beef soar in South America and other key global producers. – Nampa/Reuters

    Dangote sells small stake to foreigners

    Nigeria's Dangote Industries Ltd sold a 0.75% stake in Dangote Cement to foreign investors in a one-off stock market deal valued at 27 billion naira (US$85.9 million).

    Africa's biggest cement maker has been selling small stakes to increase its free float, which is well below the Nigerian stock exchange's required level.

    The transaction increases Dangote Cement's free float to 11.15% according to Thomson Reuters calculations, still well below a stock market requirement of 20%.

    Dangote Cement is the biggest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, accounting for a third of total market capitalisation. When it listed in 2010 the bourse waived its free float requirement because it wanted to encourage more firms to list. – Nampa/Reuters

    Kenya Airways restructuring nearly done

    The financial restructuring of Kenya Airways through a conversion of some debt into equity and the provision of some guarantees by the government will be completed this week, the finance minister said.

    Henry Rotich said the government's participation in the deal did not amount to a bail-out, adding that it expected a return once the loss-making carrier is back on its feet. – Nampa/Reuters

    PPC gets non-binding bid for controlling stake

    South African cement producer PPC said Irish building materials firm CRH is considering an all-cash offer to buy a controlling stake in it.

    South Africa's largest cement supplier is also the subject of tie-up approaches from local rival Afrisam and Switzerland's LafargeHolcim.

    PPC, which did not disclose the value of the non-binding expression of interest, said it would allow CRH time to conduct due diligence and submit an updated offer next week. – Nampa/Reuters

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    China addresses Nam tax issuesChina addresses Nam tax issuesBusinesses warned over VAT non-compliance The Chinese embassy said it would ensure a safe landing of the sensitive issue of tax to protect investors' enthusiasm and enhance their confidence in Namibia. Chinese ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming has encouraged his countrymen to respect Namibian laws and customs in an effort to protect the pleasant relationship Namibia and China enjoys.

    Yiming addressed a packed hall at the Chinese embassy at the launch of a lecture series held this week to educate the Chinese business community on the local tax system.

    At the same time, he encouraged the local tax system to not paint tax-complying, law-abiding Chinese citizens that were playing by the rules with one brush, that being non-compliance.

    According to Yiming, relations between the two countries rank highly and needed to be protected at all costs and improved even further.

    “Namibia is China's all-weather friend and the Namibia-China relationship is one of the priorities among China's African policies,” he said.

    “The two countries and two parties have a traditional relationship and both sides have the responsibility to safeguard our traditional relations and deepen our pragmatic cooperation.”

    He conceded that certain Chinese nationals were fingered in some unsavoury tax evasion, avoidance and money-laundering practices.

    “The issue of non-standard taxation exists in Namibia for a long time and some Chinese enterprises and individuals are actually involved,” said Yiming. Namibia, Yiming said, would get China's support because of its intolerance to law offenders.

    “China fully understands Namibia's efforts to solve the problems and firmly cooperates with Namibia in fighting against money-laundering and tax offences.

    “China will never tolerate law offenders,” Yiming said. Yiming said efforts would be made to ensure Chinese nationals residing in Namibia would become law-abiding with regards to their tax affairs but at the same time asked Namibian authorities to safeguard the interest of Chinese run-businesses that operated above board.

    “We will continue to promote education campaigns among Chinese citizens to raise their awareness to abide by the law.

    “At the same time, China hopes that the Namibian government could safeguard the legitimate rights interest of most Chinese enterprises and personnel that run their businesses legally,” he said.

    According to him, Namibia and China's relationship can further be strengthened and could become the model for other countries that have diplomatic and business ties to China. He implored officials on both sides of the spectrum to work towards that realisation, saying:

    “We should work harder to make the relations between China and Namibia a model among the relations between China and other southern African countries.” Following independence, Yiming said Chinese nationals had found favour in Namibia, reflected by the growth of their businesses here.

    According to him, there are now 70 Chinese enterprises and nearly 7 000 self-employed business people who had made their contribution towards the economy and the general well-being of ordinary citizens. This, he said, warranted the respect of the local authorities.

    Yiming also said it was possible for both parties to find an amicable solution to Namibia and China's strained relations in light of a high stakes money-laundering scandal in which several Chinese nationals, which include the friend of the president, Jack Huang, are implicated.

    “We must solve the problems in a constructive manner, we should look into the underlying causes of tax issues, strengthen face-to-face communication and establish smooth communication channels,” Yiming said.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 11/14/17--14:00: Geingob security beefed up
  • Geingob security beefed upGeingob security beefed up The security detail for President Hage Geingob has been beefed up following an audit, the presidency announced on Monday.

    The immediate changes will also see the president's motorcade increased to more than three vehicles.

    “The president at the moment travels with three cars. It will now be more than that,” said presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub.

    He added Geingob has used a smaller motorcade contrary to the established norms and practices of his office.

    Namibian Sun understands Geingob was back then already advised by the security cluster against cutting his motorcade.

    Presidential affairs minister Frans Kapofi said he was not informed of any security threats against the president.

    “There is nothing specific regarding the changes in the security detail.

    “The changes made fit the mandate of the presidency. We are going back to the norms and procedures. “It is not only about the security detail, but the protocol surrounding the presidency.

    “The citizens should be able to tell through the motorcade that the president is coming,” he said.

    Contacted for comment, deputy police chief Major-General Desiderius Shilunga said he had no idea as to why changes were made.

    He also denied that the president's security is compromised. “No, no! I am not aware of any threats or perceived threats.

    “The convoy was just brought in line with the standard of security,” he said.

    The VIP directorate within the Namibian Police is tasked with the protection of very important persons, including the head of state. Last year The Namibian reported that Geingob allegedly stood by the head of his security despite recommendations from security agencies to get rid of him.

    Deputy commissioner Johan Ndjaronguru reportedly failed the vetting process to determine his eligibility to head Geingob's security detail. At the time, Ndjaronguru was linked to a number of irregularities.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 11/14/17--14:00: Pay hike for farmworkers
  • Pay hike for farmworkersPay hike for farmworkersFirst increase in three years While the latest survey results show that mostly farmworkers are paid well, an increase in their wages from 2014 levels was necessary. A 25% wage hike agreement for agricultural workers was signed by a number of stakeholders yesterday at the labour ministry, increasing the hourly wage from N$3.70 to N$4.62 for workers who work 45 hour per week.

    The labour ministry explained that the wage agreement will be extended to the entire sector through the government gazette and come into effect on 1 November. In October, the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) announced that consensus was reached to raise the minimum wage by 25% from the 2014 rate.

    Successful wage negotiations between the Agricultural Employers Association (AEA), Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU), Namibia Farm Workers Union (NAFWU) and Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) concluded in mid-October, with the 25% increase from the 2014 rate receiving unanimous agreement. The minimum wage agreement for entry-level agricultural employees is also extended to domestic workers on farms, game- and hunting farms, and lodges. The agreement stipulates that employees should be provided with food or rations for themselves and their dependants to a value that does not exceed the equivalent of 35% of the employee's basic wage.

    If employees do not provide food or rations, the monthly wage of N$900 must be supplemented with at least N$500 per month, increasing the wage to N$1 400 per month. The rations allowance was increased from N$400 to N$500 per month. Employees must be provided with “such housing, including sanitary and water facilities, as may comply with the reasonable requirements of such employees,” the agreement states.

    Where available, electricity must be provided. Employees who live on agricultural land should be permitted to keep “such livestock and to carry on such cultivation on such land as may be necessary for such employee to provide for the reasonable needs of himself or herself and of his or her dependants.”

    A 2016 wage survey carried out by the AEA found that on average, the basic monthly remuneration package for permanent employees on commercial farms amounted to N$1 975.12. The survey noted that the total remuneration package of permanent employees on commercial farms in Namibia for 2015/16 amounted to N$3 320.64 per month.

    This figure included basic pay, housing, grazing for employee livestock and transport for employees and their dependents.

    The survey emphasised that the total package figure does not include other benefits, including annual bonuses, which 94.78% of respondents said they paid each year.





    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 11/14/17--14:00: Veteran journalist dies
  • Veteran journalist diesVeteran journalist dies Civil society activist and well known journalist Sarry Xoagus-Eises has died.

    Xoagus-Eises died on Monday in Usakos following a short illness, according to her family.

    She was 61. At the weekend she attended the annual Damara Festival in Okombahe in the Erongo Region, but fell sick upon her return.

    She received treatment at the Usakos hospital where she sadly passed on. Xoagus-Eises was a veteran of the liberation struggle and in the 1970s rejected racist laws such as the Bantu Education system. She later joined the armed struggle in Zambia where she underwent military training together with a group of other students from Namibia in 1977.

    In 1978 she was recruited in the Swapo Department of Information as broadcaster for the Voice of Namibia in Lusaka, a duty she performed with diligence until her arrest in the mid-1980s on trumped-up charges of espionage where she spent about five years in the infamous Swapo dungeons in Lubango. She was released from the dungeons during the implementation of Resolution 435 and returned to Namibia on 4 July 1989. She joined the NBC after independence and later started working for Gender Links in 2009 where she was employed as the gender justice and local government facilitator in Namibia.

    She was the country representative of the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network and her gender research experience included the media monitoring project in 2006 as well as the HIV/AIDS baseline study in Namibia.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Under-fire NAC senior manager quitsUnder-fire NAC senior manager quits The suspended strategic executive for projects, IT and engineering Courage Silombela has resigned from the Namibia Airports Company (NAC).

    Silombela's resignation was confirmed by NAC spokesperson Nankelo Amupadhi, who would not divulge reasons for the resignation, merely stating that it was an internal matter. Silombela could not be reached for comment.

    He was suspended in June alongside CEO Tamer El-Kallawi with full pay, pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged transgressions that came under the attention of the new board under the chairpersonship of Rodgers Kauta.

    The suspension was approved by public enterprises minister Leon Jooste. At the time, NAC said the suspension does not constitute disciplinary action and thus does not imply any assumption of guilt or misconduct by the two suspended.

    Silombela was facing 15 charges of fraud, forgery, dishonesty and abuse of the property of the NAC. The charges against him and El-Kallawi relate to their roles in awarding tenders of more than N$450 million.

    These tenders include a N$150-million contract for the upgrade of the security systems at Hosea Kutako International Airport and Eros Airport, as well as a N$210-million tender for the renovation of the runway at Ondangwa Airport, N$70 million for scanners at airports and N$15 million for CCTV cameras.

    Silombela's resignation comes after the suspension of more management cadres from the NAC towards the end of October and the deployment of acting managers in those positions. Those suspended include strategic executive for finance and administration, Ruswa Verengai, HR executive Josephine Soroses and Toska Sem, the strategic executive for commercial services. The company also suspended its organisational development manager, Albert Sibeya.







    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 11/14/17--14:00: Calle vows to stop rot
  • Calle vows to stop rotCalle vows to stop rotMinister to toughen tax evasion crackdown The finance ministry, which has embarked on a campaign to stop tax evasions, is keeping a keen eye on the revelations of the Paradise Papers. Finance minister Calle Schlettwein said his ministry will continue to tighten the noose around attempts at tax evasion and customs fraud.

    The explosive and giant leaks of financial and legal records from the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers that expose how the rich, rogue business, politicians and criminals globally hide large stashes of money in offshore tax havens, have once again piqued the ire of tax administrators the world over.

    Schlettwein yesterday said from investigations done here on the Panama Papers revelations, no Namibians have been identified for tax fraud.

    However, he said the ministry is keeping a close eye on new revelations made in the recently released Paradise Papers, and started with its own investigation into these already a month ago.

    “We must do it very thoroughly,” Schlettwein said of the ministry's firm steps to deal with tax dodgers and customs fraudsters, saying the country is losing out on “very large sums of money” from such illegal practices.

    One of the steps the ministry has embarked upon is a renegotiation with the 11 countries Namibia has a double-taxation agreement with.

    Namibia has double taxation agreements with Botswana, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mauritius (from whence the Paradise Papers were leaked from legal firm Appleby), Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

    A double taxation agreement is a tax treaty with another country to avoid a citizen to be taxed twice by two countries on the same income and as a matter of cause provide tax exemptions to “clear” double taxation.

    Of big concern, though, is that it is widely used as a tax evasion strategy or what some call a “treaty shopping” and has a very negative impact on small, developing economies.

    It also leaves the door wide open for tax avoidance.



    'Fishy' revelations

    From the Paradise Papers, the BBC reported that Hong Kong-based Pacific Andes International Holdings Limited in 2012 was invited to Namibia to work with some local investors while Namibians would “bring the fishing rights”.

    This resulted in a 51% shareholding for local company Atlantic Pacific Fishing (APF), which then signed a deal with a company called Brandberg Namibian Investment Company to run the company.

    Brandberg is owned by China Fishery Group, a subsidiary of Pacific Andes. Brandberg the company's address is located in Mauritius – with no reference to Namibia's famous highest mountain – reportedly because of Namibia's double taxation agreement with that country.

    Mauritius, in this case, gets the taxes paid by Brandberg although it is Namibian marine resources being ploughed.

    On investigation, the BBC, however, could not locate Brandberg at its address in Port Louis, Mauritius, but instead found the office of Appleby. Brandberg in actual fact is also based in Hong Kong and set up by Pacific Andes.

    The Paradise Papers suggest that APF paid US$420 000 (N$60 million) less taxes in 2013 and 2014 because Brandberg is registered as a company in Mauritius.



    MINISTER'S APPEAL



    During a discussion on tax administration, compliance and related tax matters hosted by the Chinese embassy in Namibia this week, Schlettwein stressed that compliance with tax laws is “not negotiable”.

    He said all residents and citizens are expected to pay their dues, commenting though that he is not surprised that tax evasion and tax avoidance is widespread in Namibia.

    Schlettwein said the arrangement of financial affairs to minimise tax liabilities is one thing, but the illegal non-payment or underpayment of taxes is quite another.

    He said the ministry has evidence that some businesses are operating on a cash basis as a deliberate ploy to avoid paying tax. Such enterprises – many of these being Chinese and other foreign enterprises in Namibia – do not maintain proper bookkeeping and do not give sales receipts to their clients, which is tantamount to tax evasion.

    Schlettwein said some foreign companies are in partnership with Namibians also as a ploy to “neglect”, “sometimes fraudulently”, tax obligations.

    In some tax jurisdictions multinational companies misused their international operations to avoid tax in some tax jurisdictions and shifting their profits and liabilities into tax havens.

    Schlettwein appealed to the Chinese community in Namibia not to cooperate with those in the tax administration who solicit bribes and to report such instances.

    “This is important for your integrity and your own interest for our mutual benefit,” he said.





    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Border fence in shocking stateBorder fence in shocking state The lack of structural integrity of the Angolan-Namibian border has permitted illegal entry into both countries of products, livestock and people.

    At the weekend Namibian Sun drove along the border fence, which was erected by the Angolan government and this reporter stumbled across a large hole and observed for roughly 30 minutes.

    During that time a number of people and livestock moved in and out of Namibia including two men on a bike who were later seen at the now infamous Katwitwi informal market at Oshikango, roughly 100 metres away.

    Katwitwi is known for the sale of cheap, but illegal fuel brought in from Angola.

    Sugar cane and other products are also brought through into the country.

    In a telephonic interview, the governor of Ohangwena Usko Nghaamwa said the Namibian fence was damaged over the years, including during the time of the struggle and it has since, entirely disappeared.

    This absence, he added, has led to a number of challenges such as the smuggling of goods into Namibia, negatively impacting the business sector and of course, the government missing out on taxes and other levies.

    Foot-and-mouth disease also remains a major challenge as cattle move freely between the two countries.

    However, the governor is of the view that Namibian cattle owners “benefit” from the lack of border control as they are able to drive their animals in and out of Angola for both grazing and water.

    He says that the absence of a proper border has both advantages and disadvantages to the country and if action were to be taken by the government, it should be done with a well thought-out plan.

    “It is not that we do not want the fence to be erected, we want it there but there must be a system put in place,” Nghaamwa remarked.

    “At the moment the police must just be strengthened to monitor at the fence and the citizens of both countries must work together and abide by the law.”

    Helao Nafidi mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa believes it is important that a fence be erected.

    “Animals are guided by fences and not people.

    “The people must just respect the law and follow the right procedures,” Nghipangelwa said.

    He added the Katwitwi informal market must be removed.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Shinier sales cycle for De BeersShinier sales cycle for De Beers De Beers sold US$455 million worth of rough diamonds – more than N$6.5 billion at yesterday’s exchange rate – during its ninth sales cycle, the group said. This is 21% more than it previous sales cycle, but about 4.4% less than the same cycle in 2016. Commenting on the latest sales figure, De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “Following a seasonally quieter period for rough diamond sales, Cycle 9 saw an uptick in demand from our customers as retail orders increase ahead of the Christmas season.” De Beers and the Namibian government each own 50% of Namdeb Holdings. Photo Nampa/Reuters

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    Hydrogen could deliver one fifth of world carbon cuts Hydrogen could deliver one fifth of world carbon cuts Increasing the use of hydrogen in power, transport, heat and industry could deliver around one fifth of the total carbon emissions cuts needed to limit global warming to safe levels by mid-century, a report by the Hydrogen Council said on Monday.

    To encourage industries to use hydrogen, Toyota and Air Liquide helped set up the Hydrogen Council, a global lobby launched in January this year. Its 27 members include automakers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Honda and Hyundai , and energy firms such as Shell and Total.

    The council said using hydrogen for transport, energy generation, energy storage, industry, heat and power could cut annual carbon emissions by 6 billion tonnes by 2050.

    "This would ... contribute roughly 20 percent of the additional abatement required to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius," the council said in a report released on the sidelines of a U.N. climate conference in Bonn.

    To achieve a two-degree limit this century agreed by governments in Paris in 2015, the world must reduce energy-related carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2050.

    The report said one in 12 cars sold in California, Germany and Japan were expected to be powered by hydrogen by 2030. By 2050, hydrogen could power 400 million cars, 15 million to 20 million trucks, around 5 million buses, a quarter of passenger ships and a fifth of non-electrified train tracks, as well as some airplanes and freight ships.

    Achieving this shift in transport and other sectors would require investment of U$280 billion by 2030, with about U$110 billion to fund hydrogen output, U$80 billion for storage, transport and distribution, and U$70 billion to develop products.

    Fuel cell vehicles combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity to power an electric motor, producing water as a byproduct. However, making hydrogen from fossil fuels, a common route, also produces some greenhouse gas emissions.

    So far the take-up of hydrogen vehicles is tiny and industry experts say their wider use is years away, with high purchase prices and a lack of refuelling stations the major barriers.

    But some firms, such as miner Anglo American and carmaker Toyota, are pushing for fuel cell cars to play a role even with the rise of battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs).

    Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman of automotive research and development at Hyundai said EVs and hydrogen fuel cell cars were needed because EVs were better for city driving and fuel cell vehicles better for longer journeys.

    Some countries have set targets for hydrogen use, such as China, which aims to have 1 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2030. Britain has a £23 million (U$30 million) fund to accelerate the take-up of hydrogen vehicles.

    Some Chinese firms are interested in joining the Hydrogen Council, Pierre Etienne Franc, vice president of the hydrogen initiative at Air Liquide, told Reuters. "Most probably we will have a Chinese member in the next six months," he said.

    The council believes that, with the right policies, the investment needed was "feasible" and the hydrogen market could see revenues of more than U$2.5 trillion a year. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 11/14/17--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Sudan in oil talks with foreigners

    Sudan has held talks with Russian oil firm Lukoil and other companies from the United States and Canada on the development of its oil industry after the lifting of US sanctions, its oil minister said.

    Companies are interested in developing natural gas projects in offshore areas in the Red Sea as well as onshore locations, Abdul Rahman Osman said at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

    The US lifted long-standing sanctions against Sudan in early October, saying it had made progress fighting terrorism and easing humanitarian distress. – Nampa/Reuters

    Ethiopia eyes Boeing's proposed mid-sized jet

    Ethiopian Airlines would be interested in buying around 10 to 20 of the mid-sized jets that Boeing is studying whether to develop, the airline's chief executive said.

    Boeing is looking at potentially filling a market gap between narrow and wide body jets with a new aircraft that could seat 220 to 270 passengers.

    Industry sources have said they expect a commercial launch from Boeing of the new mid-sized jet next year. It would enter service in 2024 or 2025 as Boeing attempts to leapfrog the hot-selling Airbus A321neo. – Nampa/Reuters

    SA's business confidence steady in Oct

    South Africa's business confidence index was largely unchanged in October from the previous month, with subdued economic performance limiting business opportunities.

    The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (SACCI) monthly business confidence index (BCI) stood at 92.9 in October from 93.0 in September.

    Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba unveiled a gloomy economic outlook in his medium term budget speech on Oct. 25, as he lowered growth forecasts and projected rising debt levels. – Nampa/Reuters

    Egypt SOE to cash in on mobile sector

    As Egypt's mobile operators thrive, state-owned Telecom Egypt is entering the market in an effort to boost state revenues.

    In a country with more mobile phone subscriptions than residents, Egypt's only fixed-line operator is hoping to get in on the action with its new mobile service, WE.

    Critics fear the SOE, which already owns 45% of top existing operator Vodafone Egypt, will enjoy unfair advantages. They have argued that Telecom Egypt's interest in Vodafone Egypt constitutes a conflict of interest. – Nampa/AFP

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    EU seeks stricter rules for tax advisers after Paradise PapersEU seeks stricter rules for tax advisers after Paradise PapersHavens should be blacklisted Aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance are not illegal in themselves, but they are controversial and in some cases could hide illicit activities. Francesco Guarascio - The European Union needs a quick agreement on proposed rules for lawyers, bankers and other advisers that help devise ways to aggressively cut tax bills, the European tax commissioner said yesterday.

    The appeal for more transparency on tax matters comes after new revelations, known as the Paradise Papers, of widespread use by companies and wealthy individuals of off-shore jurisdictions.

    In a speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Pierre Moscovici called on member states and EU legislators to agree "in the next six months" on proposals made by the EU's executive commission in June that would force tax advisers to report tax-planning schemes devised for their clients.

    Moscovici also urged member states to agree by the end of the year on an EU blacklist of tax havens, to reduce the appeal of off-shore jurisdictions that charge little or no corporate tax.

    Aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance are not illegal in themselves, but they are controversial and in some cases could hide illicit activities.

    The proposal on stricter rules on tax advisers would impose sanctions on lawyers, accountants, banks and other consultants that do not disclose tax arrangements that could help avoidance.

    So far, the commission's proposal has made little progress. On tax matters, all 28 EU states have to agree on reforms, a provision that has allowed smaller, low-tax countries to block several overhauls.

    Corporate havens

    Luxembourg and the Netherlands are the EU countries with the largest volume of assets held in financial vehicles owned by corporations that shift funds within companies across borders, data cited by the European Central Bank in an October report show.

    In total, those corporations hold about 10 trillion euros in the two countries, ECB data show, making up around one-eighth of the euro zone's entire financial system.

    The entities "are mainly set up in Luxembourg for financial engineering and tax-planning purposes," a report prepared for the Grand Duchy's central bank, and cited by the ECB, said in April.

    The report on the country's shadow banking system added that most of these companies "have virtually no physical presence in Luxembourg".

    They are usually part of larger oil, food, pharmaceutical or telecoms corporations and "are mainly used to channel funds from or via Luxembourg to other entities of the group domiciled abroad," the report said.

    Under the proposals on tax advisers made by the commission, lawyers or banks that helped set up these structures would probably be required to report them to tax authorities to shed more light on these dealings.

    However, professional confidentiality may prevent tax advisers from disclosing data on their customers.

    In an report published last week, EU lawmakers raised concern that Luxembourg-based tax advisers used such confidentiality to avoid giving information to Luxembourg's tax administration on clients involved in the so-called Panama Papers, another massive leak of financial documents last year. – Nampa/Reuters

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    ‘Tax compliance not negotiable’‘Tax compliance not negotiable’Rule of law will be enforced, Calle tells Chinese Tax avoidance and tax evasion are widespread in Namibia, the finance minister says. We can not compromise on the collection of taxes. – Calle Schlettwein, Finance minister Staff reporter – The good relations between Namibia and China are being compromised by “only a few” who operate outside the tax laws locally, according to finance minister Calle Schlettwein.

    Attending a discussion on tax administration, compliance and related matters hosted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China on Monday, Schlettwein said his ministry has evidence that some businesses operate on a cash basis and that is done with the deliberate aim not to pay tax.

    “This occurs to such an extent that such businesses do not maintain proper bookkeeping and some do not render sales receipts to their clients. This would be tantamount to tax evasion, an illegal practice therefore,” he said.

    The ministry also has evidence that “some businesses are in partnership with Namibians and that through such partnerships tax obligations are seriously neglected, sometimes even fraudulently so”.

    Schlettwein told China’s ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming: “We are not living in a perfect world. I am equally aware of weaknesses in our tax administration and possible wrong doing, suspected corruption by our own officials.”

    Multinationals

    The finance ministry is furthermore aware that multinational companies misused their international operations to avoid tax in some tax jurisdictions and shift their profits - and with that their tax liabilities - into tax havens, he said.

    According to the minister, this is done through transfer pricing, profit shifting, thin capitalisation, and several other evasion and avoidance schemes. Double tax avoidance arrangements between countries are often the basis for such arrangements, he said.

    “The recently leaked ‘Paradise Papers’, but also the ‘Panama Papers’ and our own law suit against customs fraud are examples,” Schlettwein said.

    “We do understand that paying taxes is an unwanted expense for most, if not all businesses and we are therefore not surprised to find the practices of tax avoidance and tax evasion both being wide spread in Namibia,” he said.

    Economy

    The importance of taxation in economic development cannot be overemphasised, Schlettwein continued.

    “Our country faces developmental challenges of unemployment, poverty and income inequality. Sufficient tax revenue allows Government to ensure that these challenges are addressed through the budgetary allocation to economic and social sectors such as, education, infrastructure development and health sector. We can therefore not compromise on the collection of taxes.”

    Principles of equal treatment and fairness, whether individual or corporate tax payer, is anchored in the tax laws, he said. “Compliance with the tax laws are not negotiable.”

    Schlettwein said Namibia’s relations with China “have been excellent and we appreciate the input of Chinese businesses into the Namibian economy”.

    He appealed to the Chinese business community not cooperate with officials who solicit bribes, but to report them.

    “This is important for your integrity and your own interest and for our mutual benefit,” Schlettwein said.

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    Construction of three bridges in Kabbe South startsConstruction of three bridges in Kabbe South starts KATIMA MULILO - The construction of three bridges in the Kabbe South Constituency in the Zambezi Region’s flood plains started last week and is expected to be completed within three weeks.

    John Likando, councillor for Kabbe South, said the construction of the bridges was prompted by the serious challenges faced by community members in accessing their villages as a result of flood plains.

    Two bridges will be constructed at Ishuwa and one at Nanceleza, two km east of Ishuwa.

    Likando said materials and equipment are already on site and that the contractor has been given up until 30 November 2017 to complete the three bridges.

    The bridges will allow access to Mbalasinte and Kasika villages, as well as other surrounding areas. - Nampa

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  • 11/14/17--21:26: Zimbabwe is on the edge
  • Zimbabwe is on the edgeZimbabwe is on the edge Zimbabwe's army has urged other security services to "co-operate for the good of our country," warning that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response." The statement read out early on Wednesday on state-run television calls on troops to return to barracks immediately, with all leave cancelled. It says that if the country's degenerating political, social and economic situation is not addressed, it "may result in a violent conflict". The army insists that this is not a military takeover and that President Robert Mugabe's security is guaranteed. There are also reports that the finance minister has been arrested. SABC reports that the Zimbabwe army has instructed journalists not to use social media

    NEWS24

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     Zuma tells Zimbabwe that army rule is a no-no Zuma tells Zimbabwe that army rule is a no-no President Jacob Zuma‚ on behalf of the Southern African Development Community‚ has "noted with great concern" the unfolding political situation in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
    Calling for restraint and calm‚ the South African leader "noted with great concern" the unfolding political situation in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
    Zuma "expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of Government as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions".
    "The President has urged the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Defence Force to resolve the political impasse amicably and has urged the Zimbabwean Defence Force to ensure that the maintenance of peace and security in the country is not compromised."
    The statement added: "SADC will continue to closely monitor the situation and remains ready to assist where necessary to resolve the political impasse in keeping with established SADC Protocols and processes."

    TIMESLIVE

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