Articles on this Page
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Pay up or face wate...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Headman troubled by...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _The importance of p...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Fast facts about yo...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Speedlink broadband...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Swapo Central Commi...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Rare Bryde's whale ...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Three nabbed for Ch...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Swapo's hits and mi...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Journalists request...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _How 'princess' of A...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Ondonga Oluno offic...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Katwitwi residents ...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _The challenge of ou...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Winners of the Peac...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Jakob Marengo’s ITC...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _The parasite we love
- 11/27/17--14:00: _NSI rewards quality...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Retailers welcome ‘...
- 11/27/17--14:00: _Flying Namibia’s fl...
- 11/27/17--14:00: Pay up or face water and lights cuts
- 11/27/17--14:00: Headman troubled by unemployed youth
- 11/27/17--14:00: The importance of politics and the youth
- 11/27/17--14:00: Fast facts about youth and politics
- 11/27/17--14:00: Speedlink broadband to be upgraded for free
- 11/27/17--14:00: Swapo Central Committee
- 11/27/17--14:00: Rare Bryde's whale stranded
- 11/27/17--14:00: Three nabbed for Chinese robbery
- 11/27/17--14:00: Swapo's hits and misses
- 11/27/17--14:00: Journalists requested to exercise more of peace advocating
- 11/27/17--14:00: How 'princess' of Angola lost her oil crown
- 11/27/17--14:00: Ondonga Oluno office in lockdown
- 11/27/17--14:00: Katwitwi residents have until 5 Dec
- 11/27/17--14:00: The challenge of our burgeoning slums
- 11/27/17--14:00: Winners of the Peace Poster contest announced
- 11/27/17--14:00: Jakob Marengo’s ITC department hosts fourth graduation
- 11/27/17--14:00: The parasite we love
- 11/27/17--14:00: NSI rewards quality to Namibian businesses
- 11/27/17--14:00: Retailers welcome ‘Black Friday’
- 11/27/17--14:00: Flying Namibia’s flag high
“All residential accounts in arrears by 30 days or older will be disconnected as from 15 December without further warning,” City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said on Friday.
Amutenya advised that residents could also approach the City's debt management division “to make arrangements on how you are going to settle your account”.
However, business accounts are not allowed to be in arrears.
The City acknowledged that December is a time when many residents feel the pinch and face “tough decisions on how to spend their money during the festive season.”
But prioritising paying bills to dodge overdue accounts will ensure a peaceful holiday period.
Reconnection could take up to 48 hours, she warned. For services to be reconnected, a minimum of one third of the account must be paid for the first disconnection. If services are disconnected for a second time, 50% of the account is due before reconnection will be authorised.
“If you had an arrangement with the debt management division and it was not honoured, a minimum of 50% of the account must be paid,” Amutenya advised.
She said disconnecting unpaid residential or business accounts is the only option the City has in order to be able to honour payments to suppliers and avoid the risk of the City being cut off and without water and electricity supply for residents.
Starting today, the city is hosting a regional four-day workshop on sustainable urban transport solutions to help pave the way to address some of the challenges faced by urban transport systems.
“It is the first workshop of its kind in the region to support cities in southern Africa, who are facing considerable challenges in meeting the mobility demands of their citizens,” Amutenya explained.
She said municipal urban transport systems do not always meet the requirements in terms of capacity, quality and reliability.
“As public transport fails to be attractive, people are switching to private cars or are using informal services, resulting in more accidents, air pollution and increasing costs for private and public households.”
Around 30 stakeholders from the southern African region are attending the workshop, where experts will share their knowledge on innovative and sustainable urban transport solutions, bus reform and planning.
Participants will work on specific case studies and presentations, discussions and group work in order to help implement and fast-track sustainable transport projects and explore ways to think out of the box on the topic.
A field trip to Katutura is also on the agenda.
The event is jointly organised by the works ministry, the City of Windhoek, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative.
In an interview with Namibian Sun at the weekend, Nicanor Kandjeke, the headman of Okatundu village situated in Onankali, said most of the challenges in his village could be attributed to the fact that many people are jobless, especially the youth.
Kandjeke said many young people from the village turn to alcohol abuse after not succeeding in school.
“If you look at the people in this village, especially the youth, they are always at the cuca shops because of circumstances of not having a job. This is worrying because these young men and women are capable citizens who can do a lot for the country but they are not doing so,” Kandjeke said.
Kandjeke said there are plots in his village that are earmarked for the youth to start their own projects but they don't seem to be interested since the plots have been vacant for years.
He added, however, that they might lack start-up capital.
“There are a number of plots which I have earmarked for the people in the community to set up their projects but no one has come up with an idea. I think it is because they do not have the means to start with a project,” Kandjeke said.
He said he would welcome any project idea as long as it would help people make a living and provide for their families.
“If you look at poverty it is ongoing. Therefore you will need a long-lasting solution to eradicate it through initiatives such as the projects I want to see in this community. Because if they are managed properly, the youth will employ one another and many families in my community will benefit,”
The headman said whole families were dependent on the N$1 200 monthly pension grants of the elderly.
He said pensioners were using that money to take care of their family, including young people who could earn their own income.
Another issue Kandjeke pointed out is a lack of toilets for the elderly at his village.
“This is one of the issues that always rise during meetings I have with the people.
“There are about 110 households in Okatundu village and most of them do not have toilets, which results in people using nearby bushes when nature calls, which is not good,” Kandjeke said.
He said there are pensioners in most of the households at Okatundu who are especially affected by the lack of toilets.
The headman called on the government to provide the village with toilets.
According to Maximalliant Katjimune, Namibia National Students Organisation (NANSO) KREC Secretary for Political & Internal Affairs, young people, as future policy drafters have a critical duty to hold the state accountable and to ensure that the founding principles of the Namibian constitution are strictly adhered to. “It is rather sad that a precedent of ignorance and lack of interest in national discourse matters continue to plug Namibian youth. We need to reignite young people’s interest in political discussion,” he says.
The invited youthful panellists prepared and presented formal papers on different topics related to youth engagement in politics. Participants from different institutions of higher learning and high schools were invited to a Saturday of deliberations at the Katutura Multipurpose Youth Centre the panellists together with the participants built towards a more vibrant and responsible Namibian youth.
“The objective of the panel discussion will be to raise a greater political consciousness among the youth and to navigate and find our place in modern day Namibian political paradigms. The youth will articulate themselves on how to build a coherent and better society in a fast changing political environment,” says Katjimune. He also adds that the discussions will centre on how leaders in government must govern the country in the interests of all citizens but specifically for the betterment of young people. The documents presented at the talk will represent what Namibian youth in general want regarding their society and the future of their country.
Anna Wasserfall, the programme manager of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Namibia-Angola (KAS) welcomed all at the discussion and emphasised on the importance of the youth being involved in politics. KAS is one of the six political foundations that are recognised by the German state and is active in more than 120 countries worldwide. “Even up to this day, politics is still typically regarded as a space for experienced men and women, so that young people are often excluded or overlooked as political candidates. While young people often play central and catalysing roles in civil society movements around the world, they are still significantly less engaged than older generations when it comes to voting and party activism. Their young age, their limited opportunities and their lack of practical experience leads to a systematical marginalization of young people in the political arena, which again results in frustration and discouragement,” says Wasserfall.
She says that everyone as a nation will have to look at all the innovative and alternative methods to formal and traditional political participation that are already in existence and are only waiting to be used. “No generation before us have even been as digitalized, informed and connected as we are today, and we have to ensure that we use these tools in an effective and responsible manner, and that means not only for our leisure time pleasure, but also in order to engage, form and express political opinions, hold our elected representatives accountable and through that, reignite and foster the interest of young people in the political discussion.
The panel consisted of 6 University of Namibia (UNAM) students from a number of faculties. The panellists engaged the audience on a number of thought provoking topics that was aimed to raise that political consciousness which should prevail among the youth.
Joseph Kalimbwe, former UNAM SRC President 2017 sparked ideas as he began and explained about the ‘Arabic awakening.’ He touched on answering the call of a generation that goes beyond being involved in overtaking power from leaders. “Young people just need to participate by getting involved in activities of questioning the government's decisions, activities and ways of governance,” Kalimbwe says. He challenged the youth to question the status quo and not to just complain when things are not going right. “It is very important that youth cease to be social media complainers as they have to get involved in the decisions being made by the government,” he urges.
The topic of progress and development by Johan De Waal, UNAM’s faculty representative of humanities and social sciences and a third year Bachelor of Arts A in Philosophy & Political Studies. “Progress and development of a nation is determined politically, because nations are themselves political constructs. African problems include poverty, political corruption, ignorance, and dependency on foreign aid. These problems are in part caused by culture. The political commitments of African people and their leaders are a direct cause, but even these commitments are a product of their respective cultures,” De Waal says. He continued to say that conservatism is Africa’s enemy of progress as cultures around the continent are poorly adapted to the challenges of the political landscape. “Some of our political weaknesses are caused by our culture. It is then quite humanistic to say that we must abandon the old ways and replace our dysfunctional culture with something superior, that would empower us to become something more,” he says.
Participants left the discussion with a greater and more conscious understanding of politics and the crucial role the youth play in national political discourse as there was a question and answer section after all the talks. The discussion papers presented by the panellists will be edited and compiled into a Working Document that will serve as a benchmark for similar youth engagements.
· 1.65% of parliamentarians around the world are in their 20s and 11.87 % are in their 30s
· The average age of parliamentarians globally is 53 (50 years old for women parliamentarians)
· Young people between the ages of 15 and 25 constitute a fifth of the world’s population.
· Since the Arab Awakening many youth in the region have remained politically active through “political movements” instead of engaging with and in political parties.
· Young men and women are traditionally active politically in universities (when allowed) but very often disillusioned with political leadership and political institutions and excluded from policy development.
· Political activism of youth is not organized according to formal groupings.
· Opportunities for youth to engage in governance and participate in political and decision-making processes depend largely on the political, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts.
· Both formal and informal engagement can be understood as political participation, and both are beneficial for a vivid and resilient democracy and should be supported.
· There is strong evidence that the participation of young people in formal, institutional political processes is relatively low.
· Youth is not represented adequately in formal political institutions and processes such as Parliaments, political parties, elections, and public administrations.
· The situation is even more difficult for both young women as well as women at mid-level and decision-making/leadership positions.
· Meaningful youth participation and leadership require that young people and young people-led organizations have opportunities, capacities, and benefit from an enabling environment.
· The main challenges for youth were limited opportunities for effective participation in decision-making processes. With limited opportunities and exposure to meaningfully participate in inclusive decision-making processes.
· Young men and women feel excluded and marginalized in their societies and communities. The need for participatory structures and greater trust between youth and institutions is needed.
· Young people are vital stakeholders in conflict and in peace-building, and can be agents of change.
· They can also provide a foundation for rebuilding lives and communities, contributing to a more just and peaceful society.
Telecom Namibia says it will upgrade the speeds of its Speedlink broadband products free of charge.
The company is also introducing a minimum download speed of 1 Megabit per second (Mbps) as entry-level package nationwide, totally doing away with the 512 kbps package, Telecom Namibia said in a statement.
Customers with a 10 Mbps Speedlink broadband package will not be upgraded but will receive a price reduction since they are already at the threshold of the package ranges.
The migration to higher speeds will take place in a phased approach, which started yesterday.
“Telecom Namibia upgraded customers' Speedlink access in 2012 and again in 2014 for free to coincide with the landing of the West African Cable System (WACS) in order to facilitate access to faster internet connectivity as well as to enable customers to access rich media content such as video, music and seamless live streaming.
“In today's technology-driven world, access to high-speed internet is essential to building strong communities, growing the economy and supporting our everyday lives,” said Calvin Muniswaswa, chief commercial officer at Telecom Namibia.
Muniswaswa said this new initiative is a step further in ensuring that Namibia progresses at faster speeds and creates opportunities for Namibians to make economic gains using ICT services.
“This is just the beginning of our broadband upgrade initiative, there will be more to come in the future,” he added.
Due to the technology limitations, customers on the wireless WiMAX FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) technology will not benefit from speed upgrades beyond 2 Mbps, but will enjoy lower prices.
Telecom Namibia is in the process of deploying Time Division - Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) networks to overcome the current WiMAX FDD limitations.
2. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
3. Sophia Shaningwa
4. Marco Hausiku
5. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila
6. John Mutorwa
7. Lucia Ipumbu
8. Nangolo Mbumba
9. Lucia Witbooi
10. Pohamba Shifeta
11. Doreen Sioka
12. Tobie Aupindi
13. Hilma Nicanor
14. Veikko Nekundi
15. Sirkka Ausiku
16. Mandela Kapere
17. Kornelia Shilunga
18. Leon Jooste
19. Katrina Hanse-Himarwa
20. Peter Katjavivi
21. Rosa Kavara
22. Bernhard Esau
23. Margaret Mensah-Williams
24. Peya Mushelenga
25. Sylvia Makgone
26. Tjekero Tweya
27. Bernadette Jagger
28. Alfeus !Naruseb
29. Paula Kooper
30. Sacky Shanghala
31. Loide Kasingo
32. Royal /Ui/o/oo
33. Maria Elago
34. Utoni Nujoma
35. Ida Hoffman
36. Bonifatius Wakudomo
37. Fenni Nanyeni
38. Festus Ueitele
39. Verna Sinimbo
40. Modestus Amutse
41. Ester Kavela
42. Erginus Endjala
43. Anna Shiweda
44. Asser Kapere
45. Dorothy Kabula
46. Clemens Kashuupulwa
47. Nono Katjingisiua
48. Erastus Uutoni
49. Eveline Nawases-Taeyele
50. Uahekua Herunga
51. Theresia Basson
52. Elia Kaiyamo
53. Loise Garoses
54. Charles Namoloh
55. Mary Masule
56. Tommy Nambahu
57. Helaria Mukapuli
58. Penda Ya Ndakolo
59. Lempy Lucas
60. Ephraim Nekongo
61. Eunice Iipinge
62. Mukwaita Shanyengana
63. Peter Nevonga
64. Hafeni Hatutale
65. Ottilie Shinduvi
66. Armas Amukwiyu
67. Moffat Sileze
68. Daniel Muhuura
69. Susan Hikopua
70. Elizabeth Karigus
71. Mathew Mumbala
72. Elliot Mbako
73. Tuarungua Kavari
74. Sacky Kayone
75. Samuel Nelongo
76. David Hamutenya
77. Ruth Kaukuata-Mbura
The president must still name his six nominees to the central committee.
According to Simon Elwen from the Namibia Dolphin Project, the identification of the animal is as positive as can be without genetic confirmation.
“It looks like it may have died at sea from being hit by a ship. There is a big injury in the middle of the animal's body consistent with a ship strike,” he said.
The whale was female and about 15 metres in length. According to Elwen, it was difficult to measure the animal as she was lying in a curved position.
This very rare species of whale lives in warmer water (higher than 16°C) near the equator all year round. According to Elwen the last stranding of this type of whale along the Namibian coastline was in August 2014.
“We are trying to keep the entire carcass to have the skeleton available for research in the future. There are no skeletons of this population available anywhere in the world and it is important for an accurate description of the species.
“We are coordinating with the fisheries ministry and the Swakopmund municipality to achieve this,” he said.
Other records of stranded Bryde's whales in Namibia date back to 2003, some from the inshore community which was previously only thought to occur in South Africa, and at least one other from the offshore community.
Amwele spoke to Namibian Sun on Sunday shortly after the Police Day commemoration which was held at the Oshakati Independence stadium.
Amwele said thus far only six robberies were reported in 2017 but could not provide any further information on the number and types of other crimes during the course of the year.
She shed light on a recent robbery of a Chinese national from whom more than N$1.8 million was stolen in Ondangwa.
Amwele said with the assistance of the community who came forward with information, three suspects were arrested and N$354 000 of the stolen money has been recovered.
The suspects were arrested in Windhoek.
She further said that the police are hard at work tracking down more suspects who are said to have bought cars with the stolen money.
Meanwhile, in August, a 43-year-old man was robbed of N$60 000 cash in one of the shebeens at Ondangwa while again, in September, a Portuguese businessman in Ondangwa was robbed of N$56 800 cash, two iPhones valued at N$14 499 each, a laptop worth N$8 000, and an airgun.
During the commemoration, several officers were awarded for their good service towards fighting crime.
Amwele also read a speech by the Inspector-General, Sebastian Ndeitunga which focused on the history of Police Day, the achievements of the police and the strict measures which have been put in place in order to curb crime in the country.
Ndeitunga also stressed the importance of how all stakeholders have a role to play in fighting crime.
“I would like to express our immense gratitude to our many stakeholders and partners in the fight against crime for patriotism and relentless support to the Namibian police,” Ndeitunga said.
This was highlighted when the Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila presented the implementation report of the party's 5th congress resolutions by government offices, ministries and agencies.
The report was presented at the just-concluded 6th congress of the party held over the weekend in Windhoek.
According to the report, the land reform ministry envisaged to complete the land acquisition programme by 2020 targeting 5 million hectares of land required for resettlement, by acquiring 280 000 hectares every year ending 2017.
The projection was based on the assumption that the more than N$800 million that was allocated to the ministry for the 2015/16 financial year would be maintained until the target is met.
“However, the ministry has experienced extensive budgetary cuts for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years. This has resulted in many potential farms that were assessed as suitable for resettlement being waived for sale on the open market. Thus, the ministry will be unable to meet the yearly target,” the report said.
However, from 1990 to date, a total of 513 farms measuring 3.2 million hectares of the targeted 5 million hectares of commercial land, have been acquired at a cost of N$1.7 billion.
Apart from funding, the execution of other resolutions were also affected by a number of varying challenges.
These include the pending legislative amendments regarding land ownership by foreign nationals, as well as the inability to satisfy the demand for land from the landless, against a limited supply of land.
The report also lamented the registration of land into company names and close corporations by landowners to circumvent the law.
Meanwhile, the report stipulated that the government, through the ministry of urban and rural development, implemented various measures aimed at ensuring equity and proper management and administration of the allocation, utilisation and development of urban land.
This was done through the provision of grants and budgetary allocations to regional local councils for the servicing of land.
Government further proclaimed 145 townships and through this, provided 26 280 residential plots between 2012 and 2017.
Another 14 140 new urban residential plots were serviced between 2014 and 2017, while six new local authorities were proclaimed at Otjinene, Bukalo, Divundu, Okongo, Oniipa and Tsandi.
Meanwhile, as resolved in the 2012 congress, the Namibia Youth Credit Scheme was expended and is now operational in all 14 regions providing loan funding from N$2 000 up to N$100 000.
So far 8 000 young people have benefited from this fund.
The ministry of sport, through the Kai//Ganaxab, Berg Aukas, Okahao and Frans Dimbare training centres also trained a total of 600 young Namibians in different technical and vocational skills for the 2016/17 financial year.
Hosted with the aim of educating and informing journalists on the importance of promoting peace, different round table discussions were held about the challenges journalists go through that prevent positive stories from being published.
The International Peace Youth Group (IPYG)’s mandate is to achieve world peace and promote the cessation of all wars and conflict. The Southern Africa branch started in 2013 and currently has about 805 affiliate organisations, whom through the combined efforts of youth across the world can make the hope of humanity a reality and effectively legislate peace. “As the youth, we must think of ways to encourage conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence, especially for our neighbouring countries. We must assist current interventions to promote peace and proactively participate in the peace movement at a local level,” says Roberto Goreseb, representative of IPYG.
“At a practical level, many government policies and strategies have been implemented to deal with the problems we face today such as firearms control act and employment equity policies, but the reality is lives are still lost to violence and a good standard of living is not accessible to most households. As the media, you have the key to change people’s perspectives and this can be done through your words,” he says.
The discussion between IPYG representatives and journalists ranged from practical issues that would hinder a reporter in promoting the culture of peace to the communities to projects that could be initiated to promote the importance press freedom in neighbouring countries like Botswana and Zimbabwe.
“One article can reach thousands of people at one go, we hope that all the reporters in attendance will become messengers of peace,” he says.
Kotokeni Shimbinja, the executive chairperson of National Youth Development Organisation (NYDO) addressed the journalists and provided more insight on what the IPYG stands for. “IPYG Namibia is a volunteer organisation that was founded in 2015 in Windhoek through a group of peace loving youth who had a vision for the future. IPYG was established with the hope of empowering the youth to protect themselves from threats they face and to enable the young people to leave peace as a lasting inheritance for future generations,” he says.
“I honestly and sincerely believe media are the catalysts in this work. My words today can reach about 20 people but through the media we can reach the whole nation. As you may know, there are many people that are working for peace – it is not just the International Peace Youth Group. Today I stand before you and challenge the media to promote the message of peace to their audience,” says Shimbinja.
He also advised the people of Namibia to see the importance of spreading a culture of peace and requested his countrymen to challenge the status quo “so that we can give peace as a gift to future generations.”
On October 6, with the dust still settling on Angola's first change of power in 38 years, new President João Lourenço sat down with international oil majors at the presidential palace in Luanda.
The top executives in Angola of Chevron, Total, BP, Eni and Exxon said the oil sector was being devastated by delays in project approvals at Sonangol and a backlog of payments owed by the state oil company, according to four oil industry sources with knowledge of the meeting.
They warned Lourenço that Angola's production would decline from 2019 unless swift action was taken to tackle problems at the firm, which was headed by Isabel dos Santos, daughter of his presidential predecessor, the sources said. They declined to be named because the discussions were confidential.
Six weeks later the president fired Dos Santos, Africa's richest woman who is nicknamed the princess in Angola.
The oil majors all declined to comment on the meeting. Lourenço's office and Sonangol did not respond to requests for comment.
It was a highly unusual gathering; foreign oil firms operate nearly all of Angola's production and hold huge sway, but meeting the president as a united group was almost unheard of.
The nature of the discussions has not been previously reported. The talks, and subsequent events leading up to Dos Santos' dismissal, shed light on the reasons behind her ouster - a decision never officially explained.
They offer new insight into the current state of the most important company in Angola, which relies on oil for a third of its economic output and over 95% of exports, and the big challenges facing the new management of the debt-laden firm.
The dismissal also points to the waning power of the Dos Santos family, which has dominated Angolan politics and business for decades. Isabel dos Santos' father José Eduardo had ruled the country since 1979, amassing wealth for his relatives who own companies in almost every part of the economy.
Billionaire Dos Santos, who had been Sonangol chair since June 2016, has said she was in the process of restructuring to root out waste and corruption at a company that was struggling even before oil prices plunged in mid-2014.
Her representatives declined to comment for this story, and instead pointed Reuters to two statements, issued in the days after her exit, when she outlined her achievements including reducing debt to US$7 billion from US$13 billion, raising annual revenue to US$15.6 billion from US$14.8 billion and cutting costs.
In her departing speech to staff, she said the company had been “nearly bankrupt” when she took over, devastated by the oil-price collapse. “Memories are short,” she added.
However, according to interviews with 10 sources, including the four oil industry sources as well as officials from Sonangol and the government, Lourenço was frustrated with the slow pace of change at the company.
On October 13, a week after meeting the oil majors and 17 days after taking office, the president ordered government ministers, Sonangol and international oil companies to form a 30-day working group to review the state of the industry.
The group's meetings, many of them led by new secretary of state for oil Carlos Saturnino, were tense, the sources said. Saturnino, an oil industry veteran, had been fired by Dos Santos from his role as head of production and exploration at Sonangol last year when she accused him of gross mismanagement.
Even though Dos Santos had launched a turnaround plan, huge hold-ups in the approval of projects were strangling the oil sector, according to the sources. Her board had implemented a system for checking projects submitted by foreign oil companies which in practice exacerbated the problem, they said.
She had also created a gulf between her board and the rest of the company by surrounding herself with foreign consultants, said the people, who declined to be named due to the confidential nature of the industry review and related discussions.
The working group concluded there was “a near paralysis” at Sonangol, according to a government source.
As the group assessed the state of the industry, Lourenço met with Sonangol's biggest lenders - including the Bank of China, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered - to understand Sonangol's financial situation and secure lower lending rates, according to a source familiar with the talks.
“Lourenço realised Sonangol needs money fast,” said the source, adding that the company had been seeking to restructure some payments.
Standard Bank declined to comment, citing client confidentiality, while Standard Chartered and Bank of China did not respond to requests for comment.
Sonangol's direct debt to Chinese banks and lending consortia including Chinese banks stood at US$3.8 billion at the end of 2016, according to the company's annual report.
Oil industry sources told Reuters this debt now stood at about US$3 billion, plus another US$3 billion to majors, contractors and traders. Of that, nearly US$1 billion is owed to trading firms Trafigura and Vitol under loans guaranteed by oil or product exports, according to a source close to Sonangol.
The government itself also last year took out a further US$6.9 billion loan from the China Development Bank that it lent to Sonangol, US$3.8 billion of which the firm used to refinance debt, according to an International Monetary Fund report.
Supporters of Dos Santos, who are familiar with her work at Sonangol, said the debts dated back to before her tenure. They said the company was now in better financial state. The slow pace of restructuring, they say, was due to the scale of the job and restraints imposed by the state on selling assets.
Her dismissal, according to them, was purely political and part of a campaign by the president against her family.
With consensus in government building fast against Dos Santos, she responded with a charm offensive.
In London, she met CEOs of major oil companies at an industry conference. On October 18, she did a rare live interview at the Reuters office in the city's Canary Wharf financial district.
In the Reuters interview, she described her relationship with the new president as one of “full alignment”. But she gave a hint that her days at Sonangol may be numbered, when asked if she would stay to see through the transformation of the firm.
“Once the foundations have been laid and are right, it doesn't matter who steps in as long as the plan is good,” said Dos Santos, who has stakes in businesses from telecoms to diamonds.
The charm offensive was too little, too late.
On November 15, Dos Santos and most of her board were sacked. She was replaced by the man that had become her nemesis: Saturnino.
Foundations notwithstanding, the new management faces the tasks of getting projects moving again, repaying billions of dollars owed to oil majors, contractors and traders, and servicing billions more dollars of debt owed to Chinese banks.
An executive at Sonangol said a massive round of lay-offs had been delayed until after the election and the task would also now most likely fall to the new team.
Lourenço, however, appeared confident of Sonangol's potential when he attended the board's inauguration on October 16, describing the company as a “golden goose”.
“Take good care of her,” he said.
Kambala made the accusation when enquiries were made to him following the commotion which resulted in the authority's offices at Oluno, Ondangwa, temporarily closing. It is alleged members of the public yesterday said they would enter the offices of the authority and remove the current leadership.
According to Kambala, members of the media keep entertaining the sacked authority's leaders. He said the authority has ordered fired leaders to stop talking to the media or holding public meetings.
“You know for a fact these people were fired by the king and we presented you with their dismissal letters. We do not know why you keep listening to them. The king has not permitted these members to talk to his people, but you media always entertain them,” Kambala said.
“Some of you are even spreading rumours that all the old councillors were fired which is not true. We still have old councillors who are part of the current leadership. Please start telling the truth,” he said.
Kambala refused to answer questions saying he is only an administrator in the office. About two months ago, the authority sent a letter to the fired leaders prohibiting them from holding public meetings or talking to the media.
A group consisting of about 100 members of the Ondonga, mostly headmen led by a certain Pendapala Nakathingo, organised itself to reclaim the authoirty's offices from the current leadership saying that they hold no confidence in them. However, the group was ordered to leave by members of the police's Special Reserve Force which was out in full gear.
“All we want is our Ondonga office back from those who took it by force. These people are illegally in the office and we want our office back. We can only do it ourselves since nobody will do it for us,” Nakathingo said.
The office continued with its daily operation under a heavy police guard.
After the group was dissolved, it went on to hold a meeting at former councillor John Walenga's house where headmen were urged not to allow their community members to pay homestead administration fees of N$20, business fees that vary from N$100 to N$150, as well as farming fees of N$3 000 until the dispute was resolved.
The ailing king, Immanuel Kauluma Elifas in July this year, ordered the expulsion of seven of the eight traditional councillors who were suspended in April and since then, there has been chaos in the authority.
This is according to a public notice dated 22 November by Helao Nafidi Town Council's CEO, Inge Ipinge.
“The residents of Katwitwi are expected to move to Oshikango Extension 1 and 7 by 4 December 2017.
“By this instruction council will clean up Katwitwi starting on 6 December with tractors and you are therefore requested to move all your belongings to avoid any disappointment,” Ipinge said.
She further indicated that on 5 December the electricity in Katwitwi will be cut off.
Namibian Sun understands that the area has been granted to several developers for business purposes.
There are about 300 people living in Katwitwi.
For years, Katwitwi has been a hotspot for criminal activity such as the sale of cheap, but illegal fuel brought in from Angola, as well as other products including smuggled food items.
In an interview with Namibian Sun Helao Nafidi mayor, Eliaser Nghipangelwa, said the decision by council to relocate the people is for the good of the town.
Nghipangelwa said he is positive that all the people will move before the due date to their new place, including those that have indicated to council they will not.
“The people will go. If you remember when council told the people to go to the new open market, they were refusing but they eventually went. In fact, some people already started moving,” he said.
Nghipangelwa said council is using the relocation procedure as the people of Katwitwi will be granted with a piece of land where services such as water and electricity is provided, but at a cost.
Slums are commonly defined by an absence or insufficient services, precarious housing materials, absence of tenure security, lack of physical settlement structure, degraded environment and a prevalence of informal market activities.
“Measured by those criteria, many of Namibia's informal settlements qualify as slums,” Beat Weber of the Development Workshop Namibia (DWN) confirmed.
“There is definitely a very worrying trend towards the emergence of slums in our urban areas …” labour researcher Herbert Jauch said, adding that it is “shameful that so many Namibians have to endure such conditions in a country classified as higher middle income.”
He said the growth rate of urban shacks is “testimony to the failure of policies and implementation” and said there is an “urgent need for decisive interventions to make decent shelter a human right.”
Jauch said unemployment, low wages and the resultant poverty are some of the factors driving the growth rates of informal settlements, as well as a housing market that caters exclusively for the wealthy and middle-class.
Hope not lost
Weber and co-author John Mendelsohn's research into informal settlements, contained in a recently published book, led to the conclusion that “from a technical point of view, there stands nothing in the way to provide low-cost land on the necessary scale to effectively control informal settlements”. They suggest that preventing unstructured informal settlement growth through the provision of affordable land is much cheaper and effective than upgrading existing informal settlements.
Weber and Mendelsohn warned that unless the trend is curbed, urban shacks could outnumber all rural houses by 2023, and all formal urban brick/block houses by 2025.
In 13 years, it is estimated that more than two million people will live in more than half a million urban shacks.
Costs and benefit
Both the country, and individuals, will benefit from access to decent housing for all. In terms of revenue, Weber pointed out that if the estimated number of urban informal homes, at about 130 000, contributed N$200 in rates and taxes, local government revenues would be boosted by N$26 million per month, or N$312 million per year.
Moreover, the “ benefits would be huge in terms of an improved health status, a better learning environment for school-going children. The process of constructing decent housing could be an engine for large-scale job creation and skills development,” Jauch added. On the other hand, people confined to shacks, are especially vulnerable to a number of risks that fellow Namibians living in formal areas and homes are not exposed to.
Jauch said “a life in shacks has far reaching implications”.
These include increased health and personal safety risks, lack of adequate services such as sanitation, water and electricity, and high vulnerability to harsh environmental elements such as fire, heat, cold and flooding.
Slums or informal settlements “severely undermine opportunities for reaching their potential. Instead energies are drained in a daily struggle for survival, literally against the odds,” Jauch explained.
Land is the answer
Radical rethinking of housing policies, programmes and allocation of government resources is needed to address the issue, Weber said.
And affordable land, instead of houses, could unlock the problem.
“The same experiences show that once people have ownership of an erf, be it fully serviced, minimally serviced or not serviced at all, a large percentage of those residents immediately begin investing into their property, and build houses incrementally with their own resources.”
If “due to cumbersome statutory process” local authorities lack land, unproclaimed land should be provided as an emergency measure and planned, surveyed and provided with minimal services until it can be proclaimed.
Weber estimates that planning and surveying can be done at approximately N$3 000 per erf and minimal services provided at equally low cost, keeping erf cost below N$10 000. And instead of investing scarce state resources into houses, government should focus on providing bulk infrastructure. The Office of the Ombudsman is launching a probe into the right to housing including forced evictions and demolitions next year.
The book Informal Settlements in Namibia: Their Nature and Growth explores ways to make Namibian urban development more just and inclusive. It is available online at the Development Workshop Namibia website.
With 46 000 clubs and 1.4 million members internationally, the Lions Club of Tsumeb ran their Peace Poster competition and different learners walked away with the prizes of the best poster.
LCI the world's largest service club organization and one of the most effective; members do whatever is needed to help their local communities. The LionsClub in Tsumeb was chartered in 1999 and meetings are held every second Monday at the Minen Hotel in the small town. “To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we have an updated look and encourage every Lions club to engage with the youth in their community to sponsor a Peace Poster Contest entry,” says Nico Kaiyamo, the president for Lionsclub in Tsumeb.
The Lions Peace Poster competition theme for the years of 2017 to 2018 is 'The Future of Peace' and participants had ot be 11, 12 or 13 years of age. “The posters are judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme,” says Kaiyamo. Gordon Opperman, Johanna Hamakundu, Shaun Kawaxamab were announced winners and each child walked away with N$500. All 3 winners are from Tsumeb Art Performance Centre (APC). Shaun Kawaxamab entry won the 2nd prize in the Lions District Competition in South Africa and Namibia and the judges will decided on the 3 winners on the 18 November.
His prize is N$ 2000 and it will be divided between him and the APC. His entry was judged as “an extremely well executed design and he included various peace symbols such as national flags hand and olive branch as well as true dove in slight symbolizing the future of peace,” says Kaiyamo.
For the last 30 years Lions clubs around the world have proudly sponsored the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. This art contest for kids encourages young people worldwide to express their visions of peace.
Established in 2011 at the Jakob Marengo Tutorial College in Windhoek, this program is 100% free with no registration or tuition fees. The program runs for six months and one month of job attachment. Edo-Omufo Triumph, one of the facilitators of the programme says the main objective of the programme was to reduce the unemployment rate through the use of ICT. “We also wanted to train underprivileged Namibian youth and to help them create jobs for themselves,” he says.
Twenty-five Namibian youth were offered places in 2011 and sixteen passed the final examination in June 2012 and awarded certificates in professional office computing as the first intake. “In January 2017, we received about one hundred and fifty applications for the program and only fifty were admitted and twenty-sevenwere successful in the final examination. From 2011 when the program stated till date, we had trained over three hundred and fifty Namibian youth in the field of ICT,” says Triumph.
Triumph, an ICT specialist by profession facilitated the program with Ottilie Abrahams, the school principal of the school provided all the resources and enabling environment such computers, printers, the software programs and projectors. “Our future plans include training the youth on software development and networking and well as to train those who are physically challenged,” he adds. “Most of our youth who graduated from the programme are gainfully employed and one is working in South Africa.” He also adds that their challenges include financing the tutors’ monthly allowance. “As of now, there is no sponsor for the programme, so I pay the tutors from my monthly salary. We truly need help in this regard and we are calling upon stakeholders or individuals to assist with this,” Other challenges include a photocopying machine is needed to make study guides copies for the trainees and graduation expenses like the renting a venue, refreshments and special papers for the certificates and transcripts.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Milton ya Otto, inspector of education of the Khomas region, says an education without ICT knowledge cannot survive in this generation as the world is quickly advancing to using a lot of technology. A product of Jakob Marengo himself, ya Otto advised the graduates to use computers daily and practice as all their knowledge could fade away. “Offer yourself to research assistant for your friends that doing their thesis and also make yourself available to type up their assignments,” he says.
Words have the power to both destroy and heal. Its power lies solely in our hands. Unfortunately we are prone to abusing free power. We live in an age where lying and covering our tracks is not only accepted but expected.
Relationship norms now include being unfaithful (especially for men). In the workplace it's corruption and not giving your all and other various forms of rebellion. Friendships have become need based and dependant on convenience and other selfish ambitions. So many people boast about losing people and rant about being incapable of trusting anyone. As a result we end up alone with a wall built around us. A wall of lies.
In modern society most relationships that are wounded, undergoing intensive care or dying are as a result of lacking anything in common and the parasite that we love. No effort is made by our society to find a cure or mitigate the pandemic’s spread. The virus that is causing so much destruction is the words that we so proudly utter with our mouths; all the lies we spew. We the human race are the cure of this vile pandemic but for some reason we are accepting it and contributing to its spread. Numerous broken homes, backstabbing enemies, and many mental illness cases. As a result of the change in social norms over the past decade, 33.7% of the population are affected by mental illnesses such as anxiety, and one in every four people have suffered from depression.
The roots are the words that we plant in people that break them down and produce self-doubt and low self-esteem. We accept this and water the implications by focusing on the bad whilst forgetting the beauty of our struggling hustle. Our mind-sets put us in the situations that we hate and have been in for too long.
I challenge you today to change your situation if you're tired of it. Stop lying to yourself and realize you’re potential. Contribute to healing all the friendships and relationships that you miss, please not with your ex. This may flush out the toxic bad vibes in your life brought by people in the past and start afresh. Do it for yourself or kill them with kindness. Love yourself today.
The awards aim to recognise and appreciate industries, enterprises, including the service sector, and individuals who perform excellently on quality. It also honours those who contribute to quality advancement in all sectors of the Namibian economy, by having measurements and quality systems, procedures and processes that are in line with local, regional and international practices. In addition the programme recognises individuals who use quality advancement to support national economic development and growth.
The NSI’s chief executive officer, Chie Wasserfall, said the government and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors have a role to play in ensuring quality goods and products and for protecting the health and safety of all Namibians. “It is only through active participation in quality initiatives such as this as well as standardisation activities that Namibia will be able to achieve its dream of a prosperous, vibrant, industrialized and knowledge-based economy,” Wasserfall said.
The minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development - in his key note address read on his behalf by the acting permanent secretary Benjamin Katjipuka - stated that the economic environment is being reshaped by industry and technological trends, which are changing business models and fundamentally changing jobs.
“The future growth and competitiveness shall be secured by efficiency, productivity, innovation and the skills of our workforce where applying standards and quality assurance will be of great importance,” he said.
The following enterprises were awarded as follows:
Category 1: Company of the year 2017
This award is presented to companies, both large and small/medium which best reflect full commitment to applicable local and international high quality production practices and standards.
Small enterprises: MPP Civils Namibia (first); Namibia Media Monitoring or NaMedia (runner-up).
Large enterprises: Etosha Fishing Corporation Pty Ltd at Walvis Bay (first); Namibia Institute of Pathology in Windhoek (runner-up).
Category 2: Product of the year 2017
This award is presented to a company that produces products that best reflects a commitment to quality.
Small enterprises: MPP Civils Namibia in Windhoek (first); Green Jobs (Pty) Ltd in Windhoek (runner-up).
Large enterprises: Etosha Fishing Corporation Pty Ltd (first); Ohorongo Cement at Otavi (runner-up).
Category 3: Service of the year 2017
This award is presented to a locally-delivered service that best reflects a commitment to local production practices and quality.
Small and medium enterprises: MPP Civils (first); Omamanya Laboratory Services (runner-up).
Large enterprises: Ohorongo Cement (first); Coca Cola Beverage Bottling Company in Windhoek (runner-up).
Category 4: Exporter of the year 2017
This award is presented to a company or organization that has made significant progress in commencing or expanding exports to new or wider markets by introducing quality in their company.
Large enterprises: Etosha Fishing Corporation Pty Ltd (first)
Category 5: Individual Quality Award 2017
This award is given to an individual that has made significant input into Namibian standards, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology efforts. This is an individual who has contributed immensely towards quality enhancement efforts of his or her company and subsequently of the country at large.
Edition winners 2017
First: Lineekela Kapundja (Quality assurance manager: Etosha Fishing Corporation);
Second: Merylinda Conradie (Quality assurance manager at Namwater)
The winners selected automatically qualify to participate in the lucrative SADC Regional Quality Awards scheduled to take place early next year.
The initiative offered attractive discounts to customers on selected items across the mall.
Namibian Sun this week approached a few of the retailers at the centre to find out what they thought of Black Friday and whether they were willing to repeat the campaign next year.
Ellis Kavandara, who manages the Crazy Store at the Grove Mall, says his store made record sales last week Friday. According to him, even though there were only discounts on selected items, his store recorded the highest sales for the year.
“It went well. In terms of sales, we came out tops out of all our stores. This Friday was also one of the highest sales recorded for the year. We will do it every day if we could,” Kavandara said.
Tekkie Town employee Johanna Benyamen was equally happy following the conclusion of Black Friday. She says although Tekkie Town did not offer any discounts like other retailers in the mall, sales were still good.
“Well it was one of the craziest days. We made a lot of sales. I wish we could have a Black Friday more often. We made a lot of money, we did not offer any discounts but we still made a lot of money,” Benyamen said.
Because of Black Friday, Side Step which also sells shoes like Tekkie Town surpassed its target by three days, according to its store manager, Beauty Nanuses.
While she welcomed the revenue generated on the day, it was not without the chaos.
“It was a lot of chaos, we did not expect such a lot of people,” she said. Despite the chaos and overwhelming amount of people who were keen to take advantage of the attractive prices on offer, she said there were no incidences of theft experienced on the day.
“There was no theft at all. Security was well organised and we made a lot of money,” Nanuses said.
Game store manager Frieda Nau-Gawases said the experience was overwhelming. Game had opened its doors at midnight and operated for an entire 24 hours, according to her.
“We are blessed that people chose to come out at midnight, we were equally blessed with good sales.”
According to her, the over-excited customers were also well-behaved. She was quick to point out that there were no injuries reported and that a widely circulated video of a Game store in which customers can be seen storming into was not the Grove Mall store.
“There were no injuries; there was no pick-pocketing. We would like to do it again even if we struggled to keep up the pace,” she said.
With the consumer in mind, economists however are divided about Black Friday. Local economist Claudia Boamah said Black Friday encourages impulsive spending.
“I think it results in impulsive shopping. The sales as I have witnessed, are on selected items. People end up making unplanned purchases under the illusion that they are getting a bargain,” she said.
The timing of Black Friday was also not opportune owing to the current economic condition.
“Under the current economic conditions, with households under so much strain I think things like Black Friday deter people from spending within their means,” she added.
For one economist, it would be difficult to measure to what extent, good or bad, Black Friday, would yield.
“It is a tough one to answer off the cuff…at the end of the day however it is a one-day event. I do not think it will make much of a difference,” IJG researcher Eric van Zyl said.
Speaking to The Zone, Andowa is multi-talented and does not limit herself to different challenges. “Over here I go by the name of Sass which is the name of my brand, simply because I am exposed to a lot of platforms, whether it has to do with educational research, stage appearances and varies campaigns. This includes meeting a lot of people from all over the world.
Born in Outapi, Andowa matriculated at Windhoek High School and is a young woman who tries by all means not to be simple. “I like to think of myself as anti-normal, which means I basically look at what is in the norm and do the exact opposite and I love the reactions I get from that because I strive to be unique and extraordinary,” she says. Deciding between studying towards a degree in medicine, engineering and dentistry, Andowa chose the latter and also got involved with interior designing, marketing, event planning and organising. “These are side line hobbies that I still aim to pursue, but as to how exactly I landed on dentistry, one could say it was a matter of situation, my mom or just destiny. Either way I'm loving it and I couldn't have made a better decision.”
Andowa says she has been exposed to the practice since first year and she enjoys interacting with patients and offering them solutions on their oral wellbeing. “I am considering specialising into paediatrics because per my experience, working with kids is definitely the most challenging, but it is the most fulfilling. I just love it when they walk in with a teary frown but leave with a smile, which neither they nor their parents expected,” she says.
She listed adapting as challenge number one when it comes to living in a different country. “Adapting to the new lifestyles, new people, living conditions and way of life was quite difficult. “Even the food is different and if you are not open to change, this is when silly things like being home sick get you,” she says. She also mentioned making friends was one of the things she struggled with as she tried to “rate people against the friends I felt I had lost.” “Other than that, I like it here as it is really is a third world on its own. Everything is bigger, greater and faster. The city never sleeps.”
So how does she balance it all? “Fashion and all forms of art has always been part of me. I started making and selling jewellery from when I was 13. Both my parents were seamstresses and I never got satisfaction from the clothes on the shelves,” she says the vice president of the African Women’s Committee. “As vice president, I have worked with together with the African Students Association countless times. With these positions I always opt to showcase Africa, not only Namibia, in a creative fun and interactive way and I was honoured to showcase my Oshiwambo sassXwear line to the world.”
After being crowned Miss Africa-Moscow last year, Andowa is grateful for the experience. Taking part in the pageant was amazing. A truly beautiful experience not only to have won, but to experience the whole making of it. The organisation and the willpower of the other contestants as well as what they had to offer and how they represented their countries.”
“When I was on that stage, I wasn't Sassi Andowa. I was Namibia and that was fabulously thrilling. It was the kick start of my entire self-Namibia awareness campaign. When I leave here, I want Africans, Europeans, Asians to everyone will know what Namibia truly is,” says the proud Namibian. Although she has modelled before, her true passion lays backstage. “I get so much adrenaline from the build-up the weeks before any event. The running around and making sure everything runs smoothly and calculating possible hiccups before they happen. I have always been an organiser, I was in high school I founded Miss Outapi Teen which is a beauty pageant that was aimed at empowering and bringing together young girls in my town,” she explains.
Her future plans include touring her region during the upcoming holidays and visiting schools and introducing a career day. She would like to work with different stakeholders and individuals who will be able to assist her to contact her and make it happen. “The aim is to have a sit down session with grades 8 to 12 about their futures and opportunities that await them. As well as sharing basic skills like how to perfect a CV or job interview, life after high school and its challenges and so forth.”