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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 651 | 652 | (Page 653) | 654 | 655 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Omaheke Grade 10 results worrisome - SembaOmaheke Grade 10 results worrisome - Semba The Omaheke Region's education director, Peka Semba, says efforts to improve the region's Junior Secondary Certificate (Grade 10) results are yet to bear the desired fruits.

    Semba said the region's performance at Grade 10 level remained unsatisfactory despite several strategies implemented to improve such results.

    Omaheke has remained in the bottom half of the Grade 10 rankings for the past five years.

    Some of the strategies and programmes implemented by the Omaheke education directorate to improve results, according to Semba, include holiday school for learners, the reshuffling of school principals and the hiring of more qualified teachers.

    Semba said the lack of consistency in results continued to reflect the region in a bad light, and also made it hard to devise preventive interventions.

    “The results are very inconsistent when it comes to the Omaheke Region; one year you see us doing exceptionally well but then we slide way down the rankings in the next year,” he said.

    The education director said despite the region's overall weak performance at Grade 10 level, it was not all gloom as individual schools continued to score good points at that level.

    “Some schools like Gustav Kandjii and others did well in their Grade 10 examinations of 2017, but the overall ranking is affected by those schools that did not do so well,” said Semba.

    He was full of praise for the region's National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) Higher Level learners, who he said continue to fly Omaheke's flag high with their good performance.

    “Although we only have a few learners doing subjects at this level, we are proud of their achievement as they continue to score good marks which make them eligible for university admission,” said the director.

    Omaheke offers NSSC Higher Level subjects at only four schools - Wennie du Plessis, Epako, Gustav Kandjii and Gymnasium High School.

    NAMPA

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    Conservancies receive boost in wildlifeConservancies receive boost in wildlife More than 10 500 animals have been translocated to communal conservancies boosting natural increases to help rapidly rebuild Namibia's wildlife base that dwindled shortly before independence.

    According to the 2016 State of Communal Conservation in Namibia report, between 1999 to 2013 a total of 10 568 animals of 15 different species were translocated to 31 registered conservancies and four conservancy complexes. The total value of the translocated animals, excluding black rhino, is in excess of N$30 million.

    While the bulk of the species translocated have been common game such as springbok, gemsbok, kudu and eland, the introductions also included highly valuable animals such as sable, black-faced impala, giraffe and black rhino. A total of 44 black rhino have been translocated. The report says that remarkable wildlife recoveries have taken place in the country due to conservancy efforts to minimise poaching and ensure the sustainable use of wildlife.

    This was initially most evident in the northwest, where wildlife had been reduced to small numbers through drought and poaching by the early 1980s. It is estimated that there were only 250 elephants and 65 black rhinos in the northwest at that time, and populations of other large mammals had been reduced by 60 to 90% since the early 1970s. Data from species experts shows that the number of rhinos and elephants has increased substantially since then. Game counts indicate that springbok, gemsbok and mountain zebra populations increased over 10 times between 1982 and the early 2000's, then stabilized for a decade.

    Since 2012 drought has resulted in a reduction of game numbers, which have now started to recover as a result of better rainfall in 2016.

    The environment ministry in 2015 halved the annual wildlife utilisation quotas of all conservancies in the Erongo and Kunene regions in response to the prevailing drought conditions and declining game numbers. Conservancies accepted and agreed to this, with some suspending all shoot-and-sell harvesting until circumstances change.

    Although areas of Namibia received good rainfall, quotas remained low in 2016 as it takes at least two years of improved rainfall for game populations to recover. The report adds that over-harvesting of wildlife (exceeding the official quotas) remains a concern.

    “The previous four years of drought, most keenly felt in the Erongo-Kunene conservancies, led to a drastic reduction of harvest quotas, and communities were keen to see an increase in quotas after the rains. However, quotas must remain low until game populations have recovered sufficiently.”

    While sustainable use of wildlife remains vital for communal conservancies with total returns of N$43 million in 2016 it showed a decrease of N$3.9 million from the previous year.

    The reduction in total returns can be attributed to the reduced quotas received by conservancies that were introduced in 2015. The report notes that conservation hunting makes up the majority of the returns from sustainable use of wildlife. Conservation hunting currently generates 60% of the N$46.7 million in cash fees received by conservancies, which is used to cover conservancy running costs, and in particular game guard salaries. According to the report conservation hunting, which targets only free-roaming species in natural habitats, is very important to Namibian conservation.

    “It is often incorrectly criticized as having negative impacts on wildlife, as conservation hunting utilises such an insignificant percentage of wildlife that it has no impact on overall populations.” It is important to note that most conservancies (including three of the first four that were registered) would not have been viable without wildlife use through hunting. Cash income from conservation hunting continues to provide critical finance to cover the costs of conservation activities, including anti-poaching patrols.

    “By turning wildlife use into a viable livelihood activity, and complementing it with other natural resource uses, community conservation can make a meaningful difference to the lives of rural people.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Namcor still to be briefed on fuel storageNamcor still to be briefed on fuel storageCorporation seeking external support Namcor is waiting to hear whether they will be managing the fuel storage facility but, has sought an external partner in this regard. The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) is yet to receive official confirmation that it will be operating the multi-billion-dollar strategic fuel storage facility, its spokesperson Utaara Hoveka has said.

    Namcor has been punted as the likely operator of the fuel storage facility but Hoveka said there has to be a date, not been an official confirmation about its role.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun, he said although there has been extensive talk that the national oil company was poised to operate the facility, Namcor is still to be briefed if it will indeed have a role in the future of the fuel storage facility.

    “There has not been any official communication from government to Namcor regarding the management of the facility. Namcor, however, is represented on the facility's steering committee,” Hoveka said.

    This was in response to questions on how Namcor was preparing operationally to take over the fuel storage facility once construction comes to a conclusion.

    The corporation's Immanuel Mulunga had in an interview said they had signed an agreement with American-based Vitol Energy for the operation of a fuel storage facility.

    The comments were made by Mulunga on a visit to New York last year.

    “We are looking at discussing with them to see whether they can help us operate and manage the facility on our behalf. Our understanding is that Namcor will be given the mandate by the government to operate this facility and because we are not ready yet with our own staff, in all likelihood we will go into the market and secure specialists to do the operations and maintenance on behalf of Namcor,” Mulunga said in an interview with state broadcaster NBC.

    Once completed, the facility will increase the country's security of fuel supply from the current seven to 10 days to 30 to 45 days and, according to government, the project is on track, with no delays expected before commissioning.

    The facility in Walvis Bay will have a total storage capacity of 75 million litres, which will be able to store five million litres of diesel 500, 40 million litres of diesel 50, 20 million litres of unleaded petrol, five million litres of heavy fuel oil and five million litres of aviation fuel.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Corruption - A social disease (Part 129): What are the most critical drivers and focus areas to reduce corruption?Corruption - A social disease (Part 129): What are the most critical drivers and focus areas to reduce corruption? Johan Coetzee - Leadership commitment is critical to reduce corruption. Namibia needs moral, transformational and visionary leaders to reduce corruption. Political leadership is most critical.

    Corruption is inherently a developmental issue that is not possible to be addressed without addressing obstructions to development. These obstructions include obstacles in the economy (e.g. Government debt to GDP of approximately 38%); governance (e.g. the trend of conflict of interest in decision making of SOE Boards), knowledge, science and technology (e.g. the Mathematics pass rate of approximately 30% in the 2017 secondary certificate exam); ethics and morality (e.g. Ministers associated with Chinese criminals); and very limited innovation (Namibia is one of the countries with almost no patents registered annually), very limited inspiration (e.g. Parliamentarians are not beacons of respect), limited entrepreneurship (e.g. a school system that focus too much on memorising and not adequately on industry and technical application) and limited hope for a better future for all (e.g. the number of suicides and gender based violence annually).

    Inclusive leadership is needed to include the most marginalised and vulnerable in society, such as the former Koevoet fighters that are not recognised by Government for compensation, and the abject poor, of whom some have lost hope for a better future.

    Four systemic reforms driven by strong political commitment, namely in the United States of America and United Kingdom during the 1800’s as well as the 1900's reforms in Singapore and Hong Kong took place over a period of approximately 40 years (Coetzee). Contrary to the four mentioned reforms, political will is mediocre in Namibia and not adequate for what is required to reduce corruption.

    LACK OF CIVIL ACTIVISM

    The next best approach is civil activism. Such activism can put pressure on politicians to reform strategic institutions such as the public sector.

    Based on Namibian perceptions about democracy and trust in Government (as found by all Afro-Barometer Surveys to date that measure perceptions about governance and corruption in 35 African countries) Namibians are satisfied with democracy and trust their leaders to such an extent that they do not see the need for a radical change in the quality of democracy and their leaders’ style of leadership.

    Very limited civil society activism in Namibia is not expected to put pressure on politicians to reform and/or transform Namibia’s bloated (e.g. salaries are approximately 50 percent of total public expenditure and unsustainable) and inefficient public sector, e.g. some people waited eight hours at the Buitepos border post to enter Namibia via Botswana during the recent festive season.

    The most appropriate strategic public units to intervene that can leverage the biggest change in the shortest possible time, are the Ministry of Finance (specific Inland Revenue, e.g. tax evasion and bribes), the Tender Board (e.g. the Walvis Bay petroleum port tender), the Ministry of Works and Transport (e.g. the Zimbabwean architects contract issue) and the Namibian Police (incomplete dockets).

    These institutions should be transformed as a top priority into best practices and based on their successes, the rest of the public service can be transformed over time.

    References

    Coetzee, J.J. 2012. Systemic corruption and corrective Change management strategies: A Study of the co-producers of systemic corruption and its negative impact of socio-economic development. Unpublished PhD Dissertation. Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch.

    jcoetzee@nust.na

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    How to Tell If a Company’s Culture Is Right for YouHow to Tell If a Company’s Culture Is Right for You Principles to Remember Do:

    Adopt a mindset that is positive but also skeptical. Reach out to your network to identify people who know the company and who can give you the unvarnished truth about it. Make a special effort to get to know your potential boss; a good relationship with your manager will be critical to your job satisfaction.

    Don’t:

    Discount the idea of doing a trial at the company to get a sense of how your prospective team works and how decisions get made. Ignore red flags. If your boss doesn’t seem interested in getting to know you, consider it a bad sign. Succumb to analysis paralysis. Trust your judgment and make a decision.

    Also, do not forget to get to know your boss

    Your job satisfaction can hinge on your relationship with your boss. Particularly at startups or small, private, family-owned companies, employees who don’t get along with their managers are “as good as dead,” If your potential boss shies away from having this conversation and getting to know you better, consider it “a danger signal. It means that he’s already bored of you.”

    www.hbr.org

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    Angola to issue US$2 bln EurobondAngola to issue US$2 bln EurobondDebt exceeds ‘limit of sustainability’ Angola will prioritise repaying invoices dating to 2014 and totalling more than US$4.9 billion owed to companies. Stephen Eisenhammer - Angola plans to issue a Eurobond and renegotiate bilateral debt in 2018 as part of measures aimed at restructuring the economy and controlling mounting debt payments, a government macroeconomic plan seen by Reuters showed.

    The government earlier put the Eurobond's size at US$2 billion. Banking sources say the Eurobond should be issued within the first quarter.

    The 70-page "Macroeconomic Stabilisation Plan" proposes that "necessary actions for the emission of Eurobonds" should be taken in the first half of 2018.

    It adds that Angola will prioritise repaying invoices dating to 2014 and totalling more than 1 trillion kwanza (US$4.9 billion) owed to companies.

    It also showed that total debt for sub-Saharan Africa's third largest economy reached 12.5 trillion kwanza in 2017, up from 5.9 trillion kwanza in 2014.

    "The trajectory of the debt is, at this moment, passing the limit of sustainability," the document said. "All the effort needed to keep it sustainable must be made," it said.

    An oil boom made Angola one of Africa's richest countries per capita but it is also one of the world's most unequal. The economy fell into recession in 2016 due to a fall in the oil price and unemployment is at least 25%.

    A lack of foreign currency has forced companies, such as airlines and oil services, to pull back operations.

    The oil production which previously supported borrowing can, however, no longer be relied upon, the plan says.

    "That instrument has been exhausted, as oil shipments have been completely committed to the servicing of debt with three countries: China, Brazil and Israel."

    The plan also calls for a tightening of the gap between the official and black market exchange rate in Angola where US dollars trade for two or three times more on the street than in the banks.

    Angola's central bank abandoned a kwanza peg against the US dollar earlier this month which has already seen the currency weaken by more than 20%. Banking sources expect the kwanza to weaken to 280 against the Euro in the coming weeks.

    President João Lourenço took power in September and is seeking to win credibility with international investors and shed Angola's image as an opaque oil economy with rampant corruption. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Swakop's plastic ban levy basedSwakop's plastic ban levy based The Swakopmund municipality has approved a framework for the development of a by-law aimed at drastically reducing plastic shopping bag pollution in the town by imposing a levy when consumers opt to use them, a first for Namibia.

    “Research following the introduction of levies in the rest of the world have brought about a decrease in plastic bags used by shops by up to 85% in the first year alone,” the general manager of health services in the municipality, Clive Lawrence, said. It is currently estimated that around 25 million plastic shopping bags are handed out to consumers per annum at Swakopmund, most of them ending up at the dumpsites.

    One of the problems with plastic pollution is that the material is slow to break down and difficult to contain, and poses severe risks to livestock, wildlife and humans.

    “Every solid waste disposal site in Namibia is characterised by the surrounding landscape being strewn with plastic bags and plastic packaging. This is unsightly in a country that prides itself on its clean and healthy landscapes, is a negative factor for the promotion of tourism, poses a danger to domestic stock and wildlife, and is a health hazard, particularly in malaria areas where mosquitos breed in water caught in plastic bottles,” the Namibia Chamber of Environment (NCE)'s Chris Brown explained. Moreover, it is estimated that plastic makes up 95% of the rubbish in the world's oceans, mainly in the form of bags, food and drink containers, and fishing equipment and studies estimate that as many as 90% of the world's seabirds have plastic in their stomachs, he said.

    “If we do nothing about this situation, by 2050 the mass of plastics in the oceans will exceed the total mass of fishes,” Brown warned.

    A more recent concern has been the discovery that plastics also pose severe health risks to humans, who are at risk of ingesting miniscule pieces of broken down plastic when they eat fish or shellfish.

    “Dealing decisively with plastics is thus as much a human health issue as it is an environmental issue,” Brown said.



    Still pending

    Lawrence explained that the levy consumers will be charged has not yet been finalised and will be discussed at upcoming public consultations. He cautioned however that a levy that is too low “will have no impact on the reduction of the use of plastic shopping bags”.

    Once the draft regulations are vetted and gazetted, the funds collected from the levy will be applied for environmental conservation and support community-based environmental initiatives, he said. Brown said solving the problem of plastic bag pollution is not simple, but four key elements could help address the issue while allowing people to retain the benefits of plastics. These include an import ban on plastic bags into Namibia that contain calcium carbonate and imposing a levy of at least 50 cents per bag. The funds could be funnelled into supporting initiatives that promote the recycling of plastics, including small business that could produce durable shopping bags. The NCE also proposes setting up guidelines for how much of a plastic bag can be used for advertising, to improve the recycling processes. The draft regulations will be submitted to the Swakopmund council towards the end of March 2018, Lawrence said. The proposed by-law is part of Swakopmund's goal of becoming the first environmentally sustainable town in Namibia, he added.

    “It was discovered that the indiscriminate dumping of plastic shopping bags is one of the main sources of pollution of open spaces and therefore the drive for better control of the use of shopping bags will be mobilised.” Brown noted that more than 40 countries and municipalities around the world have established similar legislation to ban, levy or regulate the use of plastic shopping bag bans, including more than 15 African countries. The United Nations Environmental Programme secretariat has recommended a ban on all plastic bags globally, due to the many environmental and other problems they create.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Ongwediva residents fear waterborne diseasesOngwediva residents fear waterborne diseases Pollution caused by an overflowing sewer at Ongwediva is causing fears of waterborne illnesses as the rainy season gets into full swing.

    Residents claim that the town council has not responded to their complaints. They say a sewer near the Galaxy Hotel and Namibia Fish Consumption business area has been overflowing for weeks, turning a nearby oshana into a reeking cesspool. With the rainy season fast approaching, residents fear that if the issue is not addressed soon it might result in an epidemic of waterborne diseases such as cholera and hepatitis E. The residents are also concerned about pollution of the groundwater.

    Because oshanas are linked and many people live next to them, they say it's impossible to know whether the water in a particular oshana is contaminated.

    “We have reported this matter to the council many times but they do not respond. I don't understand why the council is not addressing the issue.

    “The sewerage is going into the oshana and some people drink this water and yet the Ongwediva town council is ignoring it,” one resident said. In Windhoek, close to 300 cases of hepatitis E have been reported in informal settlements with poor sanitation. When contacted for comment, Ongwediva council spokesperson Jackson Muma acknowledged that the council had received complaints about the overflowing sewer.

    He said the council does maintain sewers from time to time, but they become blocked again when people flush solid objects down the drain.

    “Yes we received some reports regarding that one and we're working on it. In fact that is not the only one, there is also another one which is giving us problems but we maintain them,” Muma said.

    Muma said the council would look into the matter.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Fransfontein hostel: Ministry steps inFransfontein hostel: Ministry steps inNew mattresses found in storage The education ministry has started with smaller renovations at a dilapidated school hostel in the Kunene Region, but a major revamp is in the pipeline. Kunene education officials have jumped into action after slum-like living conditions at a Khorixas school hostel came to light this month, vowing to render assistance to the school urgently where possible.

    In line with this, the ministry also requested ministry of health officials to visit the dilapidated hostel facilities at the Frans Frederick primary school to assess whether it is a health hazard for boarders.

    “The ministry is aware of the deplorable conditions at the Fransfontein hostel, home to Frans Frederick primary school boarders,” permanent secretary of education Sanet Steenkamp told Namibian Sun.

    She said the conditions were “unacceptable and the hostel's current state offers a harsh [view of the] sad reality [faced] in some regions in which our learners live whilst receiving an education.”

    She said in the ministry's opinion, the standard of accommodation facilities for “both teachers and learners have a huge effect on delivery and performances.”

    Steenkamp however added that contrary to a statement from the school that the ministry had not supplied mattresses to the school for at least three to four years, new beds and mattresses were provided last year. These were “found in the storerooms and a directive was issued to the school to distribute the said items to the boarders immediately.”

    Namibian Sun was informed yesterday that principal Naftalie Goraseb, who stated that no new mattresses were supplied and that many parents were too poor to supply them to their children, was attending meetings in Outjo.

    He could not be reached for comment on his phone nor did he respond to an SMS sent to him to clarify the issue by the time of going to print.

    Steenkamp explained that when conditions at the hostel came to the education ministry's attention, a delegation of regional education officials visited the school on Friday last week to “verify conditions, investigate and to render possible assistance to the school.”

    Preliminary investigations found that the hostel has four blocks, two of which have been dormant for almost 10 years and two that currently accommodate the girls and boys.

    The inspectors found that the two blocks in use required major renovations on ceilings, roofs, floors, doors and windows.

    In contrast, the two unoccupied dorms required only minor renovations and would cost less to upgrade.

    She said while the situation is being assessed, minor renovations have started but major renovations are in the pipeline.



    Money and collaboration

    Steenkamp also noted that the conditions at the hostel are “certainly not an isolated case and the ministry acknowledges that more funding should be allocated towards our infrastructures that are in a dilapidated state.”

    She said the Outjo secondary school's girls' hostel and the Opuwo primary school hostel and many others need attention, and that the 2018 budget makes provision for N$2 million more for renovations and maintenance of infrastructure.

    “For 2017, the ministry allocated N$53 million for renovations to the regions, whereas in 2018, N$55 million has been allocated to address the issues of maintenance and renovations.”

    Steenkamp said that the responsibility for the administration of government infrastructures should be a “collaborative and collective effort from the ministry, regional councils, hostel staff, learners, parents and the community.”

    She said this was demonstrated by parents, community members and the settlement office “who through their own initiative provided assistance in fixing and replacing windows, doors and leaking water.”

    She said the regional management under the regional councils must “clearly assess the levels of renovations and with funds collected, work towards creating a continuous enabling learning environment for all our learners, be it in the classrooms or hostels.”





    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    When to give an annual bonus to a new employeeWhen to give an annual bonus to a new employee Chances are, you have recently been tasked with the job of determining (or at least helping to determine) what your employees’ end-of-year bonuses should be. With your long-term employees, you’ve have had some historical practices, as well as a, hopefully, comprehensive performance review to rely on to help you. But... Luck of the draw. Some companies have a firm policy that says that employees who haven’t been with the company for at least a full year (or some other arbitrary cut-off date) are not eligible for an end-of-year bonus. It is the luck of the draw, so to speak, when an employee starts with the company. This is certainly a valid business choice, and may seem desirable these days when budgets are tight. But, it may come at a cost, especially if you have some outstanding new employees who are not recognised at a time when everyone else is.

    Categories:

    You may decide to split up your new employees into categories. For example, employees who have been with you for under three months may receive a small lump sum bonus, say X amount. Employees who have been with you for three to six months may receive a slightly larger lump sum bonus. Employees with you for six to nine months may receive a sum slightly larger still. And employees who have been with you for nine to 12 months may be eligible for the full bonus under the same parameters as all your longer-term employees.

    I have personally been with a couple of companies with whom I started shortly before the holidays and received this type of small lump sum bonus and, I have to say, that it made a difference. While I wasn’t expecting it, I certainly appreciated it. And even more than the money, I appreciated having my contribution recognised and acknowledged. From a business perspective, that small expense paid for itself and then some in the value it added by creating an atmosphere of employee appreciation right from the start.

    Pro-rata:

    When you go pro-rata, you use the same parameters you would use for your long-term employees, but adjust the bonus based on the number of months the employee has been with you. For instance, if an employee who has been with the company for over a year would be eligible for a 5%t bonus, then a new employee in the same position who has been with the company for six months would be eligible for a 2.5%t bonus (half the year, half the bonus).

    Of course, you have to keep in mind that you may have hired someone within the past year who clearly isn’t performing well, in which case I recommend you refer to rule number one in compensation: don’t reward a poor performer!

    Be consistent:

    Keep in mind that whichever option you choose should be used across the board - if you decide to go one route with one employee and another route with another, you may open yourself up to liability. Above all, your bonus practices should stay in alignment with the company’s compensation strategy, as well as the overall business strategy. And finally, at the end of the day, make sure you stick to the budget. If you can’t stay within your allotted budget, you run the risk of your CFO cutting the bonus program altogether.

    www.payscale.com

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    Bank Windhoek appoints procurement head  Bank Windhoek appoints procurement head Bank Windhoek is proud to announce the appointment of Jacques Joubert as its new head of procurement Joubert has over 20 years’ experience in the procurement environment in both the public and financial sectors, including supply chain processes such as receipting, warehousing, stock control, purchasing and supplier management. He obtained several advanced certificate programmes in purchasing and supply management from University of South Africa (Unisa), and completed various courses in management and leadership.

    Joubert’s main responsibilities will be to head the Group Procurement Strategy, ensuring implementation and compliance with policies, procedures and relevant legislative requirements. Jacques will ensure that procurement efforts are efficient and effective so that cost centres achieve maximum value.

    “I am very excited at taking forward the procurement department at Bank Windhoek and look forward to an exciting year ahead,” said Joubert.

    Bank Windhoek’s chief financial officer, James Chapman commented: “I wish to welcome Jacques to the Bank Windhoek family and wish him all the best in leading the procurement department to new levels of efficiency.

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    Pensioners given the run-around Pensioners given the run-around CATHERINE SASMAN

    An elderly couple claim to have been given misleading information about re-registration for state pensions last week.

    The couple, preferring anonymity, say they went to the pension office on Mercedes Street in Khomasdal to reactivate their old-age pensions.

    They say they were told by an official [name withheld] that they could only show proof of life on or after their birthdays and not a minute earlier.

    “My wife and I always try to show our proof of life as early in the year as possible. We were told that we should go back to the office only when we have our birthdays. The official was simply too lazy to process the re-registration,” the elderly gentleman said.

    He said this was the first time that he has been turned away.

    “She [the official] simply lied about this,” the irate pensioner said.

    Albert Biwa, deputy director of social welfare in the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, suggested that the couple, as well as other disgruntled customers, report their complaints to his office.

    He said the directorate reviews the pension payout process once or twice a year.

    The spokesperson of the ministry, Lot Ndamanomhata, said the standard procedure is that pensioners or the procurators (those receiving pension on behalf of the pensioners who might be unable to pick up their social grants due to illness or other impediments) should show proof of life every third month.

    This, Ndamanomhata said, is to ensure that the intended beneficiaries are still alive and are in fact receiving money due to them.

    Biwa, however, said proof of life should only be provided once a year.

    Biwa said it is only required that the “authentic” pensioner collects his or her pension payout every three months - as proof of life - in cases where a procurator otherwise picks up the money on behalf of the pensioner.

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    Alleged double killer gets new lawyerAlleged double killer gets new lawyerLegal Aid appoints senior counsel for murder trial Lukas Nicodemus, accused of murdering two women and burning their bodies at a Windhoek dumpsite, has made another pre-trial appearance in the High Court. A man accused of killing two women and burning their bodies at a dumpsite in Windhoek in January 2016 now has a new state-funded defence lawyer.

    The Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid has appointed senior legal counsel Jan Wessels to represent the accused man.

    This was made public yesterday when Lukas Nicodemus made a second appearance before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo during a pre-trial conference of case management review.

    On 23 November last year, the 47-year-old Nicodemus terminated Milton Engelbrecht's services during his first appearance in the High Court, claiming that the lawyer was not willing to bring a formal bail application in the High Court.

    Engelbrecht was fired just as he was about to make arrangements to visit the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's holding cells to consult with Nicodemus.

    The lawyer was only provided with a copy of the case record and other related documents on Thursday morning.

    When he was fired, Engelbrecht told High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg he could not entertain Nicodemus' request in respect of the formal bail application because the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid only appointed and instructed him to represent the accused on trial.

    As a result of this, Nicodemus was again ordered to apply to the Directorate of Legal Aid for another lawyer to represent him.

    The State alleges that during the period of 6 and 7 January 2016, he intentionally and unlawfully killed Johanie Naruses, 29, and Clemensia de Wee, 23.

    The two victims' partially burnt corpses were discovered at a dumpsite near Pionierspark in Windhoek by a security guard who was working in the area.

    Nicodemus' black sedan was later found by police abandoned at an unnamed location.

    The car is believed to have been used in the transportation of the bodies of the two women, as police found bloodstains in it.

    The State alleges the victims' remains were burned in an attempt to conceal the crime.

    Nicodemus, who is facing two charges of murder and a charge of obstructing the course of justice, denied the offence when he entered his preliminary pleas of 'not guilty' to the charges against him in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.

    He also underwent a 30-day psychiatric evaluation in August last year and was found to be fit to stand trial and understand court proceedings.

    Nicodemus remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.

    Deputy prosecutor-general Antonia Verhoef is representing the State in the matter.

    NAMPA

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    Building strong ­relationshipsBuilding strong ­relationshipsThriving in the business of vehicle and asset finance A young woman in the world of finance, Fayette ­Mwangala, a sales consultant at Bank Windhoek spoke to Careers to shed more light on her field of work. TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA



    An average day of a sales consultant in the world of vehicle and asset finance begins with an administrative focus to finalise all applications and payments due from those received the previous day to try and live up to the bank's commitment of excellent customer service. “As a sales consultant, you are also responsible for the management of your portfolio of clients and you should regularly visit vehicle dealers and build long-term relationships with both dealers and clients,” says Mwangala. She added that being part of the Bank Windhoek team, they live the Capricorn Way and promise to be connectors of positive change in our ever-changing environment.

    Mwangala's description of her job consists of taking in applications of current and potential clients and carefully do calculations to provide clients with advice on all other factors to consider when they decide to buy a vehicle. “There are numerous factors that could influence your monthly repayment ability and a default could influence your credit record with any other financial institution,” she explained. ­Mwangala says she loves people and she has always wanted to work in our own Namibian bank to live her dream. “Furthermore, I was also able to relate to the values of the bank.”

    So how does one become qualified to do the job? “A Grade 12 certificate with Accounting as subject and a degree or diploma in sales or marketing would be an added advantage. One should be computer literate and have some analytical skills as well as a valid driver's license to be able to do on-site visits to approved dealers,” she says. “The most important attribute one should have to become fully qualified and be the best in this environment would be willingness to work in a stressful environment and commitment to give customer service to such an extent that people would choose to bring business back to you in the future.”

    Mwangala advises that one should have a serious commitment towards the achievement of allocated targets and goals, be energetic and professional with a positive attitude towards change, should be able to plan and organise, and have the skills to do proper time management. “Also, one's behaviour in public should be impeccable.”

    She lists the highlights of her job as being provided with the ability to assist clients to achieve their dreams and assist them with the purchase of assets. “The ­lowlights of this job would be the near-miss of allocated objectives and budgets.”

    With her pas­sion for help­ing people, her career mentor in this position is her father; Phillip Mwangala. “My father used to work for Bank of Namibia and currently does financial consulting. I look up to him as not only being a father figure but also a well-known businessman and a disciplined Namibian.”

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    Hambukushu committee in dramatic U-turnHambukushu committee in dramatic U-turn In a dramatic twist, a committee established by the Hambukushu tribe with the sole mandate to force local chief Erwin Munika Mbambo to relinquish power, is no longer demanding for his removal.

    The pressure group has made a U-turn on its earlier demand and has apologised unconditionally to the chief.

    The committee chaired by former Swapo parliamentarian Elifas Dingara had written to Mbambo on Christmas Eve, accused him of having blocked the much-needed development within the traditional authority's area.

    However, in a letter dated 17 January 2018 and signed by Dingara, the committee reversed its decision.

    Dingara confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which was also copied to the minister of urban and rural development, the Kavango East governor and the Mukwe constituency councillor.





    “This letter serves to inform you that our letter dated 24 December 2017 addressed to you titled 'Dismissal from the position of Fumu: Yourself' and the report which was attached thereto has been unconditionally withdrawn today the 17 January 2018,” the letter reads.

    “All reasons which were raised verbally or in writing in support of the committee regarding dismissal including any letters and any other communications including all media statements made in this regard are also unconditionally withdrawn,” the letter further read.

    The letter also states that the committee has been dissolved and dismantled with immediate effect.

    “This means that as of now, 17 January 2018 and after signing this letter, the fact-finding and dismissal committee of Fumu Erwin Munika Mbambo, all letters and all reports doesn't exist anymore,” the letter reads.

    The committee also apologised to Mbambo and all those that have been affected by their actions. “We apologise unconditionally to you and any person involved in this matter physically or psychologically for any inconvenience cause.”

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Germany's first blow in genocide caseGermany's first blow in genocide case As was expected the German government through its Washington lawyers appealed to the New York federal court to dismiss the Nama and OvaHerero lawsuit, but it was rejected on Tuesday.

    Germany is expected to appear in court next Thursday for the federal class action lawsuit filed by the descendants of the OvaHerero and Nama people seeking restorative justice for the 1904-1908 genocide.

    Germany filed the motion for dismissal on the grounds that the court in New York has no jurisdiction over a sovereign state.

    Speaking to the media yesterday OvaHerero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro boasted of having “beaten Germany in the first round”.

    Germany can reinstate an application for dismissal before or on 9 February 2018.

    Correspondence shows that Jeffrey Harris, representing the German government, wrote to the affected communities' lawyer, Kenneth McCallion, on 11 January to inform him that they were planning to file for dismissal.

    “While I recognise that this is a fool's errand, nevertheless the rules require that I consult with you before I file,” the e-mail read.

    McCallion responded on 12 January and pointed out that Harris had not identified any basis for a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.





    He added that he did not think there was any basis for the motion and strongly suggested that, in order to avoid any further delay, it would be wise for Harris to file for a notice of appearance and answer on behalf of Germany.

    “This would permit us to proceed as expeditiously as possible to a resolution of the litigation. Our clients, as always, continue to remain open to any reasonable settlement proposal or procedure that would allow them to directly participate in the on-going discussion between the governments of Namibia and Germany,” he said.

    Meanwhile the German embassy in Namibia issued a statement on Wednesday in which it insisted that a domestic court had no jurisdiction over a sovereign state such as Germany.



    The embassy also notified the media that it never comments on pending cases and will not be answering questions regarding the genocide case.







    Jurisdiction



    Rukoro, a lawyer and former attorney-general, yesterday said the decision to sue Germany in the New York court and not the International Criminal Court (ICC) was deliberate.

    “You cannot take a state to the world court without its consent - that is one of the weaknesses there. States have immunity for certain crimes and the crime of genocide according to customary international law is one of those it does not have immunity from,” he said.

    He further pointed out that the US has jurisdiction to enable anybody in the world who has suffered crimes against humanity to approach its courts for restitution.

    “That is why we specifically appealed to the US and not another country. Germany is simply being arrogant, but they will hit their heads,” said Rukoro.

    He further said Germany must take note that the court case was “simply Plan B” and that they could still utilise “Plan C, D and perhaps E”.



    “They must know that two thirds of the land that is now owned by white commercial farmers is our heritage. Even the wealth they amassed through colonialism should have been ours,” he said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 01/18/18--14:00: Unam demands 50% deposit
  • Unam demands 50% depositUnam demands 50% depositLarger deposits for foreign students The University of Namibia has implemented large tuition fee deposits to be paid upon registering as a student. Namibians who have been granted admission to the University of Namibia will have to pay a 50% deposit on their tuition fees in addition to the mandatory N$2 000 payable at registration.

    SADC residents will have to pay 60% of their tuition fees upfront, while non-SADC foreigners must pay 70% upon registration.

    This was confirmed by Unam spokesperson Simon Namesho yesterday.

    “At this stage the status quo remains. We had a discussion with the ministry but no other decision has been taken,” he said.

    The hefty registration fees only apply to privately funded students and first-year Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) loan holders. Senior students who are NSFAF loan holders will be covered by the scheme and do not have to pay the upfront amount of N$2 000. For example, a prospective Namibian engineering student at Unam will have to pay about N$17 010 at registration. The decision to increase the fees payable at registration was taken during a recent council meeting of the university.

    Before that, Namibian Unam students were only required to pay N$6 650, which included a N$1 650 registration fee and a N$5 000 tuition fee deposit.

    The university has reportedly been too lenient in the past and has not been able to recover all the fees from students throughout the year.

    However, some commentators have criticised the new model.

    A well-placed official in the ministry of higher education told Namibian Sun that the new Unam model appeared to have been adopted from South African universities.





    The official said it was unreasonable given the tough economic times and he believed the ministry must intervene.

    “I am sure it is done in South Africa, but I am also sure South African universities are lenient with local students. For this, one would have to get a loan to pay. Who can pay N$20 000 for studies in January?” the official said.

    The amount varies for different study courses but remains an average N$10 000 and more. Students at Namibia's University of Science and Technology (Nust) pay a minimum N$4 000 at registration twice a year.



    Pay up

    Higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi, who is a former dean of students at Unam, said students would simply have to pay up.

    She added that it was the prerogative of tertiary institutions to find ways to recover the funds.

    “I cannot deviate from decisions made by their councils. We must just pay up. The debt has escalated; these institutions find it difficult to maintain quality we cannot erode the quality of our institutions by not paying dues,” she said.

    She criticised what she called a trend of some private and international students registering at universities with a nominal registration fee and as the year progresses they refuse to pay up.

    Meanwhile, the two universities are yet to submit projections of their operational budgets, as requested by the ministry.

    This follows their rejection of NSFAF acknowledgment letters as guarantee of payment for new students.

    By close of business yesterday the institutions was yet to submit their respective projections on operational budget requirements.

    This was confirmed by higher education permanent secretary Albert van Kent.

    “We are saying that annually we have a certain amount of funding for students and from historical data we are able to have a fair idea of the number of students that may need funding, but we cannot just give a blanket amount,” he said.



    Burden

    Namibia National Students Organisation Khomas secretary-general Shoki Kandjimi criticised the 50% deposit, saying it was unheard of.

    “What about a parent with two students? It cannot be right. No one can afford it. We are not happy with this decision. I think Unam must just allow students to pay a nominal fee which is affordable,” he said.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Soldier shoots, kills partnerSoldier shoots, kills partner This morning at roughly 10:35 Zya Juliet Shane Rittman, 35 and mother of a three-year-old, was shot and killed by her partner and father of her child. The 39-year-old suspect, a soldier from the Osona military base, shot Rittman in the head with a 9mm Makarov pistol. According to the Namibian police, they were having "unknown relationship problems". The incident occured at Rittman's home in Michaelangelo Street in the so-called Damara location, Katutura. The suspect surrendered himself to the Katutura police after the incident. Investigations continue.

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  • 01/23/18--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief VTB in talks to prolong Angola's loan

    Russia's VTB is in talks with Angola on changing the terms of a US$1.5 billion loan and extending it, the bank's chief executive Andrey Kostin said.

    "We have a fairly positive view on Angola and are now in talks to prolong the loan on new terms to 10 years. Otherwise, Angola would have had to redeem the loan within the next 1.5 years," said Kostin, who visited Angola this month.

    Kostin, whose bank has a presence in Africa, said VTB would be interested in helping Angola to arrange its Eurobond, and was also considering lending to the country's industrial sector.

    VTB plans to boost the capital of its unit in Angola to an equivalent of at least US$50 million to meet planned banking regulatory changes in the country.

    Steinhoff raises billions from PSG stake sale

    Steinhoff has raised R7.1 billion (US$587 million) from the sale of a stake in investment firm PSG Group, part of the South African retailer's efforts to plug a liquidity gap.

    Steinhoff said on Monday it had sold about 29.4 million shares in PSG for R240 per share to institutional investors in an accelerated bookbuild.

    The placing price represented a discount of 5.3% to the PSG Group closing price of R253.50 on Friday, it said.

    Steinhoff, which owned 16% of PSG, now owns about 2.5% in the firm, which has a total market value of around R60 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

    Eskom looks to borrow US$1.7 bn

    South Africa's Eskom will ask local banks to reopen lending facilities that were suspended last year, its spokesman said on Monday, as the state utility seeks to drag itself out of a crisis that poses a risk to the country's financial stability.

    National Treasury will support Eskom's bid to persuade South African banks to lend the utility R20 billion, spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said.

    The suspended chief financial officer Eskom resigned amid an investigation into allegations that he granted preferential treatment to bidders supplying coal to Eskom.

    Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa named a new Eskom board on Saturday, ending a power vacuum that dates back to mid-2017. – Nampa/Reuters

    Sasol expects H1 earnings to rise

    South African petrochemicals group Sasol expects half-year profit to lift as much as 6% on the back of higher crude oil prices, the firm said yesterday.

    Sasol said core headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended December 31 are expected to increase by between 1% and 6% compared with core HEPS of R17.41 for the same period in the prior year.

    HEPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa which strips out certain one-off items. – Nampa/Reuters

    Netflix crosses US$100 bn market cap

    Netflix Inc snagged 2 million more subscribers than Wall Street expected in the final three months of 2017, tripling profits at the online video service that is burning money on new programming to dominate internet television around the world.

    The results drove Netflix to a market capitalisation of more than US$100 billion for the first time. Shares jumped 9% to over US$248 in after-hours trading on Monday after rallying throughout the month and rising 53% last year.

    The company has signed up more than half of all US broadband households and is building its customer base in 190 countries by spending billions on programming.

    The company ended the year with 117.58 million streaming subscribers around the globe, despite a price hike in October. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Working poverty remains rampant, says ILOWorking poverty remains rampant, says ILO‘Decent work deficits widespread’ The International Labour Organisation forecast a worldwide unemployment rate of 5.5% this year. The global economy is still not creating enough jobs. – Guy Ryder, Director-general: ILO Geneva - The global unemployment rate is expected to tick down in 2018, the United Nations said Monday, while warning that far too many workers still live in desperate poverty.

    The International Labour Organisation forecast a worldwide unemployment rate of 5.5% this year, a marginal improvement on the 5.6% recorded in 2017, thanks to broad economic growth.

    But in its flagship "World Employment and Social Outlook" trends report, the ILO also raised serious red flags about the health of the planet's labour market.

    "Even though global unemployment has stabilised, decent work deficits remain widespread: the global economy is still not creating enough jobs", the organisation's director-general, Guy Ryder, said in a statement.

    A key problem is the abundance of "vulnerable employment", a category that includes informal work arrangements with little or no social and contractual protections.

    "The significant progress achieved in the past in reducing vulnerable employment has essentially stalled since 2012", the ILO said in a statement.

    The problem is most acute in the developing world, where three out of every four workers have a "vulnerable" employment status, the report said.

    The study's lead author, ILO economist Stephan Kuhn, pointed out that 40% of all employed people in the developing world still live in "extreme poverty".

    Uneven economic growth and the huge concentration of global wealth in the hands of very few is expected to be a key topic at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, which opened yesterday.

    The charity group Oxfam reported Monday that 82% of the wealth created in 2017 was controlled by the world's richest one percent.

    For ILO chief Guy Ryder, broadening the benefits economic growth remains the key priority.

    "Additional efforts need to be put in place to ensure that the gains of growth are shared equitably," he said. – Nampa/AFP

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