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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Keetmans business community cleans upKeetmans business community cleans up Private business entities, along with the Keetmanshoop municipality, conducted a one-day clean-up and debushing campaign alongside the reception area next to the B1 road in the Ileni informal settlement on Friday.

    The campaign started at 08:00 and continued throughout the day.

    Volunteers were employees from the municipality and from businesses that were involved in the campaign such as Supersand, Elso, Kaap-Agri and Plastic Packaging, among others.

    NamWater also contributed 1 000 litres of water to the informal area community, while the various companies brought trucks, bulldozers and refuse bags for the cleaning.

    Speaking to Nampa, the municipality's environmental health officer Rudo-Whan Benade said the campaign will continue next month.

    “It will take place in areas such as Tseiblaagte, Krönlein and Westdene,” he said. Benade, on behalf of the municipality, sent out a word of thanks to the private companies and individuals who lent a hand.

    “We appreciate what they are doing, the municipality has ideas of such campaigns but we are crippled by the lack of machinery,” he said.


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  • 02/19/18--14:00: Fishing rights worrisome
  • Fishing rights worrisomeFishing rights worrisomeConcern expressed over delays Fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau allayed concerns by the industry over the delay and allocation of fishing rights. The chairperson of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations (CNFA), Matti Amukwa, says many companies which invested substantial amounts into vessels and production facilities, and employ thousands of workers, do not know if their application for new fishing rights will be successful.

    He was speaking during the annual address by fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau to the fishing industry in Walvis Bay on Friday.

    “This situation generates uncertainty which is very counterproductive for the smooth running of one of the most relevant industries in our country. The slow allocation of quotas experienced over the current and previous quota years, is a matter of general concern and is making it difficult to plan adequately for the year. It also has cost implications for the operators.”

    Amukwa added that they understand and support the ambitious exercise undertaken by the ministry to review all rights. He recommended that the process should be given the necessary time for conclusion and implementation without withholding large amounts of quotas from the operators.

    He also emphasised that the ministry should ensure that the rights and quota allocation processes would not lead to disruptions in operations which generate significant losses, particularly to land-based value addition facilities.

    “Past experience showed the general public will respond with vigour and the ministry can expect a large amount of applications which will take a lot of time to evaluate.”

    According to Amukwa, “It must be noted that the decisions taken by the authorities within the next few months will chart the course for the next 20 years and wise council should prevail. Many changes have been announced and transparency must be observed in the implementation of those changes.”

    He also cautioned that should allocated quotas be used only to withdraw funds without ploughing back, it would result in Namibians losing ownership of the industry.

    Esau then addressed issues related to new fishing rights applications

    He undertook to invite all interested Namibians, including those whose rights have terminated, to apply for new fishing rights during the course of the year.

    “I wish to correct the impression that once a person is given a fishing right, it is automatically valid for 20 years. This is not true. The 20-year period is the maximum possible duration for a right. The validity of each right, such as seven, 10, 15 or 20 years, is clearly indicated in the letter of offer, which does not promise extension.”

    Esau explained that should rights holders be found to have changed the conditions of their rights without authorisation by him, or do not meet the conditions given during its award, could forfeit their rights and may not be granted an extension.

    “It is therefore not true that all right holders are entitled to a period of 20 years, because extension is subject to fulfilment of set conditions. Those who complied will have an advantage. Economic inclusivity will however be a key component in the allocation of new rights.”

    The minister assured members of the public, including all those whose rights expired or are expiring this year that the process of evaluating new rights holders will be done transparently, in a timely manner and in accordance with the law.

    He emphasised that there was therefore no cause for alarm on this matter and said that economic inclusivity will be a key consideration in the application for new rights in 2018.

    “As has already been demonstrated in the case of rights that expired in 2017, the ministry is determined to manage this process in a way that protects Namibian jobs and investments in the fisheries sector for all rights that expire in 2018 and 2019.”

    Esau further emphasised that the owners of expired, or expiring fishing rights are legally allowed to apply, alongside other Namibians, for new fishing rights once a public call is made. The evaluation of all applications will be based on provisions and in accordance of the Act.

    “Expired, or expiring right holders who have invested and complied with other conditions as per the law would be more competitive than those who have not done so.”

    Esau said by 31 December last year, there were 32 fishing rights which had attained 20 years and added that by the 31 December this year, there will be a further 75 fishing rights which will have reached 20 years.

    “I have communicated to all affected rights holders that these rights have now been terminated, having attained the maximum 20-year period. I cannot go beyond and renew such a right beyond this period. The law prevents me from doing so.”

    The expiring rights are spread across all the sub-sectors of Namibia's marine fisheries.

    “Jobs were created and need to be sustained. The fisheries sector comprises of several levels in the value chain, beginning with fishing, where fishing rights are exercised, processing, logistics, supplies and many other economic activities. Many of the large investors in this sector are in fact operators, processors, suppliers and logistics companies who do not have fishing rights. We value these investors a lot. They are important for the success of this sector and government will continue to promote their businesses.”


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    Northern police get a chopperNorthern police get a chopper Crime fighting in the northern regions has been made easier after the Namibian police assigned a helicopter to be stationed at the regions.

    This newly procured machine will be stationed at Oshakati in Oshana Region and will serve seven the regions of the north – Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene, Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi. Receiving the helicopter on Thursday, the Oshana regional police commander, Commissioner Rauha Amwele, said she is thankful for the new crime-fighting apparatus which will make combating criminal activity in the regions easier.

    Amwele said in the past they use to get a chopper from Windhoek, only on request, this made things difficult for them.

    “Now that we have a police chopper stationed in the north, it will make it easier for us to respond to emergencies on time. Now, other regions of the north will be requesting the chopper from us,” Amwele said.

    This is the first helicopter to be assigned to the north and Amwele said now the situation will become increasingly complex for criminals as they will be following them on ground and in the air.

    The Nampol Air Wing directorate also assigned Inspector Geogrette Miezee to the regions as the dedicated pilot.

    Vehicle recoveries

    The Oshana police have also recovered three vehicles and a trailer which were stolen in the region. They were handed back to their owners last week.

    All the three vehicles, were stolen in Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa, were Toyota Corollas imported from Botswana. One of these was recovered in Angola by the assistance of the Angolan police.

    Amwele urged members of the public to always take precautionary measures to prevent their cars from getting stolen.

    “It is evident that some of the stolen cars are being taken into Angola, while others are scrapped and sold locally. Let us make sure that all our cars are well secured and we do not leave them with strangers,” Amwele said.


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    O&L introduces TAP intake for 2018O&L introduces TAP intake for 2018Joining the winning team The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group welcomed the ten participants to its programme for the year 2018 to work with the team and learn the skills of the labour force Tunohole Mungoba

    The O&L group welcomes ten participants to its Talent Attraction Program (TAP) for its 2018 intake. This now brings the total TAP participants to 83 since the program's inception 11 years ago. At the official welcoming of the new intake, O&L group director of human capital, Berthold Mukuahima speaks about how the programme was designed to give opportunities to all motivated youth to bring a refreshing change to O&L and Namibia as a whole. “As new members of the O&L team, we need to warn you that we aim to grow people here. That speaks directly to one of group values so we need to work hard to achieve those goals.”

    The programme is linked to mentorship whereby each intake will be assigned to a mentor. This will serve as a support tool for the programme participants. Each mentor will be responsible for motivating, advising and guiding each participant to achieve their career and development objectives. “In simple terms, the mentor is expected to hold the hand of the mentee as he or she goes through the programme,” explains Mukuamhima. “We believe in investing in the youth. Our purpose is to build passion for a stronger and better future.”

    The programme received more than 1000 entries and the number keeps increasing over the years. “On an annual basis applications to the programme increase and become more intense with a growing influx of hopeful and prospective participants,” he says.

    The programme has been very successful during the past years with a high retention rate. One of their success stories is that of Saara Kapiye who has been admitted to the TAP program seven years ago, and now holds the position of human resources manager at one of O&L's subsidiaries, Broll Namibia. “This journey is about making full use of the opportunity to not only grow yourself in your career, but also as a person. At first I was anxious and uncertain, but very excited about the opportunities that awaited me on this journey. Do not take this opportunity for granted. It is about what you make of it at the end of the day,” Kapiye says.

    The TAP focuses on attracting and retaining dynamic Namibian graduates who display the passion and potential to be developed into future leaders of the O&L Group. The programme will focus on recruiting high-flyers who can be fast-tracked to develop into positions that are essential for the long term sustainability and strategy of the company.

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    10 young 'Namibian ambassadors' return from Germany10 young 'Namibian ambassadors' return from Germany The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Schlaga and representatives of the Association of German School Societies in Namibia (AGDS) invited the learners for a courtesy call after returning to Namibia. For several years now, the AGDS, in partnership with the German Cultural Relations Abroad (VDA) has made the 10 to 12 week stay for the Namibian youth in Germany possible. Ambassador Schlaga praised the student exchange as an important tool to foster understanding among students. “There is nothing more beautiful than the exchange between young people. Namibian and German students are afforded the opportunity to learn the language as well as to get to know the countries of their exchange partners, having new and exciting experiences along the way.” Pictured here are the successful AGDS School exchanges students with Silke Bergemann, Monika Hoffmann, Alina Niipare and Hanjo Böhme. The learners are Pekakarna Karamata, Christian Schlaga from the German Embassy, Cameron Lohmann, Danzille Strauss and Sebastian van Niekerk. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

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    The drum that Land-a-Dollar forgotThe drum that Land-a-Dollar forgot The University of Namibia's Land-a-Dollar fundraising campaign did not end a year ago but is continuing indefinitely, its organisers say.

    Tsumeb municipal workers last week claimed that a Land-A-Dollar collection drum standing at the entrance of their building had never been removed and contained money.

    They were unable to say how much money was in the drum, as it was difficult to look inside.

    Land-a-Dollar organisers subsequently informed Namibian Sun that they were aware of the drum and that it had not been mistakenly left there.

    “The campaign has not closed or ended, the campaign just had a handover of the money that was at that time realised from all the drums before the handover,” the Unam student representative council (SRC) told Namibian Sun.

    “The campaign still stands open, even for the public, if they want to pledge and donate. All funds are being recorded and will still be transferred to the appropriate accounts.”

    Multiple media reports had indicated previously that the drum portion of the campaign ended when the drums were collected and counting of the money began in late 2016 and early 2017.

    Organisers at the time were quoted as saying that other initiatives under the Land-a-Dollar campaign would continue, including donations via text messages, money transfer mobile applications, public dialogues and gala dinners.

    In September 2017 Nampa quoted a Unam official as saying: “Since the close of the campaign, with the assistance of the Namibian Police, the drums were collected in each town and taken to the nearest NamPost office for counting of the collection in accordance to the auditing procedures established.”

    But last week, the organisers insisted the drum campaign never ended.

    They remained mum on the details of when the drums were redistributed, how many and to which towns.

    “The public shall be notified the same way this handover was handled, so will be the next handover. The accounting firm remains the same as the campaign has not closed. Books still need to be audited,” they wrote to Namibian Sun.

    In January, Nampa reported that the Land-a-Dollar campaign, launched in August 2015 as a student charitable campaign, had collected N$234 619 from the public.

    Nampa further reported that the cash from the drums amounted to N$7 482, while the remaining N$227 137 was from contributions made by the public to the campaign's NamPost bank account.

    The campaign had aimed to raise at least N$1 million and as much as N$3 million to contribute towards land servicing in urban areas.

    Organisers handed over 60% of the total amount, N$140 779, to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.

    The remaining N$93 813 was paid to the campaign's consultancy, Easy Advertising.

    At least 400 200-litre drums had been placed at various locations in 15 towns.


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    Geingob told to rein in 'rogue army'Geingob told to rein in 'rogue army'Oropoko purchase a 'mockery' The official opposition says the head of state needs to rein in his 'rogue army', which is acting as if it is above the law and not accountable to the Namibian taxpayer. The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) says the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) is “leading corruption in the country”, and remains a law unto itself, with even President Hage Geingob unaware what his “rogue army” is up to.

    The official opposition said further the NDF is making a mockery of Geingob's so-called 'year of reckoning' and that action must be taken.

    This follows recent revelations that the NDF has spent N$45 million to buy a luxury lodge, which will be converted into a military base for specialist troops to be trained, specifically in nature conservation.

    The Oropoko farm, situated near Okahandja, was bought several months ago from Kurt Steinhausen, who is a close friend of former President Sam Nujoma.

    However, Geingob said during his first cabinet briefing of the year recently that he was not aware of NDF buying the farm.

    PDM parliamentarian Nico Smit lashed out at the army yesterday, saying it is mindboggling that the NDF would need such a luxurious property for its activities, while adding that soldiers do not need to learn about nature conservation.

    “That is not their job. Their job is to defend the country. They are soldiers. They do not need a shooting range worth N$45 million.”

    According to Smit, the purchase raises suspicions that the NDF is following the example set by the South African Defence Force, which bought luxury properties prior to independence that served as holiday resorts for the top brass.

    The PDM yesterday called on Geingob to put his money where his mouth is, by telling the nation what reckoning will be meted out to the “rogue NDF”.

    “Will he reverse this deal or must we accept that his 'year of reckoning' is a simply damp squid?”

    Smit said the fact that the NDF seems to be the only ministry unaffected by the austerity measures being implemented in the country or is able to blatantly ignore them, makes one wonder whether the army has in fact “captured the Swapo government”.

    He referred to this as a “Gupta situation in the making”.

    “The NDF is totally out of control. They are leading corruption in the country. They are working with taxpayers' money and do not account for anything.”

    According to Smit, the NDF has been treated as government's “golden child” since independence.

    He said the NDF is allowed to do whatever it likes, while receiving large allocations from the budget for unknown, secret purposes.

    “Surely this is a sign of a ministry out of control. The PDM believes the time has come for the president to rein in this ministry.”

    Smit said the fact that Geingob said he was unaware of the NDF's “rogue purchase” is clear evidence of a lack of control by him and Prime Minister Sara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila over the defence ministry.

    He said it is also proof of bad governance by the two top leaders.

    “In fact, this whole episode makes a mockery of Geingob's much-vaunted so-called 'year of reckoning'. It is unbelievable that Geingob as the chief of the army can say he was not informed. The army is out of control they are a government of their own.”

    Smit said what is even more concerning is the fact that the auditor-general does not audit the accounts of the NDF subsidiary, August 26.

    “It is becoming clearer by the day that the NDF, by means of its carte blanche ticket from the cabinet, is the main driver of corruption in Namibia, because there are absolutely no checks and balances on their activities. The NDF clearly sees itself as above the laws and the constitution of Namibia.”


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  • 02/19/18--14:00: Zaaruka breaks silence
  • Zaaruka breaks silenceZaaruka breaks silence Oshakati bomb blast survivor, Ben Zaaruka, has broken his silence 30 years after the incident, by recounting how his life was saved by a man who kept him from entering the then Barclays Bank.

    Zaaruka, who is now a prominent businessman, said yesterday during a commemoration of the 19 February 1988 blast in which 28 people died that he decided to speak up this year, after becoming too emotional in the past.

    Zaaruka was standing outside the bank when the bomb blast happened, but his fiancé who died a few days later from her injuries told him that the explosion had happened after a white man had left a bag inside the bank.

    The businessman said his life was saved by a man who had asked him for a job and who had kept him talking outside the bank.

    Zaaruka's fiancé, Johanna Onesmus, who was waiting for him inside, died a few days later from her injuries.

    He said that just after leaving the man to enter the bank, all he could remember was being thrown onto his back and “seeing money coming from the sky”.

    “It was like a dream. Next to me was a half a human body and I could not understand what type of dream it was. Later, I saw my fiancé running towards me and her whole body was on fire. That is when I realised that something happened in the bank. I grabbed my fiancé and took her with a few other victims to the hospital,” Zaaruka said.

    He said he was the first person to transport victims to the hospital, as it took the police and army almost an hour to arrive at the scene.

    He said that his fiancé died on 26 February and for three days she could not talk.

    “On the fourth day, when I went to visit her, she was talking. I asked her what happened. She told me that while she was seated at the reception there was white man in short trousers with a bag and he was writing on a paper. Later he put the bag down and after a few minutes he left. She said she stood up and followed the white man to tell him that he left his bag, and while approaching the door, she doesn't know what happened next,” he said.

    Zaaruka said he is not saying the white man had planted the bomb, but was only recounting what he had been told.

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) Western Diocese Bishop, Shekutamba Nambala, said the commemoration of single events that claimed Namibian lives during the colonial era is a mistake, and urged that all such events should be commemorated on Cassinga Day.

    Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who also attended the event, supported Nambala's sentiments.


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  • 02/19/18--14:00: Learn about home first
  • Learn about home firstLearn about home first Octavia Tsibes

    We are very ignorant about things that happen in our own country. The majority of the youth are not fascinated about what is happening at home. Many of us have turned a blind eye to situations that affect us daily.

    I do not know whether I should blame the advent of globalisation or, the rise of technology as part of the reason why we are no longer patriotic. I understand that we have become global citizens and thus, have access to information on many other cultures and traditions but that should not be used as an excuse not to pay attention to what is happening within our own borders. I was engaged in a conversation with about 16 youth this weekend about what is currently taking place in our country. We were discussing everything from politics, entertainment and finance. We rounded up our conversations by talking about the closure of the SME bank and how it affected us the youth. I was really surprised by the “don't care attitude” and lack of interest showed by the youth in some of the issues that affect us. The people I spoke to did not participate in the talk and their excuse was, it was not important to them. What really shocked me was that the same people, who said they were not interested in the SME bank saga, were up to date with current affairs of other countries. They knew all about the pop culture in America and what Trump was going to do next. They knew all about the TV and radio shows in Europe but had zero to little knowledge about the local NBC content.

    I really tried to put myself in their shoes and think like they did but, I was only disappointed. The picture was clear to me; we are very ignorant and show no interest about local issues. It's not wrong to focus on global issues but it becomes worrisome when all we care about is just how the Kardashians looked or how many goals Christiano Ronaldo scored.

    It is pretty simple. Read! Show some interest in the things that will directly impact you. You do not have to do much but just read and watch the content that will keep you informed about what is happening in your own country. Buy our newspaper, or any other paper, watch our local TV channels and listen to our radio stations and you too will have something to say about your own people just like you proudly do about other nations and their citizens. Be a bit more patriotic and balance the amount of news or information you get. Make it a point to know what is happening in your countries economy, sports, finance and many other factors.

    You will only be proud when you talk to people because you will be confident about the kind of things you say. Globalisation, the increasing integration and interdependence of domestic and overseas markets, has three sides: the good side, the bad side, and the ugly side. We all need to balance the good and the bad. If you do not show interest in the things that affect you, who will? How will we preserve our own culture and traditions if we do not even know enough about it?

    That is where it all begins. Soon, we will be dressing and talking like them because we chose to be ignorant about the things that make us proud. Your ethnicity and traditions should be something you love, not hate. I've had too many encounters with people who are shy about who they are or where they come from. It's important to keep traditions and culture alive. Everyone should be proud of where they come from. We didn't drop from heaven like manna. I understand some of the effects technology has on our tradition and the way they are shaped but, still there is no justification for not being patriotic about what Namibian is or where you come from.


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    TransNamib must grow own business, says new bossTransNamib must grow own business, says new bossCEO in his own words Johnny Smit says he is excited about the opportunities a transformation to profitability at the railway company can bring about. Catherine Sasman spoke to him. In the short and medium term I do not see that privatisation is an option. – Johnny Smit, CEO: TransNamib MW: In the middle of last year, Minister Leon Jooste described TransNamib as “very complicated, in a traumatic period”. It is pivotal to the economy yet is considered as one of the most problematic and challenging SOEs. What is your diagnosis of the company so far and what do you think is needed to turn it into a profitable institution?

    JS: TransNamib is currently in a difficult space. My diagnosis is not finalised. I need to have a basic understanding of the business of TransNamib. That is what I am doing now. I’m reading, I’m learning, I’m listening and taking advice and information from my colleagues. Through this process, I believe, when I have a better understanding in the immediate term we have to get TransNamib out of the ICU and within the short term try and fix what we can fix.

    In the short and medium term we have to look at the way we do things and challenge ourselves and improve the manner in which we are doing things.

    From my preliminary observation, the problem at TransNamib is management; we are not managing our assets well. There is a negative return on the assets. That is where I would want to focus on. But I cannot do that unless I understand the business better and create a relationship between the employees who can improve the environment so that the train can move faster.

    MW: A number of turnaround strategies have been on the table since 2002. What turnaround has so far been done, how has it affected the operations of TransNamib and what did it cost the taxpayer?

    JS: I first need to see exactly where we are; at which station are we? Only then can I say in which direction we need to go. I have perceptions of where we are but I need to confirm this.

    The main perception, as I said earlier, is about the management of the company and improving processes. Thirty years ago we were carrying a small parcel from South Africa and we did the whole process out of the customer services premises. Does it still make sense today because of the increased road competition?

    I believe we should focus on bulk commodities, the bigger freight. However, it still needs to move from one point to the next. We need to figure out how best to do this. We also need to look at the areas that we are good at or which we should be good at and focus on those. If we need to move it a little bit further, maybe we should consider a strategic partner to work with us on that.

    This does not mean privatisation. In the short and medium term I do not see that privatisation is an option. With the value of the assets that we have, we can optimise that to increase our revenue base. If we outsource it or if we get a partner, we still need to manage that contract. But if we don’t even have a good idea of that business, how can we manage it?

    MW: TransNamib previously was getting its asset register in order. Has that been completed? TransNamib owns a lot of property. Previously an observation was made that previous managers did not know where all these assets, particularly TransNamib’s real estate, are.

    JS: At this stage there is a lot of progress I need to understand. When it comes to property, as a business unit of TransNamib, it needs to be optimised, which it is not at this stage.

    We have a list of our properties and it is one of my tasks on hand to spend on the next two weeks. Properties will be a critical component of our short- and medium-term plans.

    The short-term plan is to get us out of ICU. The medium-term plan is to start increasing our capacity, which for now means our freight capacity. Our main focus will be rail. Road transport is a matter under discussion in terms of our business plan.

    MW: While the railway lines in the country are being upgraded incrementally, are you happy with the current condition of the railways?

    JS: Rail belongs to the government, which is responsible for the upgrading and maintenance of the rail. We, however, need to strengthen that partnership so that it is in alignment with our business growth.

    MW: During some discussions on turnaround strategies it was mentioned that TransNamib should perhaps stop its road transport services. This is despite the fact that TransNamib has had some of the best truck drivers in the country and even the region due to the kind of training they have received.

    JS: That decision has not been made yet. I still need to relook at the existing business plan. However, in terms of transforming the business you cannot look at the staff. You first need to look at the opportunities of the businesses and then you realign your staff and other resources to that. That is what we need to do.

    We are not here to just send people home. We will always find a way to optimise the skills we have and if there are new skills to be learned, then we have to do that. But the company must also regain its culture of continuous learning, training and development.

    At least over the last ten years there has been very limited training and development although it was a core part of TransNamib’s business. This started before my time, and is being done in partnership with NTA.

    The technical units of TransNamib still conduct training. There are students from NIMT and other technical schools. This is an ongoing process.

    MW: Part of the turnaround strategies that have been on the table so far was what was called the “rightsizing” of the staff through voluntary exits or voluntary early retirements. TransNamib board chairperson Paul Smit in May last year mentioned that this “streamlining” was “on course”. Is TransNamib (still) considering staff cuts as part of its turnaround? If so, how many workers from which departments are likely to be affected? And, if so, when can we expect layoffs?

    JS: There is a process already in place which started earlier. In terms of moving forward, we need to relook at where our business is now, where we need to go and also transform the skills at the same level. We cannot transform the business if we do not address learning of new skills and make sure at the same time that there is a transfer of skills between those who are leaving and young people coming in.

    There was a complete process in terms of rightsizing, which has been done in alignment with discussions with the government. Some staff members have already left and some are leaving soon on voluntary early retirement.

    We, however, should make sure that we don’t lose critical skills not transferred yet to younger employees.

    At the end of this project there should be about 200 people that would have left. For the current six-month batch - which started in October last year until the end of March - about 70 people will leave.

    There is also a natural attrition – those who retire at 60, as well as the statutory 55 years for people who started as railway workers (shunters, etc.); there is an age at which they need to retire. Those are people who may stay on if they are fit enough.

    MW: Where did the discussion to privatise certain operations of TransNamib start?

    JS: From an outside perspective I think it is all about the belief that due to the non-performance of some units, the solution would be to bring in the private sector. I think that is where it started. However, I believe we must first start by improving our management of the business better.

    MW: What role should TransNamib play towards Namibia’s aspirations to become a logistical hub for the Southern African region?

    JS: We need to create more capacity so that we can carry more freight. That is where the points of connection of Windhoek, Grootfontein and Tsumeb to neighbouring countries are important. At this stage we are handling a very small percentage of freight in the country. These are some of the things we have to work on.

    MW: TransNamib is experiencing a financial crisis. The board of directors has requested support from the government. How do you want to manage this?

    JS: It is very difficult at the moment but we have to develop a stronger base in terms of income. In the short and medium term we need to grow our business to get money in from our business and not from subsidies.

    MW: How do you intend to make train travel attractive to passengers?

    JS: At a global level most passenger transportation by rail is subsidised by governments. After my one-and-a-half week here I think we first need to focus on freight. Once we have a bit more money we can see how to revive passenger transport. We simply do not have funds to inject in that aspect of the business.

    MW: Last year there was an allegation that board chairperson Paul Smit was interfering in the day-to-day operations of the company. In response, Minister Jooste said because of TransNamib’s “complexity” there was an executive vacuum which required that the board become “more involved” than one would like to see. What sort of involvement do you think the board should have in the operations of the company?

    JS: My role as the CEO is very clear, having executive powers, and the strategic role of the board. I believe that is the way we will proceed. I cannot talk about the past, though.

    MW: We have seen a number of suspensions and exits of executive staff, notably of former CEO Saara Naanda and the suspensions last year of Hippy Tjivikua (then acting CEO) and Struggle Ihuhua. What are the charges against Tjivikua and Ihuhua? What is the status of the disciplinary action against them?

    JS: At this stage this is being handled by the board. I do not know what the charges are; I have not seen any documentation regarding that at all. It is a matter that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

    MW: What is your vision for TransNamib? Where would you like to see it in five years’ time?

    JS: I would like to see this company become profitable and create more economic value for its shareholder and the country. It must help push the economy forward.

    MW: Why did you leave the Walvis Bay Corridor Group?

    JS: I see a lot of opportunities where I can use my past experience and expertise to hopefully create significant value for this company. The spirit of the people overall is very good, which is a very good start. Stakeholder engagement at this stage is critical to regain some confidence in the company. Confidence, of course, can only be returned if people can see some improvement.

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    Trade ministry cancels paper subscriptionsTrade ministry cancels paper subscriptions Civil servants employed by the ministry of industrialisation and trade will have to buy their own newspapers from now on.

    A directive issued by permanent secretary Gabriel Sinimbo informed ministry staff that newspapers would no longer be provided after 1 April.

    This is in line with wide-ranging spending cuts ordered by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recently.

    The move affects all newspaper brands, including Republike in, Namibian Sun, The Namibian, Confidente, Southern Times, New Era and Windhoek Observer.

    “In response to that directive, allow this letter therefore to constitute the official communication from the ministry of industrialisation and trade that we are cancelling our subscription contracts with your respective newspapers effective from 1 April 2018,” Sinimbo wrote in a letter addressed to the editors of these publications.

    The cutback will not affect the minister, his deputy or the permanent secretary.

    “It is further worth nothing that the cancellation is only applicable to the staff members, but you are still expected to supply newspapers to the offices of the minister, deputy minister and the permanent secretary respectively,” Sinimbo wrote.

    In a memo sent out on the suggested expenditure cuts, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila raised the issue of newspaper purchases by government ministries, offices and agencies.

    “The purchasing of newspapers for staff members at the expense of government should stop with effect from 1 April 2018,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila's memo read.

    It remains to be seen when other ministries, government offices and agencies plan to follow suit.


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    Amupanda drags ACC into lawsuitAmupanda drags ACC into lawsuitRequests documents on corruption cases Job Amupanda, who is being sued for defamation, has requested the Anti-Corruption Commission to provide him with documentation on several corruption cases that it had investigated. The lid of Pandora's Box is seemingly being opened in the wake of former attorney-general Sacky Shanghala's N$500 000 defamation lawsuit against a well-known land and youth activist.

    Job Amupanda, through his lawyer, is now requesting the director-general of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, to provide him with documentation pertaining to alleged corruption in the payment of foreign-based lawyers.

    The lawyers advised the government on how to pursue its reparations claim against the German government in respect of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide.

    “Your office has confirmed having being seized with this matter. It is also our instruction that your office has in the past also investigated and dealt with corruption-related matters involving Sacky Shanghala,” Kadhila Amoono, acting on behalf of Amupunda, said in the 16 February letter.

    Amupanda is also requesting to be furnished with all, if any, decisions which Noa may have made in accordance with the powers he is granted in terms of the Anti-Corruption Act and in respect of the genocide matter.

    Furthermore, Noa is also requested to indicate if he is willing to provide witness statements and whether or not he is willing to testify in the High Court.

    Shanghala is suing Amupanda for defamation in his capacity as the former attorney-general. He filed papers in December over several comments Amupanda is said to have made on social media, and during last year's attorney-generals' symposium in Doha, Qatar. Amupanda was in attendance at the symposium.

    Amupanda allegedly posted on his Twitter account, with a picture of Shanghala and Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah intimating the following, “My son, haven't you stollen (sic) enough? Please my son, it's enough. Don't steal anymore. If imaginations could became TRUTH.” On 20 November, Amupanda again took to Facebook, to post the following: “Sakeus Edward Shanghala: An Epitome and Symbol of corruption in Namibia.” (sic)

    The Swapo youth activist further wants additional documentation from Noa relating to, among others, the 2017 investigation of the failed Kora Awards; Namcor's agreements on Namibia Liquid Fuel; the Namibia Airports Company as it relates to the Ondangwa airport upgrading deal; the matter of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) reportedly blocking payments to a South African law firm; TransNamib's deal with D&M Rail for the rehabilitation of the Kransberg-Tsumeb railway line; the deal between Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) with Dubai-based firms; discussions between the prosecutor-general, ACC and the attorney-general on Penda Ya Ndakolo's hotel bill, and the alleged settlement between Expedite Aviation Close Corporation and the Tsumeb municipality.

    Noa was requested to respond within seven working days.


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    Taking Namibian cuisines internationalTaking Namibian cuisines international Marking his place in the world A young student chef has made Namibia proud, by representing not only his culinary school, but his country, at the 2018 Young Chef Olympiad in India. Tunohole Mungoba

    Martin Shipanga, a 21-year- old student chef from Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy managed to scoop the 16th position out of 43 countries, beating nations like the United States, Greece and South Africa at the 2018 Young Chef Olympiad. “In the top 20, there were only two African countries and Namibia was one of them. The second country was Mauritius,” Shipanga says.

    The competition took place on 28 January until 2 February in India. “I competed in three cities which were New Delhi, Pune and Kolkata. It consisted of different stages and we basically had to follow recipes and we were required to prepare meals for different diets,” he said.

    Although the competition was challenging, he enjoyed working with different chefs and learning how to cater for the international market. “I found it difficult to use their cooking equipment and materials. The stoves and ovens were different and the ingredients were also difficult to execute, due to the weather. The baking in particular was most problematic, because the dough would not rise properly due to the heat in India,” he says.

    What stood out the most for him during the competition was the food and the different varieties of culture. “Coming from Africa, especially from a small country like Namibia, I truly enjoyed all that was presented to me. The other chefs have taught me the importance of having fun with your food and using it to create in genious,” he says.

    Looking back on his journey, Shipanga has learned a lot of important details that he feels culinary schools can also implement in Namibia. “Namibian culinary schools can learn a lot from the outside world. Teamwork is very important. I have noticed that people in the outside world work together and they are not as competitive here. To the student chefs, they need to learn to listen, work fast and be able to think on their feet.”

    He also appreciated the fact that young people in India respect their culture, which is slowly dying out in Namibia, according to him. “They are desperate to eat and enjoy meals prepared by their mothers. Whereas here, we want to run away from our roots and prepare modern meals while forgetting our past.”

    The journey to India

    Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy was the only invited culinary school from Namibia and they hosted an internal competition and Shipanga came out on top. “The school took the best five chef students and we competed against each other for a few rounds. I won based on technique and skill as those are the important parts of the competition.”

    Growing up, Shipanga has always been interested in cooking and he says his passion came from seeing his grandmother do magic in the kitchen. “She used to cook different flavoured jams and this was a sight I always enjoyed. I used to watch food channels more than cartoons and then my love for food grew more and more,” he remembers. While currently doing his internship at Maerua Spur, Shipanga is juggling his work and his schooling. “I am still in the process of the writing my examinations in culinary arts. The theory part is very challenging and one has to work very hard.”

    In 2015, he decided to take cooking seriously and enrolled for different courses at the Namibian Institute of Culinary Education (NICE). After he completed his studies, he started attending Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy in 2016. “I feel like I owe my success to Silver Spoon as they have granted me the ­opportunity to be exposed to so many opportunities including this chef olympics.”

    Shipanga wants to gain international experience by travelling and working in different cities like Dubai, Doha, New York, London, Paris and Milan. “I want to be appreciated as a chef and you can only be appreciated if you have international exposure. I aim to be an executive chef one day.”

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    Failing in the starting blocksFailing in the starting blocks One fifth of the country's Grade 1 learners have had to repeat their first year of school over the past seven years, while 30% of Grade 5 to 8 learners have repeated grades during the same period.

    These were just some of the shocking statistics revealed yesterday by basic education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa at the start of the three-day National Integrated Early Childhood Development Conference in Windhoek, where she confirmed that the Grade 1 repetition rate has stood at 19.8% to 21% for the past seven years.

    Hanse-Himarwa also expressed concern over the worrying dropout rates in the country.

    About 30% of learners leave school in Grade 10, while 6% to 7% of Grade 9s and 8% of Grade 8s are dropping out of the school system.

    Other issues haunting the Namibian child include being denied access to education because they don't have birth certificates.

    Many disabled children are not identified early enough to receive the necessary early interventions, and children from poor communities go to early childhood development (ECD) centres with empty stomachs.

    A United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) analysis in 2015 found that 103 768 school-age children were not in school and that 99 200 others were at risk of dropping out.

    “These risks related to lack of parental support, learner pregnancy, distance from home and school, poverty and unemployment, learning difficulties, grade repetition, disabilities and a lack of water and sanitation,” said Hanse-Himarwa.

    According to her, a team has been established to make schools more child friendly by implementing the National Safe Schools Framework and reviewing the Integrated School Health Policy. The minister warned, though, that coordination could only be improved if quality data was made available to enable better resource allocation.

    She said the education ministry was prioritising pre-primary education and therefore allocated N$52 million to the regions for the expansion of pre-primary facilities.

    In addition, close to N$2 million was allocated for purchasing teaching and learning support resources for special schools.

    She urged closer relationships between stakeholders in order to effect a smooth transition from early childhood development to pre-primary and Grade 1.

    According to Hanse-Himarwa, access to ECD education has been expanded from 17 000 children enrolled in the 2011/12 financial year to more than 40 000 enrolled this year.

    Although the coverage is not yet half of all eligible five- to six-year-old children, the ministry remains committed to achieving 80% access to pre-primary education.

    “We do not understand that investing at this early stage of life is rewarded by the creation of a society that is healthier and more equitable.

    “Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence, investments in early childhood development remain insufficient. This critical area should become a national and global priority,” she said.


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  • 02/19/18--14:00: Your trash, my treasure
  • Your trash, my treasureYour trash, my treasureLives risked to eke out a dumpsite living The desperate economic times in the country have led to more and more people flocking to dumpsites in a bid to eke out a living for themselves and their children. A number of residents from Tsumeb's Kuvukiland informal settlement spend their days collecting food and sellable items at the municipal dump.

    Last week Namibian Sun visited the Tsumeb dumpsite and found that people there are risking their lives to make a living.

    At 07:00 a number of early birds were just finishing their morning tea, getting ready for what they described as the 'zula life' of hoping for trucks and bakkies to show up and dump useful waste.

    When a vehicle entered the site they quickly gathered around and direct the drivers where to offload before picking through the rubbish.

    One woman, carrying a baby on her back and holding another child's hand, rushed closer to see what she could get from the truck.

    Several school-age children and their parents approached the vehicles and afterwards sorted their pickings under nearby shelters made from plastic sheets.

    At around 13:00 the parents served their children lunch consisting of food scraps they had collected before returning home.

    There is no site supervisor to control where vehicles, including the Tsumeb municipal refuse trucks, offload their waste.

    Because of the lack of control, the young ones take advantage of the situation by jumping onto moving vehicles.

    Namibian Sun understands that this has been the case since 2014 when a company that had been responsible for the dump left.

    Sharing his experience, Joel Matheus (34) said he makes a living by collecting material that he uses to manufacture chairs and tables, as well as metal that he sells to a scrap yard.

    Matheus said he used to work for the company that was contracted to manage the site.

    Since that company left, the dump has been open to anyone. Matheus said that not only made it difficult to manage the town's waste, but also attracted criminals.

    He referred to a case last August when the frozen corpse of a baby was found at the dump, and another incident last year when a man was beaten up and left at the site.

    “This is now a place where people come whenever they have nothing to do at home. People are suffering in their houses, that is why you see us here. We are not here because we want to be here but because we need to survive. I am not educated that much but I know how to zula to survive,” Matheus said.

    He said during school holidays the situation worsens because the number of children at the site multiplies.

    “My friend, you came at a time when it is normal at the site. I request you to come during the school holidays, you will see things and you will get scared as the chances of a child being bumped by a vehicle is high, now it's a bit better,” Matheus said.

    When asked how the residents would react if the council erected a fence and started controlling the site, Matheus said it would create chaos as the people depend on the site.

    “For some of us who only come here to get materials, we will be affected to some extent but those that come here to collect food will suffer dearly. This place has turned out to be the place where they can get food to eat and sustain their families, therefore if the council was to erect a fence here, they must employ the people and give them jobs or else they will fight for this dumpsite,” Matheus said.

    Employ us

    Matheus said a possible solution was to pay those who have been living off the dumpsite to manage the site.

    “Some of us here have the experience to work on this site. I was the dumping site controller before, therefore it won't be a challenge to direct the vehicles where to offload and how to dispose of the dangerous stuff,” Matheus said.

    Questions were sent to the council last week but it had not responded by yesterday. However, Namibian Sun understands that the council has entered into an agreement with a local business person to manage the dumpsite.


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  • 02/20/18--14:00: Civilians confront Pirates
  • Civilians confront PiratesCivilians confront Pirates The MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) continues today, with Civics hosting Orlando Pirates at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 20:00.

    The two clubs are both hungry for points, which will see move up the table and avoid the dreaded relegation zone.

    However, both clubs have been lacking consistency for most of the season and will now have to pull up their socks if they want to entertain the crowd.

    In the past, this Windhoek derby, between sides from Katutura and Khomasdal, has always attracted a large number of spectators.

    Times have, however, changed and only a handful of supporters have turned up recently to witness this historic clash.

    The Civilians will be oozing confidence ahead of the match, following their 1-0 victory over Life Fighters in Windhoek on Saturday.

    Orlando Pirates will want to capitalise on their chances against Civics, following their shallow goalless draw against log leaders African Stars last Thursday.

    Pirates will go into the game with a better record this season, given that they have won six out of their 17 games, while Civics have only managed three NPL wins so far.

    Striker Tederius Uiseb, who Pirates signed recently from South African side Stellenbosch FC, has recovered from a knock he picked up in the match against African Stars.

    Uiseb and Nicky Musambani are expected to give the Civilians defenders a headache, given their goal-poaching abilities.

    Pirates' coach Ivan Namaseb said his team is ready to take the three points against a rusty Civilians outfit. “We are well-prepared for the game because the team wants to win this match. We do not have any injury worries at the moment and this will be good for the team, in a game we are expected to do well in,” Namaseb said.

    In other league action, Tigers will host Young African at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday, in what is expected to be a nail-biting encounter.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 02/20/18--14:00: BA partners with Hopsol
  • BA partners with HopsolBA partners with HopsolYouth team to compete on global stage The 26-member Black Africa Hopsol is be among 12 teams that will compete for the trophy at the Future Champions U-17 International Tournament in South Africa. Namibia Premier League (NPL) outfit Black Africa and Hopsol have joined hands, in order to participate at the Future Champions U-17 International Tournament in Gauteng, South Africa from 18 to 24 March.

    BA was extended an invitation to participate in the international tournament.

    However, the local club does not have a youth academy and approached Hopsol to select players to participate as the Black Africa Hopsol team.

    “Future Champions is one of the most sought-after tournaments in the world and it would be irresponsible, not to accept such a challenge. It would have been bad for our youth soccer development, if we did not grab this opportunity with both hands,” said Black Africa's Ranga Haikali.

    He added that the team of 26 players will not travel to participate, but to compete. The final team will be announced at the end of the month.

    Future Champions is one of the worlds most prestigious and elite under-17 club tournaments, featuring top teams from across the globe. It has been held in South Africa and Brazil since 2009.

    The tournament is a vehicle to educate young players, allowing them to gain experience and exchange football cultures, in the real spirit of the game.

    The championship was established during the build-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa, as a partnership between Rights Holder Global Sports International and the Gauteng Provincial Government.

    Eight of the top clubs from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa are invited to compete in this event, along with four South African teams. These 12 teams will battle it out for the title during the weeklong tournament.

    Previous clubs that have participated include Manchester City, DC United, Everton, FC Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Shandong Luneng and Atletico Mineiro.

    Apart from partnering with BA, Hopsol also announced that they have extended their league to the Erongo Region, bringing the number of participating players to 2 000.

    “It is with tremendous pride that we announce the launch of the league, which will be played in the coast,” said Collin Benjamin.

    “After the success of the 2017 season, it was a big challenge for us to do better and to improve. We doubled the players registered, from just over 800 players to 1 400. Now we have four more schools and two academies and we are adding more players at the coast,” he said.

    In Khomas, the league has 20 institutions taking part in the U-9 to the U-19 leagues, while seven clubs participate in the coastal league.

    Hopsol has also added a U-19 age group, as well as a team from Rehoboth, following a request by clubs and schools to allow more players to compete.

    “We also changed the modus operandi of the league format in the older age groups, to have more exciting competitions until the end of the league.

    The older groups will be decided via playoffs,” said Benjamin.

    Hopsol owner Robert Hopperdietzel said there is no doubt the partnership with BA will work out successfully, and that they are moving in the right direction, with a professional approach.

    The Khomas league will kick off on Friday at 14:30 at the SKW Sport Field in Olympia and the coastal league will start on 7 April.


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    Naidjala hunts glory in AustraliaNaidjala hunts glory in Australia Immanuel 'Prince' Naidjala and his trainer Joseph Antindi left for Australia on Sunday.

    Naidjala is making the long trip in search of title glory, when he faces Jason Moloney for the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight and WBA Oceania Bantamweight crowns.

    The fight is scheduled to take place on 24 February in Australia. Naidjala has a record of 28 fights, 23 wins, four losses and one draw.

    He will be facing an undefeated Moloney, who boasts and outstanding record of 15 fights and 15 straight wins, with an impressive knockout record of 12.

    Moloney will be defending his WBA Oceania title, while looking to add the Commonwealth title to his name.

    “This fight means everything to me because I know I have to step up my game to get back to winning ways. I feel my preparation this time has been different. I feel much more confident and would like to thank the MTC Sunshine team for their unwavering support and countless opportunities. I know it is now up to me to make things happen and I promise not to disappoint. Moloney, I'm coming for you,” said Naidjala.


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  • 02/20/18--14:00: FNB Rock n Run to hit city
  • FNB Rock n Run to hit cityFNB Rock n Run to hit city The fourth FNB Rock n Run will take place on Saturday at the United Sports Grounds in Windhoek.

    FNB Namibia is the main sponsor of this great family fun event and this year N$10 of each ticket purchased via an FNB Debit or Credit card, will go towards the FNB Happiness Store, which in turn supports deserving individuals and charities in Namibia.

    “This event has been a success from the beginning and it has grown in popularity and offerings over the past years. FNB Namibia will also award a prize for the best dressed, and another N$500 each for the male and female winner of the 5km run,” said Elzita Beukes, communications manager at FNB. Fun and entertainment is guaranteed with bands performing live along the 5km and 10km route, and other activations include slime, foam, giant inflatables and colour powder.

    At the venue, participants can enjoy the Bakers Kids area, the food village, the Windhoek Draught beer garden, dodge ball and numerous fun competitions. Artists who will perform on stage after the race include Kurt Darren, Goodluck, Jay and an 80s DJ. For the kids, a puppet show at 14:30 and the famous Lollo's show at 15:00 will ensure that young and old enjoy a great Saturday of fun and games.

    “Tickets are available at Webtickets Namibia and at the gates. We encourage everyone to come and enjoy this fun family event. It is a great, healthy way to spend a Saturday in the company of family and friends. We look forward to seeing all of you there,” Beukes added.


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    Mayoral tourney to uplift AranosMayoral tourney to uplift AranosSport, culture to unite town The third edition of a social event that combines soccer and netball, as well as cultural performances and dance, will be held in Aranos soon. The town of Aranos will host the third edition of what has become known as the Mayoral Tournament from 30 March to 2 April.

    The annual tournament will attract exciting teams from around Aranos.

    Speaking to Nampa on Monday, Elden Kuhanga said since December 2015, when he was sworn in as Aranos mayor, he started thinking of fundraising projects and activities to help raise funds for the council's social account.

    “It is on this basis that my office decided to organise a social event combining soccer, netball, cultural performances and dance in a tournament,” he remarked, adding that N$95 000 has already been budgeted as the prize money for the winning teams. Kuhanga said the fundamental reason for organising an event of this magnitude is to start addressing the various socio-economic challenges of the town's inhabitants.

    He said it is a challenge that he and his team undertook, as there are too many poor people in their community who depend on social grants.

    “We decided to raise funds to show our community that you can if you care enough,” Kuhanga said.

    He said the funds are used to provide first aid assistance to Aranos residents in times of disaster, especially during fire outbreaks that usually leave affected families without shelter, and hopelessly destitute.

    “As mayor, I assure all residents that during my leadership tenure, I will make an extra effort to ensure that all funds raised and donated through these events are directed for the benefit of the intended beneficiaries,” he added.

    Last year, a total of 19 football and five netball teams took part in the four-day event, with approximately 1 500 spectators turning up to support their teams from as far as Gobabis and Okahandja.

    Future Boys Football Club from Windhoek walked away as victors in the football category, after defeating Gochas United 4-0 in the final, while Nampol Mariental won the netball category. A total of N$106 000 was raised last year.


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