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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 731 | 732 | (Page 733) | 734 | 735 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 04/22/18--16:00: First Marine Spatial Plan
  • First Marine Spatial PlanFirst Marine Spatial PlanTo ensure sustainable ocean development Experts met in Swakopmund to discuss the future of marine environment. “Little or no consideration is given to policies and plans of other sectors that may be conflicting or compatible”. - Moses Maurihungigirire, PS, fisheries ministry What human activities may take place where and when in Namibia's marine space? As this question has no simple answer, about 100 experts from various fields met yesterday in Swakopmund where they discussed this future of the countries' marine environment – it was the first multi-sector workshop where Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in Namibia was discussed.

    “Achieving sustainable ocean development is not simple and straight forward in a marine space where a number of ­different human uses put forward claims to use the same ocean”, said Moses ­Maurihungigirire, the fisheries ministry's permanent secretary during his remarks.

    The current activities taking place include fisheries, naval defence, environmental protection, geological resource mapping and exploitation, mariculture, heritage, maritime transport and ports, coastal infrastructure, tourism and sea water abstraction. “And all have different interests to use the Namibian sea”, he continued.

    Namibia is one of the first countries in Africa that is busy drawing up a unique Marine Spatial Plan (MSP), which will guide current and future uses of the ocean environment. Should all fall in place, the plan will be finalized and legislated by next year and is expected to be implemented by 2020.

    According to Maurihungigirire, the organisation of the use of the sea is currently done through the designation of marine space for these human activities on a sectoral basis. “Little or no consideration is given to policies and plans of other sectors that may be conflicting or compatible,” he said.

    This situation has already “caused conflicts” among some of the existing or emerging uses. “And conflicts are set to increase as we seek to unlock the socio-economic development potential of our ocean which comes with intensified and diversified use,” he added.

    During yesterday's workshop the National Working Group for MSP presented a Current Status Report, which Maurihungigirire regarded as the starting point for the Namibian Marine Spatial Planning process.

    The report provides a national overview and establishes a baseline that identifies the key issues that need to be addressed in the first Namibian marine spatial plan.

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  • 04/22/18--16:00: Tax
  • TaxTax If you own a building and use it for purposes of your trade, the Income Tax Act allows a capital deduction under section 17(1)(f).

    Using for trade means that either you occupy the building for your business (i.e. your offices, warehouse etc). Alternatively it may also be where you are a property investor and the building is rented out.

    It is important to note that you can only claim the allowances if you incurred the costs of erection. Therefore, where you are leasing the property, no building allowance is available as you would not normally incur the capital costs on putting up the building. There may be exceptions to this in the form of leasehold improvements effected on the leased property and we will explore this in future articles.

    Twenty percent (20%) of the cost of erection may be claimed in the year during which the building is taken into use. For the next 20 years, 4% (8% for registered manufacturers) of this cost may be claimed per tax year.

    Additions or extensions to existing buildings (not alterations, improvements or repairs) qualify for the same 20% and 4% deductions as above. The Income Tax Act does not define “buildings”. The Oxford dictionary defines a building as “a structure such as a house ... that has a roof and walls”.

    This can be used as a basis when deciding if the capital allowance on buildings can be claimed.

    Fencing, roads, interlocks, boundary walls and shade nets do not qualify for this allowance. These items may be argued to be part of the building where it is done as part of the initial construction of a new building, but where it is incurred afterwards, no deduction is available under the building allowance.



    Allowances

    No building allowance can be claimed if:

    • A leasehold improvement allowance has already been claimed in terms of section 17 (1)(h); or

    • The building is used to provide housing to your employees and in case of a company, where the building is used to provide housing to directors or officials or employees.

    Where buildings are sold, the allowances previously claimed should be recouped. The amount that must be included in your taxable income is equal to the market value (limited to cost price) less the remaining tax value (i.e. the amount that has not been claimed for tax purposes). When the market value of the asset is less than the proceeds, the proceeds (limited to cost price) should be used in calculating the recoupment.

    When a building is sold, the new owner may only claim a building allowance on the original erection costs of the building. This is different from the purchase price. Furthermore a building can only be claimed once for tax purposes. If you are buying a building that is older than 21 years no further allowances can be claimed.

    Therefore, where a building is acquired it is crucial to obtain the tax history of the building. This will ensure that you (the new owner) claim the correct amounts for tax purposes.

    • Johan Nel is a partner: corporate tax service at PwC Namibia. Tax Time is published in Market Watch bi-monthly on a Monday.

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    SA to honour Nujoma with top accoladeSA to honour Nujoma with top accolade Founding President Sam Nujoma will this Saturday be honoured with the Supreme Companion of O.R. Tambo (gold) by the South African government.

    This order is awarded to foreign nationals such as statesmen as well as leading dignitaries. Nujoma's special assistant John Nauta confirmed that Nujoma will personally travel to South Africa to receive his accolade, which will be conferred on him by president Cyril Ramaphosa. “According to the communication we have received the honour is in celebration of the Founding Father's liberation struggle contributions for Namibia and southern Africa. It is really amazing that the South African government has granted this honour,” Nauta said. According to South African media reports, the order will also be bestowed to former and the late Botswana president Quett Masire as well as former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Nujoma will be honoured for his opposition to the then apartheid government and for leading forces that fought alongside South African freedom fighters and posed a formidable challenge to the oppressive regimes in the region. South Africans who have excelled in various fields such as arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, sport, nation building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace, and the resolution of conflict, community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation will also be honoured.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    SMEs slapped with eviction orderSMEs slapped with eviction orderPleas to NDC falls on deaf ears Small business owners have expressed disappointment with the eviction order and fear that it will result in massive job losses, as well as financial institutions repossessing their equipment. Small business owners who have been leasing the property belonging to the Namibia Development Corporation in Oshakati have been slapped with an eviction order to make way for a new development, Namibian Sun has established.

    The NDC industrial area has been leased to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in technical businesses such as welding, auto mechanic, and upholstery since independence. About 300 people are employed by the business owners operating from the NDC stalls.

    The employers were served with a two-month notice by NDC on 28 February to vacate the premises in terms of clause 1.10 of the lease agreement between the two parties. “Kindly note that the NDC herewith exercises its rights as contained in clause 1.10 of the lease agreement concluded between yourself and the NDC, being to unilaterally terminate the lease agreement by written notice.

    Kindly vacate the leased premises by close of business on 30 April 2018,” NDC's property manager Sarel Losper wrote to the tenants. Namibian Sun understands the NDC is planning to sell the property to a private company, which has shown an interest in developing the area. Some affected employers have expressed disappointment with the eviction order and fear that the eviction will result in massive job losses as well as financial institutions repossessing their equipment.

    The evictions will also affect vocational training students who are currently doing their internships at the affected businesses. Some of the businesses have been contracted by government to build furniture such as chairs for public schools. When contacted for comment, Lot Helao, who is responsible for the NDC industrial stalls at Oshakati declined to comment, saying he was not in the office.

    Last Friday the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) pleaded with NDC to reverse its decision to allow the affected businesses more time to set up shop elsewhere. “It is a fact that the people who are operating here took a measure to respond to the call of government of creating job opportunities and meet them half way,” said NEFF's official Abraham Ndumbu. “The majority of the people who are operating from this industrial area are directly living from what they are earning from the work they do here.

    These people have children, wives, husbands, and families, relatives and houses to take care of,” Ndumbu further argued. Namibian Sun was also informed that for many years the tenants have been leasing the premises without water. They have instead been using water from the Calueque/Oshakati canal. Some of the ablution facilities on the premises have also been out of order for a while now.

    “They want us to go, the question is where to? These are government properties. If NDC is going to sell these properties we do not have a problem, they must just come and tell us where we should go,” one of the affected employers said angrily.

    The affected businesses are petitioning the Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa and Oshakati mayor Angelus Iyambo to intervene in the matter. Kashuupulwa said he was aware of the matter and has sought help from the Oshakati Town Council to assist in making land available for the affected businesses.

    Attempts to get comment from Iyambo proved futile, while town CEO Werner Iita could only say that the council had a “fruitful” meeting with NDC representatives on the issue.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    ECB approves 5% bulk tariff hikeECB approves 5% bulk tariff hike The Electricity Control Board (ECB) has approved a 5% bulk tariff hike effective from 1 July, following a request by NamPower.

    This increase means that the bulk tariff will increase from N$1.61 per kilowatt (kWh) hour to N$1.69.

    NamPower applied for an increase of 6.56%, which would have seen the bulk tariff hiked to N$1.72 per kWh for the current financial year.

    According to ECB CEO Foibe Namene, the 5% increase is below the projected inflation of approximately 5.3% for the 2017/18 period and it is therefore foreseen that the impact on inflation will be minimal.

    Namene, said the ECB and the electricity supply industry is aware and concerned about the affordability of electricity in the country.

    “It is a fact that the economy is highly dependent on reliable and affordable electricity supply. It is therefore the responsibility of the regulator to ensure a sustainable electricity industry at affordable tariffs.”

    She added that the approved 5% increase would suffice for NamPower to cover its allowed operating costs.

    The increase will also cover under-recovery, as per the reconciliation mythology and allow it to ultimately fulfil its financial obligations, including payments to the local independent power producers and ensure continued supply of electricity, said Namene.

    According to her annual electricity tariff reviews are conducted to ensure that utilities charge appropriate tariffs to collect sufficient revenue to sustain a reliable and an efficient electricity supply industry, at affordable rates.

    She said in reviewing the tariffs the regulator considers a number of factors. These include the impact of the tariff change on the electricity supply industry, the economy at large and the consumers.

    “Consideration is further given to the national development plans, government policies and cabinet directives, such as the 2005 cabinet decision directing that NamPower tariffs should reach cost reflectivity by the year 2012 and remain cost reflective subsequently thereafter,” said Namene.

    According to her as part of the review process, the ECB consulted different stakeholders through a stakeholder meeting at which NamPower made a presentation of its application. Stakeholders were requested to present their views, facts and evidence on the tariff application.

    “Submitted comments were considered in the decision-making process leading to the tariff approval.”

    The increase is applicable to NamPower bulk customers, such as regional electricity distributers, local authorities, regional councils and mines. The respective bulk customers will individually apply to the ECB for tariff increases that will be applicable to customers.

    Namene said that consumers are likely to be informed about tariff increases through their various distributors after 1 July, when the NamPower tariff has been implemented. She, however, said this has to be communicated to consumers before it can be implemented.

    Furthermore, the ECB has commenced with a National Electricity Tariffs Study to be completed by the end of this year. The study aims to better understand the distribution tariff structure at a national level and its relation to the cost supply of each distribution utility.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 04/22/18--16:00: Pic of the day
  • Pic of the dayPic of the day Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo drinks champagne out of his shoe as he celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 15, 2018. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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    Bank official in N$5m fraud caseBank official in N$5m fraud case A senior estate officer at Standard Bank Namibia, entrusted with supervisory responsibilities, is facing 148 counts of fraud in the Windhoek High Court.

    Charles Manale, who is 37 years old, was employed as the senior estate officer in the executors and trustees department, where he allegedly defrauded the bank to the tune of N$5 million.

    The accused, who has been released on a warning, allegedly caused more than N$4.2 million to be credited into his personal account without the knowledge and consent of the legitimate beneficiaries of the debited estate accounts.

    It is alleged that he received, acquired, possessed, retained, controlled and used the said money for his personal benefit and that he knew the funds formed part of the proceeds of his unlawful activities.

    The state further alleges in the indictment that Manale facilitated a payment of N$806 520.20 into Daniel Kauko Nehale's account.

    It is alleged that he held the credentials, allowing him to authorise and release payments upon request by estate officers who were his subordinates, for the benefit of the legitimate beneficiaries of estates.

    However, he intentionally engaged in a fraudulent scheme whereby he manipulated estate officers Emgard Uushona, Shireze Faith Diergaardt, Mujeve Kamberipa, Denille Veruscha Majiedt and Tuiihaleni Hangula, it is alleged.

    He allegedly used their login credentials in order to facilitate the loading of payments from the estate accounts.

    According to the indictment he pretended they were legitimate payments to the rightful beneficiaries.

    Judge Christie Liebenberg postponed the case until 21 June for trial. State advocate Ed Marondedze is the prosecutor, while the defence lawyer is Jan Wessels.

    FRED Goeieman

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  • 04/22/18--16:00: Nambinga wins RDP battle
  • Nambinga wins RDP battleNambinga wins RDP battleCourt rules no-confidence move 'unlawful and invalid' The opposition leader has been vindicated by a court decision that declared an RDP NEC decision “unlawful and invalid”, which effectively sought to relief him of his duties. NAMPA



    President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Jeremia Nambinga scored a huge legal victory against his own party in the High Court in Windhoek on Friday.

    The High Court, in a ruling handed down by Judge Shafimana Ueitele, issued an order that decisions taken during a meeting by the members of the RDP’s national executive committee (NEC) on 12 August 2017 in which a vote of no confidence in Nambinga’s leadership style was tabled for discussion, are unlawful and invalid.

    In addition, all decisions passed by the NEC at the meeting in respect of a vote of no confidence in Nambinga’s leadership style, which was planned for discussion during the weekend of 3 to 5 November 2017, were declared unlawful and invalid.

    Furthermore, the RDP and its NEC members were ordered to pay Nambinga’s legal costs on top of the costs of their own lawyers.

    “The judgement is justice done for RDP members and the rest of the Namibian nation,” Nambinga said in an interview with Nampa shortly after the handing down of the ruling.

    On 3 December 2017, the RDP president took his party to court after the decision against him was taken by at least 12 of the 18 RDP NEC members on 12 August 2017, following allegations that he had failed to steer the party to greater heights.

    Nambinga told the court during the hearing he will hold on to his position as party president, saying he will not be intimidated by “a gang of thugs” with hidden agendas within his own party.

    Meanwhile, some members of the RDP leadership accused Nambinga of failing to uphold the party’s values of unity, democracy, freedom, integrity, justice and social progress, the court heard.

    Nambinga took over leadership of the RDP in 2015 from founding president, the late Hidipo Hamutenya.

    RDP currently has three seats in the National Assembly compared to the eight it occupied after the national elections in 2009.

    Advocate Gerson !Narib represented Nambinga (appellant) while Advocate Albert Strydom defended the RDP and its members (respondents).

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    Regulatory board set to name and shame auditorsRegulatory board set to name and shame auditors The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) will stop hiding the names of auditors and auditing companies found guilty of contravening its professional standards, code of conduct and the law.

    From July, the body, which regulates 4 000 local auditors, will start naming and shaming some of the auditors its finds guilty of contraventions.

    Auditors are key to providing assurance to investors in public and private companies, as well as numerous nonprofit entities, that the financial statements of organisations are a true and accurate reflection of the state of affairs.

    In doing their work, auditors touch the lives of millions of people who rely on them to flag any issues that might effect their investments.

    This comes at a time when major auditing companies such as KPMG, Deloitte and PwC are being scrutinised over alleged controversial auditing practices.

    However, Irba won’t name and shame all guilty auditors.

    The body will publish the findings as well as the names of auditors and firms involved in any contraventions related to “public interest entity matters”.

    Irba spokesperson Lorraine van Schalkwyk said that, in terms of the split between “public interest” cases and “non-public interest” disputes or complaints, about 75% of complaints and matters were considered to be not in the public interest.

    Irba defines public interest entities as listed entities or firms that have a large number and wide range of stakeholders, such as companies that hold assets in a fiduciary capacity or financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and pension funds.

    However, Irba will make exceptions regarding non-public interest matters and will publish the findings and names of auditors and firms involved in contraventions in which the auditor is a repeat offender and the findings lead to disciplinary hearings.

    In December, Irba announced that it would, “with immediate effect”, start naming and shaming guilty auditors.

    “The Auditing Profession Act allows the publication of specific findings and names to be at the discretion of the disciplinary committee,” Irba CEO Bernard Agulhas said in December.

    Earlier this month, Irba released its quarterly newsletter (January to March), but auditors that were found guilty of contraventions were not named.

    Van Schalkwyk said the reason for this was that the newsletter “reports on matters dealt with by the investigating committee at the end of 2017, where the findings recommended to the disciplinary advisory committee were consent orders”.

    “It details matters finalised and sanctions handed down before implementation of the changes to the sanction process.”

    When the next Irba quarterly newsletter is published in July, guilty auditors in the defined categories, as well as the auditing firms that were involved in the misdeeds, would be named, Van Schalkwyk said.

    The latest newsletter contained six matters that resulted in fines totalling R680 000. However, the payment of fines amounting to R180 000 of that total was postponed until the guilty party reregistered with Irba. Another R245 000 of the total was suspended for three years.

    -Fin24

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    Bank admits it made R420bn transfer errorBank admits it made R420bn transfer error Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank on Friday admitted to a massive erroneous transfer of €28billion (about R420billion) in a routine operation, more than the entire bank is worth.

    The unprecedented mistake happened on March 16 when Deutsche Bank carried out a transfer to an account at Deutsche Boerse's Eurex clearing house, a spokesperson told AFP.

    The operation was meant to involve a far smaller sum, which the bank has not revealed, and highlights IT and control issues at the banking giant.

    Accounting errors happen most days, but the sum involved in this case is highly unusual and even exceeds Deutsche's market capitalisation of €24billion.

    The incident, which came shortly before John Cryan was ousted as chief executive, was quickly fixed and no harm was done, the institution said.

    But it raises questions about the risk management and control processes within the bank, which Cryan was meant to have greatly improved since his arrival in 2016.

    Given sole command of the lender in 2016 after the departure of co-CEO Juergen Fitschen, Cryan's task was to restructure Deutsche and clean up the toxic legacy of its pre-financial crisis bid to compete with global investment banking giants.

    But Deutsche has yet to return to profitability, while the share price has slumped more than 50% in the past two years - around 30% this year alone.

    In a sign of the bank's ongoing internal tussles, Deutsche on Wednesday announced the departure of its IT and infrastructure chief Kim Hammonds, who had reportedly called the bank the "most dysfunctional company" that she had worked for. - Fin24

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    Spy agency raises 'classified' defenceSpy agency raises 'classified' defence Lawyers representing the Namibia Central Intelligence Services (NCIS) have argued in the Windhoek High Court that the details about two farms bought to the tune of N$57 million by government in the Otjozondjupa Region is classified information.

    The NCIS is seeking to urgently interdict The Patriot newspaper from publishing any information relating to the purchase of the two farms and another property in Windhoek, which government purchased for the intelligence service at a cost of N$8.2 million.

    It emerged during Friday's court proceedings that the two farms bought for resettlement purposes were now being used by retired members of the NCIS, who are organised in a voluntary association.





    This association, it was claimed by Norman Tjombe, who is appearing on behalf of The Patriot editor Mathias Haufiku and the weekly newspaper, has also received N$1.1 million from the NCIS.

    According to Tjombe, the retired members of the NCIS are private individuals and the acquisition of the farms for their use was unauthorised expenditure and is thus corruption.

    Tjombe alleged this is the information the NCIS regards as sensitive and which in their mind poses a risk to national security and should not be published. The newspaper refrained from publishing the story, but asserted its right to freedom of expression and of the media.

    Advocate Dennis Khama, who appears for NCIS director-general Phillemon Malima and the government, asserted that the publication of the story will pose a risk to the national security of the state.

    He emphasised the applicants are relying on the provisions of the Protection of Information Act to enforce the right to prohibit the publication of sensitive or classified information or information that relates to a security matter.

    He said “security matter” includes any matter which is dealt with by the NCIS or which relates to its functions or to the relationship that exists between any person and the intelligence service. He said the Act stipulates that “classified information” means information of such a sensitive nature and value that the unauthorised publication or disclosure thereof would lead to a security risk being posed to the state.

    According to him, the provisions of the Act further explains that “sensitive information” includes any information which is likely to disclose the identification of or provide details of a source of information, other assistance or operational methods available to the service. “The purpose of the Act is to protect certain kinds of information from disclosure and regulates different types of prohibitions in respect of certain types of information, access to certain places and other activities,” he explained.

    According to him, the Act does not provide a defence for unlawfully disclosing or publishing protected information. “On this basis we contend that the respondents have no right to possess, circulate, disclose and/or publish the protected information,” Khama argued.

    He added that in the absence of national security, one cannot enjoy such freedoms as freedom of speech and of the media, while adding that democracy cannot flourish without security.

    He emphasised that the law allows the media to protect their sources and that the law operates in a similar fashion in terms of national security.

    Tjombe asked: “What is the purpose of the voluntary association of the retired members of the NCIS? Who appoints the board of directors of the association? Why is government money used to fund a private association?” According to him these types of questions led to uncovering corruption and that they were not posed by a lawyer, but by an experienced journalist. He stated that the information on the title deeds of the farms and the house was obtained from the Deeds Office. “It is not stated in the papers as a serious security issue,” he said.

    Judge Harald Geier said the contention is that the properties were being used by the NCIS.

    He added that land reform minister Utoni Nujoma had declared that the farms were acquired for resettlement purposes, and that this turned out to be a false declaration.

    The NCIS allegedly told Haufiku, who was working on the story, that publishing it would be a violation of its Act.

    However, Tjombe said the journalist promised not to disclose the names of the intelligence officers occupying the Windhoek house or the street or house number, but wanted to know whether the NCIS had bought the property.

    The NCIS allegedly responded that he cannot publish anything relating to the intelligence service.

    “If the court gives such order it would be a wide order,” Tjombe argued. According to him, the attitude of the NCIS is that even if the information does not threaten state security it should not be published.

    Geier postponed the matter to 31 May for judgement.



    FRED GOEIEMAN



    Caption

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  • 04/22/18--16:00: Second chance for RCC
  • Second chance for RCCSecond chance for RCCEmbattled SOE given green light to look for cash The beleaguered parastatal, which has faced being placed under judicial management since September last year, has been given the green light to secure off-balance-sheet funding for its projects. The Roads Contractor Company (RCC) has confirmed it is in the final stages of securing financing that will enable it to implement projects and that does not require any government guarantees.

    RCC board chairperson Fritz Jacobs said the off-balance-sheet financing had been sought with the approval of cabinet.

    This development now means the RCC board has secured financing to implement its projects, Jacobs said in a brief statement.

    According to him, the RCC was tasked to accelerate a process to secure funding, which will not rely on government guarantees.

    “We are currently finalising an off-balance-sheet funding solution. This funding does not require government guarantees, as per cabinet decision,” Jacobs told Namibian Sun.

    This would help normalise the RCC's cash flow woes, he said, while strengthening its balance sheet.

    Jacobs did not provide further details, but said the RCC would now have to put work into strengthening its corporate governance framework and organisational structure.

    Jacobs would also not comment on the future of acting RCC CEO Seth Herunga and said the board's priority was now to stabilise the beleaguered entity.

    The appointment of a substantive CEO, he said, would be attended to afterwards.

    “We have to focus on the right priorities,” Jacobs said.

    Works minister John Mutorwa said during a recent public briefing the RCC board would have to present a strong enough case to him, in terms of a turnaround strategy.

    He would then escalate this to a cabinet committee on overall policy and priorities, which will then discuss the turnaround strategy before cabinet makes a final decision on the future of the RCC.





    “I was thoroughly briefed about the self-sustaining model and we are waiting for the RCC's model. Some people doubt that the RCC can be turned around, but you must give people the benefit of the doubt,” said Mutorwa. The RCC board was working towards finding a solution, Mutorwa stressed.

    “If we find a solution, I will report back to the cabinet committee on overall policy and priorities and then cabinet. I cannot say what the [final] decision will be. Only if everything fails, then we will go to judicial management,” Mutorwa said.

    The RCC recently had 13 of its pickups attached for auctioning by Nedloans, while RexQuip also attached a range of RCC vehicles and equipment for auctioning.

    Another creditor, Namibia Protection Services, was owed N$4 million.

    These developments were, however, not a cause for concern to Jacobs, who said that tireless efforts were being made to ensure the continued operations of the parastatal.

    “We are not taking our eye off the ball. We will very soon make very significant announcements,” Jacobs said.



    First of many plans

    Jacobs would also not go into detail about the off-balance-sheet financing option that the RCC was pursing.

    The RCC last year planned to turn the site of its Windhoek head office into an N$800 million business, it was reported. The RCC would have built its plaza opposite M&Z Motors on a 5.3 hectare piece of land donated to the entity by government.

    The plan included widening a stretch of Lazarett Street into four lanes that connect to where the new Nictus furniture showroom is.

    Part of the plan was also is to privatise a portion of the land for the construction of underground parking and offices.

    The documents do not, however, explain the disadvantages of the plan, but said the plaza will be a good deal for the RCC.

    More recently, the RCC was said to be in bed with a Chinese firm that is believed to have made available N$570 million in financing to the parastatal, according to a media report. “RCC has teamed up with a Chinese company called Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian (Pty) Ltd on a project participation basis. The Chinese firm will provide a N$570 million loan facility to RCC. However, we doubt this is a loan, it is more like a joint venture,” a source with intimate knowledge about the happenings at the parastatal told a weekly newspaper.



    Judicial management

    Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste in September 2017 sought to place the RCC under judicial management due to the company's inability to make profit and always requiring government bailouts.

    If judicial management is approved, the current RCC board will be disempowered.

    The duration of the period of judicial management, if approved, cannot be pre-empted, Jooste said at the time. He also explained that the RCC's current 393 employees will not be affected, because judicial management will try and prevent the company from closing down.

    “The RCC has many creditors who will, while the company is under judicial management, have to wait to see their claims against the company settled.

    The judicial manager will proactively seek ways to restructure the debt of the company and respond to the financial demands of the company,” Jooste said.

    Furthermore, Jooste said the judicial manager, if appointed, will be empowered to make far-reaching decisions on the company's business transactions, covering all aspects of its operations, human resources and financial management.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Body of boy found, mom buriedBody of boy found, mom buried The body of the three-year-old toddler who drowned on Monday evening was found on Saturday morning on the outskirts of an informal settlement in Windhoek, while his mother was laid to rest in the North at the weekend.

    Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi confirmed to Namibian Sun that the lifeless body of Jason Shindinge was found at around 10:30.

    The toddler's body was found in the same swamp his mother had drowned in. He was reported missing after their shack was swept away by a flash flood following heavy rain on Monday evening.





    His mother, Saima Thomas, also drowned on the night and her body was found about two kilometres away from where their shack had stood.

    Thomas' partner managed to survive the tragedy, along with their three-day-old baby girl.

    The incident took place at the Abraham Iiyambo informal settlement on the outskirts of Hakahana in Windhoek. According to Johannes David, a member of the Women and Men Network, Thomas was laid to rest at Okambebe village in the Omusati Region on Saturday.

    David said he was overwhelmed by the response from community members, who searched without resting since the incident occurred on Monday. “Everyone reached out and I do not want us to stop when it comes to things of this nature. People really helped to search and with donations,” he said.

    He also expressed the hope that the incident will serve as a lesson for people to be more careful.

    Meanwhile, the police have called on the public to approach the Windhoek police mortuary if they are missing a loved one.

    According to a police report the body of a woman was found floating in the Goreangab Dam on Thursday, 19 April by a community member of the Greenwell Matongo location.

    The body was retrieved by the Special Reserve Force the next day, but has not yet been identified.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 04/22/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote

    “The requested increase will allow NamPower to meet its service delivery costs and for the tariff to remain cost effective,” – Foibe Namene, CEO, ECB

    Stat

    300m more in circulation

    As at 31 December 2017, the total value of currency in circulation stood at N$4.7 billion, compared to N$4.4 billion for the preceding period.

    -Bank of Namibia

    Focus

    114 in mining body

    The Chamber of Mines has 114 members whereas Namdeb, Rossing and Weatherly are classified as Class A founder members.

    -Chamber of Mines

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    Four-day Tour de Limpopo kicks off in SAFour-day Tour de Limpopo kicks off in SANCCS ready to rumble A Namibian cycling team is ready to show their peddling mettle in an international cycle race in South Africa. LIMBA MUPETAMI



    The NCCS Pro Cycling team is ready to compete in the inaugural four-day 2018 Tour de Limpopo in South Africa, which started yesterday.

    The Namibian team competes from today.

    The competition is a partnership between the Limpopo Tourism Agency and Cycling South Africa, and aims to showcase the diversity of the province as a premier cycling destination.

    The race, which will be held in stages, will comprise of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Africa Tour 2.2 stage elite race and a veteran's tour that will follow the same routes as the elite race.

    The race will take place in the capital city of Polokwane, heading east to the town of Tzaneen, covering a total distance of 427.6 km with big climbs expected during the stages.

    Sonto Ndlovu, Limpopo Tourism Agencies CEO, said they are excited to host this enormous event, as they believe it will not only showcase Limpopo as an ideal adventure tourism destination, but also the beauty and scenery of the destination.

    “It is against this background that large numbers of mountain bikers and 4x4 off-road enthusiasts from all over South Africa and beyond are attracted to Limpopo.

    This finds resonance with Limpopo Tourism's marketing strategy, particularly on adventure tourism,” Ndlovu said.

    Mike Bradley, Cycling South Africa's race director, also said riders will be racing, not only for the yellow jersey, but to improve their individual and nation's ranking on the International and African UCI ranking system.

    “As a result of the UCI ranking, we welcome 64 foreign visitors, representing 18 different nationalities, from Belgium, France, Serbia Great Britain, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Zambia, Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia and Swaziland to name a few. Many of our local professionals have never raced in the area” Bradley added.

    Jacob Kiyola, NCCS Pro Cycling's principal and communications manager, said they plan to place captain Chipopeni Kashululu, Xavier Renzo Papo, and Danzel Dekoe in the top 20 at every stage.

    Kiyola further said the team had light training yesterday in order to test the weather conditions and will again train today to analyse the route.

    NCCS Pro Cycling co-owner and manager, Ebben-Ezer Iita, stated that the level of cycling in Namibia is lower than that of South Africa, but their aim is to build a strong team that will, in the years to come, represent the country at international competitions.

    “If you look at our riders, like the upcoming ones, you can see they have the talent but lack the experience and we want to expose all these young athletes to this international competition, so they can gain more experience,” said Iita.

    The team departed from Namibia on 19 April by road to enable them to arrive early and do some training before the competition. He added that they have learned from the lessons of yesteryear, when they travelled to competitions outside the country, and their riders did not have enough time to train before the competition.

    The team is Chipopeni Kashululu (captain), Jafet Amukushu, Marckernzy Eiseb, Xavier Renzo Papo, Danzel Dekoe and Gouws Wynandt. -Additional reporting NAMPA

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    Athletes impress at nationalsAthletes impress at nationals SPORTS REPORTER



    Athletics Namibia hosted the 2018 National Track and Field Championships from the 20 to 21 April 2018 in Windhoek.

    The event was action packed with various duels among the athletes.

    The 400m men saw Ernst Narib pushed to the end by youngster Evan Dani Geldenhys, who came second and Mahmad Bock who came third, and delivered quality times of 46.55 seconds, 46.77 seconds and 47.19 seconds, respectively.

    Jolene Jacobs retained her title in the 100m women, with an impressive time of 11.54 seconds, while youth athlete Sade De Sousa also retained her 200m title with a time of 24.62 seconds.

    Evan Tjiviu retained his 100m title in time of 10.54 seconds and also took the 200m title for men in a time of 21.04 seconds.

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    Taxi strike will go ahead - JanuarieTaxi strike will go ahead - Januarie Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) president Werner Januarie is adamant that the taxi strike in Windhoek will go ahead today, even if it kills him.
    The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) last week warned that the strike would be illegal.
    However, Januarie said that Nabta does not have the authority to declare the strike illegal and that the NTTU does not need their approval if they want to strike.
    “We have written to the police and the works ministry informing them about our intention to strike. We do not need Nabta’s approval to go ahead. We are a legally registered union. We have the freedom to demonstrate and strike if we wish to do so. We have rights,” he said.
    He said a memorandum listing their grievances and demands will be handed over to the works ministry this morning.
    Januarie said taxi drivers will be gathering at the City Police head office from 05:00 and between 09:00 and 10:00 the memorandum will be handed over to the ministry.
    “They will have two hours to respond. We want favourable answers to our demands. They can kill me even, but the idea is out there and this strike will go ahead. It will cost the lives of some and some will go the prison, but we will stand up for our rights,” said Januarie.
    According to him it depends on the ministry’s response today, whether the strike will become a full-blown national one.
    He said the memorandum will no longer be handed over at the ministry’s office, but they expect that works and transport top officials should pick it up where the taxi drivers will be gathering.
    “They are the servants of the people. They are our servants and they must come and pick up the letter at their bosses.”
    He said he expects the works minister, deputy minister and the permanent secretary to be among those to pick up the letter.
    He said no taxis should be on the roads and operating from 05:00 this morning.
    According to him this time will be used to gather and organise themselves, and to decide what they will be done during the two hours waiting for a reply from the ministry and to debate what happens afterwards.
    Januarie said their main demands include an immediate reduction of traffic fines. According to him on average, taxi drivers earn between N$1 800 and N$2 500 a month, but a single fine is N$4 000.
    Another demand is for the increase of taxi fares across the board, while a further issue is the immediate recognition of taxi drivers in Namibia.
    “The industry needs to be formalised so that taxi drivers are recognised by the whole of government.”
    Januarie added they will also be demanding the release of all taxi drivers who have been arrested due to “unconstitutionally” high traffic fines, as well as those that might be arrested during the strike action.
    “We are not going to leave anyone behind, so people need not fear.”
    Nabta secretary-general Pendapala Nakathingo said their position remains that the strike is illegal and cautioned taxi drivers to continue with their normal operations.
    He said if anything should happen during the strike, the one mobilising and organising it will be held liable.
    “We are not going along with it.”
    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 04/24/18--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day ART: A man observes one of the pieces with Russian motifs that is part of the 'Ball Parade Russia 2018', on display along Reforma Avenue in Mexico City. The exhibition presents 32 balls that make reference to each of the countries taking part in the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 04/24/18--16:00: A service of vampires
  • A service of vampiresA service of vampires A situation where the civil service wage bill is 16% of Namibia's gross domestic product (GDP) is wholly unsustainable and is now rightfully being addressed as a matter of urgency.

    Coupled with this, is the historic practice of leave accumulation within the service and paying out hundreds of millions in subsistence and travel (S&T) claims annually.

    This has resulted in government forking out amounts it can ill-afford, at a time when the country is crippled by economic woes, budget cuts and a growing sense of despair.

    The news that the Office of the Prime Minister has now moved to finally address the mass accumulation of leave by the country's 100 000-plus civil servants is to be welcomed in this context, but it defies logic that this practice, as well as the S&T jackpot, was allowed to continue unabated for so many years.

    Also valuable in the current debate around measures to curb government spending on the civil service, is how it has been used as a form of patronage in terms of securing votes in elections held in the country.

    The practice of cadre deployment has been proven in other countries to be a well-thought-out strategy to secure voting cattle for elections and as a way of building cabals that have feasted on tenders and other opportunities presented by government spending.

    In the Namibian context, as in other countries where former liberation movements now govern, meritocracy has given way to political deployments in key positions across the civil service, while also raising the spectre of a lack of delivery and the protection of jobs, based solely on political affiliation.

    It has been succinctly argued by commentators that civil servants are well aware of the responsibility of government towards them, but are selectively ignorant of their responsibility towards the state, as well as to ordinary Namibians. A culture of entitlement has seemingly taken hold, which in the current economic circumstances is not only hurting citizens, but also any moves to bring the civil service to heel.

    This self-created vampirism, which sucks state coffers dry year after year, must be brought under immediate control. The days of insatiable feasting on taxpayers' money must be brought to a swift and abrupt end.

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  • 04/24/18--16:00: Butchery robbed of N$250 000
  • Butchery robbed of N$250 000Butchery robbed of N$250 000 Three men are on the run after an armed robbery in front of a Khomasdal butchery on Friday evening, which netted N$250 000 in cash.

    The police have opened a case of armed robbery after a 30-year-old man left the Rand Street Butchery just after 18:00 and placed the cash on the front passenger seat of his car.

    While he was getting ready to start the vehicle, three unknown men armed with a pistol emerged from a silver Toyota Corolla with no number plates, stormed towards the car, grabbed the money, a laptop and a cellphone and sped off.

    No arrests have been made.

    The police are also investigating two cases of drug possession following arrests in Rehoboth on Friday and on Saturday.

    On Friday three suspects - aged 13, 18 and 29 - were arrested in front of the Royal entertainment block in Rehoboth for being possession of illegal substances.

    The police confiscated 15 full mandrax tablets, four half tablets and seven quarter tablets.

    In addition, they confiscated 31 “ballies of pure cannabis” and N$795 in cash.

    On Saturday the police confiscated 250 “bankies of skank” valued at N$16 000 and arrested a 17-year-old girl.

    Meanwhile, a case of rape is being investigated by the police in Grootfontein, after a man allegedly raped a teenager in the veld near Otjivanda Secondary School at 14:00 on Tuesday.

    The police say the suspect approached the 17-year-old survivor and forced her into nearby bushes, where he raped her.

    The suspect is unknown to the victim and has not yet been arrested.

    In a separate incident, a case of murder is being investigated by the police in the Omaheke Region.

    On Saturday between 23:00 and 23:45 at Freedom Square in Epako, Gobabis an unidentified man was stabbed with a sharp object on the forehead and chest. He died instantly.

    The suspect has not been arrested and investigations continue.

    Another murder case was opened in Wanaheda, after a 28-year-old man was stabbed with an unknown object in the chest during a fight with a 33-year-old suspect.

    The suspect was later arrested, after he had fled. The motive for the murder is not yet known.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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