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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 732 | 733 | (Page 734) | 735 | 736 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Works ministry needs qualified staffWorks ministry needs qualified staff62 additional technical employees needed An additional 62 technical staff members are required by the works ministry, in order to implement and monitor 250 construction projects. A lack of skilled staff is hampering the ministry of works, minister John Mutorwa said when he motivated his ministry's budget vote in the National Assembly.

    With regard to construction and building regulations, Mutorwa said the shortage of skilled personnel meant that his ministry would not be able to deliver projects owing to limited supervision.

    His ministry had 250 construction projects that would need to be monitored but the task would be hampered, he said.

    “With the 47 existing staff establishment of which 16 are technical staff, it is difficult to implement and monitor all the 250 construction projects under the supervision of the directorate that requires an additional 62 technical staff,” said Mutorwa.

    “The implementation rate on capital projects will be compromised and would not meet the expectations of government.”

    It was essential that the positions be filled, he stressed.

    “In order to strengthen the directorate of capital project management, all vacant positions need to be filled,” Mutorwa said.

    He also bemoaned the exodus of qualified professionals to the private sector. “Attracting and retaining Namibian professionals remains a challenge because the remuneration packages are very low compared to parastatals and the private sector,” Mutorwa said.

    The ministry was further hampered by a lack of support staff.

    According to Mutorwa, out of 825 vacant positions, his ministry could only fill 222 positions which were deemed critical.

    He implored that the positions be filled urgently.

    “It is crucial that these positions be filled soonest as the absence of this expertise is posing service delivery and operational challenges,” said Mutorwa.

    The situation was further exacerbated by the expiry of an agreement with the Zimbabwean government. The agreement made provision for Zimbabwean architects and quantity surveyors to work in Namibia.

    “The challenge of filling positions that were left vacant with the end of the memorandum of understanding between Namibia and Zimbabwe remains, but this is due to unregistered Namibian professionals,” Mutorwa said.

    The works directorate was allocated N$662 million for the year 2018/19. The biggest chunk of this was for the maintenance of government properties, while N$212 million was allocated for the provision of office accommodation.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Suzuki enters its shining starSuzuki enters its shining starThe Vitara vies for victory The NTE Win-a-Car competition continues to take shape YOCHANAAN COETZEE



    “Not only does it boast a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, but also offers its occupants all the modern amenities in a package that is comfortable and capable to take them wherever their wanderlust points.” Charl Oosthuisen of Suzuki Windhoek.



    The Suzuki Vitara is one of the world’s favourite things on four wheels. In 1988, when the Vitara was born as a family-oriented forest fundi, its popularity in markets around the world skyrocketed and it quickly became an iconic car, suited for both the outward bound and those committed to their daily commute.

    Over the years that followed, this formula has changed and been refined, but it remained the brand’s ideological flagship.

    This combination of safe, go-anywhere ability, economy and family comfort evolved throughout the years and when the latest generation was unveiled in 2015, the world once again took notice.

    So much so that among a raft of international awards, it most recently took the Cars.co.za prize for Compact Family Car of the Year for both 2017 and 2018. This is no mean feat, especially considering the huge availability of excellent vehicles in this hotly contested class.

    Safe Travel

    With the Namibia Tourism Expo’s Win-a-Car competition aimed at getting adventurous souls the wheels they need to get out there and explore, omitting the Vitara would simply have been an injustice.

    “When it comes to safe travel, the Vitara definitely ticks all the boxes. Not only does it boast a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, but also offers occupants all modern amenities in a package that is comfortable and capable to take them wherever their wanderlust points,” said Charl Oosthuisen of Suzuki Windhoek.

    The new Vitara has been comprehensively upgraded, is roomier than its predecessors, and boasts a stout, raised stance.

    Featuring short overhangs with wheel-arch extensions and front and rear skid plates, the Vitara epitomises modern compact SUV design trends, while still standing out from the pack.

    Beautiful silver inserts decorate the grill, which is flanked by crisp LED headlights.

    Elements such as these give it a rugged, yet refined aesthetic.

    Powering your passion

    The four-cylinder, 1.6 L power unit has been optimised for performance and efficiency through a variety of measures and technologies and has an output of 86 kW at 6 600 r/min, combined with maximum torque of 151 Nm at 4 400 r/min going to the front wheels.

    The GL+ model we reviewed came with a slick six-speed, which makes daily drives and road trips more enjoyable.

    Interior

    The spacious interior features smart cloth upholstery with contrasting stitching, while chrome and silver accents add an upmarket appeal.

    Its tilt- and reach-adjustable steering wheel is equipped with multifunction controls for the audio system, cruise control and hands-free telephony while driving.

    The slick sunroof adds open-air appeal.

    Safety

    As is the case with all Suzuki Vitaras, they come equipped with a comprehensive array of active and passive safety features. Active systems include electronic stability programme (ESP), ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and electronic brake assist (EBA).

    The passive safety features include seven airbags (dual front, side and curtain airbags, as well as a knee airbag for the driver), as well as a brake pedal release system, while IsoFix child seat tethers keep baby safe in the back.

    “A package this capable and comprehensively kitted, especially at this price point, is truly an incredible offer. Should readers feel lucky, they’re welcome to enter the Win-a-Car competition at the upcoming Namibia Tourism Expo, and they could win this fantastic vehicle for the price of a single adult entrance ticket,” Oosthuisen said.

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    Namibia in firing line over climate changeNamibia in firing line over climate changeEIF not getting the support it needs There is concern that Namibia's authorities may be paying lip service to climate change efforts with inadequate funding and lack of support. Namibia's development partners have raised concerns about government's commitment towards supporting the objectives of the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF), as well as its inadequate capitalisation.

    This was pointed out by environment minister Pohamba Shifeta during his budget motivation in the National Assembly.

    Shifeta said it is a well-known fact that Namibia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.

    “We are now seeing the impacts that the changing climate is having on the very fabric of our society and economic development. Now more than ever, we need to build our resilience to climate change so that we ensure our water, energy and food security.”

    Shifeta said to do this, support has been mobilised through the EIF from the international community.

    During the 2017/18 financial year projects and funds worth N$1.1 billion were mobilised to strengthen Namibia's climate resilience.

    This includes two projects on climate resilient agriculture and Community Based Natural Resource Management, which are being implemented through the EIF of Namibia with funding from the Green Climate Fund worth N$116 million each. These projects will benefit an estimated 76 500 communal area residents and 21 000 small-scale farmers in our rural areas.

    Shifeta said this year alone the EIF stands to access N$300 million in grant funding from the Green Climate Fund to fortify climate adaptation in important sectors such as agriculture and renewable energy.

    “While the ElF has done exceptionally well in proving its capacity in resource mobilisation for the most vulnerable sectors to environmental degradation caused by climate change, these resources are not sustainable to the ElF, as it merely receives administration fees from these projects.”

    According to Shifeta while the EIF continues to enjoy a good reputation at the Green Climate Fund and amongst the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Namibia's development partners have continuously raised concerns around the inadequate capitalisation of the ElF.

    “They have further questioned our government's commitment towards supporting the objectives of the ElF.”

    The budget allocation to the fund for the current 2018/19 financial year is a mere N$5 million, said Shifeta.

    He said it is therefore important for government ensure that a vehicle as important as the EIF is adequately and strategically capitalised to continue bringing in financial resources for the country.

    He further called on all offices, ministries and agencies involved in the management of waste in Namibia to assist the ministry to ensure that measures on polluting products such as plastic bags, lubricant oil and batteries can be turned into a revenue source that can contribute towards environmental investments. Shifeta elaborated on the Environmental Management Act and said it remains the country's foremost piece of legislation to minimise the impacts of development on the environment.

    According to him the implementation of the Act intensified during the 2017/18 financial year, which culminated in the review of 393 out of 566 environmental impact assessment reports received.

    This includes countrywide inspections and the issuance of compliance orders to 18 environmental offenders.

    “It is also during this reporting period in which engagement with stakeholders was scaled up, resulting in the gazetting of 22 competent authorities that are obliged to compile their own environmental plans to address environmental abuse, pollution and waste management concerns in the country,” said Shifeta. According to him significant progress was made during the period under review in clamping down on illegal sand mining operations and in improving operations at waste disposal sites.

    He added that in line with business process re-engineering, the development of an online application system for environmental clearance is also now at an advanced stage and will be launched this year. The operationalisation of this system will improve efficiency and accessibility, in terms of service delivery.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Roadside tragedy claims infantRoadside tragedy claims infant A two-month-old baby died on Monday when a Toyota Corolla taxi rammed into the mother, who was hitchhiking with the infant along the Omungwelume-Oshakati road.

    The incident happened at Onambedi village in the Etayi constituency at around 15:00.

    According to a police report the taxi was travelling from the direction of Oshakati towards Omungwelume when a Toyota Hilux bakkie, which was travelling in the same direction, bumped the sedan from behind. Consequently, the driver of the Toyota Corolla lost control and smashed into 27-year-old Selma Phillemon, who was standing next to the road with her two-month-old baby, Ndeshihafela Haipinge.

    The baby died on the spot, while Phillemon sustained serious injuries.

    She is currently admitted at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

    The taxi driver has been identified as Leonard Nakashole (27) and Ella Kaalushu (56) is the driver of the Toyota Hilux bakkie.

    A case of culpable homicide has been opened, but no arrests have been made. Police investigations continue.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Police caution holiday road usersPolice caution holiday road users The Namibian police is urging all road users to be alert while using national roads during the May midterm school break and on Cassinga Day.

    Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi has sternly warned all road users and motorists to be careful during the upcoming holidays,

    He also cautioned holidaymakers to ensure that their property is protected and that arrangements for domestic animals are made in advance. Kanguatjivi further warned animal owners to refrain from allowing their livestock to stray along national roads, in order to help reduce the number of accidents.

    “The number of motor vehicle accidents during the Easter holidays had been significantly reduced, compared to last year. We applaud all the motorists for their compliance to the rules and regulations of our roads. We request motorists to once again adhere to the Road Transport Act and regulations, in order to arrive alive at their various destinations,” said Kanguatjivi.

    He in addition advised motorists and tourists to avoid driving through rivers or ponds before assessing water levels.

    He said water should not be underestimated, as the chances of survival are slim.

    “Parents and guardians must deter children from swimming or crossing flooded areas and rivers… Vigilance should always be taken,” he said.

    Kanguatjivi also encouraged parents to deter children from unbecoming behaviour and the use of alcohol, drugs and other intoxicating substances. All liquor outlets and shebeens are to adhere to their operating hours, as stipulated on their licenses.

    “The police will act accordingly to whoever is found in violation of the rules and regulations of this country. Let us prioritise safety and jointly fight crime in our country,” he said.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 04/24/18--16:00: Esau hunts Illegal fishers
  • Esau hunts Illegal fishersEsau hunts Illegal fishers Security operatives are targeting illegal fishing activities at Namibia's border posts, including in the Kavango and Zambezi rivers and the maritime area close to the Angolan border.

    This was revealed by fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, who promised to bring the culprits involved in these activities to book when he motivated his ministry's budget vote in the National Assembly.

    Addressing lawmakers, Esau said his ministry was working in close cooperation with security operatives to ensure the illegal activities would be nipped in the bud.

    “We have a challenge with illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities along our northern maritime border with Angola. This situation needs to be urgently addressed in 2018, as it is unacceptable.”

    His ministry would also cooperate with other governments to solve the issue of illegal fishing in Namibian waters, Esau added.

    “There is a coordinated government and intergovernmental approach to address this matter urgently and resources are being mobilised to this effect. Those involved will soon face the full wrath of the law.

    “We have also noted illegal fishing activities in our rivers involving the use of illegal nets, [particularly] in the Kavango and Zambezi rivers,” he said.

    It was reported last year that illegal fishing activities were taking place in the sea close to the Angolan border.

    The ministry of fisheries downplayed the situation however, with its permanent secretary, Moses Maurihungirire, saying his ministry was still verifying the allegations before it could give a detailed response to the public.

    “It cannot be rushed into the ears of Namibians. In addition, we have to get in touch with our Angolan counterparts to verify this, as we have a joint patrol agreement with our northern neighbours. Just bear with me on this very serious issue,” Maurihungirire was quoted as saying. Also in February last year, the chairman of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations, Matti Amukwa, mentioned at the annual ministerial fisheries meeting at Walvis Bay that foreign-flagged boats were “sneaking” into Namibian waters from Angola to steal Namibian fish.

    Namibia had taken steps to curb illegal fishing when it ratified the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

    Parties to the agreement are obliged to implement a number of measures, while managing ports under their control, with the goal of detecting illegal fishing, stopping illegally caught fish from being offloaded and sold and ensuring that information on unscrupulous elements is shared globally.

    Other measures include requiring foreign fishing vessels wishing to enter ports to request permission in advance and transmitting detailed information on their identities, activities and the fish they have on board.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Govt drags feet on N$6.4m lawsuitGovt drags feet on N$6.4m lawsuit Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has been given until 12 June to explain the inactivity around a N$6.4 million lawsuit that sees his ministry suing TransWorld Cargo for the cost of a government scanner that fell from a forklift.

    The ministry is suing TransWorld for not taking appropriate care of the government scanners, resulting in one machine falling during a loading process on 27 August 2013 at the company's Windhoek warehouse.

    Judge Shafimana Ueitele yesterday postponed the matter until 12 June so that Schlettwein, on behalf of the government, and TransWorld Cargo can show reasons why there has been no activity in the case for six months and why it should not be permanently struck from the roll. In documents filed at the High Court, the ministry stated that as a result of the scanner falling, it had to order replacement.

    The replacement quotation received on 26 September 2013 was for US$650 000, or N$6 437 665.

    The ministry and TransWorld Cargo entered into a written agreement on 25 November 2009, in terms of which the company was appointed to handle the clearance, transport logistics and offloading of scanning equipment destined for various destinations in Namibia.

    During one such transaction, the company was paid N$346 776.76 to transport scanners from Windhoek to Ariamsvlei, but on 27 August 2013 one of the machines fell from the forklift at a warehouse.

    According to the government, TransWorld Cargo had breached its duties outlined in the contract.

    “They failed to take reasonable measures to ensure that the crate storing the scanner was not unbalanced and that any unbalance in the weight had to be indicated on the crate storing the damaged scanner,” the finance ministry said in court documents.

    It is further alleged that the company failed to take reasonable measures to ensure that its employees received adequate safety training in the handling of the scanners and that staff did not handle the scanners in a safe manner.

    “We suffered damages in the amount of N$6 437 665 as a result of the defendant's negligent conduct,” the ministry added.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 04/24/18--16:00: NTTU regroups after strike
  • NTTU regroups after strikeNTTU regroups after strikeDisappointing outcome for taxi union Taxi owners whose cars were towed away during Monday's standoff with the police in Windhoek had to pay for the tow-in service before getting them back. At least 20 taxi owners retrieved their vehicles at a cost of N$1 000 each yesterday, after the vehicles were impounded on Monday when a strike turned heated between law-enforcement officers and operators.

    One of at least five tow-in company owners, brought in by the police to remove taxis blocking the street near the City Police headquarters on Monday, said it had agreed to release the vehicles at a price of N$1 000 each for the tow-in service costs.

    Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) boss Werner Januarie said the end of Monday's large-scale strike action was disappointing, blaming the police for using “false tactics”.

    He further said an executive meeting was scheduled for this Sunday, where members whose taxis were towed away could discuss possible solutions.

    Januarie claimed that when he entered the City Police headquarters with senior law-enforcement officials after lunchtime on Monday to discuss the way forward, “we never imagined they called us inside with the intention of dispersing our members while we were in the meeting”.

    While Januarie was inside, many of the taxi drivers still at the scene after the morning strike action, left the premises after police opened the cordoned-off roads.

    “When we came out, everybody was done,” Januarie said.

    It is unclear what led to the decision of the remaining taxi drivers to leave the scene.

    Januarie said this left him and his NTTU executive without any means to address members.

    “Their plan was for our event to end in failure,” he alleged.

    He said NTTU is not beaten and are now planning a second meeting to discuss the way forward.

    “For now we will regroup and call another meeting with our members,” he said.

    Januarie further told Namibian Sun yesterday that while the ministry of works and transport remained mum on the issues highlighted in Monday's petition, he was hopeful of a personal meeting with the minister soon.

    “We hear that the minister of works is willing to meet us and we are looking forward to meeting him soon,” Januarie said.

    In a statement issued on Monday, works and transport minister John Mutorwa said his ministry did not receive a written or verbal notification of the taxi strike.

    Mutorwa however noted that the ministry, “including its minister, are ready and remain ready, to listen to any grievances; emanating from our various and most important stakeholders, including NTTU, with the ultimate objective of eventually, to collectively and amicably, resolving such 'effective and efficient delivery of services'.”

    The NTTU-organised strike was aimed at demanding a hike in fares, improved regulations and the recognition of taxi drivers, as well as the reduction of traffic fines and other longstanding issues.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Tourism Networking Conference to precede ExpoTourism Networking Conference to precede ExpoFive seminars on agenda The seminars will focus on the theme of the 2018 Namibia Tourism Expo, “Conservation - Small things matter”. I want to raise the spectre of the industry doing more in tangible ways. – Keith Sproule, Executive Director: Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy Staff Reporter - The local and regional tourism community are all looking forward to the 20th edition of the ever-popular Namibia Tourism Expo which will be held from 30 May to 3 June at the Windhoek show grounds.

    This year, there is a special treat for tourism stakeholders and conservationists alike. On 29 May, one day before the expo kicks off, a Tourism Networking Conference will be held at the Safari Hotel and Conference Centre. Five seminars will be presented, all focusing on the theme of the 2018 expo, “Conservation - Small things matter”. The environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta will officially open the 1st Tourism Networking Conference.

    The key speaker at the event, Keith W. Sproule, will be discussing ways and means for both tour operators and travellers to impact the lives and livelihoods of the communities they visit. “I want to raise the spectre of the industry doing more in tangible ways,” Sproule says. In his view, very small steps and elements can lead to a wave of change in different ways.

    Sproule has worked in the Namibian tourism industry for five years. He says he remains “a ferocious fan of anything associated with the land of the brave”.

    Sproule is a strong advocate for the Namibian community-based resource management model, especially joint venture lodges, as a viable strategy for rural communities to access the economic benefits from the tourism industry. He is especially proud to have helped Namibia secure the opportunity to host the Adventure Travel World Summit in 2013.

    Background

    Currently serving as the executive director of Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP), a leading private sector travel philanthropy with the mission to “help nature thrive and cultures to flourish”, Sproule manages a portfolio of AKP investments in 20 countries, with a total annual budget over US$2 500 000.

    His professional background includes serving as an advisor to governments on three continents and operations consulting with hotel and tourism companies globally. He has worked in Asia, Africa, Central Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

    Sproule has a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Agriculture at the University of Vermont, and has completed a Master’s degree in international economics at Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He was a Fulbright Scholar in Belize, studying the expenditure patterns of visitors to archaeological sites.

    Five other speakers will be hosting different topics at the conference. Keep an eye out on these pages in the coming weeks as we tell you more.

    Interested parties can send an email to conference@nmh.com.na or log on to nte.nmh.com.na for more details.

    The Tourism Networking Conference is proudly brought to you by Namibia Media Holdings, First National Bank and Old Mutual.

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    Site of horror to be protectedSite of horror to be protectedHeritage status mooted for Shark Island Shark Island at Lüderitz, once home to thousands of Ovaherero and Nama prisoners-of-war, will soon become a national heritage site. The largely forgotten German colonial concentration camp at Shark Island in Lüderitz may soon be declared a national heritage site.

    The National Heritage Council intends to submit a recommendation in this regard to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture within two months. The recommendation will be done in accordance with section 30(4) of the National Heritage Act, 27 of 2004.

    In a public notice this week the council announced its attention and called for public participation in the process. Situated on a rocky peninsula, Shark Island overlooks Lüderitz harbour and is currently utilised as a camping site.

    It was once a concentration camp where thousands of prisoners were kept.

    Between 1905 and 1907 the island was used by the German military as a prisoner-of-war camp. The forced prison labour was used to build the growing harbour town.

    “The site was first used as a prison where the Germans kept all the prisoners of war that they have captured. Many Ovaherero were kept in this camp. The camp was later transformed into a concentration camp, a change that saw the arrival of more Nama people of which the majority were women and children,” said the council, adding the history of the site confirms its historical value. The council said its history attracts tourists from different parts of the world, while some of the tourists, especially school children, visit the site because of its educational value.

    In addition, the tourism activities that take place in and around the site ensures its economic value.

    A memorial on the island honours Chief Cornelius Fredericks, as well as other brave men, women and children who perished on the island during the war.

    A memorial plague of Adolf Lüderitz, after which the town was named, was also erected at the site.

    “These memorials provide the visitors with space and opportunity to pay homage to the departed. These therefore bear testimony to the spiritual value of the site,” the heritage council said.

    In another public notice, the council also recommended Driedoornvlagte Fossil Reef as a national heritage site.

    Driedoornvlagte is situated outside the Klein Aub settlement near Rietoog.

    The fossil reef covers an area of over one million hectares, extending through Farm Rocky Mountains No 626, Farm Driedoornvlagte, Farm Diamant, Klein Aub Farms and Farm Kuburuchap.

    It hosts three unique, 548-million-year-old fossils, namely Cloudina, Namacalathus and Namapoikia.

    The public has been urged to submit any counter-submissions and requests for hearings to the National Heritage Council within a period of less than 60 days from the date of the public notice.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Give women a chance in mining - NameneGive women a chance in mining - NameneNumbers don’t look good Men in the mining sector are urged to keep in mind that women do not enjoy the same advantages as men in the industry. “If the legislation was giving women what they deserve, then the numbers would not have looked like that.” - Foibe Namene, CEO, ECB NDAMA NAKASHOLE

    The Electricity Control Board CEO, Foibe Namene, has urged men in mining to be mindful of women’s disadvantaged position in the industry, with a view to empowering women to have equal opportunities in the male-dominated sector.

    In her presentation at a Business 7 Impact Breakfast event held at a Windhoek hotel yesterday, Namene spoke of the transformation role of empowering women in mining.

    “Imagine when you go to your home village and you may want people to behave and think in a certain way, forgetting that you had the privilege to get an education. It is the same in the mining sphere. Men forget that they have an advantage at certain things,” she said.

    Namene, who also chairs the board of a large mining company, said the fact that women’s role in mining was negatively perceived made it hard to encourage more women to join the mining sector.

    Since mining drives economies around the world, the inclusion of women will improve their economic stability too.

    She gave an example of a certain mining company where 20.6% of the over 7 000 employees in 2016/2017 were women.

    Gender gaps in mining are mostly seen at management level, and in this specific case only four of the 40 executive directors were women, she said.

    Namene questioned why this was still the situation although there had been international, regional and domestic legislation adopted to empower women in mining.

    “If the legislation was giving women what they deserve, then the numbers would not have looked like that,” she said.

    Barriers

    Namene, who quoted different international legal provisions, said generally equipment and facilities were not designed with women in mind.

    She also said that the mining environment in most cases did not recognise the dual role of women as workers and caregivers by giving them the flexibility to balance work and family life.

    Other issues that sabotage the prosperity of women in the mining industry are restrictions to credit access and limited control over marital assets, lack of female role models in the sector, and low education and skills levels because they are not aware of the available opportunities.

    A high risk of gender violence, lack of information on issues affecting women, and the struggle for women to avail themselves of opportunities presented by large-scale farming are some of the other barriers that prevent women from prospering in the mining sector.

    Winds of change

    At the beginning of her presentation, Namene read a quote from a statement by deputy mines and energy minister Cornelia Shilunga, who is the first woman to hold this position in Namibia: “Today, more than ever before, there is a great need for renewed and realistic understanding of the intimate relationship between gender parity and opportunities made available to qualified women willing to take a stake in the entrepreneurial side of mining. By this I am referring to women who are ready to move from being mere administrative workers to leaders driving change in the mining industry as Exclusive Prospecting Licence and Mining Licence holders.”

    Unless deliberate efforts are introduced for the advancement of women, the number of women in this important sector of the economy will remain low or even decline, Namene believes.

    She called upon companies to support organisations such as the Women in Mining Association of Namibia, which promotes and empowers women in that sector.

    She said until emphasis was placed on the empowerment of women as a strategic objective, the industry was not doing what it was supposed to do.

    “Women bring a different dimension to the sector and if mining is to become a vehicle of inclusive economic growth, greater consideration and women’s empowerment needs to be integrated in every mining phase project, from employment to community engagement,” she said.

    She further highlighted that the rise of women did not in any way mean the fall of men, and urged men to become involved in the drive towards women’s rise in mining.

    “We are asking for women to be given an opportunity as equal participants in the creation of wealth,” she said.

    Namene further encouraged women and girls to get an education, become skilled and to be brave enough to take up jobs in mining as graduates.

    She said she would not encourage them to take up less skilled positions in this thriving sector of the economy, but rather skilled positions.

    The marketing manager of the event organiser Namibia Media Holdings, Hennie Geldenhuys, said the company would continue to provide platforms for the sharing of information.

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  • 04/24/18--16:00: Gem of a quarter for Namdeb
  • Gem of a quarter for NamdebGem of a quarter for Namdeb Jo-Maré Duddy – Namdeb Holdings produced more than half a million carats in the first three months of 2018, the first time in 16 quarters the mine managed to exceed 500 000 carats.

    Production results released by De Beers yesterday showed Namdeb delivered 528 000 carats in the first quarter. The last time this production level was achieved, was in the second quarter of 2014 when Namdeb produced 509 000 carats, De Beers’ archives show.

    Production in the first quarter of 2018 is nearly 8.2% or 40 000 carats more than the previous three months. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, production rose by nearly 11.9% or 56 000 carats.

    De Beers said the increased production is the result of accessing consistently higher grades at Namdeb’s land-based operations. The mining giant is a 50% shareholder in Namdeb Holdings, while the government of Namibia owns the rest.

    De Beers’ overall rough diamond production for the first quarter of 2018 increased 15% to 8.5 million carats. This reflects the ramp-up of production from Gahcho Kué in Canada, which reached nameplate capacity in the second quarter of 2017, and increased production from Orapa in Botswana in response to the sustained healthy trading conditions.

    De Beers said its full year production guidance remains unchanged at 34 to 36 million carats, subject to trading conditions.

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  • 04/24/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    I want to raise the spectre of the [tourism] industry doing more in tangible ways. – Keith Sproule, executive director: Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy

    Stat

    Zero

    During the period of 2017, the Bank of Namibia did not receive any new banking license applications.

    -Bank of Namibia

    Focus

    Mining

    Support for Debmarine

    Standard Bank has co-financed Debmarine Namibia’s latest sampling and exploration vessel. This funding facility amounted to approximately N$1.8 billion.

    -Standard Bank Namibia

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    Moussongela girls 'safe' in UKMoussongela girls 'safe' in UKBritish court dismisses Namibian mothers' pleas A London court has ruled that three girls involved in a kidnapping case will not be returned to Namibia because of concerns for their well-being. A London court has ruled that three daughters of accused sex offender Pedro Moussongela will remain in the United Kingdom and not be returned to their mothers in Namibia.

    Judge Rachel Karp of the London Borough of Haringey dismissed an application by the Namibian mothers to have the children discharged from a care order which had placed them in the care of a guardian.

    The judgement was made on 11 January but the transcript of the order was made available only yesterday.

    Karp went ahead to make the order despite a request from Namibian authorities to have the judgement delayed pending a meeting between four Namibian institutions.

    This meeting was to consider, among other things, whether any formal challenge was to be made or whether the Namibian authorities would provide funding for two mothers to be represented at the court proceedings in London.

    One of the mothers testified by means of a video link. The girls were represented by their British guardian.

    Karp said the evidence was that the girls – now aged between 13 and 14 – were now “habitually resident” in the UK despite them being Namibian citizens and their parents being in Namibia.

    The children are attending school in London.

    “[This] is a case with an extremely distressing and worrying background to it. The reasons why the girls found themselves in the United Kingdom had nothing to do with the behaviour or wishes of any of their mothers, but as a result of the behaviour and actions attributable to their father,” the judge said, adding that her overriding concern was the welfare of the children.

    The mother of one of the girls, now 13, wanted her returned to Namibia. Although the Namibian social services found that her mother would be able to take care of her, Karp said her physical, emotional and educational needs might not be met here.

    The judge said she considered each girl's needs, wishes and feelings in light of their age and understanding.

    “Their strongly held wishes and feelings are a very important factor for this court, particularly when one takes into account the extraordinarily difficult background circumstances that they had to suffer when they were living in Namibia and the abuse that was meted out to them through no fault of any of their mothers,” the judge said.

    She said the girls understandably “may have such a lack of confidence that their mothers would be able to safely parent them because of the background and personal histories they have”.





    She said the relationship between the girls and their mothers had broken down completely despite attempts to establish telephonic contact.

    In accordance with the judgement parental responsibility will be held by the local authority of Haringey and the girls will continue to live with their foster carer while having contact with their half-siblings and nephew.



    Background

    The three girls first came to the attention of the local authority when they were found wandering the streets in London in early October 2015 with a note that read: “Please help these kids find their sister.”

    The three girls were later moved to a long-term foster home.

    One of the mothers of the girls is suing Moussongela, the father of the girls, for allegedly kidnapping her daughter. Multiple charges of human trafficking, rape and assault against Moussongela remain pending in the Windhoek and Ondangwa lower courts.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Neckartal gets lion's share of water budgetNeckartal gets lion's share of water budget About 46.4% of the N$2.137 billion agriculture budget is earmarked for the development of the water sector and for water supply to rural communities in communal areas.

    This amounts to N$991 million, of which the bulk, N$623 million, will go towards the completion of the Neckartal Dam in the //Karas Region.

    According to agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb another N$108 million will go towards refunding the City of Windhoek for projects to improve water supply security in central Namibia. !Naruseb said this left the ministry with a meagre N$260 million for water-related development activities.

    He was speaking during his budget motivation for the financial year 2018/19 in the National Assembly.

    According to !Naruseb the construction of the Neckartal Dam will be completed this financial year. He said the expected date for commissioning the dam was in June this year, while the completion date for monitoring and reporting was in August 2018.





    According to him the ministry, through the Technical Committee of Experts (TCE) for the Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security (CCWSS), would continue with measures aimed at addressing water supply security.

    He said the activities that would be undertaken included the upgrading of the Gammams reclamation works in Windhoek, the Kombat/Berg Aukas power supply and the refurbishment of the Von Bach Dam pump stations, which were all aimed at enhancing water supply to the central area of Namibia.

    Other activities include the refurbishment of the Kuiseb Collector 2 and the replacement of the Schwarzekuppe to Swakopmund and Omdel to Wlotzkasbaken pipelines to improve water supply in the central coastal areas.

    !Naruseb said that would be coupled with the upgrading and extension of the Oshakati water treatment plant.

    Furthermore, the construction of Ondangwa to Omuntele pipeline extension and the King Kauluma to Omutsegwonime water supply scheme in the Oshikoto Region, as well as the construction of a water supply scheme for displaced communities in the Kavango East (Shamvhura to Shamangorwa pipeline) would continue in the 2018/2019 financial year.





    !Naruseb added that the Iitapa to Okeeholongo water supply scheme phase one and the Katima Mulilo to Kongola water supply pipeline phase two were completed and would be handed over during the 2018/19 financial year.

    The minister further said that regular meetings were held to discuss progress on the Noordoewer/Vioolsdrift dam feasibility study.

    According to him the project was expected to be completed in September 2017. An extension request was received to allow completion of the environmental impact assessment.

    The following tasks were completed: water resources planning model, water quality modelling, environmental screening, water requirements assessments, sedimentation assessment, and dam design and optimisation.

    An agreement on the principles of cooperation along the Lower Orange River is expected to be signed with South Africa this financial year to pave the way for joint development and water sharing.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    NSFAF shake-up gets 'technical'NSFAF shake-up gets 'technical' The higher education ministry has asked for patience as it starts the process of reintegrating the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) into its operations.

    This call was made by permanent secretary Alfred van Kent when asked to provide a reintegration update.

    During a media briefing held in December 2017, higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi announced that the fund would be reintegrated back into her ministry after a suggestion by President Hage Geingob to cabinet. Kandjii-Murangi shared her intent during the briefing to have the parastatal integrated back into the line ministry. Giving an update on the matter, Van Kent last week said the ministry was still engaged in technical consultations.

    “For the ministry of higher education to remain prepared, it is necessary to inform ourselves of the various operational and technical aspects of the organisation, thus the need for technical consultations,” said Van Kent.

    According to him, it is imperative for the education ministry to engage stakeholders in order to establish the facts, so that smooth integration and transformation is realised. “Following this, a high-level strategic implementation plan will be devised,” said Van Kent.

    “Government is eager to ensure that service delivery is streamlined, effective and remains at all times efficient. It is for this reason that the higher education ministry appointed a board of directors that is tasked with ensuring operational efficiency and effectiveness.”

    Van Kent was not willing to shed light on the pace of the reintegration, saying it was not for public consumption.

    “Such decisions do not get discussed on the covers of newspapers until there is a concrete cabinet decision on the issue, and once a consolidated cabinet letter is prepared and information is disseminated. Thereto, as soon as that process is complete the public shall be informed,” said Van Kent.





    Motivating the decision to reintegrate NSFAF back into her ministry, Kandjii-Murangi in 2017 said that after introspection, it was decided that the fund should move back into its line ministry.

    “I believe it was better to revert NSFAF back to the parent ministry,” she said during the briefing at State House.

    The chairperson of the National Assembly's standing committee on public accounts, Mike Kavekotora, recently said NSFAF's reintegration was “irrelevant”.

    Kavekotora told a weekly newspaper last week that it would be better to find lasting solutions rather than just passing the fund to and fro.

    “We should stop rotating the fund and look at solving the real challenges facing the fund, as this is not the solution. The current challenges we are dealing with started when it was with the ministry and how different is it going to be again going forward?” Kavekotora asked.

    The new NSFAF board has also received a transformation agenda to turn around the embattled fund.

    NSFAF was established in January 1997 to provide financial assistance to students at approved institutions of higher education.

    The institution has over the years been embroiled in controversy over claims of corruption and financial mismanagement.

    The fund's newly appointed board headed by Jerome Mutumba recently suspended CEO Hilya Nghiwete, pending an investigation into malpractice allegations.

    In February the NSFAF top brass appeared before the parliamentary standing committee on public accounts after they had failed to turn up for a hearing before the standing committee on 27 November last year.

    They said a sloppily managed transfer from the ministry of education in 2013 was responsible for the unaccounted for N$1.8 billion disbursed to students between 2007 and 2013.

    Nghiwete acknowledged that the record management at the time was a “challenge”, saying there would be a time to approach the government on how to deal with beneficiaries that could not be traced since 1997.

    She added that a 2016 reconciliation revealed that out of the more than N$1.7 billion, NSFAF should be able to trace about N$1.5 billion which had been disbursed to universities.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Terminator rubbishes Beast MasterTerminator rubbishes Beast MasterMuch-anticipated fight slated for June The much-anticipated fight between Harry 'Terminator' Simon and Vikapita 'Beast Master' Meroro will take place at the end of June at the Ramatex complex in Windhoek. Undefeated former world boxing champion Harry Simon has vowed to end former WBO Africa cruiserweight champion Vikapita 'Beast Master' Meroro's boxing career once and for all, when they meet in the ring at the end of June.

    Simon, who is out for blood, vowed to tame the Beast Master yesterday, when their fight was announced at Protea Hotel Thuringerhof yesterday.

    The bout will take place under HS Onkugo Promotions.

    “The sponsors approached me while I was training in the US. I refused at first because Meroro is an average fighter for me. I however agreed later on and I'm happy to take him on.

    “I promise that it will be his last fight; he will think that he is in the ring fighting three people,' Simon teased.

    He boldly told his opponent not to train hard at all, as it won't help him.

    “Just turn up, receive your punches and go home. I will beat Meroro and his promoter as well if I have to; just wait and see,” Simon said.

    The Terminator had on previous occasions snubbed the opportunity to fight the Beast Master, leaving arguments unresolved about who is the better fighter better between the two.

    Meroro retaliated during the contest announcement yesterday and said that Simon's comments have become personal

    “I thought we will meet in the ring to compete but now we will definitely fight because this has become personal for me. I won't beat you like I used to beat my previous opponents. I will be 110% fit.

    “Also this fight is needed because it will show Namibians who is the man between us two,” Meroro said.

    The 45-year old Simon boasts a remarkable unbeaten record of 30 fights, and became the first Namibian world boxing champion after he dethroned Winky Wright via a points win at Sun City in 1998.

    He was supposed to fight on 29 December last year at The Dome in Swakopmund against Tanzania's Said Mbwelwa in a six-round cruiserweight non-title fight. However, the fight did not take place as the Tanzanian was knocked out during another clash, prior to meeting Simon.

    “Boxing rules dictate that he had to wait three months before again stepping in the ring. That's why the fight did not take place,” explained Simon.

    Simon, aged 45, last fought in 2016 when he defeated Japhet Kaseba of Tanzania during a boxing bonanza held on the sidelines of the Helao Nafidi Business Expo at the town hall.

    Meroro last fought in December last year in Moscow, Russia against Maxim Vlasov in a non-title cruiserweight fight on December 22 and was beaten in the first round.

    Weto Trading and 3D are sponsoring the boxing event. Normal tickets will cost N$100, while VIP tickets cost N$500.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Coca-Cola sponsors national champsCoca-Cola sponsors national champs The Namibia School Sports Union (NSSU) received a sponsorship of N$377 000 from soft drink bottling company Coca-Cola Namibia yesterday in Windhoek, ahead of the national athletics championships slated for this weekend.

    The sponsorship will go towards athletics, rugby and netball. Athletics will receive N$172 000, rugby N$145 000 and N$60 000 will go towards netball.

    Freddy Mwiya, chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), said the company's efforts in promoting youth sports should be applauded.

    “Your investment is worthwhile. You are doing a lot of investment in child sports development.

    “Sport is a big industry, but it's being undermined; more investment should be focused on it. I hope next year's sports budget allocation will see to that,” he said.

    NSSU national co-coordinator Solly Duiker said Coca- Cola has been behind them for the past 26 years.

    “They started sponsoring us in 1991,” said Duiker.

    Pottie de Bruyn, sales and marketing director at Coca-Cola Namibia, said: “Working with children of this country is the most important job we have and I wish for this partnership to continue for a long time.”

    Duiker said two weeks ago an athletics competition took place in the country. It was a prestigious event which served as a qualifier for the national champs and a high level of athletes were observed.

    He further said that next year they will have tougher competitions in order to produce great athletes.

    “We will start with inter-house, zonals, regionals, sub-nationals, prestige events, nationals and then the Cossasa,” he said.

    The nationals will start on Friday and end on Saturday. The minister of sport, Erastus Uutoni, will attend the opening ceremony on Friday.

    The Confederation of School Sports Associations of Southern Africa (Cossasa) games, which is slated to take place in Botswana next month will also receive sponsorship from Coca-Cola. The games are slated for Botswana. Athletes will be selected this weekend as part of the national team travelling to Botswana.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Coetzee currently sixth in LimpopoCoetzee currently sixth in Limpopo Cyclist Drikus Coetzee is currently ranked sixth overall in the Tour de Limpopo in South Africa.

    Coetzee, who also participated in the Commonwealth Games earlier this month, is a guest rider for South African team Office Guru.

    He finished the 96km first stage in 24th position out of 98 riders, who completed the race on Monday.

    On Tuesday during stage two, the young cyclist finished the 175km course in sixth position.

    Gustav Basson, riding for Protouch, currently leads the general classification after the two stages, followed by Clint Hendricks, who is riding for BCX, while Andrew Edward from team ACDC Luso Mix completes the top three positions.

    Jayde Julius and Redwan Ebrahim, riding for Protouch and WCCA Mix respectively, are ranked fourth and fifth. Other Namibians in the competition riding for the NNCS Pro Cycling team - Chipopeni Kashululu, Jafet Amukushu, Marckernzy Eiseb, Xavier Papo, Danzel Dekoe and Gouws Wynandt - are currently outside the top 50.

    Dekoe is ranked 64th, Kashululu 66th, Jafet 77th, Eiseb 79th, Papo 96th and Wynandt 97th.

    Speaking to Nampa, Coetzee via WhatsApp on Tuesday he hopes all goes well in the team time trial during stage three, so he can retain a top 10 ranking.

    “We are riding 28.5km today (yesterday) in the team time trial and I hope we will do well, so I can still have a good ranking in the general classification after stage three. That top 10 finish is in sight at the moment,” he said.

    The race is being held in stages, with one of the races being the International Cycling Union Africa Tour 2.2 stage race for professional teams. The Tour de Limpopo ends today.

    NAMPA

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  • 04/25/18--16:00: Sevens to hit coast
  • Sevens to hit coastSevens to hit coast Preparations for the eighth edition of the World University Rugby Sevens Championship are at an advanced stage.

    Close to 300 players are expected to take part in the tournament that will take place in Swakopmund.

    Werner Jeffery, the chairperson of the local organising committee which falls under the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia (Tisan), said on Tuesday that with two months to go, everything is progressing well, preparation-wise.

    “So far, 20 teams have indicated their wish to participate in the tournament on the men's side, while 12 have indicated their interest on the women's side. The games will be played at the Swakopmund Stadium,” he said.

    Tisan has already conducted two trials for the teams and one more is due soon, which will focus mostly on those playing outside Namibia.

    Jeffery said they are struggling to find women players, hence the decision to request the International University Sports Federation (Fisu) to allow them to use the national team for the tournament.

    The games will be hosted by Tisan on behalf of Fisu.

    These will be the first World Universities Rugby Sevens Championship to be hosted after rugby sevens' was added to the Olympics.

    The games will take place from 12 to 14 July.

    The last games were held in Swansea, Wales in 2016, when Namibia beat Italy in the Plate Final to finish in fifth position.

    According to Jeffery, Namibia wants to challenge for the main prize despite the fact that most of its players have now moved to the national team, while others have secured overseas contracts.

    He called on the corporate world to support the event, as it plays a huge role in developing rugby players.

    Jeffery also announced that Air Namibia has come on board as sponsors and will provide affordable rates for European and African student participants and fans alike.

    NAMPA

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