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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 04/25/18--16:00: An army of job-ready youth
  • An army of job-ready youthAn army of job-ready youthNTA targets 50 000 enrolment by 2022 Vocational enrolment increased from 28 571 in 2017 to 32 120 by the end of March 2018, and in four years’ time this figure is expected to stand at 50 000. JANA-MARI SMITH

    All hands are on deck at the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) to ensure that President Hage Geingob’s vocational training goals are met.

    In his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) Geingob emphasised the importance of vocational education, which is a target in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5)

    “We are acutely aware of the plight of the out-of-school youth, students, job-seeking graduates and entrepreneurial start-ups,” Geingob said.

    The president said to help create jobs for young people, “the promotion of relevant skills through quality vocational education and training remains a priority”.

    Geingob noted that a key goal, to increase the number of vocational training enrolments from 15 000 in 2015 to 25 000 in 2020 as stipulated in the Harambee blueprint, had been exceeded.

    “It is pleasing to report that vocational enrolment increased from 28 571 in 2017 to 32 120 by the end of March 2018. This is well ahead of the Harambee Prosperity Plan target of 18 000 enrolments per annum,” he said.

    Mornay Louw of the NTA pointed out that under the NDP5 targets, by March 2022 the total enrolment should be around 50 000, which is double the initial Harambee target.

    He added that it was anticipated that the number of trainees in the vocational education and training (VET) system would increase to hundreds of thousands at full implementation by 2031/32.

    Louw emphasised that the NTA was “committed to the Namibian government’s vision for VET, under which we need to aggressively invest in growing the local training market and free up more opportunities for quality training”.

    In terms of improving the quality of VET, the NTA conducted competence assessments of all trainers.

    Following this, a total of 600 trainers from public vocational training centres, state-owned enterprises and private training institutions attended training courses locally and in Spain, India and Germany.

    The NTA is also providing financial support to 140 candidates enrolled for VET trainer certificates and diploma qualifications.

    Bigger footprint

    One of the targets for vocational training in the Harambee plan was to develop a VET expansion master plan aimed at establishing VTC centres in all 14 regions, which is already in full swing, according to the NTA.

    Louw confirmed that a comprehensive strategy, with a 15-year implementation timeframe, was completed on target and implementation began “in all earnest”.

    In terms of physical infrastructure, the NTA reported a number of successes, including the expansion of the Eenhana vocational training centre during the 2016/17 financial year at a cost of N$26 million.

    Projects were completed at the Rundu centre at a cost of N$47 million and a new centre was established at Gobabis at a cost of N$13.4 million.

    The construction of the Nkurenkuru vocational training centre kicked off in October last year and the Kunene vocational training centre at Khorixas last December.

    The same is planned at Omuthiya and Keetmanshoop in the next few months.

    Upgrading the existing infrastructure at the Kai//Ganaxab centre at Mariental into a public vocational training centre for the Hardap Region is expected to start later this year.

    In terms of programme expansion, a new national VET qualification was recently introduced in the agriculture sector, and training has started at the Rundu vocational training centre.

    Image revamp

    Another target is to improve the image of VET, and Louw noted that the NTA recently concluded a successful advocacy campaign, titled Live your Passion, where 24 VET graduates were profiled as ambassadors or champions of VET.

    The Harambee plan states that vocational training centres must be renamed as technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, which will help to improve their image.

    Louw explained that to adopt the term TVET would require amendments to existing legislation, “but the political will is definitely there for this change to be made”.

    He noted that by adopting TVET, special emphasis would be placed on the development of technical skills at higher levels of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in future.

    The Harambee goal of creating more apprenticeship opportunities for VET graduates was met with the launch of a pilot programme in March this year, which placed about 300 apprentices with 14 participating employers.

    Together we can

    In order to improve the quality of training, a work integrated learning (WIL) policy, including apprenticeship, job attachment and recognition of prior learning (RPL), was drafted.

    The draft policy includes incentive schemes for employers taking in trainees and trainers on attachment, Louw said.

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    RFA reserves fund arrears millionsRFA reserves fund arrears millionsAccumulated deficit nearly N$442.5 mln The ability of the RFA to continue as a going concern is dependent on a number of factors. Management is optimistic that the fund will continue operating as a going concern into the foreseeable future. - RFA Jo-Maré Duddy – More than N$317.7 million was paid from the reserves of the Road Fund Administration (RFA) in its 2016/17 financial year to cover outstanding invoices for construction.

    These payments were made on request by the ministry of finance and the ministry of works and transport and were approved by the RFA’s board of directors in December 2016, the fund says in its latest annual report, tabled in parliament recently.

    The chairperson of the RFA’s board, Penda Ithindi, refers to the payments in his report: “Total expenditure [for 2016/17] stood at N$2.3 billion, this being the quantum of money released in the national economy, of which 81% was on the road sector projects. This is more so because the RFA has been requested to respond to the urgent need for defraying costs associated with the outstanding payments for invoices emanating from road projects funded by the government. To this effect, budgeted expenditure has to be revised upwards to the same score.”

    In the annual financial statements, it is stated that the arrears payments were made from the reserves the RFA “built up over years since incorporation”. No payments from reserves were made in the 2015/16 book-year.

    Total expenditure in the year under review increased by nearly N$461.3 million or 25% compared to 2015/16. This left the RFA with an operational deficit of N$59.1 million for 2016/17 opposed to a surplus of nearly N$277.4 million the previous year.

    On 31 March 2017, the RFA had an accumulated deficit of nearly N$442.5 million compared to an accumulated deficit of about N$65.6 million in 2015/16.

    The ability of the RFA to continue as a going concern is dependent on a number of factors, the directors say in the annual report.

    “Management is optimistic that the fund will continue operating as a going concern into the foreseeable future,” they say. Their opinion is based on the fact that “strategies have been deployed to contain expenditure within the Road User Charges income” and increases of 7% in these charges that were received in the 2016/17 financial year.

    SME Bank

    Included in the RFA’s expenses for 2016/17 was a provision of around N$43.55 million for a “doubtful deposit” at the SME Bank. No provision was made in 2015/16. At the end of March 2017, the RFA’s deposit at SME Bank stood at N$80.89 million, up from N$60 million at the end of the previous financial year.

    Of the eight financial institutions where RFA deposits were held in 2016/17, two didn’t have a credit rating: SME Bank and E-Bank Ltd.

    The RFA annual report states: “Although E-Bank Limited and SME Bank are not rated, they have no history of default. However, the SME Bank was put on provisional liquidation after year-end and the preliminary indications are that only depositors with less than N$25 000 are guaranteed to their full amounts deposited. In light of the above, a provision of 35% of the deposits held at SME Bank was made during the year.”

    A final liquidation order for SME Bank was granted by the High Court last November. FNB Namibia has meanwhile acquired E-Bank Ltd.


    The RFA’s employee costs soared by nearly N$20 million or 47% to N$61.4 million during the year under review. Travel and subsistence expenses rose by nearly N$3.4 million or 171% to N$5.3 million.

    Big expense items were: national road network expenditure (nearly N$1.8 billion, up 22%); fuel levy refunds (N$257.5 million, up 23%); urban road maintenance (N$73.5 million, up 7.4%) and traffic law enforcement (N$30.8 million, up 6.4%).

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  • 04/25/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    “We have a problem of inequality in this country, with many companies making a lot of money, but paying workers poor salaries. I call on the country to act on such companies and force them to follow labour laws,” Jacob Penda, secretary-general, Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union



    Is the number of industrial parks that the government is currently in the process of constructing across the country.

    -Ministry of Trade



    Exploration costs up 3 times

    Exploration expenditure in Namibia, exclusive of operating mines, rose from N$100 million in 2016 to N$303 million in 2017.

    -Chamber of Mines

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  • 04/25/18--16:00: Red Line removal blues
  • Red Line removal bluesRed Line removal bluesFarmers sabotage govt by grazing cattle in Angola Despite decades of unhappiness, government efforts to remove the so-called Red Line are being hampered by northern farmers who continue to graze their cattle in Angola. Northern farmers who continue to drive their cattle into Angola despite the risk of livestock diseases are sabotaging the government's efforts to remove the veterinary cordon fence, also known as the Red Line.

    In a telephonic interview with Namibian Sun, agriculture permanent secretary Percy Misika explained why the Red Line was still in place and could not be removed “at a snap of the fingers”.

    Misika said as much as the ministry acknowledged public demands, there were matters that needed to be considered before the government could remove the Red Line.

    “We appreciate that the Red Line is perceived as having adverse impacts on the livestock sector north of the veterinary cordon fence… The government is at the forefront to ensure that the Red Line is either removed, or moved to our northern borders with Angola, or alternatively that its negative effects are nullified,” Misika said.

    He said the government had been on the verge of having the Red Line removed after tremendous efforts, including a five-year vaccination programme.

    After the vaccination programme ended, the government had to wait five years before applying to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to declare the area foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease free, with the exception of the Zambezi Region and the Mukwe constituency in Kavango West.

    However, after all these efforts, when the government was ready to approach the OIE to declare the area free of FMD, farmers continued driving their livestock into Angola, where they became infected and led to an FMD outbreak in the north-central regions in 2015.

    That, Misika said, was a huge blow and the government had to start the process all over again.

    “That took us back to our starting point.”

    Misika said the government wanted to see a unified livestock sector in Namibia, but because of the health status of livestock north of the Red Line it would not make economic sense to remove the fence too soon.

    He said if the Red Line was removed without taking into consideration the health risks, it would be disastrous for the economy.

    That was a risk the government was not going to take.

    Misika called on everyone involved to play their role, especially those farmers who graze their livestock in Angola.

    He said they must stop doing so if they wanted the Red Line to be removed one day.

    For decades many Namibians have been calling for the Red Line to be removed so that northern farmers could penetrate the local and international meat markets.

    The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) was the latest to join the chorus, describing the veterinary fence as discriminatory.

    “The veterinary cordon fence is a serious concern to us as the Swapo Party Youth League, as it has an effect on our country's exports and it discriminates against the farmers in northern Namibia. It is very crucial that the all Namibians in the farming sector benefit and contribute to economic development.

    “The veterinary cordon fence must be removed to ensure market access for the northern farmers,” the SPYL secretary for information, publicity and mobilisation, Gerson Dumeni, said in a statement issued on Monday.

    Last year, the chairperson of the Shambiyu Traditional Authority interim committee, Bonifatius Wakudumo, said small-scale commercial farmers north of the fence were being denied access to international markets and called for the Red Line to be moved further north.

    Wakudumo made the remark during a regional consultative workshop held at Nkurenkuru last year in preparation for the second national land conference, which is now slated for the first week of October.

    “We cannot enter international markets because of the Red Line. There are a number of small-scale commercial farmers along the Red Line who have hundreds of cattle which they can sell to make a living and even penetrate the international market with, but they cannot do so,” Wakudumo said.

    Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb said in the National Assembly last week that his ministry would continue implementing policies aimed at creating conditions that would grant farmers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) access to local, regional and international markets.

    “The implementation of the World Organisation for Animal Health's official control programme for FMD and lung sickness for the Northern Communal Areas for eventual eradication of FMD from the protection zone and lung sickness from the entire NCA will continue.”

    He said that would involve the strengthening of veterinary services by recruiting competent staff and skills development, development of surveillance and response guidelines, construction of veterinary infrastructure, procurement of equipment and vehicles, and community mobilisation.

    “International collaboration in the management of trans-boundary animal diseases will also be strengthened. It will also entail the erection of a livestock fence between Namibia and Angola and the relocation of the livestock fence between Namibia and Angola as well as the relocation of livestock relying on grazing in Angola to grazing areas within Namibia,” said !Naruseb.

    According to him the Livestock Identification and Traceability System (NamLITS) will continue in the NCAs.

    He said the tagging system, which formed the backbone of animal disease surveillance, had been extended to cover the entire country.

    Last year, 2 323 farms were inspected and 3 972 community visits were done. Mass vaccinations of animals against diseases such as FMD, lung sickness and rabies were carried out during the year.

    A total of 525 475 cattle were vaccinated against FMD in the infected and the protection zone, with a coverage of 80.95%.

    Some 904 408 cattle in the NCAs were vaccinated against lung sickness, with a coverage of 74.49%.

    In the 2017/18 financial year, 199 681 cattle were tagged in the NCA.


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  • 04/25/18--16:00: Geingob ditches unsafe Eros
  • Geingob ditches unsafe ErosGeingob ditches unsafe Eros President Hage Geingob has stopped flying to and from the Eros Airport due to safety concerns linked to the dilapidated runway.

    The poor state of the Eros runway has now forced the presidential jet to land and take off from Hosea Kutako International Airport, which is situated about 45km outside Windhoek.

    Other operators at the Eros Airport have also raised concerns about the safety of the runway. Acting Namibia Airports Company (NAC) CEO Albertus Aochamub said yesterday that upgrades were needed at the Eros Airport. “The president does not fly from here anymore because of the old dilapidated runway.” Aochamub said there were also safety concerns among operators using the airport. The works ministry's budget vote was debated and approved on Monday. “The government is serious about what we have promised with regards to transport infrastructure,” works and transport minister John Mutorwa said. He said the government had attempted to provide a significant amount of money to upgrade transport infrastructure in the country. He however stressed that the NAC should not wait until the budget was signed off by Geingob before starting planning.

    “Once the budget is signed there will not be enough time for practical implementation. I want to see that your plans are ready.” According to Mutorwa money was allocated for Eros Airport. “As soon as money is available, we will address these issues and safety concerns at the airport,” said Aochamub. Lithon Project Consultants has been appointed for the rehabilitation of the Eros Airport runway and taxi ways and apron extensions, with construction to start by the middle of this year. The runway was built in 1956 and the upgrades will cost more than N$500 million. In 2016, Eros Airport handled an incredible 74 356 passengers and 17 620 aircraft movements by commercial, private and scheduled traffic, ranging from high-performance jet aircraft to Cessna 201 aircraft, which is the most commonly used aircraft for charter and fly-in safaris in Namibia.


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    Hosea Kutako upgrade a top priorityHosea Kutako upgrade a top priority Upgrading Hosea Kutako International Airport has been made a top priority for government spending.

    The Namibia Airports Company yesterday confirmed that no other airports would be upgraded before the international airport's revamp.

    The NAC also briefed works and transport minister John Mutorwa on the status of all the national airports under its management.

    NAC board chairperson Rodgers Kauta said the company would first focus its attention on upgrading Hosea Kutako, which is responsible for generating 95% of the company's revenue.

    The NAC manages eight airports in Namibia.

    “The most important airport is Hosea Kutako and therefore the board has decided to focus our capital spending on Hosea, which is our revenue-generating airport,” said Kauta.

    He said the company would submit long-term plans for the upgrade to Mutorwa by the end of May.

    He said one of the strategic priorities for the company was to improve revenue growth by 10% per year to fund the operational budget and execute N$662 million worth of capital projects.

    According to him the total passenger traffic for Namibia was 1.24 million last year, of whom 421 255 were international passengers, 578 417 were regional passengers and 241 935 domestic.

    In 2016, total passenger traffic was 1.072 million, with 284 251 being international passengers.

    The total aircraft movements at airports in Namibia were 54 024 last year, of which 4 768 aircraft movements were international and 13 638 were regional.

    In 2016 the total movements of aircraft were 44 397, including 3 312 international aircraft movements and 28 416 regional aircraft movements.

    Kauta stressed the importance of Hosea Kutako, saying that it accounted for 938 499 passengers and 17 306 aircraft movements last year.

    According to him, these numbers are expected to increase with more agreements that have been signed with airlines to fly to Namibia. Airlines flying to and from Hosea Kutako currently include Air Namibia, SAA, SA Air Link TAAG, Condor, British Airways, Comair, Qatar Airways, KLM, Ethiopia Airline and Eurowings.

    According to Kauta the annual passenger handling for Hosea is 250 000. The airport is ranked a Category 9 airport in terms of rescue and fire fighting capabilities. It has 608 parking bays.

    In comparison Namibia's other international airport, Walvis Bay, received 5 250 aircraft movements last year with 119 664 passengers. The annual passenger handling for the airport is 657 000. It has 140 parking bays. Only Air Namibia and SAA Express fly to the airport.

    Kauta further elaborated on the financial performance of the NAC and said its total revenue at the end of this financial year was N$362.3 million while its total expenditure amounted to N$301.7 million. It made a profit of N$60.5 million.

    The majority of the company's revenue came from passenger fees, which amounted to N$221 million, while landing fees contributed N$44.1 million and aircraft parking fees a mere N$5.6 million.

    Other revenue included motor vehicle parking, handling fees, interest and others.

    Personnel costs made up the majority of the expenses at N$138 million, followed by administration costs at N$92.5 million. Other expenses included repairs and maintenance, depreciation and the board of directors.

    Security audit

    With regard to the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security audit for Hosea Kutako in November, Kauta said that the company would increase its staff by 115 employees to address security requirements at the international airport.

    The NAC has a staff component of 348 permanent employees, which will increase to approximately 478 employees this year.

    He added that an agreement would be entered into with the Namibian Police for security provision at the country's airports, especially Hosea Kutako.

    Kauta said an agreement had been reached with Air Namibia on monthly repayments to reduce the N$300 million it owes the NAC.

    Acting NAC CEO Aochamub added that although Air Namibia was responsible for 50% of passenger traffic in the country, the airline could not be treated different than others.

    “If we treat Air Namibia differently all other operators will demand the same treatment. We are probably more lenient towards Air Namibia because we know that they have inherited historic debt,” he said.


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    Geingob ditches unsafe Eros Geingob ditches unsafe Eros President Hage Geingob has stopped flying to and from the Eros Airport due to safety concerns linked to the dilapidated runway.

    The poor state of the Eros runway has now forced the presidential jet to land and take off from Hosea Kutako International Airport, which is situated about 45km outside Windhoek.

    Other operators at the Eros Airport have also raised concerns about the safety of the runway.

    Acting Namibia Airports Company (NAC) CEO Albertus Aochamub said yesterday that upgrades were needed at the Eros Airport.

    “The president does not fly from here anymore because of the old dilapidated runway.”

    Aochamub said there were also safety concerns among operators using the airport.

    The works ministry’s budget vote was debated and approved on Monday.

    “The government is serious about what we have promised with regards to transport infrastructure,” works and transport minister John Mutorwa said.

    He said the government had attempted to provide a significant amount of money to upgrade transport infrastructure in the country.

    He however stressed that the NAC should not wait until the budget was signed off by President Hage Geingob before starting planning.

    “Once the budget is signed there will not be enough time for practical implementation. I want to see that your plans are ready.”

    According to Mutorwa money was allocated for Eros Airport.

    “As soon as money is available, we will address these issues and safety concerns at the airport,” said Aochamub.

    Lithon Project Consultants has been appointed for the rehabilitation of the Eros Airport runway and taxi ways and apron extensions, with construction to start by the middle of this year. The runway was built in 1956 and the upgrades will cost more than N$500 million.

    In 2016, Eros Airport handled an incredible 74 356 passengers and 17 620 aircraft movements by commercial, private and scheduled traffic, ranging from high-performance jet aircraft to Cessna 201 aircraft, which is the most commonly used aircraft for charter and fly-in safaris in Namibia.


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  • 04/29/18--16:00: Meet Dr Josefina Hamutoko
  • Meet Dr Josefina HamutokoMeet Dr Josefina Hamutoko A local young woman has made history by being the first Namibian female to graduate with a PhD in geology from Unam.

    Josefina Hamutoko, 27, is no stranger to awards and recently received the prestigious African Young Scientist of the Year award for her study of groundwater recharge in the parched aquifers of the Cuvelai-Etosha basin.

    Hamutoko sat down with Namibian Sun to talk about her passions, aspirations and her jouney.

    “For you to succeed, your attitude is equally as important as your ability,” said Hamutoko.

    Born and raised in Okongo in Ohangwena Region, Hamutoko was destined for great things. With her mother a teacher, she recalls education being taken seriously in her household which made her eager to learn more and to be inquisitive from a young age.

    After completing her secondary education at Oshigambo High School in 2006, she moved to Windhoek to begin her tertiary journey in geology at the Unam. Hamutoko continued her studies in Germany at Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus, where she obtained a Master's degree in Environmental and Resource Management.

    “Can you imagine an Oshiwambo speaking girl from Okongo in Europe? The whole journey has been phenomenal.

    “I chose geology because I get to alternate between nature when in the field and office; it brings some kind of balance into life,” she said.

    Hamutoko draws her inspiration from people of all walks of life and urged the youth to always remember where they come from. She says it is important to take cognizance of poverty levels, the low education standards in her village and how she can be an inspiration to the youth in her vicinity.

    Although wanting to work, in 2013 Hamutoko failed to secure a job. Then she was approached by her Master's degree supervisor who needed a PhD student for a project she herself was busy working on.

    She consulted her support system and found herself starting her PhD which looked at water quality and quantity of aquifers that are tapped by hand-dug wells.

    Hamutoko's journey was not easy but she says it was manageable. It involved a lot of funded travelling to countries as far as America, writing and field work.

    “It was not a walk in the park but it was not also that bad. Imagine seeing all your peers have jobs, have cars, have houses, kids, married but you are still a student. I have been asked several times why I am not working and now, finally, it's done.

    “I would like to thank everyone who has helped me through it all, even those that asked those ugly questions.

    “I used them as a motivation,” she said.

    Hamutoko advised young people not to feel discouraged by the global economic crisis which has resulted in many graduates being jobless, including herself. She says change of attitude, the choices one makes and using opportunities are the ingredients to fulfilment.

    “Everyone should do their best in whatever they are doing. If you are a student, study hard, if you are working, work hard, if you are a taxi driver work hard so you own your taxis.

    “We all don't need PhD, we can focus on different things; Namibia is still developing and we need more people from vocational centres to do construction of infrastructure. I am not the smartest person because I did my PhD; it's not about being smart it is about putting the opportunities you get to a good use. Believe in God and keep praying,” she said.

    Hamutoko is looking forward to getting a job and industry experience before getting another qualification.

    She may study management and leadership but she first wants to put in practise what she has learnt.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 04/29/18--16:00: Aminuis drought coming
  • Aminuis drought comingAminuis drought coming Aminuis constituency councillor, Peter Kazongominja has sounded the alarm on a looming drought in his constituency in the Omaheke Region.

    Speaking shortly after the annual State of the Region Address by Omaheke’s governor Festus Ueitele, Kazongominja said food security in Aminuis is under threat as drought conditions have set in.

    The councillor called for urgent intervention by the regional leadership and relevant government structures to address the situation, which he said had reached critical levels.

    “We are on the verge of a severe drought outbreak as early drought conditions are already being experienced by farmers. Grazing is virtually non-existent and livestock is losing body mass, which could lead to them dying soon,” he said.

    Kazongominja implored the regional leadership to urgently convene discussions on the matter as any further delays could be detrimental to farming activities in the constituency.

    “Honourable governor, your intervention by leading efforts in this matter will be of utmost importance, as we all look up to your office to provide direction in such matters,” he said.

    He called on government to negotiate the leasing of land on nearby commercial farms for those hard hit by drought in his constituency as a contingency measure to mitigate the impact of the natural disaster.

    Kazongominja said since the region has a large number of marginalised people, while many others depend on farming for their survival, a full outbreak of drought would be catastrophic to the constituency.

    “We have people who are already struggling to feed themselves and are forced to rely on the goodwill of others for survival; how will they go through a drought such as the one we are bound to experience?” the councillor asked.

    In response, Ueitele pledged to lead efforts that will seek solutions to the crisis, while adding that sole responsibility for the matter lies with the Disaster Risk Management Committee.

    He said this committee needs to prepare a report on the matter and submit it to the relevant authorities – including the Office of the Governor – for input and deliberation.


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    Namibians feast on 25 million chickensNamibians feast on 25 million chickens Namibia consumes on average 25 million chickens per year, which is roughly ten times the population of the country.

    According to 2016 statistics the total annual consumption was 40 827 tons of chicken meat of which 20 572 tonnes were imported.

    Namib Poultry Industries' chicken sales were 19 967 tons, while sales from local SMEs totalled 288 tons.

    According Namib Poultry Industries commercial manager Pieter van Niekerk, since its official inception in 2012 and the appointment of 600 permanent employees, the Namibian formal broiler industry has not grown much, although demand has increased.

    He said Namibia has a high growth potential for SMEs to create wealth, replace imports and promote sustainable employment, by strategically controlling the broiler industry, and thus protecting it against dumped products from international sources.

    He stressed that all Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries - South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho - should therefore work together to counter imports into their markets, rather than challenging one another.

    “For Namibia to grow this sector, local production by larger companies as well as local SMEs needs to be stimulated.”

    Van Niekerk said it is difficult to try and create a sustainable industry, where importers are looking for opportunities to benefit from measures that should have been aimed at improving local industries and growing local production. “The effect is more importers, instead of more producers.”

    He pointed out that currently there is only one large chicken producer and said this is not sustainable, as any problem in production would negatively affect the whole Namibian market.

    According to him the protection for the poultry industry in Namibia has had a positive contribution to SME development and the country has seen a rise of multiple SMEs in the poultry sector.

    “With the present assistance of limiting import quantities, many small-scale poultry farmers are realising the potential of poultry farming in Namibia.”

    He explained that local production costs are much higher in Namibia than in South Africa and new investments in an industry are always at a disadvantage, compared to industries that have been vested for longer periods.

    Van Niekerk said the main reasons for the high price difference between South Africa and Namibia is that the Land of the Brave does not use poultry by-products in the feed (blood and feathers rendered into a protein meal).

    This practice is standard in most other countries and decreases feed costs. Namibia also does not use broad-spectrum antibiotics and has higher water and electricity costs.

    According to him Namibia's poultry meat industry is only six years old, compared to the South African industry which has been active for more than 40 years.

    Niekerk added that Namibia slaughters 250 000 birds per week, while South Africa slaughters about 20 million birds over the same period.

    “Costs of personnel, maintenance and food safety are recouped much quicker by a South African producer, while local producers have far fewer numbers to achieve critical volumes.”

    He said that transport and input costs, raw materials, spare parts, medication and parent stock also increases local production costs.

    Furthermore, distribution in Namibia is also a large cost contributor, as it is a vast country with only 4% of the South African population, making distribution very expensive.

    Van Niekerk said that while South Africa cannot compete on price against Brazilian imports, likewise Namibia cannot compete against South African imports. “Most of Namibia's imports are either from South African origin or imported via South Africa into Namibia.”

    He added that the avian influenza outbreak in South Africa and other countries has decreased the imports, but Namibia has not invested sufficiently in order to substitute this.

    “For Namibia to be self-sufficient, further investment will be required to expand the current capacity.”

    According to him Namibia's import restriction for chicken has been challenged in court by the South African industry, which has also applied to protect their borders from Brazilian, European and North American broiler producers. “Most countries understand the importance of this industry within their borders and also have import control measures. Just looking in our region: Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana have import restrictions.”

    The broiler industry refers to chickens produced for the purpose of chicken meat. The global consumption of broiler chicken meat is estimated at 116 billion kilogrammes per annum (roughly 70 billion chickens). With a population of 7.6 billion, the world consumes 15kg per capita.

    Over the past decade, chicken meat has surpassed pig and beef in consumption, making it a very important protein source globally.

    Chicken meat is much cheaper than other protein, firstly because chickens, due to its small size, can be grown in a smaller area and managed more effectively, and secondly because the feed conversion ratio, meaning the amount of feed required for 1kg of meat, is extremely efficient.

    Cattle ranges between six to eight kilogrammes of feed required for 1kg of meat, while chicken meat only requires 1.6kg of feed for 1kg of meat produced.


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    After Cape Town, Ivory Coast city feels the thirstAfter Cape Town, Ivory Coast city feels the thirst‘Catastrophic situation’ An unprecedented drought and the impact of unregulated sand quarrying are taking its toll. We haven't had a drop from our taps for three weeks. – Bouake resident Ladji Abou Sanogo and David Esnault – Earlier this year, Cape Town grabbed the world's headlines as it careened towards a water armageddon.

    Crippled by a three-year-long drought, the South African city braced for a complete shutdown of domestic water supplies.

    In the event, Cape Town dodged the immediate bullet. But thousands of kilometres away, another African city has had far less luck – and much less attention for its ordeal.

    "We haven't had a drop from our taps for three weeks," said a resident of Bouake, Ivory Coast's second largest city, while she awaited her turn to draw water from from a well.

    "The situation is catastrophic," said an employee of the state-run water distribution company, Sodeci, who asked not to be named.

    Located in grassy savanna around 400 kilometres from the Ivorian economic capital of Abidjan, Bouake is a city of more than half million souls, with a million more in surrounding territory.

    Double whammy

    The area has been hit by a double whammy. The dammed lake that supplies 70% of the city's water has run dry.

    One factor is an unprecedented drought that has gripped the region – a phenomenon in line with expert warnings about climate change.

    But another, says the territory's director for water affairs, Seydou Coulibaly, is the impact of unregulated sand quarrying, which has altered the course of waterways feeding the reservoir.

    "We are struggling to get clean water for drinking and cooking," computer technician Eliezer Konan told AFP. "Washing has become difficult. It's a real ordeal."

    In a bid to bring some relief, the city has begun drilling wells to obtain fresh water.

    "We have finished a first operation and we'll be moving on to the second site in two to three hours," Hassane Cousteau Cissoko, director of the drilling firm Foraci, said last Thursday in the Houphouetville district.


    In all, 10 wells will be linked by pipes to a Sodeci water tower, which will then be able to distribute two million litres of water per day.

    This will "relieve the population" but is far from enough to replace the usual supply from the Loka dam, Cissoko said.

    For now, Bouake hospital is being supplied by tanker trucks, along with the city's two prisons and the university campuses.

    Heavy rain fell one night last week, to the joy of many.

    "We collected lots of water that night. The heavy rain allowed us to fill all our receptacles," said Awa Coulibaly in the Belle Ville 1 district. "But once we've used up this hoard, what's going to happen then? We should go on praying to God for rain every day."

    In the Sokoura district, the owner of a car wash made the most of the downpour, selling jerrycans of 20 litres of water for 500 CFA francs (US$0.93) apiece. He was swiftly overwhelmed.

    No rain has fallen since, but in any event rainwater and tanks "are insufficient", said another resident, Mariam Konate. "The government must deal with this problem head on."

    Some people, however, long ago started to take precautionary measures. Aramata Toure, who sells vegetables in Dar-Es-Salam 1 district, has dug her own water supply.

    "Around here, it's the well water that we use, along with our neighbours," she said.

    But that is not a long-term solution for everybody. "Even the wells start to dry up when lots of people rush for water," said Amoin Konan of the Ahougnanssou district. – Nampa/AFP

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    Langer Heinrich layoffs a worryLanger Heinrich layoffs a worry The Langer Heinrich uranium mine's pending retrenchments have been described as unfortunate by the Mineworkers Union of Namibia.

    The Langer Heinrich mine will be mothballed and hundreds of employees will be sent home. Only about 20 employees will stay on to perform maintenance.

    The mineworkers' union's secretary, Desley Somseb, said: “This is not the first retrenchment at the Langer Heinrich mine. In the past about 300 employees were retrenched. The situation is bad and the guys in the uranium sector are affected by the price of uranium.”

    The MUN would travel to the coast this week to assess the situation on the ground, Somseb said.

    MUN branch chairman Paulus Iipumbu said the announcement “came as quite a surprise”.

    “We suspected something like this for some time but were repeatedly told by management that it was not the case,” Iipumbu was quoted as saying. According to Iipumbu, he wrote to the company to ask about the possibility of such a development so that a proper retrenchment agreement could be drafted early enough to benefit those affected.

    The mine's interim managing director, Michael Itrona, last week announced that the mine would be placed in care and maintenance.

    “There will be retrenchments for a large number of employees as only a small multifunctional staff pool of about 20 people will stay on. Care and maintenance will take a while to be fully implemented and retrenchment arrangements will be discussed with employees. It is deeply distressing to have to consider suspending operations at the mine,” Itrona said. According to him, care and maintenance is the only real, responsible option at this stage.

    The Chamber of Mines of Namibia would not comment when approached. The Langer Heinrich mine made a loss of N$876.7 million in 2017. According to the Chamber of Mines annual report, the Langer Heinrich mine employed 296 permanent and 49 temporary employees, while 279 contractors provided services to the mine last year.


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  • 04/29/18--16:00: Shifeta stands his ground
  • Shifeta stands his groundShifeta stands his groundWon't apologise for negligence remark The environment minister has reiterated that no compensation will be paid if someone behaves negligently and is killed by a wild animal. The environment and tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta, says he will not apologise for saying that the government will not pay N$100 000 compensation for people killed by crocodiles and hippos while swimming or washing in northern rivers despite warnings not to do so.

    The remark went viral on the social media and was not well received in certain quarters.

    One of the critics was the governor of the Kavango West Region, Sirrka Hausiku, who said on national television that Shifeta was “insensitive” and asked him to withdraw the statement.

    Shifeta made the remark earlier this month while launching the Maurus Nekaro Conservancy in Kavango West Region.

    He advised that people living along the Kavango River should collect water from the river and immediately move away from it before washing clothes or bathing.

    He also warned people fishing in the river to be vigilant and watch out for hippos and crocodiles.

    Speaking at Omauni in the Ohangwena Region on Saturday, Shifeta said he would not apologise for what he had said while explaining the new provisions for compensation to farmers or communities for losses caused by wild animals.

    “Let me use this opportunity to clarify the payment of the N$100 000 for human death which has now been provided in the revised National Policy on Human-Wildlife Conflict Management, particularly with regard to people killed while swimming or washing clothes in the rivers,” Shifeta said.

    Shifeta said compensation schemes implemented elsewhere proved to be problematic and open to abuse.

    He said in terms of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Self-Reliance Scheme, when there is a human death caused by wild animal, the objective of the scheme was to meet the moral obligation of the government to support a family that lost a member under conditions where the deceased person could not reasonably have been expected to defend him or herself.

    He said many cases of human-wildlife conflict happened along the rivers in the two Kavango and Zambezi regions, which are inhabited by crocodiles and hippos.

    “If a person swims in the river, or washes clothes while standing in the water knowing that there are crocodiles and hippos in the river, we will definitely not pay N$100 000 for that death because that is a situation that could have been avoided.

    “That has nothing to do with our community traditions and culture, it is simply negligence.

    “If a person is in a canoe on the river fishing, with the necessary required permit, and an accident occurs where such canoe is attacked by a hippo, then payment can be done because fish consumption is part of the people's livelihood,” he said. Hausiku promised to respond to the minister's latest statement but nothing had been received by the time of going to print yesterday.


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    Coca-Cola launches world cup promotion Coca-Cola launches world cup promotion SPORT REPORTER

    Coca-Cola launched a consumer campaign called the Football World Cup promotion in Windhoek.

    Customers stand a chance to win fabulous prizes, making the promotion one of the biggest in the beverages industry in Namibia.

    The promotion will run for three months starting on 1 May and ending on 31 July.

    “Coca-Cola is one of the key World Cup soccer sponsors and would like to herald the Russia 2018 World Cup jamboree with a promotion whose aim is refreshing and giving back to the customers who have been loyal for years,” the company said.

    The winners will walk away with television sets, home theatres and airtime.

    To participate, buy any of Coca-Cola’s participating products, namely Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Sparletta, with a lime-green cap, send a unique code inside the cap via SMS to 26536. Each unique code can only be entered once.

    “As we celebrate the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, we start with a World Cup promotion that will give an opportunity to our citizens to win fabulous prizes. We are happy to always refresh and to regenerate our product offerings in order to meet our consumers’ ever-evolving needs, desires and tastes,” said Pottie de Bruyn, Coca-Cola Namibia Bottling Company sales and marketing director.

    Speaking at the same event, Coca-Cola senior brand manager Tamar Mbalo said: “The promotion is a way of celebrating the World Cup and saying thank you to our loyal consumers.

    “They are not only getting refreshed, they are also earning something much more which we hope will bring a smile to their faces and help in making their lives better in some way.’’

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    Kauanivi and Aimwata win marathonKauanivi and Aimwata win marathonInaugural Sanlam Coastal Marathon attracts hundreds Mynhard Kauanivi of Nampol and Ottile Aimwata of the NDF took the main honours in Saturday's inaugural event at Swakopmund. About 400 runners participated in the inaugural edition of the Sanlam Coastal Marathon at Swakopmund on Saturday.

    The event offered a 10km run, a 21km half-marathon and a 42km marathon.

    Mynhard Kauanivi (Nampol) crossed the finishing line first with a time of 2:19:35.37 in the open section for men and won the full (42km) marathon.

    Erich Goeieman (Road Runners Walvis Bay) was second with a time of 2:21:52.81 and Sakaria Shifotaka (Namibian Correctional Services) was third with a time of 2:26:21.51.

    The top three finishers set the pace from the onset and followed each other closely. It was a neck-and-neck race until Kauanivi opened a 200m gap with approximately 6km to go.

    Kauanivi said he enjoyed the race and that the weather played along.

    “The cars on the route were however disturbing and I had to run on the road and at times next to it. I am however happy with my time since this is my first marathon for the year.

    “I can now focus on preparing for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, the Victory Races and the Sam Nujoma Marathon,” said the champion, who started running in 2003.

    “My ultimate aim is to qualify for the World Championships next year.”

    He acknowledged his coach, Dankie Iyambo, for getting him into top shape for competitions.

    Kauanivi has won two 21km races in Swakopmund and Windhoek and a 10km run in Oshakati since the beginning of this year.

    Goeieman slipped and took a tumble, injuring his knee with 5km left to the finishing line. He picked himself up and continued to the finishing line.

    Ottile Aimwata (NDF) was the fastest woman in the full marathon with a time of 2:51:09.80.

    Beata Naigambo (Nampol) followed in second place with a time of 3:10:09.43 and Sofia Nambabi (Namibian Correctional Services) was third with a time of 3:14:22.10.

    The two winners of the 42km runs pocketed N$15 000, plus automatic participation in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. The second-place finishers received N$10 000 each and the third-place finishers N$5 000.

    The men's half marathon (21km) was also a closely contested affair with Rainhold Tomas Shigweda emerging as the winner in a time of 1:05:55.08.

    Jeremia Shaliaxhwe finished second with a time of 1:05:58.78 and Matheus Kadhingula third with a time of 1:06:02.86.

    Lavinia Haitope was the first woman to cross the finishing line section with a time of 1:19:58.33. Anna Amutoko was second with a time of 1:27:56.94 and Ester Haitope was third with a time of 1:28:05.44.

    The winners of the half-marathon received N$5 000 each; the second-place finishers N$3 000 and the third-place finishers N$2 000.

    Thomas Shigweda won the men's 10km race in a time of 30:46.48. Paulus Daniel finished second with a time of 30:49.07 and Cornelius Nghiynedele third with a time of 30:51.61.

    Leena Ekandjo (Nampol), who finished 12th at the Commonwealth Games recently, was the fastest woman over 10km with a time of 37:39.94.

    Salmi Nduviteka (Nampol ) finished second with a time of 38:31.67 and Victoria Kaliteka (Kadhinwa Running Club) was third with a time of 40:08.19.

    The two winners of the 10km run each received N$2 000. The second-place finishers earned N$1 000 and the third-place finishers N$500 each.

    Frank Slabbert of Swakop Striders welcomed the event and said it was always exciting to host another top-class marathon.

    He added that the organisers would definitely use another route for the event in future and mentioned the Henties Bay road as a possibility.

    Athletics Namibia and the Namibia Sports Commission endorsed the event, which attracted competitive athletes from several clubs around the country and fitness enthusiasts from as far as South Africa.

    Sanlam marketing and communications manager Hilaria Graig said the company decided to start its own home-grown marathon to ensure that more talent is unearthed and that the Sanlam Coastal Marathon would become an annual event.

    Prior to introducing this marathon, Sanlam had been sending athletes such as Commonwealth gold medallist Helalia Johannes, Mynhardt Kauanivi, Ndehimona Ekandjo and Uveni Nawa Kuugongelwa to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.


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    Ngarizemo fears tribalism in footballNgarizemo fears tribalism in footballVoice message causes trouble A recording being circulated on WhatsApp about a certain tribe trying to take over football could harm the beautiful game. Young African coach Marley Ngarizemo is fuming at some people who are trying to instigate tribalism in football.

    This is after a recording in Damara/Nama emerged last week, stating that it was about time for the tribe to take over football.

    The recording was apparently made by a prominent football figure.

    “It is totally unacceptable that people are trying to bring tribalism into football.

    “Football is not a thing about tribalism and people must honour that because if people take that route, nothing will be developed.

    “There is no such thing as one tribe having control over football and people must get that into their heads,” Ngarizemo said.

    Ngarizemo added that he hoped football could continue to grow after going through a difficult period.

    He felt that football could grow if people put their differences aside and focus more on the beautiful game.

    “To be honest, there is so much that needs to be done, but it has to be done in a proper manner.

    “Our pervious leaders of the game have done what they could and it is up to the new blood to do things a bit differently,” he said.


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    I hope they don't chicken outI hope they don't chicken out JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

    We all know that the fight between Harry Simon and Vikapita Meroro is more of a publicity stunt and an exhibition.

    However, after such a long wait for the two to finally trade leather, it appears that it is finally going to happen this time around.

    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.

    It has been a long time coming and people almost gave up on waiting for this fight.

    It reminds me of the publicity stunt between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

    Many people knew that this was just a money-making fight but it still excited the public.

    It is the same with this fight because many people know that the two boxers are past their prime but they are still excited about it.

    I am just a bit afraid that one of the two might throw in the towel before the fight even happens.

    This has happened before and it actually hurts the credibility of reporters and newspapers that preview these fights.

    I am not saying that this is all but a good cut given these two are way beyond their prime, but it can finally put the debate of who is stronger to bed.

    Since the first time it emerged that the two were going to fight, people have debated who is the better of the two.

    Harry, who is a former undefeated world champion, is definitely the fans' favourite given his track record.

    But some fans feel that Vikapita Meroro could be up for the challenge and send the legendary boxer to the canvas.

    Meroro has been in appalling form, though, which has seen him losing many fights in a row.

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

    For this, Simon could be the ultimate favourite going into this anticipated clash.

    The 43-year-old Simon boasts a remarkable unbeaten record of 30 fights, and became the first Namibian world boxing champion after he dethroned Winky Wright with a points win at Sun City in 1998.

    He 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.

    He has had a troubled time since his prime, landing him in hot water with the authorities.

    Simon has also gained weight and lost some of his speed, making him vulnerable to counter-punches.

    However, his experience could be enough to win him the fight.

    Simon still believes that he is the best boxer that ever came out of the Land of the Brave.

    The worrying part of this fight is that both boxers lack pace and this could turn out to be a very slow bout. There is no doubt that both still can land powerful punches, though.

    It is up to Simon and Meroro to provide the best possible entertainment in a fight that many have waited for so long.

    I also hope that this will not just be a two-minute bout but that both can hold on long enough to keep the fans excited.


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    Nujoma honoured for apartheid fightNujoma honoured for apartheid fight President Hage Geingob has described former head of state Sam Nujoma as a pan-African par excellence following an announcement that the octogenarian would be accorded the Order of the Companion of Oliver Reginald Tambo. Nujoma received the award this weekend.

    This South African order is awarded to foreign nationals such as statesmen and other leading dignitaries in three categories: gold, silver and bronze.

    In his address, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said the national orders were a recognition of the many outstanding individuals who defied great odds to make an immense contribution in various spheres of life.

    “Our freedom opened windows of opportunity for many to chase their dreams, to excel, to succeed, and in so doing to inspire others to reach beyond what they imagined possible.”

    The honour according to Ramaphosa was in recognition of the sacrifices made by Nujoma.

    "In doing so, we express our sincere and eternal gratitude to them for joining a struggle that was not theirs, in a land far from their own, and for giving so much, for so long, to so many," he said.

    Congratulating Nujoma, President Hage Geingob described the octogenarian as the embodiment of Namibia’s independence.

    “Comrade Nujoma, an indomitable pan-Africanist and revolutionary par excellence, is an emblem of our liberation struggle and his contributions to the freedom of the oppressed beyond our borders.”

    The award was a great honour for Namibians, Geingob added.

    The only other Namibian to be bestowed the honour is a former Robben Island prisoner, the late Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo.

    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.


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    Activist threatens to disrupt KüskaActivist threatens to disrupt KüskaSay carnival celebrates white supremacy The Ovaherero and Nama communites in Swakopmund, ostensibly driven by activist Laidlaw Peringanda, do not want to see the coastal Küska carnival take place. Community activist Laidlaw Peringanda is mobilising descendants of victims of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide to put a stop to the annual Küska carnival in Swakopmund from an office he set up at Erf 1272 in Ekuvatalike Street in the DRC settlement two weeks ago.

    Peringanda wrote a letter to Marco Swarts, the CEO of the Swakopmund municipality requesting that no approval be granted for the event which normally takes place from 15 to 22 June. He demanded that the names of genocide victims buried in nameless graves in the cemetery of the coastal town are made known and that the skulls of Namibians used for research in Germany be returned. He is also campaigning to have free land allocated for all descendants of those killed in the genocide.

    Approval has, however, been granted for the hosting of the carnival and Peringanda said should this happen, descendants and survivors of the genocide will institute legal action against the municipality.

    “I do not want to disclose our course of action at this point in time. We are discussing options and will proceed with what we agree on to stop the event in its tracks.”

    Peringanda said the event commemorates white supremacy and referred to an incident last year where photos of Küska participants dressed in Ku Klux Klan attire and with painted black faces, surfaced via the media.

    “This is degrading to all Namibians who suffered under segregation. Our ancestors constructed most of the buildings in Swakopmund as slave labourers and it is painful to witness the German community commemorating conquering Africa. It is similar to honouring the German emperor Wilhelm II who issued the order to General Lothar van Trotha to exterminate and massacre Ovaherero and Nama people.”

    He also questioned the involvement of the Navy brass band at the parade. “They are wearing their official uniforms and using instruments paid for by taxpayers. We have a right to tell them not to participate. They are apparently being paid to perform by the German community. How come they are nowhere to be seen when the Ovaherero reparation march takes place?”

    Peringanda further labelled the naming of Bismarck Street in Swakopmund an insult to the entire African continent in the letter addressed to Swarts.

    “The suffering of our people started when the first German chancellor Otto von Bismarck organised the Berlin Conference 1884-1885 for European countries to divide the African continent among them.”

    Peringanda was instrumental in organising a petition calling for the removal of the 'Kaiserliches Denkmal' memorial (declared a national monument in 1969), in 2015 signed by 200 persons.

    The group demanded that the monument be removed from public view and shipped to Germany. A case was subsequently laid with the International Criminal Court at The Hague to ensure this happens.

    “The monument is offensive. The names of the villages where Namibians were massacred as well as the names of the soldiers who took part in the genocide are engraved onto the bronze plagues. This is proof that they actually did commit this atrocious act.

    The Germans should rather return all the skulls and human parts they conducted research on in their laboratories.”


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  • 04/29/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    “Mining sector ownership needs to be dealt with care because of the critical Foreign Direct Investment component.”- Steve Galloway, independent mining consultant


    N$9 million less fraud

    The banking industry recorded a total fraud value of N$7.8 million in 2017, down from the N$17.5 recorded in 2016.

    -Bank of Namibia



    From negative to positive

    The mining industry recorded growth of 12.8% in 2017 compared to a contraction of 5.4% in 2016.

    -Chamber of Mines

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