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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 05/23/18--16:00: Company news
  • Company newsCompany news Woolworths Australian boss John Dixon shown the door

    Woolworths regional Australian CEO John Dixon has left the group as the retailer moves to simplify its Australian regional leadership structure.

    In a shareholder announcement on Tuesday morning Woolworths said that Dixon's position was being axed in the wake of a strategic cost review. Dixon resigned as an executive director on Monday.


    H&M scouts out potential suppliers in South Africa

    H&M is looking at South Africa as a potential supplier, with executives from the world’s second largest clothing retailer visiting some of the country’s main cities this week.

    South Africa’s government helped to broker the H&M visit as part of efforts to boost the textile sector which has been hit hard by Chinese clothing imports that led to factory closures and thousands of job losses.


    ATON raises stake Murray & Roberts

    German investment house ATON has raised its stake in South African builder Murray & Roberts to nearly 40%, it said on Tuesday.

    ATON, which already held about a third of the stock, is in the middle of a US$400 million takeover bid for the rest of Murray & Roberts.

    The bid has been rejected by Murray and Roberts, which itself has started all-share merger talks with rival Aveng.


    Shell shareholders adopt CEO pay by 75% majority

    Royal Dutch Shell shareholders on Tuesday approved the 2017 management remuneration, including chief executive officer Ben van Beurden’s 8.9 million euro (US$10.51 million) package, by a majority of 75%.

    The 2016 remuneration resolution won the support of more than 92% of shareholders.

    Board member Gerard Kleisteree, who heads Shell’s remuneration committee, said the lower support was due in part to an accident in Pakistan last year where more than 200 people were killed in an explosion of a tanker operated by a Shell sub-contractor.


    Deutsche Bank chairman to feel investor ire

    Deutsche Bank investors, fed up with a languishing share price and dwindling revenue, will call on its leaders to deliver quicker results at this week’s annual general meeting.

    Chairman Paul Achleitner and newly appointed chief executive Christian Sewing are expected to provide further details of the loss-making bank’s refocused strategy at the gathering of up to 4 500 shareholders in Frankfurt on Thursday(today).


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    Oil spill dispute back in UK courtOil spill dispute back in UK courtVillagers want litigation to continue Lawyers for the Bodo community in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta, which was devastated by two major oil spills a decade ago, went to court in London on Tuesday to fend off what they said was an attempt by Shell to kill off their litigation. “The effect of what Shell is trying to do is to kill off the case.” - Dan Leader, lead lawyer, Bodo community The Bodo oil spills have been the subject of years of legal wrangling. In 2015, Shell accepted liability for the spills, agreeing to pay 55 million pounds (US$83 million at the time) to Bodo villagers and to clean up their lands and waterways.

    Oil spills, sometimes due to vandalism, sometimes to corrosion, are common in the Niger Delta, a vast maze of creeks and mangrove swamps criss-crossed by pipelines and blighted by poverty, pollution, oil-fuelled corruption and violence.

    The spills have had a catastrophic impact on many communities where people have no other water supply than the creeks and rely on farming and fishing for survival.

    At the same time, oil companies have run into problems trying to clean up spills, sometimes because of obstruction and even violence by local gangs trying to extract bigger payouts, or to obtain clean-up contracts.

    After years of delays, the clean-up in Bodo is currently underway and litigation in the London High Court is stayed, or on hold.

    Lawyers for SPDC, the Nigerian arm of Shell, argued on Tuesday that the litigation should be struck off in October 2018, or at the latest a year later, and that it should only be re-activated if SPDC failed to comply with its obligation to pay for the clean-up. Lawyers for the Bodo community said that was unacceptable, because the clean-up could go wrong for any number of reasons and that under Shell's proposal the villagers would be left without the recourse of going back to court.

    “The effect of what Shell is trying to do is to kill off the case,” said Dan Leader, the Bodo community's lead lawyer, on the sidelines of the hearing.

    “It's only because of the pressure of litigation that the clean-up is getting back on track.”

    But Shell's lawyers, citing an earlier judgment, compared the stayed litigation to a “gun in the cupboard” that the Bodo community's lawyers wanted to be able to hold to Shell's head at their convenience, for years on end. They said the litigation was a hindrance to the clean-up because it gave some local community members the impression that there was still the possibility of a bigger payout, incentivising them to block the clean-up rather than cooperate.

    “The previous persistent delays to the clean-up process clearly demonstrate that litigating ­Nigerian oil spill cases in the English courts does little to resolve the complex underlying security and community issues which can frustrate attempts to clean up areas impacted by oil pollution,” an SPDC spokeswoman said.

    “We hope that the community will continue to grant the access needed for clean-up to progress as planned.”

    A judgment on the litigation issues is expected on Friday.


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    Namra takeover of tax affairs imminentNamra takeover of tax affairs imminent The ministry of finance is putting the final building blocks into place for the establishment and operationalisation of its new Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra), while calming fears of possible jobs losses.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein said on Monday Inland Revenue officials, as well as those from customs and excise, who qualify will be transferred to the new agency.

    The appointment of a commissioner and board of directors to manage the new agency will follow soon, said Schlettwein.

    “The expression of interest for the appointment of the Namra board of directors is advertised. Next will be the advertisement of the position of the commissioner and subsequently for the senior management of that institution,” he said.

    A skills audit would also be conducted to ensure the correct candidates are be placed in the correct positions within the newly established agency.

    “GIZ is providing us with technical and financial support to undertake some of the transitional activities. One of the next set of activities is the undertaking of the human resources skills audit for all staff of the Inland Revenue directorate and customs and excise officials, as well as the related support staff,” Schlettwein said.

    A team will be visiting various regions to acquaint staff members further on the activities of the agency.

    “The task team will commence its regional rollout to all staff, starting with the Windhoek-based staff next Tuesday, and with the rollout to other regions and work centres in the ensuing two weeks.”

    He called for the support of all staff members and said the tax systems still had to function well, as in the new agency is birthed.

    “This is an important institutional reform which we have all embraced. I call on the support of all the staff in this regard, to ensure that revenue collection, trade facilitation and border control remain robust during the transition period,” Schlettwein said.

    A total of N$537 million has been set aside to capitalise the new agency. This was announced by deputy finance minister Natangue Iithete during his recent budget motivation for treasury. The budget is for the collection of domestic taxes, duties and fees, as well as trade facilitation and enforcement functions under the country's tax, customs and excise laws.

    “The expected output from this programme is meeting the public revenue collection targets, the provision of taxpayer and customs and excise services, recovery of outstanding tax debts and the completion of strategic reform initiatives and tax policy proposals,” Ithete said.

    No official date for the operationalisation of the new agency has been set, but the ministry expects activities to start in 2019.

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    Campylobacter testing suspendedCampylobacter testing suspended The agriculture ministry has a shortage of reagents to run tests for an infectious bacterial disease known as Campylobacteriosis.

    Campylobacter bacteria can get into your system if you eat undercooked poultry or you eat food that has touched raw or undercooked poultry.

    The bacteria usually live in the digestive systems of animals, including poultry and cattle. Unpasteurised milk can also contain Campylobacter bacteria.

    The director of veterinary services in the agriculture ministry, Dr Milton Masheke, said the Central Veterinary Laboratory was running short of specific reagents necessary for Campylobacter polymerase chain reaction testing. Tests were suspended temporarily on 7 May until reagents can be obtained.

    “In the meantime, it is advised to use other alternatives,” said Masheke.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Campylobacter species are widely distributed in most warm-blooded animals. They are prevalent in food animals such as poultry, cattle, pigs, sheep and ostriches; and in pets, including cats and dogs. The bacteria have also been found in shellfish.

    The main route of transmission is generally believed to be foodborne, via undercooked meat and raw or contaminated milk. Contaminated water or ice is also a source of infection. A number of cases occur following contact with contaminated water during recreational activities.

    The typical symptoms include nausea and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea can sometimes be bloody. People may also have stomach pains and develop a fever. Symptoms tend to come on within two to five days of eating the contaminated food or of being in contact with the contaminated animals.

    According to the WHO, death from campylobacteriosis is rare and is usually confined to very young children or elderly patients, or to those already suffering from another serious disease such as Aids. Complications such as presence of bacteria in the blood, hepatitis, infections of the liver and pancreas and miscarriage have been reported with various degrees of frequency.

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    Nama gear up for cultural fiestaNama gear up for cultural fiesta The southern town of Keetmanshoop will spring to life this weekend, with hundreds expected to attend the first-ever Nama Cultural Festival.

    The festival, which kicks off today and ends on Sunday, will celebrate the shared history of the Nama people. It will also be attended by various dignitaries, including cabinet ministers, members of parliament and traditional groups.

    “This Nama Cultural Festival 2018, under the theme 'Nama Khoeda Ge', symbolises the celebration of the group's shared history and represents a collective endeavour to chart a way forward for our shared future and destiny,” said Dawid Eigub, chairperson of the organising committee.

    He said a host of events are planned that seek to facilitate intergenerational transfer of values, customs, language and cultural norms. Panel discussions, exhibitions, presentations, cultural games, dance and a range of other exciting and educational activities are planned during the weekend.

    “A traditional ceremony for the initiation of the Nama girl is planned for Thursday, as well as a performance on the traditional preparations for the birth of a child in the Nama community,” one of the organisers, Johan Fredericks, said.

    Eigub further said the Nama community is still afflicted by dehumanising poverty and crippling social ills and therefore the festival is a rallying call for unity in their efforts to overcome many of the challenges facing them.

    “As Nama people we want to reclaim our identity, re-ignite and re-awaken the spirit of oneness, renew and re-energise our God-given abilities and chart a totally new course in our pursuit of a great future. This first-of-its-kind Nama Cultural Festival therefore seeks to bring together all people of Nama descent from all over Namibia, Botswana and South Africa to celebrate who we are, our culture, our heritage, our language and our history,” he explained.

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  • 05/23/18--16:00: Filthy Adolfi targeted
  • Filthy Adolfi targetedFilthy Adolfi targetedNational clean-up this weekend All hands are on deck for the national clean-up campaign, which will also target the Adolfi location, which has become an eyesore in the north. After tomorrow's National Clean-up Day residents of Adolfi location along the Ondangwa-Ongwediva main road in the Oshana Region are urged to stop dumping rubbish in a stream of the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin.

    In an interview with Namibian Sun, a member of Adolfi Location's management committee, Gerhard Kafita, said that together with the Oshana regional council, they were going to clean the location and the dumpsite and no one would be allowed to dump waste there any longer.

    It is reported that the location has grown and residents are demanding municipal services such as solid waste management. The situation has forced them to create a dumpsite at an open space near a stream of the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin with the idea that this rubbish would be washed away during the seasonal flooding.

    “By responding to President Hage Geingob's call for a national clean-up day, the people of Adolfi Location will start cleaning on Friday. Our target is to empty the open dumpsite. That dumpsite is a health hazard to people and animals of Adolfi Location and nearby villages,” Kafita said.

    He said the wind was constantly scattering lighter items around the villages. Children go to the dump to play and livestock also go there to look for food amongst the rubbish.

    Kafita said butchers who slaughter cattle in an open area at the location dump the skins at the site, adding to the pollution.

    The regional council will provide transport and cleaning materials and after the place is cleaned nobody will be allowed to dump their waste there.

    “As from Saturday nobody will be allowed to dump waste at that dumping site any longer. The regional council together with the traditional authority are identifying a new dumping site for us,” he said.

    The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, in whose jurisdiction the location is situated, tried to resolve the dumping issue but there are no open spaces at Ekolyanaambo village to set up a controlled dumpsite. All the land at the village is occupied by its more than 500 residents.

    The Ondangwa Rural constituency councillor, Kaushiweni Abraham, said after both the regional council and the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority failed to respond to the community's demands for a proper dumpsite, he decided to include the governor's office.

    “After intervention from the governor's office a possible dumping site has been identified at Ekolyanaambo village and it only needs to be upgraded. After the clean-up on Friday, the community will be informed on the way forward,” Abraham said.

    He added, though, that his office did not have trucks to transport the rubbish to dumpsites at nearby towns.

    “We are hopeful that by Friday the regional council will be able to provide us with trucks. Otherwise it will be a big challenge for us to remove those waste,” he said.

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    Patience of the people running out - KazapuaPatience of the people running out - Kazapua Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua says the patience of Namibians is running out when it comes to land delivery.

    Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday in Windhoek's Rocky Crest suburb, Kazapua cautioned developers that the next agreement he signs must be to service land in informal settlements.

    “As we know, the demand for serviced land and housing in Windhoek is overwhelming - a reality which rendered council unable to meet this demand alone.

    “The patience of the people is running out, they need houses; we have to fast-track these agreements. The next public-private partnership (PPP) that will be approved must be for the servicing of land in the informal settlements.

    “We cannot run this city if we cannot balance the need. The people there in Havana, Goreangab… the kapana sellers, the domestic workers, they have money to pay for services. And we must focus on affordability,” he said.

    Kazapua said the constructed houses should not be too expensive for Namibians to afford, as the City would then have to relook at its agreements with developers.

    In Rocky Crest, the City joined hands with partners to service land and construct 231 new houses in Extension 4, as well as business and other erven.

    The project was made possible by financial contributions from the Government Institution Pension Fund (GIPF) and the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN).

    The other partner is Otweya Land Developers, while GIPF is represented through one of its equity fund administrators, Ino Harith Capital.

    DBN has invested N$108 million while GIPF, through Ino Harith Capital, has given the remaining N$26.8 million.

    Ino Harith Capital managing director Fillemon Iyambo said there is plenty of money in the market for investment, but investors shy away because of bureaucracy.

    According to him government must urgently smooth the process for investors to put their money into local projects.

    “This bureaucracy delays the implementation of projects and especially if a project for low-cost housing is delayed with even a single day it can have economic implications,” said Iyambo.

    Meanwhile, Windhoek Construction Engineers (WCE) civil engineer Ndapewa Paulus said Rocky Crest Extension 4 consists of the development of 37 hectares of land, and once completed the 280 plots which will include 231 single residential homes, 18 business and two institutional erven.

    According to her 1 322 new housing opportunities, ranging from single residential to general residential plots, will be created through various phases of the development.

    Namibia Construction was appointed as the contractor on 26 March and the expected completion date for phase 1 of the project is slated for February 2019, while the construction of the houses is expected to be completed by June 2020.

    “Currently the contractor has been on site for two months we are happy to report that he is on schedule. WCE together with Harambee Project Solutions is currently busy with the design of the first 256 general residential units. The construction of it will start as soon as phase 1 servicing has been completed. We aim to have the first units completed by November 2019,” she said.

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    Poverty minister calls out food bank criticsPoverty minister calls out food bank critics Bishop Zephania Kameeta, the minister of poverty eradication, yesterday took to task National Council members who had lashed out at the food bank programme and challenged them to put their complaints and concerns in writing.

    “I would be happy if these members made it official and wrote to me so that I could submit it to cabinet,” he said.

    Kameeta said the councillors, who were likely speaking on behalf of their constituents, should take responsibility for their criticism and answer questions from voters in their constituencies. Kameeta was referring to a national news broadcast earlier this week, which showed Laina Mekundi, a councillor for the Otavi constituency, questioning the value of the food bank programme and its source of funding. “Giving free food to the people is not a solution for poverty. It makes people lazy because if they wait for the free food,” she argued. She further asked where the money was coming from to buy food. Mekundi suggested that government should rather introduce programmes enabling people to produce food themselves. Jason Ndakunda of the Engela constituency argued that poverty eradication should not be based on free social assistance, which led to “people just living from handouts and not doing anything to provide for themselves”.

    He argued that social grants should be harmonised. “I think we must strengthen the social security and give everyone a job to earn an income. And if unemployed, we can think of unemployment insurance.”

    Go out and act

    The poverty ministry yesterday launched its five-year strategic plan, ministerial customer service charter, wealth distribution and poverty eradication blueprint and a new, interactive website. At this event, Kameeta underlined the need for urgent action by ministry staff in implementing the ministry's strategic plans without delay. “We are presented with an opportunity of a lifetime to lift the poor out of extreme poverty. We cannot lose momentum because of lengthy processes. Things must happen; it is not that difficult,” he said.

    He told staff members that they should not “sit in offices the whole day. We need to go out and see things, talk to people and do things.”

    In line with a N$20 000 donation by a group of African ambassadors and high commissioners, representing among others Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Congo Brazzaville and Egypt, Kameeta emphasised that not every act needed to be big, and that even little things could make a significant difference.

    “Poverty eradication must take place now, it cannot be postponed,” he emphasised.

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    Conradie's MTC 'plan' shockedConradie's MTC 'plan' shockedAd agency partners say they were incredibly uncomfortable Advertising company boss Mark Bongers has testified in the corruption trial of lawyer Dirk Conradie and Sara Damases in the Windhoek High Court. DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi boss Mark Bongers, who is one of the star witnesses in the corruption trial of lawyer Dirk Conradie and Sara Damases, has testified that his wife and business partner, Kim Field, was shocked by Conradie's offer regarding a N$60 million MTC advertising tender.

    Bongers, under cross-examination in the High Court, maintained that Conradie had during a secretly recorded meeting held in June 2012, lifted the veil on his unfolding plan to use his board chairmanship of MTC to get the tender awarded to DV8.

    This would have been in exchange for Damases being appointed as a black empowerment partner on the board of the advertising agency.

    The meeting, which took place in the Conradie & Damaseb law offices, had included Bongers, Field, Conradie and unidentified persons.

    Bongers had shared what had transpired with the rest of his business partners the following day.

    “My wife was shocked and confused and all of us asked what we are going to do,” Bongers said, adding they were caught completely off-guard and were incredibly uncomfortable.

    He conceded the provisions of the tender document prohibited communication between MTC and any bidding company. The other two bidders were Advantage Y&R Namibia and Young Designers Advertising.

    “No direct contact between MTC through any person is permissible,” Bongers conceded.

    He maintained he was “summoned” by Conradie, who was the chairperson of the MTC board, even though he admitted this would mean his company could be disqualified from the tender process. Bongers said he and Field gave the recordings to the ACC after they were made on 12 June 2012. Conradie and his co-accused were arrested shortly thereafter. Conradie, 56, and Damases, 51, are facing three charges in connection with contravention of the Anti-Corruption Act. They are accused of corruptly soliciting or agreeing to accept for the benefit of himself or another person, a gratification as an inducement or reward to influence procuring a contract.

    Among the other charges is that Conradie corruptly used his office or position to obtain a gratification for self or another person, the indictment states.

    During cross-examination by state advocate Ed Marondedze, Bongers confirmed that as the meeting with Conradie progressed he realised something was amiss, which may have legal repercussions.

    However, he denied he encouraged or influenced the accused to say what they were saying.

    When questioned by Vas Soni SC from South Africa, who is appearing for Conradie, Bongers stated the offer was a major development in his business and was the first thing he had discussed with his partners the next day.

    “We discussed the offer, the events leading to the offer as well as how to handle the issue,” he testified.

    Soni put it to Bongers the purpose of their meeting after the alleged offer was how their company would benefit from the impropriety. Bongers insisted yesterday he could not recall an email sent to him on 6 June 2012, in which MTC informed him that no decision had been taken regarding the tender and that the parastatal's board would take a decision at a convenient time.

    Soni expressed worry that the witness could not recall the email, because this was an important exchange as far as the contract was concerned.

    According to Soni, the reason for Bongers not remembering was because this had spurred him to meet with Conradie. “You are misleading the court,” Soni said. Vetu Uanivi appears on behalf of Damases, while Judge Thomas Masuku presides.

    The trial continues.

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  • 05/23/18--16:00: Anything but ordinary
  • Anything but ordinaryAnything but ordinaryHelping entrepreneurs realise their dreams Aune Nalweendo Hamukonda shed some light on her efforts to help young entrepreneurs access financing and realise their dreams. As the manager of credit and sales at Bank Windhoek's Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises, Aune Nalweendo Hamukonda brings a knowledge of commerce, banking and marketing to the position.

    “My banking career started in 2000 as credit officer at City Saving and Investment Bank. Shortly after I moved to First National Bank (FNB) in the same position.

    “In 2003, I joined the Small Business Credit Guarantee Trust (SBCGT) as a risk analyst, where I spent five years, after which I joined Bank Windhoek in 2008 as a sales and credit consultant. In 2013 I was promoted to credit and sales manager, the position in which I'm currently serving,” she said.

    Hamukonda's responsibilities include analysing applications for loans and finding out the risk when it comes to giving a client a loan. The client's business concept is of utmost importance and Hamukonda must ensure she is well-informed about their plans and what will best suit them.


    Hamukonda obtained her first degree (in banking) from the Cyprus Institute of Marketing and also has an honours degree in accounting from the University of Namibia (Unam).

    Hamukonda does a lot of thorough research before considering a certain client as worthy of a loan. She diligently works through financial information, as well as the business plan, to make sure it is put together well, with the market research also completed.

    Hamukonda believes that Bank Windhoek shares her philosophy of connecting and working with their clients, and ensuring great results and long-lasting partnerships.

    Being inquisitive and very analytical are some of the traits one should possess when being a loan consultant.

    “Financing a business (especially start-ups) that perform well, and seeing them grow from a small enterprise into a sustainable business, always makes me feel proud.”

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    Don't compromise security - TsowasebDon't compromise security - TsowasebNSA manager lives to protect As a child, Titus Tsowaseb always knew that security would be his chosen profession. The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has many priorities and security is definitely at the top of the list.

    Careers spoke to NSA security manager Titus Tsowaseb, who has been in the industry for over 24 years.

    Tsowaseb was born and bred in Katutura. As a child he always knew the security of people would play a huge part in his life and fondly remembers the period of having been part of the first group tasked to escort Founding President Sam Nujoma.

    He has been a protector and has now gone corporate with his calling.

    Before his attachment to the NSA, Tsowaseb was a part of the Namport team, serving in the capacity of a deputy chief security officer.

    The NSA and Namport are not so different when it comes to sensitivity around security.

    “They are both sensitive about the safety and security of their staff and also the valuable information they handle and store.

    “The environment that we are in is a competitive one and thus forces everyone to study and stay one step ahead.

    “Important ingredients are honesty, integrity and firmness,” Tsowaseb says.

    Educational journey

    He holds a BTech in security risk management, which he completed at the University of South Africa.

    He also boasts a national diploma in security risk management, and completed a management development programme with the University of Stellenbosch.

    Tsowaseb has gone from strength to strength in the year he has served with the NSA.

    “It is absolutely crucial for every company to have tight security, in order to ensure the safety of its people, the company and the nation,” he says.

    The NSA has a vision of making sure that all data and statistics remain completely confidential and safe.

    Tsowaseb is in charge of accomplishing this vision.

    He is only one of three Namibians who are certified security management professionals, having obtained this certification from the International Security Management Institute (ISMI) in the United Kingdom.

    He is proud to offer his expertise to his nation.

    Tsowaseb takes massive pride in his work and does the best to ensure he delivers desirable services.

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    The man behind the Katoshe D30 phoneThe man behind the Katoshe D30 phoneIt’s all work and no play for Kenny Most young entrepreneurs face huge challenges and end up being demotivated and then quitting, but this is not the case with Kennedy Liswani. Gabby Tjiroze - His future was unpredictable and hard to imagine, but today he is the mastermind behind Katoshe D30 - a mobile phone that features Namibia's indigenous languages.

    According to the 34-year-old, who owns Elephonic Mobiles, his dream of manufacturing a cellphone came when he bought an expensive device that he lost within a week.

    “It all stated about three years ago when I purchased a very expensive smartphone that I lost within a week and replaced it with a cheaper android phone that cost me one quarter of the price I paid for the first phone.

    “It struck me one night that it did not feel any different from the N$15 000 one that I literally flushed away. To add insult to injury, I discovered that it only costs this specific western brand N$2 500 to manufacture.

    “So one night as I was seated in my office I decided to do a bit of research on how to start a mobile phone company. Initially I wanted to start with a smartphone for the African market, but I later changed my mind and started with a feature phone after researching on how smartphones are losing market share to feature phones in Africa,” said an enthusiastic Kenny.

    The mobile features five languages namely Oshikwanyama, Otjiherero, Afrikaans, Rukavango and Silozi.

    The phone functions like any other with a phonebook, messaging, a call history, and surprisingly enough, even WhatsApp.

    Other features include a one-megapixel camera, a wireless radio and an expandable memory of up to eight gigabytes. The battery's standby time is up to 15 days.

    “These devices are cheap, reliable and appealing for new and old users. We make sure our devices are designed for our local people. They have multiple SIM card slots and camera software adapted to better snap darker skin tones, and speakers with enhanced bass for wireless radio, considering the fact that radio is still a big thing in Africa. Our feature phone models also have internet and messaging apps,” added Kenny.

    His entrepreneurial journey started in 2004 when he quit tertiary education to pursue his dream, but things didn't go according to plan and he had to look for a job.

    He started a graphic design studio in mid-2004 and ran it until 2006, when he saw business was very slow and he couldn't make ends meet.

    He later joined First National Bank as teller and started studying banking part-time while also doing business.


    Most youngsters in Namibia are faced with numerous challenges in their quest to pursue entrepreneurship as an option for meaningful employment and to earn a decent income.

    In 2012, his entrepreneurial drive once again knocked at his door and this time there was no turning back. He invested his time and dedication into his business. This is when he came up with Elephonic Mobiles.

    Kennedy is no stranger to challenges, which is the norm for entrepreneurs but it didn't stop him from achieving his dream.

    “My biggest challenge, like any other new entrepreneurial venture, was raising funds to make this dream a reality. Another big issue was the regulatory aspect of the process, whereby we had to acquire approval that required us to get our devices tested by an internationally accredited laboratory on various aspects, and especially the safety of the phones for human use.

    “It took quite some time but eventually the 300-page CE report was issued and that is when we knew that we were good to go.

    “Another challenge was getting credible translators for local languages, but eventually that was sorted out,” Kennedy said.

    Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia CEO, Festus Mbandeka, said that Kennedy submitted Type Approval application forms to the Authority for the “Katoshe D30” and a Type Approval Certificate was granted on 22 March 2018.

    “As per the Regulations in respect of Type Approval and Technical Standards for Telecommunications Equipment, his applications are being duly considered” said Mbandeka.

    Kennedy was born from Namibian parents in exile in Angola during the liberation struggle, and started school in Oshakati. He moved to Windhoek in the early 90s and started high school at Ella du Plessis, then moved to South Africa in the late 90s where he finished his matric.

    He then went to varsity, studying communications and graphic design at the Tshwane University of Technology.

    He advises young upcoming entrepreneurs to take risks.

    “The fear of failure is the number one reason why most entrepreneurs never get started. If you want to start up a business and you really believe in your idea, get rid of all your safety nets, even if it means you need to quit your job, loose your salary and downgrade your comfortable lifestyle. Just do it!

    “Another important piece of advice is read as many books as possible, I can never overemphasise the importance of reading and learning for entrepreneurs - be it from audio books, traditional books and newspapers,” Kennedy added.

    The phones are currently only available through pre-sale orders at www.elephonicmobile.com.

    They will be available in store countrywide from June 2018 and the retail price for a Katoshe D30 is only N$350.

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  • 05/23/18--16:00: Africa briefs
  • Africa briefs Africa briefs South Africa's outlook for tax revenues unchanged

    South Africa finance minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Tuesday that the outlook for tax revenues remain unchanged, in a blow to the chances of reducing the budget deficit.

    Nene made the comments in parliament.

    Treasury director general Dondo Mogajane said earlier this month that South Africa will struggle to raise the tax revenues needed to reduce a budget deficit and support fragile economic growth due to ongoing problems in tax administration.


    Egypt tourism revenues jump 83%

    Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 83.3% in the first quarter of 2018 to US$2.2 billion, a government official told Reuters.

    The number of tourists who visited Egypt in that time jumped 37.1%to 2.383 million, added the official who asked to remain anonymous.


    Doubts arise over Nigeria interest rate cuts

    Nigeria’s central bank kept its main interest rate at 14% on Tuesday, prompting some economists to question whether rate cuts will ever materialise in the wake of slowing inflation rates.

    “The objective of the policy stance will be to accelerate the reduction in the rate of inflation to single digits, promote economic stability, boost investor confidence and promote foreign capital flows,” Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele said.


    Morocco’s annual inflation rises

    Morocco’s annual consumer price inflation rate rose to 2.7 % in April from 2.5% in March, mainly due to higher food prices, the High Planning Authority said on Tuesday.


    SA to cut 'Gupta clause' in Mining Charter

    South Africa will remove a clause from its Mining Charter that includes naturalised citizens in the group of people who should benefit from attempts to more evenly redistribute the country’s mineral wealth.

    Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe is in talks with companies, unions and mining communities on an update to the mining charter after a version published last year by his predecessor prompted legal challenges from the industry. Among the criticisms of the 2017 charter was its recognition of black and other historically disadvantaged people who had taken citizenship after being in the country for long enough.


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    Informal sector exploits workersInformal sector exploits workersJobs are 'largely exploitative and insecure' With at least 40% of jobs in Namibia being in the informal sector, there is concern about labour standards and working conditions there. Namibia faces key developmental challenges such as a growing informal economy, lack of decent and secure jobs and insufficient social protection for workers.

    However, employment created in the informal sector is reported to be largely exploitative and insecure.

    The other challenge is insufficient up-to-date information about the character of the informal sector in Namibia. This scenario makes it difficult for planners and lawmakers to engage in proper planning and decision-making and to implement policies of service delivery.

    This is according to a new report launched by the labour ministry.

    The Namibia Informal Economy Case Study 2016/17 was conducted in the //Karas, Erongo, Kavango East, Khomas, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Oshana and Zambezi regions.

    The results indicated that in terms of economic production as measured by the contribution to GDP, the share of the informal sector is much less than that of the formal sector.

    However, with regard to jobs, informal employment is a vital source of income to the employed population. Between 2012 and 2014 the informal sector represented 40% of employment in Namibia.

    The report found that employment in the informal sector was without contracts for most employees and that employees also work excessive hours, most of them between nine and 13 hours a day. Sick-leave benefits are enjoyed by fewer than 40% of these employees and fewer than 30% received annual leave.

    “A high number of informal enterprises were not registered with the Social Security Commission and a lack of information on why they must register was the main reason cited for non-registration.”

    About 84.3% of employees in the sector indicated that they were not registered with the Social Security Commission.

    According to the report, up to 90% of self-employed workers were from urban areas. Nevertheless, regional variations were evident.

    “Most of them were young adults, predominantly female, who have completed junior secondary education.”

    Close to 85% had access to cellphones, according to the report.

    About 70% had not received any training in running a business, while 8.5% had received training in crafts, repairing and operating machinery.

    This suggests that a lack of training in how to run a business might affect the sustainability of their businesses, says the report.

    The majority of businesses in the informal sector (92.1%) are solely owned and about 7% are partnerships.

    According to the report a sizeable number of enterprises (62%) had only one employee. The majority were permanent employees with a fixed monthly salary averaging N$1 554. Close to half were paid between N$1 000 and N$2 000 and a third were paid less than N$1 000 a month.

    Most of these enterprises were relatively new, only having been established in the last five years prior to the report.

    “Noticeable was that about 12% of the operators had been operating for less than six months,” says the report.

    Results show that over half of the businesses were in wholesale and retail trade, and 85% of the businesses were in the non-agricultural sector.

    “As it was expected, close to 60% of the businesses were operating at home. Only 19% had business premises with a fixed location that was independent from home.”

    Further findings indicated that access to credit and micro-financing was limited in the informal sector.

    “In fact, financial difficulties were mostly the challenge faced with running businesses in the informal sector.”

    According to the report, start-up capital for businesses in the informal sector was sourced either from own savings or relatives, friends and neighbours.

    Several recommendations were made in the report, which include investing in training and skills development, increasing awareness of micro-financing, training informal entrepreneurs and simplifying labour laws.


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    Taking NWR to another level Taking NWR to another level For the love of Namibia Talita Horn was recently appointed as the new chief financial officer at NWR. hen and protect the financial condition of the company,” said Talita Horn, chief financial officer at NWR.

    Talita Horn did consulting and assurance work at Namibia Wild Resorts (NWR) for the past two years, and during that time she became more convinced that it is a jewel that is not yet polished to perfection.

    She was recently appointed as its new chief financial officer.

    “We have the opportunity to impress our foreign and local visitors, who will tell their friends, who will then also come to Namibia to enjoy the beauty that we are privileged to enjoy every day,” she said.

    Horn will reinforce the NWR executive team with her experience of being a charted accountant and a qualified internal auditor, having worked in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Namibia.

    When visitors come to Namibia, they bring new money to the economy, which directly benefits the communities in which NWR operates, and the greater economy as those new dollars pass through different hands, Horn says.

    She adds that she knows she can play part in contributing to the Namibian economy and the state-owned enterprise sector.

    Her story

    Horn was schooled in Johannesburg and went on to obtain her national higher diploma in hotel management at the Witwatersrand Hotel School.

    “I was able to get a bursary for my second year, through Namib Sun Hotels, and I came to repay that bursary obligation. I had just completed my practical year in the Eastern Cape and the Eastern Transvaal, as it was then known, and thought I would not adjust from the lush bushveld to the arid dessert, but I was wrong. The sand of the Namib Desert got into my shoes, and never left my heart,” she adds.

    “I met my husband and we moved to Cape Town, where I studied part-time through Unisa, and completed my articles with PwC. The moment I qualified as a chartered accountant, we went to London for two years, also with PwC, after which I rejoined PwC Cape Town,” she said.

    During this period, she came to Namibia on special assignment, which was an opportunity to network with her Namibian colleagues, and when the opportunity came to join PwC in Namibia, she jumped at the chance.

    Project NWR

    In Horn’s 100-day plan she includes a number of projects to resolve matters arising from past transactions, but also plans to develop in-house skills through training, and accountability. She believes they have the support from both the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Ministry of Public Enterprises to make NWR a commercially self-sustaining business to be proud of.

    NWR is about being a memorable host for visitors, but it is not only about that, Horn says.

    If they operate behind the scenes while managing such a large organisation efficiently and effectively, creating an environment that flourishes amid exceptional service, visitors will go back with fond memories of Namibia.

    “I can contribute to that through applying the analytical skills of my training and experience, passing on that knowledge to a team that wants to grow and developing, solving and preventing problems, while overcoming challenges that are an inevitable part of our industry. There is never a dull moment,” Horn adds.

    More about Talita Horn:

    · She is a chartered accountant and a certified internal auditor.

    · She had a career in the hotel trade.

    · She is married to her husband Fanie for 23 years.

    · She loves travelling and has travelled the world for work and for leisure, but would not swop Namibia for anywhere else.

    · Her hobbies include the outdoors, and creative pursuits, such as cooking, baking, painting and all manner of sewing.

    · She enjoys science fiction novels.

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    What will make or break your business?What will make or break your business? Here are 13 tips for starting a business and making it succeed.

    1. Know yourself, your true motivational level, the amount of money you can risk, and what you're willing to do to be successful. Sure, we all want to make millions of dollars. But what are you willing to give up to reach that goal? How many hours a week will you work on an ongoing basis? How far out of your comfort zone are you willing to stretch? How far will your family stretch with you? To be successful, keep your business plans in line with your personal and family goals and resources.

    2. Choose the right business for you. The old formula – find a need and fill it – still works. It will always work. The key to success is finding needs that you can fill, that you want to fill, and that will produce enough income to build a profitable business.

    3. Be sure there really is a market for what you want to sell. One of the biggest mistakes start-ups make is to assume a lot of people will want to buy a particular product or service, because the business owner likes the ideas or knows one or two people who want the product or service. To minimize your risk for loss, never assume there is a market idea. Talk to real potential prospects (who aren't family and friends) to find out if what you want to sell is something they'd be interested in buying, and if so, what they'd pay for the product or service.

    4. Plan to succeed. If you're not seeking investors or putting a huge sum of money into your business, you may not need an elaborate business plan, but you still do need a plan - one that specifies your goal – your destination – and then lays out at least a skeletal roadmap for how you'll get to where you want to go. The plan will change as you progress and learn more about your customers and competition, but it will still help you stay focused and headed in the right directions. Use our business planning worksheet to help develop that basic plan.

    5. Don't procrastinate. I've heard some people advise would-be business owners to not move ahead with their business until they have investigated every last detail of the business they want to start, and are absolutely sure it's all going to work and be profitable. The problem with that approach is that it leads to procrastination. No one ever really has all the pieces in place – even after they've started their business. Yes, you need to research the market, have a rudimentary plan in place and do things like get a tax id if needed, register with local officials, if required, etc. But if you try to make everything perfect before you launch, you may never get around to starting the business at all.

    Start on a small scale before going all out. Some people believe that entrepreneurs are risk-takers. But for the most part, successful entrepreneurs don't like walking blindfolded on a limb. Instead, they take controlled risks. They test an idea on a small scale, then build on what works well, tweak what shows promise and discard the disasters. Don't fixate on mistakes or get demoralized by them. The difference between successful people and everyone else is that the successful people learn from their mistakes and move on. They don't dwell on failure, blame the economy, curse their bad luck, or blame other people for their fate. If the path to their goal is blocked, they look for an alternate path, or sometimes choose a different, more attainable goal. Learn from others. Find mentors, join groups with like-minded people, and learn everything you can about your industry and what it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be. Attend industry conferences. Take training courses when they are available. Buy courses offered by experts. You'll save a tremendous amount of trial and error by learning from people who have been there before. Think of what you do AS a business. Keep track of income and expenses, keep business money separate from personal funds, and find out what regulations your business needs to abide by. Understand the difference between working for yourself and building an ongoing business. If you want to build a business, you need to develop systems and methods that allow you to hire other people to DO the work of the business while you plan it. You limit the potential for growth if you don't bring in other people to work for you. Get to know investors. If the business you are starting will need investors to grow, do what you can to find out what investors are looking for and where to find those who might invest in your kind of business. Local angel and venture capital groups are a good place to start – attend meetings they hold or meetings that investors are speaking at. Put yourself out there. Ask for what you want (in a polite way.) I started my online business by participating online on GE's GEnie online service. When I was ready to send them a proposal to run a small business area, I could not only talk about my credentials in general, but point to places I was already contributing to their service. I became one of the early content providers to America Online because I picked up the phone and made a cold call. I wound up with a new consulting client after I struck up a conversation with a woman sitting next to me on an airplane. Remember, people like to do business with people they know. Get the ball rolling, and keep it rolling by continually reaching out and introducing yourself to new people. Never stop learning and trying new things. What's profitable now, won't necessarily be profitable next year or 10 years from now. So, don't let yourself fall into the "this is the way I've always done things" rut. Keep your eyes and ears open for new things. Are there newer or better ways to market your products and services? Are customers asking for something you're not offering? Is there a different type of customer you should be targeting? Get answers by reading everything you can about your industry and listening to your customers.


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    Skorpion’s production steady in 2017Skorpion’s production steady in 2017 This project has increased Skorpion's mine life by another 2.5 years and will contribute 250 000 tonnes of metal over this period. - VZI Jo-Maré Duddy – Vedanta Zinc International’s wholly-owned Skorpion Zinc mine near Rosh Pinah in Namibia produced 84 000 tonnes of refined metal in its financial year ended March 2018, one percent less than the previous year.

    Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), headquartered in Johannesburg, is a grouping of zinc assets located in South Africa, Namibia and Ireland, owned by India-based Vedanta Limited, a listed subsidiary of Vedanta Resources plc. Vedanta Resources is a London Stock Exchange listed, globally diversified natural resources company with interests in zinc, lead, silver, copper, iron ore, aluminium, power, as well as oil and gas.

    Releasing its results yesterday, the company said a combination of the planned maintenance shutdown of the acid plant in the first quarter of the financial year under review, the early closure of Pit 103 for geotechnical reasons and blending challenges to make up the required plant feed grade impacted negatively on production at Skorpion.

    Skorpion nevertheless contributed more than half of VZI’s consolidated production of 157 000 tonnes in its 2018 financial year, with Black Mountain Mining (BMM) in South Africa’s Northern Cape province delivering 72 000 tonnes.

    VZI said the Pit 112 extension project at Skorpion is progressing well and is expected to be fully completed by the last quarter of the 2019 financial year. “This project has increased Skorpion's mine life by another 2.5 years and will contribute 250 000 tonnes of metal over this period,” it said.

    “To execute Pit 112 and ensure no interruption in ore treatment, Skorpion Zinc restructured the business by outsourcing mining to a Tier I mining contractor. This also resulted in the successful secondment of some owner-employees into the contract,” VZI said.


    One of the company’s priorities this year will be the successful commencement of Gamsberg, part of BMM. “The Gamsberg project represents one of the largest zinc deposits in the world with reserves and resources of 215mt (16mt zinc) and the potential to ramp up to 600ktpa of zinc production,” VZI said.

    The company is targeting first production by the middle of 2018, and has prioritised progress towards the ramp-up to Phase 1 production of 250 000 tonnes in its 2020 financial year. Phase 1 of the project only exploits a quarter of the full resource potential of Gamsberg, VZI said.

    It is envisaged that at least a portion of Gamsberg’s zinc-in-concentrate production will be trucked to the Skorpion Zinc refinery in Namibia for refining, according to VZI’s website.

    During a meeting with finance minister Calle Schlettwein in November 2014, Vedanda’s chief executive officer for Africa-based metals, Rajagopal Kishore Kumar, said the company approved US$782 million towards the conversion of the Skorpion Zinc refinery in Namibia and the development of the open-pit zinc mine in Gamsberg from 2015 to 2017. Of this, US$152 million (around N$1.9 billion at yesterday’s exchange rate) was earmarked for Skorpion to enable it to refine zinc sulphide concentrates from the Gamsberg mine into special high-grade zinc metal.

    Deshnee Naidoo, chief executive officer of VZI, last year told Reuters that is investigating whether it could mine underground in Namibia when its open pit operations at Skorpion Zinc will be exhausted around 2020.

    If Vedanta decides underground operations would not be viable, Naidoo said the company would convert the Skorpion refinery, whose current capacity is 150 000 tonnes per year, to treat different ores, meaning it could process third-party material, thereby maintaining a foothold in Namibia.

    "We really do not want to leave Namibia," Naidoo said. – Additional reporting by Nampa/Reuters

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    RCC thought they could get away with it - MutorwaRCC thought they could get away with it - Mutorwa A ministerial technical committee has been tasked to urgently compile a dossier for cabinet, with recommendations on disciplinary action and the way forward for the Roads Contractor Company following the cancellation of a deal the parastatal had concluded for a N$580 million loan facility from a Chinese company.

    Works minister John Mutorwa yesterday said the agreement reached between RCC and Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian on 9 April was invalid and unenforceable in law.

    This follows a high-level meeting on Tuesday that was chaired by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and was attended by Mutorwa as well as the public enterprises and finance ministers.

    In terms of the agreement, Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian would have raked in over N$2 billion in contracts for an initial loan outlay of N$580 million.

    Mutorwa said the RCC board had been notified yesterday morning to inform the Chinese company that the agreement was invalid and that the purported contractual relationship between them must immediately cease.

    The board was also directed not to implement or take any steps in accordance with the agreement.

    Further to that, a technical committee consisting of senior officials from the ministries of works, finance and public enterprises will now draft a submission to the cabinet committee on overall policy and priorities with regard to the future of the RCC.

    The submission will also include possible disciplinary actions against those involved in the “illegal” agreement and it will also look at a November cabinet decision on placing the RCC in judicial management.

    “For now the status quo at the company remains and we do not want to panic the employees,” Mutorwa said.

    Controversial deal

    Mutorwa disclosed more details of the controversial agreement, saying the contract, titled 'Funding and Technical Support Agreement' was signed on 9 April this year.

    According to Mutorwa, it was entered into without prior input, mandate or approval by the line minister.

    “Furthermore, the said agreement was concluded and signed without the prior legal advice by the attorney-general of Namibia.”

    Mutorwa said he only became aware of the agreement on 20 April, eleven days after its signing.

    Mutorwa said he called an emergency meeting with the RCC board and management on 26 April.

    At this meeting the RCC bosses were asked why the agreement had been signed without approval.

    “It was a blunder that they thought they would get away with,” he said.

    Mutorwa said at some stage the RCC board chairperson even said that they had obtained approval from their legal representative and that he could provide documentation, but had to go and fetch it from his office.

    After waiting for more than an hour, Mutorwa said they called him, and he gave the excuse that their lawyer was in court and eventually returned without any proof.

    After the meeting Mutorwa wrote a formal letter to the attorney-general seeking legal advice on the agreement.

    Mutorwa said even before receiving the official feedback from the attorney-general they held a meeting on 8 May after which he wrote a letter to the RCC instructing them not to move forward with implementation of the agreement.

    “If anybody did the contrary they would have to explain.”

    He said on 17 May the attorney-general provided a 17-page legal opinion and on Tuesday the matter was further discussed at a high-level meeting.

    He said based on the feedback from the attorney-general and on the high-level discussions, the government through the works ministry enforced several decisions.

    Asked whether there might have been hidden agendas behind signing the agreement, Mutorwa said he could not speculate on that.

    “Go and ask them whether they had hidden agendas. I look at the hard facts. The facts were contained in the 17 pages feedback received from the attorney-general. You cannot expect me to say whether they had hidden agendas.”

    Mutorwa further dismissed reports that he was pushing for the closure of the RCC. He said that would have to be a collective decision by the cabinet.


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  • 05/23/18--16:00: Rent battle intensifies
  • Rent battle intensifiesRent battle intensifiesExpert says old rent boards can be revived to rein in landlords A constitutional expert says the government can, if it chooses, revive old-era rent boards to protect current tenants from being exploited by landlords. Rent control boards that protected tenants from exploitation by property owners during the apartheid era are still implementable in Namibia and are not unconstitutional.

    This was the argument articulated by constitutional law expert Nico Horn as he weighed in on the unfolding battle between the Affirmative Repositioning movement and government over its position that it needs a new rent bill to rein in high rental prices.

    Horn said the pre-independence Rents Ordinance 13 of 1977 is still in place and the government can, if it chooses, revive the old-era rent boards, which were chaired by local magistrates and had the power to summon landlords to answer for why they were charging exorbitant monthly rental fees for properties.

    “I don't see how we can escape the introduction of rent boards. It is a pity it was not done five years ago,” said Horn.

    “The rent ordinance cannot be in conflict with the Namibian constitution because rent control boards must prevent landowners from asking exorbitant prices. At independence there were only 10 000 people living in shacks and now 140 000 people live in shacks.”

    AR has threatened to drag government to the High Court over its failure to implement resolutions that had been agreed to during an eleventh-hour meeting at State House in 2015, which averted a countrywide land grab by its members.

    Among these resolutions was that government would establish rent control boards, in a bid to ease the pressure on families that have been left at the mercy of developers and home and flat owners, who are raking in monthly rentals.

    Industrialisation minister Tjekero Tweya responded to AR's legal threat last week.

    He said government had tried to regulate pricing in the rental market.

    “Government has undertaken a number of steps leading to the establishment of the rent boards as provided for in the Rents Ordinance of 1977. However, after the review of the ordinance, it is government's considered opinion that the ordinance is impractical to implement in its current form,” said Tweya.

    In February last year, AR also threatened legal action against the government, which had put on hold the appointment of a rent control board until the tabling of a new bill.

    Tweya, as information minister, announced a sudden turnabout on appointing a rent control board by saying the 1977 law had become obsolete and would “render the work of the rent board of no force or effect”.

    He announced that a new bill was on the cards, which would replace the current legislation. Until that time, it would be impractical to implement a rent control board, he said.

    Horn said while the 1977 rent ordinance may be amended to reflect the inflation rate of today, it can still be implemented to curb exorbitant rent prices.

    According to him the ordinance was never repealed and cannot be in violation of the post-independence constitution as it is supposed to prevent landowners from exploiting tenants.

    Horn also called on government to show how far it is with the proposed draft rent bill, which is yet to be tabled in parliament.


    He said AR has a point and is theoretically correct to say the pre-independence ordinance is still in place, as it was never repealed.

    Responding to Tweya, Horn said: “He is possibly correct, but in the sense that society has totally changed. But the principles remains the same, of course the amounts would be dramatically different than it was. But the regulations attached should be an easy job that can even be done by the minister.”

    He added there is an urgent need for intervention.

    Chairperson of the Namibia Estate Agents Board (NEAB) Anne Gebhardt also echoed AR's sentiments that there is an urgent need for legislation to protect members of society. However, she urged that such legislation be implemented properly.

    “The biggest concern at the moment is the shortage of property to rent and any industry is driven by demand and supply.

    “If there is a lot of supply then the prices will go down because people have a lot to choose from. There is a very high turnover in the rental industry; people cannot afford the rentals in the market and end up committing to a property because they are desperate to have a home, but three months down the line they cannot afford the property anymore,” she said.

    The draft rent bill makes provision for regional rent tribunals to oversee complaints and other rent-related matters.

    The 1977 rent ordinance stipulates that a rent board shall consist of the local magistrate and not more than four additional members.

    The magistrate shall act as the chairperson and determine the times and places at which the rent board shall meet. Minutes of these meetings must be kept.

    It also provides that a register of leased dwellings situated in the area of jurisdiction of rent board, and of the rent charged in each case be kept.

    The chairperson of the rent board is also responsible for the investigation of complaints and has the power to summon.

    Any person able to give material information concerning the rent charged or who it presumes or believes has in their possession any book, document or thing which has any bearing upon rent investigation, may be brought before the rent board.

    A local estate agent who spoke on condition of anonymity said current rent was either a monthly bond repayment or just less, and that people cannot afford it.

    “Townhouses are standing empty. And now owners must negotiate and will end up asking N$8 000 for a N$12 000 townhouse, because they cannot wait until they find tenants and then the prices go down again,” she said.


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    New outdoor advertising rules this yearNew outdoor advertising rules this yearAfter 10 years The City of Windhoek has for the first time in 10 years put in line new rules regarding outdoor advertising within the city. “As it is, the land belongs to the City and we will have to abide, but what we always ask is to be consulted beforehand.” - Festus Unengu , manager, Namibia Estate Agents Board NDAMA NAKASHOLE

    The City of Windhoek is to implement new rules relating to outdoor advertising for the first time in ten years.

    The new outdoor advertising policy and regulations will be implemented this year. The current policy on outdoor advertising has been in existence since 2008.

    Although Market Watch understands that the new rules will ban the placement of estate agents’ boards on municipal pavements by the end of the month, the City could not give any further information.

    The City’s public relations officer, Scheifert Shigwedha, told Market Watch that new regulations on outdoor advertising were being formulated, without going into any details. According to Shigwedha, the new rules regarding outdoor advertising are subject to city council approval.

    Estate agents’ boards

    A source who owns an estate agency said he was aware that a rule barring agents from freely displaying their advertising boards was on the cards.

    “It will, definitely. That is a concern among us all,” he said when asked if it would badly affect business.

    Festus Unengu of the Namibia Estate Agents Board said he is not aware if such as rule would come into effect, but said he is aware that there were ongoing discussions.

    “As it is, the land belongs to the City and we will have to abide, but what we always ask is to be consulted beforehand.”

    The current outdoor advertising policy, which has been in place since 2008, allows estate agents to temporarily put up signs to advertise buildings to let, for sale or on show.

    All ‘For Sale’ and ‘To Let’ signs must be removed three days after the completion of a sale or lease contract.

    ‘Sold’ sighs may be displayed for a period not exceeding 30 days after completion of the sale.

    ‘On Show’ signs at new developments may be kept up for six months, after which a further six-month extension may be obtained.

    There are no limitations to the colour and texture of the signs but they may not be illuminated or animated.

    Under the existing policy, any estate agent’s board exceeding 2.8 square metres requires a special application to the municipality.

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