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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 781 | 782 | (Page 783) | 784 | 785 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    German FA suspends two staff membersGerman FA suspends two staff members The German Football Association (DFB) has suspended two of its backroom staff for Wednesday's crunch World Cup clash against South Korea following an angry exchange with the Sweden bench.

    Media coordinator Uli Voigt and Georg Behlau, head of the backroom staff, have been told not to attend the final Group F match in Kazan, which Germany must win by a margin of two goals to be sure of reaching the last 16.

    The pair were stood down for provoking Sweden's bench in Sochi on Saturday with emotional celebrations, which sparked a heated exchange after Toni Kroos' last-gasp free-kick sealed the Germans' dramatic 2-1 victory.

    Sweden coach Janne Andersson complained about the incident, which Fifa is investigating and the DFB submitted a statement giving their version of events on Monday.

    The DFB said it “expressly regrets the gestures towards the Swedish bench by two members of the support staff” and that the pair had let their emotions get the better of them.

    According to reports, members of the German squad later apologised to their Swedish counterparts after the game in Sochi.

    “It was an emotional game and in the end one or two reactions or gestures from our staff towards the Swedish bench were too emotional, which is not our style,” wrote the DFB on their Twitter account.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Schlettwein a kaleke elando lyevi moAngolaSchlettwein a kaleke elando lyevi moAngolaAfrikuumba a hala Tweya a yelithe Ehangano lyomoshilongo ndyoka lyali li li pokwiimonena oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 100 okuza kepangelo metsokumwe lyelando lyevi moAngola, olya hala minista Twekero Tweya a yelithe ekaleko lyetsokumwe ndyoka. Ehangano lyedhina Afrikuumba lyomunangeshefa moshikondo shomatungo Uazuva Kaumbi olya pula eyelitho okuza kepangelo, sha landula sho ominista yemona, Calle Schlettwein a pula opo uuministeli wiipindi wu kaleke meendelelo etsokumwe lyelando lyevi koshimaliwa shoomiliyona117, moLuanda shaAngola.

    Oshifokundaneki shoThe Namibian osha lopota mOmaandaha kutya epangelo lyaandjetu olya hala okulanda etungo lyoomiliyona 117 moAngola, netungo ndyoka olyomunangeshefa Titus Nakuumba.

    Oshikundaneki shoka osha lopota kutya evi ndyoka olyuunene woosquare metres 14 000 omanga omatungo ge na uunene woosquare metres 20 000.

    Palopota ndjoka ya pitithwa, epangelo aniwa olya hala okutunga ehala lyoongeshefa, noombelewa, ongulu yiilonga oshowo omagumbo nehala lyoompungulilo.

    Kaumbi okwa popi kutya uuministeli wiipindi oshowo mboka wiilonga owa holola hokwe yokulanda po ehala ndyoka okuza koAfrikuumba.

    “Otwa pumba okuuva kutya omolwashike elando ndyoka lya kalekwa, inatu pewa omatompelo gasha.”

    Osheendo shaanambelewa okuza kombelewa yahahende ndjai gwepangelo oshowo okuza kuuminsteli wiilonga nuuministeli wiipindi oya li ya yi koLuanda, opo ya tale ehala ndyoka pahapu dhaKaumbi. Naamboka oya holola kutya ehala ndyoka olya pumbiwa kepangelo.

    Kaumbi okwa tsikile kutya ehala ndyoka tali popiwa, epangelo olya pewa ompito yokulanda ehala ndyoka kondando yi li pevi, moka tali vulu okufuta ko oshipambu shimwe nokukala tali futuko shoka sha hupako muule woomvula ne.

    Olopota ndjoka ya pitithwa koThe Namibian oya ulike okopi yetsokumwe lyelando ndyoka, moka epangelo tali pumbwa li fute oopresenda 10 dhoshimaliwa shoomiliyona 1 yaUS, muule womasiku 14 ngele etsokumwe ndyoka lya shainwa noshimaliwa shoomiliyona dhaUs 1.5 otadhi pumbwa okufutwa omanga ehala ndyoka inali lundululwa momake gepangelo.

    Olopota yetsokumwe ndyoka natango oya ulike kutya oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 7.5 otashi kala nokufutwa muule woomvula ne niishoshela yoopresenda hamano.

    Ominista yemona oya popi kutya kutya oshiketha shiiyemo yepangelo inashi zimina elando ndyoka, na inaku landulwa omilandu ngaashi dhi li po. Kaumbi okwa popi kutya okwiinekela kutya uuministeli wiipindi otawu ke ya yelithila kutya omolwashike etsokumwe ndyoka tali kalekwa, sho epangelo lya kala tali ulike omulilo omuzizi melando lyehala ndyoka.

    Schlettwein okwa popi kutya uuministeli wiipindi inawu ninga eindilo lya sha okuza koshikondo shemona, na owa pumbwa woo natango okumona eziminino okuza kuhahende ndjai.

    Amushanga muuministeli wiipindi, Gabriel Sinimbo okwa popi kutya ita ti sha kombinga yoshikumungu shoka na okwa popi kutya eyamukulo olya pumbwa okuza kominista.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Omusati gwa hala okuyambulapo uunamapyaOmusati gwa hala okuyambulapo uunamapya Ngoloneya gwoshitopolwa shaMusati okwa tsu omukumo aanafaalama naaniimuna moshitopolwa she, opo ya kutheko nesimaneko uunangeshefa wuunamapya nuuniimuna, yo ya vule okuyambulapo oshitopolwa.

    Oshitopolwa shaMusati oshi li tashi ningi omalongekidho gokutota po omandiki ga yooloka ga nuninwa uunangeshefa wuunamapya, sho shi vule okutidhila kokule nokuhupitha aakalimo yomoshitopolwa okuza koluhepo nondjala.

    Ngoloneya gwoshitopolwa shaMusati, Erginus Endjala okwa pula aanangeshefa yomoshitopolwa shaMusati opo ya ndalapatele ompito ndjoka taya pewa kepangelo opo ya vule okuyambulapo oshitopolwa muunamapya.

    Pethimbo a popi nokugandja oshipopiwa she shopashigwana kombinga yoshitopolwa shaMusati, Endjala okwa popi kutya ehalo lyawo lyokuyambulapo oshitopolwa nokushininga oombonge oonene ngele tashi ya kuunamapya, otali tulwa miilonga.

    Okwa popi kutya oompito dhongeshefa otadhi ka tulwa po mbala melongo lyonyama oshowo iinima yilwe moshikondo shuunamapya nuuniimuna.

    Endjala okwa popi kutya okwa nyanyukwa moku mu tseyithila oshigwana she kutya ope na oompito dhomayambulepo moshikondo shoka. Shoka otashi vulu owala okwaadha omalalakano okupitila metotepo lyoongeshefa ngaashi okulonga oombaapila dhokulongitha kuundjugo, endiki lyokulonga omahangu noondya dhilwe ngaashi omakoloni nuumbiskiti, oodhopi oshowo iinima yilwe.

    Ngoloneya okwa tsikile kutya ope na uumbangi mboka tawu ulike kutya oshitopolwa shoka oshi na oonzo odhindji, ndhoka tadhi vulu okulongithwa mokuyambulapo oshitopolwa ihe kape na iikwaniilongitho mbyoka tayi vulu okulongithwa mokulonga oonzo ndhoka.

    Okwa tsikile kutya ethimbo olya thikana opo aakalimo yomoshitopolwa ya longe nuudhiginino okupitila woo mooprograma ngaashi public-private partnerships (PPPs), direct private investment, build-operate-transfer (BOT) opo ku yambulepo uunangeshefa mboka.

    Okwa popi kutya etungo lyopoloyeka ngaashi ndjoka yokulonga oasparagus mOshifo moRuacana, ofaabulika yokulonga omatama mOmahenene Business Park mOnesi oshowo elongo lyomatama mEtunda nOlushandja odhili metifa.

    “Sho tatu popi ngashiingeyi, Uuministeli wIipindi nOmayambulepo gOongeshefa oonshona naadhoka dhopokati, owa gandja nale oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 32 kombelewa yokumukalelipo gwaNamibia moIndia opo ku landwe omashina ngoka taga ka longithwa mofaabulika yokulonga omatama mOmahenene border post. Evi mpoka tapu ka tungwa ofaabulika yokulonga oasparagus olya gandjwa nale momake gehangano ndyoka tali tungu ofaabulika ndjoka mOshifo moRuacana, niilonga yetungo otayi tameke pehulilo lyomwedhi nguka.”

    Endjala okwa popi kutya onakuyiwa yoshitopolwa shoka otayi shambula meyambulepo ndyoka lyuunangeshefa.

    Ngoloneya okwa popi kutya natango shimwe shoka tashi shambula ngele tashi komayambulepo moshitopolwa, epatululo lyokatomeno hoka ka patululwa mOutapi kuyele omwedhi nguka.

    Okatomeno hoka oko owala taka adhika monooli yoshilongo.

    Pamayalulo ngoka ga li ga ningwa momvula yo 2010,

    Ehangano lyoMeat Board of Namibia, olya holola kutya oshitopolwa shoka oshi na oongombe dha thika po 275 000 , iikombo 245 000 oshowo oonzi 15 000.

    Endjala okwa popi kutya aaniimuna oyendji inaya kutha ko nokusimaneka ongeshefa yiimunaihe uuniimuna kuyo okuulika etumba lyuukengeli.

    Okwa tsikile kutya okatomeno hoka otaka kayambulapo onkalo yaaniimuna, ngele oya longitha okatomeno hoka pamadhilaadhilo gopangeshefa nokulanditha po iimuna yawo omanga yi li muundjolowele nomonkalo ombwaanawa.







    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Future of sheep marketing in spotlightFuture of sheep marketing in spotlight The Meat Board recently attended the Keetmanshoop Regional Agricultural Union meeting in Keetmanshoop during which the sheep marketing scheme and the future of sheep marketing in Namibia was discussed.

    The current situation surrounding the prices offered to producers and the delivery of lamb to local abattoirs were also discussed along with the promotion of mutton and lamb, the marketing of over-fat sheep and the promotion of sheep and lamb consumption in Namibia.

    The Meat Board's technical committee on sheep marketing will handle the relevant issues, while the Meat Board meat standards division together with their public relations officer will attend to the promotion of sheep and lamb meat.

    Furthermore the meat industry and the Directorate of Veterinary Services met this month to discuss the harmonising of requirements for the import of animals and animal products at all Namibian border posts.

    During this meeting a standard operating procedure for the import of animal and animal products was also discussed.

    This document was disseminated amongst industry members for input prior to it being finalised.

    According to the Meat Board it was again mentioned that close collaboration between the industry and the Directorate of Veterinary Services is critical, not only for the protection of human and animal health when animals and animal products are imported, but also for economic growth.

    This is especially important seen in the light of the vision to develop Namibia as a trade hub by connecting SADC to the rest of the world, given the strategic location of Namibia and the presence of two harbours, said the Meat Board.

    Meanwhile, the World Meat Congress indicated the production and trade of beef and mutton will increase by 9% and 20% respectively over the next ten years. Countries where the biggest growth is expected are Asian countries like China and Korea, and the Middle East and northern Africa. The total consumption of beef is expected to increase by 9% whereas consumption of sheep meat is expected to increase by 19%. With regard to price, beef and mutton is expected to maintain the current price levels, even though the mutton price is the only price showing a slight increase lately, mostly due to a global shortage. Regardless of the current economic restrictions, international meat prices are expected to remain steep.

    According to the Meat Board meat producers expressed concern regarding the growth in the “alternative” or “fake” meat product trend as a result of strong financial support given by large international chain groups.

    The importance of meeting consumer demand, which is tender and consistent quality meat, was again reiterated.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Meatco delivers on promise
  • Meatco delivers on promiseMeatco delivers on promiseMobile slaughtering unit grows in popularity Farmers north of the red line have taken well to the mobile unit deployed by Meatco to reach communal farmers for slaughtering. Meatco's mobile slaughter unit that was introduced into the Northern Communal Area (NCA) in mid-August 2016 has seen an increase in cattle slaughter numbers with demand still growing.

    The unit has extended its stay at Mutambo Ribebe quarantine camp due to an increased demand for slaughter. In keeping with the demand, a centralised area of operations for the NCA is in the pipeline and will soon be made known to the relevant stakeholders. The Oshikoto Region is strongly being considered once all the logistics are in place and the condition of animals allows for easier marketability. According to the manager of the mobile slaughtering unit, Obed Kaatura, they managed to slaughter 746 animals in 2016, 927 in 2017 and 303 from January to date, with demand still surging.

    The unit has a slaughter throughput of between 15 and 20 cattle per week. According to Meatco the NCA has always been a tough market due to the veterinary cordon fence, which means that marketing opportunities in the area remain limited because meat from this area cannot be exported. Therefore the need to constantly seek new clients in this area cannot be overemphasised, said Meatco.

    “In this vein, Meatco will continue to seek marketing opportunities to the advantage of the company and farmers in the area.”

    The limited market has a bearing on the efficient operations of the mobile slaughtering unit in that fewer cattle are slaughtered compared to the budget. However, more local farmers have expressed their interest in selling their cattle to Meatco.

    Cattle slaughtered at the mobile slaughtering unit are marketed as carcasses, or are value-added into beef cuts, beef stew and other fresh beef products.

    Offal products are sold directly to the Kavango Marketing Cooperative with the help of the Meatco Foundation. The Kavango Marketing Cooperative then repackages the offal products and sells them to the local market, an income-generating activity that enhances the cooperative's capacity. “Meatco adapted a strategy that is especially formulated for the NCA market to provide a service that is affordable while maximising profits for the company,” Kaatura said.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Moz peace talks fall apart
  • Moz peace talks fall apartMoz peace talks fall apartPresdient calls for Renamo disarmament In a bid to get the peace process back on track, Mozambique's president Filipe Nyusi has called for Renamo's armed wing to put down its guns. Mozambique's president this week called for the immediate disarmament of the opposition Renamo's armed wing in a bid to conclude the peace process initiated before the death of its leader.

    The disarmament and integration of Renamo fighters into the regular army and police has been a major sticking point in any peace deal and government would want it finalised before the local government elections which are three months away.

    The former rebel group Renamo - which was led by Afonso Dhlakama until his unexpected death in May - operates both as an opposition party and as an armed militant group.

    “There is no alternative to disarmament, demobilisation and it should start now,” President Filipe Nyusi said during an address to mark the country's independence from Portugal.

    Renamo accepts disarming its military wing, but differs with the government on the timeline, preferring that demilitarisation takes place shortly after the October elections.

    “The dialogue on military issues is progressing positively, with the assurance that the reintegration and integration of our military brothers ... would be implemented by October,” said Renamo's parliamentary leader Ivone Soares.

    “The problem is that Frelimo wants demilitarisation now,” she said in a statement.

    Renamo fought a bloody 16-year civil war against the ruling Frelimo party until 1992.

    Between 2013 and 2016, unrest again erupted as Renamo attacked government and civilian vehicles, while soldiers were accused of ruthlessly targeting suspected rebels.

    Face-to-face talks between Nyusi and Dhlakama, began after a truce ended the unrest.

    Dhlakama played a key role in advancing the peace process, but his death from a suspected heart attack aged 65 threw the talks into doubt.

    Nyusi said the demilitarisation timeline had been agreed to with Dhlakama and that the new Renamo leadership must respect it.

    “We call for the serenity of Renamo's new leadership so that this noble desire for a definitive peace and effective reconciliation among Mozambicans can be achieved as soon as possible,” Nyusi said.

    The differences on the disarmament process between the two sides has led to the indefinite postponement of a parliamentary session that should approve the electoral law which will regulate the October 2018 municipal elections.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day DESTROYED: Seized drugs to be burnt are seen during the drug destruction ceremony marking the international day yesterday against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Yangon, Myanmar 2018. Photo: NAMPA/XINHUA

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Govt's misplaced priorities
  • Govt's misplaced prioritiesGovt's misplaced priorities Yet another scandal has engulfed the government following reports that surfaced on Monday linking one of its ministries to a multimillion-dollar property deal in Angola's Luanda. A local company, Afrikuumba, has been in talks with industrialisation ministry officials for a quite some time now, according to media reports, to seal a deal that would have seen government to buy a N$117 million property in Angola. According to The Namibian, which broke the story on Monday, the land in question is owned by businessman Titus Nakuumba through his Afrikuumba business. The newspaper claimed the property included a plot measuring 14 000 square metres and buildings on 20 000 square metres. It also said government apparently wanted to build a business park with offices, workshops, housing units and warehouses. The parties involved have now been stopped dead in their tracks, after finance minister Calle Schlettwein raised alarm bells about the purported deal, saying no treasury approval was granted for government to acquire the property. He added that the rules and regulations under the new procurement board had also not been followed, before asking the industrialisation ministry to abandon the property deal with immediate effect. It appears that many other government officials, including the office of the attorney-general and works ministry, were privy to the details pertaining to the deal, as there was reportedly great interest in the Angolan deal. Given government's poor financial status, which has seen hospitals running out of drugs and massive budget cuts at ministries, was it really necessary for the industrialisation ministry to push for such a deal? This is irresponsible and wasteful. It is also an indictment on government and clearly shows its priorities are misplaced. This begs the question whether our leaders are really committed to promoting a greater level of transparency and accountability, especially in instances where taxpayer money is involved. It is equally sad that officials who fail to comply with applicable legislation are never held responsible for their actions. Government must expose those involved in wrongdoing and take appropriate and timely action against all the transgressors. It can't be business as usual, while those that need to be prioritised perpetually get the shortest end of the stick.

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    Spies must explain in parliament - VenaaniSpies must explain in parliament - Venaani The Patriot's court victory over the country's spy agency has paved the way for citizens and the media to expose corruption that is otherwise kept secret in the name of national security.

    This according to Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) McHenry Venaani, who was speaking during a media briefing yesterday.

    The Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) lodged an urgent court action in early April to prevent the weekly newspaper from publishing a story on corruption allegations surrounding government's purchasing of properties for the agency.

    Judge Harald Geier dismissed the NCIS bid with costs, saying there was no reason why the intelligence service could not be held accountable as a state agency.

    According to Venaani, this is the very argument that will motivate them to take the state-owned August 26 company to court, and in the same vein the PDM will demand financial statements for the last three years from the NCIS.

    Venaani also pointed out that the spy agency cannot be allowed to conduct covert operations that run into millions of dollars.

    He also questioned the effectiveness of parliamentary standing committees that are led by the ruling party, which according to him lack the ability to properly scrutinise issues.

    “We are going to probe this in parliament. Our committee must call the central intelligence bosses and they must in the next seven days come and explain themselves in-camera. They must explain what are these lodges for that they are buying? What is this association (of former spies), why are they buying farms for more than N$57 million? Where are these farms? The committee must go down and investigate the existence of these allegations,” he said.

    According to an article carried by The Patriot, NCIS has spent taxpayer money to fund a private association of former spies.



    Appeal a waste of time

    Venaani also called on President Hage Geingob to intervene and ask the NCIS to abandon its plan to appeal the court ruling.

    According to him government is wasting its time and taxpayer money, adding that if this case is allowed to continue then it will lead to the victimisation of journalists and politicians who raise issues related to the spy agency.

    “Zimbabwe is one good example where journalists have disappeared and have been tortured for divulging such information. And the world over where some journalists are still unaccounted for. President Hage Geingob as the head of the country should save this country's money and tell the spy agency not to continue with this frivolous appeal,” Venaani added.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Farmers lash Meatco bosses
  • Farmers lash Meatco bossesFarmers lash Meatco bossesQuestion management amid financial crisis In a closed-door meeting, farmers and members of Meatco gave the board six months to end the mess the company is in. Meatco producers are fed-up with the company's deteriorating financial situation under the leadership of the current board and have given them six months to sort out the mess.

    Members last week handed in a no-confidence motion expressing “deep concern regarding the performance, corporate governance and accountability by the Meatco board of directors,” at the company's annual general meeting held in Windhoek.

    The meeting was attended by 118 members, but was closed to the media.

    A copy of the motion states that Meatco's international competiveness and financial position has deteriorated rapidly during the tenure of most of the current board, to a point where urgent intervention is required.

    “Despite various words of caution Meatco continued to invest hundreds of millions of Namibian dollars in non-profit ventures which put the future of the company at stake.”

    The members said these board decisions and the financial losses experienced during their implementation contributed to the current financial crisis at the company.

    They expressed the extreme disappointment at the non-transparent manner the board interacted with them and the ineffective manner in which members' interests were generally served.

    They also said they were very disappointed with the deterioration of Meatco's business efficiency and competiveness under the control of the current board, to the extent that its existence is in danger.

    The members therefore requested the board to provide them with a strategy and practical steps to restore trust in them.

    They also want a detailed turnaround strategy in order to make the business internationally competitive again.

    The motion further asked the board to provide members with financial and cash-flow budgets for the 2018/19 financial year.

    They want feedback on the progress made on these issues within the next six months.

    According to the motion, between the 2014/15 and 2017/18 financial years Meatco operated in a relatively favourable exchange-rate environment. The average exchange rate was N$14.96/€1 during this period, compared to an average of N$10.73/€1 for the 2010/11 to 2013/14 financial years.

    It says the exchange rate depreciation benefited Meatco's revenue by almost 40%.

    “Despite this relatively favourable business environment Meatco lost significant market share against abattoirs slaughtering cattle for the Namibian market,” members said.

    In expert analyses of the period 2014/15 to 2017/18 it emerged that while the financial performance deteriorated, the board's remuneration and administration costs as percentage of turnover increased steeply.

    The amount spent on interest also increased significantly.

    Moreover, the auditors' formal opinion of the annual financial statements contains an extremely serious condition in respect to Meatco's going concern status, namely that a material uncertainty exists that may cast doubt on the group's ability to continue as a going concern.

    “Despite various commitments by the board that urgent turnaround strategies are being developed, no information has yet emerged what these plans are while several financial losses and cash-flow constraints are suffered to the detriment of the Meatco members,” the motion reads.

    According to the members, past board actions have cast doubt on the efficiency and effectiveness of its corporate governance, procedures and processes.

    “Many examples exist, such as the late cancellation of the special members' meeting to nominate board members. The promise by the board that a meeting would be held to nominate directors was not fulfilled and the agriculture minister used this failure to nominate board members himself.”

    The board also promised two years ago to pay a bonus to producers and this has not been met.

    “The members of Meatco have lost all trust in the board to ensure a successful turnaround of the company.”

    At the meeting Meatco board chairperson Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun said the country was facing tough economic times, which included drought and a decline in cattle numbers available for slaughter.

    She urged Meatco members to ponder the sustainability of the meat industry in Namibia.

    “The country's meat industry is under immense pressure and is facing serious challenges which include, amongst others, its sustainability.”

    She said the ever-growing trend of exporting livestock on the hoof, which saw a total of 315 198 cattle leaving the country in 2017 compared to 164 220 in 2016, was worrisome as it negatively affected the availability of livestock for slaughter at local abattoirs.

    “If this situation continues, it will further deepen the triple threats of unemployment, poverty and inequality in the country.”

    Acting chief executive officer Jannie Breytenbach reported that 81 984 animals were slaughtered during the year under review.

    About 38.59% of those animals were from commercial producers and the rest, 61.41%, came through the Meatco feedlot and backwards integration systems, creating a backlog on Meatco cash-flow cycles.

    The Meatco Group recorded revenue of N$1.425 billion during the year under review. The net loss for the year amounted to N$51.2 million.

    Revenue decreased by 15.91% year-on-year, mainly due to the lower number of cattle slaughtered (10.45%) and the strengthening of the Namibia dollar against major foreign currencies.

    Meatco paid N$899.852 million to producers, which was 20.04% more than the previous year's figure of N$749.617 million.

    According to Meatco, members at the AGM also discussed the issue of the board's legitimacy. The meeting felt that eligible members were not given the right to choose the current board. No further discussion was allowed as the matter was said to be sub-judice since it still before court.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief BHP, Vale agree to settle one Samarco suit

    Mining giants BHP and Vale, co-owners of Samarco, yesterday reached agreement with Brazilian public authorities to settle a 20 billion real (US$5.3 billion) civil suit over a mine collapse that left 19 people dead.

    The companies also established a framework to progress a second 155 billion real claim brought by federal prosecutors in the next two years, Australia's BHP said in a statement.

    The settlement relates to clean-up costs and damages after the 2015 tragedy in which an iron ore tailings dam burst and unleashed a tsunami of toxic waste and buried a nearby village in Brazil's Minas Gerais region.

    It also agreed to more community participation in decisions related to remediation and compensation programmes.

    BHP noted that the deal, with prosecutors and the governments of the states of Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo, needs to be ratified by a Brazilian federal court and approved by the federal government. – Nampa/AFP

    BMW could close UK plants

    BMW would have to close its British factories which make Mini and Rolls-Royce cars if Brexit leads to serious supply chain disruption, a company executive said in remarks published by the Financial Times on Monday.

    "We always said we can do our best and prepare everything, but if at the end of the day the supply chain will have a stop at the border, then we cannot produce our products in the UK," BMW customs manager Stephan Freismuth said.

    BMW's warning follows concerns expressed last week by the head of Siemens' UK operations, who told Reuters Britain should stay in the EU's customs union, contrary to the British government's policy.

    Airbus also warned that British jobs would be under threat from a 'no deal' Brexit, drawing criticism from government ministers who said such comments undermined Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiating position.

    About 90% of the parts used in BMW's British factories come from mainland Europe. – Nampa/Reuters

    Diageo to raise stake in Sichuan Shuijingfang

    Diageo Plc, the world's largest spirits company, said it has proposed to increase its stake in Chinese baiju maker Sichuan Shujingfang Company to raise its stake to up to 60% through a partial tender offer.

    Diageo offered 62 CNY (US$9.50) per Sichuan share of Sichuan, the company said in a statement. It currently holds a 39.71% stake.

    The British-based maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch and Smirnoff vodka offered close to a 25% premium to Sichuan's closing price of 49.6 CNY on Monday.

    Sichaun said that Diageo would pay a maximum of 6.15 billion CNY (US$941.24 million) and that Diageo would fund the deal on its own.

    Sichaun said it would not be de-listed if the deal goes through. – Nampa/Reuters

    Zinc hits 10-month low

    Zinc prices hit the lowest in over 10 months on Monday as a rise in inventories signalled supplies were healthy and speculators put pressure on the market.

    Daily data showed zinc on-warrant inventories - those not earmarked for delivery - in warehouses certified by the London Metal Exchange rose 2 300 tonnes to 241 525 tonnes. They have shot up 83% since the beginning of March.

    The steady rise in stocks has mirrored a breakdown in prices, which have shed a fifth since touching the strongest in over a decade of US$3 595.50 a tonne on Feb. 15.

    "The charts on zinc don't look good, the break below US$2 970 was worrying," said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, Partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.

    Benchmark LME zinc fell 0.9% to US$2 891 a tonne in official open outcry trading after touching US$2 856.50, the lowest since Aug. 7 last year. – Nampa/Reuters

    Oil rises as outages balance trade dispute

    Oil prices rose yesterday, supported by Canadian production losses and uncertainty over Libyan exports, but under pressure from climbing OPEC supply and intensifying trade conflicts between the United States and other major economies.

    Benchmark Brent crude was up 35 cents at US$75.08 a barrel by 0720 GMT. U.S. light crude was 35 cents higher at US$68.43 a barrel.

    Brent, which tends to reflect global supply and demand, was driven up by uncertainty around oil exports by Libya, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

    Oil markets have tightened significantly since 2017, when OPEC and its partners started withholding supply to prop up slumping prices at the time.

    But some analysts think oil markets will stay tight. "Despite the OPEC agreement [last week] we believe that tight supply is likely to drive oil prices higher during 2018," said Jason Gammel of US investment bank Jefferies. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Court halts unlawful printing dealCourt halts unlawful printing deal Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) subsidiary Newsprint Namibia scored a significant victory in the High Court when it succeeded in stopping the New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) from continuing to print its New Era and Kundana newspapers at Independent Investment (Pty) Ltd, trading as Max Media Printers.

    “The New Era Public Corporation must stop procuring printing services for New Era and its Oshiwambo supplement from Independent Investment (Pty) Ltd, trading as Max Media Printers, or any other persons or parties until there is a decision or adjudication in respect of the tender numbered NCR/RFQ/NEPC-02/2018, in accordance with the (Public Procurement) Act,” Judge Collins Parker ordered on Friday.

    Ernst Venzke, general manager of Newsprint Namibia, said in sworn statement they were seeking an interim order on an urgent basis.

    According to him the restraining order is in accordance with the rule of law and in the public interest.

    The judge further indicated that if the NEPC still requires printing services, it must procure such services in accordance with the provisions of the Act and its regulations.

    “It is the duty of the court to promote the rule of law and legality, particularly with regard to the acts of administrative bodies and officials. I found that the impugned harm arising from the acts of New Era Publications Corporation are continuing, and therefore the urgent application should succeed,” Parker ruled.

    Venzke said in his sworn statement that in October 2017 the NEPC, through New Era newspaper, advertised a tender for the printing of its two newspapers.

    Newsprint was awarded the tender during January 2018, as the most responsive and qualified tenderer.

    Max Media Printers then approached a review panel, raising various review grounds in terms of the Act.

    The panel ruled that procurement proceedings had terminated, effective from 25 January 2018.

    “If New Era Publication Corporation wishes to continue with the procurement of the printing services for its New Era and Kundana newspapers, the process must start afresh in accordance with the Act and its regulations,” the review panel ruled.

    It added the decision to award the tender to Max Media Printers was also null and void.

    “If there were printing services required by New Era Public Corporation such services can only be provided following a public procurement process, in accordance with the Act and its regulations,” Venzke had emphasised in court papers.

    He said the request for quotations was cancelled on 23 February, by way of notice and the reason was that the NEPC's procurement requirements had changed from the initial ones.

    “The cancellation to say the least was suspicious,” Venzke said.

    He added they sought to amicably engage the NEPC, but to no avail.

    “There is currently no valid procurement contract existing in terms of which the public corporation could procure printing services from Max Media Printers. The contract, if still being used, is unlawful… and beyond the powers of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act and its regulations, and has in any event expired and the public corporation has no right to extend it from time to time,” Venzke argued.

    Lawyer Sisa Namandje appeared for Newsprint, while Tuafeni Muhongo represented Max Media Printers and John Kandara appeared for the NEPC.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    NSC fraud case awaits PG's decisionNSC fraud case awaits PG's decision The fraud case involving former Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) acting chief administrator Walter Haseb and development officer Yvonne Nande is awaiting a decision by the office of the prosecutor-general.

    Prosecutor Marcus Angula told Windhoek Magistrate Vanessa Stanley on Tuesday police investigations into the fraud case are now complete and asked that the matter be remanded until 27 September for the PG's pronouncement on how to proceed.

    The postponement was effected as per an agreement reached by Angula and the two accused's privately-instructed defence lawyers Kadhila Amoomo and Vetu Uanivi.

    Magistrate Stanley postponed the case to September for the PG's decision.

    Nande and Haseb are out on N$40 000 bail each, which was extended until their next court appearance.

    The duo were arrested by officers attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on 26 July 2017, on charges of corruptly using their offices or positions for personal gain or gratification.

    They stand accused of misappropriating N$4.5 million in 2016.

    Haseb resigned from the NSC on 28 December 2016, while Nande resigned at a later stage.

    NSC chief administrator Freddy Mwiya said last year his office has been working with the ACC for some time, as it investigated financial irregularities at the commission.

    The two accused were granted bail in July 2017, coupled with the condition that they report to the Okahandja police station every Friday between 08:00 and 17:00.

    They are also not allowed to leave Namibia without the knowledge and consent of the investigators.



    NAMPA

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Spy agency to appeal
  • Spy agency to appealSpy agency to appealCounsel says court erred in its judgment The Namibia Central Intelligence Service is hitting back at The Patriot with papers filed for an appeal in the Supreme Court. The dust around the Namibia Central Intelligence Service's (NCIS) attempt to prevent The Patriot newspaper from publishing details about its property in Windhoek and two farms, refuses to subside.

    The NCIS has filed papers to appeal against the Windhoek High Court judgment in which it dismissed the agency's application on 18 June with costs.

    The agency's grounds for appeal are, among others, that the court erred in the manner in which it approached and adjudicated the requirement of injury actually committed or reasonably apprehended.

    In the papers, Advocate Dennis Khama, appearing for the director-general of the NCIS and the government, objects to the finding that his client's apprehension was founded on a set of questions sent by The Patriot editor Mathias Haufiku.

    He argues that their reasonable apprehension was pleaded in the founding statement which included that the publication of the information will be a contravention of the the Protection of Information Act and that the publication will pose a national security risk to the state.

    Furthermore, the court erred when it found that the agency did not plead factual material that entitled it to the order it had sought.

    The court found that the failure to plead factual material precisely and fully on the exact nature and scope of the security concerns detracted from the veracity of the NCIS's case.

    “We object to this finding and approach in that they actually did plead the factual material upon which the case was based,” Khama argued.

    In the third instance, the agency is of the view the court did not judicially determine the real issue between the parties.

    “This was the subject matter that prompted the litigation and it is the judicial interpretation of those provisions the court was required to determine and to make a pronouncement on the interpretation of those provisions. The court did not do so and it erred,” Khama said.

    The fifth ground of appeal is that the court erred in finding that the agency should have commented on the questions forwarded by The Patriot newspaper or should have provided the information it sought.

    According to Khama the court did not take into account the purpose of the Protection of Information Act and the Service Act.

    “Both these legislations regulate certain prescribed and defined information and the court was obliged to take that into account,” Khama maintained.

    Papers have been filed and a date for the hearing in the Supreme Court is still to be set.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Land, mining uncertainty threatens SA growth

    South Africa's economic growth prospects will be limited by weak business confidence while uncertainty around land and mining reforms remain a concern for investors, ratings agency Moody's in research report yesterday.

    "Uncertainty over how this [land reform] will be achieved continues to limit near-term investment," said Moody's analyst and senior credit officer Lucie Villa.

    "[It] could ultimately lead to a more pronounced fall in investment should the final terms of land reform be particularly onerous to businesses."– Nampa/Reuters

    Suez Canal Authority seeking euro loan

    Egypt's Suez Canal Authority is seeking a 300 million euro (US$350.19 million) loan from Gulf banks, three senior banking sources told Reuters yesterday.

    The loan will be used to finance the purchase of two new dredgers, the sources said.

    The authority had signed a contract with Dutch firm Royal IHC for the equipment last year but failed to secure funding from local banks.

    The sources provided no further details and the Canal authority could not be immediately reached for comment. – Nampa/Reuters

    Algeria backs higher customs duties

    Algeria's lower house of parliament approved on Monday a government plan to lift a largely ineffective ban on imports of many goods and replace it with customs duties of between 30% and 200%.

    The OPEC member has been trying to ease pressure on state finances since 2014, when crude oil prices started falling, leading to an almost 50% fall in energy earnings.

    Oil and gas revenues account for 95% of total exports and 60% of the state budget in the North African nation of 41 million people.

    Authorities have said the higher duties will apply to finished goods and are aimed at encouraging local firms and protecting them from foreign competition. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Medical app slashes costs by 2/3Medical app slashes costs by 2/3Boost staff efficiency At present, the app is available in English, Afrikaans and Portuguese. Having accessible doctors’ advice 24/7 has been very valuable, not only for our guests but also our staff members. - Simonetta Musso, Owner: Journeys Namibia Denver Kisting – Razor-sharp technology is revolutionising how quality healthcare can be both accessible and affordable.

    Founder of this telemedicine company, GP and public health expert, Dr Armid Azadeh, says companies using the service and application have managed to slash their costs by two-thirds.

    This relates not only to direct medical expenditure, but also costs associated with absenteeism and, on the other hand, being present at work.

    While Macquarie Medical Care started off as a clinic for workers stationed on a remote island in Indonesia, it evolved to become what it is today, namely, a telemedicine service supported by their proprietary online app. Dr Azadeh and a friend had developed the initial ideas while he was stationed in Indonesia, and was about to embark on specialist studies in public health in the USA.

    In an interview with Market Watch, Dr Azadeh says, “The purpose was to bring health in reach by improving access to medical services in areas where it was limited.”

    Upon his return to his homeland, Namibia, Dr Azadeh decided to pursue the venture more seriously as the need became apparent. He visited friends at a lodge and wanted to know from them what would happen when guests fell ill. “The managers definitely felt quite isolated and had nowhere to turn to. So, we started an informal arrangement by providing them with telephonic medical advice.”

    'Vast needs'

    “What I hadn’t anticipated, and therein lay the biggest benefit, were the vast healthcare needs that the staff and their dependants had, and an inadvertent boost in the lodges’ efficiency, when medical care could be provided onsite. Before then, staff needed to be transported to the nearest clinic, ranging from 30 to 120 km away, mostly on gravel roads.”

    This placed the resources of the lodge under severe strain. “It was a big cost, especially with staff being away from the lodge. It always impacted on their operations as they would typically end up at a clinic with no doctor and/or medication, taking a couple days to return.”

    Dr Azadeh emphasises that they are not an emergency centre. “We provide primary health care.”

    He says the service, which is supported by their app, has brought down their clients’ costs by two-thirds. “We visit the sites once or twice a year to meet the staff in person and to conduct occupational health checks. We also provide medical kits onsite with treatment for allergies, diarrhoea, respiratory infections and headaches.”

    Support

    The Macquarie app has been designed to support the telemedicine consultations as patients are able to electronically record their medical histories, so that doctors are better equipped to effectively treat them. More recent app developments allow further patient engagement through Whatsapp-like chat with their doctor, and monitoring of their blood sugar, blood pressure, stress levels, weight and diet particulars. “This will allow the healthcare provider to look at your risk profile and flag any concerns 24/7. Chronic conditions that need surveillance can be monitored consistently and relevant diseases that need screening can be pre-empted. It was created from a patient’s perspective so as to be very intuitive.”

    At present, the app is available in English, Afrikaans and Portuguese.

    With an eye on medical tourism, “Angolan patients who often have to endure being sent from pillar to post when seeking care in Namibia, have a streamlined service where their medical needs are determined in advance and arranged before their arrival”, Azadeh says.

    Upon enquiry, Simonetta Musso, owner of Journeys Namibia and one of their clients, said, “It has been a very positive experience. They are very professional. Having accessible doctors’ advice 24/7 has been very valuable, not only for our guests but also our staff members.”

    According to her, they have already picked up a decrease in absenteeism of their staff members. “It definitely improves their efficiency.”

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Mushelenga enrages Witboois
  • Mushelenga enrages WitbooisMushelenga enrages Witboois A meeting held last week between urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga and the /Khowese Traditional Authority, also known as the Witboois, has apparently enraged the authority's elders.

    Mushelenga had met with the authority to resolve a succession dispute.

    “Today I came to solve the dispute and after today there will be no discussion about the issue as to who is the successor in the Witbooi leadership,” Mushelenga allegedly told the disputing factions within the /Khowese clan, whom he had called to Mariental for a meeting.

    According to elders of the clan, who chose and installed the former Namibian ambassador to Zambia, Salomon Josephat Witbooi, as the ninth kaptein of the /Khowese in 2015, the minister came to “dictate to them that succession within their clan should follow the paternal lineage”.

    The clan says Mushelenga only came to talk about Johannes Richter's withdrawal of his nomination of Ismael Witbooi as candidate to succeed the late Reverend Hendrik Witbooi, who died in 2009, as chief of the /Khowese. They say according to the minister the paternal lineage of succession must be followed.

    The minister allegedly said that Richter's letter, which was served on the president, the vice-president, the line minister and the former secretary-general of Swapo, was never served on Ismael and therefore was null and void.

    “This is because Ismael was kept in the dark about the withdrawal of his nomination. Fairness required that he ought to have been informed,” Mushelenga was quoted as saying.

    When approached for comment, Mushelenga told Namibian Sun that at the meeting he had with both factions in the presence of the governor of the Hardap Region, Esme Isaacks, it became clear that succession was in accordance with the patrilineal line, but that the clan maintained both matrilineal and patrilineal lines were used.

    “Based on that I will compile a report and will forward it to the attorney-general for legal advice,” he emphasised.

    According to him people are lying if they say he came with a predetermined decision as to who should be the chief. He stressed that he wanted correct procedure to be followed.

    “If customs are customs they must be followed over a long period of time. I am not here to be used by anyone. We experienced that feuding factions over traditional leadership in this country take chances when there are new ministers appointed, just to be recognised at the expense of others,” he said.

    Pineas Eduard Topnaar, spokesperson of the /Khowese, on Thursday said they had no option but to challenge the minister in a court of law.

    Mushelenga is said to have declared as null and void Richter's letter withdrawing the nomination of Ismael to the clan's chieftainship. Richter distanced himself from Ismael a few years ago and threw his weight behind the royal house.

    Topnaar explained that the /Khowese, a sub-clan of the Nama, long ago deviated from the traditional paternal lineage of succession. Their succession processes continuously underwent changes over more than a century due to political and social circumstances in the country, he said.

    The hereditary succession within the clan leadership was changed to soft- and hard-line categories which were recommended by Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi. This was based on his experience with the influence exerted by the Rhenish missionaries in the country and later on, the German colonial regime.

    He recommended that after his demise one of his sons should head the “soft side”, which included church and school, while other one should head the clan's traditional leadership. This changed in 1978 after the late Reverend Hendrik Witbooi, who descended from the “soft side”, was seen by the elders as the only ideal candidate to take up the responsibility of authority leadership.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Vigilante justice turns deadlyVigilante justice turns deadlySuspected thief beaten to death An angry mob in Wanaheda caught a man who was stealing a generator and beat him up before taking him to the nearest police station. Mob justice took a murderous turn over the weekend when a 23-year-old suspected thief sustained a deadly beating and died of his injuries.

    The police say a case of murder is being investigated after the unidentified man died in the early hours of Sunday.

    It was reported that the man had allegedly stolen a generator valued at N$13 000 in Wanaheda, and was “caught red-handed by members of the public” and beaten “before they took him to Havana mobile police station”.

    After he was booked, the police took the man to the Katutura hospital for medical help, but he died the next day.

    The police said yesterday that no arrests had been made, and noted that in a case of mob justice, it is very difficult “to determine who delivered the fatal blow”.

    In another case, a 27-year-old man was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of murdering his former partner who had recently dumped him.

    The police yesterday confirmed the fatal stabbing of Hermina Francia Apollus (24), who died after her former partner allegedly stabbed her three times.

    Apollus and the accused, whose name is known to Namibian Sun but whose first court appearance could not be confirmed, had two young children.

    Apollus was stabbed in her left shoulder, lower back and spine.

    The police say the incident took place at Groot Aub on Sunday afternoon and that they managed to arrest the suspect after a chase.

    He is facing one count of murder.

    The police are investigating a case of abortion or concealment of birth after a passer-by discovered the body of a newborn baby girl at a dumpsite in Havana on Sunday. It is not clear what the cause of death was.

    No suspect has been arrested.

    A security guard has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after he shot at a mother and son following an argument over one dollar.

    The police said the incident took place on Saturday in Havana, where a security guard employed by Shilimela Security Services argued with a man about a debt of one dollar.

    The man's mother reportedly handed over the money owed, but an argument erupted between the security guard and the mother and son.

    The security guard discharged his weapon, wounding both. Both are in a stable condition at the Katutura hospital.

    The police at Ongwediva are investigating a violent armed robbery in which three unidentified men threatened a domestic worker with a gun and tied her up with a cable before stealing items valued at N$84 000.

    According to the police the incident took place last Friday morning, when the men entered the house by pretending to be responding to a call-out for repairs.

    After tying up the housekeeper, they stole N$54 000 in cash, two laptops, a cellphone and computer equipment.

    No arrests have been made, nor have any of the stolen items been retrieved.

    The police have arrested another would-be pangolin trafficker at Oshifo near Ruacana.

    The 42-year-old man, whose name was not made public, was arrested last Thursday while attempting to sell a live pangolin at the Oshifo open market.

    Meanwhile, Uaumba Tjamburo (25) died on Saturday after a tuck shop he was sleeping in caught fire.

    The incident took place at 8ste Laan in Otjomuise.

    It is alleged that the deceased walked home at 04:00 in the morning and “was reportedly drunk and hungry and wanted to warm up his food on the stove in his tuck shop”.

    He fell asleep and the unsupervised cooker caught fire. Tjamburo died in the subsequent blaze.

    The incident comes close on the heel of the death of two men, Nicodemus Apollus (29) and Mervis Gariseb (37), who died after a fire they had made inside their Otjomuise shack on 15 June to keep warm, spread and got out of control.

    Border authorities intercepted a truck entering Namibia at Ariamsvlei on Friday and discovered 64.4kg of dagga valued at N$644 000 on board.

    The driver, a Namibian man aged 36, was arrested.

    Police are also investigating two armed robberies that took place in Windhoek over the weekend.

    In the early hours of Saturday morning, five armed men broke into a house in Windhoek West, waking the sleeping occupants and holding them at gunpoint.

    The assailants stole a variety of electronic equipment, plus clothes and the family's 2014 Toyota Corolla.

    The police have in the meantime located the vehicle, but no arrests have been made.

    Another vehicle was stolen on Friday evening near the Windhoek Country Club Resort, when suspects armed with knives threatened a 48-year-old man and stole his Toyota Hilux double-cab bakkie.

    No one has been arrested in connection with the hijacking, but the vehicle was recovered at Goreangab Dam on Saturday.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    SA rate hikes seen unlikely this year despite weaker randSA rate hikes seen unlikely this year despite weaker randRisk-off mood, poor economic data hurt South Africa's rand has slumped nearly 9% against the US dollar year to date. We think that markets are getting ahead of themselves by pricing in rate hikes in South Africa. - John Ashbourne, Economist: Capital Economics Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo - South African markets are pricing in the possibility of an interest rate hike this year as the rand falls, even though economists say this is unlikely as inflation expectations have not breached the upper end of the central bank's target range.

    South Africa's rand has slumped nearly 9% against the US dollar year to date, hurt by global risk-off sentiment and poor domestic economic data. It fell to a 7-month low last week.

    Capital Economics senior emerging markets economist John Ashbourne said the currency fall has raised speculation that South African policymakers would follow some emerging market countries that have started raising interest rates.

    Some have moved as a pick-up in their economy or other factors push up inflation, while others are being forced to act to steady their currencies.

    South Africa's forward rate agreements are implying a 25 basis-point hike in interest rates by the end of the year.

    But a Reuters poll found last week that economists expect the South African Reserve Bank to keep its repo rate unchanged at 6.5% until 2020.

    "We think that markets are getting ahead of themselves by pricing in rate hikes in South Africa ... We do not think that this is likely," Ashbourne said in a note.

    "Policymakers have explicitly said that they will not react to currency moves until they see a lasting effect on domestic inflation. And the pass-through between currency moves and inflation is weaker in South Africa than in many other EMs."

    Vigilant

    The central bank said in May it would maintain its vigilance to ensure inflation remained within the 3% to 6% target range, and would adjust the policy stance should the need arise.

    The bank currently forecast CPI to average 5.1% in fourth quarter 2018, and 5.2% in the last quarters of 2019 and 2020. The next interest rates decision and inflation forecasts are due on July 19.

    South Africa's consumer price inflation slowed to 4.4% year-on-year in May as the rise in food prices eased.

    "A weaker currency makes [the central bank] more fearful but it depends on how it impacts inflation twelve months out," Citi economist Gina Schoeman said.

    "We don't think we will see rate hikes in 2018. It doesn't mean there is no risk of it, and the market is correct to price for that."

    Schoeman said rate hikes over the past five years happened when the inflation forecast for twelve months out had breached 6% and stayed above that for two or three quarters.

    "So it has to not only breach 6%, it has to also breach it for a sustainable amount of time. If it is not doing that, then we don't have a risk of interest rate hikes," she said. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 06/26/18--16:00: Slaughter numbers plummet
  • Slaughter numbers plummetSlaughter numbers plummetMeat industry in trouble Meatco, and the Namibian meat industry as a whole, are facing an uncertain future. A restructuring is on the cards for Meatco due to the continued low numbers of cattle it is receiving from commercial farmers.

    A record low number of cattle were procured from commercial farmers by Meatco during 2017/18. Only 31 984 cattle were procured, compared with 56 766 the previous year and more than 100 000 cattle ten years ago.

    Due to the expectation that cattle numbers will continue to decrease, Meatco has embarked on a restructuring of its operations and processes to ensure costs are aligned with the lower expected throughput in the coming years.

    According to Meatco's 2017/18 annual report, one of the main challenges experienced during the reporting period was the large number of cattle exported to South Africa, which was driven by the high prices paid by South African agents at local auctions.

    A total of 484 921 animals were marketed in 2017 compared with 345 765 during a 'normal' year and approximately 313 000 were exported to South Africa.

    “It is even more concerning when viewed in the context of 2017 being a post-drought year, which was supposed to be a herd-building year. It is clear that little, if any, herd building took place in 2017,” the report says.

    The high prices for cattle affected the number of live animals available for purchase by Meatco's feedlots and other facilities, as well as the throughput of slaughter animals to its abattoir.

    According to Meatco it is understandable that the high prices offered by South African feedlots served as a strong motivation for cash-strapped producers recovering from a drought year to sell their weaners. However, it means that the national herd has not only diminished in size, but has become younger – a trend that has been continuing for several years now.

    “Farmers have moved away from ox to weaner production due to cash-flow constraints, and it remains to be seen if producers will have the financial resources to move back to ox production in the years to come,” says Meatco.

    It is therefore expected that the availability of slaughter cattle from commercial producers will remain a major challenge for Meatco in the next two years.

    Meatco says it is therefore becoming more and more dependent on its backwards integration initiatives, Meatco-owned cattle raised by contract feeders and profit-share producers, and its own feedlots.

    Combined they contributed 49 008 cattle to the throughput of Meatco's abattoir — representing nearly 60% of throughput during the reporting period.

    To partly compensate for the much lower number of cattle procured from commercial producers nearly 10 000 more cattle were sourced from Meatco's feedlots than in 2016/17. In total, 33 506 of the cattle slaughtered came from feedlots.

    Ingo Schneider, the then acting CEO of Meatco, said the core focus was on maintaining throughput through the abattoir on the back of the record number of animals exported to South Africa, as approximately 313 000 live animals had left the country.

    According to livestock marketing data for 2017, 65% of all cattle sold were exported on the hoof; 18% were slaughtered at the local B- and C-class abattoirs; and only 17% were slaughtered at Meatco.

    “This is the first time in the history of Meatco that its market share of slaughtered animals has dropped below 20%,” said Schneider.

    He said these figures were echoed by the fact that only 31 639 of the 81 984 cattle slaughtered were procured from commercial producers south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF).

    Regarding producer price, 2017/18 was a particularly good year for producers as the prices paid by Meatco were substantially higher than ever before in the corporation's history.

    The average producer price of N$37.64/kg was 10.5% higher than in 2016/17 at N$34.06/kg and 4.9% higher than the South African parity price.

    A total of N$749.617 million, representing 53.21% of Meatco's revenue of N$1 409 million, was paid out to producers.

    Schneider said the downside of such high producer prices was that any farmer who wanted to restock after the previous season's drought could not do so because the prices were too high.

    “In addition - and this is a major concern, not only for Meatco and producers, but for the whole red meat industry - at these high price levels, it doesn't make financial sense to export meat to European markets anymore, unless the corporation can materially curb the cost of maintaining an export abattoir.”

    He said the internal and external costs that have to be carried as a result of being an export abattoir were substantial and unsustainable if Meatco had to continue paying such high prices for its raw material.

    It is estimated that it adds at least 15 to N$20/kg to keep an EU-compliant abattoir going, excluding costs related to issues such as traceability.

    “This is quite significant and an issue that will need to be addressed on a national level,” said Schneider.

    According to him Meatco has embarked on a review of its organisational structure in the 2017 reporting year. An external consultant was commissioned to assist in this regard.

    He said the organisational restructuring was necessary to align the company's operations to the fact that ever-lower numbers of cattle were expected to be made available to the abattoir in the medium term.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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