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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    What is the purpose of property rights? What is the purpose of property rights? Two types of property rights govern the land on which most Namibian families live: customary land rights and freehold rights. Customary land rights confirm traditional and/or historical entitlements to occupy the land which occupants may use for residential and crop growing purposes. Commercial uses are not allowed, and the land rights may not be sold. These rights are believed to be appropriate for families in communal areas.

    Freehold rights confirm ownership of land which may be used for a variety of commercial and other purposes, although special permissions may be needed for particular uses in certain areas. The land may be bought and sold, and is therefore an investment. Freehold rights are regarded to be appropriate for private property in urban areas and for surveyed land that is not communal.

    Clearly, Namibia has double-standards: one tenure system allows and facilitates the use of land to generate wealth, the other not. Divisions between the two were based on race before independence, now they are used to separate the classes. Not surprisingly, lots has been written and argued about the comparative merits of the two systems. Most discussion is about the tradability and collateral value of communal land. Supporters of the status quo offer a range of ideas on why communal land should not be traded, and on why collateral is inappropriate or unnecessary in communal areas. Their arguments favouring customary land rights are intense, but weak in defending the role of customary land rights in maintaining poverty.

    The fixation on collateral as the only value of tradable rights bedevils these debates, because other benefits get ignored. But first a few comments on loans and collateral. Financial institutions need a range of validations before lending money. Most critical is the simple ability of the borrower to repay a loan, which is assessed from such qualities as the potential borrower’s employment record, earnings, age, health and even life insurance. These are important measures of the chances of a financial institution getting its money back. Having property as collateral can be useful, but other assets are of greater value.

    What about those other benefits of being able to buy and sell land? Number 1 is the use of land as investments to produce wealth. By definition, any item only has investment value if it can be sold. How much of the wealth in Namibia has been generated by buying and selling land? We don’t know, but it is considerable, and many families are better-off as a result. Recall that cattle and other livestock in communal areas are used as investments, so the value of investments has been clear to everyone for a long time.

    Second are the options that come from having freehold land. For example, it is easier to fund special ventures or needs by selling all or part of a property, or by using the land to help raise a loan. Expensive medical treatment or higher education for a child becomes affordable, and enterprises are easier to start, for example.

    Third, fixed property provides an address, a place on a street map where owners are traceable, and a place that provides credentials. These are measures of status, which are hard to provide to land with customary rights. Fourth – and as a consequence of third point – tenured, registered properties are likely to have better access to public services than others.

    Fifth, freehold titles are more secure, both in real and perceived terms than other land rights. The chances of dispossession are therefore lower than for other properties. Sixth, secure freehold properties provide their owners with confidence, a sense of permanence and greater options to plan for the future.

    Seventh, owners of freehold title can decide, and be certain of who inherits their property. Traditional authorities and/or other members of the deceased’s family determine how customary estates are inherited, by contrast.

    So there are seven more reasons. Together with the value of collateral, that makes 8 benefits. Each has its own merits, but it is the combination of values that offer create options, confidence and security. In turn, they raise levels of social and economic well-being, and convert houses into homes. In that, there is much to gain.

    And now recall (from the article in this column on 6 July) that two-thirds of all Namibian families can’t enjoy the benefits of property rights! That is deplorable. Furthermore, those who decide that poor people in communal areas or informal settlements should not own land are largely freehold landowners. That is remarkable. In effect, those who have, know what’s best for those who have not! Or perhaps those of us who are wealthy assume that the poor can’t use property to improve their lives.

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  • 08/09/18--16:00: Kora was special
  • Kora was specialKora was specialCash-strapped govt paid extra funds into NTB for Adjovi New revelations around the Kora awards saga indicate how the cash-strapped Namibian government bent over backwards for Ernest Adjovi. The tourism ministry has confirmed that the nearly N$24 million looted from the Namibia Tourism Board by Kora All-Africa Awards founder Ernest Adjovi was not part of the parastatal's original budget.

    This was revealed by the ministry this week in response to a petition by aggrieved NTB staff.

    The Kora funds were in fact “money funded by the government to purchase a promotion package for the purpose of promoting Namibia in Africa” and was over and above the NTB's budget.

    In addition to the N$23.5 million paid by the NTB, government had also reportedly paid Adjovi N$8 million in 2016 for a musical award show extravaganza, which never took place.

    Acting permanent secretary Teofilus Nghitila said in his response to the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) that the N$23.5 million paid over to the Kora organisers was not money budgeted for the NTB's operations.

    He further stressed that due process was followed for this disbursement and that a legal agreement was drawn up with the assistance of the attorney-general.

    “Currently there is an ongoing High Court case, including a criminal case on this matter. Since the matter is sub judice, no further details can be given,” said Nghitila.

    According to NTB's 2015/16 financial report, the total budget available to the parastatal was N$83.8 million, which comprised of a government grant allocation of N$22 million, “the Kora All-Africa Music Awards special project” of N$24 million and own funds of N$37.8 million, which were generated through NTB revenue streams, of which tourism levies contributed about N$29.8 million.

    The report confirmed the total expenditure that was geared for NTB operations and activities was N$60.3 million and the Kora “special project” amounted to N$23.5 million, bringing total expenditure to N$94.9 million, which resulted in a net operating deficit of N$11.1 million, which was serviced with reserve funds.

    NTB CEO Digu !Naobeb explained that the company receives an annual government grant and that the Kora millions were never part of this grant.

    He said that this money was given to NTB on top of the government grant to use for the “special project” and it was specifically stated that it cannot be used for operational purposes.

    The NTB sued Mundial Telecom Sarl, Adjovi and his local partner Tonata Shiimi in September 2016 for N$23.5 million that it had paid for a tourism promotion package during the awards ceremony, which it never received.

    Mundial Telecom owns the rights to host the Kora Awards while Adjovi acted as the president of the company and Shiimi was the national director of the awards.

    The NTB signed the agreement with Mundial Telecom Sarl on 4 December 2015.

    The tourism promotion material was to have been screened during the 2016 Kora All-Africa Music Awards ceremony that was scheduled to be held in Namibia on 20 March 2016.

    The ceremony initially had been scheduled for 13 December 2015, but was then postponed.

    In terms of the contract the NTB had to pay the N$23.5 million on or before 10 December 2015. But the first payment of N$5 million was made on 22 December 2015 and another N$5 million was paid on 23 December 2015. On 7 January 2016 another N$5 million was transferred and on 17 February 2016 the remaining N$8.5 million was transferred.

    The money was paid into the bank account of Mundial Telecom in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.





    The agreement stipulated that promotional television clips featuring Namibia would be screened by all participating African television stations by at least 20 January 2016.

    Even though there was no evidence of these promotions being screened two months before the awards ceremony, the NTB continued to make payments.

    According to NTB it suffered contractual damages and it is therefore claiming N$23.5 million plus 20% interest.

    The High Court last month ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over Adjovi in his personal capacity - and also that Mundial Telecom SARL, which had failed to adhere to a previous court order setting a time limit for the filing of documents in the matter, was barred from pleading its defence.

    !Naobeb said that a ruling in the matter is expected at the end of August.

    He added that a criminal case has also been opened at the Anti-Corruption Commission.

    With regard to NTB staff grievances about legal fees the NTB had paid, Nghitila said NTB did not have an in-house lawyer and had to outsource its legal services to reputable firms for objectivity on complex legal matters.

    “I am assured that the NTB is acting in the best interest of the institution and that the alleged expenditure in excess of N$1 million on staff legal issues is contrary to the board-approved financial statements for external auditing purposes as reflected in the last financial year,” he said.

    Nghitila said these figures showed that the NTB had spent N$649 341 on legal costs for the Kora Awards, Syntax and human resources matters.

    Nghitila concluded by addressing the demand by staff that !Naobeb, should be removed and the board dissolved.

    He said !Naobeb was appointed through an open, competitive and transparent recruitment process.

    The CEO can only be dismissed on sound grounds of breach of his contract of employment after due processes have been followed.

    Furthermore he said the board was appointed by the cabinet for a term of three years in terms of the NTB Act and Public Enterprises Government Act.

    It is understood that staff members were not satisfied with the response form the ministry to the petition.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Shoprite saga sparks living wage callsShoprite saga sparks living wage calls Shoprite has been urged to allow its workers to freely join trade unions, with the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) saying failure to do so would result in the retailer catching more flak over its labour practices.

    Tucna president Mahongora Kavihuha said although Shoprite had agreed to drop its N$4.5 million lawsuit against 93 workers, following an illegal strike undertaken in 2015, this did not mean the retailer was off the hook.

    He said Shoprite should allow its workers to freely join trade unions, so their working conditions and salaries could improve.

    “We want them to create an atmosphere that unions must be welcome to recruit workers. Shoprite must also start reviewing its salary scales. There must be a dialogue before they become 'hardegat', by cancelling or stopping the deduction of union fees,” said Kavihuha.

    The Shoprite experience, Kavihuha said, should serve as a wake-up call for other retailers.



    Minimum wage

    Turning to the issue of a minimum wage, Kavihuha said although it was a noble idea, there were many factors that needed to be considered before it can be introduced.

    “The introduction of a minimum wage is not a solution in itself. It is not only a salary that will make workers happy, but many other things as well.”

    According to him, while minimum wages had been set for construction workers and security guards, questions remained about whether this actually resulted in better living conditions.

    “We have minimum wages for security guards and construction workers, but has it made life easier for them? There is an assumption that a living wage will make the lives of workers better.”

    There would need to be a lot of work done around the issue of a minimum wage, if it is to be introduced, Kavihuha said.

    “We need an incremental formula that will take into account the rise of inflation and the growth of the economy.”

    Kavihuha also encouraged government to amend the Labour Act for the benefit of all workers.

    Kavihuha's counterpart at the Namibia Union of National Workers (NUNW), Job Muniaro, echoed his sentiments.

    “There are many things to consider and it is a matter of consulting and sitting together to come up with a solution,” Muniaro said.

    Labour ministry permanent secretary, Bro-Matthew Shinguadja, said the introduction of a minimum wage should not be driven by emotions, fanned by the Shoprite saga.

    “The national minimum wage agenda is a scientific process and not emotionally driven, hence the Shoprite situation is not the determining factor in this regard,” he said.

    Shoprite this week agreed to drop a lawsuit against 93 workers for participating in an illegal strike in 2015.

    In a lawsuit filed recently in the Windhoek High Court, the retailer began proceedings to sue the workers for N$4.5 million.

    Amid a public outcry, Shoprite announced it would be dropping the lawsuit. It also agreed to drop disciplinary hearings, saying the workers would be given final written warnings instead.

    Following the news that Shoprite had decided to drop its lawsuit, law firm Nixon Marcus, which was representing the workers, thanked the public for their support.

    “Let us continue to show solidarity for the downtrodden, the exploited and the wretched of the earth. We thank you for the support and solidarity shown to the Shoprite workers.”

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    RDP president throws in the towelRDP president throws in the towel Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Jeremiah Nambinga has resigned after long and bitter power struggles in the ailing opposition party.
    Nambinga, who has served in the position since 2015, took over the reins from the late Hidipo Hamutenya, who later rejoined Swapo and received a Heroes’ Acre burial.
    Nambinga said yesterday his decision to resign was linked to the ongoing feuds haunting the party.
    According to reports, he said the party's principles were being violated.
    In April Nambinga scored a huge legal victory over his own party in the High Court, which ruled that decisions taken on 12 August 2017 by the RDP national executive committee to first discuss and then oust him through a no-confidence vote were unlawful and invalid.
    Following his resignation, RDP vice-president Steve Bezuidenhout is expected to take up the reins of the party in the interim.
    The RDP currently has three seats in the National Assembly and is a shadow of its former self.
    It occupied eight seats in the National Assembly following the 2009 general elections, which it went on to dispute in a long-running court battle.
    STAFF REPORTER
    GONE: Former RDP president Jeremiah Nambinga. PHOTO: NAMPA

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    Mother abandons two-day-old baby at Oshakati hospitalMother abandons two-day-old baby at Oshakati hospital The police are hot on the trail of a 27-year-old woman, who yesterday abandoned her two-day-old baby boy at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.
    According to Oshana police spokesperson, Inspector Petrus Iimbili, the mother, identified as Selma Haufiku from Ohangwena, abandoned her baby shortly after she was discharged from ward 14, where she gave birth.
    Iimbili said Haufiku, who gave birth on Wednesday, only took her belongings and erased her details from the baby’s birth passport.
    The baby was discovered by nurses after the mother had left. Iimbili called on Haufiku to return to the hospital, as her baby is still young and needs its mother. Doctors are currently attending to the infant.
    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 08/10/18--10:39: B1 crash claims eight lives
  • B1 crash claims eight livesB1 crash claims eight lives Eight people died on Friday afternoon after a collision involving a sedan and pick-up vehicle on the B1 road between Otjiwarongo and Otavi.
    The bodies of the five adults and three minors were all burnt beyond recognition after both vehicles burst into flames.
    Police spokesperson in Otjozondjupa Maureen Mbeha told Nampa that the accident occurred shortly before 15:00, about five kilometres north of Otjiwarongo.
    The sedan was coming from the direction of Otjiwarongo, while the pick-up was driving from Otavi.
    A South African couple in the pickup survived the accident with serious injuries. The 63-year-old man was transported to the capital for further medical attention, while his 62-year-old wife was admitted to a private hospital in Otjiwarongo.
    The eight bodies were transported to Windhoek for forensic examinations.
    Mbeha added that the police were still busy trying to establish the cause of the accident.
    NAMPA

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  • 08/10/18--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Dropbox results top estimates

    Dropbox Inc’s forecast for the current-quarter and results for the second quarter beat Wall Street estimates on Thursday, with the online storage firm earning more from a higher number of paying subscribers.

    Shares of Dropbox, however, came under pressure and slipped nearly 10% in extended trading after the company decided to advance its lock-up expiration date by several trading days.

    The lock-up period, which is now set to expire on August 23, will unlock an additional 356.4 million shares for trading.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Maersk, IBM say 94 organisations have joined blockchain

    Shipping group Maersk said on Thursday 94 companies and organisations have so far joined a blockchain platform developed with IBM aimed at boosting efficiency and limiting the enormous paper trail of global container shipping.

    The industry has seen little innovation since the container was invented in the 1950s, and cross-border trade still leaves an enormous trail of paperwork and bureaucracy.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    L'Oreal adds to Facebook sales push

    Maybelline parent L’Oreal is pairing up with Facebook to roll out virtual tests for shoppers to see how they might look with different lipsticks or eye shadows, adding to its push to drive more sales online and through social media networks.

    Cosmetics firms including L’Oreal rival Estee Lauder and retailers like LVMH’s Sephora are investing heavily in technology, in an age of selfies and beauty bloggers that has helped shift the industry onto the web.

    France’s L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics group, bought Canadian augmented reality and artificial intelligence specialist ModiFace in March.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Tesla engineering chief returns to Apple

    Doug Field, who stepped down as the senior vice president of engineering at Telsa Inclast month, is returning to Apple Inc Apple told Reuters on Thursday.

    Field will be working with Apple executive Bob Mansfield, who has been heading up Apple’s self-driving car program, Project Titan. Field and Mansfield previously worked together on engineering Apple’s line of Mac computers.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Samsung eyes young buyers

    Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled the Galaxy Note 9 “phablet” in New York on Thursday in a key product launch that it hopes will attract younger customers with stepped-up features and services for gamers and music-lovers.

    Launching the Note 9 at 11am in New York, or Friday midnight in Seoul, Samsung also announced partnerships with global hit game Fortnite and music-streaming service Spotify Technology SA in a stepped-up challenge to Apple Inc in the premium-phone race.

    Samsung’s new focus marks a shift away from its previous positioning of the Note as a multi-tasking device popular with graphic designers and artists.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Abandoned bay’s mom returnsAbandoned bay’s mom returns The 27-year-old woman, who on Thursday abandoned her newborn baby boy at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, has been reunited with her child.
    On Friday, the Oshana police used various media platforms to trace Selma Haufiku from Ohangwena, who gave birth last Wednesday to the baby boy, but abandoned him shortly after she was discharged on Thursday from ward 14, where she gave birth.
    Haufiku only took her belongings and erased her details from the baby’s birth passport, before fleeing.
    However, according to Oshana police spokesperson, Inspector Petrus Iimbili, the mother returned to the hospital on Friday in the company of her family and her employer, as she is a domestic worker at Iiviyongo village in the Ohangwena Region.
    As for the motive for her abandoning her child, Iimbili said Haufiku had told the police and social workers she had done this due to the father being unwilling to support the baby.
    Iimbili said Haufiku had now returned home with her child.
    KENYA KAMBOWE

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     Scores hurt in violent police standoff Scores hurt in violent police standoff As many as 26 people were injured at Okakarara after an hours-long standoff with the police early this morning. According to sources, three police officers were allegedly assaulted as members of the community blocked the entrance to the local police station following an alteration. Okakarara was a hive of activity at the weekend, with hundreds visiting the town for the annual commemoration of the battle of Ohamakari. NBC news reported that Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro met with senior officers inside the station before he addressed the crowd. A sizeable crowd were still outside the station around lunch time wanting to lay charges against officers and demanding the release of those arrested after the physical altercation with officers at the station, the NBC reported.
    STAFF REPORTER



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  • 08/12/18--16:00: Momentum delivers feast
  • Momentum    delivers feastMomentum delivers feastSchool rugby alive and well in Namibia MMI Holdings has been thanked for its continued support of school rugby over the past 26 years. LIMBA MUPETAMI



    The Momentum Rugby Boards Trophy League produced a feast of rugby at the Hage Geingob Stadium over the weekend, where the semifinals took place for the under-14, 15 and 19 teams in the competitions different categories.

    MMI Holdings, which has been the main sponsor of the competition for the past 26 years, announced a whopping N$250 000 sponsorship for this year's edition in May.

    On display over the weekend was the magnitude of talent unearthed by this prestigious tournament, which was enjoyed by the supporters who came to watch in their droves on Friday and Saturday.

    Namibia Media Holdings' social media platforms were abuzz with news of all the happenings in all the age groups, as the schools fought to reach the finals next weekend.

    In the u-14 A category this Friday, Windhoek Gymnasium will face Windhoek High School (WHS), while the u-14 B final will be between Dr Lemmer and Gobabis Gymnasium.

    In the u-15 B category Elnatan will face Moria in Friday's final, while on Saturday in the u-15 A category, Windhoek Gymnasium will play Windhoek High School.

    In the u-19 A category, Pro Ed Academy first team will cross swords with the Walvis Bay Private School A-team on Saturday, while the u-19 B category will see the Windhoek Gymnasium first team battling compete against the Grootfontein Agricultural College A-team.

    In the u-19 C category, Windhoek Technical High School (HTS) first team will face the Karibib Private School (KPS) first team on Saturday.

    The A-teams of Windhoek Gymnasium and Windhoek Afrikaans Privaatskool (WAP) will play in the u-19 super league final on Saturday and the D category M&K Gertze's second teams will play the KPS first team in the final. The plate will be between the Moria and WHS A-teams.

    Hermann Rust, honorary secretary of Namibia Secondary Schools Rugby, said in a statement that many great names in Namibian rugby had historically played in the Metropolitan/Momentum leagues.

    Jacques Burger, Pieter van Lill, Jaco Swanepoel, Johnnie Redelinghuys and Eugene Jantjies are among the greats of the local game he mentioned.

    Rust applauded and thanked the sponsors for their continued support over the past 26 years.

    “Your esteemed company had and still has a huge influence on the lives of all the school rugby players in our beloved country. May the Lord bless you and may we still have a long and blessed relationship in the future,” he said.

    For the semifinal score results see page 6.

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  • 08/12/18--16:00: Namibia run riot in Harare
  • Namibia run riot in HarareNamibia run riot in Harare The Namibia senior men's indoor hockey team won all three their international games against Zimbabwe at the Hellenic Primary School grounds in Harare this weekend in the PSI competition.

    On Friday, Namibia got the better of Zimbabwe 6-2 and on Saturday the Land of the Brave were again too strong for the hosts, who were dispatched 5-0.

    Namibia won the third International 6-4.

    These results show positive development in the men's game in Namibia and the future is bright, with a big component of the team still being under 21 years of age.

    Young players like Liam Hendricks, Dylan Finch and Cody van der Merwe earned valuable experience in these two international games and will be of great value to team in years to come.

    In the first game on Friday, Liam Hermanus excelled with three goals and Dylan Finch also found the back of the goal box.

    The other two goals were scored by Fagen Hansen and captain Siya Martins.

    On Saturday, it was more of a scrappy game according to reports from Harare. Namibia won by a comfortable margin, but their ball control was not good at times.

    The team, however, still produced a convincing win, with Hermanus again prominent with two goals. Siya Martins, Kave Tjikuniva and Van der Merwe also scored for Namibia.

    In the women's division of the PSI competition, only Zimbabwe and South Africa competed. South Africa won both games by 4-2 and 1-0, respectively.

    -SPORT REPORTER

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    Primary schools deliver top rugbyPrimary schools deliver top rugby The Steers primary schools rugby final in the u-13 super league will be played between Windhoek Gymnasium and Walvis Bay Primary School this coming weekend in Windhoek.

    This past Saturday, eight semifinal matches where played at the United Club field in Olympia in Windhoek, with 368 children giving their best to reach the finals in their respective categories.

    In the u-13 semifinal, Windhoek Gymnasium beat Pionierspark Primary School 33-15. Parkies were leading just before halftime, but Gimmies scored in the corner to lead 12-10 at the break.

    In the second, half Gimmies found more momentum and scored three tries to secure a place in the final. Walvis Bay Primary School and Elnatan battled it out in the other semifinal and the game was in the balance until the last minute. Walvis Bay scored a few tries late in the second half to win a close game by 29-26.

    In the u13 A league, Windhoek Affies beat Orban 22-5 and will play Pro Ed Academy in the final, who got the better of Ruimte by 29-10.

    Windhoek Gymnasium and Pionierspark Primary School will meet in the u-12 final. Gimmies were comfortable winners against Rehoboth Primary School by 36-0 and Parkies won 29-10 against St Joseph.

    The u-11 semi-finals produced lots of excitement with Parkies and Gimmies again meeting in a tough game.

    Parkies managed to hang on in the last minutes, defending their line as the final whistle blew for a 10-7 win. They will play Tsumeb Gymnasium in the final, after they proved too strong for Keetmanshoop Primary School, beating them 22-0.

    -SPORT REPORTER

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    Nam still too reliant on power importsNam still too reliant on power importsIPPs crucial Despite all efforts in addressing Namibia’s electricity supply challenges, the country remains overly reliant on imports. It is clear that we need to find ways to generate more electricity locally and increase its access both in urban and rural areas. – Tom Alweendo, Minister: Mines and Energy Namibia is in the process of becoming more self-sufficient in terms of electricity production, the minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo, said last week in his keynote address at the 2018 Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) Forum in Swakopmund.

    He explained that as part of the process, a total of 18 independent power producers (IPPs) signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with NamPower to supply about 171 megawatts (MWs) of renewable energy for projects in the country.

    Alweendo also commended Cabinet for the approval of the National Integrated Resource Plan, which aims to find cost-effective electricity generation options that would enable the country to meet its electricity supply needs over the next 20 years.

    However, according to the minister, despite all these intervention efforts and others in addressing Namibia’s electricity supply challenges, the country remains overly reliant on imports, which make up about 60% of its electricity needs.

    Regarding access to the electricity grid, Alweendo stated that less than 50% of the country’s population is connected, noting: “It is clear that we need to find ways to generate more electricity locally and increase its access both in urban and rural areas.”

    On the country’s electricity distribution sector, Alweendo informed the forum that this sector has already evolved since the country’s independence in 1990, with the establishment of regional electricity distributors (REDs) to enhance the reliability and affordability of electricity.

    Reform

    “Our reform process will be less than successful with the current structure characterised by a single buyer of electricity. IPPs should continue to be a feature of our electricity supply industry; they increase the local supply of electricity without creating more reliance on extremely limited government investment funds,” he said, calling for increased private sector investment in power generation, given the country’s renewable energy capacity.

    “Electricity is not simply a commodity; it is both crucial to development and a necessity for all people regardless of their social status,” he added, though noting that his ministry is aware that cost reflective tariffs have the potential to place a heavy burden on final consumers, especially the poor and vulnerable.

    “In an attempt to ensure that customers are treated equitably, the government through the ministry devised the National Electricity Support Tariff Mechanism to make electricity more affordable through a subsidised tariff to household consumers on connection capacity below 15 Amperes (Amps),” said Alweendo.

    The one-day forum was held under the theme “Building a Sustainable Future”. - Nampa

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    It’s harder for MTN to repatriate Iran cashIt’s harder for MTN to repatriate Iran cash MTN Group, Africa’s biggest mobile operator, is sticking to its 2018 dividend target despite new US sanctions making it harder to repatriate cash from its Iran joint venture, the company said on Wednesday.

    MTN, which reported a 7% drop in half-year profits on Wednesday, has around 3.4 billion rand (US$256 million) in accumulated dividends and loans from its joint venture in Iran.

    MTN’s shares slumped by around 8% in late trading following the results and its warning on Iran.

    Sanctions imposed on Tehran by the United States this week have already led banks and many companies around the world to scale back dealings with Iran.

    Companies doing business with Iran will be barred from the United States, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday.

    “The sanctions may limit the ability of the group to repatriate cash from MTN Irancell, including future dividends,” the company said in an earnings report.

    In March, MTN cut its 2018 dividend to reduce debt but said it aimed to increase payouts by 10 to 20 percent over the next three to five years, lifting sentiment in the firm which some investors had expected to scrap this year’s payout.

    MTN said on Wednesday that it stood by this plan.

    “Despite continued challenges in repatriating funds from MTN Irancell, the board remains committed to plans to declare a total dividend of 500 cents per share for 2018,” chief executive Rob Shuter said on a conference call.

    The company declared a dividend of 175 cents per share in the first six months of the year, meaning it would have to pay 325 cents to reach in second-half of the year to hit the target.

    MTN said headline EPS, the primary measure of profit in South Africa that excludes certain one-off items, fell 7% to 215 cents in the six months through June due to unfavourable currency swings as well as a lower contribution from joint ventures and associates.

    Those contributions dropped by a hefty 66% to 197 million rand, mainly due to a drop in the contribution from MTN Irancell and a widening loss at its e-commerce joint venture, Africa Internet Holdings.

    In addition to its 49% stake in Irancell, MTN said in May last year it had agreed to invest more than US$295 million in Iranian Net, a fixed line broadband network in which it planned to buy an initial 49% stake.

    MTN said its MTN Nigeria unit expected to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange before the end of 2018.

    According to pre-IPO documents seen by Reuters in February, the telecoms firm planned to raise at least US$400 million to cut debt for its Nigeria unit, then valued at US$5.23 billion.-Nampa/Reuters

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    Namibia set for international tourneyNamibia set for international tourney LIMBA MUPETAMI



    The Namibian senior women's team cricket team is gearing up to compete in the ACCR Region 7 Ladies International Tournament in Gaborone, Botswana.

    The tournament will run from 20 to 26 August, with hosts Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Mozambique and Lesotho participating.

    The matches will be the very first ICC-ranked clashes for women's T-20.

    Namibian captain Yasmeen Khan said the side have been training everyday for the past month and all the players have their sights set on impressing.

    “Everyone is determined to show what they are capable of. Our spirit is growing every day; we know each other well and respect one another,” Khan said.

    Namibia will play Malawi in their match on the opening day.

    They will then face Zambia in their second encounter, which will take place on 21 August.

    On 23 August, the Namibian ladies will play Sierra Leone.

    The 24th will feature a match with Lesotho.

    The 25th will see Namibia face Mozambique and Botswana await in their last match on the 26th.



    The travelling squad is as follows:

    Yasmeen Khan (captain), Kayleen Ann Green, DietlInd Foerster, Juriene Arrasta Diergaardt, Reehana Khan, Sylvia Nanghali Shihepo, Wilka Nalitungwe Mwatile, Namusha Shiomwenyo, Ester Simeon, Victoria Hamunyela , Constancia Kauripeke , Edelle Van Zyl, Eveleen Kejarukua, Adri van der Merwe, Christopher Wayne Coombe (coach) and Andria Brand (manager).

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    Dundee golf day raises N$240 000Dundee golf day raises N$240 000Mining company supports charities Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb hosted its annual Golf Fun Day at the Tsumeb golf course on 3 August. The annual Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb Golf Fun Day has raised a total of N$240 000 in cash and kind donations for local charity organisations.

    The event marked the eighth year of the annual fundraiser and attracted players from all corners of the country and beyond.

    The golfing fundraiser saw 36 teams tee off and vie for various prizes. The ultimate bragging rights went to winners Menson Katjirua and Willempie Hanamub from Theo Cleaning Services.

    Zebra Kasete and Duncan O'Brien from Dundee came second, while Justus Gomagab and Hans Haraseb from Crossroads claimed third place.

    Speaking on behalf of the sponsorship beneficiaries, Hafeni Nghinamwaami from the Namibia Golf Tour (NGT) thanked Dundee for its support, including for golf.

    The beneficiaries of the 2018 proceeds are the NGT, the Arts Performance Centre (APC) and the Tsumeb Titans basketball team.

    Dundee vice-president and managing director, Zebra Kasete, thanked all the sponsors for making the event a success.

    “For the past eight years corporations and individuals played an important role in making this event a success. We could not have done it without your continued sponsorship and support.

    “Year after year, players gather to network and have fun, while raising funds, all in the name of charity, and this year was no different.”

    -SPORT REPORTER

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    Discipline corrupt politicians - NoaDiscipline corrupt politicians - Noa Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director Paulus Noa says political parties are failing to take action against political leaders implicated in graft cases and who are more focused on self-enrichment than serving the masses.

    Speaking at Onayena in Oshikoto on Friday, during the commemoration of the African Day of Decentralisation and Local Development, Noa called on political parties to discipline corrupt politicians.

    Over the years, many politicians, especially at local government level, have been implicated in corruption cases where they either directly or indirectly benefited from decisions they made in opposition to their oath of office.

    There have been cases where councillors have awarded themselves or their family members and friends land unprocedurally. In most cases these decisions have not been reversed, after they were reported by the media.

    This, Noa says, should no longer be tolerated in Namibia.

    He described the blindness of political parties, who do not act against its members, especially those in leadership positions.

    Noa said this was tantamount to the betrayal of the electorate, who were persuaded to vote for leaders that are more focused on self-enrichment and are not serving the masses.

    “Often when the elected councillors are not performing or accused of mismanagement of public resources, political parties are nowhere (to be seen) to call their councillors to account, and if need be, to remove them from the council,” Noa said.

    “Such omissions to act by political parties is tantamount to betrayal of the voters.”

    Noa urged political parties not to shy away from disciplining their members elected into influential positions, who are accused of not performing as expected or who are found guilty of corruption.

    “Political parties must also declare war on corruption and see to it that when they are receiving reports of elected public officials not performing according to the desired expectations, then they must rein them in and call those elected public officials to order, even if it means removing them and replacing them with other persons.”

    Noa warned that once the public learns of cases where their elected leaders in local authorities are implicated in conflicts of interest, they will conclude that all local authorities are corrupt.

    “Always remember, one or two big scandals of corruption involving conflicts of interest, mismanagement of public resources and the disappearance of public funds are enough for the public to perceive that all local authority leaderships are corrupt,” Noa added.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 08/12/18--16:00: 650 abattoir workers jobless
  • 650 abattoir workers jobless650 abattoir workers jobless More than 650 abattoir workers have lost their jobs over the past two years.

    This was revealed during a Meatco status briefing by the agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb last week.

    He said Meatco is now in the position to implement a new streamlined organogram and operational model, with no further job losses, without incurring additional costs.

    According to !Naruseb, Meatco has been affected by the current economic headwinds and as such has embarked on implementing a turnaround strategy to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

    One of the measures focused on realigning its structures and employee complement, with a view to reducing operational costs without incurring job losses.

    Namibian Sun recently reported that Meatco has cut its workforce by 234 employees so far through a restructuring exercise due to cash flow problems and the limited number of cattle available for slaughter.

    This included 154 fixed-term contract employees, whose contracts ended on 29 June and were not extended.

    The company offered voluntary early retirement for all employees who are 55 years old and above and an option for voluntary retrenchment, with severance packages of two weeks' pay for each completed year of service.

    According to !Naruseb during the proses of realignment the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) expressed its desire to be involved in the process, with the aim to safeguard employee interests.

    The union therefore requested a meeting with the minister to avert job losses.

    According to !Naruseb, Meatco together with Nafau met and briefed him on the company's turnaround and realignment strategy. The turnaround strategy is aimed at improving the sustainability of the Namibian meat industry in general and Meatco in particular.

    “I then tasked the parties to explore all alternatives to avert possible job losses. To this end the parties had a meeting last Wednesday and agreed on various resolutions on which I was briefed.”

    !Naruseb said Meatco and Nafau has therefore developed initiatives that will ensure no job losses and the sustainability of the enterprise.

    “We believe that with this new strategy there will be improved efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of Meatco, to the benefit of all stakeholders in the livestock industry.”

    Acting Meatco CEO Jannie Breytenbach explained that except for the voluntary early retirement and voluntary retrenchments, the company had identified 188 positions to become redundant.

    This number was reduced to 74 after the voluntary retrenchments and voluntary early retirements took place.

    Breytenbach said they are currently looking at how to accommodate these 74 people into the company without incurring extra costs. He, however, stressed that this must not impact on efficiency.

    He explained that since 2017, Meatco has implemented a headcount freeze and this is one of the strategies that is assisting in keeping these 74 employees.

    !Naruseb added he also convened a meeting with livestock sector and industry stakeholders on 11 July, to consult and obtain various perspectives on the challenges being experienced.

    The meeting agreed on the need for short-term studies to assess the challenges facing the small and large stock sub-sectors south of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) and the livestock sector north of the VCF.

    “These studies will inform the government on the appropriate interventions that will ensure the sustainable and mutually beneficial livestock sector in the country.”

    He added he is currently studying a report by Ombudsman John Walters, which says the country should do away with the small livestock scheme.

    !Naruseb also said he has not taken any decision yet on border closures for the livestock sector.

    “They are pre-empting things.”



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Angolan arrested for killing loverAngolan arrested for killing lover The Omusati police arrested a 23-year-old Angolan on Saturday for allegedly stabbing his 25-year-old lover to death at Onandjaba.

    According to the crime report the suspect allegedly killed the victim, identified as Monica Tuluudeni Ndatilaowala from Oshomukwiyu village in the Ondjiva area of Angola, on Friday at around 22:30 by stabbing her several times.

    The suspect is from Evanda village in the Xangongo area of Angola and has two pending assault cases reported against him by different victims at the Onandjaba police station.

    The murder happened in the area on the way to Thomas Tuutaleni Senior Secondary School.

    “It is alleged that the suspect and the victim were in romantic relationship. Information received is that the suspect stabbed the victim several times in the chest, stomach, on both arms, her breast and on the neck with Okapi knife and the victim consequently died on the spot,” the police report reads.

    The suspect subsequently fled after committing the horrible act.

    However, the police arrested him on Saturday at Olupandu village in the Okalongo constituency.

    The police have not yet established the motive for the killing.

    The murder weapon has been recovered.

    The suspect is due to appear in the Outapi Magistrate's Court today and police investigations continue.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Another win for Namibia’s Shoprite staffAnother win for Namibia’s Shoprite staffCourt case, lawsuit both withdrawn Shoprite has once again given in to pressure from its employees in Namibia. I am relieved they get to keep their jobs, as crappy as they are- Uno Katjipuka, Lawyer of Shoprite Namibia employees Shoprite has resorted to withdrawing its court case against the workers after it earlier withdrew a lawsuit. The retailer abandoned the disciplinary process against 93 workers after unions in South Africa and Namibia made calls to boycott the supermarket.

    On July 30 employees and residents, with the help of Centre for People’s Resistance (CPR), took to the streets to protest against the “unjust” disciplinary hearings.

    In a statement sent to City Press, CPR said they were celebrating their “important” victory against Shoprite, but the withdrawal came with only one condition.

    “The workers agreed to accept final written warnings for one reason: they do not want to be engaged with Shoprite in a long and drawn-out labour dispute which would not be in the workers’ interest or that of Shoprite,” said CPR.

    They added they would continue to fight in solidarity with the “exploited and the wretched of the earth”.

    “The workers [still] want to focus on what their protest action in 2015 was really about: improving their working conditions, which includes better salaries and benefits. These are the things that Shoprite continues to deny them.”

    The employees were being disciplined for participating in an unprotected strike, which they said was a direct reaction to Shoprite’s unlawful conduct and unfair labour practice.

    Uno Katjipuka, the lawyer representing the employees, said last week they were going to fight until all the claims were withdrawn.

    “I am relieved they get to keep their jobs, as crappy as they are. Going forward this is something that they can and will work to improve with the help of the unions,” said Katjipuka.

    The South African supermarket chain was suing the workers for N$4.5 million (R4.5 million) over the strike that allegedly caused it losses in profit as it had to spend money on legal costs and additional staff and security.

    Court documents showed Shoprite claimed the workers resolved to instigate an unlawful strike with the intention of breaching their contracts. They also refused to execute the employer’s instructions to work. The retailer added that the workers downed tools and did not leave the premises – which caused them economic loss and reputational harm.

    A Shoprite employee who asked to remain anonymous said, “We are grateful, particularly to our lawyer and the public. We feel we are in a country where people can stand up against those who want to oppress others, even though we went back to work and nothing has been done,” said the employee.

    She said they should at least be given one of the things they demanded. “It does not look promising, maybe the unions will be able to pick up the issue at the level where they [Shoprite] will be able to understand and give us something.”

    South African Federation of Trade Unions’ general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi agreed with the Namibian lawyer who said pressure from SA made the retailer give up.

    “They are a South African-based company. When they got the pressure from SA they had to think twice. I thank the South African unions for standing up in solidarity with their Namibian counterparts. The people of this country also reacted; they could see the impact of the consumer boycott immediately,” said Vavi

    “I am happy that South African unions and ordinary people took them on. An injury to one is an injury to all. The next thing Shoprite can expect from us is to liberate all casual workers – they must make them permanent.”

    Namibia’s labour ministry spokesperson, Bro-Matthew Shinguadja said the ministry was not surprised by the victory.

    “We ask Shoprite to work together with the unions so that labour issues are addressed and resolved amicably,” he said.

    Shoprite Group said they decided to offer final written warnings instead of disciplinary action “in the interest of all parties”.

    Earlier this month they also withdrew a summons to collect compensation from the employees for loss of sales, legal costs and damages incurred as a result of the strike.

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