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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    The woman behind Nedbank's private bankingThe woman behind Nedbank's private bankingLeading the financial industry The banking and financial services industry in Namibia has seen more women taking up leadership positions. In a society where we would like to send a strong message to women and girls that they have equal opportunity, it is gratifying when women like Trula Zoganas are leading in banking, and... “Women in banking can succeed,” says Trula Zoganas, who is at the helm of the team at Nedbank Namibia's private banking. Zoganas who holds 29 years' experience in the banking sector is no newcomer to the banking world; her experience and vast expertise make her a knowledgeable mentor to future leaders in the industry.

    In 2017, Zoganas was honoured to be one of the finalists of the prestigious Namibian Businesswoman of the Year, an accomplishment in its own right. She holds an Honour's degree in Business Administration, Banking and Finance, and her colleagues and team know too well of her many outstanding performance accolades received in the span of her career.

    As head of private banking, her approach to developing this section means being cognisant of the long-term vision and plans of clients. With her team, she is working on cultivating the client base and providing stellar service in the process. One of her key focus drives includes not only the provision of outstanding service, but also effectively managing her team, which will enable an environment conducive to achieving this. Her leadership style drives excellence by building trust through communication and development. “I try and instil a culture of delivering distinct service not only to our clients, but also our colleagues. It has a ripple effect and it is something that truly resonates with me,” says Zoganas.

    Having completed the Management Development Programme through the University of Stellenbosch, Zoganas believes in continuous learning for her team. “With ongoing development and training of my team, I believe we can not only reach our targets, but provide our clients with unmatched service levels in Namibia,” says Zoganas

    Her larger-than-life approach is to make a difference in people's lives, enabling them to really 'see money differently' - the new Nedbank slogan which Zoganas pursues in every aspect of her work and interaction with people.

    She is an empowered woman in banking who demonstrates that it is possible for women to lead and make a positive impact not only for the organisation they work for, but the community they come from and live in. As much as Zoganas' work ethic and steadfastness inspires her team, she is personally inspired by people who succeed against the odds. “Their fighting spirit and perseverance to reach success despite the challenges, really inspires me.” Her biggest inspiration is her father, who modelled an exemplary attitude and work ethos.

    As more and more women are taking up the reigns in leadership and are creating successful careers in banking. As such, the industry is evolving and becoming more dynamic and in tune to the needs of clients. “I do not give up on my dreams and goal. Determination has brought me where I am .”

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    Rehabilitation paves the way to a better future Rehabilitation paves the way to a better future On Wednesday, the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and the Namibian Correctional Services (NCS) signed a memorandum of understanding. Elizabeth Joseph

    This formalises and sets in stone the longstanding ties of collaboration between the two institutions. ”As an overarching objective, this agreement anticipates the delivery of the Namibia Qualifications Authority-accredited technical and vocational training qualifications at training facilities at prisons countrywide,” said NTA CEO, Jerry Beukes.

    The NTA will now be required to render affiliated assessment and certification services at these training facilities. The two institutions committed themselves towards fast-tracking and expediting the process of formalising all NCS technical and vocational training programmes.

    Deputy Commissioner-General Raphael Hamunyela shared similar sentiments and said that this marks a relationship which aims to strengthen and add value to the lives of inmates.

    In more depth, the agreement makes provision for things such as technical support towards the registration of NCS training facilities; quality assurance services that will ensure registration accreditation of NCS training facilities with the NTA and NQA respectively, and also the monitoring and evaluation of the training, to mention a few.

    Although the partnership is just taking form now and finding its feet, the inmates have already proved that they are driven and determined to write their own ending and make theirs a success story.

    The deputy commissioner, with his staff and colleagues, including the officer in charge, Deputy Commissioner Manfred Jatamunua took guests around the workshop to see the work that the inmates have done so far.

    “No one is forced to work and stay busy, but we try and encourage all the inmates to find their place and help themselves to be integrated back into society upon their release,” said Commissioner Mariana Martin.

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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Africa in brief
  • Africa in briefAfrica in brief World Bank approves first grants to Somalia

    The World Bank has approved US$80 million in grants to Somalia to fund public finance reforms, marking the first disbursement to the government of the conflict-ridden country in 30 years, the bank said.

    The Washington-based lender, which suspended ties with the country when war broke out in 1991, resumed support for Somalia in 2003, at the time saying it would focus on HIV/AIDS and livestock programmes with other organisations, but it has not approved any direct lending to the government to date.

    It reopened direct ties with Somalia’s federal government in early 2013.

    Its board had approved financing of US$60 million for the Recurrent Cost and Reform Financing Project and US$20 million for the Domestic Revenue and Public Financial Management Capacity Strengthening Project, it said in a statement late on Tuesday.

    “They represent a milestone in Somalia’s development and reconstruction,” the bank said.


    IMF sees Ethiopian economic growth rising

    Ethiopia’s economy is forecast to expand 8.5% in the July 2018-June 2019 period, from 7.5% in the previous fiscal year, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

    In its first assessment since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in April, the IMF said Ethiopia was benefiting from easing uncertainty and improved domestic and foreign investment.

    Abiy has signed a peace deal with neighbour Eritrea, lifted a state of emergency and promised to partially open up the government-dominated economy by attracting foreign capital to the state telecoms company and airline.


    Half of SA’s stimulus plan to come from spending shift

    South Africa’s shifting budget priorities will provide roughly half of the 50 billion rand (US$3.5 billion) in stimulus spending it plans to make by the end of its fiscal year in March, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene told Reuters.

    The rest of the fund would come from internal development finance institutions (DFI), he said on Wednesday, outlining for the first time the basic structure of the fund.

    Nene said half of the funds would come from reprioritizing money away from underperforming government programs and the rest from internal DFIs.

    “We don’t want whatever is on the chopping block to be announced before the process has concluded,” he said after an investor forum on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.


    South African rand falls in early trade

    South Africa’s rand retreated early on Thursday as the dollar firmed after the latest US Federal Reserve interest rate increase, while domestic investors awaited details of amendments to the mining charter.

    The rand was 0.35% weaker at 14.1835 per dollar by 0702 GMT, having closed in New York at 14.1325.

    The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies edged up by 0.4% to 94.574.

    Minister of mineral resources Gwede Mantashe will brief journalists on amendments to the long-awaited mining charter on Thursday.

    The mining charter - introduced to provide redress for the exclusion of black people in the mining sector under apartheid - could yet be subject to legal challenges if mining companies are unhappy with its contents after publication.


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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Headman in hot water
  • Headman in hot waterHeadman in hot water The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority has ordered its Onamutayi district senior headman, Amon Shipanga, to reinstate suspended Oneleiwa village headman, Silas Ndakolonghoshi, because he also benefited from the unethical practices that got his counterpart suspended.

    Last year Shipanga suspended Ndakolonghoshi following a dubious deal with businessman Tobias Kuutumbeni, which allegedly saw him selling a community earthen dam and the surrounding Ohakweenyanga village land to the business magnate.

    Kuutumbeni has since established an irrigation project on the land.

    Ndakolonghoshi appealed his suspension, claiming he doesn't understand why he was suspended by Shipanga, who also benefited from the deal.

    Traditional authority chairperson George Nelulu told Namibian Sun that after reviewing Ndakolonghoshi's appeal they found his suspension was invalid.

    “We received Ndakolonghoshi's appeal and we enquired from Shipanga why he suspended him. He told us it is because he sold a community earthen dam that is not in his village. We therefore advised Shipanga to reinstate Ndakolonghoshi, because he (Shipanga) also benefited from the same deal,” Nelulu said.

    “Ndakolonghoshi is not the only one who benefited from this deal. The businessman also paid

    N$5 000 to Shipanga and excavated an earthen dam for him at his homestead at Onamutayi, and he also paid N$11 000 to Ohakweenyanga village headman Daniel Kayili. He must just reinstate him, while we are investigating.”

    Nelulu added he is aware that Shipanga is resistant to reinstating Ndakolonghoshi, and they have appointed a committee to advise him.

    Shipanga refused to comment.

    A letter seen by Namibian Sun, which was sent to the traditional authority by Ndakolonghoshi, claimed that after receiving

    N$22 000 from Kuutumbeni, he gave N$2 000 to Shipanga and he accepted that Kuutumbeni would establish the project.

    Kuutumbeni then turned the community earthen dam into his private property, thereby denying local livestock access to water.

    “I am suspended apparently until I give Kayili the N$11 000 I received from Kuutumbeni and I must also force him to remove his yard (at the earthen dam). If Kayili has received his N$11 000 and I have also received N$11 000 from Kuutumbeni, and I have also given N$2 000 of my money to Shipanga, why should I be the one suspended here?”

    Ndakolonghoshi questioned in his letter. Kayili defended the payment given to him, saying Shipanga paid the N$11 000 he received from Kuutumbeni as punishment for occupying the land illegally.

    “As part of Kuutumbeni's punishment for occupying the land illegally we asked him to pay N$11 000. He was also asked to pay N$5 000 to Shipanga as punishment for buying the land from Ndinelago Mockachwa, just like others who bought land without the traditional leader's consent, for them to be issued with the leasehold right for their land,” Kayili said.


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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Farmers feel the pinch
  • Farmers feel the pinchFarmers feel the pinchFarm sales, defaults rise steeply Local farming has been crippled by prolonged droughts, disease outbreaks and low prices for meat. The surge of commercial farms being put up for sale or defaulting on loans continues unabated, as farmers buckle under increasing burdens linked to environmental and financial problems as well as uncertainty about the outcome of the land reform debate.

    Moreover, as older generations of farmers near retirement, younger generations are turning their backs on the low profit and strenuous family business, experts say.

    In 2016 Namibian Sun reported that the crippling cost of the prolonged drought, as a primary factor, in addition to revised animal import rules, disease outbreaks, low meat prices and high operational costs, had pushed many commercial farmers to breaking point and led to a steep rise in farm sales and defaults.

    Now worries about the government's land acquisition policies have been added to the list.

    Maans Dreyer of Aqua Real Estate says this trend has continued, with more and more farms being offered to the government each year.

    His estate agency alone offered 184 farms to the government during the 2016/17 financial year, and 184 farms the next year.

    Since April this year, 45 farms have been offered for sale.

    Comparably, 132 farms were offered through Aqua Real Estate in 2014, and 139 in 2015, while 175 farms were offered by November 2016.

    Hit hard

    Dreyer says in his experience, the main reasons for increasing farm sales are the continued drought conditions in many parts of the country, despite good rains received in some areas.

    Moreover, problems related to the export of small stock on the hoof to South Africa have tightened the financial noose.

    He says the upcoming land conference, and the land reform debate in South Africa, have created uncertainty among farmers, often leading to a mindset of “rather sell now before land prices drop if expropriation talks become reality”.

    Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) executive manager Roelie Venter says the challenges highlighted by Dreyer are correct.

    Venter adds that farming is not for the faint of heart, explaining that under normal circumstances, “the profitability of farming is cyclical and inherently low, with an average return on investment of 3% per annum”.

    Moreover, as farmers approach retirement age, “the new generation do not regard farming as a permanent career choice” due to low profits and “insecure policy environment in terms of land, markets and more”.

    He says the upward trend of sales is set to continue.

    The big crunch

    Dreyer adds that foreclosures have “increased considerably over the past year”.

    He says as a result “banks are becoming very strict on the lending criteria and require a deposit of plus minus 30% of the value.”

    Agribank spokesperson Rino Muranda says while Agribank lending criteria remain the same, the extent of the arrears problem and the more than N$500 million outstanding payments are well publicised.

    He says the bank cannot comment on the specifics of foreclosures, but it is doing “everything possible within the legal framework to collect these monies” and has consequently strengthened its collections approach as part of its financial sustainability.

    No go

    Dreyer warns that farms in good areas that are priced reasonably are selling, but farmers who expect to sell above market indicators can expect a long wait.

    He estimates that the land reform ministry has around N$140 million available for the current financial year, which is not “remotely enough to purchase the offered available farms suitable for resettlement”.

    Dreyer calculates that at current valuations, the government could likely purchase between 12 and 14 farms a year with the available budget.

    “With 45 farms offered by our office alone, this means that the vast majority of the offered farms will be waived again, due to a shortage of funds and not due to a lack of farms offered.”

    NAU's Venter notes that farm prices per hectare have not changed much, according to research the NAU conducted this year, comparing the relationship between market prices for land and producer prices for the periods 1985 to 1989 and 2017 to 2018.


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    Today’s actions determine successToday’s actions determine success Ian Grassow is a sales executive at Paratus and says travelling has opened up his eyes, and given him a clear perspective. Elizabeth Joseph

    Grassow was born in Walvis Bay in 1973 and grew up in Tsumeb.

    He attended Francis Galton Primary School.

    “Those days living in Tsumeb were carefree and safe. As there was no English high school in Tsumeb, I went to Centaurus High School in Windhoek and stayed in a hotel for two years before my parents moved to Windhoek,” he says.

    After completing his matric, he worked on a Kubutz in Israel for three months, with the aim of travelling around Europe afterwards, but due to financial constraints this remained a dream.

    He then moved back to Windhoek and started working at Mike’s Kitchen for a few months and then landed a job at Frank & Hirsch, where he did administration and deliveries.

    All his efforts proved successful, as he then started working at an advertising agency called Creative Workshop as a media advertiser.

    He says he thoroughly enjoyed working there.

    Grassow’s journey has been anything but tedious and repetitive.

    He was always doing something different and sharpening all areas of his professional life.

    “From there I went to ISU Campus as an account manager. ISU Campus offered training for all Windows products like Excel, Word, Access, SQL, Windows and more. This was the beginning of my career in IT.”

    He later moved to London, in search of greener pastures.

    He found something more than that - a different perspective on life.

    “I recommend travelling abroad for an extended period to anyone, it opens your eyes.”

    After a three-year stint he came back to Namibia, as he had always missed his home country while in the UK.

    He then started working at AST Namibia.

    Whilst there, he received a call from Schalk Erasmus, who offered him a job and new challenge at Internet Technologies Namibia (ITN).

    “I accepted immediately. Schalk and I worked together at ISU Campus yeas before. And the rest is history. I have been here ever since. ITN changed to Paratus and I changed jobs a few times within the 14 years, but I have always been in sales and customer account management,” Grassow said.

    He says he loves taking up new challenges and making sure the job gets done.

    He says further that in his position, one needs to be a jack of all trades.

    Grassow says one must be willing to help where needed, in order to grow the company, whether in Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Angola or South Africa.

    “I deal with the corporate market, selling them connectivity solutions for their branches in these countries and wherever else they require connectivity.”

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    Neumbo takes challenges in her strideNeumbo takes challenges in her stride Peck-Secia Neumbo is a website developer at iMarketing and is responsible for website design and maintenance, as well as the management of content.

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    Corruption - A social disease (Part 146): What can CEOs and CFOs learn from the crisis in the accounting and auditing profession?Corruption - A social disease (Part 146): What can CEOs and CFOs learn from the crisis in the accounting and auditing profession? Johan Coetzee - On 21 September 2018 Mervin King and Linda de Beer launched in Windhoek their latest book titled The Auditor: Quo Vadis?

    The event was organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in collaboration of the Institute of Corporate Governance in Namibia.

    King is internationally known for his contribution to corporate governance. His first book titled The Corporate Citizen (2006) is so well written that it can be understood with ease by almost everyone.

    The accounting and auditing professions is at a tipping point. This statement needs context and an example for clarification.

    Netflix is growing faster than the assets on their balance sheet. Why? Because the conventional movie industry - to go to theatre - is outpriced by Netflix that is providing movies in the comfort of people’s homes where they can enjoy entertainment unlimited at a considerable cheaper price.

    Some auditing companies have made huge oversights in terms of overvaluing tangible assets, undervaluing intangible assets and exercising creative accounting (fraud) in terms of taking bribes and protecting the vested interests of shareholders. Such oversights deteriorated public perceptions about the credibility of the accounting and auditing professions. People’ trust in them is at an all-time low.

    External auditors mainly focus on market capitalisation, which is on average about 16 percent of the total wealth of companies.


    Liability is a massive challenge for accountants, auditors and directors of companies. They are liable for fraud and incorrect accounting and reporting. However, they are extensively insured against law suits and by closing ranks liability has become a massive misnomer of professional protection at the cost of individual stakeholders and shareholders that are unprotected against corporate greed and exploitation.

    Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) have obsolete. Institutions need Chief Wealth Officers that can practise integrated reporting that can transform companies and the profession to adjust to the global trends of an increase in intangible assets and virtual companies.

    De Beer indicated a massive trust deficit in CEOs, CFOs, auditors and accountants that cannot be addressed soon.

    The level of corporate governance in Namibia is substandard compared to European standards, especially in case of the 98 Public Enterprises. For corporates it is not good enough to comply to box ticking and donating to social projects. Deeper questions need to be asked about the long term sustainability of contributing to social projects.

    Greenfield banking is a valid and value proposition compared to conventional banking. Conventional banks in Namibia have some of the highest service fees in the world based on a study done by Boer & Sherbourne (2003). Not much reduction in fees has taken place since. How are unaffordable service fees justifiable amidst extensive poverty in Namibia?

    Intangible assets include the value of employees, trust, reputation, credibility and perceptions. Namibian leaders need to wake up from their slumber and instruct accountants and auditors to value their intangible assets. This will require a change of financing and financial systems.

    If not, they will be bypassed by global developments and their companies will become obsolete in an ever faster changing world. Inclusive capitalism is undergoing critical changes and leaders are needed that have a new vision for implementing sustainability and integrating reporting.


    King, M. 2006. The Corporate Citizen. Penguin Books: Pietermaritzburg.

    King, M. & De Beer, L. 2018. The Auditor: Quo Vadis? Routledge Taylor and Francis Group: London.

    Boer, M. & Sherbourne, R. 2003. Complex Fees & Lack of Competition = Excess Profits? Retail Bank Charges in Namibia. Institute of Public Policy Research. Briefing paper, Nr. 27, pp.1-15.


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    Police on VW badges street marketPolice on VW badges street marketWarns against buying The Khomas regional commander Silvanus Nghishidimbwa has warned the general public against buying stolen Volkswagen (VW) car badges from the street. Once you buy it, it will be stolen again and you will still go and buy- Silvanus Nghishidimbwa, Regional Commander, Khomas NDAMA NAKASHOLE

    The police warning comes after social media went abuzz with news of people reporting about their stolen badges from the VW cars, which has been a trend recently.

    The theft of VW badges has been the latest market for Windhoek thieves as more and more members of the public come out to share their disappointment after their badges were stolen from their cars.

    The same social media, especially Facebook has also been used as a platform to advertise the VW badges that are for sale in the street.

    The police has been observing this trend and are on to it, he said. As a result, one suspected thief of VW badges has appeared in court on Tuesday, according to Nghishidimbwa.

    He told Market Watch in a telephonic interview that the suspect was arrested because he was found in possession “with a lot of them (VW badges).”

    “This VW badges theft is a new thing in the market,” he said, adding that it all started with the theft of pull bars from bakkies.

    All of a sudden, he said, the VW theft became a thing.

    “The VW theft all of a sudden rose within the black market,” he said.

    “The general public is hereby warned to refrain from buying these VW badges from the street. If yours is stolen, do not buy from the street because you are encouraging this type of theft. Once you buy it, it will be stolen again and you will still go and buy,” he said.


    One victim , Naffy Nafimane , a Windhoek resident told Market Watch that he went to Single Quarters recently to buy the popular kapana. After that, he went to a nearby shebeen for a drink.

    According to him, he only realised that his VW badge was missing but was sure it was on when he got to kapana.

    “I suspect it was taken by those kapana guys (car guards at the spot),” he said, adding that when he went back to the same place, those people offered to sell a VW badge to him.

    But Nafimane vows to never replace it until a permanent solution is found.

    “Some people are saying there is a type of glue. But also, what if I use that glue and they damage the bumper forcing to steal the badge,” he said.

    He added: “I will only replace mine if a solution is found.

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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Leadership is in her DNA
  • Leadership is in her DNALeadership is in her DNANever underestimate the power of an independent woman. From head girl of her secondary school, to senior resource geologist for Vedanta’s southern African operations and exploration projects, Wony Diergaardt shows pure determination in any setting in which life places her. Elizabeth Joseph

    Diergaardt was born in Lüderitz and raised in Windhoek. She completed her grade 12 at Jan Möhr Secondary School, and obtained an undergraduate and honours degrees from Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape after receiving bursaries from Petrofund and Namdeb for each respectively.

    Diergaardt then completed her honours in Geology. The year was 2008 and the world was hit with a global recession. Namdeb did not hire any graduates.

    “During my studies, I used to work at Navachab Gold Mine in Karibib during the holidays, and they offered me the role of on-mine exploration geologist, reporting the evaluation geologist. In 2012, I received an offer from Skorpion Zinc in Rosh Pinah and started working there as an exploration geologist. I am still working at Skorpion Zinc and have worked my way up the ranks since 2012,” she says.

    Among her many achievements, Diergaardt completed her post graduate diploma in Engineering (GDE) at Wits University in 2012 and she is currently pursuing her Master’s in Mineral Resource Management through the University of the Free State.

    Her job entails ensuring that all the exploration data, geological and resource models, estimation procedures, and reporting, are generated and compiled accurately and to international reporting standards.

    She frequently reviews projects and assists with the evaluation of prospective projects. “I currently report on seven different projects, each with their own unique deposit style and each in a different stage of development,” Diergaardt added.

    Most of her day is spent in communications, wheth

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    Slaying the generational wealth giantSlaying the generational wealth giant The wealth gap between the previously advantaged and disadvantaged is a problem that most people are aware of in the abstract, yet it goes to the root of our aches and pains as a nation.

    In the American context, much like in Namibia, wealth disparity between black and white families will take 228 years to close, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.

    According to an article posted on the fastcompany.com website, generational wealth - financial assets that are passed on and built upon with each generation within a family - is critical for future financial security.

    It's the foundation for opportunities and access to better education, health and jobs.

    Namibia's colonial and apartheid legacy has created massive inequalities, which continue unabated.

    The reality is that due to a succession of historical realities, the majority of blacks fail to leave behind generational wealth that can be inherited. And in turn, their children will be unable to do this for their children, and so this continues from generation to generation.

    A recent global report shows the true depth of these inequalities and disparities in Namibia.

    On face value, we are one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, per capita, but this wealth is mostly in the hands of the country's 3 300 millionaires and 120 multi-millionaires, in Namibian dollar terms.

    According to Namibia's so-called wealth per capita, which is the third highest on the continent, every single individual in the country should have US$12 600 (N$182 070).

    With this in mind, it is disconcerting to hear politicians saying poor people should not be given farming land, as land is a key tool in bridging the generational wealth gap.

    Imagine the aspiration a child will enjoy, if they know they have to study hard to take up the challenge of making their parents' land a viable cornerstone of generational wealth. The same goes for urban housing. Why should we leave our children and their children these giants to slay?

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  • 09/27/18--15:00: A worthwhile journey
  • A worthwhile journeyA worthwhile journeyTjozongoro puts NTMS on the map Integrity is key for NTMS Group MD Felix Tjozongoro. Elizabeth Joseph

    Entrepreneurs normally bite off more than what they can chew, hoping they might learn how to chew it.

    The same can be said about Namibia Traffic Management Solutions managing director Felix Tjozongoro, who has overcome immense challenges with innovation and style.

    After completing his matric, Tjozongoro started working at the transport ministry as a clerk in the legal department.

    That is where he developed his skills and love for the road traffic and transport sector.

    “I had an opportunity to hone my skills further in Japan under the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) sponsored programme,” he says.

    He attended many Southern African Development Community (SADC) meetings, those dealing with NaTIS system development in South Africa, as well as South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) development and legal drafting meetings, among others.

    This gave him the ammunition to develop a department everyone knows today as NaTIS.

    “The same skills is what I took when I joined the private sector. I felt that as a great leader, one should not overstay in a leadership position. You should move on while you still command respect,” he said.

    And that’s what Tjozongoro did when he left NaTIS to join the private sector.

    He says the first three years in any business are the hardest.

    “It’s a nightmare for any entrepreneur. But all in all, you don’t quit. You go home and cry and the next day you pick up your pieces and march on. That has been my journey too.”

    With the many constraints faced daily by various parties in the private and public sectors, Tjozongoro plans to fix one of the biggest constraints they face - the lack of our government support.

    He says government has paid lip service when it comes to supporting the small SMEs and when it comes to the provision of tenders and services to locals.

    He wants to continue utilising every given platform to make sure this does not remain a growing issue.

    His short-term professional goals run towards the IT sector.

    “Our IT team is working hard to update our website with something new and fresh. The online testing solution will also be refined and hopefully by next month we will be able to launch this.”

    The same IT team is also working on developing a cellphone app that will address the driver’s licence learning process.

    This will be implemented before the end of the year, he said.

    His long-term goals are to expand their footprint within SADC.

    “We have done good

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    Spent consumer drains Receiver's tax coffersSpent consumer drains Receiver's tax coffersVAT revenue lowest since 2014 Higher unemployment, less wages and lower household income are likely to increase bankruptcies, liquidations and auctions, analysts say. The drag due to the long-term damage will still prevent the recovery from reaching its full potential over the next three years. - Indileni Nanghonga, Analyst: Simonis Storm Jo-Maré Duddy – Only about N$1.979 billion from taxes on products, mainly value-added tax (VAT), was generated in the second quarter of this year, the lowest amount since the second quarter of 2014.

    Taxes on products have now recorded eight consecutive quarters of negative growth.

    The latest figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) show product tax dropped by N$75 million or 3.7% from the first to the second quarter. Compared to the second quarter in 2017, the tax fell by N$116 million or 5.5%.

    Commenting on the new GPD stats, Klaus Schade, research associate of the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN), said unless revenue from other tax sources and non-tax sources has increased, the figures suggest that it might be challenging to achieve the fiscal targets.

    Budget documents tabled by finance minister Calle Schlettwein in March target an estimated N$13.3 billion from domestic taxes on goods and services in the current fiscal, which started at the beginning of the second quarter. This target will help Schlettwein to contain the budget deficit for 2018/19 at about N$8.3 billion and limit total debt to an estimated 45% of gross domestic product (GDP).

    The slump in taxes on products is a reflection of the depressed consumer, the bust in the wholesale and retail sector and the overall economic recession. Wholesale and retail in the second quarter spent its seventh consecutive quarter in the red, while the overall economy has recorded nine consecutive quarters of negative growth.

    ‘Anaemic growth’

    “Namibia has had an anaemic growth for a prolonged period and we desperately need the economy to strengthen,” Simonis Storm (SS) analyst Indileni Nanghonga reacted to the latest growth figures.

    Higher unemployment, less wages and lower household income are likely to increase bankruptcies, liquidations and auctions, Nanghonga said. “Education, private capital investments and economic opportunities are all likely to suffer in the current downturn, and the effects will be long-lived,” she said.

    In addition, SS expects higher budget deficits, low revenue - tax collections, inflows from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), VAT and income tax - and lower capital spending, whilst operational expenditure persists.

    SS currently forecasts economic growth of 0.6% for 2018, followed 1.8% next year.

    “Economies often see rapid growth during recovery periods (as unused capacity is returned to work), but the drag due to the long-term damage will still prevent the recovery from reaching its full potential over the next three years,” Nanghonga said.

    “We have had 28 years of prosperity, the world had at least two recessions during that time, and we are just catching up.”

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    Lending a hand with serviced landLending a hand with serviced land In order to help municipalities and town councils speed up the servicing of land, FNB Namibia has decided to grant local authorities loans that they don’t have to repay from operation or capital cash flows.

    Instead local authorities will be allowed to settle their loans from the proceeds from the sale of the serviced land sold to the end users.

    “As we all know, most municipalities and town councils in Namibia are hampered from servicing land and providing the proper services due to budget constraints. Therefore, a scarcity of available land for purchase by Namibians is the order of the day and FNB Namibia has come up with a product to supplement the municipalities/town councils/government with their limited resources to avail serviced land to our people,” says the head of public sector banking at FNB Namibia, Leslie Puriza.

    In a statement, Puriza says local authorities need to use their funds for essential services like existing provision of sanitation, water, electricity, roads, public transport and ambulances. “This is a service that each citizen may expect and FNB Namibia therefore wishes to lend a helping hand to ease the burden on the municipalities and town councils,” he says.

    End users may buy land serviced with the help of the bank through cash or loans secured from any financial institutions, including FNB Namibia.

    Servicing of land includes the installation of water supply, storm water pipes, electricity, sewerage and proper grading of gravel or tarred roads.

    The local authorities will appoint the contractors or developers to service the land.

    “FNB Namibia is a partner in this venture and wishes to support the authorities while also lending a helping hand to Namibians who wish to own their own plot and built their own dream houses,” Puriza says.

    “We are involved in this to contribute to delivery of affordable land to our people. This contribution is a token of our participation in achieving the government objectives in terms of Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” he says.

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    Jealous rage sinks former top copJealous rage sinks former top cop Lazarus Oscar Awaseb, 50, formerly the head of the Epako police's crime investigation unit at Gobabis, was found guilty of murder yesterday by Judge Dinnah Usiku in the Windhoek High Court.

    Awaseb shot and killed Odilo Rathebe Motonane (18) on 22 March 2016.

    The motive for the murder was jealousy, as Motonane was in a relationship with Mildred Hoases, who was also Awaseb's girlfriend at the time. Hoases was also shot at the time but survived.

    During the trial, chilling testimony was led. A fight had ensued between Awaseb and Hoases over her alleged demands for money.

    In the High Court, he testified she told him, “Jou t***l, wat wil jy vir my sê?”

    He added she continued to utter profanities when he refused to give her money and that was why the fight ensued.

    He had returned to her home to sort out the argument.

    “When I went to her room I wanted to talk to her to harmonise our relationship,” he said, while denying he went there to kill Motonane.

    He said he did not know the young man was there.

    Awaseb said Motonane confronted him when he arrived. He told the court Motonane was Hoases' former boyfriend.

    An altercation ensued and in the process, Motonane was killed with Awaseb's service pistol.

    Awaseb shot Motonane in the back and the State charged that the shooting was motivated by jealousy after Awaseb found Motonane with his girlfriend.

    The relationship between the two seemed to have been fraught with problems.

    Prior to the killing, Awaseb allegedly damaged a home theatre system, DVD player and television set owned by Hoases sometime between 18 and 22 March. In this regard, he faced a charge of malicious damage to property.

    Cliff Litubezi prosecuted, while Miese Tjiture appeared for Awaseb.


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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Mbumba gets cold shoulder
  • Mbumba gets cold shoulderMbumba gets cold shoulderNGOs, traditional authorities PDM, AR and others to boycott Political and civil stakeholders have withdrawn from the country's upcoming second national land conference, amid anger directed at the Swapo-led government. Ovaherero, Nama and Damara traditional leaders, civil society organisations and some opposition parties, as well as an unaffiliated trade union federation, have announced they are withdrawing from the country's second national land conference.

    This comes despite an eleventh hour intervention by acting head of state, Nangolo Mbumba, who tried to mollify them on Wednesday afternoon into participating, by saying some changes would be made to the programme.

    The groups rebuffed this overture and have stuck to their guns, saying the intent and purpose of those responsible for the organisation of the conference was to further dislodge indigenous groups, which have lost land in the successive colonial and apartheid eras.

    The Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA), the Damara King's Council, the Nangof Trust, Swanu, Nudo and the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) announced their withdrawal yesterday, days before the land indaba is to commence this coming Monday.

    The announcement was anticipated on Wednesday, but they were hastily called in by Mbumba, who tried to appease them.

    “We shall die fighting,” said Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro on behalf of the groups, a sentiment echoed over and over by other traditional leaders at a joint press briefing yesterday.

    Popular Democratic Party (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani, also announced his party's withdrawal late yesterday afternoon, saying their participation would only legitimise pre-determined conference outcomes, among others.

    The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement also confirmed yesterday afternoon they would not be attending the land conference, because the urban land question will not be sufficiently dealt with at the indaba, among other reasons.

    The general consensus among the civil and traditional groups is that the conference is a “sham” and not worthy of attendance by Namibians committed to resolving the land question justly and equitably.

    The groups took issue with the composition of the conference, which they say was not put through a broadly consultative process.

    They say it will simply be a case of government speaking to itself.

    About 80% of the representatives at the conference will be government ministers, governors and public officials, while only 20% representation has been afforded to others.

    “Those government entities are all going to toe the government line, as contained in the government position paper issued on 4 September, which contains clear recommendations on what these government entities should resolve on the different issues to be discussed at the conference,” Rukoro said.

    The matter that tipped the scales in favour of a conference boycott is the fact that government and Swapo functionaries have already decided that ancestral land right claims and restitution are to be discussed at the conference, but that there will not be any implementation of any recommendations in this regard.

    The boycotting groups maintain that nothing in the Namibian Constitution, which is the supreme law of the country, negates such claims and restitution for ancestral land.

    They said the colonial expropriation of land previously occupied by the Damara, Ovaherero, Nama, and San and South Africa's illegal occupation thereof, requires parliamentary legislation to provide restitution, as a means of redress to those Namibians.

    This, they say, is something the Namibian government has “consistently and pathetically” failed to do for close to 30 years.

    They said the claim by government that most regions are not in favour of ancestral land claims is a blatant lie, adding only three northern regions have not supported this.

    They said government's 'majoritanism' is out of sync with national reconciliation and cannot foster peace, unity and common loyalty.

    “How can one be loyal to an unjust state and be united with, be reconciled with and be at peace with fellow citizens that insist on maintaining your dispossession, while they enjoy the continuous ownership of their ancestral land?” Rukoro questioned.

    He said Namibia is the only African country that denies the existence of ancestral land and its colonial dispossession.

    “It is shameful that while we domestically deny the right to ancestral land to dispossessed citizens of Namibia we proceed to lay a monetary claim against Germany for expropriated land. Which land? On behalf of whom are we laying such claims? Clearly our greed seems to blind us from seeing this shameful contradiction,” Rukoro said.

    “Let the government and its entities proceed with their mini-Berlin Conference, which is aimed at declaring a political and economic extermination order against the dispossessed of our people. The judgement of history shall be upon it. If this conference does not do justice to the question of Damara, Ovaherero, Nama and San ancestral land claims and restitution, it shall have planted the seed of injustice, which in time shall destroy the peace and stability we hold dear.”

    The groups said the outcome of the land conference should be anchored in restitution and/or resettlement of those that lost land. It should also cater for the settlement of all other Namibians - irrespective of colour, creed, gender or ethnic origin.

    They say land conference decisions should be arrived at by consensus, as was the case at the country's first national land conference in 1991 and not by a majority vote, as was seemingly intended.

    Postpone proposed

    At the meeting with Mbumba the groups proposed that the land conference be postponed until May 2020, so that the land question is not used to gain cheap political points in next year's general election.

    They demanded the complete list of all those resettled by 5 October this year, which they said should be shared publicly.

    Land reform minister Utoni Nujoma has refused to release this master list during the past six months, despite a legitimate request by Ombudsman John Walters and other groups.

    The groups further want the leaked government position paper and progress report to be publicly recalled.

    They also want the land reform ministry to prepare a progress report on the implementation of the resolutions taken at the 1991 land conference.

    They also demand a complete moratorium on all resettlement programmes until June 2020, which would be the conclusion of the conference date they are proposing.

    Rukoro also made a call on all those opposed to the current land conference programme to gather in Windhoek on Sunday and voice their disagreements at the Safari Court Hotel, where the conference is slated to start on Monday.


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    Millions invested in Trekkopje solar projectMillions invested in Trekkopje solar projectEnertronica Group partners with local bank Although the output from the plant is dedicated to feeding into the NamPower grid, Enertronica Group has committed to building three smaller solar technology facilities to serve schools of the surrounding communities. Bank Windhoek, in conjunction with Enertronica Group, recently financed the construction of the Trekkopje solar project in the Erongo Region as part of the development of solar parks in Namibia.

    Built by Enertronica Group, a multinational industrial company specialising in renewable energy, the project incurred construction costs of N$137 million, excluding development costs.

    The Trekkopje’s solar project construction was completed and became operational in August 2018.

    The site was chosen for its potential to supply power for industrial, farming and storage purposes without posing a threat to the environment and its community. The project has a life span of 25 years which is anticipated to be even longer after it is revamped.

    Although the output from the plant is dedicated to feeding into the NamPower grid, Enertronica Group has committed to building three smaller solar technology facilities to serve schools of the surrounding communities.


    In terms of job creation, 30 community members were employed during construction. Once operational, an average of five people will be permanently employed to ensure the proper maintenance of the plant.

    “The project has a combined output of 5.78 megawatts. But we expect it to be a bit higher because of the high performance of the technology adopted for this specific plant. This is the first plant where Enertronica Group’s patented trackers are mounted on the structures which mean that the modules will follow the sun during the day, optimising the already high irradiation,” said Dr Maurizio Decinti, lead consultant to the project.

    “Getting to know Bank Windhoek during this process has been an exciting experience. Together we have laid the foundation for a long lasting relationship and hope to get more opportunities to implement similar transactions of this nature in the country,” said Decinti.

    The future is in renewable energy, according to Decinti. “This is even truer today when the cost of renewable is basically similar to the traditional energy, we have basically achieved the so called ‘Green Parity’,” he said.

    “We recognise that optimising renewable energy opportunities is critical for the development of Namibia and as such, we fully embraced the opportunity to finance these projects. Together with partnerships such as this one, we can make an impact and prove that things can be done in cleaner and environmentally friendly ways,” said Lukas Nanyemba, executive officer for corporate and institutional banking at Bank Windhoek.

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    Cops probe 'unlicensed' mayorCops probe 'unlicensed' mayor A case of reckless and negligent driving, as well as driving without a driver's licence, has been opened following a crash involving Tsumeb mayor Mathews Hangula and an ambulance.

    The mayor escaped uninjured last Thursday when his Toyota Corolla collided head-on with a government ambulance.

    The occupants of the ambulance, a 53-year-old driver and three passengers aged 24, 71 and 74, sustained injuries, but were reported to be in a stable condition after being transported to the Tsumeb state hospital.

    According to the weekend crime report, the accident happened at around 08:00 at the corner of Maria Nehoya and Dr Hage Geingob streets, when Hangula collided with the ambulance that was on its way to Oshakati from Windhoek.

    Hangula was alone in his vehicle and could not produce a valid driver's licence.

    No arrest has been made but the Oshikoto police confirmed they are investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving, as well as driving without a driver's licence.


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    Stepmom in dock for boiling-water attackStepmom in dock for boiling-water attack A 36-year-old woman appeared before the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court yesterday for allegedly pouring boiling water over her ten-year-old stepdaughter.

    Pafunisia Mwadhina Josua appeared before Magistrate Toini Shilongo-Nuuhongo on a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, read in conjunction with the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.

    According to the police report, the incident happened at Oniipa in the Oshikoto Region on 16 September, when Josua allegedly poured hot water over the girl, who sustained severe burns.

    Namibian Sun understands that the girl attended school after the incident and her teachers took her to hospital after noticing her wounds.

    The girl has since been moved to another school.

    Josua, represented by lawyer Marcia Amupolo, was not granted bail.

    The matter was postponed until 9 October for a formal bail application and for police investigations to be finalised.

    Brother shoots sibling

    A 17-year-old teenager appeared in the Okahao Magistrate's Court on Tuesday after he allegedly shot dead his older brother.

    According to the Omusati police crime report, the incident happened at Ethimalimwe village in the Tsandi constituency on Sunday at around 19:00.

    It is alleged the suspect shot his 22-year-old sibling with a shotgun.

    The incident happened at their home.

    The suspect was remanded in custody and police investigations continue.


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    Defence hits back at AG auditDefence hits back at AG auditDelays in international payments blamed The defence ministry says delays in international payments for aircraft parts, coupled with exchange-rate fluctuations, caused a large discrepancy in its audit report. The defence ministry is disputing the findings of the auditor-general's latest report on its financial affairs, saying it is riddled with errors.

    The audit report, which was tabled in parliament, indicated that the ministry had paid N$198 million for maintenance and parts for military aircraft in 2017.

    However, the ministry says this figure actually stood at N$230 million.

    The audit could only verify a total amount of N$60 million from the expenditure vouchers presented for auditing purposes. According to the audit this resulted in an unexplained difference of N$138 million.

    The permanent secretary of defence, Rear Admiral Peter Vilho, said it was explained to the auditor-general's office that the correct expenditure for maintenance and parts of military aircraft actually amounted to N$230 million.

    This, therefore, exceeded the previously reported figure, he said.

    Vilho said the reason for this difference was that foreign currency payments take time to process through the finance ministry, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the respective international banks.

    “These high-value foreign currency transactions can only be posted by the finance ministry on the general ledger upon receipt of confirmation from the Bank of Namibia, when the recipient confirms the receipt of the funds,” Vilho said.

    The auditor-general's office was informed that the defence ministry can make all expenditure vouchers available for verification and an audit for the N$230 million, as well as a list of the transactions that were attached an annexure to the responses of the ministry on 6 April, he said.

    He said the auditor-general's office was also informed that the finance ministry unilaterally suspended an amount of N$653 million from the ministry's 2016/17 appropriation, thus explaining the N$185 million overspending.

    This presented 3.12% of the ministry's revised total budget allocation of N$5.9 billion.

    The ministry also did not agree with the finding of the auditor-general with regard to the number of subdivisions and amounts considered as unauthorised expenditure, because of the differences between various general ledger reports, which was also reported to the finance ministry on 31 March, with no action being taken.

    The auditor general's report found that the defence ministry had N$400 million in unauthorised spending on its books.

    Furthermore, the ministry disagrees with the finding of the auditor-general with regard to donations.

    The audit found the ministry failed to reveal the donation of vehicles it received from the German armed forces technical advisory group, worth N$1.7 million.

    According to Vilho, the vehicles and equipment received as a donation, valued at N$1.3 million, were reported during the 2015/16 financial year. He says treasury approval was granted on 11 February 2016 and that was attached as an annexure.

    However, the ministry admitted that a Toyota Quantum minibus valued at N$3.7 million and a Bell tractor-loader-backhoe (value unknown) were not included in the treasury authorisation request, and was also not reported, which was an oversight.

    Vilho said the ministry's execution rate for the projects under review stood at 96.1%.

    “In conclusion, all the audit findings as addressed in this statement were exhaustively interrogated and disputed during the audit exit meeting held at the defence ministry's headquarters on 27 July, between senior staff members of the Office of the Auditor-General and the ministry. The auditor agreed to some errors and stated that it was too late to withdraw the statements, hence the audit report was presented in parliament,” added.


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