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Articles on this Page
- 12/02/18--14:00: _Silos are destructive
- 12/02/18--14:00: _At war with itself
- 12/02/18--14:00: _Tourism 'will be br...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Kingsley & Co on ye...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Company news in brief
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Where time stands s...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Sale in execution t...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Devil's claw brings...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Africa Briefs
- 12/05/18--14:00: _TUN threatens 'dras...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Illegal sand mining...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Peugeot goes local
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Marco Fishing Facto...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _New fresh Bahri sea...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Hunger a threat to ...
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Child neglect rampant
- 12/05/18--14:00: _Lecturer denied bai...
- 12/06/18--14:00: _Stars eye Pirates s...
- 12/06/18--14:00: _'Fantastic four' re...
- 12/06/18--14:00: _United, Arsenal draw
- 12/02/18--14:00: Silos are destructive
- 12/02/18--14:00: At war with itself
- 12/02/18--14:00: Tourism 'will be brought to its knees'
- 12/05/18--14:00: Kingsley & Co on yet another journey of Discovery
- 12/05/18--14:00: Company news in brief
- 12/05/18--14:00: Where time stands still
- 12/05/18--14:00: Sale in execution turns sour
- 12/05/18--14:00: Devil's claw brings dignity
- 12/05/18--14:00: Africa Briefs
- 12/05/18--14:00: TUN threatens 'drastic actions'
- 12/05/18--14:00: Illegal sand mining continues
- 12/05/18--14:00: Peugeot goes local
- 12/05/18--14:00: Marco Fishing Factory nearing completion at Lüderitz
- 12/05/18--14:00: New fresh Bahri season set to increase output
- 12/05/18--14:00: Hunger a threat to democracy
- 12/05/18--14:00: Child neglect rampant
- 12/05/18--14:00: Lecturer denied bail after shootings
- 12/06/18--14:00: Stars eye Pirates scalp
- 12/06/18--14:00: 'Fantastic four' ready for Dash
- 12/06/18--14:00: United, Arsenal draw
Tourism director Sem Shikongo told Namibian Sun there was no consultation with his ministry or the industry over these new regulations.
However, this issue has now lifted the veil on even more deep-seated problems within government, which is said to be operating in silos.
Shikongo said the root cause of the problem is a lack of consultation and information sharing to ensure effective harmonised and synergised legal and policy frameworks that allow for the industry to efficiently generate revenue and profits, while being effectively controlled and regulated by government.
Shikongo said overall the problem in government is that ministries do not consult with each other.
This is bad news indeed, as government labours from one crisis to another, seemingly with little or no synergy.
The impacts for the country are monumental, given the current economic headwinds, in which everyone must pull together to get the country into less stormy waters.
The 'silo mentality' is defined as a mindset that sees certain departments or sectors not wishing to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality reduces efficiency in the overall operation, reduces morale and may contribute to the demise of a productive culture.
Unlike many other trendy management terms this is one issue that has not disappeared over the years. Departmental silos are seen as a growing pain for most organisations of all sizes. It is the duty of the executive leaders and management to prepare and equip their teams with the proper mindset to break down this destructive organisational barrier.
When a deeper look is taken at the root cause of these issues, we find that more often than not silos are the result of a conflicted leadership or turf wars for personal gain.
Speaking at the party's extraordinary congress over the weekend, Geingob said the party gives the impression that it is at war with itself, “Swapo against Swapo and comrade against comrade”.
“I don't believe that,” Geingob said, but shot down a request by those who have failed to clinch positions at last year's congress to have a platform availed to them for a chance to state their cases.
Geingob said the 2017 congress, as the “people's court”, had made its decision.
“[It] is easier for all to rally behind a winner if contestants, during the period of campaigning, played the ball and not the player,” Geingob said.
“[I] urged all contestants to focus on the issues and not on the personalities because when one plays the ball, players accept the outcome once the game is over. They shake hands and move on. I thought we shook hands and photos are there to prove it. I thought the people's court decided.”
The failed High Court application lodged by Mirjam Shituula and Selma Namboga, in an attempt to stop the extraordinary congress from taking place, is symptomatic of the rift between the two factions and reinforces the perception that Swapo is rigging elections, Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu told Nampa on the sidelines of the extraordinary congress.
Geingob in his opening address said the High Court challenge is not a sign of degeneration within Swapo, but rather democracy in action.
“In the past you could not dare to criticise Swapo publicly. That is a sign of how Swapo has changed and moved forward,” Geingob said.
However, he said the urgent court application was intended to derail the extraordinary congress.
The extraordinary congress was a continuation of the 2017 congress and sought to conclude a number of matters, including a third amendment to the party's constitution and the adoption of a report and resolutions of last year's congress.
When announcing the dates for the extraordinary congress early last month, Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa did not say if issues of succession would be dealt with.
She only said at the time this would depend on whether succession would form part of a constitutional amendment.
The Namibian reported on Friday that some of the proposals include 50/50 gender representation in elections of the top four positions of the party, and that only those who have been members of the party for a continuous 10 years would be eligible for membership to the party's central committee and politburo.
The newspaper also reported that only those with an unbroken 25-year or 30-year membership in the party would be eligible for the positions of vice-president or president.
Shaningwa said yesterday that a press briefing will be held today, where the decisions of the extraordinary congress will be announced.
A changing world
Geingob said in his opening address that the key issues to be deliberated on included the adoption of a socialist ideology “with Namibian characteristics”.
According to draft resolutions of last year's congress, Swapo would adopt a socialist ideology, which “embraces the open market principles and techniques to develop the Namibian economy”.
It was proposed that article 3 of the party's constitution be amended to read that the ideological shift was to “advance political, economic and social empowerment; to protect and sustain the environment and ecological systems and biodiversity for the livelihood of the current and future generations”, and amongst others, to empower state-owned entities to own the means of production.
Geingob emphasised that Swapo must move with the times to remain relevant in the modern world.
The new regulations, which will lead to a tourism and aviation crisis, come into effect from 1 January next year and will impact 100 airfields.
Tourism director Sem Shikongo told Namibian Sun there was no consultation with his ministry or the industry over these new regulations.
Works minister John Mutorwa gazetted an amendment to the civil aviation regulations on 8 November.
The newly published regulations state that commercial flights are no longer allowed to land on unlicensed airfields, which were possible under the old regulations.
“What they are proposing is good, but they should have consulted on the operation of the issue and they should have given some time for people to comply,” said Shikongo.
He said the new regulations render most airstrips illegal and therefore the bulk of the scenic tours may now no longer be able to operate as of the date of enforcement.
“Scenic tours will basically come to a halt and most tourists want to fly. The idea is good, but the timing of this is not. Tourism will be on its knees.”
Shikongo said the requirement for registration also include an environmental impact assessment (EIA), which is good. However, there was not enough time to ensure compliance.
“We are urgently going to consult with them on the matter.”
He said the root cause of the problem is a lack of consultation and information-sharing to ensure effective, harmonised and synergised legal and policy frameworks that allow for the industry to efficiently generate revenue and profits, while being effectively controlled and regulated by government.
Shikongo said overall the problem in government is that ministries are not consulting with each other.
He pointed out there are several SOEs within the works ministry that impact on tourism, but there is never any consultation.
“TransNamib, Namport, the Directorate of Civil Aviation, the Roads Authority, the Namibia Airports Company and MVA Fund all impact on tourism.
“They did not think about the impact that this will have on tourism. This is the way we do things in the country, we operate in silos,” Shikongo said.
Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations (Fenata) chairman Bernd Schneider said last week that fly-in safaris form a key part of the Namibian tourism industry and that many lodges, especially those in remote areas, rely heavily on their landing strips and the resulting air access to bring in their clients.
He said with the ever-deteriorating road conditions, light aircraft flights have become an increasingly important mode of transport for the tourism industry. He said the new regulations will ground commercial flights to nearly 100 airfields in Namibia from 1 January next year. This will affect more than 600 000 passengers or tourists.
According to Schneider these regulations will also force most light aircraft operators to shut down their businesses as well, resulting in substantial job losses. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) also sent a detailed submission to Mutorwa.
“As the tourism industry we fully support safe air travel and any regulations that ensure overall aviation safety in Namibia. But, regulations that have such a massive and far-reaching impact on an entire industry must be communicated well in advance and must be crafted with extensive stakeholder consultation. Both of these have been neglected,” said Schneider.
He said it is unlikely that all affected airfields will be able to comply with the new regulations in a timely manner, as it is clearly highlighted in its submissions to Mutorwa.
He said an interim solution must be found urgently, in order to prevent extensive and lasting damage to the tourism industry.
Kingsley Holgate and his Cape Town to Kathmandu expedition team have realised a dream by finally reaching one of the highest paved roads in the world with their Land Rover Discovery vehicles. With a maximum elevation of 4 714 metres, the Pakistani Karakoram Highway and its treacherous passes is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
It's here on this ‘Roof of the World' where the three highest mountain ranges on the planet collide – the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and the Karakorams.
This is the fabled Shangri-La (The Kingdom of Lost Horizons) – a land of snow leopards, bears, apricot orchards, stone-built villages and hardy people. The area has vast glaciers, alpine deserts and 33 of the highest mountains on Earth, like the snow-covered 8 126-metre-high peak of Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s second-highest mountain after the 8 610m ‘Killer Mountain’ of K2, which is only exceeded by Mount Everest.
“For months we’ve dreamed about achieving this major expedition objective,” said Holgate.
“It’s a long, fascinating and sometimes arduous journey of mountain passes, tunnels, wash-aways and landslides. We find ourselves squeezing past colourful, jingling Bedford trucks; the Landys' tyres just millimetres from the edge of dizzying drops into steep gorges where the green waters of the Indus River tumble and meander. We’ve met police checkpoints and travelled in convoys, all flavoured with the friendliness of the amazingly tough Baltistan people who inhabit this rough mountainous region which through centuries of the Silk Road trade has linked northern Pakistan to China.”
Near the picturesque Hunza Valley, Kingsley and crew broke away for some tough off-road sections of the ancient Silk Road. It's yet another high-altitude test for the expedition’s two Discoveries which haven’t missed a beat. The Discovery’s 283 mm ground clearance has been key in tackling the rocky conditions, while the multi-mode Terrain Response 2 has allowed the team to adapt the vehicles’ settings to varying terrain – some of which is more easily passable by goats than cars – with a simple turn of a knob.
But the Karakoram Highway will soon be impassable by any vehicle. A new, faster highway is being built through these mountains by the Chinese to quicken the transportation of goods to the port of Karachi on the Arabian Sea.
The waters of a new dam on the Indus will also flood large sections of the old Karakoram Highway, which when it was built in the 1970s, claimed a life for each of its 883 km.
“Land Rovers have taken us from the southern tip of the African continent to the Roof of the World,” Holgate said.
“What a great feeling! It’s been a special privilege to travel this iconic road which will one day be only a memory.”
The Cape Town to Kathmandu expedition will now travel south across the Punjab to Lahore in time for the daily military ceremony at Wagah, which marks the border with India.
Then it's on to New Delhi, the famed Taj Mahal at Agra and onwards again to meet the Ganges at Varanasi en route to the final destination of Kathmandu in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.
Under the shadow of the great Mount Everest, the team will ceremoniously empty a symbolic, decorated Zulu calabash of south Atlantic seawater carried all the way from Cape Town and will present the expedition's Madiba Scroll of Peace and Goodwill to representatives of Kathmandu as a symbolic gesture of friendship from the people of South Africa. Hundreds of well-wishers have already added kind-hearted messages to the Scroll along the route, which has successfully crossed southern Africa, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Pakistan and India.
Exxon Mobil is seeking to sell its stake in Azerbaijan's largest oil field, once dubbed the "contract of the century", as the US oil and gas giant re-focuses its global operations, industry and banking sources said.
Exxon is hoping to raise up to US$2 billion from the sale of its 6.8% in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Caspian Sea, according to the sources.
The sale would mark the end of a 25-year journey. Exxon was among five US oil companies that helped create Azerbaijan's current oil industry soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and signing the deal in 1994.
The deal was dubbed by Azerbaijan and partners as the "the contract of the century" thanks to the field's large reserves and hopes of future major discoveries that would help Europe diversify away from Russian oil and gas.
Even though the project is operated by British oil major BP, it had received substantial US government support and a total of five American companies initially participated in the deal, including Exxon, Amoco, Unocal, Pennzoil and McDermott. – Nampa/Reuters
Visa, Mastercard offer to cap tourist card fees
Visa and Mastercard have offered to cap the fees charged on card payments made by tourists in the European Union to stave off fines and end an EU antitrust investigation.
The European Commission, which has waged a decades-long crackdown on payment and credit card fees, says so-called interchange fees in which the merchant's bank pays a charge to the cardholder's bank, result in higher prices for consumers.
This is because the fees, which are a lucrative source of revenue for banks, are ultimately borne by the merchant.
Visa, the world's largest payments network operator, and its closest rival Mastercard have proposed a 0.2% fee on non-EU debit card payments carried out in shops and a 0.3% fee on credit card payments, the Commission said on Tuesday.
This would bring their fees in line with those charged for EU cards, which were the subject of a long EU investigation after a 1997 complaint by business lobby EuroCommerce. – Nampa/Reuters
Thomson Reuters to cut 3 200 jobs
Thomson Reuters Corp said on Tuesday that it will cut its workforce by 12% in the next two years, axing 3 200 jobs, as part of a plan to streamline the business and reduce costs.
The news and information provider, which completed the sale of a 55% stake in its Financial & Risk (F&R) unit to private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, announced the cuts during an investor day in Toronto, in which it outlined its future strategy and growth plans.
The company also aims to grow annual sales by 3.5% to 4.5% by 2020, excluding the impact of any acquisitions.
As part of the streamlining, the company said it planned to reduce the number of offices around the world by 30% to 133 locations by 2020.
Thomson Reuters set a target to reduce its capital expenditure to between 7% and 8% of revenue in 2020 from 10% currently.
Shares in Thomson Reuters have risen by 40% since May, benefiting from the company buying back US$10 billion worth of shares. – Nampa/Reuters
Siemens looks for faster growth in 'smart' buildings
Siemens wants to grow its building technologies business faster than the overall construction market next year, possibly with help from acquisitions, the business' chief executive Matthias Rebellius said on Tuesday.
The business, which has its head office in Zug, Switzerland, makes devices and software to control the heating, lighting, energy use and security in so-called smart buildings.
Rebellius said he expected the overall construction market to grow by around 3% next year, with Siemens taking market share from rivals that include Johnson Controls and Honeywell.
The division is targeting faster growth in Asia, where it currently gets around 10% of its sales, as well as focusing on digital buildings - which sense, collect and analyse data to improve their energy use, for example.
During Siemens' 2018 financial year, the building technology business's profit slipped to 755 million euro from 784 million a year earlier, while its sales rose 6% to 6.6 billion euro. It achieved a profit margin of 11.4%, above its target range of 8% to 11%. – Nampa/Reuters
Uber launches bus-booking service in Cairo
Uber Technologies Inc has launched a bus-booking service in Cairo, the company's chief executive said on his first visit to Egypt on Tuesday, as the company aims to tap a sprawling low-income market.
The company also announced a new Uber Lite app that, from early next year, will allow users with basic Android phones and little connectivity to book trips in the Middle East.
Egypt is home to more than 5 million Uber users, he said, adding that the company is also investing more than US$100 million in an Egyptian customer support centre.
The new bus service will be the cheapest of Uber's services in Cairo, he said.
The announcement came a day after Uber's Middle East rival Careem launched a bus-booking service in Egypt. – Nampa/Reuters
Its Afrikaans name, which translates to “white marsh” is a direct translation from the original Khoekhoegowab name !Khuri !khubis.
It is here where one of the first battles in the Ovaherero-Nama war took place in March 1864.
History has it that erstwhile Ovaherero leader Maharero, with the help of the hunter Frederick Green (known among the Ovaherero as Kerina), led a contingent of 1 400 Ovaherero from Otjimbingwe against the Orlam Afrikaners under Jan Jonker Afrikaner.
Afrikaner's forces were reportedly defeated and fled, although a number of battles with different outcomes followed elsewhere.
The modern Witvlei came into existence in 1952, when it was a village council.
The proclamation followed the town's growing population as farm workers on surrounding farms chose to settle here, while more people flocked to the area in hopes of landing employment on these farms.
Fast forward to today and the rich history fades as the reality of modern-day urban living takes centre stage.
Due to a lack of industries here, Witvlei remains one of the poorest towns in the Omaheke Region, with little money to go around this closely knit community.
Its small size does not help much either. With the exception of a primary school, a clinic and the village council offices, no major employers exist here.
The closure of the Witvlei Meat abattoir in November 2014 did not make matters any easier for the community of less than 5 000 people.
The abattoir employed 165 people, which made it the biggest employment provider within the private sector in the region at the time.
Along with it went the dreams of many residents.
Amanda Skrywer, a single mother of four, says she dreamed of eventually building a proper house for herself and her family so they could move out of the shack they have called home for the last 20 years or so.
Sadly, this dream was shattered as her only source of income was abruptly cut.
Skrywer's situation is by no means unique as almost everyone shares similar stories of shattered dreams and hopes at Omataura, Witvlei's main residential area.
Others like her are forced to trek to Witvlei town from the residential area almost on a daily basis in search of opportunities for odd jobs.
Such opportunities are few and far apart, Rudolf Tjerivanga, another resident of Omataura said.
To access the town, residents have to make use of a narrow bridge that extends over a river.
The bridge, so narrow that only one car can pass at a time, is the only access point that connects Omataura to Witvlei - and by default the rest of the region. It is often impassable during the rainy season as it becomes flooded.
For pedestrians, crossing the running streams between Omataura and town – where many go to on a daily basis to search for odd jobs – is a living nightmare after heavy rainfall.
“If it is difficult for a car to pass here, imagine us who are on foot. We are literally cut off from town when it rains,” said Tjerivanga.
The often bustling Trans-Kalahari Highway, which passes through the heart of Witvlei on the B6 national road, does little to bring in much-needed income.
Only recently was the once thriving service station at the town revived to give motorists reason to stop over.
Even if they do, a lack of proper ablution facilities and shopping facilities often make motorists think twice about stopping again, a local resident says.
As such, many motorists - mainly tourists with foreign currency travelling to Botswana or South Africa - simply bypass the town altogether in favour of the much bigger Gobabis, some 50 kilometres further to the east.
The lack of economic opportunities at Witvlei has inadvertently created another societal evil - excessive abuse of alcohol, especially amongst the younger generation.
Alcohol abuse has become the preferred way of passing time for many young people here, as boredom and frustration often takes their toll on them, a local man said.
The 25-year-old man, who did not want to be named, said alcohol provides relief to him and his group of close friends, as they temporarily forget about their problems.
“We have been trying to get ourselves employed for years now and nothing is happening. We still live with our parents in small zinc houses, what kind of life is that?” he remarks.
The shebeens and abundant drinking holes selling traditional brews makes the availability of alcohol easy, compounding the problem for many parents here who are forced to sit silently and observe as their children drown their sorrows in alcohol.
One such parent is Skrywer, who says she is worried about the future of her children.
“What kind of life will they have if they are already so addicted to traditional home brew at such a young age?” she asked.
Witvlei village council CEO Hendrik Muisoor, in a recent presentation to urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga, said the council has devised various ways of reviving the ailing economic prospects of the town.
One such initiative was to provisionally register the youth centre with the Namibia Tourism Board as an accommodation facility to give more people, especially tourists, a reason to stop over and bring in much-needed income.
The council has also called on business people to set up shop at the town, especially in poultry farming and solar farm enterprises.
According to the regional profile of Omaheke, some 7 756 beneficiaries were registered for social grants in the region at the end of April 2017.
A total of 5 964 beneficiaries received old-age grants and 1 792 are registered for disability grants.
Old Mutual, it is said, was apparently unhappy with the price the property was sold for. In his founding affidavit, the applicant in the matter, Andre Harris, told the court that on 11 September this year, he purchased the property at 85 Frans Indongo Street for N$4.6 million, at a public auction following foreclosure. He signed the conditions of sale and paid the required deposit and auctioneer fees. Harris is suing Old Mutual, the law firm Etzold-Duvenhage, the deputy sheriff for Windhoek and H. Hendricks Investment CC. He said the deputy sheriff had sold the property on behalf of Old Mutual after Etzold-Duvenhage, acting for Old Mutual, had demanded N$6.5 million against H. Hendricks Investment on the said property. However, Harris said the “property was sold without a reserve price”.
He explained that he tried to get the keys to the property on 12 September but was informed by the deputy sheriff that he could not “immediately take possession of the property because there was a legal dispute”.
What followed was several meetings and lawyers' correspondence until a meeting on 28 September where Harris says Old Mutual asked him to “negotiate a purchase price that was more in line with the amount owing by H. Hendricks Investment”, as they were unhappy with the selling price achieved at the auction. Harris said he made a privileged settlement proposal.
On 5 October, Etzold-Duvenhage informed his lawyer that they had embarked on the process of transferring the property and that on 22 October, the deputy sheriff placed him in possession of the property. Following this, the transfer was delayed because the structure had failed the City's building compliance regulations. This Harris said, he attended to and paid for.
However, by 12:30 on 30 November, after he had delivered the clearance and compliance certificates, Etzold-Duvenhage informed his lawyer that Old Mutual had terminated their mandate to proceed with the transfer of the property.
“We are now under instructions not to proceed with the transfer in view of the intended review application to brought by our client.”
According to Harris, it was no longer Old Mutual's mandate, but in fact the responsibility of the deputy sheriff. Furthermore, the deputy sheriff had signed all the necessary documents for the transfer to be completed. According to Harris, a valid sale was effected and the transfer of the property must be executed according to the conditions of sale and the law. “Should any party wish to set aside the sale or prevent the registrar of deeds from transferring the property into my name, such a party must approach the court and obtain and appropriate court order.”
With regard to his urgency, the last date to lodge documents for transfer at the deeds office was yesterday. Furthermore, his concern was about the festive season, saying he had already spent thousands on the property and that it is risky to spend thousands on security if the property is not in his name.
“I will suffer economic prejudice if the transfer of the property is not completed this year.”
All the respondents in the matter have filed an intention to oppose, save for the deputy sheriff.
Helena Iifo from AngulaCo. Incorporated appears on behalf of Harris while Judge Thomas Masuku presides.
The devil's claw harvested in both conservancies is certified organic.
Annual inspections ensure sustainability, traceability and quality standards and this compliance has ensured that its price has more than doubled since 2011.
Xoa//an /Ai!ae, the Nyae Nyae Conservancy chairperson, says devil's claw harvesting provides the women of the community with an opportunity to earn money.
“In an area with precious few employment prospects, this income is an important source of much-needed supplementary cash.
“This is a very significant way of empowering the conservancy members, especially women, and proves that marginalised communities do not have to live off handouts if they are given the means to produce for themselves.
“Our members, and especially women, do not have many opportunities to earn cash income and this provides them with an opportunity to do this.” /Ai!ae says.
N/haokxa Kaqece and Xoan Kxam
/oo are harvesters from the village Ben se Kamp.
They believe it is important to harvest the tubers carefully so that the plant does not die.
The harvesting of devil's claw offers only one small opportunity for the members of these conservancies to generate much-needed cash income.
Therefore, the creation of other income-generating opportunities is a priority.
“It is a medicine that goes out to help others and we are happy about this but we also want to ensure that we benefit fairly.
“Harvesting devil's claw is difficult, it is far, you need water and food and we take great care to harvest sustainably and produce a good quality product.
“The income from devil's claw is for many of our members the only source of income,” says Anna Mathias, a member of the N#a Jaqna Conservancy committee.
South Africa broke free of recession on Tuesday when it reported GDP growth of 2.2% for the third quarter, the statistics authority said, marking a positive economic trajectory ahead of elections.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took power in February, has pledged to revive the listless economy ahead of polls due in May by attracting US$100 billion in foreign investment and by fighting corruption.
The growth, which contrasted sharply with the second quarter's 0.4% contraction, was driven by a surge in the manufacturing, agriculture and transport sectors.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni's mid-term budget statement delivered in October slashed South Africa's 2018 growth forecast from 1.5% to 0.7%.
The country's economic performance is seen as crucial to bolstering the ruling African National Congress' standing ahead of national polls due in May 2019. – Nampa/AFP
Kenya to roll over syndicated loan
Kenya is in talks with lenders to roll over a US$760 mln syndicated loan this fiscal year and lengthen its maturity in order to make debt repayments more manageable, a senior treasury official has said.
The loan, which was initially for two years, was arranged by TDB bank, said Kamau Thugge, the principal secretary at the ministry of finance.
The government aimed to increase the tenor of the loan to seven or 10 years, he said, adding that they had not yet struck an agreement with lenders whom he did not identify.
"We will be going back to the international market to lengthen the maturities of the debts that are falling due. It does not increase our debt," Thugge told reporters.
The government was however considering issuing a new Eurobond at a later date, part of efforts to raise 272 billion shillings in net external financing which is contained in this year's budget. – Nampa/Reuters
The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) says a recent announcement by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, that there would be no salary increases for public servants until they improved their performance, was a slap in the face.
The prime minister said recently that the government paid public servants well despite their poor performance and the economic downturn the country is experiencing.
At a media briefing yesterday, TUN president Mahongora Kavihuha hit back.
“It is nothing more than an old and tired capitalist narrative backed by the World Bank and other imperialist intuitions aimed at trying to fool and confuse us after they have feathered their nests with ill-gotten money through shady deals with the Russians and Chinese,” he said.
He added that there would be “drastic actions” if the finance ministry failed to budget for salary increases for public servants in the 2019/20 financial year.
Kavihuha further criticised the prime minister for being insensitive towards hardworking public servants who are struggling financially.
“The statement is provocative in the sense that notwithstanding all those gallant efforts by civil servants, at least to save the face of an otherwise solidly ineffective, corrupt and accountable cabinet and political leadership, the reward they get comes in the form of a thankless statement by the prime minister,” he said.
According to him the majority of public servants work under deplorable conditions, but continue to do so gallantly, while remaining loyal to the government.
“Nurses are working in life-threatening, unhygienic circumstances and in some instances public servants have to dig into their own resources to ensure the government's work is carried out,” he said.
According to Kavihuha, Namibians are already brought low by high taxes and inequality.
“It has been said that every employed Namibian caters for and assists about eight other vulnerable and unemployed, deprived and generally suffering Namibians.
“Therefore, roughly speaking, the salaries of 120 000 public servants assist 960 000 other Namibians who should have been the responsibility of the Namibian government,” he said.
A number of young men and boys were spotted on the banks of the Okavango River recently, waiting for bakkies to arrive.
When Namibian Sun arrived, some of the men came running towards the bakkie to ask whether they should fill it with sand.
Massive sand pits were observed nearby - the result of illegal sand mining. Because Angolan nationals can freely cross the river, some of the men may have been Angolans.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained the nature of the business.
“These men are present at the river from eight to five, just like official workers. This is what they do for a living.
“You just come with your bakkie here and they fill it up for you with sand. For a bakkie like yours they will charge about N$70, but because they are a lot, you can negotiate for N$50,” the resident said.
He said most Rundu residents who need building sand make use of this service.
“People who do not have bakkies are forced to buy from the guys with trucks, who get the sand from the river. They charge as much as N$600 per truck in town, after spending about N$150 to N$200 on the men at the river who fill it up,” the resident said.
He expressed concern over the environmental destruction.
“Years back this was an even landscape, but if you look at it now, it is destroyed. Something needs to be done.”
These activities are continuing although the environment ministry has halted all activities listed that require environmental clearance certificates in terms of the Environmental Management Act, including sand mining.
When contacted for comment, ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said they condemned any activity that destroys the environment. When asked who should control such activities, Muyunda said the ministry had a role to play, but with the involvement of various stakeholders such as local authorities, if these activities are happening within their jurisdiction.
“I'm thrilled,” he said when he got out of the vehicle.
For the president, yesterday's ceremony at the assembly plant was a milestone in the country's history: the investment in the automotive industry not only diversifies Namibia's economy, it also evoked some nostalgia in him.
“My first car I bought before independence in Zambia was an old Peugeot,” he said.
Currently three SUV models are being assembled at the Walvis Bay factory. The parts are imported.
The vehicles include two Peugeot models - the 3008 and 5008 – and the Opel Grandland X, said Emre Karaer, vice-president of Peugeot in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We are grateful to our partner, the Namibia Development Corporation, for the realisation of this project,” he added.
According to Karaer, 15 vehicles have so far rolled off the assembly line - five of each of the three models.
“Our goal is to assemble 5 000 vehicles per year come 2020,” he said.
The PSA group intends to supply the entire southern Africa with cars assembled at Walvis Bay.
“We want to develop locally and also roll out locally produced cars as much as we can,” he said.
“These vehicles go through a rigorous testing process to guarantee all the safety and quality standards of PSA.”
The PSA group is a French multinational manufacturer and is ranked as one of the largest carmakers in the world. This was emphasised when Karaer mentioned a few figures: During the last financial year the PSA group produced 2.2 million vehicles and its revenue was 38.6 billion euros.
The Namibian facility has created 50 jobs - a pleasing figure, said Claire Bodonyi, the French ambassador to Namibia.
“Why was Namibia chosen? The reason is simple: one chooses a valuable partner,” she said.
According to her the assembly plant represents an investment of N$190 million.
President Geingob had a lot of praise yesterday: for the investment, the job creation and for finance minister Calle Schlettwein, who “went through hell to make this project happen”.
“The automotive industry is one of the sectors identified in our Growth at Home Strategy as a priority sector.
“We believe that by attracting investment in the automotive [sector], we will help diversify our economy and support our ambition to become a regional gateway that offers a stable political and economic environment for multinationals,” he said.
Geingob said the journey towards realising the project was full of challenges.
“There are a number of countries in the region that would have been happy to host this project, but the negotiations revealed the commitment of the Namibian government and Peugeot to make Namibia the preferred choice for this assembly plant,” he said.
The investment furthermore signifies “our intent to realise our own industrial revolution”.
This, according to Geingob, will be a revolution that will “enable us to provide work, a high standard of living, as well as security and prosperity for our people”.
The construction project for the factory upgrade, being one of the two expansion components, is nearing completion. The other, the newly built longline vessel, M.F.V. Meka Bay, has already been fishing during the past season.
The new factory and related processing capability, as well as the new vessel will result in additional job creation in excess of 100 people.
Since the merger with Mekarilakha Fishing and access to a larger hake quota, the company made the decision towards end of 2016 to expand the factory.
“It has been a long and sometimes difficult and frustrating road to get us here, but we are very excited to see everything coming together and look forward to processing our first longline caught hake in the upgraded facility,” the chief executive officer of Marco Fishing, Kurt Laufer, said in a statement.
The factory upgrade involves the increase of combined factory floor space by some 950m². The almost-double-in-size factory will provide much improved processing capability with the installation new filleting and skinning lines, as well as an IQF (individual quick freezing) spiral freezer.
With this Marco Fishing (Pty) Ltd is further re-emphasising its commitment to the regional development and specifically investment in Lüderitz, the statement reads.
The company is one of only a handful of known producers of fresh Bahri dates in the southern hemisphere. These dates, while relatively unknown in Europe and the US, remain a sought-after delicacy in the Middle East with rising demand from the Muslim Asian markets.
The manaing director of Desert Fruit Namibia, Seth Holmes, says the company’s focus has been to increase quality and date size - pushing the envelope of the delicacy market.
“The young trees are reaching production maturity and the tree health is reflected in the fruit quality. We will introduce a new line of 1kg loose fresh Bahri punnets to complement the existing 5kg fresh pack carton. This is meant for convenience shopping at the retailer and we are excited about this addition to our product range.”
Seth says buyers have already started placing their orders for the upcoming season and more orders are expected as last year’s produce was exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia, Indonesia, Maldives and Switzerland.
“The produce will be harvested from late January through to the end of March and it is looking good as we are able to deliver Bahri for an extended season to all our customers,” he said.
The Bahri date is traditionally eaten fresh and crisp with a very sweet juice, the date is also allowed to age slowly on the table of the end user, making a very soft, naturally ripened date super sweet and tasting of caramel – most certainly a unique and highly anticipated taste for all date lovers.
Moyo, who analyses the macro-economy and global affairs, opines that without fundamental changes, democratic politicians will struggle to address the numerous headwinds the global economy faces today. She writes that the myopia within democracy leads to the misallocation of scarce resources, such as capital and labour, and short-sighted investment decisions by politicians and business.
She mentions specifically that two decades after its first democratic election, South Africa ranks as the most unequal country on earth.
She continues that a host of policy tools could patch each of South Africa's ills in a piecemeal fashion, yet one force would unquestionably improve them all: economic growth.
Moyo argues that, in general, emerging economies with a low asset base need to grow faster and accumulate a stock of assets more quickly than more developed economies in which basic living standards are already largely met.
Although on a significantly smaller scale, Namibia mirrors South Africa's grappling with the fundamental issues relating to unbridled capitalism.
Former South African public protector Thuli Madonsela argued recently in an opinion piece titled 'Rebooting our democracy' that capitalism assumes that everyone has the same starting line and fair chance to succeed. However, she intimates further that in the context of a society in which racial discrimination was previously legislated and the minority were given “unearned advantages”, the starting line was obviously not the same for everyone.
In the Namibian context, where political freedom has meant the insertion of a political elite class into the current system, issues of hunger, unemployment and poverty represent a direct threat to democracy and peace.
Words and slogans are beginning to lose their gravitas. The desperation of those left behind will certainly be a rallying point for populist and dangerous forces.
All liquor outlet, bar and shebeen owners were given written warnings for allowing minors onto their premises and 182 illegal liquor outlets were closed out of 714 inspected.
Major-General Anna-Marie Nainda of the Namibian police yesterday said that child abuse in Namibia is rising and needs to be dealt with all the might of the law.
“Neglect of children has become a burning and critical problem. Some women in our community just don't care about their minor kids that are roaming around,” she said.
She said if any children are found abandoned, roaming the streets without adequate supervision or are taken into places they are not supposed to be, “we are going to open criminal cases and we are going to arrest those people”.
The police escorted mothers with young children from bars, shebeens and gambling houses during the operation.
During an inspection at a Klein Windhoek gambling house in the early morning hours, the police discovered drunken teenage girls, who were promptly removed.
Operation Basadi was the second phase of a SADC initiative against child abuse that took place simultaneously in all SADC member countries from 28 November to 2 December. The first phase was conducted in March. Basadi is a Setswana word meaning “women”.
The operation, executed by 1 840 female police officers and members of several ministries and private anti-crime groups, also resulted in a charge of child trafficking being made against two Namibian men in the Kunene Region.
The men were arrested after an Angolan boy younger than 15 was reported missing on 10 November. He was found a day later, having suffered multiple injuries.
It is alleged that the boy's mother handed him over to a man. He was taken to a cattle post to look after livestock.
He was severely assaulted when a sheep went missing. He fled and was later discovered by the police.
The five-day police operation took place in all 14 regions of Namibia and led to the arrest of 215 men and 34 women, one of whom was charged with child neglect.
Nainda said the first operation in March resulted in 167 arrests, compared to 249 arrests during the second phase. During the operation, 42 cases of domestic violence were reported and 32 arrests made.
Nainda said of the 17 protection orders issued during the operation, six were to women and 11 to men. She said this showed that women were also capable of violent behaviour. Two rape cases were reported, in which two arrests were made.
The operation was also aimed at raising awareness of the resources available to battered women and children, developing risk profiles of targeted crime types, and building operational capacity.
It focused on combating rape, murder, domestic disputes, sexual abuse, underage drinking, child labour and child neglect.
A total of 149 awareness campaigns on various media platforms ran during the operation.
The police also reached out to vulnerable communities and donated a host of items, including food and clothing.
In addition, two Namibian men were arrested in the Kavango East region for illegal possession of two elephant tusks valued at N$28 000.
Fifty-eight unpolished diamonds, whose value is still being determined, were also discovered in their possession.
Eighteen cases of drug dealing and possession were opened, in which dagga and Mandrax with a street value of nearly N$65 000 were seized and 12 men and six women were arrested.
Immigration authorities and police arrested 40 illegal immigrants, including 15 Zimbabweans, three Chinese and 11 Angolans, during Operation Basadi.
A total of 2 845 counterfeit products were confiscated and 169 vehicle and foot patrols were conducted.
Close to 110 roadblocks were set up and 913 random stop-and-searches were conducted.
Nelson Antonio, an education lecturer at the University of Namibia (Unam) Rundu campus, appeared on two counts of attempted murder.
The matter was postponed until 15 January 2019 for further police investigations and for Antonio to acquire legal representation. According to a police report, the incident happened at around 22:30 in Kehemu location. Antonio allegedly shot and wounded two men who are receiving treatment in the Rundu state hospital.
The two have been identified as brothers Moses and Gerson Batista, both 25 years old.
It is alleged that the two brothers were driving when Antonio opened fire from his car.
He allegedly first shot Moses in the right leg and then hit Gerson in the neck and upper arm.
Moses ran away while Gerson drove to the Rundu police station, where he collapsed and was rushed to hospital.
The police tracked Antonio to his home, arrested him and seized his registered 9mm pistol.
The motive for the shooting is still unclear, but there are rumours that the suspect had been romantically involved with the sister of the two victims.
The Reds will play arch-rivals Black Africa in their famous Katutura derby this weekend at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in the MTC Namibia Premier league (NPL).
Stars entered the last round of the Champions League preliminaries after beating Volcano Club de Moroni of the Comoros over two legs.
The final leg was played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Wednesday, which Stars won 2-1 after a goalless draw in their first clash in the Comoros.
The islanders, however, gave Stars a run for their money. They needed just one more goal to dump Stars out of the competition, but the Namibians managed to hold on.
“I am happy with the victory but I am not happy with the way we played.
“We will have to play better football against Orlando Pirates if we are to give them any challenge.
“The good thing is that we know so much about Orlando Pirates, while they know very little about us,” Nauseb said.
On Wednesday evening, African Stars took the lead through Zimbabwean player Chrispen Mbewe, who headed home from close range.
Volcano, however, responded with a goal of their own through Diaritiana Solonaina Rakotonanhary.
The equaliser created panic in the stadium, as it meant that Stars needed to score another goal if they wanted to stay alive in the competition.
The two teams squandered a couple of chances each, with the Comoros side threatening, while controlling the middle of the pitch.
A star performance by right-back Ivan Kamberiba, however, kept the islanders at bay.
The score remained level as halftime approach, before Gustav Isaak delivered a shot that left the Volcano goalkeeper stranded.
The second half was more about controlling the tempo, with both teams trying to outclass each other in the midfield.
“For now, we will go back to the drawing board in order to prepare for our league match against Black Africa,” Nauseb added.
This weekend will also see other NPL clashes, with Namibia's Orlando Pirates hosting Citizens tonight at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 20:00.
The action will continue with Blue Waters against Mighty Gunners at the Kuisebmond Stadium on Saturday at 16:00, while Okahandja United host Young African on Saturday at 16:00.
Unam FC will travel all the way to Rundu to face Julinho Sporting at the Rundu Sport Stadium at 16:00, while Eleven Arrows will be on the road to face Young Brazilians in Karasburg.
Tigers FC will battle it out against Civics at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday at 16:00, followed by Tura Magic against Life Fighters at 18:00.
Black Africa issued a statement yesterday, saying they want to remain on top of the league after Sunday's derby.
“Judged on previous encounters, a fierce battle is expected on the field of play.
“Black Africa would like to remain at the summit of the league, but African Stars, having progressed to the next round of the CAF Champions League, would like to continue with their fine performances,” the statement said.
Tickets are available at all Pick n Pay outlets and at Football House for N$30, while they will cost N$40 at the gate.
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
The marathon event covers 369 kilometres of mainly gravel road and must be completed within 24 hours. It starts at Grove Mall in Windhoek and ends at Tiger Reef in Swakopmund.
Stacked with talent, the four-person team worth keeping an eye on is the Nedbank Private Wealth/Mannie's Bike Mecca (#MBM) Racing Team, consisting of Tjipe Murangi, Alex Miller, Herbert Peters and Vianney Links.
Miller is arguably one of the most talented young cyclists in the country.
He has taken the world of cycling by storm and has participated in numerous, rigorous international races.
Peters is another well-decorated Namibian rider and the up-and-coming Links also adds a strong element to the team.
“The fourth rider, Tjipe Murangi, is a multiple category winner of the Nedbank Desert Dash and his experience will serve this young team really well, in slugging it out with their top competitors for a spot on the winner's podium,” Nedbank head marketing and communication Gernot de Klerk said.
The Dash will see over
1 000 riders from 14 different countries cycling in the solo, two-person and four-person slots.
Murangi said he looks forward to the Dash each year, as it is the ideal way to end the cycling calendar.
“Our team is very young and it is exciting to see the younger generation joining cycling. It's a good way to keep fit and healthy, and the open air does your mind wonders,” Murangi said.
Nedbank is also supporting the team and plans on being on the sidelines for the entire race.
Head of Nedbank Private Wealth, Cornell Meeks, said: “Just like our own team based at Am Weinberg, this young cycling team has been selected for their tenacity and absolute commitment to do good. We will be cheering them on all the way to the finish line in Swakopmund.”
Nedbank has a long history of advancing competitive cycling in Namibia, stretching back to 1986 when the first competitive race was held in Namibia, which is now known as the Nedbank Cycle Challenge.
Besides focusing on national events, including supporting the Namibian Cycling Federation in numerous national cycling championships, Nedbank has also supported continental showpieces and has developed lasting partnerships to open up international opportunities for Namibian cyclists, including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
WhatsApp your short video (maximum 30 seconds) before midnight on 13 December to 081 170 0040 and stand a chance to win N$1 000. The videos will be shared on the Erongo Facebook page. The winner will be announced on Sunday, 16 December.
Manchester United, who started with Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku on the bench, showed great spirit to come back twice, with equalisers from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard earning a much-needed point.
But after a defeat at Manchester City and dispiriting draws with Crystal Palace and Southampton, United are now 18 points behind leaders, City, and are actually closer to the relegation zone than they are to first place.
United also trail Chelsea and Arsenal, who are now unbeaten in 20 games, by eight points in the battle for a place in the top four.
And Mourinho, who saw a bad David de Gea error and Marcos Rojo own goal twice hand Arsenal the lead, believes the performance continued their run of self-inflicted harm.
“We scored four goals and we drew 2-2,” joked Mourinho. But we scored four goals and even in matches like today where we play well, we always shoot ourselves.
“Sometimes we miss chances with an open goal, other times defensive mistakes, but tonight there was a fantastic spirit, good performances.
“Our problem is finding a performance like this without the mistakes we made and we had very good performances where we make mistakes and we are always punished,” Mourinho said.
The coach's frustration was especially understandable given that Arsenal's opening goal, after 26 minutes, featured that rarest of collector's items - a mistake by his Spanish international goalkeeper De Gea.
Chris Smalling slipped at Lucas Torreira's 26th minute corner, allowing Shkodran Mustafi the space to send a free header bouncing into the ground and goal-wards.
It looked a routine save for United's number one but he succeeded only in pushing the ball into the air, two-handed, over his own head and over the goal-line, despite Ander Herrera's desperate clearance.
But United responded within four minutes as Rojo, playing for the first time this season, unleashed a terrific free-kick which Bernd Leno kept out at the foot of his left-hand post.
Herrera responded quickly, although replays suggested he may have been fractionally offside, reaching the loose ball on the by-line and turning it into the six-yard area where Martial was able to convert.
That dramatic pattern would be repeated after 68 minutes when Arsenal regained a lead they could only hold, on this occasion, for 74 seconds.
Lacazette played a one-two with fellow substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan and advanced into the area where Rojo tackled him from behind and succeeded only in turning the ball into his own net.
De Gea made amends for his first-half error with two fine saves to deny an in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Mkhitaryan also wasting a good close-range chance in between.
“I'm proud of my players and the second-half gives us confidence,” said Arsenal manager Unai Emery.
“We controlled the game and if one team deserved to win, we did more.”