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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 12/18/18--14:00: New houses for Kaisosi
  • New houses for KaisosiNew houses for Kaisosi RUNDU – The minister of urban and rural development, Peya Mushelenga, on Monday handed over 52 houses built by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) at Rundu’s Kaisosi township.

    The prices of the NHE houses at Rundu range between N$300 000 and N$500 000.

    The houses are part of the 123 houses being constructed by NHE with its partners, Salamis Darwen Group on plots serviced by the Rundu Town Council and assigned to the company during the ground-breaking ceremony in February this year. Mushelenga said the importance of owning a house cannot be understated as it brings a sense of pride and dignity to homeowners, noting that many interventions have been put in place which includes the construction of houses by government under the Mass Housing Development Programme. The programme included the servicing of land under the massive urban land servicing project, upgrading of informal settlements, community-driven and settlement upgrading and the decentralised Build Together Programme, said Mushelenga. “These interventions are aimed at addressing the housing backlog in the country, especially for the low and ultra-low income groups,” the minister said. He added that his wish is to see a high number of houses being provided to beneficiaries every year. In order to provide the 5 000 houses per annum as per his performance agreement, the delivery of serviced land by local authorities is key to achieve government’s goal, he said.

    “The provision of land and housing are two of our critical national development priorities and important vehicles in addressing poverty and inequality,” stressed Mushelenga. Speaking at the same occasion, the acting CEO of the Rundu Town Council, Sikongo Haihambo, said it is common knowledge that Namibia is experiencing a housing backlog and Rundu is no exception. Haihambo said Rundu has experienced growth in population which is higher than the national average and believes that the houses will provide decent shelter to a lot of families in Rundu. - Nampa

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    Property market: ‘Buyers in driving seat’Property market: ‘Buyers in driving seat’Lower demand, higher supply FNB Namibia expects house prices to shed 5.8% of their value in 2018, and to start seeing some price resistance in 2019. The mortgage cake is becoming smaller for the increasing number of mortgage financiers, which translates into more competition. – Namene Kalili, Group Economist: FNB Namibia The housing market is expected to become oversupplied with properties, providing various purchase opportunities for first-time property owners, the group economist of FNB Namibia, Namene Kalili, says.

    “With economic growth stagnating, consumer confidence waning, rising interest rates, rising home ownership costs and the economy still shedding jobs, the stage is set for lower housing demand, at a time when land delivery and housing supply is on the increase,” Kalili says in the latest FNB House Price Index, based on August data.

    “Under these conditions, the few buyers that are available will be in the driving seat, dictating terms, and resulting in further price corrections,” Kalili says.

    FNB Namibia expects house prices to shed 5.8% of their value in 2018, and to start seeing some price resistance in 2019, as housing becomes increasingly affordable to more buyers.

    “This will reduce the price contraction through 2019 to 1.2%, before turning positive in 2020, at which stage we believe property prices will have corrected and thus maintain inflation-related price increases going forward,” Kalili says.

    The latest data shows that the residential property market remained in the red through August, as property prices contracted by 2.9%.

    “This means that property prices have contracted in seven of the first eight months of 2018,” according to Kalili.

    The average property price has now moderated N$1.177 million, from its March 2017 peak of N$1.246 million. Regionally, property prices are falling across the central and coastal regions, with 6.0% and 5.0% price contractions respectively.

    “The price declines remain concentrated in the luxury segment, where prices have plummeted by 29.4% over the past year, which is trickling down into the lower to upper price segments in the form of decelerated price increases,” Kalili says.

    Volumes, advances

    Volumes have picked up 27.8% year on year, to levels last seen in 2013, he says.

    “This comes off rather robust volume growth in the lower and middle price segments, as local authorities ramp up affordable housing supply in the northern property market, whilst the incidence of distressed sales accelerates in the central market.”

    Despite the robust volume growth, normalised mortgage advances are down 3.7%, Kalili says.

    “This is due to a N$200 million mortgage advance contraction in the luxury segment, on the back of price and volume contraction. Additionally, mortgage advances to the middle and upper price segments are also contracting, due to volume contraction only.

    “Therefore, the mortgage cake is becoming smaller for the increasing number of mortgage financiers, which translates into more competition, which translates into better terms for consumers,” Kalili says.

    Land delivery

    Land delivery accelerated even further to 138 stands delivered nationwide.

    “This has bought the cumulative land delivery 957 stands for the first eight months of 2018, and already the second highest land delivery rate on record,” Kalili says.

    Further analysis shows that it is the northern and coastal property markets that continue to push land delivery higher. However, the central property market has recently begun to accelerate land delivery.

    “More land will hopefully translate into better land prices in the medium term,” Kalili says.

    “But for now, land prices continued to increase, with the August print 43.1% higher than a year ago. This has pushed the average cost of land to N$886/m², symptomatic of the pervasive housing shortage,” he says.

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  • 12/19/18--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Cash-strapped SAA expands Emirates code sharing

    South African Airways (SAA) said on Tuesday that it had signed a deal with Emirates to expand an existing codeshare agreement, in a rare bright spot for the cash-strapped airline.

    The state-owned carrier, which has not made a profit since 2011 and survives on government handouts, said the agreement would see the two airlines leverage each other's route networks, cargo services and flight schedules to boost passenger flows.

    South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has been at pains to stabilise ailing firms like SAA, but the extent of their financial difficulties has meant slow progress.

    SAA, which hopes to turn a profit by 2021 by cutting jobs and routes, expects to make another large loss this financial year, despite a recent government cash injection of R5 billion.

    "The expansion of our commercial relationship will further strengthen key focus areas of the implementation of our turnaround plan," SAA chief executive Vuyani Jarana said. – Nampa/Reuters

    Nedbank shares fall on Ecobank inquiry report

    Nedbank shares fell by more than 4% on Tuesday after a South African newspaper reported that Nigeria's financial regulator had launched a probe into its West African associate Ecobank.

    Nedbank, which is one of South Africa's four largest lenders, holds a 21% stake in Ecobank and its relationship with the Togo-based lender was just starting to pay-off after years of disappointment.

    The Sunday Times reported that The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria had confirmed an investigation into Ecobank, which returned to profit in 2017 after losing US$131.3 million before tax the year before.

    Ecobank's Nigerian business had been under pressure due to a slide in commodity prices and currency swings, but it has helped boost Nedbank's performance in 2018 so far.

    Also on Tuesday, Nedbank repurchased 7.1 million shares from minority shareholders, worth 1.41% of its issued share capital, for R1.95 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

    Nigeria's Access Bank to buy rival Diamond Bank

    Nigeria's Access Bank has agreed to takeover mid-tier rival Diamond Bank, the lenders said on Monday, in a deal both said would create Africa's largest bank by customers.

    Nigerian banks have been trying to raise fresh capital after huge loan losses worsened by an economy that is recovering from its first recession in 25 years.

    As part of the deal, Diamond Bank said its shareholders would receive 3.13 naira per share, comprising of 1.00 naira per share in cash and the allotment of 2 New Access Bank ordinary shares for every 7 Diamond Bank ordinary shares.

    The takeover follows weeks of speculation about Diamond Bank in the wake of the unexpected resignations of its chairman and three other directors in October.

    Previous bank mergers in Nigeria have been imposed by the regulator. It was not immediately clear how this deal was agreed. – Nampa/Reuters

    Huawei to spend US$2 bln in cybersecurity push

    Huawei Technologies on Tuesday said it would spend US$2 billion over the next 5 years to focus on cybersecurity by adding more people and upgrading lab facilities, as it battles global concerns about risks associated with its network gear.

    The typically secretive Chinese technology giant made the comments at one of its most in-depth press conferences at its Dongguan offices, after welcoming about two dozen international journalists into its new campus in the southern Chinese city.

    Huawei has been in the news these past weeks for the arrest of its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou - also the daughter of its billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei - in Canada at the request of the United States.

    This has exacerbated the woes of the Chinese firm, which has already been virtually locked out of the US market and has been prohibited by Australia and New Zealand from building 5G networks amid concerns its gear could facilitate Chinese spying.

    Huawei has been communicating with governments worldwide regarding the independence of its operation, rotating chairman Ken Hu said. He added that Japan and France had not formally banned its telecom equipment. Recent media reports have indicated moves by these governments to shun the company's equipment. – Nampa/Reuters

    Indian drug inspectors seize J&J baby powder

    Indian drug inspectors have seized samples of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder from a plant in a northern state, an industry source said yesterday, following a Reuters report the company knew for decades that cancer-causing asbestos lurked in the product.

    The source, who declined to be named, said the samples were taken from the Baddi plant in Himachal Pradesh state on Tuesday night.

    J&J India did not have any immediate comment on the reports of sample seizures by Indian authorities. On Tuesday the company said in a statement that the Reuters article, which was published on Friday, "is one-sided, false and inflammatory".

    "Johnson & Johnson's baby powder is safe and asbestos free," it added. "Studies of more than 100 000 men and women show that talc does not cause cancer or asbestos-related disease. Thousands of independent tests by regulators and the world's leading labs prove our baby powder has never contained asbestos," the company said.

    Surendranath Sai, a drug officer in the southern Indian state of Telangana, said he was instructing drug inspectors to seize samples there. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Calling Namibian business ownersCalling Namibian business owners The 21st St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) will be held from 6 - 8 June next year, in St Petersburg. The forum is an annual business event for the economic sector, which has been held in since 1997, and since 2005, under auspices of the Russian president. More than 10 000 delegates from roughly 120 countries attend annually, bringing together business leaders, political leaders, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, departmental ministers, and governors.

    Business owners and governments have the opportunity to engage with business leaders from Russia and elsewhere to seek investment, technology or partnerships.

    In 2005, President Vladimir Putin took part in the forum for the first time. Through his participation, the forum attained the informal status of a ‘presidential’ event. The next year, Putin announced that the Russian government would host the forum annually and the current format of SPIEF is more of a successor to its previous incarnation than its continuation.

    The first ‘updated’ forum was held in 2007 and in that same year a partnership between the World Economic Forum (WEF) and SPIEF was announced with an agreement signed on 25 January that year.

    According to Putin, “The St Petersburg meetings have become a good tradition. We value the forum’s atmosphere of trust and openness. Such a discussion and an informal dialogue are particularly important today when the environment for doing business and making investments, as well as everyday life, are going through dynamic changes too.”

    According to Putin’s advisor and the executive secretary of the organising committee of SPIEF Anton Kobyakov, marketing of the event has kicked off and is going very well.

    “The advertising campaign includes a number of events including regional sessions and industry-specific round tables. The SPIEF international promotional campaign consists of events in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.”

    Namibian business owners seeking investments or partnerships are urged to log on to www. Forumspb.com/en/ for further information.

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    BCM more upbeat about prospectsBCM more upbeat about prospectsHuge improvement in leading indicator The leading indicator of the latest business climate monitor climbed for the fourth consecutive month. The upward movement of the leading indicator indicates that there is a silver lining for the domestic economy. - IPPR The leading indicator of the IJG Business Climate Monitor (BCM) in September experienced one of its biggest improvements so far this year, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says in its latest report.

    The leading indicator – a measurement of business expectations – climbed by by 2.60 points to 43.75, continuing its upward trend for the fourth consecutive month.

    “The upward movement of the leading indicator indicates that there is a silver lining for the domestic economy, even though it remains below the 50 point mark that separates an economic expansion from a contraction,” the IPPR says.

    The further recovery of the leading indicator should also bode well for a recovery in the BCM in the near future, the report states.

    The BCM, however, dropped for the third consecutive month in September.

    “It fell by 0.67 points to 52.15 points and hence follows, as expected, the leading indicator that had declined between March and May,” according to the IPPR.

    Indicators

    Beef prices showed further improvements, while lamb prices remained at the same level. The number of livestock marketed dropped, which may have contributed to higher beef prices.

    Copper and uranium prices also moved upwards in September as compared to August. Tourist arrivals at Hosea Kutako International Airport continued to increase, as did commercial vehicle sales and credit extended to individuals and businesses.

    In contrast, gold prices dropped and the value of building plans approved by the Windhoek municipality fell sharply.

    After a surge in August, most likely linked to fishing rights applications, the number of CCs, companies and defensive names registered declined.

    “Overall, there are positive signs of recovery as reflected in the rising leading indicator. However, the further decline in the IJG BCM and the split in the numbers of indicators moving up and down indicate that the economic climate remains volatile,” the IPPR says.

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    Land Rover helps battle paediatric cancerLand Rover helps battle paediatric cancer4X4 for good LRON's Battle of the Brands for Cancer event enables donation of much needed equipment. Land Rover Owners Namibia (LRON) recently hosted a competitive event between different vehicle brands in aid of cancer. The Battle of the Brands for Cancer entailed the different cars negotiating obstacles which tested the ability of the drivers of the 32 participating off-road vehicles to the maximum. Participants, sponsors and spectators had made it an unforgettable day, also in view of proceeds being in aid of cancer.

    LRON was able to achieve this by assisting with the purchase of highly specialised equipment to the value of N$17 413.20 which is necessary for paediatric cancer patients who pose special problems when they need chemotherapy but lack adequate access to large veins. Because peripheral veins are usually not sufficient, infusions tend to end up in tissue and may cause thrombosis. The solution therefore is to insert big bore catheters with several ports into large central veins in order to provide effective and various infusions.

    LRON's donations addressed the urgent need for such equipment for state paediatric cases and on Friday, 14 December Dr Van Wyk, along with Tanley Eises, took delivery of the urgently needed equipment.

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    Laughter is the best medicineLaughter is the best medicine Henriette Lamprecht – It’s contagious and good medicine – not only for the body, but for the mind and soul as well. It lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others and helps to release anger.

    Enter Namibia’s hospital clown, Jana Marie Tors, who uses laughter, fun and humour to add all the colours of the rainbow to sick children’s lives.

    Her favourite song is probably "Don't worry, be happy", says Jana.

    “Life is just too short to take everything seriously all the time!”

    Graduating from drama school in Berlin in 2012, Jana has been working as a stage, film and television actress in Germany.

    Doing everything from voice overs to hosting radio shows and writing comedy, it’s Jana’s job as a qualified(?) hospital clown that brings warmth and laughter to children when they need it most.

    “Health starts with a smile,” says Jana.

    “Laughter helps activate the self-healing process. That’s why the visits of hospital clowns are especially important to hospitalised children,” she explains.

    According to Jana, clowns brighten up a stressful and unfamiliar environment for the little patients.

    When the door swings open and clowns enter the room, not only is distraction provided, but humour, optimism and joy is added to the lives of sick children and their families.

    “Music, play and laughter are the best additions to medicine!”

    As owner of the Fun Factory and being involved with Clowns without Borders, Jana hopes to establish clown care units in Namibia with weekly visits of a clown duo to the children's wards to “bring sick children positivity through laughter and play”.

    Also part of her and the Fun Factory’s repertoire are visits to orphanages and shelters in townships.

    “Laughter is an instant holiday. Some of these children are living in extreme poverty, or have lost their parents, while others were abandoned or have experienced domestic violence and abuse,” Jana explains.

    “Their story is tougher than most of us can ever imagine, but they are still children. No child deserves a life without laughter and joy. Children in crisis especially need hope and distraction.”

    Clowns, with their curious and optimistic attitude, are able to brighten the situation.

    “The positive effects of the feeling during the show will linger on even after the clowns have packed their bags again.”

    Perhaps the last word on the healing power of laughter is best said by Patch Adams, American physician, founder of the Gesundheit! Institute and famous hospital clown: “Being happy is the best cure for all diseases!”

    *Clowns without Borders is an international, independent and non-profit association without any affiliations to religious or political organisations. It has 15 operational chapters throughout the world, sharing one common goal: offering joy and laughter to relieve the suffering of all people – especially children who live in areas of crisis, including refugee camps, conflict zones and territories in emergency situations.

    It started in 1993 in Spain when Tortell Poltrona, a clown from Spain, was asked by the children at a school in Barcelona to go to the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia to perform for refugee children.

    The children in Barcelona raised funds to send Tortell to Croatia after refugees in the Istrian Peninsula wrote to them: “You know what we miss most? We miss laughter, to have fun, to enjoy ourselves.”

    On that first project Tortell performed to 4 000 children in Croatian refugee camps. It was the beginning of “Payasos Sin Fronteras” (Clowns without Borders, Spain).

    (smile@funfactory-namibia.com; www.funfactory-namibia.com; www.cwb-international.org)

    Benefits of laughter:

    A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

    Laughter boosts the immune system. It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to disease.

    Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.

    Laughter protects the heart.

    Laughter burns calories.

    Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load.

    Laughter may even improve longevity.

    Laughter improves mental vitality.

    (smile@funfactory-namibia.com; https://funfactorynamibia.jimdo.com)

    *43 muscles - Some claim it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, but open Aunt Milda's chain letter and you might be surprised to learn it takes 26 to smile and 62 to frown.

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: (Did you know?)
  • (Did you know?)(Did you know?) A safe UV level - A UV Index reading of 6 to 7 means high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Protection against skin and eye damage is needed. Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Happy holidays!
  • Happy holidays!Happy holidays! Market Watch wishes all its readers, advertisers and contributors a safe and blessed Christmas. The next edition of Market Watch is Thursday, 27 December. Photo Nampa/Reuters

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  • 12/20/18--14:00: Lower banking fees for 2019
  • Lower banking fees for 2019Lower banking fees for 2019 Pensioners will no longer pay monthly management fees for their accounts with Standard Bank Namibia as from the beginning of 2019.

    The bank said in a media statement yesterday the reduction would come into effect as from 01 January 2019 as part of its annual price review, while it has also introduced interest payment on positive current account balances held by pensioners

    The bank has in addition reduced its point-of-sale fees by 17% to allow its clients to save on transactional costs and its electronic transaction fees on its internet banking platform by 30%.

    The head of marketing, communications and CSI, Magreth Mengo, said the annual pricing review was in line with its customer-centric approach, which is committed to providing access to affordable banking services.

    “We will not be increasing electronic banking fees for our retail clients on internet banking, cellphone banking and the Standard Bank application,” she stated.

    The head of personal and business banking, Mercia Geises, said “it makes no sense to dig a deeper hole for a customer who is already finding it difficult to catch their breath”. – Nampa

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    Petrus Iilonga hailed as selflessPetrus Iilonga hailed as selfless

    Former politician Petrus Iilonga was remembered this afternoon as a selfless man by President Hage Geingob. He made the comments at a memorial service held at Parliament Gardens in Iilonga’s honour. Ilonga will be buried at Heroes’ Acre tomorrow morning.

    Speaking at the memorial, Geingob said that Iilonga’s life was encapsulated by the ideals of Karl Marx.

    “He made sacrifices not for his own benefit but the benefit of all. His happiness and life belonged to the Namibian nation,” said Geingob.

    According to him, Namibia had lost a man that embodied selflessness.

    Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba said Iilonga would never be forgotten by the nation.

    “He [Iilonga] was a distinguished man. He contributed to nation building with vigour and distinction. Iilonga will never be forgotten,” Pohamba said.

    Popular Democratic Movement party president McHenry Venaani described Iilonga as being stubborn.

    “This man did not listen to the opposition. Swapo was right, the opposition was wrong,” said Venaani.

    According to him, Iilonga was honest. “He spoke from the heart,” Venaani said in remembrance of the late politician.

    Iilonga was secretary-general of the Namibia Public Workers’ Union (Napwu) since his release from prison in 1985 until 2000, Ilonga served as parliamentarian and deputy minister of environment and tourism, labour and social services, agriculture, and defence between 2000 and 2015.

    He died in Windhoek on 11 December. He was 71

    His body is currently laying in State at the Parliament Gardens.

    He is survived by his wife Paulina and nine children.



    OGONE TLHAGE




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    'On 11 December, he lost his chains''On 11 December, he lost his chains'



    “These are never easy moments when we are forced to accompany a comrade on his final journey, towards his eternal resting place; we will always fail to make peace with death. Our only consolation is that our comrade, whom we have brought here to rest amongst his fellow illustrious heroes and heroines, shall no longer toil in the struggle of life.”

    These were the words of President Hage Geingob this morning at Heroes’ Acre, just south of the capital, as struggle icon Petrus Iilonga was laid to rest.

    “We thank you, son of the Namibian soil, child of Etilyasa village, for a life well-lived, in service of your family, countrymen and -women.”

    Geingob said that when he recalled Iilonga, he thought of the Marxist mantra, “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains”.

    He described Iilonga as a man who dedicated his life to work, in order to promote shared prosperity, a people-centred democracy, a strong, healthy, safe and economically sound workforce, and a united and peaceful Namibia.

    “His work ended on 11 December 2018, the day he lost his chains, no longer bound by earthly labour, but now confounded to the heavens and eternal peace.”

    Geingob told mourners that to honour Iilonga, Namibians must commit themselves to build a better society.

    “Let us build a society in which the propensity to share supersedes the need for self-enrichment. Let us build a society in which our workers are treated with appreciation and where they are given an opportunity to improve their economic welfare.”





    YANNA SMITH

    PHOTO: ELLANIE SMIT


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  • 12/25/18--05:29: Two killed on Kombat track
  • Two killed on Kombat trackTwo killed on Kombat track Two men died instantly after a TransNamib train pulling 60 empty tankers ran over them in the early hours of yesterday morning at Kombat in the Otjozondjupa Region.

    The Namibian police’s regional commander, Commissioner Heinrich Tjiveze said the accident occurred at about 03:30.

    “The two men were lying on the tracks when the incident occurred. It is suspected they were under the influence of alcohol,” said Tjiveze.

    The men were aged 57 and 29 and their next of kin are yet to be informed.

    Tjiveze cautioned residents alongside the Namibian railway lines at all times to refrain from resting or sleeping anywhere close to the railway line.

    The train was travelling from Grootfontein to Otavi at the time of the incident.

    Its 52-year-old driver who was travelling with his 41-year-old assistant told this news agency on condition of anonymity at the scene that he saw the two men lying on the railway line at a very close range.

    “It was already too late to react and the train ran over them before it stopped,” he said.

    Police investigations into the matter continue.

    The names of the three people who died in the early hours of Sunday morning in a road accident outside Otjiwarongo have been released.

    Tjiveze said the deceased were identified as Ndeshihafela Ruben, 23, her eight-month-old baby, Panduleni Walter and the 20-year-old Mutumbulwa Hangula.

    Preliminary police investigations indicate that an Iveco minibus and a small Opel Corsa bakkie were following each other from the direction of Otjiwarongo to Otavi.

    At about 22 kilometres north of Otjiwarongo, the minibus allegedly hit the Opel Corsa from behind and forced it off the road.

    Acting Otjozondjupa crime investigations coordinator, Detective Chief Inspector Hendrik Kharuchab said the Iveco minibus had 22 occupants. Nine people travelled in the bakkie.

    “A baby, its mother and an adult male from the small bakkie were thrown out of the vehicle and died instantly,” said Kharuchab.

    Six others who were also travelling in the bakkie aged ten, 16, 20, 24, 25 and 54, sustained slight to serious injuries and were taken to the Otjiwarongo State Hospital for medical attention. The 20-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were transferred to the Katutura Intermediate Hospital in critical condition.

    All 22 occupants in the minibus survived the incident unharmed.

    A culpable homicide docket has been opened at the Otjiwarongo Police Station against the 39-year-old minibus driver.

    Police investigations into the matter continue.

    NAMPA


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  • 12/26/18--14:00: Stars eye another shot
  • Stars eye another shotStars eye another shotNamibians want CAF glory next season African Stars crashed out of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League competition, after losing by the narrowest of margins against African giants, Orlando Pirates. Despite suffering a huge disappointment in the second leg of their Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League preliminary against Orlando Pirates, African Stars are determined to make their mark in the competition next year.

    The Namibian champions lost 0-1 to the Soweto giants from South Africa at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday.

    African Stars midfielder Gift Alpheus Handura has vowed that his team will keep fighting, so they retain their Namibia Premier League (NPL) title and get another shot at the continental club showpiece.

    “We really tried our best and we are going to try to do better next year, if we win the league.

    “It was never going to be easy, but as a team under a good coach, we did do our best.

    “For now we will rest for a bit, before we come back to the premier league,” Handura said.

    He further sang the praises of his teammates, who stood their ground against Pirates over two legs.

    The teams drew 0-0 in South Africa, before the decisive second leg broke Namibian hearts.

    Handura encouraged the players not to “drop their shoulders”, as he believes they will become African sensations in the future.

    Stars fell to a Justin Shonga goal in the 55th minute this past Saturday, which was enough to see Pirates into the CAF Champions League group stages.

    Pirates started the game on the front foot, pinning Stars into their own half, but failed to create any meaningful chances until the 20th minute when Xola Mlambo had the ball in the back of the net, but was flagged for offside.

    Five minutes later, Thembinkosi Lorch hit the side-netting as he dribbled past Ratanda Mbazuvara following a lovely through ball from Shonga.

    Stars could not match their more fancied opponents, as the visitors continued to create chances, but Shonga, Augustine Mulenga and Lorch failed to beat local goalkeeper Ratanda Mbazuvara.

    However, as the game progressed, Stars created their first real chance when Tjiuana-Tja Tjatindi beat four Pirates players on the right flank, before cutting into his left.

    His attempted left-foot shot did not trouble Pirates goalie Jackson Mabokgwane.

    On the stroke of halftime, Marshall Munetsi hit a cracking shot that was punched for a corner by Mbazuvara, leaving the two sides 0-0.

    The second half started the same way as the first, with Stars finding their backs against the wall and Pirates' strikers failing to capitalise.

    Vincent Pule headed wide, before shooting over the bar, while a clever one-two between Shonga and Mulenga saw the latter firing wide in the 52nd minute.

    Three minutes later the goal came when Dennis Tjetjinda failed to clear the ball in his own half and Musa Nyatama delivered a pass to Pule who beat Tjatindi for pace before delivering a lovely cross that deceived Mbazuvara.

    Shonga hit a first-time volley that was blocked by Ivan Kamberipa, before his second attempt found the back of the net.

    The goal seemed to wake up Stars, as they started playing expansive football and caused a few problems for their opponents.

    Substitute Aubrey Omseb missed a goal by inches in the 66th minute, from a free-kick, before Kamberipa headed wide from another set-piece.

    Gustav Isaak then missed a sitter in the 92nd minute after Omseb beat two defenders on the left and flighted an inviting cross into the box, which fell into his path.

    However, his shot went wide, which meant the game ended 1-0 in Pirates' favour.

    -Additional reporting by Nampa

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: Super-maxi Scallywag out
  • Super-maxi Scallywag outSuper-maxi Scallywag outHobart race was the bomb The Seng Huang Lee-owned yacht, which had been fourth out of the Sydney Heads, retired at sea after suffering a broken bowsprit. Hong Kong super-maxi Scallywag became the first high-profile withdrawal from the 74th edition of the Sydney to Hobart blue-water classic yacht race on Wednesday.

    Scallywag was one of five super-maxis in the race, which started at 13:00 local time, with Black Jack holding about a minute lead out of the harbour.

    The Mark Bradford-skippered Black Jack took advantage of a drop and shift in the breeze as the leading yachts approached the entrance to the harbour.

    However, by shortly after 17:00 they were in fourth place, having being overtaken by fellow super-maxis Comanche, Wild Oats XI and Infotrack.

    Last year's winner Comanche had headed further out to sea and was sailing at more than 27 knots with about 540 nautical miles until the finish in Hobart, while the three other big boats were closer to shore.

    Scallywag was not the only withdrawal with the Gordon Ketelby-owned and skippered Zen having to pull out with broken rigging.

    Comanche took line honours last year in a race record of one day, nine hours, 15 minutes, and 24 seconds after winning a protest against Wild Oats XI for an incident shortly after the start at Sydney Harbour.

    Wild Oats XI actually crossed the line first at Constitution Dock in one day, eight hours, 48 minutes, and 50 seconds but had a one-hour penalty imposed following a near collision with Comanche about 15 minutes after the start.

    Wild Oats XI had snuck past Comanche with less than 10 miles remaining as both boats were becalmed in fickle winds on the River Derwent and finished about 26 minutes in front, but was then relegated after the protest.

    The Oatley family-owned Wild Oats XI has won eight line honours titles and is considered the favourite because it had beaten Comanche across the line last year.

    A total of 85 yachts entered the 630-nautical mile race, which is expected to be sailed in light to moderate north-easterly winds of between 15-25 knots and cause little in the way of dangerous conditions.

    The forecast will be welcome news for organisers who will today commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1998 race in which a sudden storm sank five boats, killed six sailors and resulted in 55 others being rescued.

    The 2018 race will feature its first all-professional female crew on Wild Oats X, led by skipper Stacey Jackson.

    Australia's former foreign minister Julie Bishop was on the yacht at the start as a team ambassador but jumped off as it passed Bondi Beach.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Oongunga dhepangelo tadhi londo pombanda noonkondoOongunga dhepangelo tadhi londo pombanda noonkondo Epangelo olya pewa omayele opo li nongonone nawa onkalo nokukala lya kotoka uuna tali kutha oondjo molwaashoka ondjele yoongunga dhoshilongo oya londa pombanda noonkondo na otayi pitilile poopresenda 50. Onkalo yepangelo lyaNamibia tali kutha oongunga inaku tegelelwa yi shune pevi ngashiingeyi, sho ehangano lyo Simonis Storm tali tengeneke kutya ondjele yoongunga dhepangelo otayi ka kala ya londa yi vulithe noopresenda 50 okuyeleka noGross Domestic Product (GDP).

    Oya kunkilile kutya onkalo ndjoka otayi etitha oshilongo shi ka konge ekwatho koshiketha shoInternational Monetary Fund IMF ngele osha ndopa okukondolola oongunga dhasho.

    “Otwa tegelela oongunga dhoshilongo dhi londe pombanda sigo opoobiliyona 107 omanga oopresenda okuyeleka noGDP tadhi londo poopresenda 51.9 okuya pehulilo lyo2020/21.

    Ondjele ndjoka oyi li pombanda noonkondo okuyeleka nondjele ndjoka tali ya tengenekwa yoopresenda 48.7 mo 2020/21 ngaashi tashi hololwa moMedium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF),” ehangano lyoSimonis Storm lya holola.

    Oya holola kutya ondjele yoongunga tayi londo pombanda monkalo yeliko lyoshilongo lyaana ondjundo yasha niiyemo yi li pevi oya nika oshiponga noonkondo koshilongo.

    Ombaanga onene yoshilongo ano Bank of Namibia oshiwike sha piti oya tengeneke eshuno pevi lyondjele yekoko lyeliko lyaNamibia noopresenda 0.2 momvula yo 2018/19.

    Ehangano lyoSimonis Storm olya popi kutya ngele ondjele yoongunga ndjoka inayi kandulwa po nena muule woomvula 10 okuya 15 oshilongo otashi ka konga ekwatho koIMF nenge kuChina nenge nokuli ekwatathano lyepingakanitho lyiimaliwa yaSouth Afrika moNamibia li kuthwe po.

    PSG Konsult oya popi kutya omikuli dhepangelo okwa tegelelwa natango dhi londe pombanda momvula yo 2019 omolwa egwo pevi lyongushu yiimaliwa yoshilongo nomatsokumwe gwomikuli dhoAfrican Development Bank.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: Ploughing in full swing
  • Ploughing in full swingPloughing in full swingFarmers prepare mahangu fields after good rains Farmers have been urged to prepare for bumper harvests. Following the good rains experienced in Kavango East during recent weeks, some farmers have already started preparing their mahangu fields.

    Namibian Sun spotted some of the farmers ploughing their mahangu fields along the Rundu-Divundu road over the weekend.

    While many farmers across the country opt to make use of tractors to plough their fields, these farmers are still doing it the traditional way, by making use of oxen.

    Some of the farmers indicated they started preparing their fields due to the recent good rains.

    They said that due to the unpredictability of the rain, it is always best to start ploughing as soon as possible.

    “We are happy with the rain so far and that is what prompted us to start ploughing,” one farmer said.

    In an interview with Namibian Sun last month, Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo encouraged farmers to plough their fields and aim for a bumper harvest.

    This complements Mbambo's famous initiative called Operation Werengendje, which aims to boost subsistence farmers, so they produce food for their own consumption and for sale.

    “Indeed the time has arrived for people to prepare their fields, especially the crop farmers. With Operation Werengendje we would like to have people who are working to produce their own food, even more than they can consume, so that maybe they can sell it and generate an income,” Mbambo said.

    He said each of the six Kavango East constituencies had received N$100 000 from his office during the previous growing season.

    The funds came from two fishing companies - Fishcor and Namsov.

    Mbambo said after the harvesting season, the farmers managed to sell mahangu worth N$1.7 million to the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA).

    “This means that the input was N$600 000 and the output was N$1.7 million; you can see how successful Operation Werengendje is. Some of the people are still selling to AMTA,” Mbambo explained.

    The governor also used the opportunity to call on all stakeholders to assist the farmers, in order to enhance food security in the region.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Husab anticipates bumper production in 2109Husab anticipates bumper production in 2109 Swakop Uranium (SU) plans to ramp up its production to 5 000 tonnes of uranium in 2019, a few short years since its first drum produced on 30 December 2016.

    During October this year the company had reached its threshold drummed product target of 3 000 metric tons of uranium.

    Percy McCallum, Husab's vice-president of human resources, said this production trend in December will set the company up to achieve

    3 500 tons of uranium instead of

    3 000 tons as planned, which is within the company's operating budget of N$7.1 billion.

    He said the company did experience technical and operational challenges earlier in the year, which resulted in the lowest-ever uranium production of 41 tons during March.

    McCullum said SU is moving to become a giant player in the Namibian economy.

    The company now employs 1 650 permanent workers and 500 contractor employees, which makes it the biggest employer in the mining sector. The mine had to stop work for a week in January due to emulsion problems. In February and March NamWater was unable to provide the mine with water, which cost the company 26 days of production losses.

    In April it achieved its budget drummed product in a single month for the first time in the year. In August it produced 559.2 tons of uranium.

    Despite the company's goal of 'zero harm' to people and the environment, it reported three work-related injuries and one fatality, but noted that this year's performance on the safety score is a 40% improvement from 2017.

    The company said its localisation rate was 96% for 2018 and said it has met proposed New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) targets in terms of Namibianisation of its workforce.

    NEEEF, it must be pointed out, is still a work in progress as certain areas are under revision.



    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Rundu clamps down on sand miningRundu clamps down on sand mining The Rundu town council and the police have called on residents to immediately cease with illegal sand mining activities at the town or face the wrath of the law.

    The council and the police have now embarked on regular patrols to put an end to illegal sand mining activities that are rife in Rundu.

    This is according to a joint statement issued on Monday by acting Kavango East police commander, Deputy Commissioner Bonifatius Kanyetu, and acting town council CEO Sikongo Haihambo.

    Earlier this month Namibian Sun reported on illegal sand mining activities at the town, which sees a number of young men making a living from digging up and selling sand along the Okavango River for as little as N$50 a bakkie load.

    This has resulted in the destruction of the environment. It is also clearly prohibited by the Environmental Management Act of 2007.

    The police and the council have thus embarked on a clampdown and perpetrators will be dealt with accordingly.

    “Illegal sand mining in the town council area, which includes the floodplains of Rundu, is tantamount to theft of public property that degrades the environment and is prohibited in terms of the Environmental Management Act,” the joint statement said.

    “The Namibian police in partnership with the Rundu town council have put measures in place, including regular 24-hour patrols of the flood plains and other areas around the town of Rundu, to ensure that the culprits are brought to book from this point on.”

    They also cautioned the business community and residents who continue to dump refuse in floodplain areas, which is prohibited by law.

    “The residents and business community of Rundu are kindly cautioned that the dumping of household, construction, garden and business refuse in areas other than the designated dumping site is prohibited in terms of the Public and Environmental Health Act, Act 1 of 2015,” the statement added.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 12/26/18--14:00: GMOs nothing new - Bokomo
  • GMOs nothing new - BokomoGMOs nothing new - BokomoOnly adhering to regulations The new regulations in the Biosafety Act requires Bokomo Namibia to apply for a permit to import GMO products. Bokomo Namibia is one of the first companies in Namibia to apply for a permit under the Biosafety Act of 2006, in order to import genetically modified maize and fodder into the country.

    The application was made on 17 December.

    The relevant regulations become effective on 6 February next year, with the primary aim of controlling and regulating the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) within Namibia's borders.

    According to Gabriel Badenhorst, Bokomo's chief operating officer, a permit is required for the importation of GMO products. Thus, Bokomo had to place an advert in local newspapers giving the public until 17 January to comment and/or oppose the planned imports.

    “Products containing GMOs have been legal in the Namibian market for years, however, the goal of the new regulations is to regulate their presence instead of simply banning them,” Badenhorst said.

    According to the regulations, GMO products, or products containing GMOs, must also be labelled.

    Currently, all South African imports, as well as those from other countries that contain GMOs, are already labelled.

    Consumers have the right to know which products contain genetically modified ingredients.

    Badenhorst added that other requirements for the import of these products include that Bokomo applies to the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and that it has an emergency response plan, should GMO maize be spilled during transport.

    Badenhorst explained that Bokomo Namibia is the first local company to apply for a permit to import products which contain GMOs.

    “The application must be made per commodity, for example, for white maize,” he said.

    He said he expected the permit to be approved.

    “While it will be a first for Namibia to issue a permit under the new regulations, there are GMOs in the country and it is nothing new to sell products that contain GMOs. This has been happening for years in the country.”

    Badenhorst said there is a chance that individuals or organisations opposed to GMOs may lodge their objections to their application, but added: “We trust the biosafety board will approve the application for products, and raw products, which have been in use for years in the country and furthermore, that the basic principles of the Cartagena Protocol will be followed.”

    This protocol in an international document that regulates the safe use and transport of GMOs.

    According to Badenhorst, there is a real need for these products because locally produced non-GMO products are not readily available or produced in sufficient quantities to meet local demand.

    “GMO products have been produced, sold and used in Namibia and South Africa. Most of the maize we import from South Africa is GMO and we get the bulk of our white maize from South Africa. The same applies to products containing soya and yellow maize.

    “Namibia only produces 50% of its white maize needs and the remainder is imported from South Africa. Should we close the borders for white maize, a local staple, we would have a food shortage,” Badenhorst explained.



    ELIVRA HATTINGH

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