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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 920 | 921 | (Page 922) | 923 | 924 | .... | 938 | newer

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    Stable rand to help fuel pricesStable rand to help fuel prices Simonis Storm analyst Indileni Nanghonga believes that fuel prices could drop further if the rand strengthens against the US dollar.

    This follows a reduction in fuel prices for the months of December and January.

    Expressing her opinion on recent fuel price movements, Nanghonga said: “Brent Crude declined by 36.2% to US$52.8 per barrel as on 2 January 2019 from a peak of US$82.7/barrel while the fuel price in Namibia [has] decreased by 13.6% since December 2018.”

    Looking ahead, a stronger rand could help fuel prices come down by another small margin, she added.

    “We expect fuel prices to decrease by a potential N$0.50 per litre in February 2019 with [the] assumption that global oil prices and the rand remain stable around these levels,” said Nanghonga.

    The ministry of mines this week announced that fuel prices would decrease by N$0.90 for petrol and by N$1 for all variants of diesel. This means that in Walvis Bay, a litre of diesel 500 ppm will cost N$13.08, a litre of diesel 50 ppm will cost N$13.13 and a litre of petrol will cost N$12.05.

    According to the ministry, the reduction in fuel prices was driven by an oversupply of fuel on the global market.

    “The global oil market has now slipped into ebb mode where global oil prices have fallen by as much as 30%. The projected global meltdown has seen demand for oil falling while oil inventories have built up since October 2018,” mines minister Tom Alweendo said. The lower cost of importing fuel meant that there were over-recoveries in the Namibian market.

    On the global front, a Reuters poll forecasts that 2019 US light crude will average US$61.05 per barrel this year, compared to US$67.45 projected in the previous poll. The price averaged US$64.98 in 2018.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Botswana eyes terminal at GobabisBotswana eyes terminal at Gobabis TransNamib and Botswana Railways have signed an agreement on the development of a container terminal at Gobabis.

    This will be Botswana's second terminal in Namibia following the establishment of a dry port in Walvis Bay.

    Gobabis is situated 110 kilometres from the border with Botswana and is the terminus of a railway from the port of Walvis Bay via Windhoek.

    The agreement will serve as a starting point to help the two governments with the development of the proposed Trans-Kalahari railway, TransNamib spokesperson Ailly Hangula-Paulino was quoted as saying by Railway Gazette.

    This is Botswana's second investment in the rail and storage industry, with the first being the construction of a dry port terminal in Walvis Bay.

    Apart from that, authorities in both countries have considered the construction of a new railway through western Botswana into Namibia.

    The railway, which would provide a direct connection to Walvis Bay for landlocked Botswana's mineral exports, has long been planned.

    Back in 2010 a World Bank-funded study proposed a 1 500-kilometre line linking the coalfields in eastern Botswana to Walvis Bay.

    Later that same year Botswana and Namibia signed an agreement confirming their commitment to proceed. However, only slow progress was subsequently made, partly owing to the high cost of the project.

    What has now enabled the project to move forward again is Botswana's promotion of a coal export industry and Namibia's decision to provide extra harbour capacity through the development of the northern port project—to be known as the Southern African Gateway Port—as a predominantly bulk commodity terminal.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Universities sceptical about new curriculumUniversities sceptical about new curriculumAcademics differ about impact of new school curriculum The new curriculum for secondary education may produce more NSSCO school leavers, but their suitability for university courses has been questioned. By 2021, the number of first-year students at local universities may increase drastically because of the new curriculum for senior secondary education.

    Theoretically, by 2020, the number of school leavers with a Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate ordinary level (NSSCO) could double.

    This year's grade 10s will be the first group that will follow the new two-year curriculum and they will be able to attend university in 2021 if they do not want to follow the Namibia Secondary School Certificate Advanced Subsidiary (NSSCAS) curriculum.

    One school principal has his doubts as to whether these learners, who will be about 17 years old, will be ready for university.

    However, according to Dr Patrick Simalumba of the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED), tertiary institutions formed part of the discussions surrounding the curriculum change.

    “They are excited, more so because the new curriculum will create a larger number of graduates,” he said.

    Simalumba added that extra bridging courses at university would not be necessary and would only lead to increased costs.

    This excitement is not shared by Dr Tjama Tjivikua, vice-chancellor of the Namibian University of Science and Technology (Nust).

    “Change is always good but it brings with it its own challenges. The main question to be asked is how we are going to handle it and if we are ready. Often, policy is changed without us being prepared and ready,” he said.

    The weak performance of the 2018 grade 10s is also cold comfort for Tjivikua.

    “The picture is no different to that which we are used to. It is a nightmare and every year it is the same. There is no marked improvement in the output,” he said.

    According to him, he cannot see that the new NSSCO curriculum for grades 10 and 11 will bring noteworthy change.

    “There is still a gap. English remains a problem and very few school leavers are able to achieve a C symbol for English and maths. This is the foundation for a good university and society.”

    The grade 12s who pass struggle with precisely this at university, he said.

    “I expect it to remain the same. We are not necessarily going to get more or better students.”

    For Tjivikua, an important aspect of the new curriculum is that more school leavers should enter into vocational training.

    “Whether these resources or facilities are available I do not know, but I don't think so,” he said.

    Moreover, a larger number of students will require state funding.

    “Money has always been a problem, even with a limited number of students. We simply to not receive the correct funding and this is a stubborn problem which limits our growth as a university.

    “And it does not look like this is a matter which will be addressed soon. It is all about priorities and everything cannot carry equal weight.”

    An increase in students will also place added pressure on the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).

    A well-placed source knowledgeable about the model on which NSFAF is based explained: “The sustainability of the fund is based on projections of the intake of students. Any change in this must be taken into account but it will rely on affordability and the government budget. It will have to be handled in the medium-term budget.”

    The current medium-term budget is applicable to 2020/21 and does not provide for any significant changes to the subsidies of Nust or Unam. Unam receives roughly N$1 billion per year from the state coffers, while Nust receives N$600 million.

    NSFAF's current budgetary support stands at N$1.45 billion but it will be reduced to N$929 million and then, in 2020, to N$987 million.

    The budget for vocational training stands at N$105 million but will be increased to N$486 million and then to N$477 million in 2020. The Namibia Training Authority receives the lion's share of this amount.





    DANI BOOYSEN

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    Big IPOs eyeing a brittle Wall Street in 2019Big IPOs eyeing a brittle Wall Street in 2019 None have been tested by a US recession in their current forms. – Nicholas Colas: Co-founder: DataTrek Research Ali Bekhtaoui and John Biers - Investors have been priming themselves for a potentially huge influx of companies selling stock to the public for the first time, led by ridesharing game changers Uber and Lyft, but the outlook is more uncertain with the vicious return of volatility to the market.

    For companies trying to raise capital, volatility is the enemy.

    "We enter 2019 on uncertain footing," said Renaissance Capital, a research firm focused on initial public offerings (IPO).

    The market is coming off an outstanding 2018 for stock offers, with 231 companies going public and raising US$61 billion, the best year since 2014 when Alibaba entered Wall Street, according to Dealogic.

    But financial markets have been on a roller-coaster of late, generating questions about whether conditions are right for more IPOs.

    Angst over higher Federal Reserve interest rates and projections for slower global growth have been the key factors behind the swoon in December by a market already unnerved by escalating trade tensions.

    Volatility

    IPO activity through the first 10 months of 2018 topped 2017 levels by 42%, but tumbled 66% in the final two months of the year as stock markets gyrated.

    Several offerings that planned for the end of the year were pushed into 2019, according to a person with a major exchange.

    Volatility is "definitely a priority in terms of IPO conversations," said this exchange source.

    Waiting in the wings and expected to launch in 2019 are several prominent "unicorns" - a private company worth more than US$1 billion.

    This group includes ridesharing service Lyft, which filed confidential papers to go public, and its archrival Uber, according to US business press.

    Others that are expected to go public include the lodging service Airbnb, messaging service Slack, content website Pinterest and data analytics company Palantir.

    Market specialists are confident these firms should be better equipped to navigate the more challenging environment given their size.

    Planning

    "Volatility is one of the key factors when companies plan for their IPOs," said Jeff Thomas, who supervises introductions of IPOs at Nasdaq.

    Companies have even been known to accelerate a plan to go public if they anticipate even greater volatility down the road.

    Still, the market turmoil could affect how much money companies raise.

    "If current market conditions presage a US economic slowdown in 2019, investors may want to haircut valuations to incorporate slower earnings growth," said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, who noted that Uber, Lyft and Airbnb are all dependent on consumer spending, while Slack and Palantir rely on corporate spending.

    "None have been tested by a US recession in their current forms," Colas said.

    "Bankers and lawyers are definitely aware" of the spike in volatility, said Douglas Ellenoff, a securities attorney. But stock market jitters won't derail offerings as long as it is "moderate". – Nampa/AFP

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    Prolonged US shutdown threatens to unsettle economyProlonged US shutdown threatens to unsettle economyData delays Thousands of government workers are forced to stay home or work without pay due to budget shortages that are also hampering the publication of certain government indicators. The impasse is already cutting into the supply of something that is essential to just about every market out there: federal economic data. – Diane Swonk, Chief Economist: Grant Thornton Virginie Montet - The paralysis triggered by the US government shutdown could have unexpected consequences, such as muddying economic statistics just as the markets are extremely reactive to any whiff of uncertainty.

    More than a week into the game of chicken between president Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress, the publication and recording of statistical indicators are being delayed.

    With the lack of an agreement on Trump's much-promised wall on the border with Mexico, thousands of government workers are forced to stay home or work without pay due to budget shortages that are also hampering the publication of certain government indicators.

    "There will be no lockups for Census or BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) and no posting of lockup data from either of those organisations because of the government shutdown affecting those agencies," said Labour Department spokeswoman Suzanne Bohnert, whose agency oversees the release of those indicators under embargo.

    The release of data on new home sales is so far the only indicator to have been delayed.

    But if the shutdown is still in effect after January 1, it could impact the release of figures on construction expenses, such as industrial orders, and on trade - due January 8 - which is critical for markets just as the Trump administration is involved in a full-fledged trade war with some US allies.

    The closely watched employment figures for November, usually published the first Friday of the month, are set to be released on January 4 on schedule because the Labour Department still has funds to keep running its operations.

    Markets

    In addition to the publication of data, the very process of collecting this information is also beginning to be compromised.

    "Odds are that it'll continue into January," Grant Thornton chief economist Diane Swonk said in a tweet.

    "The impasse is already cutting into the supply of something that is essential to just about every market out there: federal economic data. That could have an impact on markets going forward and also what the Federal Reserve decides to do with interest rates in 2019."

    With financial markets already extremely volatile and amid worries over tariffs with China and the Fed's monetary policy, the shutdown could add yet another layer of uncertainty.

    Impact

    The partial paralysis of administrative services will likely only have a mildly negative impact on economic growth, even though it's more tangible in the US capital, where affected government workers won't get paid.

    "Thousands of federal workers would either be furloughed or work without pay for the duration of the shutdown," Oxford Economics said.

    "While the economic impact of two-week partial shutdown would be minimal - less than 0.1% of GDP growth - it would add political uncertainty at an inopportune time.

    "Among other things, a shutdown would affect the release of economic indicators and disrupt the start of the 2019 tax filing season."

    Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser urged Trump to find a solution to end the stalemate, noting the capital's 170 000 federal workers "pay the highest price."

    These furloughs also have unexpected consequences for the private sector.

    On Friday, the National Association of Realtors expressed concern about the shutdown's impact on home sales.

    "Very disappointingly, flood insurance has not been available during the government shutdown ... which means that roughly 40 000 homes may not get transacted because it requires flood insurance in order to get a mortgage," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

    "Any time there is a government shutdown, consumer confidence may be dampened, so even if they have the cash, they may not spend the money, and that will hold back economic growth, so it's bad news all around."– Nampa/AFP

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  • 01/02/19--14:00: Life is cheap over here
  • Life is cheap over hereLife is cheap over here We live in a country where life is fickle. People are killed for no reason at all – as though there were ever enough reason to kill someone – but life in Namibia, has become cheap.

    High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg rightly summed it up when he sentenced convicted rapist and killer Eldrin Goliath in December.

    “But again, why must anyone feel unsafe on the streets at any time of the day? Have we become a nation who must align our lifestyles and freedoms to cater for criminals who roam the streets like predators waiting for their prey?”

    Goliath was a tender 20 years of age when he raped and strangled 16-year-old Camilla Steyn at Rehoboth in 2016.

    Criticism had been levelled at the girl for being out late, and alone at night.

    These days, it is unthinkable and it has become such a norm that we barely think of it.

    We have become immune to the torrid headlines emerging from court stories or police reports. Eight rapes over the week from Christmas to the New Year.

    And those are the rapes reported.

    Then again, robbers are hitting victims in broad daylight. It is no longer safe to sit on a beach, or walk on a pavement talking on your cell phone.

    Life has indeed become cheap in Namibia.

    We understand that for those who have violence as an integral part of their lives, almost from birth, and those who know not where their next meal, or violent attack comes from, these are daily elements of what they would deem a regular life.

    So maybe the solution is the upliftment of our people.

    Maybe if a man has a job, some dignity, a decent home with a flush toilet to return to, a secure tomorrow, children in a decent school which he can afford and a whole and healthy family unit, life would be a lot more valuable.

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  • 01/02/19--14:00: 'Consider privatising SOEs'
  • 'Consider privatising SOEs''Consider privatising SOEs'Boosting the private sector is vital, says economist An economist has renewed the call for privatising parastatals, while the government favours improving their corporate governance instead. The government has once again been urged to consider the privatisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in an effort to help the economy back on its feet.

    The comment was made by economist Klaus Schade to Namibian Sun recently following finance minister Calle Schlettwein's statement on the state of the economy for 2018.

    “Government could consider outsourcing and privatising certain public-sector functions in order to provide new business opportunities for the private sector,” Schade said.

    In his address, Schlettwein said the government would be looking to improve corporate governance at SOEs.

    “Recovery is predicated on the timely implementation of broad-based measures, including structural policy reforms which are articulated in the medium-term policy statement [and include] implementing effective public enterprises reforms, and managing fiscal risk and implementing a package of structural policy reforms to improve competitiveness, administrative efficiency and the ease of doing business,” he said.

    While the government has appealed for closer cooperation with the private sector, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has ruled out the privatisation of SOEs.

    “The term 'privatise' is being used by people very loosely without specifying what is meant by it in this context. In our case we will propose several options to restructure selected public enterprises which may take a number of different forms. Currently, I don't see any candidates among our public enterprises for full privatisation,” he said in an interview with Windhoek Observer.

    With privatisation possibly not on the cards for the foreseeable future, Jooste noted that the government would have to appoint strong boards to serve on SOEs.

    “We need to appoint better boards and pay attention to the specific requirements of each public enterprise at a given time to determine the most appropriate composition of board members to perform the task,” he said.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Operation Hornkranz backfiresOperation Hornkranz backfires'Disrespectful of Namas' Social commentators have slammed the police for their choice of a codename for their December anti-crime operation. Some Namibians are angry with President Hage Geingob and the police chief, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, for naming the festive season anti-crime campaign 'Operation Hornkranz'.

    They say the president and his police chief were insensitive to link a crime crackdown with a painful episode in the history of the Nama people. Social commentator Henning Melber tweeted that “any rational and considerate person with common sense” would not think of calling a crime-fighting campaign Operation Hornkranz - and then defending the decision against criticism in a statement which “underlines the arrogance, or rather ignorance, of power”.

    More than 125 years ago German colonial forces attacked Hendrik Witbooi at his village at Hornkranz in the Khomas Hochland on 12 April 1893, killing 80 people, many of them women and children.

    Using Hornkranz as a codename for a police raid was insensitive and astounding, said Sima Luipert, deputy chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical Committee (NGTC) assigned by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA).

    According to her the intention of the German soldiers under command of Hauptmann Curt von François was to wipe out the Witbooi people at Hornkranz and “reads like a horror movie”.

    Given this background, many are therefore alarmed at the reasons why an ordinary crime-prevention operation, aimed at ensuring the safety of the capital's citizens from criminal activity rooted in poverty, unemployment and a desperation to survive, has been codenamed after a massacre aimed at “destroying and exterminating” an entire tribal clan who refused to be subjugated into slavery to give up their land and their dignity.

    Luipert said the president's sincerity about fighting crime must be applauded, but it is alarming that the sacrifices made by an exemplary freedom fighter, and an attempt at the total annihilation of the Nama people at Hornkranz, should be associated with crime.





    “Hornkranz was rooted in the right to autonomy, a refusal to foreign subjugation, a determination for the preservation of self-governance and human integrity. Gaob Witbooi's people were brutally massacred for these noble values. Crime in present-day free, democratic and independent Namibia is rooted in poverty, unemployment and a struggle for survival.”

    She added that the government's attitude not only alienates but also radicalises young people in the affected communities.

    “Feelings of a north-south divide are very real and [the] government, it seems, is feeding this perception. It is a dangerous trend which goes against the principles of nation-building,” she said.

    Liberation struggle veteran Mihe Gaomab also took on Geingob and his advisers, asking whether they understood the symbolic significance of Operation Hornkrantz.

    “Was the president showing himself off as a modern Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi or his embodiment? Did this government build a shrine at Hornkranz as they did in other parts of Namibia?” Gaomab asked on Facebook.

    Gaomab suggested that the police should carry out a “Lubango Dungeon Operation to weed out criminals as they did with Operation Hornkranz”.

    Social commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah challenged the police to an open and nationally televised discussion on this matter.

    “The Namibian police have issued a statement regarding the ill-advised crime-prevention [operation] codenamed Hornkranz, accusing those criticising their choice of that code of having alien interests.

    “That's a serious charge! Since I am one of those commentators questioning the police's judgement, I am challenging Nampol for an open and nationally televised discussion on this matter. I am ready to return to the capital any time to engage in this debate,” Kamwanyah said.

    The presidential press secretary, Alfredo Hengari, referred Namibian Sun to the police statement issued in response to the criticism.

    Lieutenant-General Ndeitunga said in the media statement issued on 31 December that the codenames of police operations were the prerogative of the force.

    “The objection may be a lack of knowledge of Namibia's history or may have derived from other interests alien to us, with some political commentators accusing the authorities of being insensitive to the atrocities committed by German colonial troops under the command of then then colonial governor of the German South West Africa, Major Curt von Francois, when they attacked the settlement of Hornkranz on 12 April 1895,” said Ndeitunga.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Fire leaves another family homelessFire leaves another family homeless A family of six from Rundu's Tutungeni suburb were left homeless on Tuesday afternoon when their three-bedroom home burned down.

    Ernestine Nkotongo (19) said the fire started at around 13:00 while she and three family members, including a newborn baby, were asleep.

    Nkotongo said they were woken by a cloud of smoke coming from the sitting room, which forced them to escape through the windows.

    Luckily no serious injuries were sustained.

    She said all they could do was to watch the fire destroy their home and all their belongings.

    “We don't know what happened. All we saw was smoke and we had to make use of the windows to get out. We ran to the neighbour's house as it was raining after the fire had started. There was nothing we could rescue, even our cellphones got burnt in there,” Nkotongo said.

    Asked about the possible cause of the fire, Nkotongo said everyone was asleep when the incident occurred and they didn't know what had happened.

    The owner of the house, Renate Ngonga, who was not home at the time of the fire, told Namibian Sun that the incident left her speechless.





    Ngonga said she had been living in the house for the past ten years and had worked hard to acquire the assets that went up in flames.

    “I worked very hard for my property which was burnt down by the fire. I am still shocked by what happened,” Ngonga said.

    To make matters worse, the cash the family had earned by selling food and beverages along the Rundu main street went up in flames too. Ngonga could not say how much money it was. She said they were raising the money to pay for Nkotongo's tuition and hostel accommodation at the University of Science and Technology (NUST).

    “I really don't know what to do. It feels like I worked for nothing. Where will I now get the money to send my daughter to school, as registration is weeks away,” a tearful Ngonga said.

    “I am asking for help from anyone who can, even a blanket will mean a lot to us. As a mother I am just concerned about where my children will sleep and how I will clothe them,” Ngonga said.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Thousands protest GMO productsThousands protest GMO products JANA-MARI SMITH



    Nearly 9 500 signatures from the public have been collected in a petition calling for the ban on the import and sale of maize products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO).

    An online petition headlined ‘Stop GMO maize meal in Namibia’ had been signed by 9 473 persons by mid-day yesterday.

    It calls on the Biosafety Council of Namibia to deny permits to both Namib Mills and Bokomo to import, process and sell GMO maize meal.

    Social media have also been abuzz, with many urging the public to sign the petition to ban GMO imports and listing the alleged health hazards of GMO products.

    However, while comments on social media have warned that the public should sign the petition in order to prevent members of the public from consuming GMO products, GMO products have long been sold to consumers and labelled accordingly.

    Finished food and feed products imported into Namibia containing GMO include canola oil, cotton, maize, rice, soya products, sugarcane, potatoes and wheat products, as listed under a declaration of GMO products which was gazetted in October 2018.

    The authors of the online petition claim that “GMO products have proven to be not healthy for human and animal consumption, secondly hence GMO maize is cheaper, local and smallholder famers cannot sell their maize or corn for the most desired price (sic).”

    The petitioners are instead urging support for “our own local smallholder farmers who produce organic maize”.

    The petition further states that a ban on GMO’s would “create an artificial maize shortage from those who have the monopoly of maize and feed products in Namibia; however there are countries that do sell organic maize to fill up the maize shortage safely.”

    Public outcry

    While the surge of public opposition in recent weeks has put the spotlight on GMO products being sold in Namibian shops, many question the public’s understanding of imports that contain GMO, which have long been available in the country.

    Pieter van Niekerk, Namib Mills’ commercial manager, told Namibian Sun yesterday that most food and feed products imported into Namibia contain some degree of GMOs, as it has become the norm globally to produce these items with genetically modified ingredients.

    He said the company is “pro-local products” which are non-GMO but the local market does not produce sufficient local harvests to supply local demand.

    Namibia produces around 50% of its white maize needs while the remainder is imported from South Africa.

    “We have to import and the most sustainable import is GMO,” Van Niekerk explained, as the country would face a shortage of the local staple otherwise.

    He added that white maize containing GMO has been imported into Namibia for nearly two decades.

    He said a concern about the public protest against the GMO products is that most who are petitioning “against something they don’t really understand and don’t really investigate what is happening”.

    “Everyone who is signing this petition should walk through the shops and see for themselves how many GMO products are being sold and consumed.”

    He said it’s a concern that the public outcry is directed at the local millers, but that there is no protest against finished GMO products that are imported into Namibia.

    He cautioned that a ban on these products would empty supermarket shelves of breakfast cereals, packaged soups, products containing soya and many other items.

    “Let’s say the petition is successful, are we saying we won’t import any South African products that have GMO. So where will our food come from?”

    Namibian Sun recently quoted Gabriel Badenhorst, Bokomo’s chief operating officer, who also clarified that products containing GMOs have been legal in the Namibian market for years.

    New oversight

    He said the goal of the new regulations that require the applications for a permit, which has brought the GMO issue under public scrutiny, “is to regulate their presence instead of simply banning them”.

    Applications for the permit as well as an emergency response plan have been submitted by Bokomo and Namib Mills to the Biosafety Council operating under the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST).

    The NCRST is mandated to check that GMOs entering Namibia, or which are produced locally, are safe for humans, animals and the environment.

    Public input in relation to the applications need to be lodged before 27 January.

    Namibian Sun was informed by a NCRST official that public input is crucial but that all submissions should contain “valid and tangible reasons” why the council should consider denying awarding the permits to import, transport and process GMO ingredients.

    The Biosafety Council’s website states that each new genetically modified crop and genetically modified food “undergoes rigorous assessment including testing to see if the new gene have potential toxins or allergens.”

    The website underlines however that there “is no technology available to provide any evidence of long-term effects on human and animal health and the environment”, but states that all activities involved in producing GMOs undergoes a scientific risk assessment and possible consequences are investigated.”

    With the new regulations in place, the NCRST aims to regulate the use, production and movement of GMOs in Namibia and to ensure the products are safe.

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    Serena sweeps Hopman Cup singlesSerena sweeps Hopman Cup singles Serena Williams completed a clean sweep of her singles matches at the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth yesterday as she prepares for her bid to make Grand Slam history at the Australian Open.

    The winner of 23 Slam singles titles, Williams was made to work a little harder than expected by young Brit Katie Boulter in the United States' final group tie, but prevailed in straight sets to make it three victories from as many outings.

    However, the 37-year-old's perfect singles record this week wasn't enough to keep the USA in contention at what is expected to be the last Hopman Cup, where she has twice been a winner. Williams and Frances Tiafoe were already eliminated after losing their opening two ties.

    Watched by her daughter Alexis Olympia, Williams' 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) win over the 97th-ranked Boulter followed victories over former top ten player Belinda Bencic and Greece's Maria Sakkari earlier in the week.

    Currently ranked 16th, Williams needs just one more Grand Slam singles title to equal the record of Australian Margaret Court, but hasn't won a major since the Australian Open in 2017.

    She gave birth to her daughter in late 2017 and was beaten in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year.

    It was at the latter that she had a major meltdown during her loss to Naomi Osaka.

    With the Australian Open in Melbourne less than two weeks away, Williams dropped just one set in her singles matches, although at different times she seemed to be troubled by a right shoulder problem and had both ankles strapped.

    Her form was patchy across the three matches, but Williams said the round robin format of the event was ideal preparation for Melbourne.

    “It was definitely good to play three singles matches here, not to mention the mixed,” she said after her singles match.

    Williams cruised through the first set against Boulter, but found a more competitive opponent in the second.

    Not for the first time this week, the frustration of the American grew as Boulter was able to match her for winners, with the Brit claiming an early break in the second game.

    Williams immediately broke back, but then enjoyed a slice of good fortune when her forehand dropped over the net on a Boulter break point in the fourth game.

    The set remained on serve until the tie-break, which Williams dominated.

    In the men's singles, the struggling Tiafoe led 5-3 in the first set, but won just one more game in losing 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 to Cameron Norrie.

    The Brits claimed the tie with victory in the mixed doubles.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Ndafoluma will fight this monthNdafoluma will fight this monthOpponent to be confirmed World Boxing Federation (WBF) intercontinental middleweight champion Lukas 'The Demolisher' Ndafoluma is already in the gym. Boxing coach Tobias Nashilongo has revealed that local boxer Lukas 'The Demolisher' Ndafoluma will be in action before the end of this month.

    The boxer is already in the gym this early in the year and is preparing for a big fight.

    “I can confirm that Lukas will be fighting before the end of this year with an opponent who is still to be confirmed.

    “He is working very hard in the gym in order for him to be fit enough given that he had a holiday break,” Nashilongo said.

    The coach believes his boxer will make the most of this year by defeating any challenger that comes his way.

    He made his professional debut in 2007 against fellow Namibian Steven Shimbonde.

    Ndafoluma outclassed Shimbonde at the SKW sports grounds to record his first professional victory.

    It took him ten professional fights and five years before he fought for a title.

    On 3 August last year, Ndafoluma became the new World Boxing Federation (WBF) intercontinental middleweight champion at The Dome in Swakopmund.

    He won the title after defeating fellow Namibian Ebenestus Kaangundue.

    Ndafoluma successfully defended his title when he defeated Hussein Itaba of Zimbabwe on 31 August.

    Ndafoluma has so far won 13 fights and lost one.

    He was born at Oshakati on 25 December 1985.

    He grew up at Oshatumba village in Ompundja with his great-grandmother. Ndafoluma attended Ompundja Primary School and this is where his love of fighting started.

    “The most important thing is that he remains in shape and focused to what he loves to do.

    “His discipline on and off the ring is very important and will be something that will keep him going for a very long time,” Nashilongo reiterated.

    The boxer said he will be ready for the fight and is not worried about who will be facing at the end of the month.

    “I will be ready because I am already working so hard in the gym in order to demolish anyone who comes my way.

    “Like I said at the end of last year, I predict bigger things in the for me in 2019,” Ndafoluma said.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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  • 01/03/19--14:00: Never let me go: Solskjaer
  • Never let me go: SolskjaerNever let me go: SolskjaerCoach hopes to stay as United boss The United interim manager, in charge until the end of the season when he is scheduled to return to his Norwegian club Molde, has now won his first four games in charge. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined Matt Busby in the Manchester United record books in his team's 2-0 win at Newcastle on Wednesday and admitted he does not want to leave the club in the summer.

    In United's history, only the legendary and iconic Busby has matched that achievement and Solskjaer celebrated enthusiastically with his club's travelling supporters after goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford secured the win.

    “I don't want to (leave),” said Solskjaer when asked about his future beyond this season.

    “It is such a great bunch of players, a fantastic atmosphere. But it is the next game, the next game and I am doing my job for as long as I am here.”

    United will now move on to much tougher challenges, starting with the Premier League visit to Tottenham a week on Sunday.

    But, given the manner of Wednesday's victory, Solskjaer has the look of a manager at the top of his game after his decision to throw on Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, two of the biggest under-achievers under former manager Jose Mourinho, after 63 minutes.

    Instantly, Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka fumbled a 25-yard Rashford free-kick and Lukaku, with his first touch of the game, tapped the rebound home from five yards.

    The game hung in the balance until the 79th minute when Newcastle, pushing upfield for an equaliser, were caught on the counter-attack.

    Lukaku found Sanchez whose astute pass reached Rashford in space and the England forward showed great poise to curl the ball past Dubravka.

    “It was a tough test,” said Solskjaer of Rashford's performance.

    “He gets kicked, and he gets tackled, he goes for headers, he wins, he challenges, he runs

    “He is going to be a top, top number nine, definitely but then we've got Rom (Lukaku), so sometimes he'll play on the right, sometimes on the left, sometimes through the middle. He'll get enough games.

    “But I felt it was time to put Rom and Alexis on and, of course, it was a great shot by Marcus and Romelu does his job as a striker to be following in on the rebound. If you do that you'll get five or six goals every season for free, really.”

    United's victory could have been even more emphatic after Paul Pogba raced clear in injury-time and rounded the keeper only to roll the ball into the side-netting.

    But that hardly mattered on an evening when Solskjaer pulled to within one victory of the record five that Busby won in his first season in charge of the club in 1946-47.

    “That will be in the books but it's nothing I'm thinking of,” said Solskjaer of his record-equalling fourth win.

    “I'm just thinking about the next game, because if you win four you can win another four with this club, that's the challenge, that's the standard we're used to.”

    “The 'gaffer' (Alex Ferguson) used to challenge us on them and when we've won four you can go onto the next four and think about them.”

    The only slight concern for Solskjaer was an injury suffered by Pogba who was caught by an appalling late foul by Newcastle substitute Jonjo Shelvey which went unpunished by referee Andre Marriner.

    There were also some anxious first half moments for Solskjaer thanks to some moments of poor defending although United eventually emerged with just their third clean sheet of the season and the first under their interim boss.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    Boca Juniors name Alfaro as new coachBoca Juniors name Alfaro as new coach Argentine giants Boca Juniors named Gustavo Alfaro as their new coach on Wednesday, just hours after former boss Guillermo Barros Schelotto joined LA Galaxy.

    Barros Schelotto left the Buenos Aires club last month after their historic Copa Libertadores final defeat to arch rivals River Plate.

    Boca president Daniel Angelici, who had tried and failed to have River kicked out of the Libertadores final after the second leg was postponed following an attack on Boca's team bus by their rivals' fans, said Alfaro had the “ability and professionalism to take charge of” the club known as the “Dung Shovellers”.

    Alfaro, 56, who leaves another Buenos Aires outfit, Huracan, said he felt a “mixture of pride and challenge. It wasn't an easy decision because I was torn inside.

    “But I feel that I'm delivering on a promise to my old man: I promised him I'd arrive at the biggest (club) in Argentine football.”

    Boca had been linked with former Brazil and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, as well as former Argentina and Colombia boss Jose Pekerman.

    Barros Schelotto, 45, left the club despite having led them to back-to-back titles in his first two seasons before the disappointment of losing to River in South America's premier club competition, the final second leg of which was switched to Madrid and won 3-1 by River due to the fan violence.

    Two weeks ago, Boca named former Inter Milan and Roma defender Nicolas Burdisso as their sporting director, his first management job since retiring as a player at the end of last season.

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    Omayovi ye li ompinge noondya dha tulwa oGMOOmayovi ye li ompinge noondya dha tulwa oGMO Konyala omashainokaha ge li po 9 500 oga gongelwa okuza moshigwana tashi pula opo ku indikwe elanditho lyiilandomwa yogenetically modified organisms (GMO).

    Omashainokahangoka oga shainwa kohi yoshipalanyolo 'Stop GMO maize meal in Namibia' oga shainwa konyala kaantu yeli 9 473, okuya momutenya gwEtitatu. Mboka otaya pula opo Biosafety Council of Namibia yi tinde eindilo lyaningwa kehangano lyoNamib Mills oshowo Bokomo opo ya e te moshilongo epungu lyoGMO.

    Oshigwana oshi li ompinge neeto moshilongo yiilandithomwa mbyoka, tashi popi kombinga yomikundu dhopaundjolowele ndhoka tadhi vulu okuza moondya ndhoka.

    Nonando komapandja gomakwatathano gopainternet aakwashigwana otaya ipe omayele opo ya tinde elanditho lyepungu ndyoka, natango okwa hololwa kutya oondya dha tulwa oGMO odha kala nale hadhi landithwa moshilongo.

    Yimwe yomwaambyoka ya kala hayi landithwa nale ongaashi omagadhi gocanola oil, epungu, olwishi oomweenge, niihakautu okutumbulapo owala yimwe.

    Aatotipo yomukandanyenyeto ngoka gu li ompinge niilandomwa mbyoka oya popi kutya, oondya dha tulwa oGMO odhi na oshiponga shopaundjolowele kaantu nokiinamwenyo naashoka itashi ka gandja ompito ombwaanawa kaanafaalama yomoshilongo ya vule okulanditha iilongomwa yawo.

    Menindjera gwomalanditho moNamib Mills, Pieter van Niekerk, okwa lombwele oNamibian Sun kutya iikulya oyindji mbyoka hayi e twa moshilongo oya tulwa oGMO.

    Namibia oha landa pondje yoshilongo epungu etokele lyoopresenda dha thika po 50, sho oshilongo hashi nduluka owala oopresenda 50 dhepungu.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya epungu lyoGMO olya kala nokweeta nale moshilongo uule woomvula odhindji dha piti.

    “Kehe gumwe ngoka ta shaina omukandanyenyeto ngoka okwa pumbwa okuya moostola e ta tala kutya iilandithomwa yi thike peni yi na oGMO ya kala nokulandithwa nale.”

    “Ngele omukandanyenyeto ngoka ogwa piti, otatu nena itatu ka kutha we oondya okuza moSouth Afrika, ndhoka dhi na oGMO. Nena otatu ka kutha iikulya yetu peni?”

    Gabriel Badenhorst gwehangano lyoBokomo naye okwa popi kutya iilandomwa yin a oGMO oya kala nokulandithwa moNamibia uule woomvula odhindji.

    Omahangano ngaka gaali Bokomo oshowo Namib Mills oga ningi eindilo koBiosafety Council ndjoka tayi longele kohi yoNational Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST).

    NCRST oku na oshinakugwanithwa shokutala nokukondolola iilandomwa mbyoka yi na oGMO tayi e twa moshilongo, nenge mbyoka hayi longwa moshilongo ngele oyi na tuu egameno kuundjolowele waantu niinamwenyo.

    Namibian Sun okwa tseyithilwa komunambelewa gwoNCRST kutya omaiyuvo goshigwana oga simana ihe omapataneko agehe taga ningwa naga kale ge na iitsa ya simana, kutya omolwashike olutu ndoka lu na okutinda omaindilo ngoka ga ningwa.

    Epandja lyopaungomba lyoBiosafety Council olya holola kutya iilandomwa ayihe tayi tulwa oGMO ohayi ningilwa omakonaakono.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 01/03/19--14:00: Geingob miikumungu yaDRC
  • Geingob miikumungu yaDRCGeingob miikumungu yaDRC Okwa holoka omaiyuvo kutya ngele Omupresidende Hage Geingob okwa pumbwa okuninga oshindji kombinga yiikolokosha yaDRC, mbyoka ya landula omahogololo gopashigwana ngoka ga ningwa moshilongo moka. Otaku ningilwa omathiminiko omunashipundi gwoSADC, Namibia oshowo omupresiende Hage Geingob opo a tule miilonga omathaneko ge gaAgrika omupe pakuulika uuleli we omolwa omakuyunguto ge na sha nomahogololo gaDRC.

    Namibia okwa tegelelwa a ninge omahogololo ge omatiheyali, na okwa tegelelwa a gandje oshiholelwa kenenevi unene sho Geingob e li omunashipundi.

    Sho a ningi omunashipundi omvula ya piti, Geingob okwa kwashilipaleke aaleli kutya otaka hwahwameka elundululo lyuuleli pambili nokuyanda iikolokosha.

    Ngashiingeyi aantu ayehe oye mu tala omeho ya tegelela a kandule po iikolokosha mbyoka yi li moDRC oshilongo sha kala niikolokosha uule woomvula odhindji noonkondo, niikolokosha oya etithwa ketindo lyokugandja oshipundi shuuleli pambili.

    Ndumba Kamwanyah okwa popi kutya kape na omalimbililo kutya Geingob ota vulu okudhana onkandangala mokweeta ombili moshilongo shoka pakugandja omayele meeto lyombili.

    Omutseyinawa gwiikwaveta yekotampango Nico Horn okwa popi kutya ope na oshishona shoka Geingob ta vulu okuninga onga omunashipundi gwoSADC. Okwa popi kutya omahogololo gaDRC oguudha uulingilingi owundji wa longwa onkene osha ningitha oshidhigu aantu yiidhope mo momahogololo

    Omuprofessa gwaSouth Afrika, Nixon Kariithi oku na einekelo kutya SADC ke na oshindji shoka ta vulu okuninga kakele kokutalela omahogololo.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    South Africa takes up Security Council seatSouth Africa takes up Security Council seat South Africa taking up a seat on the United Nations Security Council is seen as a welcoming sign for the continent, says political commentator Ndumbah Kamanyah.

    South Africa started off the New Year by officially assuming its seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019-2020.

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the time: “This will be the third time that South Africa will be serving in the Security Council since the dawn of democracy in 1994. We are humbled and honoured by the confidence the international community has demonstrated in our capability to contribute to the resolution of global challenges.”

    Sharing his views, Kamanyah said: “It offers the opportunity and platform for setting and championing an African agenda. Together with other African countries, the council could form a formidable block to balance the Security Council's agenda, especially on peace and stability on the continent.”

    South African international relations and cooperation minister Lindiwe Sisulu said that South Africa's appointment to the Council would help it address Africa's socio-economic problems.

    “The continent has the potential to address all its economic and social challenges in the shortest time possible. We have all the ingredients required.

    “Silencing the guns in Africa will direct the necessary financial resources to infrastructure development, education and technology, which is required for economic growth. It is for this reason that governments must prioritise peace, stability and strengthening democracy and democratic institutions,” Sisulu said.

    The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 members, and each member has one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all member states are obligated to comply with Council decisions. The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement.

    In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorise the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

    -Additional reporting by NEWS24



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    DRC vote 'generally peaceful'DRC vote 'generally peaceful'Concerns aside, SADC approves The SADC election observer mission was concerned over the fact that DRC police and military were not permitted to vote. The SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) on Wednesday says last week's election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was “generally peaceful” despite acts of violence that resulted in the loss of lives.

    The mission also noted with concern the burning of one of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) warehouses in Kinshasa that resulted in damage to electoral materials during the pre-election phase and led to the postponement of the elections from 23 December to 30 December 2018.

    In a statement issued on Wednesday the mission said while it had noted commendable efforts at enhancing voter participation, it had also noted that members of the armed forces and the Congolese national police were not allowed to vote, which was a violation of Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

    The mission also observed that voters' lists were not accessible on the CENI website by 28 December 2018 despite the electoral law's provision that voters' lists must be published at least 30 days before election day.

    The SEOM further recommended that CENI and the Congolese government facilitate voting abroad for expatriate citizens.

    It also recommended that the government consider reviewing the electoral law in order to allow the armed forces and police to vote in elections.



    Controversial

    The SEOM statement comes amid rising concerns of election fraud following a string of irregularities at the DRC polls.

    According to international media, voting in three districts that are opposition strongholds was postponed until March, with the electoral commission blaming insecurity and an Ebola virus outbreak.

    As a result about 1.2 million people were cut out of the voting process and their votes essentially cancelled, as the new president is due to be sworn in by mid-January regardless of the March vote.

    The country kicked out the European Union (EU) ambassador, Bart Ouvry, ahead of the election in response to an extension of EU sanctions against 14 people, including Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister who ran in Sunday's election.

    The 14 were banned from entering the EU and their European assets were frozen.

    Provisional results are expected on 6 January and the new president of the DRC will be inaugurated on 18 January.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Woman, daughter drown in Hardap DamWoman, daughter drown in Hardap Dam A 30-year-old woman and her stepdaughter drowned in the Hardap Dam near Mariental on New Year's Day.

    They have been identified as Gay Kay Kahuika and her stepdaughter Stacey Urodine Kemp, 11.

    The Namibian police's acting regional crime investigations coordinator for the Hardap Region, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Petrus Hauwanga confirmed the incident on Thursday.

    He said the two were at the dam's picnic and braai area with family around 16:00 on Tuesday when the incident occurred.

    “They went to the dam site at the boat bay and went deep into the water. They however could not swim so they could get out of the water and drowned,” Hauwanga said.

    Kahuika was a resident of Wanaheda in Windhoek, while Kemp resided in Gibeon.

    NAMPA

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    Loans to individuals, businesses up N$750mLoans to individuals, businesses up N$750m Loans made out to individuals in the form of mortgages, overdrafts and instalment credit, amongst others, as well as loans made out to businesses, rose by N$751 million just for the month of November 2018, IJG Securities said in a recent report.

    On a year-on-year basis (2017 to 2018), total private sector credit extension (PSCE) grew by almost 8% in November compared to 7.8% year-on-year in October IJG noted.

    “November has also been the fourth consecutive month in which PSCE growth has kept raising on a year-on-year basis. Cumulative private sector credit outstanding as at the end of November amounted to N$96.645 billion,” IJG said.

    IJG also found that on an annual basis, households were taking up much of the credit extended to the private sector in 2018, accounting for almost two-thirds of the uptake.

    However, that wide disproportion between credit extended to households and corporations began to narrow in August. On a rolling 12-month basis N$7.1 billion worth of credit was extended to the private sector with N$3.26 billion being taken up by households. Corporations very nearly equalled that which was extended to households by taking up N$3.21 billion worth of the credit over the last 12 months, while claims on non-residents totalled N$663.2 million. In terms of credit extended to corporates and businesses, this increased by 8.9% year-on-year compared to October's 7.1% year-on-year increase IJG noted.

    “The November increase in corporate credit has been the highest since March 2017 and the fifth consecutive month in which corporate credit has been increasing at a faster pace on a year-on-year basis. Shorter-term credit facilities continue to be driving the increase in corporate credit extension,” IJG said. Overall PSCE growth in November maintained its upward momentum on a year-on-year basis for a fourth consecutive month, increasing by 7.96% year-on-year IJG noted, which it said was the highest rate of growth in the last 18 months.

    In the midst of recessionary economic growth short-term and unsecured loans have grown at a quicker rate than that of mortgage and instalment credit, IJG said.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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