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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 941 | 942 | (Page 943) | 944 | 945 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 01/27/19--14:00: Magic down Civics
  • Magic down CivicsMagic down CivicsPoor finishing the order of the day Tura Magic beat Civics through a brilliant goal by Theophilus Junius. Tura Magic registered their third MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) victory of the season when they beat Civics 1-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Thursday.

    Magic scored the only goal of the match through the individual brilliance of Theophilus Junius in the fifth minute.

    The Brave Warriors fringe striker controlled a diagonal long ball from Erasmus Ikeinge on the left flank and was given too much time to take a couple of touches.

    He then unleashed a powerful shot that beat Civics goalkeeper Welcome Nail at the near post.

    Civics could have equalised three minutes later, when Vincent Namiseb shot over the bar following a neat exchange of passes by his teammates.

    Nail then came to the rescue of his side when he stopped Larry Horaeb, who had beaten the offside trap in the 11th minute.

    Junius could have doubled his account after he outpaced Mervin Katire, but he failed to beat Nail.

    Both teams continued creating decent chances as Junius headed wide, while Namiseb shot straight at the keeper, leaving the halftime scoreline at 1-0 in favour of Magic.

    The second half continued where the first half had left off, with Quinton Kuruseb weaving his way into the box, where he shot tamely at Magic keeper Mervin Kasetura.

    Civics were then dealt a major blow when Jarurako Uahurirapi received two quick yellow cards within the space of four minutes, and was dismissed in the 52nd minute to leave his side one man short.

    This did not deter his side from seeking an equaliser, as Namiseb outpaced the Magic defence before shooting straight at Kasetura in the 62nd minute.

    Namiseb, who could have scored a hat-trick or more, shot weakly at the Magic keeper after finding himself at the end of a beautiful team move in the 68th minute.

    Magic also had their chances as substitute, national under-20 midfielder Uetuuru Kambato, shot over following a mistake by Nail.

    Namiseb then had a glorious chance to equalise when he profited from a mistake by Charles Hambira in the 85th minute, but once again failed to beat Kasetura.

    Kuruseb then saw his thunderous free-kick crash against the cross bar, and the rebound was scuffled by Namiseb.

    The win sees Magic move up to third on the log from sixth, with Civics staying 13th position, one point above the relegation zone.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/27/19--14:00: Don't footballers learn?
  • Don't footballers learn?Don't footballers learn? All over the world, sports stars, especially footballers, are paid massive chunks of money - often earning more per week than we could ever dream of.

    But when some of them pass away, there is not a single cent to bury them or even buy coffee for the mourners.

    This might sound insensitive, but someone has to say it, with the hope of breaking the cycle.

    These guys are big spenders. We have seen their affluent lifestyles, their cars and holiday destinations; not forgetting the designer clothes they wear. But when the lucrative deals end, they are left in such a state of destitution that Good Samaritans have to gather money for whatever situation they find themselves in.

    This is mind-blowing, and even though there is nothing wrong with helping someone, let us rather deal with the cause than the end result.

    The question is: What is the cause? I mean the idea of making it big is so that one can exit the slums and the life of poverty. But why do certain sports stars forget to plan better? Or do they think that money will keep falling from the heavens when their careers end?

    What I mean is that with certain kind of wealth, doors open and opportunities are there to rope in people to help with financial management. Banks have these people, why not call them in?

    Footballers earn much more than graduates, specialists and even politicians. Where does the money go then?

    It is true that sport careers are short-lived, with all these youngsters entering the fray at 16 years old. Senior sports stars should then use the opportunity to hurry up and save, while laying the foundation for a better life after the crowds go silent.

    Things like buying a house or a couple of properties or investing in education or a business should be key. You should also make sure that you are properly insured and have a good medical aid plan that will cover you in the years ahead.

    But as much as advice is free to give, perhaps some people don't need or want it. The late Manchester United great, George Best, was regarded as one of the greatest players and dribblers of all time. He combined pace, skill, balance, feints, two-footedness, goal-scoring and the ability to easily beat defenders.

    He too was a high earner but was quoted as saying: “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

    In 1969, he said: “I gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.”

    These quotes might sound untrue and funny, but the reality is that it is still happening in today's generation.

    Look at the recent passing of former Bafana Bafana midfielder Phil Masinga, for instance. He reportedly had zero money in his coffers when he passed on. And so too Namibian players, who had the chance to play abroad, have nothing to show for it today. We know, as these guys live in our neighbourhoods.

    I'm hoping they can at least come out and give words of wisdom to the current crop of players about how to spend money wisely.

    This also just goes to show that this is not a white or a black problem, but a general one that cuts across the world.

    I know the custodian of football in this country, the Namibia Football Association, hasn't done much to educate local players on the proper ways of investing money, but they should actually start awareness campaigns or a programme of sorts to prepare the players for big pay cheques.

    Many local players are now scooping lucrative contracts in the South African premier league, as well as in Zambia and so forth.

    The Namibia Football Players Union should also come on board to help these players. As much as we fight for them to be treated and paid well, we must also teach them how to use money wisely.

    Also, companies like FNB should jump on board with initiatives to help groom better money spenders, as they are currently co-sponsoring the NPL with MTC.

    With that said, please read the feature on pages 4 and 5 and find out what some Namibian footballers have to say about saving for the long run.



    limba@namibiansun.com

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    Honour heroes while they're alive - GeingobHonour heroes while they're alive - Geingob President Hage Geingob has called for documentaries about the country's heroes and heroines to be broadcast while they are still alive.

    Geingob was speaking on Friday during the memorial service of retired major-general, Peter Kagadhinwa Nambundunga, at his home village of Oshihole in the Omusati Region.

    “It is a great shame that we only wait until our heroes are dead before we decide to broadcast their life exploits,” Geingob said.

    “Let us broadcast such documentaries about our heroes and soldiers while they are still alive. Let us celebrate these champions of our liberty, unity and justice, because great men and women only come around once in a lifetime.”

    Geingob had watched a documentary on Nambundunga's life on NBC last week.

    Nambundunga passed away in a northern hospital on 14 January.

    He was laid to rest at Omugulugombashe on Saturday after Geingob honoured him with a state funeral.

    Nambundunga became the seventh hero of the liberation struggle to be buried at Omugulugombashe.

    His burial was attended by hundreds of mourners, including cabinet ministers, former combatants and the country's two former presidents, Hifikepunye Pohamba and Sam Nujoma.

    Geingob said Nambundunga was definitely a man who lived an enviable life of character and virtue.

    Despite all his remarkable achievements over the course of his life; despite all his victories, successes and extraordinary feats, he remained humble and was never aloof or condescending, Geingob said.

    He said Nambundunga's journey into exile took place in February 1975. He ended up at Cassapa in the Cuando Cubango Province of Angola, where he underwent his first training.

    Later on, he received further training at Kongwa in the United Republic of Tanzania. Upon completion of his training at Kongwa, he joined the eastern front in mid-1977 and was appointed as regional political commissar.





    “This appointment highlighted Comrade Nambundunga's great perceptiveness and people management skills, as it required him to inspire fighters to stand their ground in battle, in the face of great peril.

    “He succeeded against all odds and achieved resounding success in instilling in the fighters, the highest level of bravery, dedication and sacrifice,” Geingob said.

    In 1978 Nambundunga had the opportunity to attend the Odessa Combined Military School in the Soviet Union, qualifying as a battalion chief of staff.

    From 1980 to 1981 he attended the party school in the Republic of Cuba and after completing his studies in Cuba, he was deployed at the operation commanding headquarters of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) in Angola.

    It did not take long before he was appointed PLAN's chief of logistics and as a member of the military council, a position he held until 1989.

    After independence he was immediately inducted and commissioned into the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) at its inception, with the rank of colonel and as its director of resources. He rapidly rose through the ranks again and held positions such as deputy army commander (1996), chief of staff personnel (HR 1997), NDF chief of staff (2000), army commander (2005 to 2008) and acting chief of the defence force (2009 to 2011).

    “Comrade Nambundunga played an integral role as a member of the SADC Allied Forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 1999 to 2000, holding the position of SADC task force deputy commander,”

    “He participated and represented Namibia with distinction in the meetings of the joint verification committee, which oversaw the peace process in the DRC, which recently held general elections, partly due to the foundation laid through the intervention of SADC forces at the turn of the century,” Geingob said.

    He said it was evident that Nambundunga was always ready to take on the most challenging tasks, and it was for this reason that upon his retirement from the NDF, Pohamba appointed him as the special advisor to the Ohangwena. His appointment was subsequently renewed by Geingob.

    “I recall receiving a report from the governor's office, which was drafted by Comrade Nambundunga. I was so impressed by the quality of the report that I decided to choose it as a template to be used by all governors when reporting to me,” Geingob said.

    Nambundunga is survived by his wife Cecilia and ten children.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Alcoholism, theft rife on farmsAlcoholism, theft rife on farmsRemuneration for permanent farmworkers now N$3 418 a month Despite a massive improvement in salaries for farmworkers, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as theft, remain a huge concern. Working conditions of farmworkers seem to have hugely improved, with pay packages having more than doubled over the past 14 years.

    However, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as theft, remain a major concern and are some of the main reasons for dismissal.

    In 2018 farmworkers received a total monthly remuneration package of N$3 418, in comparison to the N$1 454 they were paid in 2004.

    The Wage Survey Report, published by the Agricultural Employers' Association, surveyed 3 288 farmworkers of whom 2 918 were permanent employees.

    Of those surveyed in 2018, the average basic monthly pay of permanent employees on commercial farms amounted to N$2138.17, while the total remuneration package of permanent employees on commercial farms amounted to N$3 413.51 on average.

    A remuneration package is made up of a cash wage, a cash allowance, dry rations, wet rations, other farm-produced foods (these all constitute the monetary remuneration or basic salary) as well as free housing, livestock and free transport.

    Whereas the current minimum wage agreement sets N$4.62 as the basic hourly cash wage for a general farmworker, the survey indicates that on average unskilled farm workers received N$8.20 per hour in 2017/18.

    According to the report 36.25% of farmers reported cases of alcohol and substance abuse that occurred amongst their employees within the reporting period.

    There has also been an increase in farmworkers being dismissed for alcohol abuse since 2006, from 3.81% to 4.91%.

    Most job terminations were employee-driven and mainly consisted of resignations and workplace desertion, while 47.79% of all job terminations during the 2017/18 financial year were dismissals.

    The main reasons for dismissal included theft, dishonesty, unauthorised absenteeism, poor work performance and alcohol abuse. Theft by farmworkers had decreased since 2016, from 19.05% to 4.65%.

    According to the survey a total of 385 farmworkers left their place of work within the survey period. This figure represents 11.71% of all employees in the survey in comparison with 12.47% in the 2016 survey.

    For 2018 the monetary component of farmworkers' remuneration represented 62% of the total package, with the remaining 38% made up of free housing, transport and employee livestock.

    Farmers indicated that there were 2 448 employee houses on their farms, of which 43.71% had their own bath and toilet facilities.

    The rest had shared ablution blocks. The average valuation price of a typical farmworker's house with shower, toilet and covered veranda is approximately N$3 400 per square metre.

    A total of 69.91% of employee households in the survey had electricity in their homes and 25.87% employee households had access to solar power.

    “These figures increased significantly compared to the 2016 wage survey where only 55.65% of households had access to electricity and 22.51% access to solar power,” according to the survey.







    It says that 23.02% of permanent employees receive a cash allowance (2016 survey – 25.3%) with an average value of N$466, while 12.84% of permanent employees receive free rations which employers buy from shops (2016 – 15.86%) with an average monthly value of N$278.77. These rations include maize meal, sugar, coffee, tea and fish.





    Furthermore 67.92% of permanent employees receive meat with an average value of N$433.29 per month and 43.38% permanent employees receive milk with an average value of N$169.98 per month as part of their remuneration packages. Also, 17.02% permanent employees receive other farm produce to the value of N$66.78 per month.

    The average number of dependants per employee is 2.31. This figure has increased significantly compared to 1.68 dependants per employee in the 2016 wage survey.

    According to the survey 93.75% of farmers indicated that their employees received annual bonuses and 87% employers indicated that their employees received annual salary increases.

    There was a decrease in injuries on duty compared to the previous wage report. A total of 9.5% of employers reported 38 injuries on duty in 2018, in comparison to 79 in 2016.

    The survey says that 62.25% of respondents (2016 – 71.58%) indicated that they provide free transport for school-going children of employees to and from schools and hostels. Also, 88.50% of the employers in this survey indicated that they provide free transport for employees to clinics and hospitals (2016 – 96.09%).

    A total of 89.84% employee households in this survey have access to free firewood. The average value of this additional benefit of farm employees is estimated at N$450 per month per employee.

    Only 64 of the 2 918 permanent employees in this survey are members of a registered workers' union, which brings the union representation of farmworkers to 2.18%.

    The first survey was done in 1998. The purpose of the Wage Report is to provide sound and reliable statistical information regarding labour in the commercial agricultural sector.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    'They're behaving like girlfriends''They're behaving like girlfriends' Affirmative Repositioning (AR) leader Job Amupanda says it is a display of immaturity, when government leaders ask not to be insulted.

    He was responding to a statement by information minister Stanley Simataa in which he urged members of the public to refrain from insulting President Hage Geingob, his ministers and the entire government

    Amupanda said yesterday: “They are behaving like girlfriends that demand flowers. They are only catering to their emotions.”

    He said what was even more bizarre was that several government leaders such as Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba, land reform minister Utoni Nujoma and trade minister Tjekero Tweya had in the past insulted members of the public and no action had been taken against them.

    “This is a demonstration that we are being led by weak and immature people.”

    Simataa said in his statement that it was not common practice amongst Africans to throw insults around.

    “Such derogatory and insulting language directed at the head of state for that matter, cabinet members and the entire government is not only contrary to the letter and spirit of the constitution, but also goes against our cultural values and norms as human beings and as Africans,” he said.

    According to him, while the constitution makes provision for citizens to express their opinions, this should be conducted in a manner that is not insulting to leaders.

    “Established protocols dictate that views and criticism, where merited, be advanced in a civilised and constructive manner, using language which conforms to the decorum befitting the stature of those being criticised,” Simataa said.

    Derogatory comments, he said, were being used intentionally to agitate government and force it to respond with harsh measures. This, Simataa said, would not succeed.

    “As government, we are fully conscious of the fact that the recent wave of insults and derogatory language, coupled with the heightened concert of agitation of our masses, are all orchestrated to tempt government to intervene in a heavy-handed manner, a temptation that we will continue to resist,” the information minister said.

    Government, he added, would use the law to reprimand those that air derogatory remarks.

    “Government will not shy away from using the provisions of the law to hold the perpetrators of such morally and culturally moribund acts to account. There must be consequences for such morally repugnant acts,” warned Simataa.

    Landless People’s Movement (LPM) member Henny Seibeb would not be drawn into commenting.

    Seibeb has in the past made derogatory remarks directed towards Geingob as well as first lady, Monica Geingos. He referred Namibian Sun to LPM spokesperson Utaara Mootu.

    Amupanda, who is among those known to air contentious and often insulting views on social media platforms, said activists were also being insulted on a daily basis, but were not responding.

    He also felt that the focus should not be on calls for leaders not be insulted, but on matters that sought to improve the state of the economy, the drought, the state of education as well developments in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela.

    “Ambassadors must be laughing at us,” Amupanda added.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 01/27/19--14:00: A derby to remember
  • A derby to rememberA derby to rememberBA thrash struggling Pirates Black Africa coach Paulus Shipanga says their 2018/19 NPL derby against Orlando Pirates was what dreams are made of. Black Africa thrashed struggling Orlando Pirates 4-0 on Saturday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

    The Katutura derby between the Namibia Premier League (NPL) high-flyers and Orlando Pirates lived up to expectations, as fans came in their droves to the Sam Nujoma Stadium and donned colours in support of their clubs.

    It was Shipanga's first derby win, which gave him bragging rights over the old foe.

    But beforehand the match had given him sleepless nights, as he did not want to disappoint the diehard Black Africa fans.

    “The match was one of the best. It lived up to expectations, as supporters of both sides came out in their numbers to cheer on their teams The referee was on point and the players played a high-tempo match, with great football display,” Shipanga said.

    He said the spirit of his players was very high and that they deserved the win, as they worked hard for the victory.

    “They showed team unity; even when they scored, their celebration was for the team. I'm a very happy coach because the players listened and followed the game plan.”

    Shipanga, however, said it is too early to crown themselves as favourites to win the league this season.

    “It is very early. Right now I'm more focused on one game at a time. The title race is still wide open for everyone. We haven't reached the second round yet,” he said cautiously.

    Black Africa now lead the log with 23 points, while Pirates are wallowing at the bottom of standings with five points.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    'The Demolisher' stuns DRC opponent'The Demolisher' stuns DRC opponent Lukas 'The Demolisher' Ndafoluma knocked out Rams Ilunga of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the second round of their non-title fight in Cape Town on Friday.

    The middleweight fighter from the Salute Boxing Academy stable is currently one of the best in the division.

    His inexperienced opponent, on the other hand, now has fought five fights, while recording two wins and three losses.

    Ndafoluma has 16 fights, 15 wins and one loss - a 2014 defeat against Pohamba Mandume - under his belt.

    “Ndafoluma has heart and is fearless. He also has skill and confidence,” said PJ Amunyela the boxing stable's spokesperson.

    Amunyela added they want Ndafoluma's ranking to improve, so that he gets a world title shot against the likes of Mexican fighter Canelo Alvarez or American boxers Daniel Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade.

    “At Salute we not only train boxers to be ready physically, but we also ensure that they have the right mental attitude when they face their opponents, and beat them in their own backyard,” Amunyela added.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 01/27/19--14:00: Late winner downs Arrows
  • Late winner downs ArrowsLate winner downs Arrows Windhoek-based Citizens beat home side Eleven Arrows 1-0 in a Namibia Premier League (NPL) encounter that took place at the Kuisebmond Stadium in Walvis Bay on Friday.

    Citizens bagged the three points after Steward Goagoseb tapped the ball into the back of the net late in the match.

    It was an even contest in the first half, although Arrows shaded the possession slightly.

    With this possession, the home side managed to carve open the Citizens defence to create several chances.

    Leroy Munyoroye struck a free-kick over the wall and straight into the net, as Citizens goalkeeper Jonas Matheus remained motionless. However, the goal was disallowed due to interference by one of the Arrows players.

    Citizens were playing on the counter-attack, which saw Steward Goagoseb causing numerous problems on the left flank for the home side, with his surging runs into their box.

    During the second half, Arrows continued their dominance, as their one-touch football in the midfield, combined with crosses from both flanks, created an expectation of a goal. Citizens continued to have a few chances on the counter-attack. In the 70th minute, Steward Goagoseb had a golden chance to give his side the lead, but his close-range shot was saved by Arrows goalkeeper Tinashe Dzambara.

    In the 76th minute, Arrows were awarded a free-kick a few metres from the penalty area.

    Munyoroye was denied once more, but this time by Matheus, who made a superb save.

    Arrows continued to send men forward in the hopes of getting the winning goal.

    In the 81st minute they were made to pay by a lightning quick counter-attack that allowed Gottlob Kapuka to be in acres of space.

    He fired a shot at the Eleven Arrows goalkeeper, who parried it into Goagoseb's path, and he made no mistake with the tap in.

    With five minutes to go, Arrows were again denied, this time from a free-kick taken outside the box. It was not going to be Munyoroye's night, as his free-kick rattled against the crossbar, to the disappointment of the home fans.

    Adolf Kaure

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: I'm a problem - Nakathila
  • I'm a problem - NakathilaI'm a problem - Nakathila Jeremiah 'Low-key' Nakathila says he has the arsenal to take on any boxer in the junior lightweight division.

    Nakathila, who is rated number three in the latest World Boxing Organisation (WBO) rankings, has set his sights on a showdown with number one contender, 20-year-old Ryan Garcia from the United States.

    His camp, the MTC Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy, announced yesterday they are pushing for the fight and are waiting for the approval for it to be declared a world title eliminator.

    “This will of course be a big fight because Garcia is tipped to become boxing's next superstar, but Nakathila will be ready to eliminate him to get a title shot with current world champion.

    “This will be an incredible year for him with big fights,” Nestor Tobias his said.

    Nakathila last fought in December last year, knocking out South African boxer Prince Dlomo.

    The Namibian has 18 fights, 17 wins and one loss to his name.

    A total of 13 wins came via knockout.

    Garcia also fought on 15 December, knocking out Braulio Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic.

    Garcia has blazing speed and is known to land straight shots that devastate his opponents. This has propelled him to gather a string of exciting KOs by the age of 19.

    He currently boasts a record of 17 fights, 17 wins with 14 of these coming via knockout. In 2016 he was named ESPN Prospect of the Year.

    “I know about Garcia, but I fear no one in this division. I'm always in the gym. If he thinks that he is a problem. He should know that I'm also a problem. If we cross paths, we will see. I'm strong and with preparation, I'm good to go,” said Nakathila.

    In other boxing news, Mike Shonena, the only other Namibian with a world ranking besides Nakathila, is now rated number nine by the WBO in the very competitive welterweight division, where Terence Crawford of the US is the reigning champion.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Citizens' money woes exposed
  • Citizens' money woes exposedCitizens' money woes exposedPlayer salaries delayed, expenses pile up Citizens have confirmed their financial woes, but said they had now been sorted out. MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) outfit Citizens FC have been struggling to pay their players and for other expenses, sources have revealed.

    Namibian Sun understands that the players have allegedly not received their December salaries.

    It has also been alleged that the team's foreign players, who are staying in a club-rented house have been going to sleep without eating.

    The players were apparently also given notice by the landlord that their rental contract had been terminated, and they therefore had nowhere to sleep for two days.

    Sources further allege that the club struggled to pay transportation when they travelled to Walvis Bay to play Eleven Arrows over the weekend, causing a 20-minute delay.

    The club currently receives N$114 285 as a monthly grant from the NPL, in order for them to honour their fixtures and pay player salaries.

    It, however, appears that the money is not enough or has been mismanaged at the Katutura-based team.

    “The situation at the club is not rosy at all because we have been suffering.

    “They have not paid us and we are even struggling to find a pair of boots to play with.

    “I do not know what the management is doing with the monthly grants they get,” a source speaking on condition of anonymity said.

    Club chairman Dawid Goagoseb did not deny that they are facing challenges, but said these had been resolved.

    Goagoseb blamed the difficult economic situation at the club on the fact that the whole Namibia has gone into an economic recession.

    “I am surprised that the players have taken this to the media after we had a thorough discussion and even came to an agreement.

    “Yes, we have had some internal issues beyond our control and have experienced financial difficulties.

    “It is not that the players have not been rewarded, but we did give them something at the beginning of January and had agreed to settle everything by the end of this month,” Goagoseb said.

    The chairman further revealed there had been an overconsumption of food at the house rented for the players.

    “It is not only entirely the club's fault that the players had to sleep without food, but it boils down to the fact that they have been finishing the food required to last long in a few days.

    “I have been going into my own purse to ensure that they do have food to eat.

    “The problem is that they finish a 10kg bag of rice in two days and that is not how things are done, especially in a country that is going through financial difficulties,” Goagoseb said.

    He advised the players to stick to playing football and maintaining their fitness, rather than running to the media.

    “These kind of situations happen all over the world and it is not just at Citizens.

    “The players must leave these kinds of things for the administrators to fix.

    “Their job is to play football and it is important they make sure we remain in top-flight football,” he added.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    New sportswear for u-9 netball teamNew sportswear for u-9 netball team The Donatus Primary School under-9 netball team at Otjiwarongo on Monday received a full set of sporting uniforms from Namibia Medical Rescue 24/7 Services as a donation.

    Principal Hester Campbell received the 11 netball skirts, tops and bibs during the school assembly on Monday morning in the presence of the learners and teachers.

    Campbell said her netball teams have been participating in different regional and national tournaments without sports uniform for nearly 10 years.

    “But now that we have a new netball uniform, we expect our players to be proud of themselves and play with high confidence at the school's tournaments, starting in June this year,” she said.

    Coach Daphne Wohler thanked the company for responding to their written request submitted six months ago.

    “We needed the uniform most for our school's under-9 netball team, so that as coaches we can also easily identify them from other players at tournaments,” she said. Paramedic Ernst Hearlen, who delivered the netball gear to the school, told Nampa N$3 500 was spent to buy the uniform for the school.

    “This year we want to assist many of our community members in different ways. This is just the beginning,” he said.

    Donatus has a total of 1 167 learners from pre-primary to grade 7, with 37 teachers.





    NAMPA

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    'Foreign legion' thrills Ellis'Foreign legion' thrills EllisDoors open for Banyana players The fact that many South African women players are moving overseas certainly augurs well for Banyana Banyana. Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is thrilled that many players in her team have joined the 'foreign legion' and are improving their skills, which will benefit the national team.

    Ellis's remarks come after striker Ode Fulutudilu signed for Malaga in Spain, while midfielder Leandra Smeda was snapped up just recently by Swedish Damallsvenskan outfit Vittsjo GIK after spending some time in Lithuania.

    Also based overseas are the duo of vice-captain Refiloe Jane and Rhoda Mulaudzi (Australia), as well as Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo (US). The likes of Amogelang Motau are still studying and playing football in the United States, while Kaylin Swart, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Kelso Peskin have returned home after completing their studies abroad.

    Fulutudilu played in Finland before her move to Spain, having started with Red Roses in the Sasol League.

    She was in the Banyana Banyana squad last year when they played two matches against Chile in October and she got a run in the second half of the second game.

    “This is certainly good news for women's football in South Africa to have players making a move abroad as this will most certainly benefit Banyana. If you look at nations like Nigeria and Cameroon, most of their players are abroad and that is why they consistently qualify for big tournaments, and we should also do the same,” said Ellis.

    “We are extremely proud that Ode has made a move to Spain, and Leandra to Sweden where they will have an even better opportunity to improve on their games. These are some of the good leagues for women's football and we are confident they will do well. This is a bonus as this happens in the World Cup year, and we believe these will open doors for other players to be spotted.”

    Her sentiments were echoed by the president of the South African Football Association (Safa), Danny Jordaan, who said: “It gives us great satisfaction that Banyana is represented around the world, and this recent phenomenon can only mean that as an association we are doing something right with women's football.”

    The South African women's national team is currently on a break and will resume camp late next month, when they start preparations for the Cyprus Women's Cup, which takes place from 27 February to 6 March.

    NAMPA/ANA

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Top racers recognised
  • Top racers recognisedTop racers recognised Top racers were recognised on Saturday during a combined ceremony held by the Namibia Motorsport Federation (NMSF) and the Windhoek Motor Club.

    They recognised athletes for their hard work throughout the 2018 season at the Windhoek awards ceremony.

    Thirty-eight individuals received trophies for karting, circuit racing, dirt ovals, drags, marshal of the year and the president's trophy during the combined awards ceremony.

    Richard Slamet, WMC chairperson, said 2019 promises to be a great year after all their hard work during the 2018 racing season.

    “The Windhoek Motor Club turned 60 years in 2018 and we also hosted for the first time Namibia vs Angola motorsport, where a seed was planted for future cooperation events between these two nations,” he said.

    He added that during the 2018 motor sporting season they hosted over 18 events.

    Daniel Tjongarero, NMSF president, said 2018 was a difficult year for motorsport, in terms of setting up their rules as well as constitutional review.

    “Despite all the challenges faced while reworking our rules in the sport, in terms of racing we had a great year. We managed to raise funds while we also saw an improved number of spectators attending our events, therefore credit should be given to the athletes who gave it their all while competing,” Tjongarero said.

    Athletes who received trophies of recognition from the WMC are Christian Liebenberg and Allan Martin for class A and Michel Rust, Zachary Martin and Michael van Zyl for class B.

    Class C saw Michael van Zyl, Michael Strydom and Jaco Nel getting trophies. Matthew Strydom and Clive Strydom were rewarded in Class D, while Nickey Claassens, Matthew Strydom and Janna Smit featured for class E.

    Daniella Beukes walked away with the trophy for marshal of the year while Richard Slamet Jr received the president's trophy.

    In the maxterino category Guido Bidoli, Lo-Andre Bruwer and Jadyn van Zyl were recognised, while in the junior max category Christiaan Lienberg Jnr received the trophy.

    Ivan Vorster, Sean de Klerk and Jorg Goldbeck received recognition trophies for their performances in the senior max category.

    The NMSF recognised Guido Bidoli, Lo-Andre Bruwer and Jaydyn van Zyl for karting maxterino.

    Christiaan Liebenberg received a trophy for the karting junior max category.

    Ivan Voster, Sean de Klerk and Jorg Goldbeck were awarded in the karting senior max category.

    Christiaan Liebenberg and Allan Martin were recognised in the circuit class A racing category.

    In the circuit class B category Michel Rust, Zachary Martin and Michael van Zyl received trophies.

    Michael van Zyl, Michael Strydom and Jaco Nel got the trophies in the circuit class C event.

    In the circuit class category D Matthew Strydom, Clive Strydom and Gareth Fourie took the honours, while in the circuit class E category, Nicky Claassens and Matthew Strydom got the trophies.

    In the dirt ovals four-cylinder eight valves category, Frank Borruso, Zachary Martin and Michael Behnke walked away with the awards.

    Allan Martin, Shaeen Emamdien and Dyllan Roodt got the dirt ovals four-cylinder 16 valves category trophies.

    In the dirt ovals six and eight-cylinders it was Richard Owen, Robbie Schneider and Tian Lourens who were recognised for their work.

    Brandon Botelho, Jos Diekman and Michael Behnke got trophies in the dirt ovals quads 350-450cc category.

    Frankir de Rebeira, Roberto Bertolini and Matthew Strydom featured in the drags 4BF class. In the drags 4BR class Deon Diergaardt and Verno Knowles received trophies.

    Terence Knowles received a trophy in the drags 8BR class, while McAllen Husselmann was recognised with a trophy in the drags bandit overall category.

    NAMPA

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    Oshikondo shuuniimuna sha taalela uupyakadhiOshikondo shuuniimuna sha taalela uupyakadhi Aaniinuma yomoshilongo otaya hupu shokadhila omolwa onkalo yoshikukuta ndjoka ya kala ya taaalela oshilongo uule woomvula adhihe dhika, noondjindikila dha tulwa miilongo poshishiindalongo omolwa etukuko lyomukithi gwiimuna.

    Aanafaalama yomoshilongo oya taalela onkalo ya piyagana noonkondo nehangano lyoLivestock Producers' Organisation (LPO) oya tseyitha kutya onkalo ndjoka oyo paulumomhumbwe moshilongo.

    Natango onkalo itayi e ta omalunduluko gasha unene kaaniimuna mboka yii kolelela momalanditho gaSouth Africa.

    Onkalo yongeshefa oya nkundipala noonkondo omolwa oshikukuta shoka sha taalela enenevi lyaAfrika muumbugantu noondjindikila ndhoka dhi li miilonga omolwa etukuko lyomukithi gwekondo nekala ngoka gwa lopotwa moSouth Afrika.

    Pahapu dhomunashipundi, gwoLivestock Producers' Organisation Piet Gouws, ehangano olya mana nale omaakonaakono kombinga yonkalo ndjoka,na oya pumbwa owala okutala kutya oshike tashi vulu okuningwa po opo ku hupithwe aaniimuna mboka.

    Gouws okwa popi kutya otaya ka ninga eindilo opo ya ye moonkundathana nominista yuunamapya opo ye mu tseyithile nokumupa uuyelele kombinga yonkalo ndjoka ya nkundipala ya taalela aanafaalama moshilongo, na nkene taku vulu okutulwa miilonga omayambidhidho gopetameko kaanafaalama mboka. Etukuko lyomukithi gwekondo nelaka moSouth Afrika osha etitha opo ku kalekwe etumo moshilongo lyiilandomwa ya za miimuna yomakondo moSouth Afrika.

    Gouws okwa popi kutya aalongi yiilandomwa yonyama moSouth Afrika oya taaalela nale oshiponga shoshikukuta ihe natango otaya dhengelwa pevi omolwa omukithi ngoka gwa tukuka moshilongo shawo.

    Okwa popi kutya aalongi yiilandomwa yonyama moSouth Afrika oya kanitha okuza melanditho lyopondje oshimaliwa tashi yelekwa noobiliyona 1.8 nonyama ndjoka nena oya pumbwa okulandithwa po meni lyoshilongo,naashoka osha etitha eshuno pevi lyoondando yonyama yoonzi niikombo molwaashoka ethigathano momalanditho ngoka oli li pombanda omolwa onyama oyindji yongombe ndjoka yi li momalanditho gomoshilongo.

    Omolwa onkalo ndjoka, okwa dhenge omuthindo kesimano lyetumo lyonyama okuza moNamibia okuya miilongo yaEuropa oshowo Norway.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    SPYL e na omalimbililo omolwa omusindalongo omupeSPYL e na omalimbililo omolwa omusindalongo omupeOshindji osha pumbwa okuningwa natango Amushanga gwelongo moSwapo Party Youth League (SPYL), Hofni Iipinge okwa holola omaiyuvo ge omolwa omusindalongo omupe ngoka gwa tulwa miilonga moshilongo pondondo yelongo lyoosekundoskola. Iipinge ngoka e li omulongiskola keithano okwa popi kutya omusindalongo ngoka otagu gandja ompito ombwaanawa kaanaskola ya ninge omahogololo gawo ngoka taga ka gandja uuwanawa konakuyiwa yawo oshowo koshilongo, ihe aavali naanaskola otaya lili na oya piyaganekwa nayi noonkondo omolwa oompangela dha nkundipala dhi na sha nomusindalongo ngoka.

    Okwa popi kutya itashi kwatha sha okutula miilonga omilandu ndhoka tadhi e ta nenge tadhi londeke pombanda omaupyakadhi melongo onkene okwa pula epangelo okupitila muuminsiteli welongo, opo li pulakene kaavali, aalongi, oongoloneya oshowo aakomeho yelongo miitopolwa, mboka ye li aakwateli komeho yelongo miitopolwa yawo.

    “Otwa pumbwa okupulakenathana nokuya moonkundathana omanga inaku tulwa miilonga omilandu unene tuu pethimbo ndika onkalo yeliko ya nayipala. Itashi kwatha sha okutula miilonga omilandu ndhoka tadhi etitha owala omikundu.”

    “Omusindalongo nguka ogwa li gu na okukala ekwatho enene lyokudheulila aanyasha iilongwa yomailongo gopaungomba. Epangelo olya li li na okutunga omandiki pooskola unene oonguluskola oshowo omihandjo omanga inaku tulwa miilonga omusindalongo ngoka.”

    Okwa popi kutya omusindalongo ngoka ogwa nuninwa okushunitha pevi omwaalu gwaanaskola taya dhigi po ooskola nokupitika aanaskola oyendji ya kuthe iilongwa yopaungomba mbyoka tayi ka yambulapo oshilongo.

    Okwa popi kutya omulandu ngoka omuwanawa.

    Iipinge ngashiingeyi ota pula epangelo li kwashilipaleke kutya uuministeli welongo owa ya miitopolwa nokutala komashongo ngoka ga taalela ooskola nokukonga omikalo nkene omashongo ngoka ge na okuyiwa moshipala.

    “Omukundu ngoka tu na ngashiingeyi ompumbwe yomihandjo dhaanaskola. Ooskola ooshona ndhoka dhi na ondondo onti 10 na otashi thiminike aanaskola ya ende iinano iile okuya kooskola hoka ku na oondondo onti 10, shoka ngashiingeyi tashi yi pondje omulandu gwelongo kombinga yiinano mbyoka ya pumbiwa okweendwa kaanona uuna taya yi kooskola,” Iipinge a popi.

    “Omolwa iinano iile mbyoka tayi endwa kaanaskola, unene monooli oshowo oshitopolwa shaZambezi, aavali otaya kongele aanona omahala gohiila gokukala poondoolopa nopomikunda dhopopepi, nenge ya dhengele oombashu. Shoka kashi li egameno kokanona koomvula 14 taka hiila nenge taka isile oshisho kokene.”

    Okwa popi kutya oohiila kaanona yoomvula ooshona osha nika oshiponga nepangelo olya pumbwa okutala tango kegameno lyaanona, sho aanona mboka taya vulu okuninga iihakanwa yomiyonena dhiihulo, elongitho lyiikolitha niingangamithi, omategelelo oshowo ekwato koomikithi dhohoni.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya natango ooskola odha taalela uupyakadhi wompumbwe yoongulu dhooskola. Okwa pula opo epangelo li katuke oonkatu dhomeendelelo nokugandja omahala gokulongela aanaskola unene kooskola ndhoka dha taalela ompumbwe yoongulu. Okwa popi kutya itashi vulika omulongi a longele aanona kohi yomiti molwaashoka shoka itashi nana aanona ya hokwe ooskola.

    “Eshunitho pevi lyelongitho lyiimaliwa moshikondo shelongo olya pumbwa okutalulula. Iikondo yimwe oyi na omashongo ogendji na itayi vulu okutetula iimaliwa mbyoka hayi longitha. Onga epangelo otwa pumbwa okupungula melongo opo tu mone iizemo tayi shambula. Otandi indile uuministeli wemona opo wu mone kutya onkalo yelongo oya pumbwa ekwatho lyomeendeelo moka oompumbwe dhaanaskola dha pumbwa okusimanekwa nokukandulwa po.”

    Iipinge okwa popi kutya epangelo olya pumbwa okukala li na ooskola dhopaungomba dha gwana opo dhi vule okutambula aanaskola mboka taya zi mondondo onti 10 molwaashoka ngele epangelo olya ndopa okutunga omandiki gopamadheulo gopaungomba nena itashi kwatha sha molwaashoka aanona natango otaya yi owala momapandanda moka inaya halikila, onkene okwa pumbwa okukatukwa oonkatu ngashiingeyi.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Vodacom reports quarterly slowdown

    South Africa's Vodacom on Thursday reported a slowdown in quarterly group and service revenue growth.

    Vodacom, which competes with MTN Group, implemented a number of "generous" promotions in the quarter and introduced lower-priced bundle offers through the year. These efforts dented data revenue growth in South Africa.

    Group revenue for the quarter to Dec. 31 rose 1.5% to R23 billion under the previous IAS 18 accounting standard, slowing from growth of 6.7% a year earlier.

    Using the new IFRS 15 accounting system, group revenue fell 2.1% and service revenue fell 2.9%.

    Group customers increased 7.1 percent to 79 million, growing 5.4% in South Africa and 9.3% in its international operations. – Nampa/Reuters

    Ugandan leader wants MTN to list shares

    Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said telecom firm MTN Uganda needs to sell shares on the local stock exchange to facilitate domestic ownership of the company and ensure more of the money it earns stays in the country.

    A unit of South Africa's MTN Group, the company is the East African country's largest telecommunications firm, controlling a subscriber base of more than 10 million.

    However, relations between MTN Uganda and authorities have become strained after the country last week deported two of its executives after accusations they were compromising national security.

    Museveni made the comments while meeting MTN Group's president and CEO Rob Shuter on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    Museveni accused some unnamed telecoms companies of dodging taxes by under-declaring the volume of calls and that his government had bought machines that helped detect such activity. – Nampa/Reuters

    Anglo says Q4 copper output at five-year high

    Anglo American said its copper output had reached a five-year high and its overall output for the last quarter of 2018 had risen 7% following operational changes that boosted efficiency.

    The high copper output - up 23% versus the same quarter a year ago and the highest since late 2013 - more than offset a 13% fall production at Kumba iron ore in South Africa because of infrastructure issues.

    Production from the De Beers diamond arm rose by 12%, driven by increased output and good grades at the Orapa mine in Botswana.

    Rough diamond sales for the full year were 4% lower versus 2017, however, as demand fell for lower value rough diamonds in the second half.

    Platinum and palladium production both increased by 3%. – Nampa/Reuters

    Vedanta to invest billions in India

    Vedanta Resources will invest up to 600 billion Indian rupees (US$8.42 billion) in India in the next three years, chairman Anil Agarwal told TV channel ET Now.

    Vedanta, which is looking to expand its zinc business in India and Africa, is targeting a total annual global production of the metal of 2 million tonnes, Agarwal told ET Now.

    The oil-to-metals conglomerate, which operates in India through its unit Vedanta Ltd, plans to invest US$3 billion in oil and gas, he said.

    The company is also looking to produce 1,400 tonnes of silver in India, he said, adding that he is also looking to set up a glass manufacturing unit in Maharashtra, India's most industrial state.

    Vedanta is committed to invest US$1.5 billion in South Africa, Agarwal said, without specifying a timeline. – Nampa/Reuters

    Hyundai suffers first net loss in 8 years

    South Korea's Hyundai Motor surprised the market on Thursday by posting its first quarterly net loss in at least eight years as its vehicle sales slumped in the key China market.

    Hyundai has been grappling with the lack of attractive models and strong branding in China, its biggest market where the auto industry's sales contracted for the first time in more than two decades last year due to the Sino-US trade war and the phasing out of tax cuts on smaller cars.

    The automaker, which together with affiliate Kia Motors was the third-biggest automaker in China until 2016, is now saddled with overcapacity, with its 2018 China sales falling short of target and reaching only half of its total production capacity.

    Hyundai reported a net loss of 129.8 billion won (US$114.95 million) for the fourth quarter ended in December compared with the average 784 billion profit estimate of analysts based on I/B/E/S Refinitiv data.

    It was also the sixth consecutive annual net profit fall for Hyundai, which with Kia is the world's No.5 automaker. – Nampa/Reuters.

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    MTC listing process kicks offMTC listing process kicks off MTC has initiated the process towards its long-awaited listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).

    Once listed, members of the public will be able to buy shares and own a portion of the mobile operator.

    Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH) recently advertised a request for proposals from local stockbroking firms keen to advise it on MTC's listing.

    NPTH owns Telecom, MTC and Nampost on government's behalf.

    Government had in 2016 announced plans to unbundle MTC and list a portion of its shareholding on the NSX.

    Economist Klaus Schade welcomed government's intention to sell off a part of MTC. According to him, government would be able to generate income for investment purposes.

    “MTC's listing will provide additional investment opportunities for Namibian individual and institutional investors. By selling a part of its shares in MTC, government will generate income that can be used to finance its operations, in particular investment in infrastructure,” he said.

    An employee at a local stockbroking firm who preferred anonymity said there was a lot of excitement regarding MTC's listing.

    “The guys are going to put in a bid to sponsor the listing,” he said briefly.

    Bids closed yesterday. Government already owns 66% of MTC through NPTH, while 34% belongs to Luxemburg-based Samba Luxco SARL. Samba had acquired the shares when it took over MTC's former technical partner Portugal Telecom.

    Cabinet in 2017 approved a plan for NPTH to buy this 34% shareholding, worth over N$3 billion, using money from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).

    However, GIPF indicated earlier last year it will seek to acquire substantial shares in the telecommunications firm for itself and not on behalf of government.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Topnaars mourn Chief KooitjieTopnaars mourn Chief Kooitjie Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa has described the late Chief Seth Kooitjie (65) of the Topnaar community as a visionary leader. Chief Kooitjie died of an asthma attack early on Friday morning en route to the hospital.

    Hanse-Himarwa visited the house of the late chief to pay her respects to his widow and family. Hanse-Himarwa said she had received the news of his death on her way to Walvis Bay to inaugurate six new classrooms built by the local branch of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).

    “He was an exemplary leader who had his people's needs at heart. He was one of the leaders I looked up to and admired. His death is an enormous loss to the country,” she said. The minister was accompanied by the chairperson of the Erongo regional council, Hafeni Ndemula, mayor of Walvis Bay Immanuel Wilfred, and the chairperson of the NCCI Walvis Bay branch, Johnny Doeseb.

    An urgent meeting of Nama traditional leaders was expected to take place on Saturday.

    According to Topnaar community spokesperson Colin April the funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

    Kooitjie succeeded his late father, Esau Saneseb Kooitjie, as Topnaar chief in 1980. He also served as the chairperson of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association until his death.

    He is survived by his wife, Diane Kooitjie, three children and five grandchildren.



    LEANDREA LOUW

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  • 01/28/19--14:00: Hydropower in spotlight
  • Hydropower in spotlightHydropower in spotlightWater storage also a prime focus Later this year, experts will gather in Windhoek to probe hydropower and water storage. A major international conference on water storage and hydropower development will be held in Windhoek later this year.

    The conference, which will see high-level international delegates gathering, will take place from 2 to 4 April at the Safari Court Hotel's conference centre.

    The Namibian ministries of agriculture and energy, NamWater and NamPower will be participating, along with high-level utility representatives from other parts of the world.

    According to a media statement, the event will be an ideal opportunity to promote Namibian and African expertise in the field of hydropower and water resources development.

    Around 650 international delegates from about 50 countries are expected to attend and experts from all parts of the world will focus on issues of particular relevance to Africa, while technical, financial, environmental and social issues are also to be covered.

    International delegates will have the opportunity to take a tour to the Naute, Oanab, Neckartal and Hardap dam projects. There will also be a post-conference study tour to the Ruacana project, with a visit to the Etosha National Park.

    Conference discussions will focus on some of the large regional hydropower projects.

    High on the agenda will be climate resilience, dam and power plant safety, project finance, research and development, maintenance and capacity building.

    The Namibia's Ruacana hydro project and the planned Baynes project will also feature on the programme during the conference. The Baynes hydro project will be constructed about 185 km downstream from the Ruacana plant.

    The Baynes project will have a total installed capacity of 600 MW, to be equally shared between Namibia and Angola. The Baynes Dam will be a concrete-faced rock fill dam with a height of 200 m and a total storage capacity of 2 570 million m3.

    Other conference topics will include project preparation, the latest hydro equipment technology, challenging sites, cross-border collaboration, project rehabilitation, flood management, small hydro, environmental and social aspects, pumped storage, spillways, hydro in synergy with other renewables, sedimentation management and electrical engineering.

    A major international technical exhibition with at least 80 stands and companies from 40 countries will run alongside the conference, showcasing innovation in the industry.

    The conference, 'AFRICA 2019 Water Storage and Hydropower Development for Africa', is organised by Aqua-Media International. The event is being organised and hosted in partnership with the International Commission on Large Dams, and it has the support of the African Union, the International Energy Agency and the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage.

    Teams from the World Bank, and the African Development Bank will be participating.

    “After our previous successful African regional events in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2013 and Marrakech, Morocco in 2017, we are delighted to be bringing this multidisciplinary forum to southern Africa, where so many large-scale schemes are under way or moving ahead; for example in Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania,” said director of Aqua-Media International, Alison Bartle.

    According to Bartle, Namibia is an ideal base for the conference, with the Neckartal Dam recently complete, and the Baynes project being jointly planned with Angola.

    “Constructive discussions will take place among more than 650 delegates from 50 countries, with the aim of furthering Africa's hydropower development. Unlocking more of the continent's vast potential is the key to poverty alleviation and rapid socio-economic development. Constructive dialogue among international experts can help turn policies into practice.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Businesses struggle as cracks appear in China's economyBusinesses struggle as cracks appear in China's economyCosts rise, financing scarce Total venture capital investment in the fourth quarter fell 13% from a year earlier. This month I arranged another investor, then he backed out too. I think we can't hold out. - Cui Yi, Chairman: Yixin Technology Ryan McMorrow - Cracks are opening in China's mighty economy: investors are backing away from deals, factories are moving abroad and companies are shedding jobs.

    The world's second-largest economy is losing steam, hitting its slowest growth in almost three decades last year, and flagging further in recent months.

    While gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 6.6% in 2018 - a rate that would be the envy of most nations - China's efforts to cut its debt mountain have weighed on the economy.

    Private businesses in particular face new hurdles as costs rise and financing becomes harder to come by, while the trade war with the United States has not helped.

    Struggles

    Here is a look at some of the struggles faced by Chinese companies and people:

    Feeding China's addiction to video games seemed an easy bet for Beijing Yixin Technology, a tech startup behind the mobile game Farm Take Home.

    The game allows players to harvest wheat, raise chickens and plant apple trees - a bucolic refuge from the pressures of urban China.

    But in real life, the tech firm has struggled to find investors.

    "In December our company's funding ran out, we had an investment lined up, but the money never came through," said chairman Cui Yi.

    "This month I arranged another investor, then he backed out too. I think we can't hold out."

    His company is not alone.

    Venture capital

    Venture capital funding dried up at the end of last year. Total investment in the fourth quarter fell 13% from a year earlier, according to data from Preqin market research.

    Policymakers are partly to blame, pushing a war on debt and financial risk that has cut the funding flowing into investment firms, industry insiders say.

    Another government diktat halted new video game approvals for months - officially due to youth gaming addiction concerns - sending firms like Beijing Yixin into a deep freeze.

    Trade war

    Other companies are facing the fallout from the trade war with the United States.

    More than a handful of exporters have sought to get around US tariffs by building factories outside China, according to a review of public stock filings.

    Others are sending workers home early for Chinese New Year or cutting overtime.

    Last month China's exports fell.

    "It has hit our profits," Harry Shih, manager of Runfine Bearings in eastern Zhejiang province, said of the trade war.

    Washington slapped 25% taxes on many types of ball bearings in July. Shih said he had shared the cost increase with his customers, roughly half of whom are from the US.

    "Business is going down for most companies including factories. Like me they have the same problems, profits are going down" as costs rise, said Shih.

    Consumer

    Slowing disposable income growth and tighter credit have hit consumer spending, with car sales falling last year for the first time in more than 20 years.

    "Volumes have fallen by half," said Wang Jingjing, a fast-talking 23-year-old salesman at a Ford dealership in Beijing, noting about one third of the salespeople had been fired or left.

    Wang's own salary has roughly halved, he said, from around 10 000 yuan (US$1 474) a month in 2017 down to less than 5 000 yuan (US$737).

    "I've definitely controlled my own spending, going out to eat less, buying less, cutting down on these things," he said, adding he believes things will turn around this year with new car models coming out.

    Unemployment

    Official data shows unemployment at a stable rate, rising slightly to 4.9% last month.

    But independent data paints a different picture.

    In October-December advertised tech positions fell by 20% from a year earlier, after declining 51% in the third quarter, according to data from Zhaopin, China's largest recruitment website and Renmin University.

    China's economy "faces downward pressure, and to some extent this pressure will be transmitted to the job market," said Meng Wei, a spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Commission, China's state planner.

    A lawyer who consults on labour disputes, Guo Xuehai of Beijing Zhonghai Law Firm, said, "there are definitely more employees coming for help than before," but added this was usually the case at this time of the year.

    At Beijing Yixin, Cui said he could only afford to pay his 30-odd employees 70% of their salaries as money ran out in November. By December he paid them nothing and this month he cut their insurance and benefit plan, unofficially firing them.

    "We worked 9 am to 9 pm plus Saturdays with no overtime pay and now no pay at all," said a 3D designer surnamed Li, who helped build Farm Take Home.

    Employees looking for new jobs have found that companies are not hiring at the moment.

    "Hopefully it will be better after Chinese New Year," Li said. – Nampa/AFP

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