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Articles on this Page
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Isuzu Motors South ...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _A missed opportunity…
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Shot of the day
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Company news in brief
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Baby dumped, six ra...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Still no end to Air...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _A promising future ...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _First PPI index re...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Keetmans business c...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Fishing rights worr...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Northern police get...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _O&L introduces TAP ...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _10 young 'Namibian ...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _The drum that Land-...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Geingob told to rei...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Zaaruka breaks silence
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Learn about home first
- 02/19/18--14:00: _TransNamib must gro...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Trade ministry canc...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Amupanda drags ACC ...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Taking Namibian cui...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Failing in the star...
- 02/19/18--14:00: _Your trash, my trea...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Civilians confront ...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _BA partners with Ho...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Naidjala hunts glor...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _FNB Rock n Run to h...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Mayoral tourney to ...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Endopo olyo tali yi...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Olugodhi lwaJob naS...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _!Naruseb welcomed i...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Dairy industry face...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Students lash out a...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Shot of the day
- 02/20/18--14:00: _A fishy blame-game
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Ranger Raptor unlea...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Empower youth on co...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Diplomats involved ...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _AMTA urged to pleas...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _No pangolins, no grass
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Company news in brief
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Muharukua maternity...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Shifeta mulls plast...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Vedanta seeks to ex...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Africa Briefs
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Shaningwa flabberga...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _Retail struggles: V...
- 02/20/18--14:00: _'Cops won't halt us'
- 02/20/18--14:00: _SA Hawks ready to s...
- 02/21/18--01:49: _Ngatjizeko retires
- 02/19/18--14:00: Isuzu Motors South Africa is officially launched
- 02/19/18--14:00: A missed opportunity…
- 02/19/18--14:00: Shot of the day
- 02/19/18--14:00: Company news in brief
- 02/19/18--14:00: Baby dumped, six rapes reported
- 02/19/18--14:00: Still no end to Air Nam MD appointment
- 02/19/18--14:00: A promising future for Namibian hockey
- 02/19/18--14:00: First PPI index results later this year
- 02/19/18--14:00: Keetmans business community cleans up
- 02/19/18--14:00: Fishing rights worrisome
- 02/19/18--14:00: Northern police get a chopper
- 02/19/18--14:00: O&L introduces TAP intake for 2018
- 02/19/18--14:00: 10 young 'Namibian ambassadors' return from Germany
- 02/19/18--14:00: The drum that Land-a-Dollar forgot
- 02/19/18--14:00: Geingob told to rein in 'rogue army'
- 02/19/18--14:00: Zaaruka breaks silence
- 02/19/18--14:00: Learn about home first
- 02/19/18--14:00: TransNamib must grow own business, says new boss
- 02/19/18--14:00: Trade ministry cancels paper subscriptions
- 02/19/18--14:00: Amupanda drags ACC into lawsuit
- 02/19/18--14:00: Taking Namibian cuisines international
- 02/19/18--14:00: Failing in the starting blocks
- 02/19/18--14:00: Your trash, my treasure
- 02/20/18--14:00: Civilians confront Pirates
- 02/20/18--14:00: BA partners with Hopsol
- 02/20/18--14:00: Naidjala hunts glory in Australia
- 02/20/18--14:00: FNB Rock n Run to hit city
- 02/20/18--14:00: Mayoral tourney to uplift Aranos
- 02/20/18--14:00: Endopo olyo tali yi moshipala aanona
- 02/20/18--14:00: Olugodhi lwaJob naSacky
- 02/20/18--14:00: !Naruseb welcomed in agri sector
- 02/20/18--14:00: Dairy industry faces dilemma
- 02/20/18--14:00: Students lash out at Trump
- 02/20/18--14:00: Shot of the day
- 02/20/18--14:00: A fishy blame-game
- 02/20/18--14:00: Ranger Raptor unleashed
- 02/20/18--14:00: Empower youth on contraceptive use
- 02/20/18--14:00: Diplomats involved in slavery
- 02/20/18--14:00: AMTA urged to please local producers
- 02/20/18--14:00: No pangolins, no grass
- 02/20/18--14:00: Company news in brief
- 02/20/18--14:00: Muharukua maternity home brings hope
- 02/20/18--14:00: Shifeta mulls plastic bag ban
- 02/20/18--14:00: Vedanta seeks to expand zinc output after price rally
- 02/20/18--14:00: Africa Briefs
- 02/20/18--14:00: Shaningwa flabbergasted by congress gripes
- 02/20/18--14:00: Retail struggles: Volume down, no bonuses paid
- 02/20/18--14:00: 'Cops won't halt us'
- 02/20/18--14:00: SA Hawks ready to swoop in Nam
- 02/21/18--01:49: Ngatjizeko retires
Isuzu Motors has announced the official launch of its business operations in South Africa. This follows an announcement last year where Isuzu said it would purchase the light commercial vehicle operations in Port Elizabeth and also the balance of shareholding in its Isuzu Trucks South Africa operations.
Speaking at the event which was held at manufacturing plant in Struandale, Port Elizabeth, the president and representative director of Isuzu Motors of Japan, Masanori Katayama, said that Isuzu was committed to growing its business in Southern Africa.
“This is the first commercial and light commercial vehicle manufacturing operation outside of Japan in which we have acquired a 100% ownership. We are represented in 30 countries outside of Japan and successfully operate 47 manufacturing plants in these countries with joint-venture partners.
“Our decision with regards to Southern Africa demonstrates the confidence we have in this market and also is indicative of our longer-term view that South Africa will serve as an important base for our future growth on the African continent,” he said.
Isuzu is making positive strides in Africa and a year ago the company acquired a 57.7% majority shareholding in the Kenyan truck and bus assembly operation which supplies Isuzu vehicles to East African markets, while commanding a leading 34% share of the Kenyan new vehicle market.
Isuzu also has a 20% shareholding in joint-venture manufacturing operations in Egypt, and where the company has led in the market for 10 years in a row. The light commercial vehicle pick-up which is produced there and accounts for over 90% share of the market segment is derived from the Isuzu KB pick-up.
Also speaking at the launch event, Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and MD Michael Sacke said that the company’s initial focus would be to fully consolidate its operations while laying the foundation for the company’s future success.
“Our short-term focus is on implementing our transitional plans, ensuring the sustainability of our operations, further strengthening our product portfolio and relocating the truck operations from Kempston Road to the Struandale plant.
“As we do this, we will need to demonstrate excellence in everything we do and the ability to lead in key segments of the market.”
He said in the medium term the company would need to plan for the successful launch of future products, implement measures to increase its domestic market share and increase its exports into Sub-Saharan African markets.
Sacke said the company was already making good progress in achieving these objectives and that last year Isuzu trucks accounted for around 15% share of the medium and heavy commercial market, thus cementing its leadership position in these segments of the market for over five years in a row.
“In 2017, and in an environment where we were transitioning our business to a new business model, we grew our Isuzu KB volume by 14.8% versus the same period last year. This gave us a share of 14% in the pick-up D segment of the market, thus demonstrating the confidence that South African consumers have in our brand and vehicles.”
Sacke emphasised the important role the South African government played in enabling the establishment of the new company.
“There can be no doubt that this government is committed to preserving and growing the automotive industry in South Africa,” he said.
Masanori Katayama commended the South African employees, dealers, suppliers, government, customers and other key stakeholders for their tremendous support in ensuring the successful launch of Isuzu Motors South Africa.
“Your efforts have been exceptional and give us confidence that this will become a flagship operation for Isuzu Motors.”
Isuzu Motors sells vehicles in over 120 markets and has a leading share in many of the segments in which it competes in 42 of these markets.
The minister of trade and industry, Rob Davies, said South Africa’s automotive industry is a global, turbo-charged engine for the manufacture and export of vehicles and components.
He said many of the major multinational firms use South Africa to source components and assemble vehicles for the local and international markets.
“With its ability to link throughout the economy, the government has identified the automotive industry as a key growth sector. The auto industry is important to the future of manufacturing in this country and whatever emerges in the future will be based on a significant level of support for it going forward.
“The sector contributes 7.5% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and employs about 113 000 people directly. It is key to ensuring greater economic growth,” said Davies.
“Empowering workers through shareholding will not only create a sense of belonging, but will also act as an incentive for workers to be more productive, as they will now be working for themselves and share in the wealth created by the company through dividend payments,” Geingob said at the time.
It remains unclear whether this clarion call was truly taken heed of, and to what degree plans and actions have been forthcoming with regard to employees owning a piece of the companies they work for. What we do know is that in February 2016, Standard Bank Namibia secured a N$180 million loan from the International Finance Corporation that was used to purchase 10% shareholding in the bank for between 1 400 and 1 500 employees. Other banks have also given employees an option to buy company shares.
In terms of financial institutions, this should be seen in the context of the Bank of Namibia giving foreign-owned banks until the end of 2019 to comply with requirements that locals should hold at least 25%.
Since then, these kinds of employee share scheme initiatives have not hit the headlines.
Globally, employee share schemes are seen as a tool that can motivate employees to become more productive, while aligning their interests with those of shareholders.
It is also seen as a good strategy when it comes to recruiting new talent or retaining valuable employees. Employee share schemes can also compensate for lower salaries and relieve cash-flow pressure. They are also geared towards remunerating employees in a tax-efficient way, while increasing loyalty and reducing staff turnover, and raising working capital.
In the Namibian context, this goes much deeper, because of the historical legacies around apartheid business ownership.
Employee share options, even in the absence of legislation, would thus have been an ideal way to redress this, regardless of whether NEEEF takes flight or not.
Nearly 6 000 workers at Clicks Group will share a R1.26 billion windfall from a share ownership scheme launched seven years ago as part of the South African retailer's efforts to meet quotas on black ownership.
On Friday, employees from cashiers and pharmacists to managers at the drug store chain sold 7.6 million shares at R166 rand each – locking in a four-fold increase in the share price since 2011 when the scheme was launched.
Clicks launched the scheme in 2011 when it sold 10% of the group's shares to its staff through a trust. Some 5 882 employees are in the scheme, 88% of whom are black.
Under black economic empowerment rules, South African companies are required to meet quotas on black ownership, employment and procurement as part of a drive to reverse decades of exclusion under apartheid. –Nampa/Reuters
Coca-Cola sales boosted by vitamin water
Coca-Cola Co reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales on Friday as it sold more teas, coffees and vitamin water.
Organic sales, which exclude the impact of the company's ongoing efforts to refranchise its bottling operations, rose 6%, helped by demand for products such as Georgia Coffee and Glaceau vitamin water.
Net operating revenue fell to US$7.51 billion from US$9.41 billion a year earlier. Global volume growth remained unchanged even as North America volumes increased 1%.
The Fanta and Diet Coke maker reported a net loss of US$2.75 billion, or 65 US cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended December. 31, mainly due to a US$3.6 billion charge related to the new tax law. A year earlier the company had posted a profit of US$550 million, or 13 US cents per share. – Nampa/Reuters
Kraft Heinz quarterly profit
Kraft Heinz Co's quarterly profit and sales missed analysts' estimates on Friday, hurt by lower shipments for nuts, natural cheese and cold cuts in the US.
Net income of the company, which is backed by billionaire-investor Warren Buffett and private equity firm 3G Capital, rose to US$8 billion, or US$6.52 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December. 30, from US$944 million, or 77 US cents per share, a year earlier. Sales in the US, the company's biggest market, fell 1.1% to US$4.79 billion, declining for the seventh straight quarter and also missing analysts' average estimate of US$4.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company, which owns brands such as Velveeta cheese and Heinz ketchup, said net sales inched up 0.3% to US$6.88 billion, missing estimates of US$6.92 billion. – Nampa/Reuters
Global dividends hit record in 2017
Global dividends rose 7.7% to an all-time high of US$1.25 trillion last year boosted by a buoyant world economy and rising corporate confidence, Janus Henderson said on Monday, predicting another record year ahead.
The surge – the strongest since 2014 – was driven by increases in every region and almost every industry with record showings in 11 countries including the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Netherlands, the investment manager added.
For 2018 Janus Henderson expects dividends to keep the same 7.7% growth rate to reach around US$1.35 trillion, as corporate and economic growth remains strong even in more volatile financial markets.
Royal Dutch Shell kept its position as the world's biggest dividend payer. China Mobile rose to second from 19th last year and was followed by Exxon Mobil, Apple and Microsoft, the report said.
The top 20 payers accounted for 15.7% of the total payout. – Nampa/Reuters
Euronext's core profit beats expectations
Pan-European exchange Euronext reported higher-than-expected full-year core earnings, as cost discipline helped offset an environment of low volatility.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 4.9% to 297.8 million euro (US$369.6 million) in the year ended Dec. 31, from a year earlier, said Euronext, which operates bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Lisbon.
Revenue rose 7.2% to 532.3 million euro in the year, while cash trading revenue increased 5.3% to 190.3 million euro, as strong market share and improving volumes helped battle low volatility, Euronext said.
Analysts were expecting core earnings of 292.75 million euro and revenue of 534.38 million euro, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Market volatility was relatively lower in 2017, following increased activity in 2016 after the US presidential election and Britain's decision to exit the European Union. – Nampa/Reuters
The man then ordered her to undress and raped her. The woman was admitted to hospital in a stable condition.
At Rosh Pinah on Saturday, a 28-year-old man raped a 29-year-old woman, while in a separate incident a rape was also reported at Bethanie on the same day in which 36-year old man raped his wife.
In another incident on Friday a six-year-old girl was raped at Ombili by an 18-year-old in an outside shower. In a separate incident in Outapi at the Okalonda location area near the water canal it is alleged that a 38-year-old man raped a woman on Friday while she was on her way home from the cuca shops. He apparently emerged from the darkness, grabbed and threatened her with an okapi knife and then raped her.
In another incident on Saturday a 16-year-old girl was raped when she was coming from the Green Bar with one of her friends. On her way home in Lukas Stefanus section, a 32-year-male allegedly threatened the girl with an okapi knife and dragged her to his house where he raped her. The girl reported the matter to her mother and it was reported to the police. The suspect was arrested.
A security guard this weekend murdered his uncle after he proposed to his cousin, and then he killed himself. According to the police the incident took place at a residence in Nangula-Franc Street, Babylon. The 33-year-old Sakaria Kuhangwa on Friday night apparently shot and killed his uncle before shooting himself after he had gone to his cousin's room and proposed to her. However, his 52-year-old uncle confronted him.
The police say Kuhangwa was enraged and went outside and fired a shot with his service shotgun. He entered the house again and when his uncle confronted him again, he shot him in the chest and thereafter, shot himself in the head.
In a separate incident the body of baby girl was retrieved from a public toilet in Okatope on Saturday after her mother terminated the pregnancy at eight months.
According to the police, an 11-year-old girl discovered some soaked bloody bed sheets and told her grandmother about it. The grandmother in turn questioned a grade 10 learner, 21, and she admitted that she had terminated her pregnancy.
The woman allegedly gave birth last week Wednesday at Onambugulu village at Onyaanya while her family was sleeping. She then wrapped the body in a plastic bag and threw it in a public toilet where it was retrieved. At the coast, a 21-year-old woman abandoned her baby boy at the Swakopmund State Hospital, after giving birth and disappearing without a trace.
According to Deputy Commissioner Erastus Ikuyu, the woman, who identified herself as Evelina Gass, had supplied the hospital with incorrect contact details.
“The baby is in good health and is in the care of social workers. If anyone has information about this woman, they can contact Detective Chief Inspector Selma Shangula at 081 667 6820 or the nearest police station. In another incident police is investigating a case in Rundu in which a one-year-old toddler's body was discovered on Saturday in a hole dug behind a shack.
Moving south, in Leonardville on Saturday, it is alleged that a 25-year-old woman stabbed a 20-year-old man with a bottle in the face and continuously assaulted him with stones. The victim sustained serious facial injuries.
Three-years on, Air Namibia is yet to be headed by an MD on a permanent basis following the suspension of its then MD Theo Namises in 2014.
Seeking to get an update on the matter, Namibian Sun recently contacted the airline spokesperson Paulus Nakawa to establish what has led to the delay to appoint a new MD.
Speaking to Namibian Sun, he said the Air Namibia board of directors had made their choice known as early as August 2017 already.
“The fact remains that, appointment of an MD is a responsibility of the board of directors. As we have already reported to media, our board of directors has forwarded its recommendation to the line ministry (Ministry of Works and Transport) in August 2017 for the appointment of the MD, subject to cabinet endorsement,” he said when questioned.
Nakawa also said that board had not made its preferred choice for MD public and would not confirm whether it was acting MD Advocate Samson.
“We are not privy to the content of the submission so it's important that you contact the works ministry in this regard,” he said.
When asked how the lack of the appointment of an MD would affect any planned turn-around strategy, Nakawa again said that was a question that would best be answered by the ministry of works and transport.
Samson has been with Air Namibia since 2015. Before she assumed the role of MD, Swiss national Rene Gsponer was, like her, also appointed on a temporary basis.
Samson worked as the general manager for corporate and legal services at the Namibia Airports Company and served as chairperson of the board of trustees at the Government Institution's Pension Fund (GIPF) in the past.
On the aviation front, Samson, when doing work for her own private legal practice, assisted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in developing and drafting the Common Regulations of Competition in Air Transport Services within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and SADC.
This was the highest position that Namibia had achieved at the World Cup, after they came tenth at their only previous appearance in 2011, and with a largely youthful side picking up valuable experience, Namibia can look forward to the future with confidence and heightened expectations.
At the welcoming ceremony on 14 February 2018, minister of sport, youth and national services, Erastus Uutoni congratulated the team and applauded their efforts for reaching thus far. “As we were following the different games, we realised that our hockey team was the only representative from the African continent and indeed you kept the continent’s burner lighting in the competition,” says Uutoni. “We note that you had five matches of which you lost two against Germany, the host country and Czech Republic. You draw two matches against Russia and Australia and you recorded victory against Ukraine. “
Uutoni announced that Kiana-Che Cormack of the girls’ hockey team shared the top goal scorer of the tournament with Yana Vorushylo of Ukraine. The 16-year-old Cormack had a superb tournament with nine goals from six matches. Cormack attends school at St. Mary’s in Durban Kloof on a sports bursary she received in grade 8. Currently playing for the Saints club in Windhoek, Cormack was happy of her performance and says enjoyed every minute of the cup. “I started playing hockey at 5 years and I played my first tournament for the under 13 national team at nine years old,” she says. She thanked her team for working hard together with one aim in mind which was winning each game. “I am so proud of the team as it was really amazing playing with them and I think we really deserved to come ninth, especially if you look at how hard we prepared and how hard we fought to come back. I think that we really put Africa on the map and I think that next time we will do much better than now, so I am very proud to be part of a team that made history at the World Cup,” she says.
Words from the coach
Edwin Handura, coach of the team says it feels good to be home after a long trip. “We have been away for almost a month and we have missed the sun. In Europe, it is winter and the weather could not be compared to home,” he says. “We did not face a lot of challenges because our team was very well mentally prepared and they were much focused. So even if the team was presented with some distractions, they managed to get back on track. Other challenges included local transport and the time management was also difficult.”
In terms of the game, Handura says the Russian game was a challenge because the team felt the referees were biast and felt he could have influenced the match better. “The highlights however, as a country as playing six games which was winning two games, drawing two games and losing the remaining two games. Comparing to the previous World Cups we attended in 2011, we only won one game. This was a very young team and the players were never exposed to such games before. I am truly proud of the team and the performance we made,” he says.
“Our team also had the youngest player in the entire tournament and this was amazing for us as a country. All the teams in our pool came to know us and we really became competitive as well.”
The task as a coach was not an easy, but Handura says the team had a mission and this made the journey easier. “We made sure we had bible study every night. We prayed a lot and God showed us His presence during our journey. All the girls gained a lot of spiritual wisdom.”
The importance of sports in a country
“It is crucial that all Namibian sectors unite to invest in the youth and sports. For example, the South African team almost missed the World Cup, because of lack of funds until a Good Samaritan came to save the day at the last minute. They performed so badly, because they were not focused. I would like to thank Seaflower and the Namibian government for coming on board to help us achieve our goals,” he says.
Captain of the team, Maggy Mengo shared the same sentiments. “I want to take a moment and really applaud Seaflower for believing in us and believing in our dreams and goals. We appreciate it a lot and they made it all possible. This is a standard set by Seaflower for other corporates to follow and invest in sport. They touched lives and made dreams come true by supporting the team for past 2 years.”
Namibia's fighting spirit was also led by her as she refused to lose focus and win all the games presented to them. “We had little challenges. Everyone including management was ready for the tournament and we were all looking forward to each and every game. The challenge was only the pressure of performing, but we were prepared physically and mentally,” she says.
As the captain of the team, she says knowing your players is key when it comes to helping the team staying focused. “It was not easy, but it is a duty that is in my veins. I need to know each individual in the team to analyse them daily and see whether they are ready or not for the day and it starts from the time you go to breakfast as a team,” says Mengo. “Mentally on and off the pitch, I had to constantly read each player and encourage them throughout the games and competition. I cannot afford to have one of those off days hence I was chosen as a leader. Pep talks and sometime hard talk at some players bring out the best of each.”
The balancing act between her sports, professional and personal has always been a challenge, but she has found her feet. “I have a day to day agenda every day for everything. My family supports me and at the World Cup was the first time I got to sleep 8 hours a day actually,” she says jokingly.
It was also the end of the road for Mengo, who announced her World Cup retirement after the match, although there is still a chance that she will play one more international match. “This is indeed my final World Cup, but I might still play one more match for Namibia. I have 49 caps now so the hockey president said it would be nice to close off with a 50th cap so I might just play one more game to conclude my hockey career on a high note. It is emotional, but everything comes to an end and one has to start with a new chapter in life again,” she says.
The campaign started at 08:00 and continued throughout the day.
Volunteers were employees from the municipality and from businesses that were involved in the campaign such as Supersand, Elso, Kaap-Agri and Plastic Packaging, among others.
NamWater also contributed 1 000 litres of water to the informal area community, while the various companies brought trucks, bulldozers and refuse bags for the cleaning.
Speaking to Nampa, the municipality's environmental health officer Rudo-Whan Benade said the campaign will continue next month.
“It will take place in areas such as Tseiblaagte, Krönlein and Westdene,” he said. Benade, on behalf of the municipality, sent out a word of thanks to the private companies and individuals who lent a hand.
“We appreciate what they are doing, the municipality has ideas of such campaigns but we are crippled by the lack of machinery,” he said.
He was speaking during the annual address by fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau to the fishing industry in Walvis Bay on Friday.
“This situation generates uncertainty which is very counterproductive for the smooth running of one of the most relevant industries in our country. The slow allocation of quotas experienced over the current and previous quota years, is a matter of general concern and is making it difficult to plan adequately for the year. It also has cost implications for the operators.”
Amukwa added that they understand and support the ambitious exercise undertaken by the ministry to review all rights. He recommended that the process should be given the necessary time for conclusion and implementation without withholding large amounts of quotas from the operators.
He also emphasised that the ministry should ensure that the rights and quota allocation processes would not lead to disruptions in operations which generate significant losses, particularly to land-based value addition facilities.
“Past experience showed the general public will respond with vigour and the ministry can expect a large amount of applications which will take a lot of time to evaluate.”
According to Amukwa, “It must be noted that the decisions taken by the authorities within the next few months will chart the course for the next 20 years and wise council should prevail. Many changes have been announced and transparency must be observed in the implementation of those changes.”
He also cautioned that should allocated quotas be used only to withdraw funds without ploughing back, it would result in Namibians losing ownership of the industry.
Esau then addressed issues related to new fishing rights applications
He undertook to invite all interested Namibians, including those whose rights have terminated, to apply for new fishing rights during the course of the year.
“I wish to correct the impression that once a person is given a fishing right, it is automatically valid for 20 years. This is not true. The 20-year period is the maximum possible duration for a right. The validity of each right, such as seven, 10, 15 or 20 years, is clearly indicated in the letter of offer, which does not promise extension.”
Esau explained that should rights holders be found to have changed the conditions of their rights without authorisation by him, or do not meet the conditions given during its award, could forfeit their rights and may not be granted an extension.
“It is therefore not true that all right holders are entitled to a period of 20 years, because extension is subject to fulfilment of set conditions. Those who complied will have an advantage. Economic inclusivity will however be a key component in the allocation of new rights.”
The minister assured members of the public, including all those whose rights expired or are expiring this year that the process of evaluating new rights holders will be done transparently, in a timely manner and in accordance with the law.
He emphasised that there was therefore no cause for alarm on this matter and said that economic inclusivity will be a key consideration in the application for new rights in 2018.
“As has already been demonstrated in the case of rights that expired in 2017, the ministry is determined to manage this process in a way that protects Namibian jobs and investments in the fisheries sector for all rights that expire in 2018 and 2019.”
Esau further emphasised that the owners of expired, or expiring fishing rights are legally allowed to apply, alongside other Namibians, for new fishing rights once a public call is made. The evaluation of all applications will be based on provisions and in accordance of the Act.
“Expired, or expiring right holders who have invested and complied with other conditions as per the law would be more competitive than those who have not done so.”
Esau said by 31 December last year, there were 32 fishing rights which had attained 20 years and added that by the 31 December this year, there will be a further 75 fishing rights which will have reached 20 years.
“I have communicated to all affected rights holders that these rights have now been terminated, having attained the maximum 20-year period. I cannot go beyond and renew such a right beyond this period. The law prevents me from doing so.”
The expiring rights are spread across all the sub-sectors of Namibia's marine fisheries.
“Jobs were created and need to be sustained. The fisheries sector comprises of several levels in the value chain, beginning with fishing, where fishing rights are exercised, processing, logistics, supplies and many other economic activities. Many of the large investors in this sector are in fact operators, processors, suppliers and logistics companies who do not have fishing rights. We value these investors a lot. They are important for the success of this sector and government will continue to promote their businesses.”
This newly procured machine will be stationed at Oshakati in Oshana Region and will serve seven the regions of the north – Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene, Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi. Receiving the helicopter on Thursday, the Oshana regional police commander, Commissioner Rauha Amwele, said she is thankful for the new crime-fighting apparatus which will make combating criminal activity in the regions easier.
Amwele said in the past they use to get a chopper from Windhoek, only on request, this made things difficult for them.
“Now that we have a police chopper stationed in the north, it will make it easier for us to respond to emergencies on time. Now, other regions of the north will be requesting the chopper from us,” Amwele said.
This is the first helicopter to be assigned to the north and Amwele said now the situation will become increasingly complex for criminals as they will be following them on ground and in the air.
The Nampol Air Wing directorate also assigned Inspector Geogrette Miezee to the regions as the dedicated pilot.
The Oshana police have also recovered three vehicles and a trailer which were stolen in the region. They were handed back to their owners last week.
All the three vehicles, were stolen in Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa, were Toyota Corollas imported from Botswana. One of these was recovered in Angola by the assistance of the Angolan police.
Amwele urged members of the public to always take precautionary measures to prevent their cars from getting stolen.
“It is evident that some of the stolen cars are being taken into Angola, while others are scrapped and sold locally. Let us make sure that all our cars are well secured and we do not leave them with strangers,” Amwele said.
The O&L group welcomes ten participants to its Talent Attraction Program (TAP) for its 2018 intake. This now brings the total TAP participants to 83 since the program's inception 11 years ago. At the official welcoming of the new intake, O&L group director of human capital, Berthold Mukuahima speaks about how the programme was designed to give opportunities to all motivated youth to bring a refreshing change to O&L and Namibia as a whole. “As new members of the O&L team, we need to warn you that we aim to grow people here. That speaks directly to one of group values so we need to work hard to achieve those goals.”
The programme is linked to mentorship whereby each intake will be assigned to a mentor. This will serve as a support tool for the programme participants. Each mentor will be responsible for motivating, advising and guiding each participant to achieve their career and development objectives. “In simple terms, the mentor is expected to hold the hand of the mentee as he or she goes through the programme,” explains Mukuamhima. “We believe in investing in the youth. Our purpose is to build passion for a stronger and better future.”
The programme received more than 1000 entries and the number keeps increasing over the years. “On an annual basis applications to the programme increase and become more intense with a growing influx of hopeful and prospective participants,” he says.
The programme has been very successful during the past years with a high retention rate. One of their success stories is that of Saara Kapiye who has been admitted to the TAP program seven years ago, and now holds the position of human resources manager at one of O&L's subsidiaries, Broll Namibia. “This journey is about making full use of the opportunity to not only grow yourself in your career, but also as a person. At first I was anxious and uncertain, but very excited about the opportunities that awaited me on this journey. Do not take this opportunity for granted. It is about what you make of it at the end of the day,” Kapiye says.
The TAP focuses on attracting and retaining dynamic Namibian graduates who display the passion and potential to be developed into future leaders of the O&L Group. The programme will focus on recruiting high-flyers who can be fast-tracked to develop into positions that are essential for the long term sustainability and strategy of the company.
Tsumeb municipal workers last week claimed that a Land-A-Dollar collection drum standing at the entrance of their building had never been removed and contained money.
They were unable to say how much money was in the drum, as it was difficult to look inside.
Land-a-Dollar organisers subsequently informed Namibian Sun that they were aware of the drum and that it had not been mistakenly left there.
“The campaign has not closed or ended, the campaign just had a handover of the money that was at that time realised from all the drums before the handover,” the Unam student representative council (SRC) told Namibian Sun.
“The campaign still stands open, even for the public, if they want to pledge and donate. All funds are being recorded and will still be transferred to the appropriate accounts.”
Multiple media reports had indicated previously that the drum portion of the campaign ended when the drums were collected and counting of the money began in late 2016 and early 2017.
Organisers at the time were quoted as saying that other initiatives under the Land-a-Dollar campaign would continue, including donations via text messages, money transfer mobile applications, public dialogues and gala dinners.
In September 2017 Nampa quoted a Unam official as saying: “Since the close of the campaign, with the assistance of the Namibian Police, the drums were collected in each town and taken to the nearest NamPost office for counting of the collection in accordance to the auditing procedures established.”
But last week, the organisers insisted the drum campaign never ended.
They remained mum on the details of when the drums were redistributed, how many and to which towns.
“The public shall be notified the same way this handover was handled, so will be the next handover. The accounting firm remains the same as the campaign has not closed. Books still need to be audited,” they wrote to Namibian Sun.
In January, Nampa reported that the Land-a-Dollar campaign, launched in August 2015 as a student charitable campaign, had collected N$234 619 from the public.
Nampa further reported that the cash from the drums amounted to N$7 482, while the remaining N$227 137 was from contributions made by the public to the campaign's NamPost bank account.
The campaign had aimed to raise at least N$1 million and as much as N$3 million to contribute towards land servicing in urban areas.
Organisers handed over 60% of the total amount, N$140 779, to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.
The remaining N$93 813 was paid to the campaign's consultancy, Easy Advertising.
At least 400 200-litre drums had been placed at various locations in 15 towns.
The official opposition said further the NDF is making a mockery of Geingob's so-called 'year of reckoning' and that action must be taken.
This follows recent revelations that the NDF has spent N$45 million to buy a luxury lodge, which will be converted into a military base for specialist troops to be trained, specifically in nature conservation.
The Oropoko farm, situated near Okahandja, was bought several months ago from Kurt Steinhausen, who is a close friend of former President Sam Nujoma.
However, Geingob said during his first cabinet briefing of the year recently that he was not aware of NDF buying the farm.
PDM parliamentarian Nico Smit lashed out at the army yesterday, saying it is mindboggling that the NDF would need such a luxurious property for its activities, while adding that soldiers do not need to learn about nature conservation.
“That is not their job. Their job is to defend the country. They are soldiers. They do not need a shooting range worth N$45 million.”
According to Smit, the purchase raises suspicions that the NDF is following the example set by the South African Defence Force, which bought luxury properties prior to independence that served as holiday resorts for the top brass.
The PDM yesterday called on Geingob to put his money where his mouth is, by telling the nation what reckoning will be meted out to the “rogue NDF”.
“Will he reverse this deal or must we accept that his 'year of reckoning' is a simply damp squid?”
Smit said the fact that the NDF seems to be the only ministry unaffected by the austerity measures being implemented in the country or is able to blatantly ignore them, makes one wonder whether the army has in fact “captured the Swapo government”.
He referred to this as a “Gupta situation in the making”.
“The NDF is totally out of control. They are leading corruption in the country. They are working with taxpayers' money and do not account for anything.”
According to Smit, the NDF has been treated as government's “golden child” since independence.
He said the NDF is allowed to do whatever it likes, while receiving large allocations from the budget for unknown, secret purposes.
“Surely this is a sign of a ministry out of control. The PDM believes the time has come for the president to rein in this ministry.”
Smit said the fact that Geingob said he was unaware of the NDF's “rogue purchase” is clear evidence of a lack of control by him and Prime Minister Sara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila over the defence ministry.
He said it is also proof of bad governance by the two top leaders.
“In fact, this whole episode makes a mockery of Geingob's much-vaunted so-called 'year of reckoning'. It is unbelievable that Geingob as the chief of the army can say he was not informed. The army is out of control they are a government of their own.”
Smit said what is even more concerning is the fact that the auditor-general does not audit the accounts of the NDF subsidiary, August 26.
“It is becoming clearer by the day that the NDF, by means of its carte blanche ticket from the cabinet, is the main driver of corruption in Namibia, because there are absolutely no checks and balances on their activities. The NDF clearly sees itself as above the laws and the constitution of Namibia.”
Zaaruka, who is now a prominent businessman, said yesterday during a commemoration of the 19 February 1988 blast in which 28 people died that he decided to speak up this year, after becoming too emotional in the past.
Zaaruka was standing outside the bank when the bomb blast happened, but his fiancé who died a few days later from her injuries told him that the explosion had happened after a white man had left a bag inside the bank.
The businessman said his life was saved by a man who had asked him for a job and who had kept him talking outside the bank.
Zaaruka's fiancé, Johanna Onesmus, who was waiting for him inside, died a few days later from her injuries.
He said that just after leaving the man to enter the bank, all he could remember was being thrown onto his back and “seeing money coming from the sky”.
“It was like a dream. Next to me was a half a human body and I could not understand what type of dream it was. Later, I saw my fiancé running towards me and her whole body was on fire. That is when I realised that something happened in the bank. I grabbed my fiancé and took her with a few other victims to the hospital,” Zaaruka said.
He said he was the first person to transport victims to the hospital, as it took the police and army almost an hour to arrive at the scene.
He said that his fiancé died on 26 February and for three days she could not talk.
“On the fourth day, when I went to visit her, she was talking. I asked her what happened. She told me that while she was seated at the reception there was white man in short trousers with a bag and he was writing on a paper. Later he put the bag down and after a few minutes he left. She said she stood up and followed the white man to tell him that he left his bag, and while approaching the door, she doesn't know what happened next,” he said.
Zaaruka said he is not saying the white man had planted the bomb, but was only recounting what he had been told.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) Western Diocese Bishop, Shekutamba Nambala, said the commemoration of single events that claimed Namibian lives during the colonial era is a mistake, and urged that all such events should be commemorated on Cassinga Day.
Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who also attended the event, supported Nambala's sentiments.
We are very ignorant about things that happen in our own country. The majority of the youth are not fascinated about what is happening at home. Many of us have turned a blind eye to situations that affect us daily.
I do not know whether I should blame the advent of globalisation or, the rise of technology as part of the reason why we are no longer patriotic. I understand that we have become global citizens and thus, have access to information on many other cultures and traditions but that should not be used as an excuse not to pay attention to what is happening within our own borders. I was engaged in a conversation with about 16 youth this weekend about what is currently taking place in our country. We were discussing everything from politics, entertainment and finance. We rounded up our conversations by talking about the closure of the SME bank and how it affected us the youth. I was really surprised by the “don't care attitude” and lack of interest showed by the youth in some of the issues that affect us. The people I spoke to did not participate in the talk and their excuse was, it was not important to them. What really shocked me was that the same people, who said they were not interested in the SME bank saga, were up to date with current affairs of other countries. They knew all about the pop culture in America and what Trump was going to do next. They knew all about the TV and radio shows in Europe but had zero to little knowledge about the local NBC content.
I really tried to put myself in their shoes and think like they did but, I was only disappointed. The picture was clear to me; we are very ignorant and show no interest about local issues. It's not wrong to focus on global issues but it becomes worrisome when all we care about is just how the Kardashians looked or how many goals Christiano Ronaldo scored.
It is pretty simple. Read! Show some interest in the things that will directly impact you. You do not have to do much but just read and watch the content that will keep you informed about what is happening in your own country. Buy our newspaper, or any other paper, watch our local TV channels and listen to our radio stations and you too will have something to say about your own people just like you proudly do about other nations and their citizens. Be a bit more patriotic and balance the amount of news or information you get. Make it a point to know what is happening in your countries economy, sports, finance and many other factors.
You will only be proud when you talk to people because you will be confident about the kind of things you say. Globalisation, the increasing integration and interdependence of domestic and overseas markets, has three sides: the good side, the bad side, and the ugly side. We all need to balance the good and the bad. If you do not show interest in the things that affect you, who will? How will we preserve our own culture and traditions if we do not even know enough about it?
That is where it all begins. Soon, we will be dressing and talking like them because we chose to be ignorant about the things that make us proud. Your ethnicity and traditions should be something you love, not hate. I've had too many encounters with people who are shy about who they are or where they come from. It's important to keep traditions and culture alive. Everyone should be proud of where they come from. We didn't drop from heaven like manna. I understand some of the effects technology has on our tradition and the way they are shaped but, still there is no justification for not being patriotic about what Namibian is or where you come from.
JS: TransNamib is currently in a difficult space. My diagnosis is not finalised. I need to have a basic understanding of the business of TransNamib. That is what I am doing now. I’m reading, I’m learning, I’m listening and taking advice and information from my colleagues. Through this process, I believe, when I have a better understanding in the immediate term we have to get TransNamib out of the ICU and within the short term try and fix what we can fix.
In the short and medium term we have to look at the way we do things and challenge ourselves and improve the manner in which we are doing things.
From my preliminary observation, the problem at TransNamib is management; we are not managing our assets well. There is a negative return on the assets. That is where I would want to focus on. But I cannot do that unless I understand the business better and create a relationship between the employees who can improve the environment so that the train can move faster.
MW: A number of turnaround strategies have been on the table since 2002. What turnaround has so far been done, how has it affected the operations of TransNamib and what did it cost the taxpayer?
JS: I first need to see exactly where we are; at which station are we? Only then can I say in which direction we need to go. I have perceptions of where we are but I need to confirm this.
The main perception, as I said earlier, is about the management of the company and improving processes. Thirty years ago we were carrying a small parcel from South Africa and we did the whole process out of the customer services premises. Does it still make sense today because of the increased road competition?
I believe we should focus on bulk commodities, the bigger freight. However, it still needs to move from one point to the next. We need to figure out how best to do this. We also need to look at the areas that we are good at or which we should be good at and focus on those. If we need to move it a little bit further, maybe we should consider a strategic partner to work with us on that.
This does not mean privatisation. In the short and medium term I do not see that privatisation is an option. With the value of the assets that we have, we can optimise that to increase our revenue base. If we outsource it or if we get a partner, we still need to manage that contract. But if we don’t even have a good idea of that business, how can we manage it?
MW: TransNamib previously was getting its asset register in order. Has that been completed? TransNamib owns a lot of property. Previously an observation was made that previous managers did not know where all these assets, particularly TransNamib’s real estate, are.
JS: At this stage there is a lot of progress I need to understand. When it comes to property, as a business unit of TransNamib, it needs to be optimised, which it is not at this stage.
We have a list of our properties and it is one of my tasks on hand to spend on the next two weeks. Properties will be a critical component of our short- and medium-term plans.
The short-term plan is to get us out of ICU. The medium-term plan is to start increasing our capacity, which for now means our freight capacity. Our main focus will be rail. Road transport is a matter under discussion in terms of our business plan.
MW: While the railway lines in the country are being upgraded incrementally, are you happy with the current condition of the railways?
JS: Rail belongs to the government, which is responsible for the upgrading and maintenance of the rail. We, however, need to strengthen that partnership so that it is in alignment with our business growth.
MW: During some discussions on turnaround strategies it was mentioned that TransNamib should perhaps stop its road transport services. This is despite the fact that TransNamib has had some of the best truck drivers in the country and even the region due to the kind of training they have received.
JS: That decision has not been made yet. I still need to relook at the existing business plan. However, in terms of transforming the business you cannot look at the staff. You first need to look at the opportunities of the businesses and then you realign your staff and other resources to that. That is what we need to do.
We are not here to just send people home. We will always find a way to optimise the skills we have and if there are new skills to be learned, then we have to do that. But the company must also regain its culture of continuous learning, training and development.
At least over the last ten years there has been very limited training and development although it was a core part of TransNamib’s business. This started before my time, and is being done in partnership with NTA.
The technical units of TransNamib still conduct training. There are students from NIMT and other technical schools. This is an ongoing process.
MW: Part of the turnaround strategies that have been on the table so far was what was called the “rightsizing” of the staff through voluntary exits or voluntary early retirements. TransNamib board chairperson Paul Smit in May last year mentioned that this “streamlining” was “on course”. Is TransNamib (still) considering staff cuts as part of its turnaround? If so, how many workers from which departments are likely to be affected? And, if so, when can we expect layoffs?
JS: There is a process already in place which started earlier. In terms of moving forward, we need to relook at where our business is now, where we need to go and also transform the skills at the same level. We cannot transform the business if we do not address learning of new skills and make sure at the same time that there is a transfer of skills between those who are leaving and young people coming in.
There was a complete process in terms of rightsizing, which has been done in alignment with discussions with the government. Some staff members have already left and some are leaving soon on voluntary early retirement.
We, however, should make sure that we don’t lose critical skills not transferred yet to younger employees.
At the end of this project there should be about 200 people that would have left. For the current six-month batch - which started in October last year until the end of March - about 70 people will leave.
There is also a natural attrition – those who retire at 60, as well as the statutory 55 years for people who started as railway workers (shunters, etc.); there is an age at which they need to retire. Those are people who may stay on if they are fit enough.
MW: Where did the discussion to privatise certain operations of TransNamib start?
JS: From an outside perspective I think it is all about the belief that due to the non-performance of some units, the solution would be to bring in the private sector. I think that is where it started. However, I believe we must first start by improving our management of the business better.
MW: What role should TransNamib play towards Namibia’s aspirations to become a logistical hub for the Southern African region?
JS: We need to create more capacity so that we can carry more freight. That is where the points of connection of Windhoek, Grootfontein and Tsumeb to neighbouring countries are important. At this stage we are handling a very small percentage of freight in the country. These are some of the things we have to work on.
MW: TransNamib is experiencing a financial crisis. The board of directors has requested support from the government. How do you want to manage this?
JS: It is very difficult at the moment but we have to develop a stronger base in terms of income. In the short and medium term we need to grow our business to get money in from our business and not from subsidies.
MW: How do you intend to make train travel attractive to passengers?
JS: At a global level most passenger transportation by rail is subsidised by governments. After my one-and-a-half week here I think we first need to focus on freight. Once we have a bit more money we can see how to revive passenger transport. We simply do not have funds to inject in that aspect of the business.
MW: Last year there was an allegation that board chairperson Paul Smit was interfering in the day-to-day operations of the company. In response, Minister Jooste said because of TransNamib’s “complexity” there was an executive vacuum which required that the board become “more involved” than one would like to see. What sort of involvement do you think the board should have in the operations of the company?
JS: My role as the CEO is very clear, having executive powers, and the strategic role of the board. I believe that is the way we will proceed. I cannot talk about the past, though.
MW: We have seen a number of suspensions and exits of executive staff, notably of former CEO Saara Naanda and the suspensions last year of Hippy Tjivikua (then acting CEO) and Struggle Ihuhua. What are the charges against Tjivikua and Ihuhua? What is the status of the disciplinary action against them?
JS: At this stage this is being handled by the board. I do not know what the charges are; I have not seen any documentation regarding that at all. It is a matter that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
MW: What is your vision for TransNamib? Where would you like to see it in five years’ time?
JS: I would like to see this company become profitable and create more economic value for its shareholder and the country. It must help push the economy forward.
MW: Why did you leave the Walvis Bay Corridor Group?
JS: I see a lot of opportunities where I can use my past experience and expertise to hopefully create significant value for this company. The spirit of the people overall is very good, which is a very good start. Stakeholder engagement at this stage is critical to regain some confidence in the company. Confidence, of course, can only be returned if people can see some improvement.
A directive issued by permanent secretary Gabriel Sinimbo informed ministry staff that newspapers would no longer be provided after 1 April.
This is in line with wide-ranging spending cuts ordered by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recently.
The move affects all newspaper brands, including Republike in, Namibian Sun, The Namibian, Confidente, Southern Times, New Era and Windhoek Observer.
“In response to that directive, allow this letter therefore to constitute the official communication from the ministry of industrialisation and trade that we are cancelling our subscription contracts with your respective newspapers effective from 1 April 2018,” Sinimbo wrote in a letter addressed to the editors of these publications.
The cutback will not affect the minister, his deputy or the permanent secretary.
“It is further worth nothing that the cancellation is only applicable to the staff members, but you are still expected to supply newspapers to the offices of the minister, deputy minister and the permanent secretary respectively,” Sinimbo wrote.
In a memo sent out on the suggested expenditure cuts, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila raised the issue of newspaper purchases by government ministries, offices and agencies.
“The purchasing of newspapers for staff members at the expense of government should stop with effect from 1 April 2018,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila's memo read.
It remains to be seen when other ministries, government offices and agencies plan to follow suit.
Job Amupanda, through his lawyer, is now requesting the director-general of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, to provide him with documentation pertaining to alleged corruption in the payment of foreign-based lawyers.
The lawyers advised the government on how to pursue its reparations claim against the German government in respect of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide.
“Your office has confirmed having being seized with this matter. It is also our instruction that your office has in the past also investigated and dealt with corruption-related matters involving Sacky Shanghala,” Kadhila Amoono, acting on behalf of Amupunda, said in the 16 February letter.
Amupanda is also requesting to be furnished with all, if any, decisions which Noa may have made in accordance with the powers he is granted in terms of the Anti-Corruption Act and in respect of the genocide matter.
Furthermore, Noa is also requested to indicate if he is willing to provide witness statements and whether or not he is willing to testify in the High Court.
Shanghala is suing Amupanda for defamation in his capacity as the former attorney-general. He filed papers in December over several comments Amupanda is said to have made on social media, and during last year's attorney-generals' symposium in Doha, Qatar. Amupanda was in attendance at the symposium.
Amupanda allegedly posted on his Twitter account, with a picture of Shanghala and Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah intimating the following, “My son, haven't you stollen (sic) enough? Please my son, it's enough. Don't steal anymore. If imaginations could became TRUTH.” On 20 November, Amupanda again took to Facebook, to post the following: “Sakeus Edward Shanghala: An Epitome and Symbol of corruption in Namibia.” (sic)
The Swapo youth activist further wants additional documentation from Noa relating to, among others, the 2017 investigation of the failed Kora Awards; Namcor's agreements on Namibia Liquid Fuel; the Namibia Airports Company as it relates to the Ondangwa airport upgrading deal; the matter of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) reportedly blocking payments to a South African law firm; TransNamib's deal with D&M Rail for the rehabilitation of the Kransberg-Tsumeb railway line; the deal between Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) with Dubai-based firms; discussions between the prosecutor-general, ACC and the attorney-general on Penda Ya Ndakolo's hotel bill, and the alleged settlement between Expedite Aviation Close Corporation and the Tsumeb municipality.
Noa was requested to respond within seven working days.
Martin Shipanga, a 21-year- old student chef from Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy managed to scoop the 16th position out of 43 countries, beating nations like the United States, Greece and South Africa at the 2018 Young Chef Olympiad. “In the top 20, there were only two African countries and Namibia was one of them. The second country was Mauritius,” Shipanga says.
The competition took place on 28 January until 2 February in India. “I competed in three cities which were New Delhi, Pune and Kolkata. It consisted of different stages and we basically had to follow recipes and we were required to prepare meals for different diets,” he said.
Although the competition was challenging, he enjoyed working with different chefs and learning how to cater for the international market. “I found it difficult to use their cooking equipment and materials. The stoves and ovens were different and the ingredients were also difficult to execute, due to the weather. The baking in particular was most problematic, because the dough would not rise properly due to the heat in India,” he says.
What stood out the most for him during the competition was the food and the different varieties of culture. “Coming from Africa, especially from a small country like Namibia, I truly enjoyed all that was presented to me. The other chefs have taught me the importance of having fun with your food and using it to create in genious,” he says.
Looking back on his journey, Shipanga has learned a lot of important details that he feels culinary schools can also implement in Namibia. “Namibian culinary schools can learn a lot from the outside world. Teamwork is very important. I have noticed that people in the outside world work together and they are not as competitive here. To the student chefs, they need to learn to listen, work fast and be able to think on their feet.”
He also appreciated the fact that young people in India respect their culture, which is slowly dying out in Namibia, according to him. “They are desperate to eat and enjoy meals prepared by their mothers. Whereas here, we want to run away from our roots and prepare modern meals while forgetting our past.”
The journey to India
Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy was the only invited culinary school from Namibia and they hosted an internal competition and Shipanga came out on top. “The school took the best five chef students and we competed against each other for a few rounds. I won based on technique and skill as those are the important parts of the competition.”
Growing up, Shipanga has always been interested in cooking and he says his passion came from seeing his grandmother do magic in the kitchen. “She used to cook different flavoured jams and this was a sight I always enjoyed. I used to watch food channels more than cartoons and then my love for food grew more and more,” he remembers. While currently doing his internship at Maerua Spur, Shipanga is juggling his work and his schooling. “I am still in the process of the writing my examinations in culinary arts. The theory part is very challenging and one has to work very hard.”
In 2015, he decided to take cooking seriously and enrolled for different courses at the Namibian Institute of Culinary Education (NICE). After he completed his studies, he started attending Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy in 2016. “I feel like I owe my success to Silver Spoon as they have granted me the opportunity to be exposed to so many opportunities including this chef olympics.”
Shipanga wants to gain international experience by travelling and working in different cities like Dubai, Doha, New York, London, Paris and Milan. “I want to be appreciated as a chef and you can only be appreciated if you have international exposure. I aim to be an executive chef one day.”
These were just some of the shocking statistics revealed yesterday by basic education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa at the start of the three-day National Integrated Early Childhood Development Conference in Windhoek, where she confirmed that the Grade 1 repetition rate has stood at 19.8% to 21% for the past seven years.
Hanse-Himarwa also expressed concern over the worrying dropout rates in the country.
About 30% of learners leave school in Grade 10, while 6% to 7% of Grade 9s and 8% of Grade 8s are dropping out of the school system.
Other issues haunting the Namibian child include being denied access to education because they don't have birth certificates.
Many disabled children are not identified early enough to receive the necessary early interventions, and children from poor communities go to early childhood development (ECD) centres with empty stomachs.
A United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) analysis in 2015 found that 103 768 school-age children were not in school and that 99 200 others were at risk of dropping out.
“These risks related to lack of parental support, learner pregnancy, distance from home and school, poverty and unemployment, learning difficulties, grade repetition, disabilities and a lack of water and sanitation,” said Hanse-Himarwa.
According to her, a team has been established to make schools more child friendly by implementing the National Safe Schools Framework and reviewing the Integrated School Health Policy. The minister warned, though, that coordination could only be improved if quality data was made available to enable better resource allocation.
She said the education ministry was prioritising pre-primary education and therefore allocated N$52 million to the regions for the expansion of pre-primary facilities.
In addition, close to N$2 million was allocated for purchasing teaching and learning support resources for special schools.
She urged closer relationships between stakeholders in order to effect a smooth transition from early childhood development to pre-primary and Grade 1.
According to Hanse-Himarwa, access to ECD education has been expanded from 17 000 children enrolled in the 2011/12 financial year to more than 40 000 enrolled this year.
Although the coverage is not yet half of all eligible five- to six-year-old children, the ministry remains committed to achieving 80% access to pre-primary education.
“We do not understand that investing at this early stage of life is rewarded by the creation of a society that is healthier and more equitable.
“Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence, investments in early childhood development remain insufficient. This critical area should become a national and global priority,” she said.
Last week Namibian Sun visited the Tsumeb dumpsite and found that people there are risking their lives to make a living.
At 07:00 a number of early birds were just finishing their morning tea, getting ready for what they described as the 'zula life' of hoping for trucks and bakkies to show up and dump useful waste.
When a vehicle entered the site they quickly gathered around and direct the drivers where to offload before picking through the rubbish.
One woman, carrying a baby on her back and holding another child's hand, rushed closer to see what she could get from the truck.
Several school-age children and their parents approached the vehicles and afterwards sorted their pickings under nearby shelters made from plastic sheets.
At around 13:00 the parents served their children lunch consisting of food scraps they had collected before returning home.
There is no site supervisor to control where vehicles, including the Tsumeb municipal refuse trucks, offload their waste.
Because of the lack of control, the young ones take advantage of the situation by jumping onto moving vehicles.
Namibian Sun understands that this has been the case since 2014 when a company that had been responsible for the dump left.
Sharing his experience, Joel Matheus (34) said he makes a living by collecting material that he uses to manufacture chairs and tables, as well as metal that he sells to a scrap yard.
Matheus said he used to work for the company that was contracted to manage the site.
Since that company left, the dump has been open to anyone. Matheus said that not only made it difficult to manage the town's waste, but also attracted criminals.
He referred to a case last August when the frozen corpse of a baby was found at the dump, and another incident last year when a man was beaten up and left at the site.
“This is now a place where people come whenever they have nothing to do at home. People are suffering in their houses, that is why you see us here. We are not here because we want to be here but because we need to survive. I am not educated that much but I know how to zula to survive,” Matheus said.
He said during school holidays the situation worsens because the number of children at the site multiplies.
“My friend, you came at a time when it is normal at the site. I request you to come during the school holidays, you will see things and you will get scared as the chances of a child being bumped by a vehicle is high, now it's a bit better,” Matheus said.
When asked how the residents would react if the council erected a fence and started controlling the site, Matheus said it would create chaos as the people depend on the site.
“For some of us who only come here to get materials, we will be affected to some extent but those that come here to collect food will suffer dearly. This place has turned out to be the place where they can get food to eat and sustain their families, therefore if the council was to erect a fence here, they must employ the people and give them jobs or else they will fight for this dumpsite,” Matheus said.
Matheus said a possible solution was to pay those who have been living off the dumpsite to manage the site.
“Some of us here have the experience to work on this site. I was the dumping site controller before, therefore it won't be a challenge to direct the vehicles where to offload and how to dispose of the dangerous stuff,” Matheus said.
Questions were sent to the council last week but it had not responded by yesterday. However, Namibian Sun understands that the council has entered into an agreement with a local business person to manage the dumpsite.
The two clubs are both hungry for points, which will see move up the table and avoid the dreaded relegation zone.
However, both clubs have been lacking consistency for most of the season and will now have to pull up their socks if they want to entertain the crowd.
In the past, this Windhoek derby, between sides from Katutura and Khomasdal, has always attracted a large number of spectators.
Times have, however, changed and only a handful of supporters have turned up recently to witness this historic clash.
The Civilians will be oozing confidence ahead of the match, following their 1-0 victory over Life Fighters in Windhoek on Saturday.
Orlando Pirates will want to capitalise on their chances against Civics, following their shallow goalless draw against log leaders African Stars last Thursday.
Pirates will go into the game with a better record this season, given that they have won six out of their 17 games, while Civics have only managed three NPL wins so far.
Striker Tederius Uiseb, who Pirates signed recently from South African side Stellenbosch FC, has recovered from a knock he picked up in the match against African Stars.
Uiseb and Nicky Musambani are expected to give the Civilians defenders a headache, given their goal-poaching abilities.
Pirates' coach Ivan Namaseb said his team is ready to take the three points against a rusty Civilians outfit. “We are well-prepared for the game because the team wants to win this match. We do not have any injury worries at the moment and this will be good for the team, in a game we are expected to do well in,” Namaseb said.
In other league action, Tigers will host Young African at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday, in what is expected to be a nail-biting encounter.
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
BA was extended an invitation to participate in the international tournament.
However, the local club does not have a youth academy and approached Hopsol to select players to participate as the Black Africa Hopsol team.
“Future Champions is one of the most sought-after tournaments in the world and it would be irresponsible, not to accept such a challenge. It would have been bad for our youth soccer development, if we did not grab this opportunity with both hands,” said Black Africa's Ranga Haikali.
He added that the team of 26 players will not travel to participate, but to compete. The final team will be announced at the end of the month.
Future Champions is one of the worlds most prestigious and elite under-17 club tournaments, featuring top teams from across the globe. It has been held in South Africa and Brazil since 2009.
The tournament is a vehicle to educate young players, allowing them to gain experience and exchange football cultures, in the real spirit of the game.
The championship was established during the build-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa, as a partnership between Rights Holder Global Sports International and the Gauteng Provincial Government.
Eight of the top clubs from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa are invited to compete in this event, along with four South African teams. These 12 teams will battle it out for the title during the weeklong tournament.
Previous clubs that have participated include Manchester City, DC United, Everton, FC Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Shandong Luneng and Atletico Mineiro.
Apart from partnering with BA, Hopsol also announced that they have extended their league to the Erongo Region, bringing the number of participating players to 2 000.
“It is with tremendous pride that we announce the launch of the league, which will be played in the coast,” said Collin Benjamin.
“After the success of the 2017 season, it was a big challenge for us to do better and to improve. We doubled the players registered, from just over 800 players to 1 400. Now we have four more schools and two academies and we are adding more players at the coast,” he said.
In Khomas, the league has 20 institutions taking part in the U-9 to the U-19 leagues, while seven clubs participate in the coastal league.
Hopsol has also added a U-19 age group, as well as a team from Rehoboth, following a request by clubs and schools to allow more players to compete.
“We also changed the modus operandi of the league format in the older age groups, to have more exciting competitions until the end of the league.
The older groups will be decided via playoffs,” said Benjamin.
Hopsol owner Robert Hopperdietzel said there is no doubt the partnership with BA will work out successfully, and that they are moving in the right direction, with a professional approach.
The Khomas league will kick off on Friday at 14:30 at the SKW Sport Field in Olympia and the coastal league will start on 7 April.
Naidjala is making the long trip in search of title glory, when he faces Jason Moloney for the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight and WBA Oceania Bantamweight crowns.
The fight is scheduled to take place on 24 February in Australia. Naidjala has a record of 28 fights, 23 wins, four losses and one draw.
He will be facing an undefeated Moloney, who boasts and outstanding record of 15 fights and 15 straight wins, with an impressive knockout record of 12.
Moloney will be defending his WBA Oceania title, while looking to add the Commonwealth title to his name.
“This fight means everything to me because I know I have to step up my game to get back to winning ways. I feel my preparation this time has been different. I feel much more confident and would like to thank the MTC Sunshine team for their unwavering support and countless opportunities. I know it is now up to me to make things happen and I promise not to disappoint. Moloney, I'm coming for you,” said Naidjala.
FNB Namibia is the main sponsor of this great family fun event and this year N$10 of each ticket purchased via an FNB Debit or Credit card, will go towards the FNB Happiness Store, which in turn supports deserving individuals and charities in Namibia.
“This event has been a success from the beginning and it has grown in popularity and offerings over the past years. FNB Namibia will also award a prize for the best dressed, and another N$500 each for the male and female winner of the 5km run,” said Elzita Beukes, communications manager at FNB. Fun and entertainment is guaranteed with bands performing live along the 5km and 10km route, and other activations include slime, foam, giant inflatables and colour powder.
At the venue, participants can enjoy the Bakers Kids area, the food village, the Windhoek Draught beer garden, dodge ball and numerous fun competitions. Artists who will perform on stage after the race include Kurt Darren, Goodluck, Jay and an 80s DJ. For the kids, a puppet show at 14:30 and the famous Lollo's show at 15:00 will ensure that young and old enjoy a great Saturday of fun and games.
“Tickets are available at Webtickets Namibia and at the gates. We encourage everyone to come and enjoy this fun family event. It is a great, healthy way to spend a Saturday in the company of family and friends. We look forward to seeing all of you there,” Beukes added.
The annual tournament will attract exciting teams from around Aranos.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday, Elden Kuhanga said since December 2015, when he was sworn in as Aranos mayor, he started thinking of fundraising projects and activities to help raise funds for the council's social account.
“It is on this basis that my office decided to organise a social event combining soccer, netball, cultural performances and dance in a tournament,” he remarked, adding that N$95 000 has already been budgeted as the prize money for the winning teams. Kuhanga said the fundamental reason for organising an event of this magnitude is to start addressing the various socio-economic challenges of the town's inhabitants.
He said it is a challenge that he and his team undertook, as there are too many poor people in their community who depend on social grants.
“We decided to raise funds to show our community that you can if you care enough,” Kuhanga said.
He said the funds are used to provide first aid assistance to Aranos residents in times of disaster, especially during fire outbreaks that usually leave affected families without shelter, and hopelessly destitute.
“As mayor, I assure all residents that during my leadership tenure, I will make an extra effort to ensure that all funds raised and donated through these events are directed for the benefit of the intended beneficiaries,” he added.
Last year, a total of 19 football and five netball teams took part in the four-day event, with approximately 1 500 spectators turning up to support their teams from as far as Gobabis and Okahandja.
Future Boys Football Club from Windhoek walked away as victors in the football category, after defeating Gochas United 4-0 in the final, while Nampol Mariental won the netball category. A total of N$106 000 was raised last year.
Hanse-Himarwa okwa holola woo omaiyuvo ge omolwa omwaalu gwaanona taya thigi po ooskola ngoka tagu londo pombanda moshilongo.
Okwa popi kutya oopresenda 30 dhaanasakola oya thigi po ondondo 10 omanga oopresenda dhili pokati kahamano naheyali ya thigi po ondondo onti 8.
Oshinima shimwe shoka tashi patele pondje aanona opo yamone elongo, onkalo yaanona itaya taambelwa mooskola molwaashoka kaye na oonzapo dhomavalo.
Aanona oyendji natango inaya mono endungiko lyopetameko omanga mboka aakwanaluhepo haya yi nondjala kooskola dhiikunino.
Omiyalu ndhoka dha monika po koUnited Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) mo 2015 odha mono kutya aanona ya thika po 103 768 yoomvula dhokuya koskola ihaya yi kooskola omanga ya thika po 99 200 oye li moshiponga shokuthiga po ooskola.
Minista okwa popi kutya onkalo ndjoka otayi etithwa woo sho aavali yamwe kaye na eyambidhidho lyaanona yawo, omategelelo mokati kaanona yoskola, iinano iile okuya nokuza kooskola, oluhepo nokwaahena iilonga, omaupyakadhi ga taalela aanona, eendululo lyoondondo, omaulema oshowo ompumbwe yomeya nuuyogoki.
Pahapu dhaHanse- Himarwa okwa totwa ongundu ndjoka ya pewa oshinakugwanithwa shokukwashilipaleka kutya ooskola odha ninga omahala omawanawa okukala aanona, pakutula miilonga oNational Safe Schools Framework nokutalulula oIntegrated School Health Policy.
Minista okwa kunkilile kutya nonando onkalo ndjoka otayi vulu owala okuyambulwa po ngele tagu gandjwa omiyalu dhomondjila.
Okwa popi kutya uuministeli owa hala woo okuyambulapo elongo lyopetameko moshilongo, onkene iimaliwa yoomiliyona 52 otayi ka gandjwa kiitopolwa opo yi vule okuyambulapo elongo lyopetameko.
Oomiliyona mbali odha gandjwa mokulanda iikwaniipangitho yooskola dhowina.
Okwa pula elongelokumwe ewanawa naakuthimbinga moshikondo shelongo. Opo ku yambulwepo eyambulepo lyaanona moondondo dhopetameko.
Hanse-Himarwa, okwa popi kutya, etaambelo lyaanona moondondo dhopetameko olya yambukapo okuza kaanona 17 000 ya taambelwa moondondo ndhoka mo2011/2012 okuya paanona 40 000 mboka ya taambelwa moondondo ndhoka nuumvo.
Minista okwa popi kutya epungulo melongo lyaanona yomoondondo dhopetameko oshinima sha simana noonkondo onkene osha pumbwa okutulwa miilonga nokukalekwa po.
Amupanda okupitila muhahende gwe, okwa pula omukomeho gwoAnti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, opo a gandje uuyelele noondokumende dhi na sha nuulingilingi mefuto lyoohahende dhopondje, ndhoka dha li dha gandja omayele kepangelo nkene li na okupula iifuta okuza kepangelo lyaGermany omolwa omadhipago ga ningilwa aakwashigwana yAaHerero nAaNama pethimbo lyuukoloni, kepangelo lyokatongotongo lyaGermany.
Amupanda okupitila muhahende gwe, Kadhila Amoono, momasiku 16 gaFebruali okwa shanga ombaapila ndjoka tayi pula opo ya pewe oondokumende dhi na sha niipotha ayihe yuulingilingi mbyoka ya konaakonwa kokomisi yoACC shi na sha niifuta mbyoka ya futwa oohahende ndhoka dhopondje.
Noa natango okwa pulwa a holole ngele oku na owino yokugandja uuyelele mompangu yopombada.
Shanghala ota futitha Amupanda omolwa enyateko lyedhina lye sho a li nale hahende-ndjai gwepangelo, na okwa tulilemo Amupanda oshipotha muDesemba omolwa omapopyo ga ningwa kuAmupanda pethimbo lyomutumba gwoohahende ndjai ngoka gwa ningilwa moDoha sha Qatar.
Amupanda natango okwa hala Noa a gandje oondokumene dhiipotha yilwe yuulingilingi ngaashi omakonaakono ga ningwa mo 2017 giimaliwa ya gandjwa ya nuninwa oKora Awards; etsokumwe lyaNamcor noNamibia Liquid Fuel; Namibia Airports Company shi na sha nelongo lyokapale koodhila mOndangwa, Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) ndjoka ya kaleke iifuta kehangano lyiikwaveta lyaSouth Afrika; etsokumwe lyaTransNamib nehangano lyoD&M Rail melongululo lyelila lyomashina gokolutenda pokati kaKransberg-Tsumeb; etsokumwe pokati kaNamibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) oshowo ehangano lyaDubai, oonkundathana pokati komupanguli ndjai, ACC oshowo hahende ndaji gwepangelo kombinga yiifuta yohotela yominista Penda Ya Ndakolo oshowo etsokumwe lyiifuta pokati koExpedite Aviation Close Corporation nelelo lyondoolopa yaTsumeb. Noa okwa pulwa a yamukule muule womasiku gaheyali giilonga.
!Naruseb, who is the former works minister, said he is particularly interested in improving the livelihoods of farmers and in increasing the growth and development of the agriculture, water and forestry sectors. He said that he does not intend to “re-invent the wheel”. The departments within the ministry that operated well will not be changed, an in addition, will be supported strongly to do even better. An attitude of “business as usual” in a department that did not function optimally, will, however, not be tolerated. It is the intention of !Naruseb to promote an environment of teamwork within the ministry. He said that although there might be more qualified people in the country that could be better equipped than the employees of the ministry, it is the latter that hold these jobs and must therefore do the work. He made it clear that there will be no space for employees with a negative attitude that could lead to complacency and overconfidence. !Naruseb also said he expects of the ministry to contribute to a decrease in costs by cutting out uncoordinated travel, accommodation and daily allowance costs. Lastly, he insisted on an open-door policy not only with regards to his own office, but also to the offices of the top management. He also emphasised the good relations he has had with the Namibia Agricultural Union so far during his previous positions and that he regards the NAU as his friend.
According to the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), the meeting was held on 8 February and during this, the status quo in the sector became very clear during in-depth discussions with representatives in the sector.
Sales of Namibian produced milk are down and this can be ascribed to a struggling economy, together with the import of cheap milk from South Africa.
The growth of the industry is hampered by this and producers are staring a producer price reduction in the face. Producers are also warned not to produce more than a certain quota as this milk will most probably not be taken up in the market.
According to the NAU, on the one hand, local produce and value addition is high on everyone's agenda, but on the other hand cheap milk is allowed into the country with which Namibian producers cannot compete.
All the eyes and hopes of Namibian dairy producers are now on a draft amendment bill that is long overdue to be submitted to parliament this year in order to address the control over the import of dairy products into Namibia.
Meanwhile, the management of the Poultry Producers' Association last week held a meeting to discuss matters in the industry including a members' meeting and information day that is planned for next month.
According to the NAU this will take place on 15 March in Windhoek.
The information day not only targets current established poultry and egg producers, but also new and upcoming farmers.
The theme of this year's information day deals with the vision of the poultry industry to become self-sustainable within in line with Vision 2030 of the government.
Topics of the day will touch on diseases such as Avian flu, biosecurity matters, SME development programmes of Feedmaster, as well as action steps that have been taken in the industry so far to become self-sustainable.
The final programme will be communicated to members and will be posted in the media. Limited seats are available and interested persons must contact Rina Hough at 061-237838 or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You're the president. You're supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us,” said David Hogg, a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, speaking on NBC's “Meet the Press”.
“How dare you,” he added.
Hogg was responding to Trump's tweet on Saturday that Democrats hadn't passed any gun control measures during the brief time they controlled Congress with a supermajority in the Senate. Trump also alluded to the FBI's failure to act on tips that the suspect was dangerous, while bemoaning the bureau's focus on Russia's role in the 2016 election.
Trump was at his Florida estate on Sunday but did not mention the attack in a series of tweets. After more than a day of criticism from the students, the White House said the president would hold a “listening session” with unspecified students on Wednesday and meet with state and local security officials on Thursday.
Florida politicians, meanwhile, scrambled to produce legislation in response to the
14 February attack that killed 17 people. Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the school, is being held without bail in the Broward County Jail, accused of 17 counts of first-degree murder.
Emma Gonzalez, another student who survived the attack, cited Trump by name in a warning to politicians who are supported by the National Rifle Association.
“Now is the time to get on the right side of this, because this is not something that we are going to let sweep under the carpet,” she said on “Meet the Press.”
The students' pointed comments are the latest signs of increased pressure for gun control after the massacre.
The students have vowed to become the face of a movement for tighter firearm regulations and plan to visit the state capitol in Tallahassee this week to demand immediate action. They are also calling for anti-gun violence demonstrations in Washington and other cities 24 March.
Organisers behind the Women's March, an anti-Trump and female empowerment protest, called for a 17-minute, nationwide walkout by teachers and students on 14 March.
The Network for Public Education, an advocacy organisation for public schools, announced a day of walkouts, sit-ins and other events on school campuses April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that left 12 students and one teacher dead.
Not every student at the Florida school was calling for more gun control. James Ciaramello, a freshman in the school's JROTC programme, on Friday paused at a memorial in a park in front of a photo of one victim, 15-year-old Peter Wang, another JROTC student who was killed after holding open a door so others could escape.
“He's just messed up,” Ciaramello said of Cruz, who was also in JROTC. “I mean, tighter gun control, it's not gonna help. There's always a way around it.”
School and government records obtained on Sunday show Cruz was diagnosed as developmentally delayed at age three and had disciplinary issues dating to middle school. In February 2014, while in 8th grade, Cruz was transferred to a special school for children with emotional and behavioural issues.
He stayed there until 10th grade, when he was transferred to Stoneman Douglas. A month after arriving, Cruz was written up for using profanity. Last year, Cruz was expelled.
On 28 September 2016, an investigator from the Florida Department of Children and Families visited Cruz and his mother, Lynda Cruz, after he posted video on Snapchat showing him cutting himself.
The report showed that Cruz had written a racial epithet against African-Americans and a Nazi symbol on his book bag, which his mother had forced him to erase. The investigator said Cruz was suffering from depression and on medication and had told Lynda Cruz he planned to buy a gun, but she couldn't determine why.
She said he had been depressed after breaking up with a girlfriend who had been cheating on him, the investigator said.
A school counsellor told the investigator that Lynda Cruz had always tried to help her son and followed through on his therapy and medication, but the counsellor was concerned about the youth's desire to buy a gun.
Then - a mere ten months later - the same minister announced a three-year pilchard fishing ban, which was welcomed by scientists, but has effectively thrown the industry and thousands of jobs into disarray.
Esau went further, sowing a few choice blame-game seeds, by saying that besides the historical overexploitation by the South African apartheid government before Namibia's independence, scientists also suspect that the depletion of the country's pilchard stocks was due to Namibia's seal population.
Scientists said at the time that the moratorium might be a case of too little, too late to save the country stocks.
They rightfully argued that given the fact that Namibia's sardine stock is a mere fraction of what it used to be, and the ecosystem's dependence on this species, there is considerable doubt whether a three-year moratorium will be enough to turn the situation around.
This raises immediate questions around why the advice of marine scientists was effectively ignored during the February announcement and what role the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) is playing.
The commission is a multi-sectoral inter-governmental, initiative of Angola, Namibia and South Africa, which promotes the vision of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME), which is sustaining human and ecosystem wellbeing for generations to come.
Namibia's pilchard debacle has effectively highlighted the conflict between the fishing ministry's roles as both the protector of marine resources and the patron of the fishing sector.
Rightfully, unions are deeply concerned about the retrenchment of workers in the pilchard industry, while also raising the awful situation that workers find themselves in, including living in shacks after years of service. We would, in this light, support horse mackerel fishing rights being given to worker groups in the near future.
It remains critically important that the sustainable management of the country's fishing resources must be prioritised, while being finely balanced with curtailing job losses in the sector.
The naked truth is that without healthy fishing resources, there will be no long-term fishing businesses and no long-term jobs.
Van Wyk said: “Following the global reveal of the Ranger Raptor, we have seen a significant increase in enquiries from pick-up owners who would like to apply a similar conversion to their existing Rangers or other bakkies.”
The Raptor opens the door to high performance bakkies thanks to its unique, high-performance suspension and 157kW turbodiesel engine. It is expected in Southern Africa in 2019, when it will join other powerful bakkies such as the 165kW Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate V6 and 190kW Mercedes-Benz X-Class X350d.
SAC is one of the country’s largest installers of Unichip performance upgrade systems on pick-ups. Fitted to a Dastek Power wiring loom, the Unichip becomes a powerful plug-and-play system that can be easily installed and removed and which features a number of pre-set engine maps for different applications.
He said: “Unlike other plug-and-play systems, the Unichip / Dastek Power system does not simply increase fuel pressure for more performance. Each unit monitors over 120 inputs, is programmed for a specific engine and tested on a dynamometer to ensure that it safely extracts the latent power in each engine.”
In the Ford Ranger, a fitted Unichip / Dastek Power system will increase power from 118kW and 385Nm on the standard 2.2 TDCi model, to 140kW and 450Nm.
On the 3.2 TDCi, the power is safely boosted from 147kW and 470Nm to 170kW and 570Nm, making it one of the most powerful pick-ups on the road today.
Van Wyk said: “With each of our Elite units, the owner receives a remote control with five pre-programmed engine map settings. The owner can change the engine power and driving characteristics for in-city driving and improved fuel consumption, for towing, normal driving, and of course for more performance. There is even a safe mode that renders the engine powerless and is a powerful anti-theft solution.”
Some of the most popular fitments of Unichip / Dastek Power systems are on the Toyota Hilux, which sees the 2.8 GD-6 engine boost its power to 170kW and 575Nm. The smaller 2.4 GD-6 delivers 140kW and 500Nm, when fitted with a Unichip and Dastek Power loom.
Also highly popular is the VW Amarok. Once fitted, the 2.0 VW Amarok BiTDI-engine jumps in power to 180kW and 450Nm. – Words and images Motorpress.co.za
Haufiku said the youth should be empowered with the knowledge and skills to be able to make decisions on when to start a family.
“I believe that if there is proper planning on the youth side on when to have a family, there will be less unwanted children and abortions.”
He said there will also be more parents who are aware that up to four years of age, a child needs to be in Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes.
He further stressed that many people who have unplanned children do not consider ECD programmes as the idea is to merely survive.
Coupled with that, many of the unplanned children are either in the care of one single parent, mostly the mother, or the grandparents.
“We need to face the empowerment of contraceptives head-on because if we do not, we will keep on making policies without tackling the bottom cause of what leads us to those policies,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, First Lady Monica Geingos echoed the health minister's call, adding that education on contraception will help curb the level of poverty in the country.
Geingos emphasised that government cannot plan for enough schools if there is no guideline on what it is planning for.
“When you look at teenage pregnancy statistics and the number of unplanned children, it shows when it comes to government having to provide for sufficient infrastructure,” she said.
Namibia is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the launch of the ECD Framework served part of a three-day coordination conference with government ministries and agencies as well as development partners in support of the framework.
The event, which ends on Wednesday, is being held under the theme 'Act together – Investing in the Early Years of our Children for a Prosperous Nation'.
At a recent briefing with foreign press centre journalists in Washington, DC, Martina Vandenberg, a human rights lawyer who has fought extensively to address the issue, said the problem is not limited to the United States. “This isn't happening just in the United States. Trafficking by diplomats in capitals is a problem across the world.” Towards the end of 2017, in what was described as a landmark in the United Kingdom, the Supreme Court found in favour of two domestic workers who accused their diplomatic employers, from Saudi Arabia, of a range of abuses and labour trafficking.
The ruling was hailed as a 'major breakthrough' for low-paid domestic workers in diplomatic households there, when the court gave the green light to the domestic workers that they could take their claims to an employment tribunal.
Vandenberg noted that of the forced labour cases involving foreign workers her firm has tackled, 80% of cases involved either foreign diplomats or people from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other international organisations.
She said the pattern is the same in New York.
“It's not thousands, or even hundreds, but in terms of the forced labour cases we see, it's a significant proportion.”
Many other similar cases are resolved behind the scenes where settlement agreements are sealed from the public record.
Many diplomats and their countries of origin have used immunity to shield the accused dignitaries from prosecution, but lawyers have increasingly found ways to navigate around the seemingly solid immunity barrier.
“The audacity of diplomats to think that they can come to the United States and have no accountability is obnoxious,” Vandenberg noted.
She has worked on cases where diplomats owe tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of US dollars in back wages, in addition to the often mental and physical abuse suffered by the domestic worker.
One tool to hone in on high placed diplomats is to wait until their full immunity is downgraded to “residual immunity”, after they retire or switch posts. Residual immunity only applies during office hours, leaving the diplomat vulnerable to lawsuits after hours. “Every court in the United States who has looked at this, say that when you hold your domestic worker in forced labour, when you rape your nanny in your home, that is not part of your official duties,” Vandenberg, the founder and CEO of the Human Trafficking Legal Centre, said.
Another move is to ask an alleged diplomatic trafficker's government to waive immunity. If this fails, US authorities can expel the dignitary from the country and pursue legal avenues to prosecute.
Advocates agree that in many cases, domestic workers had previously worked for their diplomatic employers in their country of origin under decent circumstances.
But, once they agree to join their employer at an official diplomatic posting, some diplomats cease the increased power imbalance between worker and employer, underscored by the safe cloak of immunity.
“It's quite common. The reason the domestic worker chose to come to the United States and continue working for their employee, is because things were all right before and they believed they would be paid even more. But generally, they are not even paid what they were paid before,” Katherin Soltis, from Ayuda, a legal service for low-income immigrants, said.
Advocates argue that the shift from just employer to abuser should highlight the “systemic” issues that pave the way for abuse by diplomats and others. Weak worker protections, isolation, and a state “unwilling or unable to protect the worker” are fertile conditions that “allow trafficking to flourish”, Jean Bruggeman, executive director of Freedom Network USA, argued.
“In their home country, they had those connections that protected them. When they come to the US on an isolating visa that ties them to their employer and limits their opportunities, they are suddenly at risk, with nothing else changing, and an employer who has immunity.”
She proposed that increased worker protections and visa flexibility, among other fixes, would decrease the risks of exploitation and trafficking.
Still, in many case, diplomats are not held accountable, often because domestic workers fear, for varied reasons, to reach out for help.
A report issued last year by the National domestic Workers Alliance and Institute for policy studies found that among all reported cases of human trafficking of domestic workers in the US, 78% of survivors were threatened with deportation if they reported abuse. Moreover, the seizure of passports, non-payment, long working hours, in addition to verbal, physical and sexual abuse, created a suffocating climate of fear.
The report further slammed the immigration policies of the current administration, including increased raids, over-policing of immigrant populations and other issues as increasing the risks of human trafficking of vulnerable workers.
In a 2016 paper on diplomatic abuse of domestic workers and the legal hurdles posed by immunity, Vandenberg and her co-author, Sarah Bessel, noted that “trafficking of domestic workers by diplomats and international organisation employees is not a new phenomenon.” Vandenberg and Bessell wrote that while the United States has made significant improvements in recent years in prosecuting diplomats, challenges remain. “The United States is one of a few countries that prosecutes diplomats and other foreign officials for abuse and trafficking of domestic workers. In most countries, these cases are relegated to voluntary mediation panels or employment tribunals, if they are pursued at all.” Still, criminal prosecutions even in the United States are rare and when they happen, they often involve officials with a lesser status, and thus lesser degrees of immunity. The authors traced this hesitancy to tackle the problem to fear of souring relations between nations, or the “troubling conundrum that lurks at the heart of diplomatic relations.”
The paper concluded that although the US government has “started down the path of prevention, prosecutions must also increase to deter would-be abusers. And while advocates look forward to a day when there will be no more diplomatic trafficking cases to prosecute or litigate, that day is a long way in the future.”
*Namibian Sun journalist Jana-Mari Smith was in the United States on invitation by the US Department of State's Foreign Press Centre. She was joined 19 other journalists from around the world to take part in an international reporting tour to create awareness and gain insight into combating human trafficking through prevention, protection and prosecution.
A government entity, AMTA is ambitious that Fysal's experience in the trade of fresh produce will be beneficial to drive the agro-trading agency's mandate of assisting local producers to have a market for their products by targeting both the Angolan and South African markets where Fysal also operates.
On Monday, AMTA launched their partnership with Fysal at the Ongwediva Fresh Produce Business Hub which was attended by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, the regional governors for Oshana, Oshikoto and Kavango West, and the business community of the north.
Pohamba said that in order to encourage local farmers to produce, agents and AMTA must be able to pay farmers value for their products and not buy products at a giveaway prices.
“If we are to encourage people of this country to produce let us make them happy.
Whenever they produce they must get offers that will make them want to produce again.
What is the point of people producing but their produce is going to be sold at giveaway prices?” Pohamba asked.
Pohamba said that this year he has been told by mahangu farmers in the Kavango that they produced a many tonnes of mahangu but they decided not to sell this because AMTA was offering them a reduced price for their product.
“If this is true, you do not expect these people to produce anything this rainy season because there is nothing motivating them to produce. Let this not to be true because it is against our national objectives,” he said.
The AMTA CEO, Lucas Lungameni, said that by having Fysal on board, the hubs will be able to boost local production. It was also highlighted that the aim was to ensure that Fysal includes local produce whenever they are transporting fresh produce to Angola and South Africa, and when they return they bring along products which are not locally produced.
“We are gathered here today as stakeholders of the fresh produce sector to witness the official welcoming of one of the biggest marketing agents launching their operations with us.
Fysal will be our biggest agent that will be operating from our national fresh produce business hubs.
We are confident in their rich and vast experience in the fresh produce industry and we believe it will boost local production, as well as consumption, of local fresh produce,” Lungameni said.
AMTA has two national fresh produce hubs with modern storage facilities at Ongwediva and Rundu, and a collection point at Windhoek. The Ongwediva Fresh Produce Business Hub was inaugurated by Pohamba on 4 May 2013. Fysal has now joined three agents, Stampriet Fresh Produce, Afri Fresh and Olushandja Horticulture Producers, who are currently operating from the Ongwediva hub.
After touring the Ongwediva hub on Monday, Pohamba said that he was happy to see that what the government thought when they were establishing the AMTA is moving in the right direction.
Fysal's group chairperson Thomas Indji said that for the past two decades Fysal Fresh Produce has served the northern regions with pride and as they go forward, they seek to serve them even better by creating a ready market for the local producers.
“This has been made possible by our strategic partner AMTA who have afforded us an opportunity to serve as a wholesale agent at Ongwediva, Rundu and Windhoek. Our aims are to extend economic benefits to the northern regions through the stimulation of the domestic fresh produce activities,” Indji said.
Pangolins play a crucial role in maintaining the nutrient quality of soils and aid the decomposition cycle, providing a healthy substrate for the growth of vegetation.
But, in recent years, Namibia has witnessed a severe spike of illegal trade in pangolins for the Asian market.
Globally, all eight species of pangolin face extinction, including the only species of pangolin that occurs in Namibia - the Temminck's ground pangolin Smutsia temminckii, also known as the Cape pangolin or scaly anteater.
While research into population numbers is scant in Namibia and elsewhere, many worry about the impact of their loss on the environment.
In response, a public-private initiative to raise awareness of pangolin poaching and their ecological value was launched in July 2017.
Partners of the outreach programme include the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Namibia Chamber of Environment (NCE), and the Wildcat Foundation.
In addition, a police and defence force offensive was launched to curb trafficking.
Threat to species, threat to farming
“Pangolins are far more valuable in our environment than killed for illegal Asian markets,” says Dr Chris Brown of NCE.
Pangolins eat billions of ants and termites thereby minimising the impact of these insects on grasslands and crops, as well as on fence poles, homesteads and other infrastructure.
Brown says research has shown that one pangolin can consume around 70 million termites per year.
Without pangolins, those 70 million termites are estimated to consume 7 000 kilogrammes of grass annually.
“That is equivalent to the amount of grass that two beef cows would consume in a year. So, a farm with 10 pangolins could run 20 more cows more than a farm where the pangolins have been removed.”
The value of the additional cows would be around N$200 000, Brown estimates.
“Extrapolated to the central and north-eastern regions of Namibia where pangolins are most common, the national impact could be at least N$600 million in reduced production by the agricultural and wildlife sectors.”
Brown points out that these are preliminary figures and that more detailed research is needed to better understand the economic impact of killing pangolins.
The NCE has teamed up with the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) to study pangolin biology.
But quantitative assessments of the ecosystem services provided by pangolins are urgent, as is an in-depth analysis of the economic implications of extinction or a severe population reduction.
“It is a general trend, however, that we significantly underestimate the role that individual species play and only appreciate the extent of the impact of their loss after they have gone,” Brown says.
Police work pays off
An anonymous 24/7 hotline and SMS service (081 413 2214 or 081 423 2231), launched six months ago, have led to more smugglers being arrested and more live pangolin being rescued.
Compared to past years in which an average three to five cases of pangolin smuggling per year were reported, 37 cases of pangolin trafficking have been reported in the Kavango East and West, Khomas, Zambezi, Otjozondjupa and Oshana regions in recent months.
A total of 81 suspects were arrested and 20 live pangolins were seized and released at safe sites.
The animals are usually kept in atrocious conditions by poachers and must be rehabilitated and monitored prior to release.
Thirty-four pangolin skins have been confiscated.
A number of investigations into wildlife crime syndicates, international links and trade routes are ongoing.
Posters and information cards advertising the pangolin hotline (call or SMS 081 413 2214) have been distributed widely among rural communities, especially in north-eastern Namibia, backed up by radio discussions in local languages and articles in the print media.
Pangolin populations across the globe have been decimated by poaching and illegal trafficking.
All eight species are categorised as threatened in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data lists.
Pangolins are killed for similar reasons in Namibia and Asia: meat, traditional potions, ornaments and good-luck charms.
The surge in pangolin trafficking in Namibia has been linked primarily to the high demand in Asia.
The pangolin is the most trafficked wild mammal in the world, with an average of 20 tonnes of pangolins and pangolin parts being trafficked each year.
Pangolin scales have no proven medicinal properties.
A Dutch court has ordered Steinhoff International to amend its 2016 accounts, handing victory to a former business partner in a dispute over the ownership of discount furniture store chain POCO, the crisis-hit retailer said yesterday.
The Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeals ruled that Steinhoff must change its accounts to show it held a 50% controlling interest in POCO, not 100%, to reflect the part-ownership of Andreas Seifert.
The case brought by Seifert, the owner of German furniture chain XXXLutz, predates Steinhoff's admission in December that it had found "accounting irregularities"– a revelation that helped to wipe out about 85% of the South African retail group's market value.
Seifert claims half-ownership of POCO, while Steinhoff says he had to be bought out due to unspecified actions by his company, Seifert Enterprises. Steinhoff said it would pay Seifert for his half of POCO as soon as a separate ongoing legal case in Germany over the ownership of POCO was settled.
The Amsterdam court also ordered Steinhoff to revise the contingent liabilities in its 2016 accounts to remove a reference to the payable liability to Seifert for the holding in POCO. – Nampa/Reuters
BHP boosts dividend, profit jumps
Global miner BHP Billiton reported a 25% rise in underlying half-year profit yesterday, helped by robust metals prices, and handed an extra US$800 million to shareholders as it forecast rising cash flows in the second half.
The payout echoes a similar move by rival Rio Tinto earlier this month as big miners recovering from the commodity crash two years ago look to cut debt and reward investors rather than spend.
Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said the miner expected to boost free cash flow to around US$7 billion in the second half, up from US$5 billion in the first half if spot prices for its commodities stay at current levels.
Underlying profit for the half year ended Dec. 31 rose to US$4.05 billion from US$3.24 billion a year ago. The interim dividend of US$0.55 per share, equivalent to a 72% payout ratio, was well up on US$0.40 a share a year ago.
BHP, facing calls from activist investor Elliott Advisors to make changes to its business, said the sale of its onshore US shale assets, which it has on its books at US$14 billion, was on track with initial bids expected in the June quarter. – Nampa/Reuters
Imperial sees H1 profit spike
South Africa's Imperial Holdings Ltd reported record half-year revenue and a 16% jump in earnings yesterday, buoyed by acquisitions, increased vehicle sales and a strong performance from its Imperial Logistics unit.
Imperial, which is also involved in transportation, warehousing and distribution management, has undergone an aggressive disposal and acquisition programme since 2014.
As of last June it had disposed of 42 businesses and 52 properties while investing billions of rand to acquire more than 15 companies.
Imperial, which also has operations in Europe, reported basic headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the half-year to December 31 of 717 cents, up from 618 cents a year earlier.
Operating profit rose 5% to R3.1 billion on group revenue up 11% to a record R66.5 billion. – Nampa/Reuters
HSBC annual profit disappoints
HSBC Holdings reported a jump in annual pre-tax profit that missed expectations and unveiled a plan to raise up to $7 billion over the next four months to bolster its capital base, as the bank prepares for growth under a new leadership.
HSBC yesterday reported a profit before tax of US$17.2 billion for 2017, compared with US$7.1 billion the year before but below the US$19.7 billion average estimate of 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Those estimates did not all take into account a US$1.3 billion writedown for 2017 that HSBC took, triggered by cuts in the US corporate tax rate which meant banks had to book losses on deferred tax assets they built up during loss-making times.
Its year-ago profit figure reflected a US$3.2 billion impairment of goodwill in the global private banking business in Europe and the impact of its sale of operations in Brazil.
The lender said it was planning additional tier 1 capital issuance of between US$5 billion and US$7 billion during the first half of 2018, and that it would undertake share buybacks "as and when appropriate". – Nampa/Reuters
Deutsche Bank slashes banking jobs
Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank is letting hundreds of investment bankers go, Bloomberg News reported Monday, the latest round of deep cuts in a years-long battle for profitability.
"At least 250" and perhaps as many as 500 "senior and mid-level" bankers in London and the US have been shown the door in the past two weeks, Bloomberg said citing people familiar with the decisions.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the report when contacted by AFP.
In early February, executives acknowledged that 2017 had been on of the investment bank's worst years yet, with revenues sapped by low volatility on financial markets and limited client activity.
Revenues at the division fell 16% to 14.2 billion euro (US$17.6 billion) last year, leaving Deutsche lagging behind competitors in the US and Europe like Santander or BNP Paribas. – Nampa/Reuters
The Kunene Region was rated lowest by the demographic and health survey of 2013 because less than half of pregnant women there gave birth in health facilities.
The reason for this was that many people in the region live in remote communities far from health facilities. The maternity home was built with the help of the health ministry, the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMaCM), the European Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The 35-bed maternity home cost N$3.5 million and has been named after the late regional governor Kazetjindire Angelika Muharukua, who died last year.
It was inaugurated by health minister Berhard Haufiku yesterday.
At the ceremony, the local WHO representative, Dr Charles Sogoe-Moses, said one of the key activities within the PARMaCM was the construction of maternity waiting homes. “These homes were critical to help pregnant women living in remote communities far from health facilities, move closer to the service delivery point around the time of delivery to enable easier and prompt access to care when in labour,” Sogoe-Moses said. He added that only 50% of the women who delivered received post-natal care within two days of delivery as recommended by the WHO.
“This will contribute to the reduction of deaths of mothers and newborns and have a positive impact on the lives of women, children and the entire community in the region,” he added.
Haufiku said Kunene was one of the regions where patients must travel long distances to get to healthcare facilities. He said the home would reduce complications during labour and would also reduce infant mortality rates.
“This has resulted in low performance in maternal and child health indicators. Moreover, the region has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and lowest deliveries at facilities,” Haufiku said.
The governor for the Kunene Region, Marius Sheya, said he did not want the new home to be run like other health facilities in the region.
Sheya said he had observed during visits to all seven constituencies of the region that residents were unhappy with services offered by clinics in the region.
The region was also rated last by the Namibia University of Science and Technology's (NUST) Customer Care Satisfaction Survey.
He urged regional director of health Thomas Shapumba to make sure that the maternity ward is customer oriented.
“I am sending a strong warning to those who are going to be in charge of this maternity home not to bring their household problems here. This institution must give hope to our people of Kunene and not like other health institutions in the region. Users are also expected to come with positive attitudes and not to stress those running the institution,” Sheya said.
He said the health minister could not always drive from Windhoek to ensure service delivery in the regions. Haufiku concured with Sheya and urged health officials to be extra careful because their actions cannot be undone.
“I have observed that many accidents in the ministry are due to personal attitudes. We need to be more careful because we are dealing with the lives of people. Lawyers can appeal cases for their clients once they lose, but for us nothing can be done once a life is lost,” he said.
Shifeta confirmed yesterday that his ministry is looking at ways of banning plastic bags in the country.
Each year, more and more plastic bags end up littering the environment. Once they become litter, plastic bags find their way into waterways, parks, beaches and streets. And, if they are burned, they infuse the air with toxic fumes.
Many animals die after ingesting plastic bags, while mistaking them for food, while one of their worst environmental effects is that they are non-biodegradable and decomposition takes hundreds of years.
According to Shifeta, one of the ways of getting rid of plastic bags is introducing a levy, while another is totally banning their use.
“Other countries have done it, why not Namibia? Plastic is an eyesore and it is a concern for the environment. In the same vein, Shifeta said littering has become a serious concern in the country and therefore it needs to be addressed urgently, before it gets out of hand.
“Littering is becoming a trend that needs to stop. We are coming up with regulations and the laws will be changed.” Shifeta added that if a person, for instance, throws something out of a car they will be stopped and will have to clean up the area.
With regard to littering in the national parks, he said that strict measures must be put in place to keep these facilities clean. “These are lenient fees we are charging people, we have to do something to stop this.”
Shifeta referred to the past New Year celebrations, when litter was strewn in the Dorob National Park.
“It takes almost two weeks to clean up and we do not want to keep people away from the area, therefore measures have to be put in place.”
Shifeta also confirmed that dumping sites must be declared and inspected by his ministry, otherwise they are illegal. He said there are many dumping sites that have not been declared by towns and these may pose a health hazard to people living around them, and will be closed. “We need to do something because it can be a health hazard and they must be closed down.”
Shifeta warned town councils and municipalities to declare dumping sites, and if this does not happen, they are illegal. He said undeclared dumping sites can pose a serious health risk and even result in deaths.
He added that most people in Namibia do not understand the significance of the Environmental Management Act, which is designed to protect the environment.
According to Shifeta, many activities are taking place in Namibia that are not in line with the Act.
“Non-adherence with the Environmental Management Act will not be tolerated any longer. We should ensure that all listed activities have Environmental Clearance Certificates (ECCs) and that Environmental Management Plans are strictly complied with.”
According to Shifeta, this year illegal sand mining will not be tolerated, as it continues to degrade the environment.
“We have all this construction of roads taking place and there is a need to restore our environment.”
He said all organs of state under which some of these activities occur should ensure that they do not take place without ECCs.
The rally in zinc prices to their highest since 2007 has helped to boost the overall profits of Vedanta, which has zinc projects in India, South Africa and Namibia.
It also has licences in Ireland and is discussing possible joint ventures to develop them following the closure in 2015 of the Lisheen mine it operated in the country, Deshnee Naidoo, chief executive officer of Zinc International, which groups Vedanta's assets in Africa and Ireland, said.
She said she was bullish about zinc prices and bullish about South Africa after Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as president last week.
"Some of the aged mines are starting to close, demand is growing. The market is in deficit for both zinc concentrate and metal," she said in a telephone interview with Reuters.
Analysts also see a shortfall this year of the metal, which is used to galvanise steel and which potentially can be used in batteries, although the technology is still being researched.
Vedanta's Zinc International complements the group's Hindustan Zinc Limited, which makes it India's biggest zinc producer.
The group says its appeal for investors is the access it provides to the huge potential of the Indian market, but it has also made clear its ambition to diversify internationally and has long been enthusiastic about South Africa.
Its chairman has acquired a roughly 20% stake in South African-focused major Anglo American.
Vedanta is already bringing on new production at Gamsberg in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, where output should start around the middle of this year, ramping up to full production of 250 000 tonnes annually in around a year's time.
In view of the strengthened zinc price, Naidoo said a second phase to bring production to around 400 000 tonnes per year could be accelerated. She said a decision would be taken "over the coming months".
Vedanta is also investigating whether it could mine underground in Namibia when its open pit operations at Skorpion Zinc will be exhausted around 2020.
This year, Skorpion is expected to produce approximately 90 000 tonnes of zinc, reaching approximately 130 000 tonnes by 2020.
If Vedanta decides underground operations would not be viable, Naidoo said the company would convert the Skorpion refinery, whose current capacity is 150 000 tonnes per year, to treat different ores, meaning it could process third-party material, thereby maintaining a foothold in Namibia.
"We really do not want to leave Namibia," she said. – Nampa/Reuters
Ghana plans to issue a sixth Eurobond of up to US$2 billion by June and has received keen interest from Asian investors, finance minister Ken Ofoti-Atta said on Tuesday.
Ghanaian officials last week met investors in Singapore and Hong Kong to seek favourable terms for the bond, originally envisaged at US$1 billion in the 2018 budget.
The government is also considering a green bond sale, Ofori-Atta said, but did not give details.
Ghana's 2018 Eurobond sale comes amid market uncertainty fuelled by the likelihood of a US Federal Reserve hike that could render sub-Saharan African debt unattractive.
Ghana, which exports cocoa, gold and oil is in its final year of a US$918 million credit deal with the International Monetary Fund under which it is aiming to reduce the budget deficit, inflation and public debt, which hit 68% of GDP last year. – Nampa/Reuters
Egypt to buy billions of Israeli gas
An Egyptian company will buy US$15 billion of Israeli natural gas in two 10-year agreements announced on Monday, a major deal that Israel hopes will strengthen diplomatic ties.
The partners in Israel's Tamar and Leviathan offshore gas fields said they would supply the private Egyptian firm Dolphinus Holdings with around 64 billion cubic metres of gas over a decade – with half coming from each field, and the proceeds shared equally.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreements would "strengthen our economy [and] strengthen regional ties".
His energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, called it the most significant export deal with Egypt since the neighbours signed their historic peace treaty in 1979. – Nampa/Reuters
Dividend restriction worries Nigerian lenders
Shares of Nigerian mid-tier lenders fell on Monday as worries set in over a restriction set by the central bank on dividend payments at banks with non-performing loan (NPL) ratios above the regulatory minimum, traders said.
Commercial banks with NPL ratios above 10% will not be allowed to pay dividends, the central bank said in a circular seen by Reuters. The regulatory minimum for NPLs is 5%.
Two central bank officials have said that four lenders are operating with too many non-performing loans on their books and with liquidity ratios below the minimum requirement.
The central bank said the NPL move was necessary to facilitate sufficient capital build-up for banks in line with their risk appetite. It bank added that lenders whose capital ratios are short by more than 3% would also not be allowed to distribute dividends.
It exempted banks with capital ratios and NPLs within the regulatory minimum and asked lenders to submit approved dividend payout policies before payment is made.
UN warns of rising food insecurity across Africa
About 224 million people are under-nourished in Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday.
The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030.
"Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21% to nearly 23% between 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said at the regional conference that opened on Monday in Khartoum.
"Over the same period, the number of under-nourished rose from 200 million to 224 million in Africa. This is a cause of concern for all of us."
The rise in under-nourishment and food insecurity was related to climate changes and natural disasters, Tijani later told AFP on the sidelines of the forum. – Nampa/AFP
The November congress elected President Hage Geingob as party president, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as vice-president, Shaningwa as SG and Marco Hausiku as deputy SG.
According to Shaningwa, the candidates who lost accepted the outcome and even “congratulated the winners” when they were asked to raise concerns or grievances after the elections.
She was responding to a demand for an independent audit by four Swapo members - Nambata Angula, the daughter of congress presidential candidate Nahas Angula, as well as Mirjam Shituula, Selma Nambago and Seth Boois.
Shaningwa said she had never seen the letter dated 12 February 2018, in which the four party members set out their demands and gripes.
She emphasised there was no need for an audit, since election observers had declared the elections free and fair.
The authors of the letter, however, said it would be historically wrong if they allowed the party to sweep under the carpet “so many irregularities” that took place at the congress.
“We do take note that before the sixth congress there were many complaints of constitutional violations. These complaints are well documented. In short, many things were done unconstitutionally including the composition of some Swapo district conferences, regional conferences and even the wings, such as the elders' council and the youth league.
“The incumbent SG (Nangolo Mbumba), on the direction of acting (party) president Hage Geingob seem to have taken a decision that the only way victory would be secured is to ensure that the rules must be broken and the constitution being violated (sic),” the letter states.
They further said that Aranos never held a district conference to elect congress delegates, and that delegates from some regions were handpicked.
“It was summed up by one member of the incumbent team Mandela Kapere in a newspaper, when he boasted about (how they had) secured victory through police intimidation and (the) harassment of Swapo Party Youth League Congress, saying 'we have a strategy for (the) Swapo Party Congress too',” the letter added.
The group also accused former President Hifikepunye Pohamba of openly campaigning for Team Harambee, as Geingob and his slate were known, while “rubbishing Team Swapo”, which was the opposing faction at the congress.
The group said despite all this, they had made peace and wished to move on, but they were upset by Geingob firing two Team Swapo members, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Jerry Ekandjo, from his cabinet because of their lack of loyalty.
Robert Voigts, managing director of Wecke & Voigts, noted “mixed effects”.
He explained: “The supermarket side of our business has still shown steady, above inflation growth versus the previous year (July - December). However, this is not reflected in many other stores and - from the information available to me - our growth is higher than the majority. This might indicate a bias towards the lower-income groups that are suffering more due to lesser disposable income, fewer breadwinners (construction industry) etc.
“Sugar sales by volume are supposedly down by 10% countrywide, again indicating that the lower LSM groups are harder hit than the rest.
“The luxury goods (non-food items) are definitely affected by the current climate, but how much can be attributed to the budget cuts is questionable.
“We have definitely received fewer orders from government agencies than previously but in general this area of business has been struggling for the last few years.”
He said the wholesale sector has also seen restricted growth, “in part due to the decline of purchases from the informal market in staple goods (sugar, maize meal, rice etc.)”.
There is no doubt that the economic crunch also filtered down to them, said Hartmut Fahrbach from family-owned shop Otto Günther at Swakopmund.
“Our quality product range, however, still has a regular market. We also have an increasing customer base throughout Namibia that order from our online shop, being either individuals in Lüderitz or remote lodges.
“Our venture into e-commerce has proven that we reach many more establishments on a regular basis in the country’s hospitality industry now than before.”
Fahrbach explained the bigger picture: “If one looks around in Swakopmund, one notices a decrease in spending money on smaller and bigger scale.
“Budgets are tight; customers seek more in-depth knowledge about products that draw their interest before they make a decision. Many premises are for rent or sale - in town, in the suburbs and around the industrial area.”
Asked what he foresees in the future, he said: “It is our opinion that we still have a difficult time ahead of us, but the political changes that occurred during the last months throughout southern Africa will have a positive effect on our economy. We will benefit from it and it surely will also let our international rating go up again.”
The downturn in the construction sector had an effect on suppliers, said Marc Egner, managing director of E-Hardbuild at Swakopmund. “We experienced after years of spending money on projects without secured funding and/or proper control from the ministries involved, contractors and subcontractors were not paid in time or not at all, causing a delay of payments to their employees and suppliers or no payments at all,” he said.
“New project monies received in 2017 were used to settle old debts. In many instances, year-end expenditure like bonuses could not be paid, which had a detrimental effect on spending especially during the Christmas season.
“Order books are not as full as in previous years and retrenchments followed during the year of 2017 and most probably also 2018.”
Robert Swiegers from Auto Swiegers Windhoek was very frank: “I had to pay in a lot of money just to keep the company afloat, which affected my cash flow in a very negative manner.
“I am a small company and I had to let five [employees] go. We had to cut a lot on advertising and basic necessities. We cannot afford to pay bonuses or give salary increases for workers. We usually take in trainee workers for practical experience, for instance mechanics or auto-electricians. That we can no longer do, so the impact was massive.”
One of the biggest retail and wholesale businesses in Namibia is Agra. Helga Busing-Volschenk, general manager: marketing and business development, elaborated on the company philosophy: “In an ever-evolving business environment, the only constant is change. Agra embraces any challenges that the company might face due to economic and climate fluctuations.
“Management is committed to adapt to change as efficiently as possible and strive to deliver the best service to our clients at all times.”
She further stated: “Agra will support any initiative that the government plans to implement in order to support economic growth and environmental sustainability. The only solution to changes that are challenging, especially to the agricultural community, is to adjust operations as well as your strategy in order to maximise other potential avenues that might present themselves.”
The chairperson of Namvet, Jabulani Ndeunyema, said the group wanted to march to State House to meet with President Hage Geingob, as he is the only person in government the group will consult with in future.
Ndeunyema said Namvet took this decision after former vice-president Nickey Iyambo allegedly called them “killing machines” during one of his consultations with them late last year.
“Was that President Geingob's message to us through Dr Iyambo?” Ndeunyema asked.
“If we are in the Namibian house something must be on the table for us or else President Geingob must tell us that we are not welcome.”
In the last two weeks police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has written to Namvet several times to explain why the group could not stage protest marches.
On 13 February they were not allowed to march because of the opening of parliament. A planned march to State House on 14 February was not permitted “under any circumstances due to the threat of safety to such a high office”.
Ndeitunga further said a march to the Evangelical Lutheran Church would be subject to the church's willingness to receive a petition.
Ndeitunga wrote that those marches could have threatened public order because there was a “high possibility of causing, encouraging and fomenting feelings of hostility between different sections of our society”.
On 17 February Ndeitunga wrote that the 19 February march would not be allowed because Geingob had not agreed to meet with the ex-soldiers.
Ndeitunga said the ex-soldiers would be allowed to march to an open space between Maerua Mall and the Windhoek showgrounds, should State House agree to meet with them.
This would be on condition that they do not carry any weapons, including knobkieries, or posters or pamphlets containing hate speech, or any material that might “reasonably incite violence” against anyone.
Ndeitunga further said that no organiser, speaker or participant at the public gathering may “make any utterances that are subversive to the authority” of the Namibian government.
Ndeunyema said after receiving the last letter from Ndeitunga on Friday he received a video on WhatsApp from a “high-ranking government official” of PLAN fighters who were killed inside the country on 1 April 1989.
“Was this person [high-ranking official] trying to remind me that I am asking for benefits while we have killed people? What if I send out pictures of Geoffrey Mwilima or Lubango survivors? They forget former SWATF/Koevoet members are Namibians first,” Ndeunyema said.
Ndeunyema said the Namibian police, NDF and state security had met with Namvet practically every week since December. “What does this mean? Our issue has nothing to do with the police or the army. Our issue has to do with politicians; we want to meet with politicians. Why are the police and army trying to prevent us from seeing our politicians? Are they being used by politicians?” Ndeunyema commented.
Ndeunyema said Namvet would proceed with its planned march to State House next week, with or without police permission, and it would be a “game changer”. “We have already consulted with Inspector-General Ndeitunga but we will not meet President Geingob in the bush,” he said, adding that the group would only request a meeting with Geingob.
“Ndeitunga will try to stop us from going to State House. If he does and if anyone of us gets killed, beaten or jailed, our blood will change the face of Namibia. That will trigger the Namibian Spring because if you kill me, my children will come,” Ndeunyema said. He gave the assurance that the ex-soldiers would march in peace and would not carry any weapons whatsoever.
This comes amid questions being asked about how the large amount of cash passed unnoticed at Namibia's Noordoewer border post.
Hawks spokesperson Nomthandazo Mnisi confirmed to Namibian Sun yesterday that the crime-fighting unit, which is also at the forefront of probing state capture allegations involving the Zuma and Gupta families in the neighbouring state, had made the arrests at the South African border post on 13 February.
She, however, refused to answer questions related to whether the Hawks believed the current case is just the tip of the iceberg and whether they had already approached Namibian authorities to assist in the cross-border probe.
The two suspects, 40-year-old Chinese national Chen Dangygin and 32-year-old Namibian citizen Jemin Stanraus, who have been charged with money laundering and being in possession of stolen property, are due to apply for bail in the Springbok Magistrate's Court later this week.
Menisci confirmed yesterday that the duo had made their first court appearance on Thursday 15 February. “The matter was postponed to 19 February, pending further investigation, and it has now been postponed to 22 February for a formal bail application,” she said.
The Hawks target organised and economic crimes, corruption and other offences referred to it by the state president or the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Prominent cases currently being investigated by the Hawks include a state capture case in which former South African President Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane, is implicated, along with the infamous Gupta family and senior Free State ANC politicians, in allegedly stealing over N$200 million from poor black farmers.
Meanwhile, questions have been raised about how the R2.6 million had passed through the Namibian border unnoticed on 13 February.
According to //Karas regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo, not all cars are scanned at the country's border posts, which gives a window of opportunity for these kind of errors to creep in.
He explained that too many cars are making their way through border posts and it will create a bottleneck, should every single car be checked and scanned. “It is a very big concern but there is very little we can do about it at this point. People will end up complaining. And then we have the issue of manpower. Sometimes we have only one official on a shift and this person must handle the arrivals and the departures,” he said.
Ngatjizeko, the former trade minister in President Hage Geingob’s Cabinet, was moved to his new position earlier this month, as part of a wide-ranging reshuffle.
The seasoned political veteran was a Swapo organiser from 1978 and served on the former liberation movement’s internal national executive committee before independence, after which he was elected to the Swapo Central Committee in 1991, and to the politburo in 2007.
He has been a parliamentarian since 2000, and a member of Cabinet since 2003, when he was appointed as director-general of the national planning commission.
From 2000 to 2005 he served as deputy mines minister, before being appointed first as trade minister and then as labour minister between 2005 and 2010.
From 2010 to 2015 he initially served as labour minister until 2012, before being appointed as safety minister.
In Geingob’s administration, Ngatjizeko was appointed as trade minister in March 2015, before being moved about two weeks ago into his new post.
At the time, Geingob said he had brought the ailing minister to State House, so he can look after him.