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New Era Newspaper - 16/06/2017 - Vol22 No216

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  • Namibia
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2 NEWS Friday, June

2 NEWS Friday, June 16 2017 | NEW ERA Product of New Era Publication Corporation (Daniel Tjongarero House) Corner of Dr W Kulz and Kerby Streets Tel: 061 - 273 300 P/Bag 13364 Windhoek Registered as a newspaper, Certificate No. 06/08/91 EDITOR Chrispin Inambao cinambao@nepc.com.na EDITORIAL newsroom@nepc.com.na Tel: +264 61 - 273 328 Fax: +264 61 - 235 419 EDITORIAL BOARD: Toivo Ndjebela, Chrispin Inambao, Desie Heita, Helvi Shaanika, Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro, Carlos Kambaekwa REGIONAL OFFICES Katima Mulilo Office: Tel: +264 66 - 253 049 Cell: +264 81 488 6594 / +264 81 124 2895 Rundu Office: Tel: +264 66 - 256 298 Cell +264 81 217 1888 jmuyamba@nepc.com.na Ongwediva Office: Tel: +264 65 - 238 990 Fax: +264 65 - 231 305 north@nepc.com.na Tsumeb Office: Tel: +264 67 - 221 652 Cell: +264 81 456 8643 osimasiku@nepc.com.na Swakopmund Office: Cell: +264 81 217 9739 Cell: +264 81 204 8078 edeklerk@nepc.com.na Keetmanshoop Office: Tel: +264 63 - 222 057 Cell: +264 81 312 5975 mhamutenya@nepc.com.na Luderitz Office: Tel: +264 63 - 204 180 Cell: +264 81 245 9714 tabraham@iway.na DISTRIBUTION & SUBSCRIPTIONS Ernst Apollus eapollus@nepc.com.na Tel: +264 61 - 273 326 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 MARKETING, SALES & PRODUCTION Festus Goseb fgoseb@nepc.com.na sales@nepc.com.na Tel: +264 61 - 273 322 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 SSC From page 1 SSC did however concede that it had apprehensions, and had considered withdrawing its funds from SME Bank when news broke that Bank of Namibia had assumed control of the joint venture and relieved the executive and board of their duties following the investigation of dubious investments with South African entities. However, assurances from Treasury, as well as from the SME Bank’s line ministry of industrialisation and trade, put to rest those apprehensions, says SSC CEO Milka Mungunda. She was also emphatic that SSC did its due diligence on SME Bank, as it does with other financial institutions, before it decided to invest N0 million in fixed-term deposits with SME Bank. The SME Bank kept its word by paying a N million instalment back to SSC this week – on June 13 as originally agreed. “We did our due diligence to ensure that [SME Bank] complied with [all relevant] policies. And they ticked all the right boxes,” Mungunda says, adding that the subsequent assurance CHILD From page 1 deputy permanent secretaries, education directors and their deputies, chief inspectors, inspectors, chief education officers, education officers, school counsellors, school principals, heads of department, teachers and the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu), among other education organisations. In 1991, the African Union Assembly passed a resolution declaring June 16 as Day of the African Child. The day presents an opportunity for all stakeholders on children’s DUKWI From page 1 He said no single returnee was ever prosecuted contrary to the beliefs of those opposed to the dignified return. The Botswana High Court last year in January halted the deportation of 929 Namibian refugees who had been living at Dukwi since 1999 after they fled their homes after the Namibian Defence Force suppressed a shortlived secessionist rebellion in the Caprivi (Zambezi Region). The refugees were due for deportation on January 1, 2016, after missing the December 31, 2015 deadline to return to Namibia as agreed between the governments of Botswana, Namibia and the UNHCR, which runs the refugee camp. Approximately 2,000 out of the 3,000 people who fled the NDF crackdown to take refuge in Botswana have returned home SIMATAA From page 1 the action taken should be seen against the backdrop of the obligation management has to align expenditure with available revenue. According to the deputy minister New Era printed 17,000 copies daily that SME Bank did have the required liquidity coverage helped to inform the decision not to withdraw the investments. This week SME Bank repaid the SSC investment of N million after it reached the maturity date. The investment was invested for 182 days at an interest rate of 9 percent and it netted the commission about N.3 million in interest earnings. “We are satisfied with how they honoured our investments, and are still confident they will honour the remaining investments,” says Mungunda of the remaining fixedterm deposits that are set to mature on September 15 and December 13 this year. And that is the very reason that SSC looked at investing its millions in fixed-term deposits, say Mungunda and the commission’s new manager for investments Lorentha Harases. Previously, asset managers had charged the commission millions of dollars, at ridiculous fees per annum, to manage its assets. And those fees were paid even when the asset managers failed to deliver good returns on investments or when yields were preposterously low. rights including the government, non-governmental organisations and international agencies to reflect on issues affecting children on the African continent. Steenkamp in the circular stated that with the commemoration of the day, Namibians have the opportunity to evaluate the progress made with regard to implementation of children’s rights and the challenges the nation continues to face towards the full realization of the rights of children in Africa. Further, the circular says school principals, teachers and learners must take a collective meaning in commemorating this important day since the beginning of the voluntary repatriation process funded by the UN and supported by the two governments. Nonetheless, the 929 ignored the December 2015 deadline to return and lodged an appeal in the Botswana High Court against forced repatriation, saying they may be arrested, tortured or detained without trial if they came back to Namibia. Valombola said there are those who voluntarily returned and are willing to return home, and are being received as they indicated their willingness to come home. Therefore, he urged the remaining 884 refugees not to fear to return home, as no one will be prosecuted or intimidated. Concerning the UNHCR, Valombola noted there is no withdrawal from the region and South Africa is part of the region under UNHCR operations. from Monday to Thursday and 25,000 copies on Fridays. “Copies printed were based on projected market demand,” he explained. Simataa says currently New Era prints 8,000 copies on Monday, and Wednesday, 7,000 on Tuesday and Thursday, and 17,000 copies on Friday. “Investments were yielding an average of 7.04 percent,” says Harases. And asset managers were claiming 1.08 percent of the total assets under management as management fees. Since SSC had placed over N0 million with asset managers, it was paying fees in excess of N.3 million to asset managers each year. The fees were paid as contractual obligations irrespective of whether or not the asset managers grew the portfolio. It was an untenable position for the SSC, which is tasked to administer the provision of social safety nets for employees in the country such as work injury benefits, maternity and death benefits. It meant the SSC was not able to grow the funds entrusted in its care to pay out employees’ claims as and when necessary. It also meant there were serious risks posed to the SSC’s operations, especially when it had to run to banks to ensure sufficient liquidity levels to meet payout obligations. A new investment department was established and the contracts with asset managers were cancelled. As a result, Harases and Mungunda now point at the fact that the SSC has for the first time registered an increase at the school from 07h30 to 13h00. It further states that each school should prepare a programme that includes activities such as invited guests or motivational speakers, poems, dramas and cultural dances to dedicate to the special day. A report, the circular stipulates, should be written by every school principal and needs to be forwarded through the circuit inspector to the director of education, arts and culture in the respective regions. The director will then submit a regional report on commemoration of the day to the permanent secretary by August 1 this year. The Education Act of 2001, He explained that the coverage of Namibia by UNHCR is on a nonresidence basis which is common in diplomatic practice. Therefore, he added, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration is always, when necessary, in contact with UNHCR-Pretoria, in South Africa. UNHCR has a presence in Botswana and both the government of Botswana and UNHCR are responsible for the refugees’ wellbeing. Valombola noted that about 39 Namibians have been voluntarily repatriated since December 2016. He said the government of Botswana and UNHCR continue to offer protection and support to Namibian refugees at Dukwi. According to him, the voluntary repatriation is the exercise coordinated between the government of Namibia, government of Botswana and He said this reduction is meant to contain the expenditure against income. Furthermore, Simataa informed the National Assembly that NEPC has ceased the production of New Era Weekend newspaper, as announced last month by the corporation. He said this was done after of N8 million in its assets. It now has a total asset base of over N.24 billion. “The growth is attributable to consistent earnings from fixed income instruments in the internal portfolio as well as interest and dividends received from the external portfolio,” says Harases. The portfolios’ yield to date is 9 percent. Currently of the N.24 billion, only N9 million is managed internally and N.42 billion is managed by external asset managers, who are tasked to invest the assets offshore. Nevertheless Harases says there is “still room for improvement”. “Management continuously seeks sound investments which offer attractive returns, as well as further portfolio diversification,” she adds. Further, the commission is waiting for the green light from Treasury and the labour ministry, its line ministry, to implement reviewed investment policy standards, which the commission says would “address geographic asset allocation and improve the performance of the portfolio, while maximizing returns on the portfolio for further growth”. No. 16, specifically section 37 (1), empowers the minister to determine, after consultation with the National Advisory Council, the annual school calendar, in particular the number of days in the academic year which in turn determines the minimum hours of instruction. Therefore, upon deliberations by the National Advisory Council and their recommendations presented to the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, the school calendar for 2017 was officially released on November 3, 2016 and the Day of the African Child was indicated as a day to be commemorated formally at school. UNHCR and relatives are informed in advance in order to receive them. They are also issued with some building materials and transported to their respective communities. Further, he said, as an international practice of UNHCR, before any voluntary repatriation exercise takes place, there should be a ‘Come and See and Go and Tell’ mission for the refugees to go to their countries of origin to see the situation and go back to inform others about the situation at home. For Namibian refugees, he stated, the exercise started after the signing of the tripartite agreement which motivated many of them to return back home. Currently, he said, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration together with the government of Botswana and the UNCHR are busy planning a second ‘Come and See and Go and Tell’ mission. reviewing the performance of the weekend paper against the costs of production and distribution. “The corporation has reviewed the performance of the paper against the costs of production and distribution and has since taken the decision on production of the weekend paper,” Simataa told fellow lawmakers.

Friday, June 16 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Tweya blasts ICT service providers Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek Information and Communication Technology Minister Tjekero Tweya has castigated ICT service providers that he says have failed the nation by not providing them with the available technological services 27 years after independence. “Twenty-seven years after independence we have Namibians who do not have access to the NBC signal for TV services, let alone mobile telecommunications and internet services,” Tweya said while officiating at the annual Southern Africa Telecommunication Association (SATA) conference in Windhoek on Wednesday. He said he was glad SATA decided on a much clearer strategy to enhance and improve quality services and, by the same token, guaranteed consumers of ICT products and services a breakthrough experience. Tweya called on SATA to place special emphasis on its members to ensure that citizens of SADC enjoy quality services and great customer experiences, as attested by this year theme: ‘Quality of Services and Customer Experience’. He said once SADC achieves these milestones, it would influence other regional blocks on the continent to follow the shining example of SATA, and this would give true meaning to concepts, such as the Day of the African Child. “We have a moral obligation to make our countries shine, to make our region SADC shine, to make Africa shine. Africa expects from us to do just that, nothing more, nothing less,” he stressed. He added that the conference comes at a time when funds are becoming increasingly scarce in all sectors of the economy. However, he said this should not be used as an excuse to further deprive the people of southern Africa of quality ICT services and breakthrough customer experiences. “As a matter of fact, ICT consumers demand industry expansion, change of technologies and growth in SADC and I would like to congratulate SATA and its secretariat for your effort to fasttrack interconnection regionally with breakthrough linkages with the world,” he said. According to Tweya, this requires ICT service providers in the region to adopt new ways of out-of-the-box thinking to give added impetus to the potential of ICT to enhance economic development in today’s digital world and ICT Minister Tjekero Tweya be adept at meeting and matching the heightened expectations of digital-savvy customers. “We need to realise that differentiation is now increasingly defined by a network operator and service provider’s ability to enable customers to interact with them with minimised effort,” said the minister. However, he said, consumers of ICT services and products do not get value for money. “It is certainly not the case at this point in time,” he added. Tweya said the ICT industry must connect customers wherever they are in SADC and beyond, at affordable rates. “What we are experiencing right now is that service costs are way too expensive and this price often comes with lack of quality,” he said. “SME entrepreneurs whose offices and workplaces are the mobiles phones are suffering, because of the exorbitant roaming charges,” he noted. He added, for example, that Namibia is rated as the third most expensive country in terms of telecommunication costs in the region. Hearing impaired hope for higher learning Selma Ikela Windhoek Board secretary of the Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) Sylvia Bathlomeus wants the education system to incorporate the needs of the hearing impaired, as they often aspire to further their studies, but the system inhibits them. Bathlomeus said most of the deaf end their education in Grade 10 and end up on the streets. She said there are a few deaf students though who make it to Grade 12. “We want to go to vocational centres, but there aren’t [sign] interpreters,” she said while speaking at a workshop of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilites (UNCRPD) held for government officials. The workshop’s objective was to look at issues related to the rights of persons with disabilities in order to promote equality for all persons. Bathlomeus said people with hearing impairment, who complete Grade 10, may be eligible to study at a vocational centre to become a tailor or hairdresser, which would help such a person. “But I am seeing deaf people out there are suffering. Some are done with Grade 10, with good points, but yet where are they going? They are wandering the streets and become thugs. We also need to come up with different careers when we talk of employment. “A deaf person can also work in a government office – there is nothing wrong with that. We can also go study at different institutions,” she said. At the workshop, people with disabilities spoke of the many challenges they face, such as being treated differently, especially when go shopping or to hospital or seek assistance in government institutions, including buildings that do not have ramps and are inaccessible to them. Ben Shikolalye from the National Disability Council added that people use wrong terms, such as saying a person living with disabilities, instead of saying a person with disabilities. He said they did not choose to have a particular disability. “Whatever disability they have is due to external factors and they didn’t choose to have that disability,” he remarked. Deputy director of marginalised people and women in sport in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service Jo-Ann Manuel said she has been at the ministry for the past eight years and people with disabilities are making the country proud. She recalled that in 2012 from the London Paralympics Games Johanna Benson brought home a gold medal. Following the sterling performsance of Benson, Ananias Shikongo brought a gold medal and two bronze medals from the 2016 Rio Paralympic games. She added that Johannes Nambala came back with two silver medals from the Rio Games. Further, she noted, that this year at the special Olympic participated in winter games for the first time the girls’ team ended in third place and brought home a bronze medal. “When it comes to people with disabilities, we are proud of them, but when it comes to funding it is another issue in itself. But all in all - we have taken care of them,” Manuel said.

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