10 Inside BUSINESS Monday, April 9 2018 | NEW ERA Sovereign wealth fund not feasible in Namibia: Schlettwein Windhoek With the meagre resources at the government’s disposal, establishing a sovereign wealth fund is not a feasible option in Namibia, finance minister Calle Schlettwein said on Thursday. Responding to queries on the N billion 2018/19 National Budget in the National Assembly (NA), Schlettwein said available resources will be directed at addressing structural imbalances. “Available scarce resources are to address structural development needs, avert borrowing costs and support realisation of a successful consolidation programme,” he said. With the plethora of challenges and circumstances that Namibia is currently faced with, the establishment of such a fund is not feasible at this time, said the minister. “Government is in a fiscal adjustment process, elevated budget deficit and public debt levels,” he said. Schlettwein added that calls for such a fund were conceptually plausible and theoretically possible, “but its feasibility at this point in time should be well considered”. He added that the creation of sovereign wealth presupposes existence of surplus revenue that could be set aside, which is not Namibia’s current reality. The fund’s formation was proposed Calle Schlettwein by Swanu parliamentarian Usutuaije Maamberua in the NA a fortnight ago. A sovereign wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets and which is set aside for investment purposes to benefit the country’s economy and citizens. Another complaint raised by opposition parties during their contributions to the budget was the government’s lacklustre and rhetorical approach in fighting corruption. In his response, Schlettwein concurred with the shared concern and called for corruption to be “nipped in the bud”. He said while Namibia ranks favourably on the global corruption index, it does not mean the country is free from corruption and its effects. “We must therefore ruthlessly implement the zero-tolerance stance against corruption at all levels,” he said. In recent times, President Hage Geingob consistently lamented that corruption allegations and perceptions of corruption mounted against government officials taint the government. He, however, maintained that the government has the political will to combat corruption. In 2017, Namibia was ranked the fifth least corrupt African country by The Nerve Africa, a continental business news publication providing reports and analysis on the African economy, technology and innovation. - Nampa Pupkewitz Motors and NTA embark on apprenticeship training Photo: Contributed Shoulder to shoulder… Jerry Beukes, CEO of NTA (left) and Ekkerd van Wyk, MD of the Pupkewitz Motor Division. Staff Reporter Windhoek The Pupkewitz Motors Division and Namibia Training Authority (NTA) signed an Apprenticeship Memorandum of Agreement last week. The agreement is part of the apprenticeship pilot project under the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme in the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) sector with the aim amongst others, to enhance access to training opportunities, address youth unemployment, improve firm-level productivity, and improve national economic competitiveness. The Pupkewitz Motor Division was amongst 14 local companies that signed apprenticeship agreements with the NTA. “Today we embark on a pilot project under which the NTA, in partnership with leading local employers, takes the first steps towards reintroducing apprenticeship – as a key sub-component of Work- Integrated Learning – to Namibian workplaces. And by so doing, re-open an alternative, viable and relevant enrolment avenue, through which we can boost access to equitable and high quality TVET opportunities for young people wishing to embark on technical and vocational career paths,” said the chief executive officer of NTA, Jerry Beukes. The apprenticeship programme is based on a dual vocational training system, whereby apprentices will attend classes at accredited training institutions and receive on-the-job training at the Pupkewitz Motor Division. Eleven apprentices will be employed in the field of automechanic for three years while receiving theoretical knowledge through the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC) and three apprentices in business management through the Commercial Advancement Training Scheme (CATS) with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Each apprentice will sign a contract outlining their conditions of employment and training duration, and upon successful completion will receive a recognized qualification. Ekkerd van Wyk, managing director of the Pupkewitz Motor Division, in his speech commented, “In line with the Pupkewitz Group’s number one Unifying Principle, which is Commitment to People Development, the Pupkewitz Motor Division has taken on various training programmes over the past three years. We have spent a total of N.4million on training programmes during 2015 to date and have trained over 800 individuals during the said period. And since 2013, we spent a total of N.7 million on the CATS trainee programme and we are proud to announce that all the individuals that have successfully completed the CATS training programme are now permanently employed by us, two of whom have been promoted to senior positions within a year of completing the programme.” “We regard this agreement as significant for the employment and social progression of Namibians, and by partaking in the apprenticeship training Programme we all pay homage to the start of a bright new future for our nation. In support of the strategic pillar of Social Progression in the Harambee Prosperity Plan we have committed to act in favour of vocational education training.” As one of the leading companies in Namibia, the Pupkewitz Group prides itself on the growth and development of its people, which they cultivate through various employee development programmes. Businesses to plan for increased marketing spending Staff Reporter Windhoek If businesses have not maintained their marketing spend during the current economic downturn in Namibia, the question is when businesses will increase their marketing budgets again? Businesses were asked this question via an online survey conducted by Team Namibia in March. A total of 43 percent of the respondents either said between “now” and within the “next 6 months”; whereas 38 percent responded that they would increase marketing budgets when the economy is “more stable”, “picking up” or “showing recovery”. Only 8 percent of the respondents prioritised other financial commitments or expenditure. This is despite the fact that many agree that “it is damaging to business if the marketing budget is simply based on what is left over after covering all expenditure”. With a large percentage of businesses having their financial year end in June (12.5 percent of the respondents to the survey) it is now the time for management teams to consider increasing their marketing budget. It will help to position oneself and to attract a larger market share for when the economy is on the up again. From a budgeting perspective, it appears that most businesses start preparing their budgets for the next financial year two months (21.53 percent) or three months (23.07 percent) ahead of time. Bärbel Kirchner, account director for Team Namibia, says: “This would mean that businesses with financial year end in June are now likely to consider the compilation of their budgets. Under optimal circumstances, the creation of a budget is a team effort, and marketeers should be given a role to play. “Marketing is absolutely vital to not only create awareness of one’s product or services and to stimulate sales, but during current economic times it might also help businesses to send out positive messages just by sharing information and thus creating a positive spin-off. To consider… This graph shows the the trend of marketing budgets related to turnover over the last three years in Namibia. The more messages about product or services we have out in the market, the more likely the consumer or buyer is to gain back confidence. Of course, from Team Namibia’s perspective we need local producers, manufacturers and service providers to get active and position themselves so that Namibia increasingly can replace imported products or services,” said Kirchner. She added that the determination of marketing budgets can be based on the business turnover. If there are no sales whatsoever, it would not be wise to increase the marketing budget unless this is indeed based on a well-justified business plan. Kirchner also noted that it might be worth the consideration for marketing budgets in general to be increased, especially if Namibian businesses are to compete with products from the region and elsewhere. “Team Namibia is essentially a nonprofit multi-sectoral business support and marketing organisation, to support raising awareness and the increased procurement and consumption of local goods and services. It is important for us to get our word out there that all Namibians must support local. This will help us to move forward and support our efforts of reaching sustainable economic development. This applies not only to locally manufactured products and farm produce, but to our service providers across the sectors of our economy,” Kirchner concluded.
Monday, April 9 2018 | NEW ERA Inside BUSINESS 11 6.3% rise in passenger traffic for African airlines during Feb 2018 - IATA SA labour federation slams mineworkers union over stance on energy deals JOHANNESBURG The South African Federation of Trade Unions on Friday slammed the National Union of Mineworkers, saying its condemnation of a government deal with independent power producers was an about-turn from its initial support of President Cyril Ramaphosa. The NUM said it was angry over the deal, labelling it an attempt by the government to privatise state-owned power utility Eskom through the back door to please ‘white monopoly capital’, a reference to how whites are still dominant in South Africa’s economy, 24 years since the end of apartheid. But federation Saftu said NUM leaders had changed their tune, after compaigning for Ramaphosa, a former businessman whose swearing in to replace former president Jacob Zuma in February pleased investors. “The NUM leadership are clearly coming under pressure from their own members, who have been enraged by the IPP deal. But until yesterday, the NUM was one of Ramaphosa’s biggest supporters,” Saftu said. “They have said nothing about Ramaphosa’s role in private business, particularly as a director of Lonmin, one of their members’ biggest and worst employers, and how he became a multibillionaire and joined the ruling class whose interests he is now promoting.” Energy Minister Radebe on Wednesday signed the hotly-contested renewable energy agreements with 27 independent power producers on behalf of Eskom. He said the projects, located in mainly rural parts of South Africa, represented a total of R56 billion of investment and would add about 2,300 MW of generation capacity to the grid over the next five years. - Nampa/ANA GENEVA The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for February showing a rebound in traffic growth following the slower demand experienced in January, which was owing to temporary factors including the later timing of the Lunar New Year in 2018. African airlines experienced a 6.3 percent rise in traffic for the month compared to the same time last year. The growth occurred amid an improving regional economic backdrop. Business confidence in Nigeria has risen sharply over the past 15 months while a reduction in political uncertainty in South Africa Trade body says Ghana mission yields new markets JOHANNESBURG A recent successful mission to Ghana has yielded new markets for companies in KwaZulu-Natal province, a trade body said on Friday. Seven companies from the agriculture and agro-processing, mining and capital equipment and cultural sectors participated in the Ghana International Trade Fair in Accra as part of the Trade has contributed to an improvement in business confidence there for the first time in more than a year. Capacity rose 3.3 percent, and load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points to 67.8 percent. Meanwhile, global total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) for the month rose 7.6 percent, compared to February 2017, up from 4.6 percent yearover-year growth in January. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 6.3 percent, and load factor rose 0.9 percentage point to 80.4 percent, surpassing the previous record for the month of 79.5 percent, which was set in February 2017. “As expected, we saw a return to stronger demand growth in February, after & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) mission. “New markets for KwaZulu- Natal companies and a boost for the province’s Trade, Investment Promotion and Economic Development Programme (TIPED) were some of the spin-offs of the recent successful ... mission to Ghana,” TIKZN said in a statement. As a direct result, Leo Garments, a manufacturer of protective outerwear from ballistic body armour to chemical, mining, blood, fat and rain protective wear, was in discussions with two distributors. “More importantly we are negotiating an agreement for a company to represent Leo Garments in the West African region,” MARKET OVERVIEW the temporary slowdown in January. This is being supported by the robust economic backdrop and solid business confidence. However, increases in fuel prices--and labour costs in some countries--likely will temper the amount of traffic stimulation from lower airfares this year,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. February international passenger demand rose 7.2 percent compared to February 2017, which was up from the 4.2 percent increase recorded in January. Led by airlines in Latin America, all regions recorded better year-on-year growth compared to January’s results. Total capacity climbed 5.9 percent, and load factor rose 1.0 percentage point to 79.3 percent. - IATA Leo Garments managing director Ravesh Rama said. “We hope to conclude this agreement by the end of May when the potential agent visits South Africa. An agent will develop distributors, resulting in a much larger distributor network.” Sibongile Silwanyana , key accounts manager for Home Concept Furniture Manufacturing, said the company hoped to broaden its scope with small kitchen manufacturing businesses in Ghana. “I feel confident that the leads we obtained will definitely contribute to new markets, improve our efficiency and increase our employment,” she said. - Nampa/ANA Money Market Change Latest Selected NSX Stock 3 months 0.01% 6.90% Symbol Stock Name Spot % Move 6 months 0.01% 7.40% CGP CAPRICORN INVESTMENT GROUP L 1784 0.00% 9 months 0.00% 7.53% NBS NAMIBIA BREWERIES LTD 4500 0.00% 12 months 0.01% 7.80% BVN BIDVEST NAMIBIA LTD 780 0.00% Bonds Change Latest FNB FNB NAMIBIA HOLDINGS LTD 4639 -0.02% GC18 (R204 : 6.76%) 0.02% 7.67% ORY ORYX PROPERTIES LTD 2039 0.00% GC21 (R208 : 7.13%) 0.04% 7.95% NAM NAMIBIAN ASSET MANAGEMENT LT 67 0.00% GC24 (R186 : 8.06%) 0.03% 9.28% NHL NICTUS NAMIBIA 180 0.00% GC27 (R186 : 8.06%) 0.03% 9.67% BMN BANNERMAN RESOURCES LTD 35 2.94% GC30 (R2030 : 8.44%) 0.03% 10.11% DYL DEEP YELLOW LTD 230 5.02% GC32 (R213 : 8.52%) 0.02% 10.23% SILP STIMULUS INVESTMENT LTD-PREF 12129 0.00% GC35 (R209 : 8.81%) 0.03% 10.24% FSY FORSYS METALS CORP 113 1.80% GC37 (R2033 : 8.62%) 0.02% 10.62% TUC TRUSTCO GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 875 0.00% Commodities %Change Latest B2G B2GOLD CORP 3220 1.71% Gold -0.28% $ 1,322.80 Platinum -0.35% $ 909.40 Copper 0.00% $ 6,816.00 Brent Crude -0.79% $ 67.82 Main Indices %Change Latest NSX (Delayed) -0.13% 1354.92 JSE All Share 0.00% 55,759.80 SP500 0.69% 2,662.84 FTSE 100 -0.22% 7,183.54 Hangseng 1.11% 29,844.94 DAX -0.68% 12,221.44 JSE Sectors %Change Latest Financials 0.14% 17,373.67 Resources 0.76% 34,828.92 Industrials -0.55% 72,722.48 Forex %Change Latest N$/US dollar 0.84% 12.0791 N$/Pound 0.85% 16.9191 N$/Euro 0.78% 14.7769 US dollar/ Euro -0.06% 1.2233 Namibia Monthly Data Latest Previous Namibia Inflation (Feb 18) 3.5 3.6 Bank Prime 10.50 10.50 BoN Repo Rate 6.75 6.75 6-Apr-18