1 week ago

New Era Newspaper Monday March 5, 2018

  • Text
  • Namibia
  • Windhoek
  • Ministry
  • Namibian
  • Dairy
  • Regional
  • Kuli
  • Equity
  • Procurement
  • Prices


2 NEWS Monday, March 5 2018 | NEW ERA TRADE From page 1 “As it should, our relationship is characterised by friendship and economic interdependence. No country can prosper on its own,” said Geingob. Ramaphosa said his visit aimed to open channels of communication, as the two countries would be dealing with crucial issues pertaining to economy, security and trade in the future. He said South Africans are on a journey of transformation, which is inclusive of all its people, irrespective of gender, colour, religion or class, adding that they are in a new dawn that will look at boosting the economy so that the economic projects. “This new dawn means we have to look at everything that can boost our fortunes as a country. Economically, we want to project more growth. We are embarking on an economic recovery path because our economy has been in the doldrums. We have to look at those transformational pillars that can be utilised to recover our economy. Clearly, the most important one to us is the creation of jobs,” he maintained. According to him, currently there are nearly 9 million South Africans without jobs. Therefore, he said, they want to open their economy to investment, adding that South Africa is open for such ventures. He promised to embark on the empowerment of women, youth and small and medium enterprises for them to get jobs and acquire skills so that they are able to get into professions and businesses. Ramaphosa, who is also the chair of the South African Development Community (SADC), said visiting Namibia is a renewal of friendship and strengthening of bonds between the two countries. Ramaphosa was in Namibia as part of his threenation visit that included Our Contact details and information Product of New Era Tel: +264 61 - 208 0802 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 Angola, Namibia and Botswana to pay courtesy calls on the heads of the respective governments. Namibia will assume SADC chairmanship in August after South Africa. Geingob said Namibia would continue to place emphasis on industrialisation as a pillar of regional integration. “We are convinced that accelerating industrialisation and enhancing prosperity at the national level will accelerate regional integration through the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan of SADC,” he elaborated. On peace and security, Geingob said: “We are mindful of the fact that we cannot achieve regional integration ity. We should not fail in our efforts in building a new Africa, an Africa free of con- silent for human progress to be achieved.” President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Ministers Lindiwe Sisulu of International Relations and Cooperation and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula of Defence and Military Veterans. Ramaphosa commenced his three-nation visit in Luanda, Angola, the current chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, where he had bilateral discussions with President João Lourenço. Ramaphosa travelled to Gaborone, Botswana, the host of the SADC Secretariat, on Saturday, to also hold a consultative meeting with President Seretse Khama. “We will be back here and we will engage on serious matters of the economy, on trade, on our cultural connections, on our political relations and deal with issues that are obviously aimed at developing our two countries, growing our economies, and when it comes to that we will know that we are doing the right thing to take our countries forward,” Ramaphosa noted. Cell: +264 81 156 4114 Tel: +264 66 - 256 298 Cell +264 81 217 1888 Tel: +264 65 - 238 990 Cell: +264 81 144 0646 Cell: +264 81 217 9739 Cell: +264 81 204 8078 Tel: +264 63 - 222 057 Cell: +264 81 312 5975 NSFAF From page 1 Tel/Fax: +264 63 - 204 180/2 Cell: +264 81 245 9714 Tel: +264 61 - 208 0826 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 Tel: +264 61 - 208 0822 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 Some councils perceived corrupt Eveline de Klerk Swakopmund President of the Namibian Associa- (Nalao), Walde Ndevashiya, says some municipalities and councils are hotspots for corruption while others are perceived as corrupt. He says this is due to legislation already in place not being implemented by some local authorities, as well as in- and cliques formed at the councils. He was speaking to New Era shortly after an engagement with local authority councillors and CEOs that was organised by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Swakopmund mid-last week. He says towns that are continually in the media for all the wrong reasons, LAND From page 1 The motion was passed with the support of the ANC, IFP, NFP, UDM, Agang, AIC and APC. This means that parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee, which comprises members from both houses of parliament, will have to report back to the National Assembly by August 30 and its process will include public hearings. such as Rehoboth and Mariental, among others, are prone to corrupt practices. These, he says, is derived from the fact that CEOs are usually on lengthy suspensions for petty issues, as well the lack of documentation of meetings and recommendations made during the meetings. “When residents question certain deals carried out by councils, no paper trail exists, even a simple invitation letter when claiming subsistence and travel allowance,’’ said Ndevashiya. But he says this necessarily does not mean that councils are corrupt but the fact that there are no supporting documents in some activities gives the impression that corruption is happening. According to him, not only does corruption or perceived corruption harm the public image of local authorities but also causes loss of valuable resources, Ramaphosa, who was on a one-day state visit last Friday in Namibia, says this will be achieved by addressing the land issue positively and take away the “panic and fear instilled in the hearts of South Africans”. He further said the land issue would be handled “very responsibly” to ensure that the majority without land get access to it. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has long promised reforms to redress racial disparities in land ownership and the subject remains highly emotive more than two decades after the end of apartheid. Whites still own most of South Africa’s land following centuries of brutal dispossession. “The motion that was passed in parliament had its genesis at the ANC conference where delegates representing almost 4,000 branches of the ANC, across the length and breadth of the country, felt this is now the time, the hour and the moment to address the land question. The great part of the land in our country is still owned by the minority,” Ramaphosa said during a televised interview at State House on Friday. He said South Africans felt the government needs to speed up the land reform process and the resolution taken was that they must bring about land reform and expropriate land without compensation. “But making sure as we do so, we ensure the economy is not negatively impacted. We must ensure there is Nghiwete makes the comments in the fund’s annual report for the 2015/16 Assembly by Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, last week. Furthermore, Nghiwete says the government’s continued support of the fund and the fund’s own efforts to ensure that the revolving mechanism, through loan recovery, bears the intended fruits, are key to the fund’s long-term sustainability. As such, she said, enhancing ef- organisational effectiveness, and meeting strategic themes in carrying out the fund’s mandate are vital. “One of the major challenges faced, with regard to sustainability of the fund, is the limited space in the national budget to increase the fund’s budget in a way it will allow NSFAF to adequately meet the demand for funding,” she said. Nghiwete says she has observed that while the annual national budget growth rate is 5.2 percent, the NSFAF annual budget growth rate over the past three years has been 36 percent on average. In this regard, she said, engaging for educational funds is of paramount importance. “Ensuring a strong return on investment in terms of the gradation of students funded by NSFAF, and their eventual employment, is a challenge the fund works hard to achieve,” she said. However, she said, NSFAF has no control over learning/teaching at the institutions in which students are placed, nor is it into the economy as employees. Also, Nghiwete says NSFAF can play an important support function to realise this role by ensuring that funds awarded are targeted at prioritised areas vital in improving employment prospects for students, after they have graduated from the programme for which funding has been provided by NSFAF. compromised. “One only needs to look at some of the questionable procurements and the negative impacts of how people perceive local authorities, especially in capital projects such TIPEEG and the mass housing programme,” he said. Hence, he says, the ACC’s guidance and intervention are needed to straighten out challenges experienced at local authority level to identify and close such corruption hotspots. “As I have indicated earlier, the fact is we would require the intervention of ACC in terms of capacity building to assist local authorities to put systems in place to avoid room being created for corrupt practices.” He added that they have already engaged with various councils to make them understand the importance of following the guidelines of the Local Authorities Act. “However, what we picked up are damaged relations and lack of trust as well as personality clashes which make room for corruption. Hence, we need the assistance of the ACC for capacity building to make sure that the systems in place are implemented and adhered to by local authorities,” he stated. a boost of agricultural production and ensure there is food security,” he noted. Ramaphosa said after his inauguration two weeks ago that he would speed up the transfer of land to black people although he stressed that food production and security must be preserved. Launching a debate on the motion in parliament, Malema the radical EFF leader had said, “it is time for justice” on the land issue. “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land,” he said. The motion was passed by 241 votes in favour versus 83 votes against. Parliament then instructed a committee to review the constitution and report back to it by August 30. According to Reuters, it was not clear when any change to Section 25 of the constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation would take place. Together, the ANC, EFF and other small opposition parties could muster the two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional change. The ANC supported the motion with some amendments. Its deputy chief whip, Dorries Dlakude, said the party “recognises that the current policy instruments, including the willing-buyer willingseller policy and other provisions of section 25 of the constitution may be hindering effective land reform”.

Monday, March 5 2018 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 the going tough Staff Reporter Windhoek If the long-awaited bill to regulate the importation and export of dairy and dairy products - due to be tabled in parliament soon - is not given the green light, it could spell disaster for Namibia’s small dairy producers. The country’s 16 dairy producers and the entire dairy industry are in dire straits. On February 23, a special meeting was held between the management of the Dairy Producers Association and representatives of the processor Nammilk regarding a raw milk price reduction for Namibian producers of 10 cents per litre and a further possible 10 cents reduction by the end of April. This will be the second price reduction in the last seven months for producers, and these price reductions could potentially mean the end of business for some of the dairy producers. In addition to the price reduction, payments of producers are being deferred on a monthly basis. Producers are also warned not to increase milk production, as excess milk will most probably not be taken up in the market due to imports. There are currently less than 3,000 commercial dairy cows left in Namibia. This critical situation in the dairy industry can be ascribed to closely related other dairy products into Namibia. The past two weeks, shelves of Namibian retailers for as low as N.99 per litre. In reality this milk is cheaper than a litre of water bottled in Namibia selling in the same shop. In addition, the low-cost im- shelves is cheaper than the same packs selling on the same day in South Africa. All role players have called for immediate and serious intervention to prevent the collapse of the industry. The managing director of Namibia Dairies, Gunther Ling, told New Era the price of milk and other dairy products like yoghurts is set to increase while milk volumes produced on Namibian farms in 2017 are four percent lower than This, coupled with the unfortunate challenging economic times faced today, which causes immense pressure on disposable income, has in the local industry, seeing a 15 percent decline in fresh milk and December last. “This economic dip makes resources scarce, thus resulting in the upscale of prices and in return increasing the cost of production. China funds capacity training programme for 25 Namibians Staff Reporter Windhoek As part of its training assistance in diverse professional spheres from which hundreds of Namib- of the People’s Republic of China has granted a full sponsorship to 25 Namibians from various ministries to travel to Beijing for a two-week commercial counsellor at the Chinese embassy on Friday hosted a in Windhoek for the Namibian Amazed… Magdalena Ingo from Windhoek could not believe her eyes when she saw the difference between Namibian produced milk and milk imported at super low prices. These prices are killing local producers and all hopes are now pinned on a bill to be introduced in parliament soon to regulate the import of dairy products. Photo: Contributed from the National Planning Com- to Beijing, China. the delegation whose tickets, accommodation and daily allowances are fully catered for by China, Liu expounded on the thriving bilateral trade and political ties between the two countries, saying Namibia exported copper, uranium and marble imported from China ICT products, million. China also imported seafood This is not just a milk thing. The pressure is on everyone. Maize prices will be affected by the lack of rainfall, and we can also expect an increase in fuel/oil prices going forward,” he lamented. Compared to South Africa’s N.20 per litre, Namibia’s producer price of raw milk currently stands at N.05 per litre. The market offers a fully open and non-regulated trade in milk and other dairy products. This results in increasing import competition risking the replacement of local dairy production and manufacturing. Almost all butter and cheese sold in Namibian shops are imported. The Namibian dairy industry was teetering on the brink of collapse at the end of 2015 and battled through two tough years since then when drought conditions caused large-scale losses of maize harvests in South Africa and resulted in tremendous increases in feeding costs, Ling noted. Feeding costs remain the biggest factor in the total production costs of dairy producers. According to dairy producers cost index, feeding costs increased by nearly 50 percent in 2015 and total production costs increased by about 28 percent over the same period. and Botswana hampered exports to neighbouring countries and prevented market expansion. Namibia’s only long-life milk production plant, which belongs to the Ohlthaver & List Group, could face closure if the trend continues, resulting in almost 500 job losses. The Namibian dairy industry did not receive any price increase over the past two years; instead they had to accept a price reduction of 10 cents per litre of raw milk, and production costs like fuel hikes and fodder increased drastically. Milk prices in South Africa are exempt from value added tax (VAT) for consumers and Namibia cannot compete against the import of subsidised dairy products. In Namibia a 15 percent VAT is levied on all milk sold. Sven Thieme, the managing director of the Ohlthaver & List Group, told dairy producers some time ago already that Namibia Dairies lost potential sales of N million a month on long-life milk because of local shops stocking would result in cutting down the 1.7 million litres received from milk farms per month to only 700,000 litres, which would increase the price of milk for the average consumer drastically. The O&L Group already had to close down its large dairy farm Rietfontein near Grootfontein, which had been in operation for about 100 years. and agricultural and other products from Namibia China, stated Liu, has through the south-south cooperation invested heavily in the Namibian agricultural sector where it seconded 15 agriculture experts covering the period 2015 to 2017, and it assisted Namibia with drought relief in the form of a shipment of rice weighing 6,600 tons during the period 2016 to 2018, it sank 60 boreholes and ture Centre, stated the commercial counsellor. China also assisted Namibia victims in areas that were deluged development from 2010 to last year, over 1,200 Namibians were sponsored by the Chinese government cooperation. In the area of education, it provided material assistance to numerous rural schools in Omuthiya, Tsumkwe, Talismanus, and it built and equipped a modern school in Otjomuise. Some of the schools were also assisted with food and equipment worth millions of dollars. emy in Okahandja were among the countless Namibian government institutions that received Chinese assistance, he said. from the south-south cooperation will receive training that will focus sector, reducing unemployment, and on how to utilise and manage gula the team leader from the NPC. Namibia and China enjoy historical bilateral relations that have resulted in an increase in trade between the two countries and high-level visits and exchange programmes, among others. Veterans deputy minister urges staff to desist from bribery Lahja Nashuuta Windhoek The Deputy Minister of Veterans pressed disappointment over allegations that some staff members are fast-forwarding applications for individual veterans projects (IVPs) of those known to them to of other applicants. The Veterans Amendment Act, No. 2 of 2008 makes provision for the Ministry of Veterans Affairs to fund IVPs at not more than N0,000 per project per veteran. legations of favouritism and corruption. Some veterans claim that staff at the ministry fast-forward applications of their friends and family, while others have to wait forever for their money and projects to be approved. “I hope this is not true and remains allegations because if it is the case, it’s going against the values of transparency as enshrined by Article 18 of the Namibian Constitution, which aims at advocating for administrative justice. We must be seen to uphold administration justice and not violate the constitution,” Nikanor stressed. year 1,355 individual veterans’ projects were initiated and funded, Nikanor said when addressing a ministerial staff meeting on Friday. On her ministry’s achievements Nikanor said a breakthrough was made in developing the guidelines on the regional economic opportunities to align IVPs to regional veterans to implement projects. Other achievements include the introduction of a new payment system for IVPs that requires a materials to the veterans in the presence of veterans affairs staff members, before the supplier is paid, for the ministry to ascertain correct delivery of materials to Nikanor further revealed that 131 aspiring veterans were accorded veteran status during the the total number of approved veterans to 33,654 while 1,221 new recipients of the monthly subvention were added on to the system. Furthermore, 778 new recipients of the welfare improvement grant were added on to the system, while 41 veterans were assisted with medical assistance and a total of 36 veterans’ houses were connected to the Nored electricity grid. Despite the economic hardships currently facing the country, Nikanor said, the ministry will try to implement all the planned programmes and activities by using the little resources at its disposal.

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167