12 Inside BUSINESS Thursday, July 20 2017 | NEW ERA Indebted Britain to scrap credit card charges LONDON The British government on Wednesday said it would ban companies from charging consumers for paying by debit and credit cards, as the country struggles to bring down its debt. “This is about fairness and transparency, and so from next year, there will be no more nasty surprises for people at the check-out just for using a card,” Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said in a statement. Consumers making purchases in Britain are being asked to pay up to 20 percent more on their bills, such as for flights, for using a card rather than cash, the Treasury said. “With many feeling the squeeze in the cost of living, people shouldn’t be hit with unexpected fees,” said Guy Anker, managing editor at consumer website, MoneySavingExpert.com. But he cautioned that following the change, some companies would likely raise prices of their goods and services “to compensate for the loss, which could hit those who currently pay in cash”. Currently, businesses face charges from card companies for non-cash transactions. According to the Treasury, the total value of surcharges for debit and credit cards was an estimated £473 million in 2010. “This action forms part of our wider help for families with the cost of living by helping to raise their incomes and keep more of what they earn,” the Treasury said. Britain’s economy is slowing as high inflation and low wage growth cuts consumer spending and raises household debt. The Bank of England last month noted that UK consumer credit for items such as cars jumped by 10.3 percent in the year to April, or much faster than growth in household incomes. Meanwhile in May, union umbrella group, the TUC, said in a report that unsecured, or non-mortgage, debt per household would reach a record high of £13,900 this year (US,118, 15,708 euros). Britain’s Conservative government is meanwhile struggling to bring down the national deficit and debt, which ballooned following the global financial crisis that sparked bank bailouts. The government borrowed around £50 billion in the financial year to April 2017. – Nampa/AFP REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA OFFICE OF THE JUDICIARY MAGISTRATES COMMISSION VACANCIES 1. Post Designation: Principal Magistrate 2x Post: Salary Scale: Salary Notch: Motor Vehicle Allowance: Housing benefit: Tsumeb and Outjo N$ 449 526 (Fixed) N$ 449 526 (Fixed) N$ 74 445 pa N$ 58 000 p.a Minimum Requirements: An LLB degree or equivalent qualification PLUS 6 years court experience. Duties: The successful candidate will be required to perform all functions of a magistrate in a district court, e.g. • Presiding in the criminal, civil, labour court. • Handling of quasi-judicial and administrative functions in the district court. 3. Post Designation: Magistrate entry level 2x Post: Omaruru and Mariental Salary Scale: N$ 191 878 x 5462 – 213 727 Salary Notch: N$ 191 878 p.a Motor Vehicle Allowance: N$ 66 165 p.a Housing benefit: N$ 48 000 p.a Minimum Requirements: An LLB degree or equivalent. Preference will be given to candidates who are in possession of the Aspirant Magistrate Training Certificate Duties: The successful candidate will be required to perform all functions of a magistrate in a district court, e.g. • Presiding in the criminal, civil, labour Handling of quasi-judicial and administrative functions in the district court. Note: Candidates applying outside the Magistracy are required to submit two testimonials and will be subjected to psychometric test. (Only Namibians may apply) NB: It is a condition of service that the successful candidate may be transferred to any other duty station in Namibia. Applications on Form 1 (Application for Appointment as Magistrate) obtainable at the Office of the Secretary: Magistrates Commission, together with a comprehensible Curriculum Vitae and certified copies of educational qualifications must be submitted to: Enquiries: Secretary: Magistrates Commission, Private Bag 13412, WINDHOEK, Tel. No.: (061) 435 3417 or hand delivered at 25 Schonlein, Street, Windhoek West, 2nd floor, (Applications which are not on Form 1 will be disqualified). Faxed applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: 9 TH AUGUST 2017 US says must have more ‘fair, reciprocal’ trade with China WASHINGTON NEW DELHI India has added solar panels to the roof of a train in a national first as it tries to reduce its massive carbon footprint and modernise its vast colonial-era rail network. The lighting, fans and information displays inside the train – once powered by diesel – will run off the sun’s energy after the panels were fitted to the carriage. The train has begun journeys around the capital New Delhi, helping move just some of the The US launched its first round of trade talks with China since Donald Trump took office in an unusually blunt manner Wednesday, demanding more “fair, equitable and reciprocal” relationship, with more access to American made goods and services. Noting the more than 200 percent surge in Chinese exports to the United States in the last 15 years, creating a trade deficit of 9 billion last year, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted change was necessary. “If this were just the natural product of free market forces, we could understand it, but it’s not,” Ross said in the opening ceremony of the one-day meeting between the world’s top two economies. “So it is time to rebalance our trade and investment relationship in a more fair, equitable and reciprocal manner.” The talks are a continuation of the process undertaken by the previous two administrations, which the Trump administration has rebranded as the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue (CED). Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the talks with the Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Wang Yang would focus on concrete steps to provide greater access and a “level playing field” for US companies to the world’s second largest market. “We need to work together to maximize the benefit for both sides. But this is only possible if there is a more fair and balanced economic relationship between the US and China,” Mnuchin said. “It means addressing the imbalances cause by the Chinese intervention in its economy,” he said, adding: “A more balanced economic relationship will create prosperity for our two countries and the world.” During his campaign, Trump attacked China for unfair trade practices, but his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort in April prompted a change of rhetoric 23 million passengers who use India’s rail network every day. “We will be inducting at least four other solar-powered trains in the next six months,” Anil Kumar Saxena, Indian railways spokesperson, told AFP on Wednesday. Batteries charged by the solar panels during the day take over if there is no sunlight, Saxena added. Only as a last resort, if the batteries perish, would diesel be used. Each train drawing on this green energy is expected to save around 21,000 litres of diesel and the launch of a 100-day economic cooperation plan. That led to specific but narrow achievements, including opening the Chinese market to US beef exports, and pledges to remove barriers to US credit card transactions, credit ratings, and other financial services, including bond underwriting, that were to be concluded prior to Wednesday’s talks. Wang said the key point about the meeting is the two countries are “having dialogue, not confrontation. We don’t need to defeat each other in handling differences,” he cautioned, stressing that “confrontation will immediately damage the interests of both” countries. Wang quoted a passage from Trump’s 2009 business advice book “Think Like a Champion” -- which in turn was quoting industry pioneer Henry Ford -- saying, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” “China is ready to work together.” – Nampa/AFP India’s ageing trains get green makeover with solar panels every year, helping reduce India’s enormous reliance on fossil fuels and huge output of carbon emissions. Built by India’s former British colonial rulers, the railway system is one of the world’s largest and is still the main means of long-distance travel in the huge country. But years of financial neglect and a populist policy of subsidising fares have hit the network hard. Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to revive it after coming to power in May 2014. – Nampa/AFP
Thursday, July 20 2017 | NEW ERA 13 Picture Picture Picture Photo: Quickpic Mercedes-Benz X-Class bakkie will be here by 2018 Staff Reporter The Mercedes-Benz X-Class – the new bakkie from Mercedes – is ready for order and delivery to Namibia and South Africa in 2018, which is less six months from today. The bakkies for Namibia and South Africa, and by extension Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, will be manufactured at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain. The Barcelona plant will also manufacture the bakkies for European and Australian markets. Mercedes’ new bakkie will be manufactured in production cooperation with the Renault- Nissan alliance, so expect the bakkie to have a lot of components that are not Mercedes. The bakkie will be launched in two powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines to deliver spirited performance. There will be a high-torque common-rail diesel model, that come either as an X 220 d with single turbocharger capable of generating 120 kW or a bi-turbo X 250 d with capability of generating 140 kW of power. Both diesel models are available with purely rear wheel drive or with engageable all-wheel drive. However, Dubai and Morocco will only have the rear-wheel drive model due to their market requirements. All engines are characterised by quiet, low-vibration running and excellent power delivery coupled with low consumption figures. Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission. But a seven-speed automatic transmission is available on request for the 140 kW X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models. A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018, ensuring even greater agility on and off-road. It will generate 190 kW and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. With that the X 350 d occupies a leading position in the segment. The top X-Class model will come as standard with permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the seven-speed automatic transmission. The ‘7G-TRONIC PLUS’ with steering-wheel shift paddles and ECO start/ stop function, and a ‘DYNAMIC SELECT’ system will be available as an optional feature for those who want maximum driving experience. Mercedes-Benz is also planning release, later in 2018, of a 4MATIC six-cylinder engine with a permanent all-wheel drive to ensure that the X-Class delivers maximum performance and traction, even at top speed on roads. For now all all-wheel drive models will come with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) on board as standard. The X-Class can haul a payload of up to 1.1 tonnes. That is enough to transport 17 full 50-litre barrels of beer in the cargo area. Able to tow up to 3.5 tonnes, it can also pull a trailer containing three horses or an eightmetre yacht. In the interior, the instrument panel has the concave trim element typical of a Mercedes, that stretches across the entire width of the instrument panel. There are three trim variants to choose from for the X-Class POWER: a pixelated look in matt black, an aluminium effect with longitudinal grain and a brown matt woodgrain effect. To complement the highquality feel, the upper section of the cockpit is available with ARTICO man-made leather in either black or nut brown. The characteristic round ventilation outlets add a sporty touch. Depending on the design and equipment line, these come in either high-gloss black or silver shadow, creating a high-end cool touch effect. With the PROGRESSIVE and POWER design and equipment lines, the centre console is also prominently framed by a decorative trim in silver shadow. The large door handles are also finished in silver shadow. The X-Class will be the only bakkie equipped with lighting in the cargo area as standard. The third brake light contains LED lights, which illuminate the whole load bed. Operation is by a switch in the centre console. As soon as the ignition is switched on, those lights turn off automatically. A 12-volt socket to power additional equipment such as compressors, for example, is also part of the standard equipment in the load bed.