6 NEWS Thursday, July 6 2017 | NEW ERA Eveline de Klerk Walvis Bay Walvis Bay residents should brace themselves for a municipal tariff increase of 15 percent for basic services, such as water and refuse removal. Chairperson of the Walvis Bay management committee Tobias Nambala during the tabling of the N6 million 2017/2018 budget this month said that a Walvis Bay municipal rates and taxes to rise sharply 15 percent tariff adjustment can be expected for water supply services. Similarly, property rates and taxes, refuse removal services, as well as sanitation services are expected to be adjusted upward by 10 percent. Nambala said the 15 percent rise in water tariffs was necessitated by the 16 percent increase imposed by NamWater, which took the price of 1 cubic metre of water from 9.10 cents to 10.60 cents. “The adjustments are necessary in order to maintain the same standards we have become used to in terms of service delivery and to be in line with the tariff adjustments from the bulk service provider,” he said. With regard to property rates and taxes, Nambala said the proposed increase includes the 5 percent increase in contributions to Erongo Regional Council, as per the Local Authorities Act. Once gazetted, the list of annual tariff adjustments for other services will be made available to the public at municipal offices and through the media. Prior to the tabling of the budget, Mayor Wilfred Immanuel called upon Walvis Bay residents to continue paying for services rendered by the municipality. “The community must support us at all times, which means paying for municipal services on time every month. Even during tough times, one’s municipal bills should always enjoy priority. That is the only way our city will be able to sustain itself,” he said. Okahandja deputy mayor occupies land illegally OKAHANDJA Deputy Mayor of Okahandja Sophia Upithe is openly defying an official notice to remove her illegal structure at Five Rand informal settlement where she lives with her family. On Tuesday, Nampa visited Five Rand and found the structure of Upithe still intact. It is alleged she grabbed the land and moved there before she became a local authority councillor in December 2015, but Upithe on Tuesday declined to comment on the issue and told Nampa to leave her alone. “Is it you again, please can you stop that thing, asseblief tog,” she said angrily. Okahandja Mayor Johannes Congo Hindjou on June 14 confirmed in a telephonic interview that his deputy (Upithe) was among people occupying municipal land illegally. “We made this discovery recently and we told her several times to remove her structure. It is illegal,” said Hindjou, adding Upithe keeps promising to remove it. Hindjou said on May 31 that eviction notices were issued and distributed to all illegal settlers at different informal settlements around Okahandja, including to Upithe. The notices seen by Nampa state that all illegal settlers on the Okahandja Municipality land should vacate immediately or before June 30. “Failure to do that, the council will be left with no other option but to take action.” The notices do not specify the type of action to be taken against the nearly 1 000 illegal settlers around the town. Some people at Five Rand on Tuesday told Nampa the town council should remove the deputy mayor’s (Upithe) structure before talking to them about the issue. Andreas Heita Petrus said the council should not tell him anything if it fails to deal with Upithe. “People will not move out. The councillors should start with their colleague and then we will move to any place they identify for us,” he said. Rachel Tally, 44, said she will not move if the council is unable to take action against Upithe, who found her there long before 2014. Shevelia Shikongo, 36, asked where she will take her five children to if she moves off the piece of land she calls home. “They must first show us a place to go and then I will move there with my children. We are a big family now, we cannot afford rent,” Shikongo said. – Nampa Deputy Mayor of Okahandja Sophia Upithe Jobseekers demonstrate, demand removal of governor OTJIWARONGO Nearly 100 jobseekers staged a peaceful demonstration here on Wednesday, demanding the removal of Otjozondjupa Governor Otto Ipinge from his post. They accused Ipinge of failing to carry out “his mandate of fighting and representing” community members in need of jobs and development activities in the region. The same group also wants Otjiwarongo Constituency Councillor Julius Neumbo out, saying he sides with Chinese people, who are apparently busy harvesting resources of the country at Otjiwarongo. The protesters earlier handed over a petition to the Office of the Otjozondjupa Governor on June 10, demanding jobs at the construction site of the Whale Rock Cement factory at Otjiwarongo. The factory, trading under Cheetah Cement, started construction activities in March on a portion of land situated approximately 6 km Photo: Nampa On the march… Jobseekers demonstrated at Otjiwarongo on Wednesday over what they claim was Governor Otto Ipinge failure to address job shortages and for allegedly siding with Chinese businesses against the interests of local jobless youth. north of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region. The land belongs to Otjiwarongo Municipality and was leased to the cement factory for a period of not less than 100 years. The jobseekers on Wednesday marched from the Orwetoveni residential area to the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, where both Ipinge and Neumbo’s offices are situated. “Down Ipinge down, down Neumbo down,” they shouted. “We want you out please, we want new leaders”, and “You have sold our resources to the Chinese” the group shouted shortly before handing over a petition to Neumbo, who promised to hand it to Ipinge. The group further claimed that some manual jobs, like pushing wheelbarrows and mixing concrete, are being done by Chinese nationals contracted to build the cement factory. The disgruntled jobseekers suggested that jobs at the site be split into half for Namibians and half for Chinese. They also called on the government to force the Chinese construction company to apply working conditions stipulated by the Namibian labour laws and regulations. Whale Rock Cement Employee Relations’ Officer, Willem /Nanub on May 30 told Nampa that about 80 Chinese and 10 to 20 local Namibians are employed at the site to construct the administration block of the factory as the first phase. /Nanub said the company would need more skilled and semi-skilled Namibians during the second phase of the project when construction of the plant starts in August this year. He said over 400 job opportunities will be created during the second phase. – Nampa
Thursday, July 6 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 7 Lack of access to finance hampers tourism – Shifeta Clemans Miyanicwe Khorixas The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, says one of the main barriers to enter the Namibian tourism sector is lack of access to financial resources. Speaking at the belated celebration of Environment Day recently, Pohamba noted: “There are opportunities for small and medium enterprises to engage in tourism-related activities such as craft production, running campsites, guest houses, bed-and-breakfasts, cultural villages, joint venture lodges, trophy hunting and tour guides. However, my ministry is aware of many challenges faced by emerging tourism entrepreneurs. One of the main barriers to entering the Namibian tourism sector is the lack of access to financial resources for developing tourism products.” More than 50 attendees at the accompanying meeting were told the environment ministry is investigating mechanisms to leverage funding for emerging tourism entrepreneurs and to unlock the geographic spread of benefits of tourism in rural Namibia and communal conservancies. This strategic intervention forms part of the ministry’s National Sustainable Tourism Growth and Development Strategy covering the period 2016 to 2026. On the theme connecting people to nature, Pohamba said: “We have to recognise the need to take this important message to our regions, starting today with Kunene. This is an appropriate occasion to recommit ourselves to sustainable development in all of our endeavours and to ensure our people can live a life of dignity in a clean and healthy environment.” Pohamba said the environment ministry supports life on earth through the provision of goods and services essential for human well-being, and products from plants and trees serve as the foundation for modern medicine. Participants at the meeting asked how many of them take time to take a walk in a natural setting to enjoy the fresh air, listen to birds singing and explore what nature has to offer. They were also encouraged to visit Namibia’s beautiful landscapes and enjoy its unique plant species. Pohamba said the environment and its natural resources “are our heritage, a heritage we need to carefully maintain in order to pass on to the next generation”. “The knowledge we possess has the potential to facilitate the transformation of resources into wealth through value-addition commercialization of our resources,” Pohamba added. Pohamba said the ministry is working tirelessly to find amicable solutions to humanwildlife conflict and requested the public “to bear with us and work with us to find solutions to this complex and multifaceted problem”. Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta Pohamba also shed light on the Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Act. Junior national councillor Trudy !Hoaes called for the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable environmental growth. !Hoaes quoted the chairperson of the National Council, Margaret Mensah-Williams, as having said: ‘If not now. When? I mean most of our action plans are for a long run. What happens tomorrow? What’s the action plan for tomorrow? I asked my junior and senior colleagues.’ !Hoaes added that Namibians must not shy away from protecting the environment and take responsibility for it. The special advisor of the Kunene governor for Kunene South John /Khamuseb, the head of the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service at Khorixas, Gideon Gurirab, the chairperson for Kunene Regional Youth Forum, Mogale Karimbue, Deputy Mayor of Khorixas, Emgard #Nauses, Khorixas Constituency Councillor Elias /Aro Xoagub, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s representative, Andrew Miles, also attended the commemoration. Indigenous trees donated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry were planted at the office of the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service where the event was held. Foetus blocks drainage pipe at Neckartal Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop A blockage in one of the drainage pipes at the Neckartal Dam incidentally led to workers discovering an abandoned foetus on Tuesday. Workers were trying to unblock a drainage pipe at one of the accommodation blocks when they discovered the blockage was being caused by a discarded foetus. They immediately notified the police, who responded quickly to investigate. The //Kharas regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo, confirmed the incident, adding that the police were investigating. Mubebo said it seems the foetus might be from one of the employees staying at one of the accommodation blocks. “We are still trying to establish if there was anyone staying there who was pregnant and what might have happened to the pregnancy,” he said. Project manager Fabrizio Lazzarin confirmed that a foetus was found on site, but could not divulge much information saying he did not know the details. The company’s spokesperson Gilles Castonguay referred all queries to the police. “Please contact the police, who are investigating the case, they are best placed to answer your questions,” he said. design & advertising RETIREMENT FUND FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND UTILITY SERVICES IN NAMIBIA WOULD LIKE TO PROUDLY INTRODUCE TO YOU IT’S NEW IDENTITY RFLAUN Retirement Fund for Local Authorities and Utility Services in Namibia safe and security THE SHIELD: All covered by the strongest symbol of protection, and security THE CIRCLE: Finding peace, continuity and a guaranteed future is the greatest wealth in this world. A circle is a symbol that contains all of this wealth. pride DUNES & WELWITSCHIA: A nation with pride works together to build and develop itself. 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