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New Era Newspaper Vol22 No168

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  • Namibia
  • April
  • Windhoek
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  • Zuma

New Era Newspaper Vol22

ol. 22 No. 168 Windhoek, Namibia Tuesday, April 4 2017 Ondangwa taps dry for a week Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva Inside Today Floods jeopardise learning in Zambezi Despite the dangers posed by serious floods in the Zambezi Region, schoolgoing children and their teachers are still in limbo as to whether they will be relocated to higher ground or not. Page 3 Rand loses 5% of value overnight after reshuffle The South African rand, and by extension the Namibia dollar, lost five percent of its value overnight immediately after President Jacob Zuma fired the widely respected Pravin Gordhan and set off an outcry by many in South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, as well as opposition parties. Page 11 Team Namibia wins two more gold medals in SA Namibian Para-athletes yesterday added two more gold medals to their tally at the ongoing 2017 Nedbank SASAPD National Championships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Page 24 Photo: Nampa Critical times… President Jacob Zuma (left), whose most recent Cabinet reshuffle is expected to heavily impact the regional economy. In the file photo he is pictured with President Hage Geingob (middle) and Lesotho Prime Minister Pakanitha Musisili in Mbabane, Swaziland last year. Namibia to feel SA’s junk status rating Toivo Ndjebela Windhoek South Africa’s credit rating was yesterday cut to junk status by the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s Global (S&P), a worrying development that local analysts believe will inevitably have a contagion effect on Namibia. The ratings agency said political upheaval, including the sacking of finance minister Pravin Gordhan, was endangering the economy. Desie Heita Windhoek Government mediation efforts have helped the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) and Skorpion Zinc - which is owned by Vedanta Zinc International - to reach a compromise on job cuts planned by the mine. The number of retrenchments has been drastically reduced from 278 employees originally S&P also expressed concern over the country’s debt situation and in particular the expense of backing state energy firm Eskom. The news put added pressure on the rand, which fell two percent against the dollar on the back of the ratings downgrade. The sacking of Gordhan, widely seen as a safe pair of hands and with a reputation for financial prudence, also led to a four percent fall in the rand on Friday and prompted strong criticism of the Zuma administration. Executive chairman of EOS Govt helps save jobs at Skorpion Zinc Deal struck… Skorpion Zinc general manager Irvinne Simataa (left) and Rosh Pinah branch chairperson of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia Petersen Kambinda sign the agreement that cut the number of proposed retrenchments from 278 workers to 43. targeted to exit the company to just 43. The new agreement was reached after the mediation and intervention of the ministries of labour, as well mines and energy. In terms of the deal signed on March 31, Vedanta Zinc International mine in //Kharas Region will only retrench 43 workers, while 192 employees are to be seconded to Basil Read. JOBS on page 2 CAPITAL Johannes !Gawaxab yesterday expressed fear that South Africa’s credit downgrade would mean a weakened rand and, therefore, a weakened Namibian dollar. “A weaker Namibian dollar means an increased cost of imported goods and services and it would boost inflation and put consumer spending under pressure,” he told New Era late yesterday. SA and Namibia are in the same common monetary area and the Namibian dollar is pegged to the rand. STATUS on page 2 Parts of Ondangwa have been without water for almost a week following the breakdown of two water pumps that used to pump water to Oluno and the surrounding areas. By Monday afternoon the affected areas were still without water, but national water utility NamWater could not yet provide a comprehensive report of what had transpired. Meanwhile, Ondangwa Town Council has been supplying the affected areas with water and had by Monday trucked in four big water tanks to alleviate the situation. Council could not specify how long the problem will last for, but municipal spokesperson Petrina Shitalangaho said the council would continue to distribute water to the worst affected areas. The council will also keep the taps at the Fire Station at Ondjondjo open for the community to access until the situation is resolved. “We will keep the residents informed of any developments that may come up,” Shitalangaho said. The spare parts needed to repair the damaged pumps were expected to have arrived at the town on Friday, so the workers could do the repairs over the weekend, but that was not the case. New Era established that one of the damaged pumps has since been fixed and is likely to be reconnected by Tuesday, but it is as yet unclear when the second damaged pump will be repaired. This reporter could not obtain comment from Namwater spokesperson Johannes Shigwedha, who was unreachable, as is often the case. Photo: Emmency Nuukala Strategic ties… Chinese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming arrived in Windhoek on a three-day official visit yesterday. Zhang Ming arrived in Namibia with an eight-member delegation that will discuss various aspects of strengthening bilateral economic and strategic ties with their Namibian counterparts. Ming yesterday met with President Hage Geingob at State House in a meeting that lasted almost two and half hours. The Chinese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs is also expected to meet Namibia’s Minister of International Relations, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, at 12h00 today, before leaving the country on Wednesday. In the photo, Foreign Minister Ming (left) greets President Geingob at State House yesterday. New Era Newspaper @NewEraNewspaper #NewEraNewspaper • •

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167