Friday, 31 January 2014

Namibian Receiver of Revenue will be replaced

The Minister of Finance has commissioned a nine member task team to oversee the establishment of a semi-autonomous revenue agency that will take over the operations of the Department of Inland Revenue.
Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila commissioned the team led by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance I-Ben Nashandi at a media briefing held in the capital on Thursday. The commissioning of the task team is the culmination of a study launched in 2012 to look at the feasibility of a semi-autonomous revenue agency that will assist in tax administration.

Efforts to establish a revenue agency to be modeled either along the lines of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS), the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) or a hybrid of such semi-autonomous revenue services in the region, is part of a wider tax reform agenda.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said according to findings of the study, it was concluded that tax administration is most optimised within a revenue agency model due to the flexibility that such an agency has in harnessing specialised skills and leveraging technological innovations.
Cabinet is said to have already approved in principle the establishment of a revenue agency and the establishment of a dedicated task team to develop options for the revenue agency models that can be considered for Namibia.
Once a model has been adopted, the task team will then spearhead the drafting of the legal framework and assist with the setting up of the revenue agency. As part of its mandate, the team will also offer advice on the transitional arrangements from the current structure to the new revenue agency.
The minister said a decision will have to be made whether to copy other models operating in the region or to come up with a hybrid model. “We have seen that there are pros and cons with running the different models,” the minister said. Once operational, the new revenue agency will be responsible for the administration of the tax revenue in the country but will still be accountable to the minister. However, the tax policy function will remain with the minister. The tax reform agenda will also see the modernisation of the country’s tax system through the introduction of the integrated tax administration system (ITAS) by March 2016 as well as the broadening and deepening of the tax base. In efforts to streamline and improve business processes, a Larger Taxpayer Directorate, and Small and Medium Taxpayer Directorate have also been established within the Inland Revenue Department. The former has a dedicated unit for specialised industries and professionals.

Independent revenue collection agency to be establshed in Namibia

Windhoek – Work has started that is geared towards establishing an effective tax collection institution, a semi-autonomous revenue collection agency that will focus on the collection of much needed revenues to fund the country’s development programmes.

The ministry of finance under whose ambit the revenue collection function falls, has managed to establish dedicated units for specialised industries, units staffed with professionals. It has established a large taxpayer directorate, a small, as well as a medium taxpayer directorate within the current Inland Revenue Department. All these measures are part of the institutional reforms to widen revenue streams, as well as to ensure an efficient and effective tax collection system. This year will witness the Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila introducing legislation on an environmental tax, as well as export levy rates in parliament. “The ministry has over the years been pursuing efforts to improve tax collection and tax payer services,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila yesterday when she introduced the task team that would head the establishment of the semi-autonomous revenue agency. The country’s revenues from taxes, as a ratio of the Gross Domestic Product, increased from 23.7 percent to 31.9 percent in the 2012/13 fiscal year. Although the ministry described the level of growth in revenue productivity “a laudable outcome by international standards… [which] has bolstered the State’s capacity to address the socio-economic development needs of the country, even during the difficult period of global economic crisis,” the establishment of a semi-autonomous revenue collection body is expected to increase the revenue collected from taxes even further.

The task team is expected to develop options for revenue collection agency models that can be considered for Namibia. Once a model has been adopted, the task team would spearhead the drafting of the legal framework, as well as assist with the setting up of the agency and offer advice on the transitional arrangements.

The task team will consist of I-Ben Nashandi, the deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance as chairperson, Emile van Zyl, a technical advisor at the Bank of Namibia, Patty Karuaihe-Martin who is the head of the Tax Reforms Project in the Ministry of Finance, Penda Ithindi a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Bernie Zaaruka a senior economist at the Bank of Namibia, Ntwala Mwilima an economist in the Ministry of Finance, Salome Idhenga an economist in the Ministry of Finance, Thandi Hambira a control taxation officer in the Ministry of Finance and Nadine du Preez, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance.

“The agency will be responsible for the administration of the tax revenue on behalf of the minister and will be accountable to the minister. The tax policy function will remain with the minister.

We have set a time line of between two to three years to get the new revenue agency up and running,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

Namibia: hungry villagers demand speedy food delivery

Windhoek - The Zambezi Regional Council is in urgent need of a helicopter to rescue hundreds of villagers in the flood-prone areas in the Kabbe constituency, who have not received drought relief food since December last year, because vehicles cannot reach them due to ongoing heavy rains in the region.

The affected villagers are now up in arms with their regional councillor over the delayed drought relief food, which they say was last distributed in December last year just before Christmas. Kabbe North and South constituency councillor, Raphael Mbala confirmed the delay in the distribution process. He attributed  the delay in delivering relief food to the concerned villages to the heavy rains experienced in the region since December last year to date and that made many roads impassable for vehicles, especially trucks. The affected areas are Malindi, Nsundwa, Itomba, Ivilivinzi, Mbalasinte and Muzii.  “It is true, the villagers are complaining bitterly over the delayed drought relief food. But all these areas have mud everywhere and no truck can reach these villagers. For all other areas it is only a helicopter that can help, because no one can reach them with a vehicle. These areas are inland and are also situated in the flood plains far from the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. For Muzii, the villagers can be reached by speed and banana boats if trucks go through Zambia,” he said. Alternatively, the councillor said food for villagers at Muzii could be transported via Katima Mulilo through Zambia and be offloaded at Mwandi bordering the two countries, but there is no fuel for the speed and banana boats to cross the river into the villages.

Approached for comment yesterday, the Regional Disaster Risk Management field coordinator in the Zambezi Region, Jimmy Simataa denied any delays due to a fuel shortage, saying the distribution process is proceeding as planned in the flood-prone areas. “We are following a programme. We have enough fuel that we received in November last year. And we will only request more if this consignment is finished.

We have already supplied Impalila last weekend. And this weekend, we will distribute to Kafika,” he said. According to Simataa, the remaining areas earmarked to receive food are Ivilivinzi, Nakambolelwa, Lusese, Kabbe, Sifuha, Mumbome, Lisikili, Nfoma and Imukusi. “If the councillor wanted a helicopter, he would have gone through us so we forward such request to the Office of the Prime Minister,” Simataa said. The Kabbe north and south constituencies are among the areas that are the hardest hit by the drought and many villages experienced failed harvests due to the heavy floods experienced over the past three years and that washed away crops and prevented many from ploughing, because they had to be evacuated to higher ground. Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds have been pouring down almost every day since before Christmas in the Zambezi Region, and left many people in the informal settlements of Choto at Katima Mulilo homeless after rainwater submerged their houses. Mbala, who is also the Zambezi Regional Council chairperson, also lays the blame at the doorstep of the Office of the Prime Minister for allegedly failing to supply them with fuel as requested. “We requested fuel from the Office of the Prime Minister, but it has not yet arrived. We send through our request already late last year.

People are complaining and calling me day and night asking for their food rations. I explained to them that trucks cannot reach their areas and there is no fuel for the boats,” he said. Simataa, when pressed as to why they only started distributing the food last weekend if the fuel was ordered and delivered already in November last year, said the process has been slow due to weather conditions in those areas as they are all situated along the river. Nevertheless, Mbala noted that the current flooding is not as severe as last year. The Zambezi River on Tuesday stood at 1.65m compared to last year this time when it reached a level above 4m. “We have less rainfall in the catchment areas of south-eastern Angola, south-western DRC and north-west Zambia, which normally burst the banks of the Zambezi River,” he said. He also reported that farmers in the region are optimistic, because their crops, which almost withered are now flourishing.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Shark alert at Walvis Bay lagoon, Namibia

The Namibian Dolphin Project was alerted to the presence of several sharks at the Walvis Bay lagoon early Friday morning.

The first call was from Bex Russell, who saw a 1.7 meter bronze whaler shark (Carcharhinus brachyurus) stranded on the mudflats near Millionaire's mile.

The animal was calm and sedate, probably suffering from lack of oxygen and exposure.

It was refloated by Dr Simon Elwen of the Namibian Dolphin Project and within a few minutes swam away into deeper water.

Just over an hour later, there was a report of another shark stranded in a similar position. This animal was slightly smaller, and again calm and refloated easily.

Within the next hour, 2 more sharks (one more bronze whaler and one smooth hound shark) were found by local residents, all successfully refloated and we are hopeful that they made it back out into open water.

We are not sure why they stranded, but it most likely due to the warm temperatures and a lack of oxygen in the water associated with the current sulphur bloom.

While the sharks we have encountered so far are quite placid, bronze whaler sharks can and do bite and wild animals are unpredictable and potentially dangerous especially when stressed.

The Namibian Dolphin Project is a research and conservation project working in Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, Namibia. The goals of the project are to gather data on the abundance, distribution and habitat use of whales and dolphins in Namibia.

This project is working with Oceans Research and is funded by grants from several organisations. We work closely with the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and are hosted within Namibia by the Namibia Nature Foundation. The Project team currently consists of Simon El-wen, Tess Gridley, Heidi Etter and Ruth Leeney.

Some important things to bear in mind with stranded whales and dolphins:
- Most of the time, animals strand due to natural causes such as disease, injury or old age (which aren't always obvious) and refloating them isn't likely to prolong their lives anyway.

-These animals can (and increasingly do) carry diseases that can infect people. People also can transfer diseases to animals.

- Cetaceans are large and extremely strong, even the smallest local animal (the Heaviside's dolphin) weighs about 50-60kg and adult humpback or right whale weighs 10s of tons. Throw in some heavy seas and big swells and you have a recipe for disaster. Sixty kg's being thrown into you by the force of some pounding swells will knock you over at the very least, or a larger animal could very easily roll onto your foot and trap you underneath it. Don't forget that a whale's tail can push it's entire body out of the water when breaching - if it hits a person with that tail while on the beach...

- With respect to the situation of a large animal such as this in big surf - refloated animals often just turn immediately once in the water and swim along shore and then straight back on to land.

Bear in mind that these animals have likely never lain on the ground before (and thus experienced gra-vity as us land mammals do) and this can result in squashed or even crushed internal organs in larger animals (especially their lungs), upset balance and one would image, just general disorientation.

Sperm whales are fairly tall and narrow in shape, so tend to lie on their side when stranded, which makes it even harder to move them and probably disorients them even more than other animals.

To reduce this disorientation and reduce the risk of restranding, the approach advised by experienced people is to, once back in the water, hold the animal upright at the surface for several minutes up to half an hour to allow it to reorient itself and get its breathing back to normal.

Unfortunately, there is no logistical way that a handful of people could get an adult sperm whale 16m long, which weighs in the range of 20-30 TONS and has been lying on its side on the beach for at least 5 or 6 hours, out through that surf zone and then hold it upright in the water while it gets used to floating again.

The best equivalent I can think of is if some-one held you upside down by your ankles for 6 hours then turned you upright and told you to immediately run across a busy highway in a straight line, you'd need a little help and time to get used to being upright again.

Shooting of governor’s camel: man is arrested

A camel intended for recreational purposes - belonging to Ohangwena Governor Usko Nghaamwa - was shot with an arrow last week by a villager who found it feeding on his crops.
The confrontation between man and animal on January 21 at Oipapakane in the Ohangwena Region resulted in the arrest of Valendi Kamati on a charge of animal cruelty.
The 21-year-old Kamati appeared at the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and was eventually released after posting bail of N$500.
Ohangwena police spokesperson Sergeant Kaume Iitumba confirmed the arrest and accused Kamati of “shooting at the camel for no valid reason”
Speaking to Namibian Sun yesterday, an irate Nghaamwa said he is still deeply saddened by the incident, as there was no justifiable reason for Kamati to shoot the desert animal with his arrow.
He claims he first came to discover that his beloved animal was injured when it came running home with an arrow stuck in its sides.
“There is a rule in the law book that prohibits anyone from taking the law into their own hands. Even if someone kills your sibling, you do not have the right to kill that person. Instead you should report the matter to the police and that is exactly what this young man did not do,” Nghaamwa fumed.
According to him, it is a well known fact among the villagers of Oipapakane that the camel belongs to him and if anyone finds it destroying their mahangu fields, the appropriate action is to approach him and resolve the issue.
“He (Kamati) should have come to my house so that we can resolve the dispute either by means of monetary compensation for his losses or if no agreement could be reached, to alternatively open a case against me with the police. He did not have any right to shoot at it,” explained Nghaamwa.
Nghaamwa added that he bought the camel so that the locals could benefit from a community project that will charge tourists and locals a small fee to ride the camel.
He narrated that once not too long ago, while the same camel was lost and eventually found near the Angola/Namibia border, locals – especially children – were very excited to have seen a camel for the first time in their lives.
“A project like the one I intended to start would have really benefited the people because residents of the Ohangwena Region and nearby regions can come see the camel and learners can study the animal and its patterns for educational purposes.”
“This camel is a very big asset to the community and I am bitterly disappointed that someone tried to kill it for no good reason,” he said.

Liambezi is plundered by illegal fishermen

Katima Mulilo - Inhabitants of the Zambezi Region have once again raised concern over overfishing  and the illegal fishing methods being used by foreigners.

There are serious and widespread concerns that the uncontrolled plunder of fish on the Namibian side of the Zambezi and in Lake Liambezi in particular by hordes of foreign fishermen could deplete the fishery resource. Inhabitants of the region complain that foreign fishermen have crowded Lake Liambezi, 68 kilometres east of Katima Mulilo, and that they have even found new fishing grounds to continue their unscrupulous activities at places such as Liashulu, Lusu and Zilitene although their numbers in those areas are said to be negligible. Information revealed to New Era also indicates that locals are offered thousands of dollars to conceal the illicit, but highly lucrative operations. Foreign fishermen are further said to be selling their catches directly to locals at exorbitant prices. According to statistics provided to New Era by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, between 300 to 400 illegal foreign fishermen were deported last year during joint operations with law enforcement agencies, but the problem of illegal fishing persists. Given the gravity of the problem some people fear that the fish resources available, particularly in Lake Liambezi may soon become depleted as has been the case on some lakes and rivers in Africa. Dorothy Kabula, a former councillor of the Linyanti constituency who travelled to Lake Liambezi last week in search of fish said she was shocked to discover that many foreign fishermen inhabit the inland lake to plunder the country’s resources without any action being taken by immigration officials. “There’s a very big loophole at Lake Liambezi. Most people I found there are non-Namibians. They have big containers filled up with freshwater fish that they sell directly to the locals. How can foreign people just come from their country and start fishing in our rivers? Because of this loophole, many foreign nationals are coming in every day. I bought fish last week. Money that these people generate goes directly to their own country at the expense of unemployed locals,” Kabula complained bitterly.

According to her, markets such as Kasumbalesa, a border town located between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia where demand for Namibian fish is said to be very high, is fuelling the exploitation of fish resources by foreign fishermen from those countries who enter Namibia under the pretext of visiting  only to engage in the illegal plunder of freshwater fish. She said existing laws are not enforced by the authorities or they are too lenient resulting in the current predicament. “Our fish here goes to Kasumbalesa. That’s where the money is. It would be better if they at least buy fish from us. At the end of the day Lake Liambezi will have no fish. Our authorities are only bothering our local people here demanding fish permits, but do nothing to illegal foreign fishermen. It’s very painful. We are promoting poverty among our people,” she charged.

However, Damian Nchindo, senior fisheries biologist in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources who did not rule out the possibility of foreign fishermen at Lake Liambezi and elsewhere said even though the ministry conducts regular monitoring of rivers, his office has not received any such concerns from the public and that a follow-up will be made very soon to ascertain the validity of the claims. “We have not received that information. We do monitoring all the time checking particularly for fishing permits and nets used. We have this problem of locals harbouring foreign fishermen and sometimes it’s very difficult for us to find these people. We will make follow-ups very soon,” promised Nchindo. According to him even though operations have been conducted before to root out out illegal foreign fishermen, stakeholder involvement and teamwork is imperative for the success of such operations. “Stakeholder involvement and cooperation is important. Like with us, we just monitor if these people have fishing permits. Immigration also does their part by arresting culprits according to the immigration laws or charge them. Most of the time these people are just deported and end up coming back again and again, because they are not given any penalties,” stressed Nchindo. He further said, the Ministry of Fisheries has gone to the extent of forming fishing committees in areas adjacent to rivers, but these have been rendered toothless because they lack legal powers. “We have fishing committees that help us to monitor and report any unscrupulous fishing activities, but these committees lack power. Some of the fishing committees particularly those in conservancy areas are making an effort. Maybe if we legalise these committees it would help,” stressed the fisheries official. As part of its sensitisation efforts, the fisheries ministry also plans on inviting their Zambian counterparts since the majority of illegal foreign fishermen are suspected to come from that country, according to Nchindo. “We plan on inviting Zambian fisheries officials to accompany us to the lake to see how our resources are being plundered by their nationals,” he said.

Katima Rural constituency councillor Warden Simushi said he has made illegal fishing one of his priorities this year, adding  that he would leave no stone unturned and that the law will not be discriminatory, since locals are said to be involved in the harbouring of illegal foreign fishermen. “I have heard of locals harbouring foreigners particularly at Muyako. I am busy making arrangements to root out that problem. I even heard that foreigners come with large sums of money that they pay to locals for them to conceal their activities and to be allocated fishing areas on the island. We must also charge and fine people who are harbouring foreigners. That is what we are going to do to flush out these illegal activities,” warned Simushi. According to Simushi fishing committees seem not to work, because of pressure from the communities themselves. “Fishing committees were elected by the community. The same community is now giving pressure to these committees and they are no longer performing their duties as they should,” he said. Zambezi Police Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Bollen Sankwasa, who is also unhappy about the alleged plunder, bemoaned the lack of cooperation between stakeholders saying it is the main impediment to the success of joint operations. “We lack cooperation or if it’s there it should be revisited. Our main focus as the police is just to enforce the law, the rest is up to the other parties to do. Acts are there. But if they don’t give penalties to the culprits, this problem will be repetitive. We already had three operations last year. Again our own people are the ones hiding these foreigners. These days they even announce on radio that they want fishermen. People from DRC or Zambia cannot know where Lake Liambezi is. It is our own people who bring them. We must know this resource is not for one person, it’s for the entire country,” he said. Lake Liambezi, which is fed from the Zambezi River and known for its abundant fish resources, is often a hotbed for illegal fishing. Many joint police and fisheries operations against illegal fishing activities at the lake have been conducted in the past, but the problem refuses to go away. Towards the end of last year in one such operations, nine foreign nationals, two Angolans and seven Zambians were arrested at Lake Liambezi in a joint operation that also targeted poachers. What makes foreign fishermen elude authorities easily is the number of small islands that are dotted all over the lake making them hard to detect, except by helicopter patrols. Culprits often erect makeshift shelters and camp on the islands for days.

The Zambezi region is popular for its freshwater fish, particularly Tilapia but prices at the local market have also soared of late with some residents attributing the increase to foreign fishermen who are said to be selling fish at much higher prices. Fish is the best and most readily available nutritional option for the majority of people in the region who cannot afford the exorbitant price of beef. Many people in the region also eke out a living from catching and selling fish.

Greek oil tanker faked hijacking says Angola

Luanda - A Greek oil tanker that disappeared off the coast of Angola last week faked its hijacking and has been located in Nigerian waters, the Angolan navy said on Sunday.
The Liberian-flagged oil tanker MT Kerala had just loaded a shipment of diesel belonging to a subsidiary of Angola’s state oil company Sonangol, when it went off the radar on 18 January.

Its owners Athens-based Dynacom Tankers Management said earlier last week they suspected “pirates had taken control” of the vessel, which was carrying a crew of 27 Indians and Filipinos.

However, Augusto Alfredo, spokesperson for the Angolan navy, told AFP on Sunday “there has not been a hijacking of the vessel, but a faked hijacking”.

Alfredo said the tanker had been at the entrance to the Luanda bay last Saturday when it was approached by a tugboat.

“It then cut off its communication system and followed the tugboat to Nigeria,” said the spokesperson.

“Sonangol and the Angolan state will now work to recover the cargo and establish exactly what happened.”

Sonangol has chartered MT Kerala since 2009 and its contract was due to end on 12 February.

Angolan experts such as maritime security agency Dryad Maritime, feared the hijacking, if confirmed, would signal a spread of piracy from the Gulf of Guinea.

Despite emerging from a devastating civil war in 2002, Angola is one of the Africa’s fastest developing economies, thanks to its oil resources.

It is the second largest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria, where crude oil theft is a problem, but has so far been spared the piracy woes dogging the west African oil giant.

Namdeb production raised to 1,7 million carats in 2013

Namdeb Holdings diamond production rose by six percent in 2013 to reach 1 762 000 carats. Production in 2012 was 1 667 000 carats.
The production figures were released yesterday by Anglo American, which owns De Beers, the holding company of Namdeb. Production for the fourth quarter of 2013 was 465 000 carats, compared to 445 000 carats in the third quarter of last year. Production for the second quarter was 423 000 carats and 429 000 carats in the first quarter.

De Beers’ overall production increased to 31 million carats in 2013 compared to 27 million carats in 2012. The increase followed strong production in the last quarter of 2013 at Debswana operations, with Jwaneng increasing production following the slope failure in 2012, and higher grades at Orapa. Production also increased in South Africa and Canada, on account of improved grades at Venetia and Snap Lake.

Cannibalism in Central African Republic

Bangui - The Central African Republic (CAR) which is witnessing the bloodiest sectarian violence has also seen cannibalism. According to some reports from the capital of the war torn country Bangui, there have been several instances of human flesh eating.
BANGUI – The Central African Republic (CAR) which is witnessing the bloodiest sectarian violence has also seen cannibalism. According to some reports from the capital of the war torn country Bangui, there have been several instances of human flesh eating. But, an incident which has been captured live on mobile phones has shocked the world. According to the BBC, the only major media house in the world reporting from Bangui, horrific footage has emerged of a cannibal eating the leg of a Muslim slaughtered by a rampaging Christian mob. The victim was hauled from a bus, battered and then stabbed before being set on fire in the capital city Bangui, according to the BBC. In the aftermath of the incident, one of his attackers Ouandja Magloire - who also calls himself ‘Mad Dog’ - grabbed hold of his leg and then began to devour it. Conde unveiled his 35-member cabinet on Monday. The announcement follows a tight legislative election last September, and comes ahead of the presidential vote in 2015.

Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana will continue to head the government. He was reinstated on Saturday after resigning three days earlier. Former Finance Minister Kerfalla Yansane has been named the new minister for mines in the mineral-rich country. He was also named a minister of state, a position ranked above cabinet posts, and will be charged with renewing investor confidence in the country. Francois Louceny Fall will stay on as foreign minister.In all, 19 ministers are either keeping their previous positions or have been given new ones. Another 15 were replaced, while the religious affairs minister position has been eliminated.

The decree comes after Guinea’s September 28 elections that saw Conde’s Rally of the Guinean People (RGP) win an outright majority in parliament.

The vote was seen as an important opportunity for the country to return to democracy, but opposition and outside observers questioned its validity. More than 50 people were killed leading up to the poll.

Seven die in road accident in Namibia

Seven people died instantly when a bus collided head-on with a truck on the B1 road between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo on Tuesday night.

Four of the deceased were Namdeb employees who where travelling in a bus from the northern regions to Oranjemund. The driver of the bus also died on the spot. There were 13 passengers on the bus, according to the police in the Otjozondjupa Region.
The driver of the truck and his co-driver also died on the spot, bringing the total number of lives lost to seven, the police said.

Namdeb issued a statement yesterday in which the company confirmed that the bus involved in the accident was transporting its employees. “The bus is owned and operated by an external service provider,” the statement read.

Namdeb’ chief executive officer Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi said it is “a very sad day for all of us at Namdeb. Our thoughts and condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of those who lost their lives or suffered injuries. We will, of course, render the necessary support required.”

The statement further said the police are heading the investigation, and “will liaise with Namdeb to provide the necessary support to the families of the deceased. Namdeb is also providing support to several colleagues who are hospitalised in Windhoek and Okahandja.” The accident occurred some 25 kilometres outside Okahandja on the way to Otjiwarongo.
“The names of the deceased cannot be released as their relatives are yet to be informed,” said Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb.

The other passengers in the bus were rushed to the Okahandja State Hospital.
Khairabeb indicated the bus belonged to Springbok Atlas, while the truck belonged to Namibia Dairies. “Our preliminary findings show that the bus was coming from the direction of Otjiwarongo to Okahandja, and the truck was headed in the direction of Otjiwarongo,” he said. The actual cause of the accident has not been established yet. Police are investigating.

Namibia: slight increase in Zambezi catchment area water levels

Slight increase in Zambezi catchment area water levels

THE Namibia Hydrological Service (NHS) says the Zambezi catchment area in the Katima Mulilo area has recorded a slight increase in its water levels.

The NHS said in a report released on Tuesday the Zambezi catchment area’s water level on Monday stood at 1,55 meters (m) compared to a water level of 1,25m the same time last year.

The Kwando River in the Kangolo area (Zambezi Region) recorded a water level of three metres compared to a water level of 2,34 m for the same time last year.

NHS Chief Hydrologist, Pauline Mufeti said water levels in the perennial rivers are dropping, while no flows have been reported in the ephemeral rivers.

According to the report, Simone Micheletti of Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge in the Zambezi Region also recorded a slight decrease in the Harubandi channel (Linyanti swamps).

Catterpillars depleting grazing in Aminuis, Namibia

Farmers in the Omaheke Region’s drought-stricken Aminuis Constituency have been hit by another impediment to their farming activities - an increase in the caterpillar population which is now gobbling up the limited grazing in the area.
The armies of caterpillars, which feed primarily on green leaves, have turned the few shrubs and plants in the area which have just started to bear leaves into a sea of dry, grey terrain.

This has left most of the small livestock - goats and sheep - with nothing to graze on as they depend on these shrubs and plants for feed.

Farmers are already struggling to feed their large livestock due to the limited grazing in the area as the land is virtually barren due to the drought situation.

Supii Ndjoze of Orevia village, located some 90 kilometres south of Gobabis, told Nampa on Tuesday since the caterpillars were first noticed in the village, their population has continued to surge.

He said the village has never had such a high number of caterpillars, and as such many farmers here are clueless as to what to do to salvage their grazing.

“This is the first time we see such a high number of caterpillars in one season. Usually caterpillars come with high rainfall, but we are yet to experience good rains here. We are caught between a rock and a hard place here,” he said.

Another farmer, Joseph Hiambazapo of Okongowa village said his village has also not been spared and they are now devising ways to get rid of the caterpillars.

“This is terrible. We are already struggling to feed our cows, now the limited grazing that was there for the small livestock is also gone. Where to now?” Hiambazapo said.

Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera - the insect order comprising butterflies and moths. They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous.

They are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture. Many moth species are better known in their caterpillar stages because of the damage they cause to fruits and other agricultural produce.

Heavy rains in northern parts of Namibia

Meteorological Department is forecasting heavy rainfall in the Kavango East and Northern Central parts of the country within the next 48 hours.
“We are monitoring the situation and expect to issue a warning about the heavy rains expected to fall in Kavango East, from where it will move to the Northern Central parts of the country,” weather forecaster Simon Dirkse told The Namibian.

Dirkse said the rest of the country will continue to receive light to moderate rainfall during the the course of the week, adding that the widespread rains over the country are caused by the low pressure system to the West of the country and an influx of moisture from the tropics.

According to Monday’s daily rainfall figures released by the Meteorological Department, the highest rainfall of 28,6 mm was recorded at Katima Mulilo.

Other places, which also received rainfall, include Grootfontein Airport (20,2 mm), Mpacha Airport (18,2), Bagani (15,6), Rundu (13,5mm), Aranos (12,3mm), Steenboklaagte (11,0mm) Otjiwarongo (10 mm), Rundu Airport (9,6mm), Oshikango (8,4 mm), Karasburg (6,1 mm), Keetmanshoop Airport (5,8 mm), Ondangwa Airport (5,5 mm), Noordoewer (5,0 mm), Gobabis (3,8 mm), Hosea Kutako Airport (3,4 mm), Okongo (1,1 mm), Eenhana (0,8 mm), Omuthiya (0,8 mm), Aus (0,8 mm), Windhoek City (0,4 mm), Okahao (0,2 mm), Aroab (0,2 mm), Oranjemund (0,2 mm), and Tsumeb (0,1 mm).

Sikunga Conservancy patrol: fighting illegal fishing on the Zambezi river

Sikunga Conservancy patrol boat makes fast on the bank of a Zambezi river channel and the fish guards bring in an illegal fishing net. The net was strung out in the channel the night before, probably by Zambian fishermen who sell dried fish as far afield as the Congo.
Overlooking the river from the Island View Lodge, Riaan van Niekerk, the lodge owner, says the conservancy fish guards are a real asset.

Back in 2009 when he bought the lodge, the channel – which is a 7 kilometre loop off of the Zambezi river and about 100 metres wide – “was full of nets”. As soon as the sport anglers came in at dusk, the illegal fishers would start putting out nets. Fish stocks were plummeting and fish getting smaller, which was very bad for business.

While van Niekerk was talking about the tourism potential of the river and the island across from the lodge, conservancy manager Steven Muyangwa was visiting the nearby fishing camp, to ask the owner to snap the culprits with his cell phone when they returned to look for their net.

The fish guards often arrest illegal fishermen, although it can be a dangerous business. The guards are not armed and the poachers sometimes carry guns. The conservancy relies upon help from the police and the Ministry of Fisheries to make arrests.

Sport fishing is big business, says van Niekerk. Most of the anglers come from South Africa, with others coming from Germany and Botswana. The attraction is the Tiger Fish found in the Zambezi, a fish as fierce as its name and hard to land.

The lodge provides a mooring for the conservancy boat and helps out with fuel. Two boats were donated to Sikunga Conservancy, one by the MCA and one by the local angling club.

Namibia: 25 injured on Windhoek airport road

25 people were injured in an accident on the Windhoek-Hosea Kutako Airport road yesterday morning.
Motor Vehicle Fund (MVA) chief executive officer Rosalia Martins-Hausiku said this brings the number of accidents to 199 with 51 fatalities and 399 injuries since 1 January 2014.

Martins-Hausiku said a truck carrying security guards veered off the road and overturned after the driver allegedly attempted to avoid a kudu.

“These crashes follow immediately after the festive season, during which 104 people died between 22 November 2013 and 15 January 2014, the highest number of deaths recorded during this period over six years,” she said.

Martins-Hausiku said the MVA Fund call centre facilitated the transportation of the 25 injured passengers to the Katutura State Hospital. She further said the MVA Fund is greatly concerned with the escalating number of road fatalities as well as the high number of injuries.

“The Fund urges drivers to exercise caution on the roads, especially at this time when the rain season is in full swing and the wet roads present an added risk for accidents,” she said.

Turkish navy calls at Walvis Bay, Namibia

Three Turkish warships will call at the port of Walvis Bay from 1 to 3 May – the first ever call to Namibia by the Turkish navy.
A delegation of Turkish naval and government officials met their Namibian counterparts at Walvis Bay on Tuesday in preparation for the visit, and also to acquaint themselves with core functions in the harbour town.

Courtesy calls were also made to the Walvis Bay Mayor, Uilika Nambahu and the Erongo Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua.

The visit, according to the Second Secretary for the Turkish Embassy in Namibia, Serdar Piri, is part of the activation of the 2014 Naval Task Group that will for the first time circumvent the African continent.

It will also involve “three prominent” Turkish warships, which the public will be able to see and possibly board while they are alongside. An official announcement is expected in this regard closer to the time.

“We wish to strengthen our long standing cooperation with Namibia. We’ve been assisting the country in their liberation struggle from the 1960’s and established our embassy here in 2012.

This will be the first naval visit and we wish to open new channels in our relations, especially with regards to the military,” said Piri.

According to him, there is a memorandum of understanding in the pipeline for military cooperation between the two countries.

The activation of the task group will take place during mid March and will be for 103 days.

Road accident in Namibia: 7 died, 10 injured

The truck transporting dairy products collided with a bus carrying 13 Namdeb employees at about 19h20. The drivers of the two vehicles were among the people who died on the spot. The others were a passenger in the truck, the bus co-driver as well as three passengers.

According to the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund 10 others, including a two-month-old baby, sustained varying degrees of injuries.

MVA chief executive officer Rosalia Martins-Hausiku said the fund was notified about the accident at 19h37 on Tuesday and dispatched six ambulances from Okahandja and Windhoek to the scene.

“Information reported to the MVA Fund call centre alleged that a head-on collision between the truck and the bus occurred approximately 35 km from Okahandja towards Otjiwarongo,” she said.

Martins-Hausiku said it was also reported that the bus was south-bound, while the truck was travelling in the northern direction. Although, she said the crash occurred during heavy rains, the actual cause has not been established and police investigations are underway.

“Ten people who sustained injuries, including the baby, were transported to Okahandja State Hospital for stabilisation, and five of the patients were transferred to the Katutura State Hospital for further treatment,” she said.

She also said the five patients, two with moderate injuries, while two others with slight injuries and the two-month old baby with severe head injuries arrived in Windhoek just before midnight and are reported to be in a stable condition.

Namdeb’s chief executive officer Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi expressed shock over the accident.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of those who lost their lives or suffered injuries. We will, of course, render the necessary support required,” she said.

The police have not released the names of the deceased because their next of kin have not been informed.
people died and 10 others sustained injuries when a truck collided with a bus between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo road, on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

В Намибии найден вирус способный уничтожить сибирскую язву

Группа ученых из разных стран обнаружила в Африке новый вид бактериофагов, способный уничтожить возбудителя сибирской язвы Bacillus anthracis, сообщается в статье PLoS ONE.

Этот необычный вирус получил название Цамса, а его источником являются погибшие зебры, обнаруженные учеными в национальном парке Этоша (Намибия).

Данный вирус относится к группе хвостатых фагов (Caudovirales), а одной из его основных особенностей является наличие необычно длинного хвоста, длина которого может достигать 440 нанометров (тело вируса в пять раз меньше).

В настоящее время исследователи смогли получить препарат вируса и прочитать его ДНК. Размер генома составил почти 170 000 оснований – это довольно много для бактериофагов, но гораздо меньше, чем геном гигантских вирусов.

Как оказалось, ДНК этого вируса кодирует белок gp217. Этот белок связывается с мембраной возбудителей сибирской язвы и приводит к разрушению клетки. Кроме Bacillus anthracis, фаг также связывается с возбудителями таких болезней, как Bacillus cereu и Bacillus thuringiensis.

Air Namibia: no more delays

Windhoek, Namibia - The national airline says it has recorded a very good ‘on-time performance’ with virtually no flight delays in some months during the past nine months.

The ‘on-time performance’ looks at flight delays, where the delay is of 15 minutes or more. Departure delays shorter than 15 minutes are usually made up in flight and the aircraft still arrives at its destination on time. “Air Namibia is serious about significant improvement on its operational performance and financial sustainability,” said Chief Operation Officer (COO) of Air Namibia, Rene Gsponer, adding that the airline’s target on ‘on-time performance’ has been above 90 percent. “This is a commendable achievement for Air Namibia and we have seen an equally positive response from the market in terms of ticket sales and positive feedback,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

The airline attributed the success to the recent government recapitalisation that allowed the airline to acquire state-of-the- art aircraft, as well as to the improved financial stability of the airline making normal operations possible. The acquisition of the new aircraft has had Air Namibia ranked as one of a few airlines with the youngest operational fleet in the world resulting in much more reliable aircraft with an improved technical dispatch reliability. “We wish to thank the Namibian public and in particular the flying public for their forbearance, understanding and support as we went weathered by our challenges during the past year and we thought we should share this good news with them. We at Air Namibia are very excited and encouraged by our improved operational performance and we are grateful to our shareholder, travel trade partners and ultimately you the paying customer (passenger) for the continued support,” the statement from the airline said.

The ‘on-time performance’ is known in the aviation industry as the ‘holy grail’ by which airlines are compared and measured. In most customer surveys that have been performed worldwide, passengers rate airlines according to price and then ‘on-time performance’. Passengers always want to know that the airline they choose to fly will get them to their destinations on time. The ‘on-time performance’ is calculated by taking the percentage of flights delayed by more than 15 minutes of the total number of flights performed by an airline in a particular month. The industry standard is measured on flights that are delayed by 15 minutes or more.

Namibia: new NTB office costs N$44m

A local quantity surveyors’ firm last week admitted that it invoiced the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) millions of dollars for the construction of the offices in Windhoek without any building plans.
Paul Grobbelaar of Blokker, Jacobs & Kuschke quantity surveyors told The Namibian that they invoiced NTB N$44 million in July 2011, and then revised it upwards to N$66 million within a few weeks after the client had provided a plan.

Although Grobbelaar initially did not want to respond to The Namibian’s questions saying “it’s the client’s stuff”, and needed authorisation from NTB, he later said the initial cost was “a very early estimate” before building plans had been available.

“Then plans were drawn up with all the needs of the client,” Grobbelaar said.

The Namibian could not, however, confirm whether the job given to Blokker, Jacobs & Kuschke was tendered for, and whether there were other companies which lost out.

A local architect who spoke on condition of anonymity said it is suspicious for the initial cost to have been so exorbitant without any building plans. Moreover, she said, the quantity surveyors need to come up with a proper explanation as to why there was such a drastic surge in costs. Blokker, Jacobs & Kuschke’s initial quotation was N$43 613 150 on 13 July 2011, but shot up to N$65 790 010, a month later on 22 August 2011.

Among the charges were professional fees, which were initially N$5 million, but went to N$8 million excluding Value Added Tax (VAT), while specialist services rose from just over N$10 million to almost N$17 million within a month.

The basement was initially estimated to cost N$1,5 million but shot up to N$1,7 million, and estimate cost for general builder’s work rose from N$16 million to N$24 million, while estimate for ground floor were set at N$3,2 million but went up to N$6,3 million a month later.

NTB spokesperson Maggy Mbako had earlier denied that the documents, copies of which are in possession of The Namibian, were quotations.

Responding to written questions, she said “the figures in question were estimates as per bill of [the] quantity surveyor” and that the costs “were updated periodically as the building design changed to meet the NTB’s requirements”.

“These updates were meant to simply ensure that NTB received the most accurate financial information as to the anticipated final cost of the project. As the scope of work increased substantially during this period, and the QS received more detailed information from NTB, and the other consultants as to the anticipated design of the building, the figures were adjusted to reflect these changes,” Mbako said.

This, she said, was nothing out of the ordinary.

“This is standard in building projects management process.”

Refusing to state how much money has been spent so far on the building that is currently being erected, she said: “Expenditure is within budget.”

The NTB has had enough controversy during the last few weeks, with the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga, confirming that he has ordered a high-level investigation into alleged unfair labour practices at the institution, following a letter written to him by some NTB senior managers.

In a strongly worded petition to the then Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, two years ago, workers were united in their quest: investigate the NTB chief executive officer, Digu //Naobeb, and his board.

In fact, they called for //Naobeb’s head in that petition.

Workers charged that “there is no industrial peace and harmony in the institution. There is no compliance with internal corporate policies such as recruitment and selection, procurement and affirmative action”. According to the petition, “favouritism within the organisation is rampant”.

They took issue with the board allegedly for giving all //Naobeb’s recommendations the green light without “ever taking the opportunity to investigate whether the recommendations made are in the best interest of the NTB, the country and tourism in general”.

Monday, 27 January 2014

В ЮАР туристам предлагают родео на страусах

В шести километрах от южноафриканского города Оудсхорн находится одна из крупнейших страусиных ферм в мире. Она предлагает туристам необычное развлечение — страусиное родео.

На ферме площадью 1500 гектаров живут около 150 птиц разных возрастов в условиях, максимально приближенных к естественным. Во время часовой экскурсии посетителям расскажут о происхождении, анатомии и повадках страусов и покажут инкубатор, где выращивают птенцов. Все желающие смогут покормить птиц с рук и поупражняться в высиживании яиц, передает Travel.

Кульминация экскурсии, конечно, поездка на страусе, до которой допускаются только туристы весом не более 70 кг. После короткого инструктажа посетителям выдают рабочую униформу и предлагают оседлать птицу.

Чтобы страус не сопротивлялся, ему на голову набрасывают кусок ткани, а затем снимают, и тот пускается бежать. Очень важно крепко держать его за крылья, а не за шею — это только пугает его и заставляет нестись быстрее. Самым ловким ездокам удается удержаться на страусе 5-10 минут, а затем работники фермы помогают им остановить птицу.

После родео можно передохнуть, выпив кофе в местном ресторанчике, а также посетить сувенирный магазин, где продаются разукрашенные страусиные яйца и, увы, изделия из страусиной кожи.

Экскурсии по ферме проходят ежедневно, cтоимость составляет 80 южноафриканских рандов ($8) для взрослого и 40 южноафриканских рандов ($4) для ребенка до 16 лет.

RentWorks enters Namibian market

South Africa’s largest computer equipment rental firm, RentWorks, owned by FirstRand Group, has expanded into Namibia in a move the company said would help it to tap new markets with growth opportunities.
RentWorks finances more than R3 billion worth of assets for more than 400 organisations across most industries in South Africa.
The company has acquired a successful rental financing business, Corporate Equipment Rentals, in Namibia.
Established in 1998 in South Africa, and now a leader in technology rental funding, the firm developed an extensive suite of flexible rental solutions, which include sell and rent-back, exchange plan, online contract management and insurance.
The company said RentWorks Namibia would offer customers financing options for asset rental, including residual-value financing, as well as services not featured previously in Namibian financing.
Company director Jacques de Klerk said Namibia was a natural destination for RentWorks in terms of its market dynamics, especially in mining, construction, and information and communications technology (ICT). “It presents an exciting growth opportunity, and we are thrilled to be taking the RentWorks brand into new territories,” he said.
Albert Pretorius, who will head the Namibian operation, said the launch meant the company would offer equipment financing across all asset classes. “We believe there is growth potential for us in the ICT space, building on RentWorks’ expertise in IT financing while we continue to service our traditional office automation channels,” he said.
Technology and its platforms are ever-changing, prompting companies to revisit their IT spending and opt for solutions that will manage IT obsolescence cycles, which are shortening at a fast rate.
Pretorius said the launch of RentWorks Namibia will help the company continue to meet shifting market demands, and to extend personal service offerings to clients.
The trend to rent IT solutions began a few years ago, with companies exploring rental solutions for their hardware equipment.
This has enabled them, among several other advantages, to build flexibility into their procurement strategies.
The rental facility has taken off among companies as one of the options for firms that prefer to outsource assets and avoid the problem of having to deal with managing, servicing and upgrading the equipment themselves.
The RentWorks Namibia office will be based in Windhoek and service all major areas in that country.
It also said it will continue to service existing clients, and target new customers, by leveraging the credibility of the RentWorks brand and value proposition.

Hanganeni Artisanal Fishing Association Namibia

It is commonly accepted by recreational and subsistence anglers at the coast that fish do not bite as they used to a decade ago, and that catching the daily bag quota without stretching a fish here and there, has become nearly impossible – unlike in the past when every angler would bag 10 decent fish a day.
The anglers of Hanganeni Artisanal Fishing Association (HAFA) in Henties Bay are, however, not complaining, although each of the 20 registered anglers could not bag 10 fish every day, they managed nearly 7,5 tonnes, which included kabeljou, steenbras, galjoen and black-tail (Kolstert) during 2013.

More specifically, HAFA anglers bagged 4 555 fish including 3 155 kabeljou, 903 Steenbras, 264 galjoen and 233 Kolstert last year.

The best fishers were Johannes !Hoaseb and Cecilia Lukalwa, with a collective catch of 1 614 kilogrammes, of which !Hoaseb contributed 1 110kg and Lukalwa 495kg. They were each recently presented with brand new fishing rods and certificates for Fisherman and Fisherwoman of the Year.

HAFA marketing manager Patrick Kaaheke said the quality and quantity of fish have decreased over the past 10 years, and that the fish are scarce on the 70 kilometre stretch between Swakopmund and Henties Bay, which was known to be popular rock and surf fishing grounds.

“Now the fishing is better north of Henties Bay. There are a number of factors affecting the daily catches from the ocean with regards to angling such as the moon phases, tides, the sea cycles, wind and the time of day when fishing is conducted as well as human activities,” he said.

HAFA celebrated a decade of growth last year and has employed 70 anglers to date.

The association was initiated with the view to develop into a community-based organisation to assist the previously disadvantaged Omdel community of Henties Bay to address the issue of unemployment, and income generation from marine resources and eco-tourism.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources granted exploratory rights to the project with the aim of exploiting fish along the coastline using fishing rods.

It also trained staff in navigation, skippering and fish sales and processing.

The ocean liner Queen Mary II docked at the Walvis Bay harbour on 25 January 2014

Walvis Bay, Namibia - The largest transatlantic ocean liner Queen Mary II docked at the Walvis Bay harbour on Saturday morning. This was her third call to Walvis Bay.

The passenger liner with at least 2300 passengers departed the same evening. The impressive shape could be seen from various angles despite being blocked by Namport’s giant cranes. This time around coastal residents were allowed to board the vessel, while the passengers went on a sight seeing excursion through Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The new ship was named Queen Mary II by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 after the first Queen Mary completed her voyage in 1936. The Queen Mary II was designed by a team of British naval architects, led by Stephen Payne.

At the time of her construction in 2003 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the Queen Mary II was the longest, widest, and tallest passenger ship ever built, and with her gross tonnage of 148 528 also the largest. She no longer holds this distinction after the construction of Royal Caribbean International’s 154 407 GT Freedom of the Seas in April 2006.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

В ЮАР слон перевернул авто с туристами

В национальном парке Крюгера (ЮАР) слон чуть не смял авто, в котором находились пассажиры. Видео нападения животного на транспортное средство, размещено в видеохостинге YouTube на каналах Kruger Sightings и Barcroft TV, за 2 сутки просмотрели около миллиона пользователей.
30-летняя учительница из Великобритании Сара Брукс и ее жених во время сафари слишком близко приблизились к слону, чтобы лучше рассмотреть животное. Однако млекопитающее занервничало и перевернуло автомобиль.
В результате инцидента учительница попала в больницу, а ее жених отделался испугом. Агрессивное животное работникам парка пришлось, к сожалению, застрелить.

Luxury boat Pride of Zambezi

Photo album:

У берегов Анголы пропал греческий танкер

Греческие владельцы нефтеналивного танкера MT Kerala, ходящего под либерийским флагом, потеряли связь с судном, находившимся у берегов Анголы, сообщает Reuters.

Власти этой страны подозревают, что танкер водоизмещением 75 тысяч тонн стал жертвой нападения пиратов, однако подтверждения этой информации пока нет. По данным источников агентства, танкер был заполнен газойлем.

В случае, если информация о пиратском нападении подтвердится, это будет означать существенное расширение географии активности западноафриканских пиратов. Ранее они ограничивали район своей деятельности Гвинейским заливом и дельтой реки Нигер. Ангола находится в сотнях километров к югу.

Эта страна является вторым по объемам экспортером сырой нефти в Африке, уступая по этому показателю лишь Нигерии, у берегов которой действует большинство пиратских банд региона. Основным покупателем ангольской нефти является Китай.

Международное сообщество не поддерживает значительного военно-морского присутствия у берегов Западной Африки, что могло бы затруднить действия пиратов. Основные силы ВМС различных стран мира, направленные на борьбу с пиратством, развернуты у берегов Сомали (Восточная Африка).

Пиратские банды, орудующие у берегов Нигерии, обычно воруют грузы угнанных судов и требуют у их владельцев выкуп за освобождение кораблей и команды.

Photo of the day

АЛРОСА приступит к геологоразведке в Ботсване

МОСКВА, 14 января. /ИТАР-ТАСС/. Компания Botswana Diamonds plc приступила к геологоразведочным работам на участке Orapa в Ботсване в рамках совместного проекта с АК "АЛРОСА", которая присоединится к работам в ближайшие недели. Об этом говорится в сообщении Botswana Diamonds.
Геологи компании уже завершили предварительные работы, закупили необходимое оборудование и приступили к геологоразведке. Бурение на участке планируется начать до конца первого квартала 2014 года.
В 2004 году специалисты Botswana Diamonds обнаружили на этой же лицензии алмазоносные кимберлиты.
Ранее сообщалось, что финансирование работ на участке Orapa на 2014 год оценивается в $972 тыс. и распределяется между участниками в равных долях.
Лицензионная площадь на участке Orapa (2,9 кв. км) расположена в 10 км от алмазного рудника Karowe.
Соглашение о создании совместного предприятия на паритетных началах между Botswana Diamonds и АК "АЛРОСА" было подписано 19 августа 2013 года. Проект СП нацелен на изучение лицензионного участка Orapa PL117 в Ботсване и обнаружение новых кимберлитовых трубок, а также возможное строительство алмазных рудников.
АЛРОСА - группа российских алмазодобывающих компаний. Она добывает алмазы на территории Республики Саха (Якутия) и Архангельской области. Крупнейшими акционерами АК "АЛРОСА" являются Российская Федерация (44%) и Республика Саха (Якутия) - 25%, в свободном обращении находится 23% акций компании.

Власти ЮАР требуют убрать кролика из уха статуи Манделы

Власти ЮАР потребовали от авторов памятника Нельсону Манделе удалить фигурку бронзового кролика, которую те скрыли в ушной раковине скульптуры, установленной в Претории.
Представитель правительства высказался в том смысле, что фигура грызуна принижает достоинство изваяния южноафриканского лидера.

По некоторым сообщениям, скульпторы поместили кролика в тело статуи из-за недовольства спешкой, в которой они были вынуждены работать.
На языке африкаанс кролик называется haas, это же слово имеет значение "спешка".
Бронзовая статуя Манделы высотой девять метров была установлена 16 декабря на следующий день после его похорон.
Она стоит на площади у правительственного комплекса в столице страны Претории.
Фигура Манделы протягивает к зрителями руки, символизируя его стремление охватить и быть президентом всех южноафриканцев.

Скульпторов призывают извиниться за моральный ущерб
Могомотси Могодири, представитель министерства культуры и искусства заявил, что скульпторы принесли извинения за оскорбление, возможно нанесенное чувствам сограждан и родственников Манделы.
"Сейчас идет обсуждение, когда и как будет удален кролик, и правительство требует его скорейшего устранения с целью восстановления достоинства статуи", - сообщил представитель.
Скульпторы Андре Принслоо и Рюхан Янсе ван Вююрен заявили, что они вставили в ухо статуи кролика, после того как министерство запретило им выгравировать свои имена на ногах статуи. По их словам, они также хотели подчеркнуть, что их вынудили работать в обстановке спешки.
По словам скульптора Принслоо, фактор времени при работе над статуей был решающим. Во время отливки статуи никто не заметил крошечного кролика, скрытого в ухе.
Нельсон Мандела скончался 5 декабря от пневмонии.

В ЮАР нашли редкий голубой алмаз

На шахте "Куллинан" в ЮАР обнаружили голубой алмаз весом почти в 30 каратов. Находка принадлежит компании Petra Diamonds.

Голубой бриллиант на 20 миллионов долларов найден в Южной Африке В Южной Африке найден редкий камень – голубой бриллиант, стоимость которого - около 20 миллионов долларов для аукциона, масса - почти 30 карат. Камень признан одним из выдающихся образцов голубых алмазов, по форме напоминает желудь.

Компания, которая владеет шахтой, решает судьбу драгоценного камня. На будущей неделе, вероятно, она определится. Камень нашли в шахте добытчиков Petra Diamonds.

Алмаз нашелся в той же самой шахте, где немного раньше обнаружили камень несколько легче - 25,5 карата, который в прошлом году продали почти за 17 миллионов долларов.

Обычно алмазы перед обработкой желтого или коричневого цвета. Если камень других цветов, это считается редкостью и большой удачей. Алмазы могут быть также синими, розовыми, зелеными, красными.

Petra Diamonds назвала найденный камень «исключительным» - у него яркий голубой цвет и исключительная чистота, значит, он сможет стать бриллиантом высокой ценности. 

Южная Африка стала новым центром притяжения для алмазной торговли

De Beers заявила, что регион южной Африки стал новым центром притяжения для участников алмазной торговли, и в основе этих перемен лежали отношения группы с сайтхолдерами.
«Безусловно, эти отношения были важнейшим фактором для многих ключевых событий в истории алмазного сектора,  выступая в качестве катализатора развития бенефикации или роста потребительского спроса на бриллиантовые ювелирных изделий на новых развивающихся рынках», - отметил генеральный директор группы  De Beers Филипп Мелье (Philippe Mellier), выступая во время ежегодного приема для сайтхолдеров, который прошел в столице Ботсваны Габороне.
В прошлом году подразделение De Beers по международным продажам сайтхолдерам переехало из Лондона в Габороне.
По словам Мелье, Ботсвана, являясь ключевым производителем алмазов с развивающимся сектором производства бриллиантов, превратилась с один из ключевых мировых рынков по торговле алмазным сырьем.
«Это не только позволяет повысить экономическую активность и обеспечить регулярный приток в Габороне успешных предпринимателей, но и дает сигнал мировому бизнес-сообществу о том, что Ботсвана – это не только крупнейшее алмазодобывающее государство, что оно играет гораздо более важную роль», - сказал Мелье.
Выступая перед сайтхолдерами, глава De Beers пообещал предоставить им большую гибкость и сделать статус сайтхолдера более значимым.
Мелье отметил, что De Beers выслушала мнения своих клиентов и по мере возможностей сосредоточит свое внимание на упрощении процедур.
Давая комментарии по поводу прогноза для рынка бриллиантовых ювелирных изделий, глава De Beers заявил, что американская экономика подает хорошие сигналы, и в праздничный сезон наблюдалось заметное улучшение спроса. Мелье также сообщил об обнадеживающих признаках, подтверждающих позитивный прогноз в отношении праздничных продаж в Китае в преддверии Китайского Нового года и стабильного экономического роста на уровне показателей 2013 года.
«Политика китайского правительства, направленная на переориентирование экономики в пользу потребительского спроса как драйвера экономического роста и отход от государственных инвестиций, должна через некоторое время оказать благотворное влияние на бриллиантовую отрасль, и нам стоит понаблюдать за тем, как проходят эти изменения», - сказал Мелье.
В Индии, на протяжении последних лет выступавшей драйвером роста розничных продаж бриллиантовых украшений, прошлый год ознаменовался рядом трудностей на внутреннем рынке.
Хотя остаются некоторые опасения в отношении инфляции и волатильности национальной валюты, улучшения в сельскохозяйственном секторе должны подтолкнуть восстановление внутреннего спроса, поэтому ожидается, что экономика продолжит восстанавливаться и после выборов в мае.
«Есть хорошие новости с европейского и японского рынков – в еврозоне наблюдается промышленный рост, а японская экономика растет благодаря программе валютного и финансового стимулирования», - добавил Мелье.

Мэтью Няунгуа, шеф-редактор Африканского бюро Rough&Polished

5th Ramsar site for Namibia

Namibia has designated its fifth Ramsar Site. The Lower Okavango River and its associated woodlands in the Bwabwata National Park, known as Bwabwata–Okavango, is the country's fifth Ramsar Site. Located in Namibia's northern Kavango region, parts of the southern boundary of the 46,964 ha site are contiguous with the northern boundary of the Okavango Delta Ramsar Site in Botswana.
The Bwabwata–Okavango, home to IUCN Red-Listed species such as elephants, hippos, lions as well as slaty egrets and the endangered grey crowned cranes, supports one of the highest diversities of species in the Zambezian Flooded Savannas ecoregion. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded, the highest number of any site in Namibia. Namibia's other four Ramsar Sites include the Orange River Mouth, the Sandwich Harbour, Walvis Bay Lagoon and the Etosha Pan.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands by providing a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of these fragile ecosystems and their resources.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Корабль-отель "Королева Замбии". Путешествие по реке Чобе

Особенный корабль-отель "Королева Замбези":
бороздит воды реки Чобе, которая протекает в Ботсване. Экстравагантная роскошь судна и необузданная красота саванны привлекает обеспеченных туристов со всего мира.

Трехэтажный круизный лайнер неспешно курсирует по территории уникального национального парка Африки. Заповедник славится самой большой популяцией слонов - приблизительно 120 тысяч. С ними проживает и другая симпатичная компания - спокойные зебры, пугливые антилопы, жирафы, зубастые крокодилы, леопарды, птицы и прочая экзотическая живность.

Роскошь обстановки и великолепный сервис корабля возводят его в ранг элитного туристического транспорта. Частью на первом и полностью на втором этаже корабля расположены четырнадцать эксклюзивных кают. В их число вошли четыре номера - люкс, обставленные с особенным шиком. Некоторые комнаты имеют персональные лоджии. Оптимальную температуру в каютах поддерживают большие вентиляторы и особенные жалюзи. Каждая комната защищена от вторжения москитов специальной сеткой.

На первом этаже судна, также, обустроены: компьютерная комната, игровой зал и библиотека, ассортимент которой в большей степени состоит из публикаций посвященных истории Африки.
На третьем этаже судна установлены три зоны отдыха: комфортный бар, уютная гостиная с камином и изюминка корабля - бассейн, заполненный фильтрованной водой.

"Королева Замбези" (Zambezi Queen) построена с учетом бережного отношения к окружающей среде. Двигатели лайнера работают почти бесшумно. Кондиционеры отсутствуют. Вода нагревается с помощью солнечных батарей. В темное время суток работают энергосберегающие лампы. Топливная система разработана таким образом, чтобы рабочие отходы не попадали в реку.
Данная конструкция корабля позволяет спокойно наблюдать за обитателями заповедника, которые пришли освежится или полежать на берегу реки. Застывшие аллигаторы и купающиеся в реке слоны не обращают никакого внимания на бесшумно скользящую мимо них громадину.

Тем пассажирам, которые хотят, поближе познакомится с дикими животными, предлагаются сафари на джипах. Еще, в дополнительные экскурсии входят: поездка в деревню аборигенов, рыбалка и полет на вертолете к ошеломляющему водопаду Виктория.

В Зимбабве на полицейский участок напал гоблин

В Зимбабве произошел беспрецедентный случай.
Как пишет британская газета Metro инцидент произошел в полицейском участке одного из городов страны, когда туда явилась семья и народный целитель, у которых был при себе небольшой чемоданчик, с виду совсем обычный.
Однако, как рассказал еле пришедший в себя после пережитого шока один из офицеров полиции, когда посетители открыли чемодан, полицейские чуть не попадали в обморок и с криками бросились вон из участка.
В чемодане находилась бутылка, наполненная кровью, из которой неожиданно выпрыгнуло странное существо, очень напоминающее сказочных гоблинов.
Некоторые из очевидцев говорят, что существо было похоже на змею с головой собаки, другие утверждают, что это была собака с чешуей. Однако все сошлись во мнении, что пахло оно отвратительно.
По словам самого народного целителя, он победил гоблина и сжег его.
Сообщается, что и.о. руководителя пресс-службы полицейского участка, помощник инспектора Бхекимпило Ндлову подтвердил, что инцидент действительно имел место.

First President of Namibia donates part of his farm

Former Namibian President Sam Nujoma has donated a portion of his Farm Etunda in Otavi, for the construction of a clinic and a primary school.
Nujoma recently indicated that there are many children from the rural areas who are in dire need of assistance and thus approached Ohorongo Cement to seek help with the construction of a school and a clinic. His request led to a further donation of 34 tonnes of cement by the company.

“The health of our people is critical to enable them to contribute to the socio-economic development of our country. A clinic will provide quality health care services to schoolchildren and workers in Otavi District and the surrounding areas,” said Nujoma.

In addition, the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust will also contribute equipment worth N$600 000. Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement Hans-Wilhelm Schütte said: “Health is equally as important, since healthy people build a strong nation where all can contribute to a stable economy.”

The site for the clinic and school has been de-bushed and cleared and the first bricks have been delivered as construction will start soon.

ЮАР: охота за яйцами едва не стоила мужчине ноги

73-летний владелец крокодильей фермы в южноафриканской провинции Квазулу-Натал решил отнять яйца у одного из своих зубастых питомцев. Зачем ему это понадобилось, неизвестно, но отважный животновод смело двинулся на аллигатора с палкой. Благодаря снятому в этот момент видео, весь мир узнал, насколько это опасно, сообщает The Telegraph.
Судя по всему, материнский инстинкт развит у крокодилов прекрасно. Когда пожилой житель ЮАР Питер Уотсон начал тыкать в одного из своих подопечных палкой, тому это ожидаемо не понравилось. Но когда мужчина попытался приблизиться к свежеотложенным крокодильим яйцам, аллигатор окончательно вышел из себя. Поняв, что лучшая защита – это нападение, опасная рептилия бросилась на человека.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Marriott to acquire Protea Hotels

Marriott International and South Africa’s Protea Hospitality Holdings this week announced that they have signed definitive agreements for the purchase by Marriott of Protea’s three brands and management company.
Under terms of the agreements Marriott will pay approximately 2.02 billion rand, or approximately US $186 million at current exchange rates, subject to normal closing adjustments. The purchase price represents approximately 10 times anticipated pro forma 2014 calendar year EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) excluding transaction costs.

The transaction is subject to receipt of certain third party and governmental consents, including exchange control approval from the South African Reserve Bank and competition approval from the South African Competition Commission and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (“COMESA”) and satisfaction of other customary conditions for transactions of this kind.  Assuming these conditions are met, Marriott and Protea plan to close the transaction on April 1, 2014. Marriott does not expect the transaction will have a material impact on its 2014 results.
Protea has 116 hotels with 10,148 rooms in seven African countries including South Africa and Namibia. At closing, Marriott will become the largest hotel company in the Middle East & Africa region, nearly doubling its distribution there to more than 23,000 rooms.
As part of the transaction, Protea Hospitality Holdings will create a property ownership company to retain ownership of the hotels it currently owns, entering into long-term management and lease agreements with Marriott for such hotels.  The property ownership company will also retain a number of minority interests in other Protea-managed hotels. At closing Marriott will manage approximately 45 percent of the rooms, franchise approximately 39 percent of the rooms, and lease approximately 16 percent of the rooms.
Marriott and Protea announced on November 7, 2013 their intent to enter into this transaction.

Namibia: close to 50 N$ million in notes written off

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) withdrew from circulation and shredded a total of 49,1 million in banknotes last year, after these were found to no longer be fit for use.

According to the central bank’s latest annual report, it shredded 33,1% more unfit bills last year than it did in 2011. Most of the notes destroyed were reportedly of the country’s old N$10, N$100 and N$200 notes.

In addition, the central bank acknowledged that merely two months after it launched the new series of banknotes on Independence Day last year, a number of N$10 and N$20 notes were found to be aging faster than expected.

These have reportedly been taken out of circulation as well, and a new delivery of N$10 and N$20 banknotes with improved technical specifications, is expected to enter the country this month. According to the BoN, both the number of notes and coins in circulation rose in 2012, representing a growth in value of total currency circulating by 15,6%.

The total banknotes increased from 34 million pieces to 36,6 million pieces, while the total number of coins rose to 373,8 million - up from the 337,2 million coins recorded in 2011. Of all notes in circulation, the N$100 bill is the most frequent, the central bank says, representing 37,7% of all notes.

The five cent piece was found to be the most common coin in circulation, at 38,7% of all coins circulated.

Notes that grew substantially in number were the N$20 and N$200, which ran low before last year’s introduction of the country’s new series of notes.

The central bank is also required to repatriate all South African rands deposited into it, and in this regard there was an increase of 46,7% in the value of rand notes sent back the South African Reserve Bank, compared to a decrease of 21,1% in 2011.

“The rand circulation increase is attributed to foreign trade and a higher number of tourists coming from South Africa and other African countries where the Rand is widely used,” BoN states in its latest annual report.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Namibian Government's websites targeted by hackers in protest of rhino auction

Over the past week a group of anonymous hackers from around the world have begun targeting websites in Namibia to protest against the auctioning of a licence to kill a black rhino.

The activists behind the cyber attacks on a number of Namibian websites are angry about the issuing of the licence which would allow hunters in the United States of America to kill a black rhino in Namibia.

The group has given the Namibian government 48 hours to withdraw the licence to kill the rhino, and to immediately release the rhino, which they have named Ronnie.

The black rhino is listed as an endangered species. It has been reported that around 1600 black rhino have been killed over the last decade and there are currently only around 5000 left in the world, of which some 1 800 are found in Namibia .

A “target list” published online indicates that all websites registered to any domain in Namibia [.na] are vulnerable to attack.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism issues five licenses annually for hunting black rhino to local operators, but this is the first time that such a licence would be auctioned abroad.

The licence to hunt the black rhino would be auctioned by the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) at the end of its four-day convention on 11 January.

The organisers said the auction could raise between U$250 000 and U$1 million for conservation efforts. Money, which the Ministry of Environment and Tourism says could be well-spent, but the protesters strongly disagree that killing rhinos is a good way to protect an endangered species.

In a video message to the Namibian government, the group said:
“We are Anonymous… We have been watching you, and we do not agree with the cruel punishment you're allowing to happen inside your country. The fact that you allow five black rhinos to be hunted each year as part of a conservation program is preposterous, not to mention you believe your own lie that it'll 'boost the long-term survival of the species'.”

The 'hacktivists' have since targeted all government websites, including the Office of the Prime Minister and President, as well as parastatals, such as Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) and the Bank of Namibia. The attacks have mostly taken the form of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, which shut down targeted sites for a period.

There is also evidence that some of the disgruntled hackers have accessed the internal database of several organisations, including The Namibian newspaper and published staff details and passwords online. The group apologised for this afterwards, saying that it was a an individual element which hacked the newspaper, and that the group, known as "Team Defiant" only attacks “legitimate targets”.

On Wednesday, members of the group released sensitive data from the National Agricultural Union, including administrator and user names, as well as passwords, saying that: “This is only the beginning Namibia. Next time there will be more released. Notice this is only 4 tables out of your entire database. So this is how it goes, you have exactly 48 hours to lease the rhino, or all will be exposed.”

“You're selling permits to hunt an endangered species, from anywhere between $250,000 and $1 million? But yet it is for the rhinos? Please explain how these animals benefit from your wealth?"

“Will Team Defiant release all your personal information in your servers? How will you get online commerce if none of your websites are working properly? We are the ones in the shadows. You can not stop what you cannot see.”

The hacker collective, which is dispersed around the world, managed this week to shut down the websites of the Namibian police, the Bank of Namibia and the GIPF. The hackers were however blocked at times from domains and struggled to bypass the firewalls to access the government’s databases.

It has meanwhile emerged that the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) in the United States has now entered the fray, after it was reported that prospective hunters have been threatened with being killed if they shoot the black rhino. The FBI is apparently investigating a number of threats against members of the Dallas Safari Club, as it was alleged that members of the DSC club and their families were threatened should the auction proceed, although the threats were not explicitly linked to Team Defiant.

Some conservationists believe that the auction may be beneficial. Dr. Rose Cooney, of the International Union for Conservation of Nature wrote last month that, “From a conservation perspective, we believe there are sound and compelling reasons to support this auction, and do not see any valid basis for opposing it… We recognise that it is not immediately intuitive that trophy hunting — even for endangered species — can be a positive conservation tool that can be used to fight poaching and acquire more habitat for wildlife.” But the auction is “a sound strategy worthy of strong support,” she was quoted as saying.

Critics of the auction insist that killing rhino as a measure of conserving them is “preposterous”. Although it is not immediately clear how this will pan out (whether more sensitive data will be released and more sites taken down) it is understood that a number of protest actions to protect Ronnie the black rhino are being planned at the DSC convention in Dallas, Texas.

Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said this week that the government has no plans to call off the auction, as it could generate a lot of money for conservation.

Go renewable, Namibia

Namibia has an abundance of renewable energy resources, but harnessing these is the challenge, according to Amusha Consultancy Services' Harald Schütt.

With Namibia’s energy position in its current critical state, and inflation further eroding citizens’ spending power by the year, the debate on whether to increase the country’s reliance on renewable energy is at a crucial stage.
This was said by energy specialist Harald Schütt yesterday, in addressing the latest monthly “innovation circle” organised in collaboration between the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS) programme and the Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC).
Yesterday’s presentation by Schütt focused on the economic implications of a possible move from Namibia’s current grid-focused energy policy to one that more freely embraces the country’s abundant renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and biomass.
“NamPower inherited infrastructure originally meant to service but 5% of the general population. That they have managed to keep the lights on thus far is a remarkable feat,” Schütt told his audience.
Noting that about 33% of Namibia’s population is currently connected to the national grid, he said pushing for greater connectivity is next to futile.
“Those who have the cash and the collateral are leaving the grid. At present, it is estimated that between four and five MegaWatts [in renewable energy] is being installed annually. In order for NamPower to keep this ‘dinosaur’ of a central grid going, they have to double their rates,” he said.
Another argument for renewable energy, he said, is its reliability compared to the country’s current 60% (80% in dry seasons) reliance on unpredictable imports.
“This is not just because it’s nice to go green. We are talking dollars and cents here. The current energy crisis is a unique opportunity for renewable energy. Our renewable energy resources are here to stay. There is no negotiation required, and it would create multiple local benefits, including jobs. Imports don’t,” Schütt said. “The future of energy supply needs to take real costs and real benefits into account.”
Suggesting a seven-point plan towards realising his proposal, Schütt suggested that the government come up with a commercial and institutional energy efficiency programme which would aim for a 15% saving in electricity by 1 200 entities operating in the country.
This, he said, would supplement NamPower’s current domestic energy efficiency program, which aims to see a 20% saving among 80 000 households.
Other suggestions included establishing multiple wind farms and establishing bush-to-electricity power plants in remote areas.
NamPower had indicated previously that its main stumbling block in developing private renewable energy was in getting independent power producers (IPPs) to forfeit their demands for the utility to provide security against political risks, which it said was not in its power to do.

Petrol cards phased out by March this year

Petrol stations and their customers are reminded that the central bank’s banning of petrol cards takes effect on February 28.
The phasing out of petrol cards as legal tender for fuel purchases, spare parts and repairs was ordered by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) early last year, as part of its payment system reform and efforts to eliminate cash-based transactions.
In its place, the central bank has ordered financial institutions to accept debit and credit card payments as more secure options, in addition to cash payments.
Merchants with existing point-of-sale devices have already begun accepting card payments for fuel, while the BoN has called on those aspiring to accept debit and credit cards to approach their banks to negotiate for and acquire such devices. Merchants are also warned that they are to be held responsible for the full interchange costs involved with card transactions, “until such time as the new system, currently being developed is fully implemented”.
Fuel retailers who choose to accept cards are required to clearly display a notice indicating acceptance of such cards for the purpose of fuel purchases.
Commercial banks have also started to introduce fleet management cards to corporate clients with a specific need to manage fuel expenses separately.
“A credit card is quite versatile in the sense that it is a universal card recognised and used internationally. It can be used anywhere in the world,” Standard Bank Namibia’s Manager for Unsecured Lending, Credit Card Issuing and Market Development, Deborah Henckert, said this week in a statement detailing the petrol card phase-out process.

New Railway to link Cape Fria to Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Namibian Government has completed a pre-feasibility study for the construction of the railway from Cape Fria to Katima Mulilo, at a cost of N$7 billion.

Mr. Peter Mwatile ,Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works  and Transport  confirmed  that ,  the  Government is  in the process of mobilising financial resources to start the construction of the new railway.

When asked for comment whether the foregoing capital project was for the Caprivi/ Zambezi region, Mr. Mwatile responded, “The fact is, the railway line is not for Caprivi (Zambezi region), but rather for the Republic of Namibia.”

The envisaged railway line will connect to the existing railway network and the new Cape Fria harbor.

 He said it will also enable the inter connectivity within the SADC region as it will link Namibia with Zambia.“Currently, there is no railway line called Trans-Caprivi Railway line. However, the Government has the intention to develop a railway line from Cape Fria in Kunene Region via Omusati, Ohangwena, Kavango to Zambezi Region. It is also the Government’s intention to construct the harbour at Cape Fria.”

Asked to shed some lights on what caused the delay of the project , Works  and Transport Permanent Secretary refuted that “The project is not delayed; instead the Government wants to address all aspects supporting this project in relation to the development of the Cape-Fria harbour at the same time. “

 He added that,  harbour, road, water, power, housing, schooling, hospital and many other things are still to be considered by the government in order to start the railway project off the ground.

 The project will kick start when all aspects have been thoroughly dealt with and a proper modus operandi to implement the project agreed upon.

 According to the Feasibility Study, the railway line alone is estimated to cost   N$7 billion, as forecasted in 2010. Other components still need to be costed after detailed investigations and designs.

He further said that his Ministry had successfully completed more than 300 kilometers of railway from Tsumeb to Oshikango in the past.

The Cape Fria – Katima Mulilo railway would also extend the already existing rail network in Zambia that will avoid congested routes through Durban and Dares Salaam in Tanzania to enable Zambian minerals to be exported via the west-coast port.

A new port at Cape Fria near the Angolan border in the northern Namibia of Kunene region is the third port in the northern Namibia coastline which estimated to cost N$10billion , as now Namibia has two ports  such as Luderitz and Walvis Bay.