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Published on December 15th, 2015 | by admin

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Month In Review -November 2015

Business
• Only four out of 13 diamond cutting and polishing factories in Namibia are operat ional, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze. The factories employ 700 workers down from 2,000 workers a few years ago.
• President Hage Geingob inaugurat ed Ohlthaver and List’s N$360 million four-star Strand Hotel at
Swa kopmund’s Mole.
• Despite unfavourable agricultural conditions, Agra managed to increase its turnover by 7.3 percent. Operating profit went up from N$45.9 million in 2014 to N$60.1 million in 2015.
• The Employment Equity Commission gave awards to top-performing companies including Distell Namibia, Model Pick n Pay, Nedbank, Namibia Breweries, Taleni Sossusvlei Lodge, and Cymot.
• Cabinet approved the appointment of former agricult ure deputy minister Paul Smit as the new Chairperson of the TransNamib board.

Economy

-Namibia’s annual inflat ion rat e increased slightly to 3.4 percent in October 2015 up from 3.3 percent in September.

-The Bank of Namibia and the Banco Nacional de Angola suspended their currency conversion agreement. The Angolan central bank Banco Nacional de Angola will now have to pay US$390 million to Namibia because the Bank of Namibia has 32 billion kwanza in its vaults.

-The Namibia Stat istics Agency said the trade balance recorded a deficit of N$10.5 billion during the third quarter of 2015 – up from N$5.2 billion in the same quarter a year ago. The NSA said the widening deficit showed Namibia’s dependence on imports.

Politics

• Swapo won 12 out of 15 seats on the Windhoek City Council, one more than in 2010.
• There were only 19 women among the 121 newly-elected regional councillors – a long way from the stated goal of achieving a 50/50 gender representation.
• President Hage Geingob declared the local and regional polling day as a public holiday in an effort to boost turnout. But both elections were marred by low turnouts of about 36 percent.
• Deputy Minister of Agriculture Theo Diergaardt resigned his post after losing his Rehoboth Urban West seat to the United People’s Movement.
• Finance minister Calle Schlettwein presented a mid-year budget review to parliament. He said government would reduce expenditure by 42 percent over the next three years by cutting S & Ts, transport and overtime. The cuts are in response to projected reductions in revenue for SACU and Namibia’s declining international reserves.
• Government said it was open to proposals on how a Solidarity Tax, which would be devoted to anti-poverty initiatives, should be implemented. Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein initially said the tax would target those earning more N$79,000 per annum while a flat tax would be imposed on companies.
• The Public Office Bearers’ Remuneration and Benefits Commission recommended a 6 percent salary increase for all elected politicians.
• The DTA criticised a decision by President Hage Geingob to increase water and electricity allowances for politicians by more than 2,000 percent.

• Several founding members of the Rally for Democracy and Progress resigned from the party and returned to Swapo . They included Festus Naholo, Filemon Kanime, Magnus Nangombe, and Shapwa Kaukungwa.
• Cabinet approved a recommendation from the ruling Swapo Party for Namibia to withdraw from the International Criminal Court.
• The Walvis Bay municipality handed 1,025 serviced erven to Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa.
• The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) urged government to reconsider the presidential appointment of Regional Governors as the practice undermined democracy.
• The National Assembly approved the reappointment of the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, for five more years.
• T he projected cost of constructing the B1 dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja was reported to have increased by N$95 million from the original N$240 million due to changes to the design.
• T he government appointed former diplomat Zed Ngavirue as its special envoy on the issue of genocide reparations. Germany has already named Ruprecht Polenz, a long-serving chairman of the German parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, as its negotiator.
• Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein told an energy conference that the Kudu gas project should be forgotten for now because it is very expensive when compared to renewable energy projects.
• T he National Council last passed six Bills: the Income Tax Amendment, Value Added Tax Amendment, Public Procurement, Civil Aviation, Judiciary and the Deeds Registries.
• Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba said he would use the Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership to implement the aims of his Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation. He formally received the prize in a ceremony in Accra, Ghana .
• The University of Namibia awarded Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa- Amadhila and businesswoman Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun honorary doctorate degrees.
• Swapo dominated the regional and local elections winning 112 of the 121 constituencies and taking control of 54 of the 57 local authorities.
• Swapo took control of the Kunene region for the first time since independence after it took three seats from the United Democratic Front.
• Swapo sweeps local and regional elections

• Government plans Solidarity Tax to fight poverty
• Namibia suspends Kwanza deal with Angola Compiled

Society and Sport

• The three supp ly dams for Windhoek hold a combined capacity of 17 perc ent . The City of Windhoek’ said residents were not responding to calls to cut water consumption by 25 percent.
• A cr itically ill baby died in its mother’s arms at the Robert Mugabe clinic in Windhoek while waiting for close to two hours in a queue to be assisted
• An eleven-year-old Grade 5 pupil was arr ested for fatally stabbing his 13-yearold cousin at Okakekete village in the Omusati region.
• Eng ela laKambode (70), a woman who chained her grandchild to a tree in the Ohangwena region because he was “naughty”, appeared in court.
• The carc asses of two black rhinos shot by poachers were found in Et osha National Park. Namibia has lost at least 79 rhinos to poaching this year.
• Br itain’s Princ e William honoured conservationist Gart h Owen-Smith for his work in Namibia at a ceremony at Clarence House in London.

• The Namibia Red Cross Society elect ed Bience Gawanas as the chairperson of its governing board.
• On e of Namibia’s veteran journ alists, Jan Poolman (61), died in hospital after short illness. Poolman, who was working for Informante when he passed away, had previously served the NBC, Republikein, and The Namibian among others.
• H ans Dr eyer, who commanded the paramilitary police unit, Koevoet, before independence died from organ failure in Pretoria, South Africa.
Koevoet was notorious for its involvement in human rights abuses in northern Namibia in the 1980s.
• Namibian cr icketer Raymond van Sc hoor (25) passed away five days after collapsing during CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge match against Free State.
• Namibian shooter Gaby Ahrens qualified for her third Olympic Games when she won the women’s Olympic Trap division at the African Shooting Championships in Cairo, Egypt.

 


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