Oshikuku Town Council rehabilitating sewerage ponds

OSHAKATI: The Oshikuku Town Council has set aside over N.dollars 1.7 million for the rehabilitation of the town’s sewerage ponds.

Oshikuku Town Council spokesperson, John Siloiso, in an interview with Nampa on Monday said the project has already kick…


OSHAKATI: The Oshikuku Town Council has set aside over N.dollars 1.7 million for the rehabilitation of the town’s sewerage ponds.

Oshikuku Town Council spokesperson, John Siloiso, in an interview with Nampa on Monday said the project has already kicked off and will last for six months.

According to Siloiso, the rehabilitation of the sewerage ponds forms part of the council’s efforts to ensure effective service delivery.

Siloiso indicated that the current ponds have a small capacity in relation to the inflow.

‘The work includes creating an embankment to stop runoff sewer water mixing with rainwater, fencing off the whole area, establishing one more pond and cleaning all existing ponds,’ he said.

He explained that this is the final area where wastewater from houses ends up and such water becomes a health hazard if not handled and managed properly.

Cleaning the ponds to remove reeds and sludge as well as constructing additional ponds will increase capacity.

Siloiso added that the fence is also damaged and
residents are accessing ponds without authorisation, noting that a new fence will be erected to control access to the ponds.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Dtic hosts annual Furniture Design Competition Awards

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) is today hosting the annual Furniture Design Competition Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre.

The Furniture Design Competition aims to foster innovation and excellence in South African …


The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) is today hosting the annual Furniture Design Competition Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre.

The Furniture Design Competition aims to foster innovation and excellence in South African furniture design and propel careers of young designers.

The competition creates a platform for the development of new, competitive furniture products. It targets design students registered at South African institutions.

This year’s competition centres around the theme: “Celebrating the Outdoors’, encouraging contestants to consider ergonomics, functionality, affordability, and sustainability in their design creations.

Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina says this year’s ceremony will mark a decade of recognising and nurturing design talent within the South African furniture sector and that the awards have played a pivotal role in fostering innovation and excellence in furniture design.

‘We are confident and are looking forward to witnessing designs that will not
only be aesthetically pleasing but also commercially viable, contributing to the growth of the industry and the expansion of our export market.

‘This competition not only propels the careers of young designers, but also serves as a launchpad for the development of new products that contribute to the competitiveness of the South African furniture industry,’ she said in a statement on Monday.

Gina said that the South African furniture industry remains an important sector in the economy and is considered to have a huge potential to create jobs and to contribute to increasing exports and the development of small, medium and micro enterprises.

‘The design competition is aimed at contributing to the development of the design skills in the furniture sector and it is used as a creative instrument to promote product differentiation and new development.

‘This competition also aligns with the recently developed Furniture Industry Masterplan, which outlines a strategic roadmap for the growth and development of the in
dustry,’ Gina said.

The ceremony will showcase the work of five design students registered in South African academic institutions and local emerging or established furniture manufacturing companies.

Each finalist responded to the competition’s challenges, focusing on designs that prioritise local materials, repurposed elements, and promote a sustainable approach to outdoor furniture.

The event will culminate in the announcement of the category winners, marking a significant milestone in their design journeys.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Oshikuku Town Council rehabilitating sewerage ponds

OSHAKATI: The Oshikuku Town Council has set aside over N.dollars 1.7 million for the rehabilitation of the town’s sewerage ponds.

Oshikuku Town Council spokesperson, John Siloiso, in an interview with Nampa on Monday said the project has already kick…

OSHAKATI: The Oshikuku Town Council has set aside over N.dollars 1.7 million for the rehabilitation of the town’s sewerage ponds.

Oshikuku Town Council spokesperson, John Siloiso, in an interview with Nampa on Monday said the project has already kicked off and will last for six months.

According to Siloiso, the rehabilitation of the sewerage ponds forms part of the council’s efforts to ensure effective service delivery.

Siloiso indicated that the current ponds have a small capacity in relation to the inflow.

‘The work includes creating an embankment to stop runoff sewer water mixing with rainwater, fencing off the whole area, establishing one more pond and cleaning all existing ponds,’ he said.

He explained that this is the final area where wastewater from houses ends up and such water becomes a health hazard if not handled and managed properly.

Cleaning the ponds to remove reeds and sludge as well as constructing additional ponds will increase capacity.

Siloiso added that the fence is also damaged and
residents are accessing ponds without authorisation, noting that a new fence will be erected to control access to the ponds.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Cabinet to sign anti-GBVF pledge on Wednesday

Cabinet is expected to sign an anti-gender based violence and femicide (GBVF) pledge this week, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President Paul Mashatile.

The pledge signing is expected to be held at the Women’s Memorial at the Union Build…


Cabinet is expected to sign an anti-gender based violence and femicide (GBVF) pledge this week, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President Paul Mashatile.

The pledge signing is expected to be held at the Women’s Memorial at the Union Buildings on Wednesday.

The pledge was initiated by the President during the State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

‘President Ramaphosa, Deputy President Mashatile and male Ministers will append their signatures to a symbolic, large-format version of the pledge. Male Deputy Ministers have also been invited to express their commitment in this way.

‘Soon after members of the national executive sign the pledge, the document will be posted online to allow men across the country to add their names as signatories. The pledge will progressively be made available in other formats to men all around the country,’ the Presidency said in a statement.

According to the statement, the pledge forms part of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF, which aims to mobilise ‘all
of society’ against the scourge.

‘Jointly developed by government and civil society following the historic 2018 Presidential Summit on Gender-based Violence and Femicide, the National Strategic Plan on GBVF was adopted in 2020 as a society-wide programme to end gender-based violence and femicide.

‘The plan aims to provide a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy and plan to strengthen a coordinated national response to the crisis of gender-based violence and femicide by government and the country as a whole.

‘The 10-year national strategy on GBVF seeks to address the needs and challenges faced by all, especially women across age, sexual orientation, sexual and gender identities; and specific groups such as elderly women, women who live with disability, migrant women and trans women, affected and impacted by the gender-based violence scourge in South Africa,’ the statement concluded.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Iipumbu advocates for regional economic empowerment

OSHAKATI: Every region in Namibia has a unique competitive advantage that it can leverage to boost its economy, Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, has said.

She said this during a consultative meeting held at Oshakati on Monday,…

OSHAKATI: Every region in Namibia has a unique competitive advantage that it can leverage to boost its economy, Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, has said.

She said this during a consultative meeting held at Oshakati on Monday, where discussions centered around pivotal legislative frameworks including the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill, the National Informal Economy, Startups and Entrepreneurship Development Policy (NIESED), the Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Regulations, and the National Cooling Strategy.

The minister said Namibia has phased out Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and is currently transitioning to SEZ, with a special focus on strengthening regions’ economic potential to maximise production.

‘The concept of special economic zones has proven to be a catalyst for economic transformation in various parts of the world. By creating designated areas with favourable business conditions and incentives, governments aim to attract both domestic and foreign investments, foster innovation, and generate employment opportunities,’ she said.

Iipumbu emphasised the necessity of replacing the outdated EPZ law as it had various challenges and advocated for a proactive approach in drafting the SEZ Bill with a forward-looking approach, incorporating measures to promote innovation, research and development, and new technology.

The minister said this will give Namibia the opportunity to position itself as a hub for cutting-edge industries, attracting both domestic and foreign investment that will fuel economic progress, and outlined intentions to table the bill in Parliament before the end of this year.

Echoing Iipumbu’s sentiments was Oshana Governor Elia Irimari, who underscored the potential of the SEZ Bill to boost economic growth and create employment.

‘The National Informal Economy, Startups and Entrepreneurship Development Policy is equally critical as it seeks to provide a supportive environment for entrepreneurs,’ the governor said.

He also emphasised the importance of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Regulations in fostering a conducive environment for local and international investors, which he said is fundamental in driving economic growth and development.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Progress made at troublesome power stations

Eskom Group Executive for Generation, Bheki Nxumalo, says although challenges continue, at least five power stations identified for attention and intervention are beginning to show improvement.

Nxumalo was speaking during an Energy Action Plan (EAP) …


Eskom Group Executive for Generation, Bheki Nxumalo, says although challenges continue, at least five power stations identified for attention and intervention are beginning to show improvement.

Nxumalo was speaking during an Energy Action Plan (EAP) media briefing on Monday.

‘One of the stations identified was Kusile Power Station, where we were running one unit and it was also not running at full capacity. At Kusile now, we have actually taken it out of recovery station because it is running exceptionally well, on average above 90% availability.

‘It shows that we have taken the lessons from Medupi [power station], which has been consistently running at those levels. Kusile has now turned the corner,’ he said.

Kusile power station is located in Mpumalanga.

Meanwhile, improvements are being seen at the Majuba, Matla, Duvha and Kriel power stations, which are all located in Mpumalanga.

‘With the work that we’ve done, we’ve seen a significant improvement at Majuba in terms of reduction of partial load loss
es and also trips at that plant. That plant is also running exceptionally well, so is Matla power station as well.

‘Duvha has been doing exceptionally well, except for the boiler failures but on average, Duvha is on the right track. It is actually performing much better than it was a year ago. Kriel power station is also seeing good improvement,’ he said.

Nxumalo conceded that Kendal and Tutuka power stations ‘have not improved as expected’.

‘We understand why. With Tutuka‚Ķ we are starting to commission those units so in the next two months, we are going through a major commissioning period. We expect that Tutuka will start performing much better than what has happened.

‘Kendal we understand the issues there [and] we are now also starting to commission the units. We are dealing with both the partial [load losses] and the unavailability,’ he said.

Load shedding

Meanwhile, Eskom has suspended load shedding between 5am and 4pm daily followed by Stage 2 load shedding in the evening. This pattern will be rep
eated until further notice.

‘Load shedding will be suspended… until 4pm on Monday when Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented until 5am on Tuesday.

‘This pattern of suspending load shedding from 5am until 4pm and Stage 2 load shedding from 4pm until 5am will be repeated daily until further notice,’ the power utility said on social media platform, X.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Netherlands memorial service honours late President GeingobSAP ordered to pay SIU half a billion Rand over ‘invalid’ Eskom contracts

OSHAKATI: Namibia’s Embassy in the Kingdom of Belgium and the Netherlands, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the Mission to the European Union held a memorial service in honour of the late President Hage Geingob on Saturday.

President Geingob died …

OSHAKATI: Namibia’s Embassy in the Kingdom of Belgium and the Netherlands, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the Mission to the European Union held a memorial service in honour of the late President Hage Geingob on Saturday.

President Geingob died at the age of 82 on 04 February 2024 and was laid to rest on 25 February.

The memorial service was broadcast live on Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) television.

During the service, Dr Mekondjo Kaapanda-Girnus, Namibia’s Ambassador to Belgium, the Netherlands, and the European Union, described the late President Geingob as a committed freedom fighter and extinguished statesman who had a huge impact on Namibia.

She remarked that political analysts, historians, and scholars will examine and document President Geingob’s legacy for decades to come.

‘It was touching seeing people from all walks of life coming together in large numbers to invoke the power of unity which the late president used to preach,’ the ambassador said.

Additionally, Kaapanda-Girnus noted that President Geingob was a forceful, impassioned, and outspoken leader. She also emphasised his deep commitment to the principles of equality and self-determination, as well as his staunch defence of Namibians on the international stage.

Various speakers at the memorial service highlighted the late president’s wisdom, diplomatic finesse, and steadfast dedication to the welfare of Namibians.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

SAP ordered to pay SIU half a billion Rand over ‘invalid’ Eskom contracts

Monday, March 25, 2024

German software company, SAP, has been ordered by the Special Tribunal to pay some R500 million to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) within seven days following a settlement reached between the company and the unit.

According to the SIU, the settlement stems from an agreement on the validity of two Eskom contracts awarded to SAP between 2013 and 2016.

‘Eskom and SAP entered into two contracts, the Enabling Agreement and the Cloud Services Agreement, worth approximately R1.1 billion. The Special Tribunal order has also declared that the two contracts are constitutionally invalid and therefore set aside.

‘The order of the Special Tribunal is part of the implementation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover financial losses suffered by State institutions due to negligence or corruption. The settlement agreement does not absolve SAP or any implicated party from possible prosecu
tion,’ the SIU said.

The corruption-busting unit explained that an investigation into Eskom found that the contracts were entered into illegally.

‘Thereafter, SAP entered into a Sale Commission Agreement with CAD House CC, a Gupta-linked company. Furthermore, Eskom and SAP signed an agreement for Cloud services at a contract value of R21 712 514.82. Following payments from Eskom to SAP, CAD House received funds from SAP.

‘SIU findings revealed that the Enabling Agreement and the Cloud Services Agreement did not comply with the Public Finance Management Act, which resulted in Eskom incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditures in respect of the agreements.

‘The SIU is empowered to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name, to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during its investigations caused by acts of corruption, fraud or maladministration. In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU refers any evidence pointing to criminal con
duct to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action,’ the SIU said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Mchunu tackles water shortage in King Cetshwayo District Municipality

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has raised concern at the high deficit of water supply to communities in the King Cetshwayo District Municipality and the management of debt owed to the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board.

Mchunu raised his concer…


Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has raised concern at the high deficit of water supply to communities in the King Cetshwayo District Municipality and the management of debt owed to the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board.

Mchunu raised his concerns at a meeting held with the leaders of the King Cetshwayo District Municipality, including the Mfolozi and uMlalazi Local Municipalities, which fall under the district in KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the 2022 Stats SA community survey, the King Cetshwayo District Municipality is home to 1 021 344 citizens and is one of the municipalities within KwaZulu-Natal that is faced with water and sanitation challenges.

The district is a Water Services Authority (WSA) and Water Services Provider (WSP) within its area of jurisdiction, except for the City of uMhlathuze Municipality, which has its own WSA status.

Mchunu noted that despite the interventions by the department and the district, there is a shortfall of 63 megalitres per day.

To address this challenge, Mchunu
said the department, together with the district, will have to build additional water resources infrastructure, including water treatment capacity and distribution infrastructure to augment the supply of water, which currently stands at more than 36 megalitres per day.

The Minister said water supply schemes must augment water supply in the district in order to deal with the long-standing water shortage in the district.

‘This is a huge deficit, which is a challenge because it is more than the available water we have for the district at the moment. We need to close this deficit and ensure that there is enough access to water for the people,’ Mchunu said.

The King Cetshwayo District Municipality performed poorly during the Blue Drop assessment, resulting in a significant decrease of the municipal Blue Drop score from 74.08% in 2014 to 41.06% in 2023.

Municipal debt

Mchunu raised his dissatisfaction at money owed by the district to the uMngeni-uThukela Water Board, which manages and operates bulk water infras
tructure, including abstraction, water purification plants and command reservoirs.

The water board is also responsible for ensuring good quality water in line with SANS: 241, and to undertake maintenance related challenges, and manage and operate boreholes within district.

‘The district municipality debts to our water boards are a worrying factor and interferes with the capacity of the municipality to offer the services to the people. We, as the Department of Water and Sanitation, will be assisting municipalities and the water boards to deal with the issue of debt,’ Mchunu said, adding this issue can only be resolved through cooperation between the affected parties.

The Minister also called on the district not to compromise the services to the people, and to improve on its capacity and determination to ensure that members of the community have access to clean and fresh water.

He said there should be cooperation between the district municipality and the Department of Water and Sanitation to deliver the ser
vices to the people within the district.

King Cetshwayo District Municipality Executive Mayor, Thamsanqa Ntuli, said the municipality has attained a steady and notable improvement on access to water supply, with major attention on bulk water supply infrastructure.

‘The implementation of water infrastructure projects within the district is critical and will assist in addressing challenges of water rationing, and to eradicate the use of water tankers in the communities that are without water,’ Ntuli said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Increased deployments at the country’s borders this Easter weekend

More Border Management Authority (BMA) resources are going to be deployed and operating times will be increased at the country’s ports of entry in anticipation of an increase in movements during the Easter long weekend.

‘The BMA is compelled to prope…


More Border Management Authority (BMA) resources are going to be deployed and operating times will be increased at the country’s ports of entry in anticipation of an increase in movements during the Easter long weekend.

‘The BMA is compelled to properly plan and execute a deliberate plan in order to ensure smooth and secure border operations during this period,’ BMA Commissioner Michael Masiapato said on Monday.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, Masiapato said there was a critical need for the authority to increase its deployment of resources in anticipation of increased movements at the borders, as this presents unique challenges.

‘As a reminder to all the stakeholders, the BMA is mandated to facilitate and manage the legitimate movements of persons and goods across all our 52 land ports of entry, 10 international airports and nine seaports,’ he said.

The facilitation of movement at the ports of entry is done across five key functional areas of immigration, port health, environmental and agricultural biose
curity, including access control and general law enforcement at the ports of entry and border law enforcement areas.

‘During these facilitations, the BMA officials have to secure the ports environment against threats of illegal migration, smuggling, as well as trafficking of persons and goods.

‘With this in mind, we have formulated comprehensive strategies and an operational plan to ensure that our deployments are responsive and ensure efficient port operations, with the requisite capability to deal with any security threats and/or risks, which may arise during the upcoming Easter period,’ he said.

The Easter operational plan is supported by various law enforcement structure,s such as the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Revenue Service (SARS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Cross Border Road Transport Agency and various traffic authorities.

‘Since our establishment, the BMA has intensified its working relationship with the Immigration Inspectorate, which has the mandate t
o identify illegal migrants who are already in the country and ensure their processing for deportation to their respective countries,’ Masiapato said.

He said in this Easter period, they anticipate about one million people moving through the country’s ports.

‘The numbers for this year’s Easter period could escalate further as members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), one of our biggest churches in the region, is opening for the annual Easter pilgrimage to Moria for the first time since COVID-19.’

Masiapato said the BMA has engaged their counterparts in Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini and Botswana, and they have agreed to extending operating hours at certain critical ports, which do not usually operate on a 24-hours basis.

The chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee on Border Management, who is also the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has approved the request to extend operating hours for selected ports.

Statistics for the 2023 Easter period showed that ports o
f entry, which facilitated the majority of the people were Beitbridge to Zimbabwe, Lebombo to Mozambique, Groblers Bridge to Botswana, Maseru Bridge and Ficksburg to Lesotho, OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, Oshoek to Eswatini, Kopfontein to Botswana and Caledonspoort to Lesotho.

Source: South African Government News Agency