Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Republic of Namibia

First war veteran gets house

Bulletin
February 2007
ans among others to address the plight of former prisoners and freedom fighters. President Pohamba also called on everybody eligible to benefit from the housing project, to remain patient, as the Government will constantly monitor and review their plight with a view to improve their living conditions.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba, former Regional PLAN Commander, Mr. Matias Ndakolo and his wife, Meekulu Aili pictured in the sitting room of Mr. Ndakolo’s new house.

Government Information

Former Regional PLAN commander Matias Mbulunganga Ndakolo became the first war veteran to benefit from the Government’s housing scheme for Former Robben Island Prisoners, War Veterans and Internally Brutalised Persons when he received the keys to his new house at the Iilogati Village in the Ohangwena region from President Hifikepunye Pohamba on 10 February 2007.

M

r. Ndakolo’s house is one of 48 houses constructed by the National Housing

Enterprise for war veterans during the current financial year with the N$5.8 million that the Government availed in June 2006 for this purpose. In an attempt to alleviate the housing plea of former Robben Island Prisoners, War Veterans and Internally Brutalised Persons, the Government also undertook to avail N$2 million annually for the next five years for the construction of more houses for former qualifying freedom fighters. During the handing over of keys to his new house to Mr. Ndakolo, President Pohamba denied allegations that the Government has not done enough to address the plight of former freedom fighters since independence. He reminded the audience of the establishment of the Development Brigade Corporation, the allocation of fishing rights, the War Veterans Subvention Fund and the provision of 1 375 cattle to 125 retired veter-

The construction of Mr. Ndakolo’s house and many others as part of this project, serves to demonstrate the Government’s appreciation for the “sacrifices made by these gallant and fearless fighters who stood firm during the difficult and testing time of our liberation war. They never wavered despite socioeconomic hardship that they have endured for years,” the President said. President Pohamba also said that good cooperation and partnership between the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural

Development, Regional Councils, local building contractors and other stakeholders made the completion of Mr. Ndakolo’s house possible. He said good progress was also made with similar houses in other regions and expressed his conviction that all 48 houses will be completed in line with the Cabinet decision before the end of this financial year. The President called on the beneficiaries of the project to look after their properties, not to allow people to vandalise it and to keep it clean and in a good state of repair.

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IN ThIs Issue

Five agreements signed with Chinese
Page 3

NA to safeguard well-being of Namibians
Page 5

Public asked to name state house halls
Page 20

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

From the Desk of the Minister
In the first edition of the Government Information Bulletin we shared information with our readers on the Government’s plans to provide 48 houses in the current financial year to Former Robben Island Prisoners, War Veterans and Internally Brutalised Persons. Cabinet took the decision to provide the houses and to avail a further N$2 million over the next five years for this purpose at its 16th meeting held on 15 August 2006.

Contents
Five agreements signed with Chinese ……………………….. 3 President proposes measures to curb accidents …………… 4 Horror evidence of road carnage ……………………………….. 4 NA must safeguard well-being of Namibians ……………….. 5 GRN priorities reiterated ………………………………………….. 6 School pass rate disappointing …………………………………. 6 Housing improve livelihood of poorest ……………………... 7 Kavango gets fisheries institute ………………………………. 8 Civil servants must serve the public ……………………………. 9 Decentralisation gives access to Ombudsman …………….. 10 New patrol aircraft due in March …………………………….. 10 Reform of Public Service underway ………………………… 11 Lüderitz railway line brings development ……………….... 12 Food for work benefits many …………………………………… 12 Lower courts still in dire straits ………………………………. 13 Fire gutted SADC Tribunal ……………………………………... 13 Onambutu scheme brings water to thousands …………… 14 Ministry forges ahead with new towns ……………………… 14 Pohamba lauds foreign cooperation ……………………….…. 15 Green scheme on course ……………………………………… 15 Road infrastructure receives attention …………………… 16 Namibia will not allow mob rule ……………………………… 16 NBC works for country-wide coverage ………………………. 17 Namibia and SADC-EU negotiations on course …………… 18 Scenes from first house to war veteran ………………….…. 19 Public asked to name State House halls …………………….. 20 New Ministry is making progress ……………………………… 20

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arely six months after the Cabinet decision, we are able to share the joy of the first beneficiary of one of the 48 houses, Mr. Matias Ndakolo with our readers. Mr. Ndakolo became the owner of the first completed house in the project on 10 February 2007 when President Hifikepunye Pohamba officially handed the house over to him and his wife. It was a joyous occasion and many people from the Iilogati village in the Ohangwena region and even further a field came to share in this colourful event. The completion and handing over of the first house serves as a clear demonstration that the Namibian Government is committed to address the plight of war veterans and other displaced people. It also shows that much can be achieved if different role players cooperate to translate Cabinet decisions into reality. In this housing project, the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, the National Housing Enterprise and building contractors worked together to ensure the timely completion of the project. The Ministry is convinced that all 48 houses will be completed before the end of this financial year on 31 March 2007. At the Cabinet Review Meeting at the end of November 2006, Cabinet members took stock of the implementation of Cabinet decisions and development projects. Since remarkable progress has been achieved in many areas, we decided to dedicate this edition of the Government Information Bulletin to development projects that will make a tangible difference to the lives of many Namibians. Except for the successful implementation of different housing projects, several roads have been or are in the process of being constructed, progress had been made with the Green Scheme to ensure food security, the aquaculture and fresh water fishing projects have taken off and water projects resulted in thousands of Namibians gaining access to safe, quality potable water. While being aware that much still needs to be done to address the plight of many Namibians, due recognition should be given to what has been achieved with the limited resources available to improve the livelihood of all Namibians.

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Our next edition of the Government Information Bulletin will be dedicated to information on the country’s National Symbols and the main responsibilities of Government institutions and their contact details. As a bonus, the centre spread will carry a full colour poster of Cabinet. Make sure not to miss it!

Government Information Bulletin: Publicising Government
The Government Information Bulletin was established through Cabinet Decision Number 13th/04.07.06/002 as an official information bulletin to publicise the Government’s programmes, policies and activities for the benefit of Government institutions and the Namibian public. All Government institutions contribute towards the Bulletin. The Government Information Bulletin is published monthly by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. To meet the specific information needs of communities, the public is invited to send comments and suggestions on Government projects, programmes and policies, which will then be covered in the Bulletin. More Government news and information can also be accessed on the GRN News button on the Government Internet site at www.grnnet.gov.na Private Bag Telephone Fax E-mail 13344, Windhoek, 061 x 2839111, 061 x 230170, wdeetlefs@mib.gov.na. The Bulletin is distributed free of charge to rural communities through the Ministry’s different regional offices. The public and organisations are welcome to subscribe to the Bulletin, but mailing costs will be for the account of the subscriber. Design Layout and printing DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi, Windhoek. Solitaire Press, Windhoek.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Five agreements signed with Chinese
A N$27.8 million interest free economic and technical cooperation agreement and a grant agreement of the same value are two of the five agreements signed between the Namibian and Chinese delegations during the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintau to Namibia on 5 and 6 February 2007. All the agreements are aimed at strengthening China-Namibia cooperation.

T

he three other agreements that were signed provide for the building of two

and expand cooperation, while the two governments will create conditions to facilitate two-way trade and investment. China further reaffirmed its readiness to assist Namibia and to support the country’s efforts in promoting economic growth and social progress. President Pohamba also expressed Namibia’s opposition to Taiwan’s independence and reaffirmed Namibia’s support for a reunited China. President Pohamba assured President Jintau that Namibia would not entertain any official relations or contact with Taiwan. Instead, Namibia supports all efforts by the Chinese government to achieve national reunification. The two leaders also undertook to strengthen their cooperation in international affairs and China praised Namibia for its efforts in safeguarding regional peace and stability and for advancing African integration. They, furthermore, undertook to make joint efforts to build on the success of the China-Africa Summit held in Beijing in 2006 and to promote the growth of the new China-Africa strategy featuring political equality, mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges. Before his departure from Namibia, President Jintau met with the Founding Father of the Namibian Nation, Dr. Sam Nujoma to exchange views on further strengthening the relations between the Chinese Communist Party and the SWAPO Party. During the state banquet in honour of President Jintau, President Pohamba said the people of Namibia value the strong bonds of friendship that exist between Namibia and China. The Namibian people will always remain grateful to the Government and people of China for their solidarity and support to the

liberation struggle and for standing firmly with Namibia in its current efforts towards economic and social development.

rural schools, a feasibility study on a youth training centre at Berg Aukhas and a plan to facilitate the visits of organised Chinese tour groups to Namibia. The Director General of the National Planning Commission, Hon. Helmut Angula signed three of the agreements on behalf of the Namibian Government. These include the N$27.8 economic and technical grant agreement, the agreement providing for the building of two rural schools and the agreement for the feasibility study on the Berg Aukhas Youth Training Centre. Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila signed the N$27.8 interest free loan agreement, while Environment and Tourism Minister Willem Konjore signed the tourism agreement on behalf of Namibia. President Jintau and his delegation visited Namibia as part of the Chinese President’s visit to eight African states. During the visit, President Jintau met with Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and the two leaders agreed to continue to exchange high-level visits to enhance political trust and actively expand cooperation in economic, trade, culture, education, health and other fields to the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples. The two Heads of State agreed that there was great potential for further growth in China-Namibia economic cooperation and trade. The leaders agreed to work together to strengthen their cooperation in the areas of mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and human resources development. The two leaders also agreed to continue encouraging their business people to increase contacts

Chinese President Hu Jintau and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba look on while their Ministers sign a cooperation agreement.

President Jintau and President Pohamba at the state banquet.

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President Jintau and Dr. Sam Nujoma, Founding Farther of the Namibian Nation met to discuss party issues.

Chinese awaiting the arrival of their President at the Hosea Kutako International Airport outside Windhoek.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

President proposes measures to curb accidents
President Hifikepunye Pohamba proposed the possible introduction of a public fines demerit system based on a point allocation as a possible measure to curb road accidents in Namibia.

O

pening the first Cabinet meeting of 2007 on 23 January, the President said

for traffic offences, as it appears that current fines are too lenient and do not deter aggressive and negligent drivers on Namibia’s roads. Referring to the immense road carnage of the festive season in which more than 80 road users lost their lives, President Pohamba said that what was meant to be a joyful period, turned out in unspeakable horror.

The President also called on the Ministries of Works, Transport and Communication and that of Safety and Security to assess the availability of available human and technical resources to strengthen the traffic police unit so as to improve road safety in Namibia. President Pohamba is of the opinion that the country’s traffic officers must be wellequipped to enforce the law effectively and efficiently.

the carnage on Namibia’s roads during the 2006 festive season is regrettable. He said the Government will have to consider a public fines demerit system in an attempt to address road accidents that result in unspeakable horror. According to the proposed system, points will be allocated to drivers who may loose the privilege of driving on public roads for a specified time depending on the number of offences committed. Similarly, President Pohamba called for a revision of regulations to strengthen the fines for offences of drunken driving and speeding. “Currently, a drunken driver gets away with an insignificant and non-deterring fine”, he said. According to the President it was also

“This heavy toll is indeed regrettable and painful”, he said. He called on his Cabinet to find ways of creating greater awareness among Namibia’s road users. He said public authorities should be asking whether they are doing enough to curb “this horrendous road carnage”. He cautioned that those caught violating He said there was a need for existing agencies, such as the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, the Roads Authority, the National Road Safety Council and the Namibian Police to intensify their roles in addressing the problem. President Pohamba appealed to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike to obey traffic regulations at all times. traffic and transport regulations should not expect any lenience. He also called on the relevant authorities to ensure that driving schools in the country are operating within the parameters of the law and that their courses meet all the necessary requirements. He called on law enforcement agencies to enforce the law without fear or favour.

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important to review the existing road transport regulations and fines issued

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

NA must safeguard well-being of Namibians
The National Assembly must at all times safeguard the public interest and the well-being of Namibia’s citizens, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said when he officiated at the opening of the fifth session of the fourth Parliament in Windhoek on 13 February 2007.

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he President cautioned Members of Parliament not to allow inertia or lack of

Pohamba also called for efforts to increase the representation of women in Parliament. Although female representation in the National Assembly increased from 6% immediately after independence to 26 % currently, it still falls short of the desired 50/50 representation. In the National Council, the representation increased from 1% in 1992 to 26% currently. President Pohamba also drew the attention of parliamentarians to the importance of the Bills that will serve before them during the current session of Parliament. The tense labour relations in the country and industrial disputes that negatively affect productivity and economic growth are matters of concern to Government. The President, therefore, called on lawmakers to carefully debate and consider the Labour Bill once it is tabled. The same holds true for the Value Added Tax Amendment Bill, since taxes are an important source of government revenue and there should be no room for tax evasion by individuals or corporations. The Government needs the tax revenue to be able to implement projects for the socio-economic upliftment of the Namibian people, he said.

financial strain on family, friends and the government and lawmakers will have to offer suggestions to end that when they consider the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund Bill, the President said. The Vocational Education and Training Bill should also be approached with seriousness, because it must help to address the country’s high level of unemployment among the youth. Appropriate mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that Namibia has skilful and productive citizens who possess the knowledge, know-how and competencies to operate in the modern economy. He also called on Parliamentarians to carefully consider the Electricity Bill in the light of the impending power supply crisis facing Namibia and the SADC region. He called on them to act swift to cushion the effects of the reduced power generation capacity in the region and to support efforts to harness other sources of renewable energy.

will to slow the country’s progress. Instead, all parties in Parliament should work together to confront and defeat the challenges of unemployment, poverty, social degradation, crime and the scourge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He called on parliamentarians to work hard to promote the best interest of the Namibian people so that Namibia can stand as a beacon of hope, democracy and tolerance. He reminded them that it was in their hands to build a society in which Namibia’s children will have the opportunity to realise their dreams and aspirations. The key to unlock the countless

possibilities of building a vibrant society and a strong constitutional order are in the hands of Namibians, he said. He reminded parliamentarians that they have been voted into office to articulate the wishes and aspirations of the electorate. Parliamentarians have been mandated to serve the voting public by enacting laws to enhance the well-being of the people. Parliamentarians, therefore, have to work together to ensure that the ship of democracy does not sink, for if it does, all will perish, he said. Referring to the level of debate in Parliament, the President said elected representatives are expected to advance mature and wellconsidered arguments to enhance the quality of debate in the Parliamentary chambers. He applauded the installation of a lift in the National Assembly, remarking that

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The carnage on Namibia’s roads puts emotional and
National Council Chair Hon, Asser Kapere, President Hifikepunye Pohamba and National Assembly Speaker, Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab before the opening of Parliament.

this demonstrated a positive response to appeals by people with disabilities to make Parliament more accessible to them. President

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Government priorities reiterated
The allocation of resources to the Green Scheme, the rapidly growing tourism sector, the expansion of feeder roads into rural areas, the construction of grain storage facilities and the establishment of more skills training and skills upgrading centres for the Namibia youth were reiterated as top Government priorities when President Hifekepunye Pohamba opened the first 2007 Cabinet meeting on 23 January 2007.

B

etter

coordination priorities.

of The

government President,

by a clear understanding of the development needs of the country as reflected in the election manifesto of the ruling party and the country’s national development plans and programmes. Referring to the Cabinet Review Meeting in late November 2006, President Pohamba reminded his Cabinet that capacity building and human resource development, economic growth and intra-government coordination featured strongly as issues of national importance to take Namibia forward on its development path. The Government must,

therefore, redouble its efforts to expand training opportunities and enlarging the pool of experts and professionals who can implement government programmes and take Namibia to greater heights. He also stressed the need for Government institutions to continuous review their priorities and to pursue those policies that will have the most tangible impact on the live of Namibians. This is necessary because of the financial constraints facing the Government, he said.

activities goes hand in hand with the

Government’s

therefore, called on Cabinet members to promote the culture of coordination within their institutions, as well as among various public sector agencies. Coordination should include regional and local authorities, traditional and community leaders, civil society and the private sector. At the core of the Government’s response to the challenges facing it, is the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment. According to President Pohamba this calls for the need to promote economic growth and boost its ability to create jobs for the country’s unemployed citizens, especially youth and women. The aim of the Government should be to achieve tangible results with the improvement of the quality of life of the Namibian people. To achieve this, the Government must be driven

Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Libertina Amathila, President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Secretary to Cabinet, Mr. Frans Kapofi at the first Cabinet meeting for 2007.

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school pass rate disappointing
Although the enrolment of learners at Namibian schools went well at the start of the new school year, President Hifikepunye Pohamba described the disappointing pass rate of below 50% among Grade 10 and 12 learners as embarrassing statistics.

“W

e

cannot

afford

such

poor

other stakeholders in education to make proposals and suggest ideas to reverse the negative pass rate trend. He urged that Namibian children must be prepared for the workplace in a competitive world and not to sit idle on street corners. The President also requested the Minister of Education to develop an entrepreneurial orientation of

Namibian learners at the Grade 10 level. “From Grades 11 to 12, students should already be able to make career choices and to pursue such choices at tertiary level”, he said. While acknowledging that many rural schools face tremendous resource constraints, President Pohamba commended some rural schools that have achieved good pass rates.

performance. We must act swiftly

to arrest this disturbing trend immediately and aim for a pass rate of at least 90% in coming years,” President Pohamba said at the first 2007 Cabinet meeting on 23 January 2007. He called on the Ministry of Education and

Continue on page 7

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

housing improves livelihood of poorest
The livelihood of the poorest segment of society has improved significantly during 2006 with the construction of several houses under the National Housing Programme of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

R

egional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister John

in the Hardap region and 47 houses were constructed in Bethanie, Koes and Berseba in the Karas region. Under the Ministry’s Single Quarters Transformation Sub-programme, 100 houses are in the process of construction in Swakopmund in the Erongo region, while 250 plots have been serviced in Otavi in the Otjozondjupa region for the construction of 250

During National

January Housing

to

August

2006,

the

Enterprise

completed

Pandeni told the Cabinet Review Meeting late last year that 402 houses were completed at a cost of N$11.942 million under the Urban/ Rural Housing Loan Sub-programme, while 100 houses had been completed under the Social Housing Sub-programme at a cost of N$4 million. The houses were constructed in the Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Erongo, Khomas, Hardap and Karas regions. A total of 119 houses were constructed in Kamanjab, Opuwo, Okangwati and Khorixas in the Kunene region, while eight houses were constructed at Outapi in the Omusati region. A total of 49 houses were constructed in Ondangwa in the Oshana region, 89 houses were built in Henties Bay in the Erongo region and the Khomas region benefited from the construction of 64 houses. A total of 107 houses were built in Aranos, Mariental, Rehoboth and Gibeon

the construction of 183 houses, 103 in Goreangob and 10 in Okuryangava in the Khomas region and 70 houses in Kuisebmond in the Erongo region at a cost of N$15.755 million. According to Minister Pandeni, the home owners are the real beneficiaries of his Ministry’s housing programme, since it generally improve the livelihood for the poorest segment of society. The programmes that are implemented by Regional Councils and local authorities also benefit contractors and labourers in the short term.

houses. The cost for the Single Quarters Transformation Sub-programme amounts to N$6 million during the 2006/2007 financial year. While the Informal Settlement Upgrading Subprogramme does not involve the construction of houses, it does contribute to the provision of basic urban services to informal settlement areas. During the first eight months of 2006, 10 VIP toilets were constructed at Sesfontein in the Kunene region, while 434 plots have been serviced in Okangwati in the same region. At Oshivello in the Oshikoto region, communal facilities, including water, electricity and sewerage infrastructure were provided to 2 873 beneficiaries.

Housing is a basic need of all human beings.

Continued from page 6

school pass rate disappointing
education into the public education system and the fact that curriculum development for pre-primary education has already started. Referring to the traditional Africa wisdom that it takes a village to raise a child, he cautioned that pre-primary education require the involvement of the Government, as well as the community as a whole. He called on all stakeholders to contribute towards the successful implementation of the envisaged pre-primary education curriculum so that all Namibian children can be ready for schooling
Learners at a school athletics meeting.

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He said the education authorities have to establish how some rural schools manage to perform well despite the constraints they are facing. If some rural schools perform well, others operating under similar conditions should follow suit, he said. President Pohamba stressed the need for education authorities to act immediately to reverse the unacceptable trend. The President said he was encouraged by the steps that have been taken to re-integrate pre-primary

when they start Grade 1. “This is of utmost importance because pre-primary education forms the strong foundation upon which our education system can stand, grow and produce the desired outcomes”, he said.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Kavango gets fisheries institute
Communities in the Kavango and Caprivi regions who are engaged in aquaculture and inland fisheries stand to benefit once the N$30 million Inland Fisheries Institute at Kamutjonga in the Kavango region is completed.

A

ccording to information that Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Dr.

is estimated that the Ministry will permanently employ 25 staff members once the Institute is operational. Employment creation and enhanced fish production, which will maximise fish supply to the regional markets are two of the long term economic benefits of the Institute. According to Dr. Iyambo, it will take between 10 to 15 years after completion of the project to realise its full benefits. The project is in line with the Government’s priorities as contained in the Second National Development Plan in that it will promote the sustainable use of inland fish for household food security. The project will, furthermore, also contribute to the development of sustainable aquaculture industries, while at the same time empowering local communities and promoting local natural resources development. Work on the N$9.5 million aquaculture project at the Olushandja Dam and at Onavivi in the Oshana region is also progressing well. The project consists of the Epalela fish farm project near Olushandja and the Inland Aquaculture Centre at Onavivi. Tilapia and catfish are

produced for local and regional markets at the Epalela fish farm, while the Inland Aquaculture Centre carries out research on fresh water fisheries and provide training to Ministerial staff and the communities. Once operational, the Centre will also produce fingerlings for distribution to farmers in the northern regions. The Onavivi Centre was established with Spanish assistance and good progress is being made with the production of fingerlings and fish. Phase two of the project will be completed during the 2007/2008 financial year with the construction of houses and dormitories. Two Cuban experts are assisting the Namibian government with the establishment of this aquaculture project. The fish farms that were established at Mpungu, Shipapu, Wambambangandu and Karovo in the Kavango region and at Litapi, Likunganelo and Kalimbeza in the Caprivi region were affected by floods in the 2006/2007 financial year. The outcome of a feasibility study is being awaited to establish these farms on a sustainable basis in the two regions.

Abraham Iyambo shared with colleagues at the November 2006 Cabinet Review Meeting, the first phase of the project had been completed. The second phase of the Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute has started and it is due for completion in the 2008/2009 financial year. During the second phase additional houses, a road, fences and dormitories will be constructed. Once completed, the Institute will do scientific research on fresh water fisheries and provide training for fish farmers in the Kavango and Caprivi regions. The Institute will also produce fingerlings for distribution to farmers in the two regions. According to Dr. Iyambo, the Inland Fisheries Institute will promote the collection of data for research and analysis of socio-economic purposes, while it will also provide training for technical personnel and fish farmers in the two regions.

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During phase one of the project, 15 Namibians were temporary employed on the project and it

In the left photo two men are busy catching freshwater fish and in the right hand photo, two men are proudly displaying their catch that will make a nutritious meal.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Civil servants must serve the public
Every day that the state machinery does not make progress to provide better living conditions to Namibia’s people, is a day too long, President Hifikepunye Pohamba remarked when he met senior civil servants on 8 February 2007.

“T

he challenges we face call for speedy service delivery and the abolition

According to President Pohamba, a capable government creates a conducive environment for investment, sustained socio-economic growth and development, while it also facilitates and ensures effective and good governance at all levels, by combating corruption, incompetence and wastage. Good governance is about serving the people and giving them tangible present and future benefits in education, health, social security, sanitation, potable water, electricity and housing. “Our citizens expect only the highest quality of service from the public service, because they invest in the public service through the taxes that they pay. If the returns on their investment do not translated into quality service delivery, they will make their voices known. The public service must demonstrate a complete dedication to a strong work ethic and a recognition that every human being deserves courtesy and consideration”, the President cautioned. He also called for excellence, a constant search for perfection and value-formoney services to ensure that the management of human, material, financial and information

resources meet the increasingly complex challenges of development and nation-building. The focus of the civil service must be people centred, while rules, procedures and regulations must only be applied to promote efficiency and consistency in the work of civil servants. According to the President, it is time that a new mode of service delivery and operation procedures should be considered in the light of the complex challenges faced by the Government. “As public service managers, your principal objective should be to create a public service that is citizen-oriented rather than selfserving; innovative rather than rule-bound, capable of forging constructive partnerships with outside groups rather than being insular; professionally competent rather than being patronage or corruption ridden”, he said. He called on them to be result-oriented and time and cost conscious, not allowing hierarchy, protocol or the cynical interpretation and application of rules to slow down progress.

of practices that do not produce desired results”, the President said. Civil servants are the backbone of the implementation of government policies and senior civil servants must, therefore, continue to inculcate a sense of purpose, urgency and dedication across the public service, he said. President Pohamba again reiterated that public service is about serving the public, who are the tax payers. It is thus necessary for civil servants to carry out their responsibilities with dedication and a clear sense of purpose to enable the Government to provide critical services, such as health and education to the entire nation. The President called on the civil service to adjust the administrative machinery to ensure that the relationship between citizens and officials is based on respect, honesty and the appreciation of the legitimate expectations of what citizens expect from civil servants. Citizens must be empowered to insist that services are rendered in an accountable and transparent manner, he said. To improve service delivery, the civil service must be bold enough to identify practices and structures that hamper progress and to address shortcomings immediately. Similarly, mechanisms for intra-government coordination through timely and regular information sharing must be improved and strengthened.

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Ethiopian groups welcomed President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the airport in Addis Ababa. The President attended the African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital on 28 January 2007.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Decentralisation gives access to Ombudsman
The opening of representative Ombudsman offices in Keetmanshoop in the South and Oshakati in the North has allowed more than 1000 Namibians from remote areas to lodge complaints of maladministration, corruption and the violation of human rights with the Office of the Ombudsman between January and October 2006.

W

ith the opening of the two regional offices, the Office of the Ombudsman

Since

January

2006,

permanent

lodge their complaints with the Ombudsman. Without these offices, most of them would never have been in a position to bring their complaints to the Ombudsman, since they are either illiterate or lack resources to pay for telephone calls, faxes or postage stamps. Since the two regional offices are not able to cover the whole country, investigators from the Ombudsman head office in Windhoek undertook complaint intake clinics to places such as Gobabis, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Arandis, Usakos, Karibib, Omaruru, Katima Mulilo, Khorixas, Opuwo, Tsumkwe, as well as prisons in other areas.

investigators have been dispatched to the offices in Keetmanshoop and Oshakati. The investigator in Keetmanshoop also regularly visits several smaller places, such as Aroab, Koes, Tses, Maltahohe, Mariental, Gochas, Stampriet, Aranos, Lüderitz, Aus, Bethanie and Karasburg, as well as prisons in the south. The investigator in Oshakati also brings the services of the Office of the Ombudsman to places like Rundu, Uutapi, Okahao, Ondangwa, Oluno, Eenhana, Tsumeb and Grootfontein and prisons in the north. The opening of the Oshakati office has resulted in 238 people from the northern regions submitting their complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman. In the South, 212 people contacted the Keetmanshoop regional office with complaints. According to Ms. Iivula-Ithana, the opening of the offices in Keetmanshoop and Oshakati empowered citizens in the south and north to

honoured the Government’s decentralisation policy and its own undertaking to make the services of the Ombudsman accessible to as many citizens as possible. The Office of the Ombudsman is entrusted to receive, investigate and the and resolve of complaints from the public about corruption, maladministration resources. Briefing the Cabinet Review Meeting about the work of the Office of the Ombudsman late last year, Ms. Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Minister of Justice and the Attorney General said before from decentralisation, investigators violation human rights, the environment and national

Intake clinics between January to October 2006, resulted in 568 complains submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman. Ms. IivulaIthana stated that public institutions naturally strive for excellence if they know the watchdog is active throughout the country. This helps to achieve good governance, while also giving local and foreign investors confidence to invest in the country.

Windhoek visited the regional offices regularly. This situation was not ideal, as it was expensive while also denying the rural population with constant access to representatives from the Office of the Ombudsman.

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New patrol aircraft due in March
A new fisheries patrol aircraft that will assist the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to combat illegal fishing in Namibia’s exclusive economic zone, is expected to be delivered in the country in March 2007.

C

onstruction on the N$38.634 million aircraft started during the 2003/2004

construction of a new patrol aircraft became necessary since the current patrol aircraft is approaching the end of its expected life span. As is the case with the current patrol aircraft, the new aircraft will also be stationed at Arandis in the Erongo region. With the new aircraft, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources will

be able to combat illegal fishing in Namibian waters, which will allow the fish stock to grow to its expected level of biomass. This is in line with the provisions in the Second National Development Plan that call for the sustainable use of the country’s marine resources.

financial year in France and delivery was initially scheduled for the 2004/2005 financial year. The terror attacks on the Twin Towers in New York in the United States of America however prevented the service provider to deliver the aircraft as per the agreements. The

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Reform of Public service underway
The roll-out of the Public Service Performance Management System aimed at changing Namibia’s public service into a performing organisation and major agent to bring about lasting growth and prosperity to the country, may take between eight and 12 years.

B

riefing the Cabinet Review Meeting late last year on the establishment of a

performance-oriented public service, Prime Minister Nahas Angula said the Performance Management System, together with other public service reform initiatives will result in quality service delivery, high levels of customer satisfaction, improved efficiency and effectiveness and ultimately contribute to the achievement of Vision 2030 in Namibia. Since organisational culture change is a critical success factor towards a service-oriented public service, a slower and more substantive roll-out of the Performance Management System is being encouraged to ensure lasting change, the Prime Minister said. Together with the Performance Management System (PMS), other public service reform initiatives, such as the establishment of the Namibia Institute for Public Administration Management (NIPAM), job evaluation and grading, E-Governance and the Human Resources Management Information System are being introduced to ensure the establishment of a performance-oriented public service. According to the Prime Minister, the Performance Management System is ready for submission to the Cabinet Committee on the Public Service for approval early in 2007 so that it can become a formal Government policy. An of Executive selected Committee, Permanent consisting Secretaries, Although the roll out of PMS is estimated to take a minimum of four years, the Prime Minister said that benchmarking has shown that rolling out major reform initiatives, like entrenching the Performance Management System, may take between eight to 12 years. A critical success factor is that Permanent Secretaries must be committed to the process. With regard to NIPAM, the Prime Minister indicated that a draft act has been compiled
Secretary to Cabinet, Mr. Frans Kapofi and Prime Minister Nahas Angula are at the heart of reform in the Public Service.

The PMS has already been deployed in the Ministry of Labour and Social Services and it is earmarked for deployment in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement in February 2007. According to the Prime Minister it is possible that the rollout of the PMS is completed in the Ministries of Labour and Social Welfare and Lands and Resettlement by March 2008, while it may take two years longer to roll it out in the bigger Ministry of Education.

as a discussion document, while an amount of N$45 million is available on the capital budget until 2009 for the construction of the institute. The job evaluation and grading is on course, but insufficient funds and the diverse interest of stakeholders are delaying the process. It is, however, trusted that it will be in place towards the end of 2008. E-Government still lacks funding and

11

implementation mechanisms, but the Office of the Prime Minister, in cooperation with the World Bank will conduct a needs assessment to strengthen the implementation programme. Tender documents are being finalised for the purchasing of a new computerised system for the Human Resources Management Information System. The development of an electronic information system is necessary to optimise performance in the public service. The absence of such a performance tracking system will make analysis, accountability and comparison cumbersome if not impossible.

representatives from women’s organisations, recognised trade unions and the Bank of Namibia, and chaired by the Secretary to Cabinet, Mr. Frans Kapofi, was already established in 2006 to oversee the roll-out of the PMS across all government institutions.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Lüderitz railway line brings development
The upgrading and rehabilitation of the Aus-Lüderitz railway line together with the Lüderitz harbour that was upgraded in 1998 will lead to the development of the southern part of Namibia. This project will also serve the local inhabitants, the fishing and mining industry and agricultural projects in the Karas region.

B

riefing Cabinet on its Ministry’s programmes at the Cabinet Review Meeting late

its entire length through the Namib Desert. The contract for this N$540 million job was awarded to the Roads Contractor Company who has to do the earthworks embankment, build a station at Lüderitz, supply the ballast stone and lay the tracks, as well as build road over rail bridges and lay drainage culverts. The track work is being upgraded from 11.5 tonne axle load to accommodate 18.5 tonnes to allow the line to carry a heavier load. The railway line project is financed by the Namibian Government and is due for completion in the 2009/2010 financial year. Due to the harsh climate and raging winds in the desert, it is impractical to use people to do labour-based work on the railway line. Mechanical equipment is mainly use in the

construction, but approximately 600 people are employed at Aus and Lüderitz. Once the railway line is operational, it is expected that employment opportunities will be created due to cargo and passenger trains servicing the route. Tourism and other business ventures may also create employment opportunities. It is also hoped that the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Aus-Lüderitz railway line, together with the upgraded Lüderitz harbour will promote interregional trade with neighbouring SADC countries. The lifespan and cost of maintenance of roads in the south will also be prolonged if bulk goods and passengers are transported by train instead of on the roads.

in November 2007, Works, Transport and Communications Minister, Joël Kaapanda said the Skorpion Zink mine was already exporting through the Lüderitz harbour and plans are underway to distribute petroleum products for the southern regions of Namibia through Lüderitz and the upgraded rail link. According to Minister Kaapanda, South African mining groups and fruit producers have also indicated that they would want to make use of the Lüdertiz harbour as a point of export. This would produce revenue for Namibia. The upgrading and rehabilitation of the 139.5 kilometers of railway line from the Aus station to the Lüderitz station runs for

Food for work benefits many
A total of 5 035 Namibians benefited from 147 projects supported by the Food for Work

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programme of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development between 1 January and 31 August 2006.

D

uring the same period, 271 people benefited from 15 projects that were

According to Minister Pandeni, a total of 135 people from six regions benefited from the Food Security and Nutrition - Empowerment of the San Community for Household Food Security Programme. The beneficiaries were from Omega/Chetto in West Caprivi, Okongo/Omauni in Ohangwena, Tsinsabis in Oshikoto, Omega/Buffalo in Kavango, Tsumkwe/Mkata in Otjozondjupa and Eiseb/ Epukiro in Omaheke. The projects implemented under the Food for Work programme are community based

projects that are providing direct food aid as a safety net system for the poor ablebodied people in targeted communities in productive self-help activities. The Food Security and Nutrition programme aimed at San communities is creating temporary employment through the building of basic rural infrastructure for the San. These activities provide San communities with muchneeded technical skills and know-how for similar projects in the future, thus preparing them for the job market or self-employment.

supported by the Food and Cash for Work programme of the Ministry, according to information given to the Cabinet Review Meeting late last year by Minister John Pandeni. The two programmes benefited both males and females in Namibia’s 13 regions. A total of 2 753 males and 2 553 females in all regions were beneficiaries of the Food for Work and the Food and Cash for Work programme in the first eight months of 2006.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Lower courts still in dire straits
The appointment of seven temporary magistrates in May 2006 to assist with the backlog of cases in Namibia’s lower courts did not have the desired results. In nine of the 25 court districts, the backlog is now even bigger than what it was on 31 March 2006.

T

he

problems

in

lower

courts

are

Outapi the backlog is 15% up in spite of the deployment of a temporary magistrate to that district. This state of affairs is attributed to the fact that temporary magistrates could not concentrate on the backlog of cases, as the stations they serve have too many new cases, said Ms. Iivula-Ithana. In some cases, temporary magistrates serve in vacant permanent positions, which require that they attend to all duties of the offices, as well as new cases. During the period November 2005 to October

According to Ms. Iivula-Ithana, crime is increasing, while the availability of both human and capital resources seems to be declining. The situation is aggravated by the reluctance of young graduates to take up magisterial posts outside Windhoek, while others accept offers from parastatals and the private sector that offer better salaries than the government. Although the Ministry of Justice acquired 15 additional recording machines and five transcribers to type mechanically recorded records, most typists are not trained to use computers and transcribers effectively. English language skills also pose a problem, since the typists are unable to listen to recordings and simultaneously type the English words correctly. Budgetary constrains are also contributing to the fact that some services are not receiving the necessary attention, while magistrates’ training is also neglected because of the shortage of funds.

aggravated by the fact that none of

the 30 newly created magistrate posts in the Ministry of Justice are funded and can, therefore, not be used until such time that they are fully funded. Minister of Justice and the Attorney General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana painted a bleak picture about the state of lower courts and the backlog of cases in the country at the Cabinet Review Meeting held late in November 2006. Ms. Iivula-Ithana said although funds

2006 a total number of 158 164 cases were registered with lower courts in the country. A total of 5 877 cases were finalised, while 7 627 cases were disposed of after admission of guilt. Court personnel spent 3225.41 hours in court and 953.50 hours on administrative and quasi-judicial functions. Besides court hearings, magistrates are also expected to render many additional duties, such as domestic violence applications, applications for liquor or shebeen licences and maintenance enquiries.

were secured for the appointment of two temporary magistrates in Windhoek, and one temporary magistrate each in Keetmanshoop, Opuwo, Okahao, Oshakati and Rundu, the number of outstanding cases was only slightly reduced in 14 court districts, while the backlog increased in nine districts. While the backlog of cases is down with 50% in the Okahandja and Omaruru districts and 40% down in the Karasburg and Lüderitz districs, the backlog increased in Swakopmund and Keetmanshoop. In

Fire gutted sADC Tribunal

13

A fire that broke out at about 03h00 on 19 January 2007 in the historic SADC Tribunal or Turnhalle Building destroyed the interior of the building, leaving only the outside walls standing. Damage to the building and furniture runs into millions of dollars.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Onambutu scheme brings water to thousands
Approximately 93 000 people will have access to safe, quality potable water upon the completion of the Onambutu Water Supply Scheme that starts in the Oshana region and cuts through the Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions.

T

he water supply scheme is being done in stages and will cost N$57 million

water to approximately 93 000 people in the Oshana, Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions, about 1 000 rural community members were employed to assist with the implementation of the project and N$1 896 000 has been paid as wages to those community members. Briefing the Cabinet Review Meeting late in November on progress with the projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Dr. Nickey Iyambo said community members will be encouraged to pay for their water according to prescribed NamWater tariffs, while rural water extension technicians will assist the communities to maintain the infrastructure. Another water supply scheme is the Tsandi South Scheme in the Omusati region that will bring safe, potable water to 57 500 people in this northern region. At a cost of N$34 million, the two phases of

this project saw the completion of 39 km of bulk and 117 km of rural pipeline with 71 water points that include clinics, schools and household and 4 livestock water points in phase one. In phase two, 2 direct off-takes were done from new and existing bulk pipelines, while 183 km rural pipelines and 85 new water points inclusive of clinics, schools and households were completed. A further 125 existing communal and institutional water points have been rehabilitated. The construction of the Tsandi South Scheme resulted in the employment of approximately 1000 community members who earned N$1 635 000 in wages for their work. As with the Onambutu Scheme, community members will be encouraged to pay for their water, while rural water extension technicians will assist the communities to maintain the infrastructure.

upon completion. In the phase one stage of the project, 36.4 km bulk pipeline, a 600 m³ reservoir and the construction of a booster pump station at Oshaango in the Ohangwena region was completed. The upgrading of the pump station at Iindangungu in the Oshikoto region was also completed. A 90 km bulk pipeline and mechanical and engineering works at Oshaango in the Ohangwena region has been completed as part of phase two of the Onambutu water supply scheme. Communities along the pipeline, regional councillors, traditional leaders, NamWater and local water committees were involved throughout the project. Besides the provision of safe, quality potable

Ministry forges ahead with new towns
A resistance by some stakeholders to constructively cooperate with the Government in the implementation of national policies is hampering the proclamation of new towns in Namibia.

14

A

ccording to Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister,

newly proclaimed. The Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Ministry wants to see the settlement areas of Otjinene in the Omaheke region, Rosh Pina, Oranjemund and Aussenkjer in the Karas region, Omuthiya in the Oshikoto region, Bukalo in the Caprivi region, as well as Nkurenkuru and Divundu in the Kavango region proclaimed as new towns over the next three financial years. Work on this will start already during the 2007/2008 financial year and will hopefully be concluded during the 2009/2010 financial year, the Minister said. Minister Pandeni said although the proclamation of new towns will contribute to improved socio-economic living conditions

of people, address the skewed socio-economic development across the country and improve the investment environment, the Ministry still faces challenges with this programme. The challenges include opposition from traditional leaders towards the proclamation of new towns, while the problem is exacerbated by the absence of a legal framework to accommodate the implementation of a Cabinet decision and a national policy. The Ministry is also experiencing resistance from communities to relinquish land for urban development. To address the challenges, his Ministry plans to amend legislation to support the implementation of government policies and priorities.

John Pandeni, the proclamation of new towns in Namibia is being delayed because traditional leaders are not always supportive, while there is also resistance to relinquish land for urban development. Briefing the Cabinet Review Meeting at the end of 2006 about his Ministry’s flagship programmes, Minister Pandeni said that his Ministry would like to see at least two towns proclaimed in every region. However, to date only Okahao in the Omusati region and Helao Nafidi in the Oghangwena region have been

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Pohamba lauds foreign cooperation
President Hifikepunye Pohamba lauds the excellent relations and cooperation between Namibia and foreign missions and international organisations in Namibia when he conveyed his New Year greetings to the diplomatic corps on 1 February 2007.

N

amibia

faces

many such a

formidable poverty,

tribute to the sterling leadership of the former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan and said the country was looking forward to working closely with the new Secretary General, Ban KiMoon and his Deputy, Dr. Asha-Rosa Migiro of Tanzania. The President expressed concern at the

the lack of progress with the implementation of the UN Resolutions on Western Sahara remains a concern to Namibia. He called on the international community to intensify efforts to find permanent solutions to the problems in Palestine and the Western Sahara. President Pohamba also hailed the Africa-South America Summit of 2005 aimed at strengthening south-south cooperation and said Namibia is honoured to host the second Africa-Latin America Governor and Mayors meeting that will take place in Windhoek in May 2007.

challenges,

unemployment, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other difficulties. Therefore, it was important for the country to work closely with its friends and development partners to address these challenges, President Pohamba said. The President thanked the diplomatic corps for its tireless efforts in strengthening relations between their respective countries and Namibia. He also expressed the wish that the New Year will bring peace, social justice, development and prosperity to the world. Referring to the general elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, President Pohamba praised the people of the DRC for the successful conclusion of the general elections, which gave President Joseph Kabila the mandate to lead that country to peace, reconciliation and reconstruction. He also commended the positive role of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union in helping the people of the DRC. President Pohamba assured the diplomatic corps that Namibia attaches great importance to the global development agenda. He, however, expressed concern about the lack of progress in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. He called on all UN member states to work together in finding effective solutions to the fight against poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance.

situation in the Middle East and especially the suffering of the people of Palestine who have not yet achieved their right to selfdetermination and independence. Similarly,

Green scheme on course
The design of the Tandjieskoppe green scheme project is progressing well and it is anticipated that the design will be concluded by July 2007, paving the way for the construction of the project to start around September this year.

A

lthough the green scheme activities are currently focussed on infrastructure

project, developing partners, such as the African Development Bank, BADEA and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are financially contributing to this project. Minister Iyambo told the Cabinet Review Meeting late last year that approximately 20 people are employed during the design phase of the project, while 1 500 permanent workers will be employed on completion of the project. A further 2 000 people will be employed

development, it will eventually enhance employment opportunities and food security in Namibia. The long term goal of the green scheme is to increase the current 8 600 hectares under irrigation to 40 000 hectares. At Tandjieskoppe 1 000 hectares of irrigated land will be developed for the production of grapes, dates and vegetables. According to Agriculture, Water and Forestry

15

as seasonal workers during harvesting and processing. It is anticipated that 130 small scale farmers will farm on a leasehold basis on 4 hectare

He also pledged Namibia’s continued support to reform the UN system, especially the expansion and democratisation of the Security Council. At the same time, Namibia will continue to support UN efforts to maintain peace and security around the world. He also paid

Minister, Nickey Iyambo, a total of N$358 million has been budgeted over six years for the completion of this project. Besides the N$40 million that the

farms, while 13 commercial farmers will be allocated 40 hectares each on a leasehold basis.

Namibian Government budgeted for this

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Road infrastructure receives attention
The Directorate Transportation Infrastructure in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication is busy with at least five projects to upgrade and improve different stretches of road in Nambia.

I

n the Omusati region, work on the N$88 million project to upgrade the 55 km

the Lüderitz harbour for export purposes. In an earlier Government Information Bulletin information was given about the Rundu-SikoNkurenkuru-Mpungu-Kongo-Elundu road that will be constructed at a cost of N$810.457 million in the Kavango and Ohangwena regions. It is envisaged that construction on the first phase of this road will start early in 2007 and local people and contractors along the road will be used for construction work. This road will promote interregional trade between the Kavango and Ohangwena

regions and give access to the OndangwaOshikango road towards Angola and the Rundu-Katima Mulilo road to Zambia. The fifth project is the rehabilitation

road between Outapi to Tsandi to bitumen standard was completed in December 2006. This project, that started in July 2004 was due for completion in July 2005, but the extension of 13 km road to Okahao delayed the project. A total of 189 people, 172 Namibians and 17 foreigners were employed on this project that links the economic centres of Tsandi, Outapi and Okahao with Oshakati and give communities access to main hospitals and schools. In the Kunene region, the first 104 km phase of the Kamanjab-Omakange project, that will eventually see the bitumen road run to Opuwo, is underway and the first 15 km of road is already completed and open to traffic. Another 30 km has been prepared and surfaced. The tender for the 104 km stretch for phase 2 of the project was advertised, but has not been awarded due to the unavailability of funds. To date a total of 138 people - 123 Namibians and 15 foreigners have been employed on this N$295.8 million project. The Kunene region is a sought after

and improvement of the road between Okahandja and Karibib at a cost of N$197.7 million. The successful contractor will start working on the first 45 km stretch of road in March 2007, while planning on the second 32 km will run parallel with the construction of the first phase. Work on the second phase will commence as funds become available.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba opened the Aminius Constituency Office in the Omaheke region on 25 January 2007. The office was build to bring services colser to the people.

Namibia will not allow mob rule
The Government will not allow mob rule within the borders of Namibia and those involved in violence and intolerance will answer for their action through the country’s justice system, President Hifikepunye Pohamba warned when he opened the first Cabinet meeting for 2007 on 23 January.
The Government will not allow “seeds of discord and division to undermine the unity of our people”, President Pohamba said with reference to the killing of a young Namibian in the Aminuis constituency when two traditional authorities clashed over the swearing in of a senior counsellor. President Pohamba said peace and stability were prerequisites for sustainable development and the ruling Party will consciously and continuously invest in peace, political and socio-economic stability. He said he is convinced that Namibians can live in peace and harmony because the nation’s common values and goals exceed their differences. “Our strength as a nation lies in the colourful diversity of the Namibian people and in our different cultures, traditions, backgrounds, skills and knowledge”, the President said.

16

tourist destination and once completed, the road will ease access to the region. In the Karas region, the first section of the N$309.761 million Aus-Rosh Pinah road has been completed and is open to traffic. The open section is the 118 km from Rosh Pinah up to Greens towards Aus. Construction on the 51 km second section from Greens to Aus was completed late in 2006. A total of 239 Namibians and 55 foreigners were involved in the construction of this road that connects Rosh Pinah with the tarred road from Keetmanshoop to Lüderitz, giving the Rosh Pinah mining industry easy access to

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

NBC works for country-wide coverage
The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation made significant strides since 2001 to cover Namibia with radio and television signals.

R

adio reception increased with 5% from 89% to 94% coverage, while television

These tenders provide for the upgrading of the Corporation’s contribution centres in Otjiwarongo and Keetmanshoop, as well as the upgrading of the

coverage currently stands at 64% compared to 45% in 2001. Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah

National Radio, News and Current Affairs; TV Current Affairs; and the Radio Centre at the NBC head office in Windhoek. Another tender provides for the purchasing of three radio outside broadcast vans for Oshakati and Windhoek, as well as Rundu and Katima Mulilo that will share the services of one van. cameras and broadcast facilities. Once these challenges have been overcome, Although remarkable progress has been made, the NBC is still faced with a number of challenges that are hampering its expansion countrywide, Mrs. Nandi-Ndaitwah said. News events will, furthermore, be current and These challenges include bringing the San not delayed and Namibians will be able to listen to the radio station and language service of their choice, not matter where they are. It will also ensure that educational and entertainment programmes are provided to all. Mrs. Nandi-Ndaitwah informed Cabinet language to Windhoek and to connect to other regions, to do instant live broadcasts of events for breaking news, to ensure countrywide television reception, ensuring that all languages services are available throughout the country and to equip all 13 regions with all communities will have access to information, while regional events will be shared across the country.
Information & Broadcasting Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah who is responsible for the performance of the NBC.

informed the Cabinet Review Meeting in November last year that a further18 towns received television reception recently, while 12 more towns will be added soon with the expansion of the NBC’s transmitter network. By May 2007, Sesfontein will also receive FM and television services. At the same time, the NBC increased its broadcast quality and embarked on the equal treatment of language services, better sharing of technology implementation and the introduction of a San language service in Tsumkwe. The NBC hopes to bring the San radio service to Windhoek early in 2007. A total of 17 tenders for the expansion of the NBC transmitter programme served before the NBC Board late in November 2006.

17

that the future plans of the NBC include nationwide broadcasting to Keetmanshoop and Swakopmund to ensure reception of all languages in these areas. The NBC is also planning to establish radio and television services at Aus, Buitepos and Ruacana and to complete upgrading work at Kongola and Omega. Mobile
President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the opening of the Otjinene Constituency Office in the Omaheke region on 24 January 2007.

satellite

facilities

will

also

be

purchased in the 2007/2008 financial year.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Namibia and the sADC-eu economic Partnership Agreement (ePA) Negotiations
The purpose of this article is to provide information to the public regarding the ongoing trade negotiations between the Southern African Developing Community (SADC) and the European Union.

T

he African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of countries and the European

configure outside of SADC. This situation resulted in a SADC configuration composed of SACU and three other SADC member states, namely Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania (MAT), which is commonly referred to as the SADC-EPA. This configuration has its own complexities in terms of the varying degrees of development among member states, i.e. one large developing country economy (South Africa), three small developing country economies (Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland) and four least developed countries (LDCs) (Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania).

EPA member states are taken on board in the final SADC-EU EPA. As far as Namibia is concerned, the main areas of interest in these negotiations include improved market access for all products of export interest to Namibia, i.e. agricultural and nonagricultural, trade facilitation, special and differential treatment, the plight of LDCs and deeper regional integration in SADC. Negotiations for the SADC-EU EPA were launched in July 2004 in Windhoek. All EPAs between the ACP and the EU are expected to enter into force by 1 January 2008, when the WTO waiver expires. The SADC – EU EPA negotiations are on course and the two parties have been discussing and exchanging views on the format and content of the Agreement. One of the key questions the two parties are currently addressing is how to treat countries of varying developmental status, (especially South Africa which is regarded as having relatively competitive industries). It is a delicate question in light of the SADC-EPA countries’ resolve to harmonize their trade relations with the EU as one of the ways of consolidating their regional integration efforts. This is an issue that we are confident will be resolved soon. Currently, there is anxiety in the public domain, especially industries relying on export to the EU, regarding the risk of loosing the current preferential access to that market, if SADC-EPA negotiations are not concluded on schedule. This is a justifiable concern, but needs to be placed into its right context. There is nowhere in the Cotonou Agreement where it is stated that the current preferential trade arrangement will come to an end by the end of 2007.

Union (EU) entered into a twenty (20) year Partnership Agreement in 2000, commonly referred to as the Cotonou Agreement. This Agreement constitutes an international legal instrument that governs political, economic, trade and financial relations between the ACP countries and the EU. The Economic and Trade Cooperation Part of the Agreement provides for non-reciprocal preferential access to a wide range of ACP originating products to the EU market. The current trading arrangement between the ACP and the EU is in contravention of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provision on Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment, as it discriminates amongst members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in favour of the ACP countries. Hence it operates under a WTO waiver. In order to bring the ACP-EU trade relations in line with GATT, the Cotonou Agreement provides for negotiations of new WTO compatible trading arrangements, commonly referred to as the

One of the stated objectives of EPAs is to promote regional integration. It is common knowledge that South Africa, who is Namibia’s important trading partner, has a separate Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) with the EU. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS) who are in a Customs Union with South Africa are impacted by (i.e. indirectly implementing) South Africa’s concessions under the TDCA. The SACU Agreement provides for amongst others, a common negotiating mechanism for SACU with respect to preferential trade agreements with third countries. It also provides for the development of common policies and cooperation in areas of industrial development, competition, agriculture and unfair trade practices. Therefore, in the context of SACU’s integration agenda there is need to harmonize trade relations with the EU, in a manner that BLNS interests are also taken on board. In the broader context of SADC’s regional integration agenda, there is a need for further harmonization of SADC-EPA trade relations with the EU, in a manner that the trade interests of all SADC-

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Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which are in line with GATT Article XXIV. In terms of approach, the EPAs are expected to be entered into between the EU on one hand and the various economic groupings of the ACP on the other. In other words, there will not be an EU/ACP wide EPA. The decisions regarding regional configuration for the purpose of these negotiations were left to the individual ACP member states. Namibia, together with other SACU member states (Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland) chose to configure under SADC. However, six SADC member states chose to

Government Information Bulletin February 2007
However, the Cotonou Agreement does provide for the negotiations of new WTO compatible trading arrangements to replace the current one by the 1st January 2008. In reality the trade component is valid for a period of 20 years as part of the overall Cotonou Agreement. Therefore, it can only be replaced by the EPAs upon their entry into force. This means that if the end of the current trade preferences is contingent on entry into force of the EPAs, then any action to the contrary will be in breach of the Cotonou Agreement. Concluding EPAs on schedule is a responsibility of both parties, to which they It is also important to note that Namibia, together with other developing countries in the WTO, is a beneficiary to the EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The EU GSP, which is permitted by the WTO, also provides preferential originating market from access to products countries, developing have both expressed commitment. The expiry of the WTO waiver on 31st December 2007 is an issue of concern to all as it will open the continuation of current trade arrangement to challenges by other WTO members. Both the EU and the SADCEPA have expressed their commitment to concluding the negotiations in the course of 2007, failing which they are also committed to finding an amicable solution, in the spirit of the Cotonou Agreement. We, therefore, would like to assure the business community and public in general that the SADC-EU EPA negotiations are on course and there is no need for alarm at this stage.

although to a lesser favourable degree than the Cotonou Agreement. Therefore, if EPAs are not concluded on time, there is an option of exporting qualifying products to the EU under the EU GSP system.

Scenes from first house to war veteran

Children doing a traditional dance at the handing over of Mr. Ndakolo’s house.

Sharp contrast between the old and the new. The shack in front of the new house on the left used to be the shelter of Mr. and Mrs. Ndakolo

19

President Pohamba prepares to cut the ribbon to the new house of the Ndakolo couple, while Mr. Ndakolo looks on.

Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister John Pandeni (left) and Permanent Secretary Erastus Negonga in a jovial mood at the handing over of the house to Mr. and Mrs. Ndakolo.

Government Information Bulletin February 2007

Public asked to name state house halls
The Namibian public is invited to suggest names of cultural or historic significance for the eight halls of the New State House in Auasblick, Windhoek.

A

t its 22nd meeting held on 12 December 2006, Cabinet decided that the new

Upon expiry of the deadline, the proposed names will be submitted to the Ministers Committee to take a final decision.

The public will be informed of the successful proposals to name the new State House Halls.

office block in Auasblick, Windhoek, will be called State House. At the same meeting, Cabinet decided that the public should be invited to submit names of cultural or historic significance for the naming of the eight halls of the new State House. Each proposed name should be accompanied by a short motivation, indicating the cultural or historic significance of the proposal. The public is hereby invited to submit proposed names in writing to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, Private Bag 13341, Windhoek. The deadline for the submission of the names is Friday, 30 March 2007.

President meets Mayor

On 17 January 2007, Windhoek Mayor, Councillor Mathew Shikongo paid a courtesy call on President Hifikepunye Pohamba at State House.

New Ministry is making progress
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The finalisation of its medium term planning, the recruitment of staff and the drafting of legislation to govern its operations are among the immediate objectives of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs.

T

he Ministry of Veterans Affairs was established on 4 October 2006 to

Simultaneously, attention is given to drafting a definition of who a war veteran or excombatant is, while continuing with the identification and registration process of war veterans and ex-combatants. Consultations with churches, the pubic and private sectors, as well as other stakeholders on the future of war veterans are also ongoing. According to Dr. Tjiriange, the long term

objectives of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs are the creation of projects aimed at alleviating the plight of veterans, the provision of skills development and suitable programmes, as well as the identification of specific needs of disabled veterans. Attention is also given to the establishment of a legally recognised association for veterans for bargaining purposes, while the development of an efficient monitoring system is also receiving attention.

ensure the total integration of PLAN fighters into society through the coordination and implementation of various social programmes. Briefing the Cabinet Review Meeting late last year on his Ministry’s progress, Minister Ngarikutuke Tjiriange said his newly established Ministry was still working on its structure, staffing and job descriptions.

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