Observer Money

SSC rolls out salary protection scheme

SSC rolls out salary protection scheme

…recipients must agree to not retrench for three months Andrew Kathindi The Social Security Commission (SSC) has officially unveiled the National Employment and Salary Protection Scheme for COVID-19 to cater for nine hard-hit sectors, including domestic workers. This relief package which comes to the value of N$623 million is being delivered in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, which will provide N$400 million in cash from the taxpayer collections, with the balance coming from the SSC. SSC Executive officer Milka Mugunda said the sectors most hard hit by the pandemic will benefit, but the rollout will start with the tourism,…
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Govt still to act on De Klerk extradition

Govt still to act on De Klerk extradition

Staff Writer Despite numerous announcements by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Windhoek Observer can reveal that no action has been taken with regards to extraditing accused Fishrot connected lawyer, Marén de Klerk from South Africa. De Klerk left the country in January after being questioned by the ACC and never returned. He is wanted by the authorities to answer questions about his alleged role in the Fishrot scandal. It is alleged De Klerk may have syphoned funds to the tune of N$50 million from the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) through the trust account of his law firm, De…
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N$600m lost in the arts sector

N$600m lost in the arts sector

Andrew Kathindi The chairman of the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN), Patrick Sam says around N$600 million in potential revenue has been lost in the Namibian arts and entertainment sector due to the COVID-19. He attributes this to a number of shows, events, arts sector based public gatherings that have been cancelled or postponed as well as advertising firms’ projects called off due to the lockdown. “We currently have 143 individual members and 22 organizations registered. There are no statistics available to gather the data of the wide-reaching impact of the pandemic because the sector has not been prioritized…
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Lockdown hits construction sector

Lockdown hits construction sector

Staff Writer The Construction Industries Federation says its members want to start work immediately after the lockdown period has ended on 4 May 2020 or there will be mass retrenchments and company bankruptcies in the sector. “We appreciate the enormous effort taken to contain the spread of the virus and the support extended to individuals and businesses, where possible. Nonetheless, we are extremely worried that most of our businesses will not survive the lock-down period,” Bärbel Kirchner, CIF General Manager said. “We are extremely worried about the impact on our businesses that we can foresee now as result of measures…
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Govt, employers clash looms

Govt, employers clash looms

Staff Writer A showdown is looming between employers and government over new proposed regulations that make it illegal for employers to dismiss, retrench or send employees home on unpaid leave during the lockdown. This comes as employer organizations have warned that legal action could be considered should government move ahead to gazette the proposed regulations into law. “We would like to get back to the table with ministry and other organizations that feel aggrieved by the proposed regulations. It’s not only the Namibian Employers Association (NEA) that feels this way but other organisations too. If all else fails then we…
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National silos empty

National silos empty

Andrew Kathindi Agriculture, water and land reform executive director Percy Misika has revealed that the country’s food security has been compromised as national silos are empty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed government’s preparedness for emergencies as there is currently insufficient food supply stored in the nation’s grain reserves. “The silos are empty but all is not lost because from our assessment from the current cropping season we are expecting 64,000 tons of white maize and 1,800 tons of pale millet. This would be over and above what is necessary for sustaining Namibian households for food security and which can be…
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ECB declines power tariff hike

ECB declines power tariff hike

Staff Writer Electricity Control Board (ECB) has declined NamPower’s tariff application for an effective bulk tariff (inclusive of generation and transmission) increase of 3.9 percent for the financial period 2020/2021. This would have seen an increase from an average N$ 1.65 per kilowatthour to N$ 1.71 per kilowatt-hour. “In determining the tariff, the ECB considered several factors, including the impact of the tariffs on the Electricity Supply Industry, consumers and the economy at large. In particular, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry and the consumers as well as the current economic climate,” ECB Chief Executive Officer, Foibe…
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Utoni clueless on COVID-19 labour impacts

Utoni clueless on COVID-19 labour impacts

Andrew Kathindi Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma is clueless on the number of jobs that have been lost during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m not in a position to give figures on lost jobs. You will have to get those details from the regions,” said the minister, whose ministry is key towards providing guidance to employers and employees affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Despite admitting that the labour market was in turmoil even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the minister failed to provide estimated job loses post-outbreak and what measures were being implemented to…
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Tourism industry dying while waiting for bailout

Tourism industry dying while waiting for bailout

…30,000 jobs can be lost if government money does not arrive on time Staff Writer The government is yet to avail the N$400 million promised to the country’s tourism sector as a subsidy. It has been three weeks since the Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi, made an announcement pledging the multi-million dollar bailout for the hospitality, travel and tourism sector. The funds, according to Shiimi were aimed at providing a subsidy to players in the hard-hit tourism sector. This financial support would allow them to retain jobs with the industry. Tourism has been brought to a grinding halt as a result…
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SSC plans N$3,000 payout

SSC plans N$3,000 payout

Andrew Kathindi The Social Security Commission (SSC) is set to pay N$1,000 per month for three months to employees from sectors hard-hit by the impact of the coronavirus. SSC Executive Officer Milka Mungunda said sectors to be covered by the grant to be administered by the fund include construction, farming, transport, manufacturing, retail, domestic workers and entertainment among others. “Vulnerable employees in the formal sector who are paid up SSC members will also receive a grant of N$1,000 a month during this period provided that they do not earn more than N$50,000 per annum,” said Mungunda  said. Assuming all legal…
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