Observer Money

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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Cattle misfortune for Esau

Cattle misfortune for Esau

Staff Writer Former Fisheries minister, Bernhardt Esau who is currently incarcerated over his involvement in the Fishrot scandal, has had 50 head of cattle which were being kept on his behalf at Farm Sorondo in the Omaheke region, stolen. According to sources, Esau entered into an agreement with former Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) Credit Manager, Masilo Hochobeb to keep 300 head of cattle at his farm. “I have not been at the farm in four weeks, I will have to check with the workers,” said Hochobeb when contacted for comment. When quizzed over the agreement he entered into with…
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Gawaxab appointed BoN Governor

Gawaxab appointed BoN Governor

Staff Writer President Hage Geingob on Tuesday appointed veteran financial guru, Johannes Gawaxab as the new Governor of the Bank of Namibia effective June 1, 2020. “I congratulate you Johannes Gawaxab on your appointment and appreciate your willingness to bring your talents and experience of the financial services sector towards our tireless effort in building a united inclusive and prosperous Namibian house,” the President said. The move by Geingob to appoint Gawaxab to the helm of the apex banks comes after the head of state side-stepped long serving Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor, Ebson Uanguta who has been in his…
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Govt ponders Air Namibia, NWR, NAC bailout

Govt ponders Air Namibia, NWR, NAC bailout

Staff Writer Government, through the Ministry of Finance is considering a proposal from the Ministry of Public Enterprises to come to the aid of three parastatals which have had their operations severely affected by the global coronavirus outbreak. The three, Air Namibia, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) and Namibia Airports Company (NAC), are said to be in need of funding to meet their monthly wage bills, amounts expected to run into millions. This comes as Air Namibia is currently not generating any income after grounding its fleet, while NAC which generates revenues by managing the country’s airports has been forced to…
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Police to investigate Swapo over party

Police to investigate Swapo over party

Staff Writer Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) on Monday laid charges against the ruling Swapo Party for violating national lockdown regulations when it hosted a party to mark its 60th anniversary. The birthday party which was attended by current President Hage Geingob, Founding President Sam Nujoma and Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba among others has been condemned by the opposition party amid concern the action of the ruling party violated set down lock down regulations against gatherings. “How do you go against your own regulations as a party and government, and expect the citizens to adhere to the regulations. They contravened the…
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578,863 apply for N$750 grant

578,863 apply for N$750 grant

Staff Writer The Ministry of Finance says as of Monday it had received a total of 578,863 applications for the Emergency Income Grant. According to the ministry 234,345 of the applications have been approved, translating to total payments of N$176.76 million. The Emergency Income Grant (EIG) is a once-off payment of N$750 in cash per qualifying person introduced by government through the Ministry of Finance to assist individuals on the basis of having lost income or experienced difficult circumstances during the COVID-19 lockdown periods. The grant according to the Finance ministry seeks to provide interim relief for the most vulnerable…
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Rent pressure mounts

Rent pressure mounts

Staff Writer A rent default crisis is looming come month-end. A number of individuals and businesses have been negatively affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus. They will struggle to meet their monthly rent payments. The country’s precarious position will also cause a bulk of homeowners to struggle to service their monthly home repayments. This comes amid mounting job losses due to the government-imposed lockdown to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is compounded by an already weak economy. Financial services company, Cirrus Capital estimates the country could lose as much as N$2 billion per week. This is due to…
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Namibia lags in Covid 19 testing

Namibia lags in Covid 19 testing

Staff Writer Former Health Minister and National Coordinator of the Covid-19 task team, Bernard Haufiku says with the current low number of Covid-19 tests conducted in relation to the population and disappointingly high level of people movement, the country cannot confidently say it’s on top of the pandemic in Namibia. According to Haufiku the country should have carried out 5,000-10,000 tests by now, more than a month since the country announced its first positive case in March. “The less than 500 tests we have carried out so far is nothing in relation to our population. We should at least have…
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