Labour Commissioner engages stakeholders to improve service delivery

WINDHOEK: The Office of the Labour Commissioner here on Tuesday held a stakeholder engagement on Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) in Namibia, with the goal of improving service delivery and addressing long-standing issues.

The interaction also provided a platform for stakeholders to identify obstacles and collaborate on common solutions to improve labour dispute settlement efficiency.

The Office of the Labour Commissioner handles labour dispute resolutions through conciliation and arbitration processes, which have long attracted negative public criticism.

As part of the engagement on BPR, these two processes have been assessed in their current state (AS-IS) by detailing all steps taken, highlighting interactions, decision points, and sources of information.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Hafeni Ndemula indicated the change of labour dispute prevention, adding that while some outcomes have been achieved, some deficiencies have to be corrected.

‘It would be fo
olish to dismiss the fact that, as with every freshly implemented system or process, there are many areas of weakness and failure, in addition to many achievements. It is known that some of these deficiencies are more serious and have far-reaching consequences than others,’ said Ndemula.

Echoing similar sentiments, Lydia Indombo, Executive Director of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, stated that there has been a public outcry over delays in adjudicating labour issues at the Office of the Labour Commissioner. As a result, the ministry conducted an investigation and decided to test the BPR at the Office of the Labour Commissioner.

‘The public has made several concerns about the conciliation and arbitration process. I believe that registering federations, associations, and trade unions is significantly faster. Labour cases are taking longer than expected. Some disputing parties have given up, while others have lost faith in the Alternative Dispute Resolution methods availab
le in the country,’ Indombo said.

She said that the public sector has several reform measures in place to improve service delivery, such as BPR, the Performance Management System (which promotes self-rating and accountability among officials), the Public Sector Wage Bill Containment Strategy, and Public Sector Innovation.

‘The benefits of these reforms are numerous if those entrusted with such responsibilities apply them to the best of their ability,’ Indombo said.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Over 30 000 households benefit from drought aid in Kavango West

Governor of the Kavango West Region, Sirkka Ausiku said 31 799 households in her region are currently benefiting from the drought relief programme.

Ausiku made the statement recently during her 10th State of the Region Address where she spoke about how agriculture remains a top priority sector that can change the livelihoods of the community, create employment and address poverty.

Government embarked upon a comprehensive nationwide relief food assistance programme in all the 14 regions from 01 October 2023 to 30 June 2024.

The programme comprises food distribution, water provision and livestock support, and is targeting at least 579 000 Namibians (22 per cent of the population) in both rural and urban areas.

Those benefiting are people whose livelihoods have been affected by the drought and who do not have enough food or money to buy food, thereby faced with high levels of food insecurity.

‘The region continues to appreciate the implementation of various programmes by the Agriculture Ministry, such as th
e Dry Land Crop Production Programme, the National Horticulture Support Programme and Poultry Production Programme. However, the Extension Services Programme needs to be reviewed and strengthened to benefit the farmers,’ she said.

Ausiku said the region appreciates the expansion of the Milling Plant at Katwitwi Settlement by the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency, adding that this year the facility is supplying maize meal to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for the Drought Relief Programme.

The governor encouraged farmers to participate in the Government livestock marketing incentive in order to destock their livestock.

‘I would also like to appreciate the Mpasinkuru and Ncaute Auction committees for creating a formal market for livestock to farmers in the region,’ she stated.

Meanwhile, Ausiku said the number of horticulture producers in her region has increased to 50, before sharing that most of them are young people. The 50 horticulture producers have meanwhile also formed an association under which
to coordinate their activities.

In this regard, the region is going to host a conference in October to bring together stakeholders to come up with workable strategies, Ausiku said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

RA issues urgent notice for blasting on Windhoek-Rehoboth road

WINDHOEK: The Roads Authority (RA) has issued an urgent notice regarding scheduled blasting operations on the Windhoek-Rehoboth road.

The operations will occur on a construction site near the Windhoek-Rehoboth road, approximately one kilometre from the Police Road Block, on Tuesday, 16 July 2024, at 14h00.

The blasting is expected to last for about one hour.

RA Corporate Communications Manager, Hileni Fillemon said that during the blasting, that section of the road will be closed from 14h00 to 15h00.

‘The Roads Authority requests all motorists to take note of the temporary closure and plan their journeys accordingly. The Roads Authority has apologised for any inconvenience caused by this temporary road closure,’ she said.

Fillemon stated that the blasting is part of the construction work on the ongoing Windhoek-Hosea Kutako road project.

This phase of the project, she said is expected to be completed in November.

‘Today’s blasting is the only scheduled operation for Tuesday. Any further blasting operat
ions will be communicated to all stakeholders in due course. Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes during the temporary closure to avoid delays,’ she said.

She also emphasised the importance of safety and compliance with the temporary road closure and added that the authority is working to ensure that the blasting operations proceed smoothly and safely, minimising disruptions to road users.

‘The Roads Authority will continue to provide updates and information about the project’s progress and any further activities that may impact road users. The public is encouraged to stay informed and follow the RA’s advisories for a smooth and safe journey on the Windhoek-Rehoboth road,’ she concluded.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Over 30 000 households benefit from drought aid in Kavango West

Governor of the Kavango West Region, Sirkka Ausiku said 31 799 households in her region are currently benefiting from the drought relief programme.

Ausiku made the statement recently during her 10th State of the Region Address where she spoke about how agriculture remains a top priority sector that can change the livelihoods of the community, create employment and address poverty.

Government embarked upon a comprehensive nationwide relief food assistance programme in all the 14 regions from 01 October 2023 to 30 June 2024.

The programme comprises food distribution, water provision and livestock support, and is targeting at least 579 000 Namibians (22 per cent of the population) in both rural and urban areas.

Those benefiting are people whose livelihoods have been affected by the drought and who do not have enough food or money to buy food, thereby faced with high levels of food insecurity.

‘The region continues to appreciate the implementation of various programmes by the Agriculture Ministry, such as th
e Dry Land Crop Production Programme, the National Horticulture Support Programme and Poultry Production Programme. However, the Extension Services Programme needs to be reviewed and strengthened to benefit the farmers,’ she said.

Ausiku said the region appreciates the expansion of the Milling Plant at Katwitwi Settlement by the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency, adding that this year the facility is supplying maize meal to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for the Drought Relief Programme.

The governor encouraged farmers to participate in the Government livestock marketing incentive in order to destock their livestock.

‘I would also like to appreciate the Mpasinkuru and Ncaute Auction committees for creating a formal market for livestock to farmers in the region,’ she stated.

Meanwhile, Ausiku said the number of horticulture producers in her region has increased to 50, before sharing that most of them are young people. The 50 horticulture producers have meanwhile also formed an association under which
to coordinate their activities.

In this regard, the region is going to host a conference in October to bring together stakeholders to come up with workable strategies, Ausiku said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

RA issues urgent notice for blasting on Windhoek-Rehoboth road

WINDHOEK: The Roads Authority (RA) has issued an urgent notice regarding scheduled blasting operations on the Windhoek-Rehoboth road.

The operations will occur on a construction site near the Windhoek-Rehoboth road, approximately one kilometre from the Police Road Block, on Tuesday, 16 July 2024, at 14h00.

The blasting is expected to last for about one hour.

RA Corporate Communications Manager, Hileni Fillemon said that during the blasting, that section of the road will be closed from 14h00 to 15h00.

‘The Roads Authority requests all motorists to take note of the temporary closure and plan their journeys accordingly. The Roads Authority has apologised for any inconvenience caused by this temporary road closure,’ she said.

Fillemon stated that the blasting is part of the construction work on the ongoing Windhoek-Hosea Kutako road project.

This phase of the project, she said is expected to be completed in November.

‘Today’s blasting is the only scheduled operation for Tuesday. Any further blasting operat
ions will be communicated to all stakeholders in due course. Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes during the temporary closure to avoid delays,’ she said.

She also emphasised the importance of safety and compliance with the temporary road closure and added that the authority is working to ensure that the blasting operations proceed smoothly and safely, minimising disruptions to road users.

‘The Roads Authority will continue to provide updates and information about the project’s progress and any further activities that may impact road users. The public is encouraged to stay informed and follow the RA’s advisories for a smooth and safe journey on the Windhoek-Rehoboth road,’ she concluded.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Over 50% of prickly pear plantations are infested by cactus cochineal insect

Tunis: Over 50% of prickly pear plantations are now infested by the cactus cochineal insect, according to the Head of the management division at the General Directorate of Plant Health and Control of Agricultural Inputs Naima Mahfoudhi.

Speaking at the regular press conference of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources, and Fisheries to present the national strategy against the cactus cochineal, Mahfoudhi revealed alarming infestation rates: 100% in the governorates of Mahdia and Monastir, approximately 70% in Sousse and Sfax, and 50% in Kairouan.

Addressing control measures in areas with low infestation and bordering production zones, Mahfoudhi outlined that surveillance and eradication efforts have been deployed to curtail the rapid spread of the insect.

She emphasised the formation of specialised teams within local agricultural development commissariats, trained for vigilant monitoring and swift intervention.

Mahfoudhi urged all citizens, especially farmers, to diligently monitor their lands, repo
rt any infestations to the local commissariats, and facilitate prompt action.

She highlighted the establishment of local teams comprising all relevant stakeholders, tasked with monitoring the pest, raising awareness, and conducting extensive farmer training on the insect’s threat.

The initiative aims to sensitise both citizens and farmers about the critical need to report infestations promptly.

Mahfoudhi specifically called on workers in prickly pear plantations to remain vigilant, ensuring regular checks and monitoring for the pest.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Partly cloudy skies on Saturday night

Tunis: The weather is expected to be partly cloudy on Saturday night across most regions, according to the National Institute of Meteorology (INM).

The wind will blow from the east, light to moderate. The sea conditions in the Serrat area will range from slight to gradually choppy.

Nighttime temperatures will range between 25 and 31°C in coastal areas and between 32 and 36°C in other regions.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse