Thursday, 9 December 2010

SMS Services that hurt

DO NOT USE THIS. They are a Namibian company that will charge you N$ 8.00 per week though there is no service you receive.

They have this in their fine print and not on their front page.

Hidden in their Terms of Service:
To participate, you must sign-up at .Part of the mobile services provided by us will include reverse billed premium rate text SMS services.
When you participate, you agree to be bound to the following:

We charge a weekly subscription of N$ 8.00 (excluding VAT). Because it is a weekly subscription, subscription is not automatic, therefore, if you wish to continue to use this services, you must subscribe again.
You receive on the first day a free grab-feed activation;
We charge a daily fee of N$0.99 grab-feed activation;
All transactions and/or payment are final and errors are billed.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Code of conduct for debt in South Africa

A code of conduct released this week between credit providers and debt counsellors is expected to significantly improve the debt counselling process and possibly puts South Africa at the forefront globally in dealing with over-indebtedness.

An estimated 8-million South Africans are indebted with 110 000 people under debt review making debt repayments of R214-million a month with total outstanding debt at R40-billion of which 75% is made up of mortgages.

Every month a further 7 000 people apply for debt counselling. There are 92 000 people whose home loans are now delinquent and face repossession.

The codes of conduct seek to streamline the debt counselling process by standardising the content of debt proposals and payment plans; establishing an ombudsman scheme to resolve disputes; and providing clear guidelines for debt counsellors to determine whether consumers are able to afford to take on more debt.

As part of this code of conduct, realistic timeframes have been set for the repayment of debt and in order to meet those timeframes and ensure that the consumer is able to be fully rehabilitated within a reasonable period, the credit providers have agreed to lower or even cancel their interest on the loan.

Read MORE:

Monday, 6 December 2010

What your credit listing means

Your bank manager looks at your credit report – Not at You.

This is one list you never want to be on – the Credit Blacklist. A bad credit rating can put your life on hold for many years as it makes getting credit impossible. More and more Namibians are getting caught out, sometime unfairly, and the Namibia Consumer Protection Group felt more information must be circulated to consumers about the issue.

A credit default is a black mark against your name that doesn't wash away and the three Credit Bureaus, (Transunion ITC, Compuscan and Credit Information Bureau Namibia) currently list over 50 000 Namibians that are branded as credit lepers.

I have found that mostly young Namibians are prone to having problems with credit. The advertising makes it sound so easy, “Buy Now, Pay Later”. Unfortunately, when it comes time to pay, these items are not always first on their list. This then causes problems as they start falling in arrears and eventual find themselves blacklisted.

Often, a person does not realise they have a credit black mark on their name till the next time they apply for credit.

Recently, a consumer approached the NCPG about a problem they were facing.

“I have recently had the chance to buy my Uncle’s house. The Government (where I work), has already agreed to give me a housing loan and I qualify for enough from the bank. But now the bank does not want to grant me credit for a black mark from a cash loan company. I spoke to the cash loan company and it turns out they did not cash one of my cheques for the amount owing. I spoke to my bank and explained but they do not accept the explanation.” The consumer, in tears stated, “I cannot believe it. Through no fault of my own, someone is allowed to list me as a bad person!”

There are many other horror stories out there and it would fill an entire magazine to tell them.

What is a credit report?
A credit report is a collection of information about you and how you pay your accounts. It may also include information about how much credit you have available, what your monthly debts are, and other information that can help a lender such as a bank to make a decision about whether you are a good or bad credit risk.

The report itself does not say you are a good or bad credit risk. It is only a tool to assist the lender. Unfortunately, most lenders reject you outright if you are listed at a credit bureau.

Where does all this information come from?
Credit bureaus, (or credit reporting agencies) collect this information from companies, doctors, or any person that you have done a credit business with. These businesses are providing information to the bureau in exchange for information they might require on other customers. The credit bureau sells your data for lenders to make a decision on your creditworthiness.

What is in my report?
Personal identifying information
This includes your name, address (current and previous), ID number, telephone and cellular number, your current and previous employers, and possibly also your marital status.
Credit History
This section includes information on your banking history, stores where you have credit cards, and possibly also business who have granted you credit such as doctors, dentists, and even your pharmacy. It includes information about each account you have, such as when did you open it, what type of account is, how much credit you have been given, what your your monthly payment is and how well you pay your account.
Public records
This includes judgements against you or any other court interventions. This is easily available from the courts.
This section indicates any credit business that has requested to see your information. This section is not always available to you as an individual. It should also include any companies that have bought your information for marketing purposes.

What is not on my report?
• Income
• Bank account balances
• Race (cultural group)
• Religion
• Criminal records
• Driving records (speeding fines, drinking convictions, etc.)
• Maintenance defaults (not yet)

What should you do?
Get a copy of your credit report, have a look at it and make sure you understand it so that before you apply for your credit you know where you stand

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Mobile Contacts Databases for sale:

The company Credit Information Bureau Namibia has developed a consumer and business database of Namibia. The complete database comprises of approximately 1 million individuals and 10,000 businesses. CRIB provides mailing and telemarketing lists to clients in the financial and personal services industry.

The company has filtered this database to create a "Professionals Database" made up of over 15,000 mobile numbers of high-net worth professionals throughout Namibia.

Most of the lists we have available are offered on a list rental basis, ie they are supplied for once off use only at a rate quoted as a cost per 500 individual consumers or company executives. For example - the cost to rent 1,000 professionals from the Namibian Professionals Database will be 1,000 x N$ 3.50 per 1000 for once off telephone, mailing and fax usage = N$ 3,500.00 excluding VAT. A processing charge of N$ 500.00 is also charged for any order. We will supply you with counts and quotes based on your selection criteria at no cost. Once you have decided what you want to rent we will invoice you and ask you to sign a list order confirmation. Once we have received the signed confirmation and proof of payment we will supply a zipped file of the data via e-mail in the file format you require (usually MS Excel).

You can contact Milton Louw at tel +264 61 222 227 for further information.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Namibia: WACS cable will arrive in 2011 but monopoly legacy holds back prices and growth

Namibia’s regulatory position is like stepping back ten years if you’re more used to the competitive rough and tumble in Africa’s more developed markets. The historic incumbent Telecom Namibia still has some monopoly privileges and the new incumbent, Government-owned mobile operator MTC is in danger of behaving in much the same way. Sadly the country has closed its regulator with a view to opening a new one. However, this has meant all things regulatory have gone into a holding pattern. Russell Southwood looks at the key market barriers that are holding things back.

Historic incumbent Telecom Namibia has an infrastructure monopoly and although the power utility NamPower has fibre assets, it has only recently tendered them: MTC (which may build a link to South Africa), Telecom Namibia and some ISPs are all interested in the capacity.
Telecom Namibia invested in what was then Africa’s only real international cable, SAT3 but didn’t invest enough to get a landing station. This is something it has regretted ever since because for many years South Africa’s incumbent Telkom South Africa would over-charge it for transit to the SAT3 landing station in South Africa.

But now if you want to get fibre access to South Africa to Telkom South Africa’s SAT3 landing station, you have no choice but to use Telecom Namibia. According to one of its customers:”The route this side of the border is 45% more expensive than what Telkom South Africa offers (in a competitive environment) on a distance basis on the other side of the border.” Telecom Namibia also has a deal with Neotel (in which it is a shareholder) for Seacom bandwidth, further limiting alternative competitive offers.

The new WACS cable will arrive in Q2, 2011 but there are understandable concerns in the market that Telecom Namibia will be the monopoly owner of the only international landing station with no other independent competitive route to South Africa being available. If MTC opened up a route, it would simply be a second Government company offering an alternative and one run by a management that is probably the least price competitive on the continent. In other African countries joint public-private partnerships are being set up to ensure equitable access to the landing station and fair, cost-oriented pricing but there is not even a discussion about this in Namibia.

Pricing has not been set and Telecom Namibia’s formal response to its customers is “it’s too early to say”. But well-informed industry sources say US$ 1,686 per mbps has been discussed. Currently customers are paying US$2,248, about three-quarters of the current satellite equivalent. Both prices seem very high when compared to the kind of wholesale prices available across the border in the more competitive South Africa.

Inevitably this has a knock-one effect to retail pricing strategy for the Internet. One aggrieved customer told us:“At a retail level, we’re paying US$15-20 per mbps. It’s immoral and they should be sent to hell for it”.

Telecom Namibia is owned by NPTH, a state holding company that also holds the Post Office, the new mobile incumbent MTC and a properties division for all three companies. The CEO of Telecom Namibia is the Chair of MPTH. Whilst most acknowledge that there has yet been no practical example of a conflict of interest, it is undoubtedly as one person told us “a fundamentally incestuous” way of running the different companies. There are no currently plans to privatise Telecom Namibia. It has international shareholdings in Multitel in Angola and Neotel in South Africa but looks likely it might pull out of the former.

Both policy and regulation in the sector seem to be in a holding pattern for as one industry insider told us: “The biggest problem is the Namibia Communications Commission (NCC), which is supposed to be changed to the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). There’s very few staff left from NCC and not enough are qualified.” There were only 7 staff when NCC ceased to operated. There has been no sign yet of the Gazetted announcement promised in early October to give life to the body.

A good example of the impact of the regulatory holding pattern is number portability. NCC wanted number portability (which might open up competition in the mobile market) but whether this goes ahead, it will now wait for CRAN to “get its feet under the desk”. The new Chair of CRAN is Lazarus Jacobs, a businessman, co-owner of the Windhoek Observer and a pioneering stand-up comedian (No jokes, please.)

In terms of the mobile market, there are three players: Telecom Namibia (with its Switch product); Leo and MTC. Switch (a CDMA 2000 product) was an attempt by Telecom Namibia to act as a spoiler to Leo’s entrance into the market. There was subsequently an argument as to whether the service should be limited to the towns only and in the end there was a trade-off in which it got permission to have national coverage in exchange for there being more than one international gateway. It says it currently has 200,000 subscribers. However, Switch is likely to be closed down and Telecom Namibia will go into GSM.

This makes Leo, which was launched 3.5 years ago, the main challenger. It was set up by local investors including NamPower and Old Mutual with a Norwegian management contractor. Eventually 100% of its shares were bought by what was then Orascom’s Telecel subsidiary. By all accounts, it has the cheapest network to call on but has not made much of dent on MTC, which had many years as sole operator in which to entrench itself. Leo started to offer 3G in Windhoek a couple of months ago and has recently launched Blackberry handsets.

MTC is the largest mobile player and is 66% owned by the Government through NPTH and 34% by Portugal Telecom, which provides strategic management and key personnel. It is offering iPhones (which it did before South Africa) and iPads but does not have a Blackberry offer. It has 85% of voice business and probably 60% of all markets by value, enough for it to be considered as having significant market power. There is an agreement between CRAN and the Competition Commission on addressing issues of this kind either jointly or by CRAN alone but action will depend on CRAN getting its teeth into the barriers that affect the market.

None of the mobile operators operate m-money services like M-Pesa but Mobipay was recently launched. The Bank of Namibia gave Mobicash Payment Solutions authorisation to operate a mobile payment system where clients pay for goods, as well as transfer money, using money that is virtually stored on their cellphones.

The absence of number portability makes it hard for the challenger to peel off new subscribers from the incumbent mobile operator:”People don’t shift their number easily,” was the refrain from all sides. Leo does dual SIM card Samsung handsets (in which unusually, both SIMS are active and you don’t have to switch manually) in an effort to overcome this problem.

In terms of the Internet, there are probably around 120,000 subscribers and MTC has
3G subscribers in the low tens of thousands. By all accounts, it is a relatively slow-moving and conservative market. There are no signs of triple play offers and no e-commerce worth speaking of.

Telecom Namibia’s iWay subsidiary is the largest market player with 60% of the market and it launched ADSL two years ago. The key players are: MTN Business or corporate customers (formerly Verizon/UUNet); ITN (locally owned) and Africa Online (Telkom South Africa) which is completing its merger with MWeb.

Telecom Namibia supplies ADSL wholesale to ISPs but it took one ISP 15 months to get a reseller agreement and obviously it needs to forced to offer wholesale and retail in an equitable way to all players in the market. ITN and Africa Online offer Wi-MAX services.

Although small in population terms, Namibia has a buoyant economy and a great deal more potential than is currently being realised. Perhaps the arrival of CRAN will help take off the artificially imposed brakes but don’t hold your breath.

Proposal for Joint Education Programme for Israeli and Palestinian Administrators

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is an on-going dispute between the Jewish and Arab peoples living in Palestine under Ottoman or British rule.

There are numerous issues to resolve before a lasting peace can be reached, including strong emotions relating to the conflict on both sides; Palestinian concerns over Israeli settlements and land; status of Jerusalem; Israeli security concerns over terrorism, safe borders, incitements, violence and Palestinian refugee issues.

These are encapsulated as the six core issues:
• Jerusalem
• Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war
• Israeli settlements in the West Bank
• Israeli security concerns
• International status
• Water resources

Peace proposals
Generally speaking, the peace process is driven by the US and Israel’s Arab neighbours, most prominently Egypt. The proposals are for either:
a. Two-state solution
This would entail the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside an independent Jewish state.
b. One-state or binational state
This would mean all of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and West Bank would become a bi-national state with equal rights for all

In either of these scenarios, it is expected that Israeli and Palestinian administrators will have to work together to manage the day-to-day running of their state(s). These include issues such as border control of goods and people, education systems, water resource management, etc.

Education Proposal
It is proposed that present and future administrative employees (public administration graduates) be identified from both sides and be invited to participate in training programmes in Germany that focus on these specific administrative issues. The curriculum will focus not only on the necessary educational qualification necessary but will also include classes on integration, and the potential solutions for the six core issues.

It is also possible to have some of the classes presented by recognised experts (in administration issues and politics) from both sides of the conflict.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Contribution to the Employment Service Bill By Chief Ankama

September 2010
BY Chief Ankama, SWAPO MP & Deputy Minister: MWT

Comrade Speaker
Fellow MPs

The Bill on the floor of this eminent House in my view is long overdue. Almost two years ago for three consecutive sessions of parliament I tabled here a motion on unemployed Namibians both professional trained and those without. When I motivated the said motion for the first time, the idea was to get a prompt reaction from the floor of this august house across the political spectrum represented here. Sadly the debate was shoddy and it had to tabled for the second time in hope for improved contributions.
Even for the second motivation many of us in this house did not take the motion on unemployed Namibians as serious shown by the poor debate and therefore the motion was re-tabled for the third consecutive time.

Comrade Speaker
Honourable Members

The Employment Service Bill squarely responds to motion on unemployed Namibians with or without professional qualifications as tabled during the last session of our parliament which was aimed to; (quoting myself-open quote)

1. discuss, assess and ascertain the seriousness of unemployed Namibians with professional trainings and qualifications obtained from recognized educational institutions here in Namibia or abroad;
2. which further examine the general unemployment of all able bodied people in Namibia in view of government sponsored initiated projects such as the green schemes, agricultural colleges in the country and vocational training institutions as a matter of example.
3. it challenged the government and private sector partnership to open up in the provision of relevant skills and creation of job opportunities for the unemployed Namibians.
4. and insisted that unemployment be critically investigated in relation to our national investment policies and further discover the unemploy-ability of all those unemployed for recommendation and appropriate action in favour of their predicament. (Close quote)

Comrade Speaker
Honourable Members

Now the Employment Service Bill before us as introduced by the Hon. Minister of Labour and Social welfare, seeks our undivided support for us to meet the unemployment situation in our country head-on and thereby suppress financial dependency, economic trauma and criminal activities just to mention but a few.
My focus is more on the Employment Service bureau –article 13 and my concern is mostly centred on the questions of;
1. how much we know about employees and employers out there including private institutions and individuals who by hooks or crooks hop from one employment opportunity to the other without notice (as employees) or those (employers) who fire and hire job-seekers without registration. In other words, the regulatory mechanism thereof.
2. Reference to the motion on unemployed Namibians with or without professional qualifications tabled earlier here I called for the
“Establishment of a centralized research centre in the country, with decentralized data bank to, readily facilitate access of data for private and collective research and planning. “ This tallies with article 14 sub-articles 1 and 2 under the heading ‘integrated employment information system’ on page 10 of the Employment Service Bill.

Comrade Speaker
Honourable Members
I cannot let go without taking issues with the current system of recruitment and filling of vacancies in our ministries and perhaps state owned enterprises. One can call it a confusing and perhaps discriminatory or some kind of a pathetic recruitment system. Such a questionable system comrade speaker is bamboozled by individuals within our employment, those dishonest people who are entrusted with responsibilities of recruitment and management. It may partly be due to a number of conflicting laws we have which some may need be repealed or those which may need amendment including the public service act and the likes of tender board act and some others.

Comrade Speaker
Honourable Members
Recruitment in our system has become a serious concern. Some departments in our ministries and agencies are turned into mini-empires and are run in a mafia style management where some individual heads of such units freeze vacancies which budgeted for on their establishment for years allegedly waiting for their next of kin to graduate from institutions of learning or to complete the required years needed for consideration of promotion. Instead other Namibians who may be readily qualified for promotion are prevented from applying as a result of frozen vacant posts.
I was also reliably informed that even foreigners are benefitting from these crooking behaviours by being extending their contracts indefinitely.

Comrade Speaker
Honourable Members
It is therefore in my view not just enough to pass the Employment Service Bill alone without identifying those laws that need be repealed, those need amendment and those need harmonised. I further would like stress review of policies and regulation which go along with the laws that we are enacting in order to simplify for example the SWAPO party election manifesto which is the SWAPO party government working document leading this vibrant nation towards vision 2030.

Motion on Unemployed Namibians with or without Professional Qualifications

BY: Chief Ankama, SWAPO MP

Comrade Speaker, I regard this motion as an extraordinarily important one, not just to me but to other many Namibians if not all. This is the third time that I move this motion in the house. It first lapsed during the first term of 2008 when parliament went into recess and then re-introduced during the last term of last year but ended without reaching its intended goal, the goal of finding a lasting directive to solving unemployment situation in Namibia. Now comrade Speaker, I am here again standing to re-introduce the motion on unemployed Namibians with or without professional qualifications, accompanied by some amendments.

The motion seeks to:
1. discuss, assess and ascertain the seriousness of unemployed Namibians with professional trainings and qualifications obtained from recognized educational institutions here in Namibia or abroad;
2. this motion equally should include in our discussion the general unemployment of all able bodied people in Namibia in view of government sponsored initiated projects such as the green schemes, agricultural colleges in the country and vocational training institutions as a matter of example.
3. This motion should further challenge the government and private sector partnership to open up in the provision of relevant skills and creation of job opportunities for the unemployed Namibians.
Correspondingly this motion urges that unemployment be critically investigated in relation to our national investment policies and further discover the unemploy-ability of all the above mentioned people for recommendation and appropriate action in favour of their predicament.

We all know or see many Namibian graduates from the University of Namibia, Polytechnic, Vocational training institutions, colleges of education and some with foreign qualifications. Individuals as they are, they talk about their disappointment and frustrations with regard to institutions where they obtained qualifications. They also talk about “a corrupt” recruiting system in both the public and private sector. That people with no professional qualifications, for instance with grade 12 are being preferred for professional job opportunities above trained candidates. This may be the reason why some divisions, departments and offices both in public and private services, do not perform to the expected standard of their clients.
Further, when we come to work every day, we see many able bodied Namibians sitting at traffic lights or along the street pavements in hope for someone to pick them up for a casual one –off job for a day if lucky.
Many of these are very young Namibians whose energy could be maximally utilised for the good of this country.

Comrade Speaker, hon. Members, we are all witnesses to this degrading situation of unemployed Namibians with or without qualifications. Many if not all of these people are very young, energetic, full of zest and thus able to do some good work.
However the questions are;
1. Why and how come that we keep on training people for fun while Namibia is in dire need for skilled people?
2. Why can’t we create incubation centres or units within the sectors of Agriculture, forestry, construction or fishing industry just as an example for us to produce?
These could help equip the unemployed Namibians with practical skills. Such incubation centres can collaborate in terms of academic theory with our national institutions of education and training for a joint certification of the in-service trainees. After graduation, those who wish can then be organised in co-operative companies with start-up facilities and grow themselves both socially and economically into the world of authenticity.

Others may want to go their own way by establishing own companies or sell themselves to work abroad because of their skills, and thereby bringing money into Namibia. The system of incubation centres /units will also help the country in general to unlock competition of productivity and trade, thus stimulating fast economic growth.

Comrade Speaker, hon. Members
I am 1001 % convinced that establishment of a centralized research centre in the country, with decentralized data bank to, readily facilitate access of data for private and collective research and planning, is essential. I know we have a number of research units in various institutions around the country, such as in ministries, institutions of education and those in private, but do you know how difficult it is to access data from many of these institutions? This is one of the many reasons why we fall short in planning to determine e.g., the number of classroom needed for the first graders, space of learners for grade 10, we fail to determine how many math, science teachers we will need in 5 years time or the quota for electrical engineers we shall need in 10 years time.
Having a one-stop research centre in the country does not mean that we should to away with the existing ones. It simply translates in improving our efficiency in planning, budgeting and service delivery. With an ICT act soon in place, ministries, entities and individual citizens may be able to access data on line when they so want for own purposes.
In simple terms, this will help individual students or anybody so wish to do appropriate planning, advising, setting up projects goals, reviewing successes of programs, prioritising students’ careers etc, etc.

Comrade Speaker, hon. Members
To address the situation of unemployment and do better placement of our professional cadres where they can perform with vigour, we need to plan better, and to do so, we need to be guided by empirical data. Data that are correlated, continually updated and data that are ever accessible when needed. This is a necessary foundation for us to meet our national developmental agenda.
Having this in place, we will have low risk of having both semi and professional trained human resource roaming our streets.
In addition, we will be in a better position as a country to tackle the overall unemployment situation countrywide.

I appeal that this motion be discussed with the zeal it deserves to lead to a desirable resolution. Further it is my appeal that finally this motion be referred to an appropriate committee for research, public input and proper recommendations.
So I move comrade Speaker!

Friday, 24 September 2010

More Namibians have access to banking – World Bank

By: Milton Louw

The banking population in Namibia has increased substantially in 2009 according to the World Bank’s Financial Access 2010 report released on Thursday, 16 September. The number of deposit account holders in Namibia has grown by 23 percent, with statistics confirming the resilience of the seven commercial banks during a year weighed down by the international financial crises.

According to the report, more than three quarters of the population (752 per 1000 adults) hold deposit accounts and 20 percent have loans with financial institutions. In comparison, the report shows that sub-Saharan Africa had an average of 163 deposit accounts per 1000 adults and only 28 bank loans per 1000 adults.

In addition the report shows that the disbursement of loans shrank across sub-Saharan Africa last year, with Namibian loan accounts declining in volume by 36 percent.

The most remarkable was that Namibia scored the highest with 1185 “Depositors with Other Depository Corporations” per 1000 adults. No other country on the Continent, or in any developing country for that matter, scored as high. In fact, Namibia is placed 16th in the world. To put that in perspective, Austria at number one scored 4785 and Italy, two places above Namibia, scored 1285 per thousand adults.

The Financial Access 2010 Report stresses consumer protection, financial literacy and rural, SMME and savings promotion as critical in the spread of services and products to unbanked populations. The World Bank's researchers note that while consumer protection legislation is in place in most countries, implementation and enforcement is often lacking.

"Legislation is often broad and does not cover issues specific to the financial industry," said a researcher. "Only half of the economies (studied in the Report) have legal provisions restricting unfair and high-pressure selling practices and abusive collection practices.

"Regulators in only about half of the economies are empowered to issue warnings or impose fines on financial institutions violating consumer protection regulations. A public notice of violation - one of the most effective deterrence tools - can be used in only about a third of economies." According to the Report, Namibia scores well across five critical areas, which include consumer protection, financial literacy and rural, SMME, savings and microfinance promotion.

The Financial Access 2010 Report encompasses survey responses from 142 economies, including Namibia, and analyses changes that took place in the banking landscape in 2009. The Financial Access 2009 Report covered 139 economies.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A consumer law in Namibia should protect people who are renting

A Namibian Consumer Protection Act should specifically target unfair discrimination and enforce the right of equality in the consumer market. The Act must put the onus on the landlord to prove that he is not discriminating in any way against a tenant on the basis of things like race, gender, nationality, and even income.

In addition, we believe the new Act should allow for automatic renewal of the rental agreement. This will prevent landlords from using this as an excuse to terminate when the tenant wishes to stay. At present many agents and landlords are using the end of the year contract to get rid of tenants so they can increase the rent amount for the next person. Normally the rent will only go up by around ten percent, and the landlords are pushing up the prices to the new tenants by a lot more.

Lastly, we propose that the Consumer protection Act must include the right to fair and honest dealings. “No physical force, coercion, undue influence, pressure, duress or harassment may be employed to evict a tenant or compel them to sign a lease."

As an example, I quote from personal experience.

Last year, I was a renting near to the Zoo Park in Windhoek. I was on the farm at the time and had made arrangements as to my monthly payment. As agreed, I came from the farm and paid my outstanding rent and prepaid for two months.

The owner in the meantime decided to cancel the lease agreement with all tenants and change the building into office space. They thus gave all tenants two months notice to leave. I had paid a deposit so knew that I still had sufficient funds with the agent till the end of the period.

But the renting company wanted to get rid of all the tenants and make sure they were gone. So the estate agent "forgot" to enter my late payment and had their lawyers prepare a judgement. As you can imagine, I was very shocked to have the Sheriff of the Court appear at my door to throw me out. The worst part is that the Sheriff took my furniture even though the outstanding amount on the account had been paid.

Of course, there was nothing I could do. The lawyer for the company was also a Director of the same company and would not listen to any explanation.

Once the sheriff had sold my furniture, the lawyer had the audacity to let me know there was a shortfall on the outstanding account.

I called the lawyer and estate agent and explained that they were using a wrong account and the estate agent still owed me my deposit - which was more than any outstanding amount.

They promised to come back to me. Yeah right, almost a year later and still no response.

So what can you do before the law is in place?

You should write down the events that took place and make copies of all correspondence between yourself and the landlord. Once you have completed a written explanation, send this to the Estate Agents Board of Namibia. This is a statutory body under the Ministry of Trade and Industry responsible for making sure these landlords and estate agents comply with the law.

Now you might wonder why I did not follow this advice. The Sheriff of the Court under instructions of the agent had taken all my furniture including my computer equipment, thrown all my belongings on to the street. Poof, all my documentation and proofs of payment were gone.

Interview with Milton Louw on the above issues:
1. Does Namibia have a Consumer Protection Act?
No. However, the Namibian consumer is protected by various other laws, mostly industry specific such as in banking, insurance, medical, etc.

2. Is there plans to table such a law in parliament?
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has been talking to various role-players such as business, statutory bodies, consumer groups, etc on what form the law should take. Their "primary considerations were that Namibian consumers were experiencing unscrupulous and unfair trading practices, and that existing avenues to obtain redress are inadequate or completely absent." A workshop on this topic was held in September 2009 and the Ministry of Justice was requested to prepare a draft law. We have not had any more feedback since March this year.

3. What are the issues you would like to be put into the law? You referred in your email newsletter and on the Internet to issues with people hiring house and flats?
A Namibian Consumer Protection Act should specifically target unfair discrimination and enforce the right of equality in the consumer market. The Act must put the onus on the landlord to prove that he is not discriminating in any way against a tenant on the basis of things like race, gender, nationality, and even income.

4. How will this affect the complaints about high rentals in Namibia
We believe amongst others that the new Act should allow for automatic renewal of the rental agreement. This will prevent landlords from using this as an excuse to terminate when the tenant wishes to stay. At present many agents and landlords are using the end of the year contract to get rid of tenants so they can increase the rent amount for the next person. Normally the rent will only go up by around ten percent, and the landlords are pushing up the prices to the new tenants by a lot more.

5. What about landlords or estate agents throwing out people on to the street
we propose that the Consumer protection Act must include the right to fair and honest dealings. “No physical force, coercion, undue influence, pressure, duress or harassment may be employed to evict a tenant or compel them to sign a lease."

6. What can a consumer do if they feel unfairly treated by an estate agent?
The Estate Agents Board is under the Ministry of Trade and Industry with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of estate agents in the public interest. They can be contacted about any complaint and they have specific procedures to deal with complaints.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Are Namibian coloureds a distinct cultural/indigenous group?

According to wikipedia:

A contemporary working definition of "indigenous people" for certain purposes has criteria which would seek to include cultural groups either:
* before or its subsequent colonisation or annexation; or
* alongside other cultural groups during the formation and/or reign of a colony or nation-state;

and who furthermore
* have maintained at least in part their distinct cultural, social/organisational, and/or linguistic characteristics, and in doing so remain differentiated in some degree from the surrounding populations and dominant culture of the nation-state.

To the above, a criterion is usually added to also include:
* peoples who are self-identified as indigenous, and/or those recognized as such by other groups.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Panarotti's Thursday eat all you can

Took my daughters out for a birthday celebration last night and they ganged up on me and wanted to go to Panarotti's for "Eat all you can Thursday". Well, we got there past seven and waited for almost an hour and a half for a table (we were 9 people in total). I did not mind the wait, but when we sat down we were informed the special only went till 9 'clock.

Whoaw. I can eat as I like in half an hour. Nowhere in the advertising does it state it stops at 21H00. Especially after waiting so long.

But would you believe it! the waiter arranged that we can pay the special price, and arranged at least five bottomless pizza (including a seafood) for the same price.

I am not sure if it is because I have five daughters, or this is the normal service.

So from my side, congratulations to Panarotti's Windhoek for good food and EXCELLENT service.

I hope we all get such service elsewhere this weekend.

"Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy."

Monday, 30 August 2010

Legislation for informational privacy in Namibia

The ability to save information on a computer (for example in the central register) will also necessitate new legislation to be promulgated. These laws are especially necessary in our Information and Communication enabled society where information is stored on electronic retrieval systems.

Legislation for informational privacy

The Namibian Constitution states in Article 13 Privacy:
“(1) No persons shall be subject to interference with the privacy of their homes, correspondence or communications save as in accordance with law and as is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the protection of health or morals, for the prevention of disorder or crime or for the protection of the rights or freedoms of others.”

The Constitution thus guarantees only “Physical Privacy”. The storage of personal and business information (“Informational Privacy”) must have legislation that will prevent misuse of this information. In addition, the individual in Namibia must be able to access any, and all, information that is stored by the state (public institutions).

There are thus things that are needed to guarantee informational privacy:
1. Data Protection Act;
2. Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations;
3. Freedom of Access to Information Act

Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act gives you the right to know (access) the information being held on you. It also sets certain key principles that anyone who handles personal information must comply with. The Act also establishes an Information Commissioner. The data covered is any information which can be used to identify a living person. This includes names, birthdays, addresses and other contact details. It only refers to information stored on computers.

The key principles of the Act must include:
• Data may only be used for the specific purpose that it was collected;
• Data may not be shared with others without permission of the individual whom such information is about – unless there is a legitimate reason;
• It is illegal for other parties to obtain this information without permission;
• Individuals have the right to the information about them subject to certain conditions;
• Personal information should not be kept longer than necessary;
• All businesses that collect personal information must register with the Commissioner; and
• Incorrect information must be corrected when it is brought to the attention of the data storage business.

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations
These regulations must control the people that wish to send out electronic direct marketing, for example email and text messages (SMS). Individuals have the right to refuse unsolicited marketing messages (“junk mail”) by fax, phone email and text message. Companies and organisations have the right to refuse marketing messages by phone or fax.

A register needs to be created to store the individuals and companies that refuse to receive such marketing messages.

Freedom of Access to Information Act
The Constitutions states in Article 95 Promotion of the Welfare of the People:
“… (e) ensurance that every citizen has a right to fair and reasonable access to public facilities and services in accordance with the law;”

This Act must give the individual the right to obtain information being held by the state (public institutions) unless there are good reasons that such information should be kept confidential. These institutions include government departments, regional and local government as well as schools. (The access to information held by private institutions is expected to be covered by the Data Protection Act.)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Child of Africa

My brother and I once lived together as one
But life was bad for me back then
You see, he’s white while I’m not
But, these are all rules set but mortal men
And I’ve often wondered why they said such thing,
Things that really hurt me deep inside,
While they pretended they were kings.
Now I’ve come to realize that they lied
Because we are all equal
And even though our skins don’t match
Everybody should be entitled to follow his own will
But if I said this, the jail door behind me they’d latch!

Now, I know these words may not mean a lot
But the truth is, they all I’ve still got.

Brotherhood among us

Can’t we all come and meet each other
And no matter what colour we may be
Be able to show we love one another
And then together we’ll stand, you and me
The leaders of Tomorrow,
Planning for what is to come
Otherwise there will be lots of needless sorrow
Over killing which are quite dumb.

So come closer now and grab my hand
And we’ll accept each other as brothers
And then together we’ll be able to stand
To show our Father and Mothers
We want to plan for a common future
No matter what our race, colour or culture.


“Look at me my white brothers
Come closer to me
And show you care about the others
By letting us all live free”

This request may sound funny
But you all are enjoying your lives
While we struggle for money
So we can feed our children and wives

Now I know what the laws are
But they are really quite unfair
And so if you’ll lift the colour Bar
It will prove you really care.

So now that you’ve heard my cry
Go home and ask yourselves; Why?

Something Read – Something Said!

I always wanted to be a writer
And this is something I’ll be I’m sure
But the problem is what to write about
So people will sit up and take head.

That is why I wish my skin was whiter
So people will stop thinking they are more pure
Because they are wrong have no doubt
As we were all created equal
And that’s why I wrote this poem:
So everyone the truth can read!

A Fleeting moment of Happiness

Tonight I got peace in my soul,
A song in my heart
And a smile on my lips
All because I know once more what it is to love.

I’ve always said this feeling is not for me
I believe that loving was not possible
Because I never found someone
But now I have,
And it’s you I know I love!

Unexpected Love

What hit me?
This night of the 22nd I won’t forget
‘Cause something really special happened
As our hearts (and bodies) eventually met.

I know I promised to forget
And tomorrow will be just another normal day
But inside me, my heart will be going wild
And I’ve never ever had it feel this way.

Why weren’t we willing to accept it?
Others saw it before we did
While we always joked about it
But only ourselves it seems we were trying to kid

Now, whatever happens between us
I hope we give it a chance to work
Otherwise we’ll both end up sad
While in our hearts this love will lurk.
Tonight I’m not going to be able to sleep
And if I do, I’ll dream of you
Because tonight you and I said those three magic words
‘I Love You’

Valentine ‘89

Last night I promised you a poem
So now read this and think of me
And you might not have believed my words
But can now these feelings on paper see

It all started at registration
When you came in all dressed in pink
I nearly felt of my chain right then
Cause at the sight of my heart started to sink.
(Just don’t ask why, O.K?)

Yesterday was lots of fun
I enjoy walking with you through town;
Even though I talked too much
And continuously acted like a clown.

But this is because you intrigue me
As its not often I meet a girl I admire
A girl who knows what she wants
And from responsibility never tire.
This poem is starting to sound real weird
And that’s like my feeling towards you too
And my heart is going wild
Because I know I like you!


For what we are to receive, dear Lord
Make us truly doubly Thankful.

Friends in times of need
Who prove they are friends in deed,
In times of heart-ache
Our days to make,
When tears may fall
Or laughter won’t come at all
They’ll stand you by
Never letting you lay down and die
That’s what being friends is all about,
This is stated without any doubt
‘Cause True Friends are Friends Forever!

No More

What am I living for
I’ve no reason to live no more!

I use to manage
Now no more

I live on the edge
Now no more

I thought you really loved me



Life used to be lonely and dreary
Then you came into it;
It was fun.
Then it

Now it’s lonely and dreamy again
‘Cause I’m without you
living on my dreams
losing touch of

The Blues

What Now?
Where too?
With whom?
No – one
Don’t know.
Will I accept this?
Why not!

Wander Lust

What makes me so restless
Causes me to search
Looking, never finding
Continuing on this lonely path
Without ever getting rest,
Peace of mind?

I always blame others for this
Yet I know it seems from inside
Deep in my soul,
This search for something
Never minding the pain,
The pain I cause others.

I want answers,
Answers to questions not yet asked;
I want truth,
So I know how to lie;
I want knowledge
Knowledge to impress others with;

I want fame,
Yet standing in a cocoon of privacy;
I want things
Yet I never give to anyone,
Yes all this I want, and more
Yet none are what I seek;
So I will always have to keep searching.


The words of songs run through my head
Scenes, flashes from the past
Remembering me of what I’ve lost
What I’ll never regain;
Lost forever.

I’m always this way when I’m lonely
Thinking back – about the two of us
What we used to dream of
What we will never achieve;
Not together.

True love was supposed to be forever
Yet it seems to be a force
As it only remains in me
You have already forgotten;
Our paradise.

Now I weep when I’m alone at night
Thinking on the past we used to share
Wishing I could have it back
Treasuring thoughts from the past,
Loving memories.

Maybe my secret dream will one-day be true
And you and I will be one
Sharing, regretting time lost
Going forth in life;
As one.

Captives of Freedom

High above the earth he soars
Alighting here, then there
Never still
He is free,
Can come and go when he wishes
He is King of the sky,
He is an eagle.

I too, feel akin to him
Never stopping, never still
Moving forth
Always free
Coming and going as I wish
Living out a lie
Pretending to live

Yet both of us are wrong
We are captives of freedom
We are caught by it
Longing for it,
Never getting enough.

Yes mighty bird,
You and I are kin
Captives of freedom
Captives of life
Always free
Yet never!

Freedom Flight

An eagle soars the sky,
Floating high above the earth,
He looks down on tiny specks of life
He knows not what they think,
Cares not!
Cause he is free.

Yet in life all this is a lie
For even from our birth
We are living lives filled with strife
Caring only for ourselves
Never others
All wishing to be free.

But all of you I’ll defy
As I too am free
Never captive
Yet, one – day I’ll be no more –
And who’ll remember?


Your beauty never ceases to amaze me
And I know now I never deserved your love
But I’m thankful for what we had
And everyday I thank the one above
For loving memories we share!

Oh these wonderful memories we share
Of so many fun times we had
Times when we were totally bare
Even though we weren’t really “Bad”
Oh memories can’t you stop eating at me
And just please, please leave me be!

Do you member the times…
We promised each other we’d get wed?
That we fell asleep in each other arms?
And meant every word we said
When we said “I love you!”?

How many times didn’t I promise you the world?
Promise to forget your (and my) past?
Promise to love you forever and ever?
At least I’ve kept the last
And I promise I always will!

Repeat chorus

Are these memories a blessing or a curse?
I don’t know! But they are things I’ll
Always in my heart nurse!

Wanting you Again (My love for you still lives)

I feel so sad these days
When I sit and think of what we had
And I wish things I could change
So they wouldn’t turn out so bad!
But this is a useless hope
As you found someone new
And without you I’ll just have to cope!

I’m trying real hard to forget you;
To think just about what lies ahead
But all I do is revert to memories
When I lay myself down on my bed.
“Memories of wonderful times we spent
When everything was happy
And every loving word we meant”.

You once wrote down the words of a song,
And I like to think you meant what you said
When you wrote “I just can’t stop loving you!”
‘Cause these are words that stuck in my head
As these words for me are true!
Now it seems you’ve forgotten me
And that kind of makes me feel blue.

So many things have happened in between
That I wonder what is still to come –
Whether things will work out for us
Or whether our feelings for each other
Will just go numb.
I’m hoping it won’t end that way:
So if you find someone else to love
Please forgive me for these things I say.

I’m wondering whether I should give you these verses
Or just keep them for me alone to see –
But that wouldn’t be right
As it would just remind me of the hurt inside of me!
I don’t know what I write
But I have to do something
As I just can’t sleep tonight.

Please don’t think I’m forcing you to do
As I’m willing to be a patient guy
So take your time deciding whether you want me back
Or if you’d rather to me say good-buy.
I hope your choice is not the latter
‘Cause if you choose the first
I’ll definitely start to feel better!

So no matter what you decide
Just remember this Collette:
I’ll always be ready and waiting for you
And that’s something on which you can bet!
Now as I end this poem
I’d like to end this with a special wish:
“I hope that one – day we can set up home!”

Missing you!

You mean a lot to me
And I know its now too late to see
But I still wish these words I did utter
Instead of always “nothing” mutter
As to me you are lost
Even though I still want you back!
(No matter what the cost:
As in Love I’ll make up for the money I lack.)

Being with you

I remember the first time we met
And now I’m really happy we did
Even though I acted like a real wet;
Which you probably didn’t even notice
‘Cause you were laughing too much.

Your laugh is something I enjoy hearing
As it makes me think you’re happy –
And that’s makes my heart want to sing
As it is me making you laugh.

Now I’m sleeping out a lot
And my Dad has spoken to me about it
But I don’t mind as it’s you I got
And that’s the most important thing
As I care about you!

Incomprehensible Poem - By: A Broken Heart

Its been a long time sine I wrote something decent
Something out of my heart that is really meant
And this is because my heart was too sore
But now I’ve found out that to life there is more
More than just loving you

You did the same as the others
And I hate all girls for being mothers!

Now I feel heart healing
As Cupido to me a new hand is dealing
In the form of another Heart –breaker!

But all of those who broke my heart
You were the only one about who I didn’t get smart
So revel in the fact that you’ve won
And I’ll worry about what you done
As you girls are all the same!

You’re the one for me! (Dedicated to Yolanda Esterhuisen)

Sitting here looking at you
I don’t know what to say
‘Cause all I have on my mind
Is seeing you each and every day.

I know I have to study
And you also have many years ahead
But I’m a patient kind of guy
So I’ll just wait until we can get wed.

There’s a bunch of stories about me
Stories about me being a Dad
But I know you won’t believe them
Because you know I ain’t that bad!

Your mom mounted at me the other day
And the worst part was: I didn’t know what to say
But that has all been left behind
‘Cause now I have made up my mind

“That you are the girl for me!”

Can I be sure?

A friend of yours has been whispering a lot in your ear lately and I’m getting worried;
She seems to be carrying messages from other guys with whom I don’t what you did
So tell me, can I be sure of your love?

Sometimes I wonder how its possible that a beauty like you can like a guy like me
and all I seem to get for an answer is – that you like my personality;
but how do I know that will always keep you true?

I’ve always tried to pretend that I’m not the jealous type who watches you with other guys
But lately I just can’t control myself and keep watching you to see if you tell any lies
‘Cause I’m quite in love with you, that’s for sure!

I was kinda wondering real heard about how much you care for me when I wrote this song
And that’s why I ask you these questions so I can look in your eyes and see I’m wrong
‘Cause now I’m real sure of your love for me!!

A girl called Bernadette

I met a girl called Bernadette
And now I’m really glade we’ve met
‘Cause she really intrigues me
And what that is what I like in a girl, see!

I know she’ll probably think this poem’s dumb
But it is the fault of her…
‘Cause when I see them, my brain goes numb.
(-Because they don’t look like washing pegs!)

Why am I writing this poem?
I don’t know either: but just wait:-
Maybe she and I will set up Home
If she turns out to be the ideal mate.

This is the end of the lyric
And to be quit honest, it is quite sick.

My Philosoply on Life

What is the meaning of life?
If you know please tell me:-
Some say its finding a compatible wife
Others: knowing how to help those in strife.

To me it means; - (1) being able to love
And having some special to receive it;
(2) Being able to worship the one above;
And (3) being remembered by those you love.

I’ve seen people trying the first and last
But never caring much for the second
As they want to live in the lane marked fast
And in so doing never really achieve happiness that can last

My next question would then naturally be
What are we doing to find meaning in life?
Why I ask is quite simple see,
Cause everyone only cares for “I; Myself and Me”
So how do I achieve it you ask.
I’m not sure but I’m trying real hard
And I must admit it’s quite a hard task
But I’ll keep with it till I’m put in a cask.

So why don’t we all try
To achieve these three ideals
Cause then there’ll be much less reason to cry
And none of us with the Devil will have to fry!!

God knows what your problem is
So carry your burdens and problems to his feet,
Ask for His guidance in all matters
And I’m sure success and happiness you’ll meet.

Unopened Love bud

I spoke to you once more today
And I realize the following words I should not say
But I feel in love with you once
And that feeling is still with me today;
Even though you think we should just stay friends

How many times haven’t I wondered,
Wondered: - if things weren’t the same:
Would you and I have been a pair,
And maybe even shared a surname,
And been “happy forever after”?

I know its no use thinking that way
As things are the way they are
But this won’t stop me saying what I have to say
As I’m continually wishing on a falling star
That one-day I will know for sure.

I often make jokes with you
About the two of us becoming a pair
And you probably never took any notice
So I write these words to show I really care,
Care about you: More than what a friend should.

So please remember these few words
These words that comes out of my heart:
I really like you a lot see;
As to me you’re a beautiful piece of priceless art
And my feeling for you increase your value for me.

Love Triangle

Love is never very straight – forward,
As once again my love for you proves this to me.
I realize now that I should have worked out something see
And then we could have worked out something see
And not to be stuck in this damn Love Triangle.

You have your boyfriend, I have my girl
Why then, do I think we will fit better?
But, I suppose in your way you’re right
When you say you don’t want to hurt her;
But that still leaves me in a Love Triangle

Love Triangle
You’re busy running my life: -
A girl I have, but I want another for my wife.
So perhaps with a little help from above
I’ll be able to get the one I really love
And break up this Hosted Love Triangle

We talked quite a lot, or at least I did
And maybe you right, I should have lied
And not told you about her, but I can’t
Cause if you’d found out I’d have died
And I would still have been stuck in a Love Trianle

Now I cannot sleep with my thoughts
As they keep returning to think of you girl
And I realize I don’t know what to say
As without you, ill always be in a silly whirl
And in my heart I’d still stuck in a Love Triangle

Birthday Poem (17 June 1987 – Collette turns 18)

Well I’ve decided to write you a birthday poem
Something to make you think a little of me right now
And of the day we plan to set up a home
But don’t ask, as right now I don’t know how

This poem has started to sound real silly to me
And I thought about starting another one
But, I’ve got to have something special for you,
So I’ll just have to go on till it’s done.

Maybe I should write about the way I feel;
Or, about how I really want you again;
Or, about how your heart I want to steal;
Well, I better decide quick otherwise
I’ll probably go insane.

I know this poem isn’t much of a present
But until I’m qualified that’s all I can afford
But you got to realize every word is meant
So please, when you read this, don’t get bored!

Why the heck can’t I be rich, rolling in money?
So I can buy everything your heart desires
Whether it be clothes, pots containing real honey,
Or even a hot set of tires.

But my lot I suppose I must accept
And the most I can do is to give you respect
And a promise that one – day soon
I’ll even be able to give you the moon!

Happy Birthday! Gesëende dae vorentoe is my wens vir jou!

My Birthday girl - (Collette Campher 17 June 1987)

I’ve finished writing you a poem
So I thought maybe I’ll write a song;
To you how much I care
And how our love just can’t be wrong;
So here’s looking at you, Birthday girl.

You’re entering the magic years of youth now
The time you should be free
So if at any time you want your freedom
Just come and tell me
Because I’ll do anything for my Birthday girl.

As you get older, you get more beautiful
And that can’t be proven as a lie
Cause I’ve seen the guys looking at you
All wishing I’d just peg off and die
So they can get a chance with my Birthday girl

This song is up to s(peep)t
It seems I just can’t think straight,
I keep getting side-tracked by memories of you
And the nights when we stayed up till late –
So here’s to memories of you Birthday girl.

I hope you like these couple of lines
And that you’ll realize I mean every word
And not laugh your head off
Because you think them real absurd
So think once more of me My Birthday Girl

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

An exploration into the Coloured market

(This article was originally published on Marketingweb a few months back. It drives home some key points that we've been trying to emphasise here on since the site was launched, that the Coloured community is unjustifiably neglected by corporate South Africa and in so doing, is incapable of properly advancing in South African society today. We'd love to hear your views on this article.)

Fragmented, stereotyped and misunderstood, South Africa’s 4.4 million strong Coloured market is as big as the white market in South Africa (9.1% of the population vs. 9%) and yet so many marketers have made the mistake of overlooking opportunities within this previously disadvantaged group.

This is a shortsighted, given that the Coloured market makes up 63% of the total population in the Western Cape (Stats SA 2009), and therefore it is no surprise that so many brands that are successful elsewhere fail to connect with consumers in this province. To understand this complexity, one just has to start by looking at issues of Coloured identity. A debate rages around the meaning of the term "Coloured" - does it refer to a group of people lumped together in the past, and therefore share the same history, or does it rather refer to certain characteristics? It would seem that defining the term "Coloured" is no longer as one dimensional as many people believe it to be. As a result there have been books written about it, movies made and a number of blogs and social networking sites dedicated to the issue.

The Cape Coloured market comprises a diverse group of people. These individuals differ in terms of mindsets and lifestyle. Since 1994 this market has evolved and become highly complex, and is not the single homogenous group that many believe it to be. The Coloured market acknowledges their differences and thus there is a strong need for them to differentiate themselves based on their lifestyle and mindsets.

Strategy and research company OIL has conducted an in-depth study in an attempt to provide marketers with a deeper understanding of the dynamics within the Coloured market in the Western Cape. The study used a mixture of methodologies, including ethnographic research backed up using AMPS/TGI data; and insights gained from social networking sites. Aside from looking at the consumer behaviour and mindsets of this market, this cutting-edge study highlights key insights into this market and, most importantly, offers vital untapped marketing opportunities for brands.

In this study, OIL identified four segments within the market that aim to improve marketers' understanding of the Coloured market and help them create effective brand communication strategies. The segments are The Escapers, The In-Betweeners, The Achievers and The Silver Spooners.

The Escapers, referred to within the community as "gam", are a segment defined by the legacy of Apartheid. They are characterised by a so-called ghetto lifestyle with a tendency to escape their everyday reality, living day-to-day and with a very short-term focus. Escapers are loud and proud of who they are, and embrace the Cape Coloured stereotypes - from kombuistaal to passion gaps

The In-Betweeners are an aspirational segment; those who often find themselves caught between two worlds - the upper and the lower income communities. Although they are aspirational, they are not willing to compromise their lifestyle for long-term success. They have a medium focused approach by showing aspiration through the conspicuous consumption of branded goods. They embrace the term "Coloured" and focus on the positive associations of Coloured culture - from having a great sense of humour to having fun like no other culture.

The Achievers are defined by their success through hard work and determination. The majority of this segment comprise individuals who have fought through the struggle of Apartheid and are aware that their lifestyle has not come easily to them. There is a continued drive for excellence and success, especially with their children. Although they are successful, they still remain grounded in their community and proud of their background.

The Silver Spooners are the children of the upper income Achiever parents and live an affluent lifestyle. This elite segment makes up a very small percentage of the Cape Coloured population and has not been exposed to mainstream Coloured culture. They, therefore, cannot relate to the Coloured culture as much as other segments.

Even though there are various segments, these individuals share certain commonalities. Cooking and food are considered important elements for bringing a family together. There are a lot of Malay influences with the food prepared by both Christians and Muslims. Coloured families are very close and often have more than the immediate family living in a household. They also tend to live within close proximity to each other, as family is considered to be a strong support pillar.

Religion also plays a very important role and there is great emphasis placed on teaching children their religious values.

There is a shared desire for the younger generation to show status through wearing branded sneakers and "pimping" old cars, as opposed to driving the latest luxury vehicle. There is also a strong interest in English soccer teams, far more so than local teams. This can be seen with the English soccer branded paraphernalia within each household.

Due to the lack of research into this market it is not surprising that there are so many misconceptions and stereotyping surrounding the Coloured community. This market has the spending power of over R60 billion a year; therefore this is an opportunity that marketers should not ignore.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Our Big Brother – South Africa

South Africa used to be our colonial master. The ant-apartheid struggle in South Africa was also our struggle. Many of us have family on both sides of the Orange River. We import most of our consumer goods from South Africa. Our money, the Namibian Dollar is directly equal to the Rand. All, but one, of our banks is South African owned. These are facts we must accept, there are the good, the bad and the difficult things in this relationship.

The Good
Namibia is a member of the oldest custom union in the world, namely the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU). The members are Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa.

Being part of a customs union means that all goods brought into the Union will face the same amount of customs duty. More importantly, all goods produced by any member will not face duty when sold in one of the other member countries.

In effect this means a company can choose to produce in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Gaberone, or Oshakati and have the same access to all the consumers in our countries. The only difference is in the local labour or services, transport costs between markets, and the quality of life in each of these locations.

So, Namibia should have an active investment promotion policy to:
a) attract companies wishing to penetrate the southern African market; and
b) encourage South African companies to open factories in Namibia

To do this will mean preparing a comparison list to other localities in the region, and making sure we are the first choice in all regards. It is important to remember that all aspects, such as the quality of education available to children at the investment location, can be pivotal in decision-making by the management who have to relocate.

SO HOW BIG is the Namibian Market? The Namibian market consists of more than 200 million people – all residents of SACU are our market.

The Bad
Just like any big brother, South Africa can sometimes use its muscle to bully the smaller states in the Union. This can lead to companies “protecting” their markets by using dumping for example to prevent a business from being able to establish itself locally. Because of a larger range of products, companies can also insist retailers do not stock any of their competitor’s products. This has happened in the case of candles, toilet paper, cement, school desks, to name just a few.

Namibia must use the facility (already written in the SACU agreement) to protect its infant industries.

At the same time, I must warn about the measures sometimes used to protect local industries. In the early 1990’s the government enacted regulations to stop empty glass bottles from leaving Namibia. This was to protect our local Namibia Breweries. It was possibly a good measure, but inadvertently has led to a pollution problem. If you investigate any of the glass bottles being thrown away, you realise bottles are all from foreign bottlers. The reason, only Namibian Breweries offers a refund and reuses their bottles – the others cannot take the empties across the border.

The Difficult
Our dependence on South Africa also means that when something goes wrong there it affects us directly. If the World Cup is held in RSA, we receive indirect benefits, but when there is a political problem, we also receive the negative coverage.

The Leftist Capitalist

Start early life – short go through
Extreme hardship and good luck.
But still walk off the edge
Do something wrong

Get another chance – begin at the
Beginning – a place I knew
Still live large – larger than you
Can dream in a year – night after night

Have it bad – yet have it all
The most beautiful Girl in the world
I had not yet met
‘Material Girl’ was the way I judged

Didn’t go away – yet did study
Was against politics – what a fool
Became the best politician
Learning the dangers of the Gravy train
A goddess was given to me
To name as in the time of Adam
Thought I was god – Really messed up
That’s when I lost sight of reality

Cancer – was very lucky in the beginning
Understood that I had never been taught
Tried new things – became the boss
Resigned because of principles not Fortune

Ran away – luckily I had friends
People who at least made an effort
Got there made a home, without her
Missed them to much

Came back master of destiny
A phoenix arisen – to fly – Kalahari
Down to earth – working at night
Paper millionaires who cannot file

Was all I learnt a waste


I grew up knowing nothing feeling hurt
Made to learn to appreciate
Thank you teachers one and all
From the first who loved me – till the last

Now I understand the burden
The one of the leftist capitalist

Get paid for what you do well
Neither under or over – charge
Earn fairly, pay slightly better
Enjoy the fruits of your labour
Yet bury the seeds.

By being happy that you are moneyed
You give back equally
Try to teach another, to be us lucky as You!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Thank you! Collette

Thank you for your wonderful (love) – letter,
I know no guy could have got a better
And it makes me doubly happy
Because you say you really do love me,
And I can say the same too
As I do really love you
Cause this feeling is really good
And this feeling is really good
And that’s the way it should

I love you plenty
And this is my way to say
I’m glad you love me
As I really do know so
And maybe together –one day – we’ll stay,
And I hope that you won’t then say no!

Your Love has shown me

I’ve been listening to “Love Notes”
And I realize they know what they are singing about
Because love is definitely a wonderful thing
This I know beyond a doubt
As your love has shown this to me.

I know they are singing from experience
But there’s still one thing bothering me,
And that’s that they thing of love as a “physical thing”
While I don’t think that’s really necessary,
As we seem to be getting along just fine
Without having to hop into bed
Because I know you are totally mine
Without this “proof of love”
And even though we come close,
I’m kind of glad we didn’t,
Even though I could have done with a dose
Of having your body joining with mine,
I know it would have been wrong
And this is my way of showing you.
My real reason for writing this song –
To tell you I really do need you
But, that I’d rather wait,
Until we are truly wed
But of late
I’ve been wondering again
And in the process nearly going insane
But I know we have been right
(Even though I’d still like to sleep with you at night)
As your love has show me the way,
And that’s the best, no matter what others have to say!

Proving our love

Last night we watched video’s till late
And soon as the others were gone
Neither of us could really wait
To jump into each others arms
Which proves to me really do love each other.

Its real pity about what your family said –
They seem to have a funny idea in their heads
Which makes them think I’ve had you laid
But I realize we’ve got it made
Because even with this charge against me
We’ve stayed together see
To prove we really do love each other.

I’ve been close to other girls at times
And I’ve never been tempted away
Because it all seemed like mimes
When I’m not with you
Which proves to me I really do love you
Once, not so long ago
I tried to break away from you
But my heart said no, don’t go
Stay with this girl force you die
Which proves to me I really do love you.

Repeat chorus

Now you’ve taken me back
And I’m really glad
Because with me you’ve got a knack
To keep me forever happy
Which proves to me, you really do love me.

Doing it for you, Collette

My life has been turned upside down
As I never realized how much you love me
And now I know; I’m wearing a crown
And even though it’s made of thorns
I’ll still do it for you

At school, life is turning out funny
As they putting pressure on me
Thinking I was out just to get money
But even if I had the same choice again
I’ll still choose you forever.

I’d love to start our friendship again
And this time I’m willing to listen
And even try acting a little sane
So I can keep you,
Cause all this I’ll do for you
As I know I love you Collette
And that’s something on which you can bet!

Now once more I’m getting lots of flak
Cause people think we don’t fit
And how you stuck me in my back
And our relationship has come to an end
But with you, I’m willing to try again

People often say I’m a Casanova
Just because I’ve know a lot of girls
But they’re all blown over
As I know what I want
And I know what I want
And you the one I’m trying to keep.

I want you!!

I wish I were older
So I could know just what to do
Because lately we’ve got a bolder
And now I feel my heart pounding
Cause I want to make love to you.

Sometimes I think maybe I’m just scared
But I want you to realize
I’m waiting till the day we wed
But sometimes I don’t think I can wait that long
Cause I want to make love to you.

The other day we were nearly caught
But I don’t think they’ll believe
That of that day came nought
So now I’m trying to cool down real fast
Cause I still want to make love to you

Having sex sound so crude
I try to think of it a little different
Just thinking of it as kind of nice with both of
us being nude
And now you have to give me a break
Cause I want to make love to you.

Looking at you naked gives me a chill
But we both know what’s right
And if you go on the pill
It’ll certainly change things
Cause I want to make love to you.

Prisoner of Love

I tried pretending about how I felt towards
you girl
But I realize now I can’t keep on lying
to myself
As I’ve got to swallow this pill
Which says to me
I’m still in your power.

For a long time now I’ve been trying out this verse
Wondering how I can say I love you
And that I always will, even “for better or worse”
As I’m kind a glad I’m still in your power.

The other day I even tried out someone new
But this came to nothing as I soon knew
That I’d rather have this bout with you
As I’m fully aware
I’m still in your power.

My songs just seem to be getting worse and worse
Because I realize I don’t need them as I’ve got you
And without you I’d probably end up in a hearse
Because I know
I’m still in your power

Repeat chorus

What’s this power you hold over me
I’m kind of hoping its love
Because my hearts real precious see
And now I’m thanking the one above
That I’m still in your power

Repeat “In your power is where I want to stay”
(softly fading away)

Head over Heels

Today you kissed me once again
But then you did something real bad
And it makes me believe you’re playing with me
And this thought makes me quite sad
Because I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you.

Why do you play with me,
And think of me as just another boy
With whose feelings you can play as if it were a toy
But, I’m different you see
Because I don’t like being treated like dirt
And this is what is really making my heart hurt
Because I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you.

I keep telling you about how I feel
But I don’t think you believe everything I say
And if you don’t stop playing with me
We’ll be forced to part one day
Even though I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you.
Next time we kiss as we did today
Just promise you won’t do it again
And I’ll promise to make sure you get home, early, as this is not just a simple game
Because I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you.

Heart – thief

This verse may not rhyme
But maybe in time
You’ll understand what I’m trying to say
Because the truth is I don’t want Janey, Felicity
or Dianne
As I want you, the one who makes me feel
like such a man.
But you still believe what others say about me,
even though most of it is lies,
and if you really don’t believe me, watch me
close and look in my eyes
while I tell you,
You’re the one whose stolen my heart!

Heart-thief, why did I meet you now, after I promised myself that for love I’d wait,
But now I’ve suddenly up and realized
I’m far too late,
As you’ve already stolen my heart!

I’ve known many girls, some named, Yvonne, Janice and Elaine
But they think I’m going quite insane,
Because I left them all for you.
I’ve written you a couple of letters, and
meant everything from within my heart
But now its seems you are willing with me
to part
But, no matter with how many girls I’ll go out
with my years
I’ll always prefer (and wish) it was you so
I could draw you near,
Because you’re the one whose stolen my heart!

Why do you like a guy like me?

A friend of yours told me that you like me
But I want to hear it from you personally!
I’m actually a very shy guy
And that’s why I keep asking myself, why?
Why do you like a guy like me?

I’ve watched you many times with admiring eyes
So tell me now, without any lies,
Why, Please tell me, why, do you like a guy like me?

I’ve seen you with a couple of other boys
And I’m sure you did not think of them as toys
You see, I’m a kind of doubting Louw
And for this reason I’ve just got to know,
Why do you like a guy like me?

I now wish I had a car
So I could take you and ride out far
And there I’ll perform once more this task
Because I’m just wanting to ask,
Why do you like a guy like me?

Repeat chorus

Song on my Radio

Today a song played on my Radio
And as it began to play, I lost myself in loving
As the words seemed to touch my soul
Because my heart they seemed to tease,
And the suddenly I realized
To me, You Are The Greatest Love of All!

I know my song will never be as good as Whitney’s
But I’m sure my message you’ll understand
And maybe one day, when I begin my own band
You’ll hear my song on your radio!

My ears are once more tuned
To the song playing so sweet
And, then, I know that if I lose you
My heart will cease to beat,
So move closer now
And together we’ll produce a band new beat!
And now as it plays to an end
My heart seems to turn to lead
As I’m forced to think
About all those really mean things I said
And so with this melody I write
I really mean to say “I’m sorry!”
And that, I still love you!

Repeat Chorus

No matter what I seem to do
I’m continually reminded of you
Which definitely proves, I only love you!

Love thoughts

Love is a piece of heaven which fell
Down to earth to give me problems.

I gave you my heart as if it were a ½cent
Cash it in and its worthless, but keep it and
you’ll have priceless memories

Love is like a bag of fruit, wonderful to
chew on but hard to preserve.

Thinking of you is fun; being near you, …

Love is like a rose, beautiful to hold, but
real prickly to hold.

Love is like bubblegum, too much chewing
and it goes stale

Love is … talking to the one you love!

My True Feelings

I’ve got this urge once more
To write a poem declaring my love
Because you’re the one who makes my heart real sore!
Why, I’ve even asked advice from the one above
But I realize that’s real unfair
As I have to ask you the one for whom I care,
And so to you I put this test,
Am I really the one you love best?

Now once again I’ve asked that question
Not because I doubt your word,
But because I find it hard to believe
You love me, even though I’m such a turd!

Now as I end this poem
To you a promise I want to make,
A promise that no matter what happens
My feeling for you, I’ll never forsake.

Do you love me?

I thought I could go through life
And never think about getting a wife
But now I suddenly know
Down the aisle with you I want to go
But, I’m forced to wonder
Do you really love me too?

I’ve decided to write this song
Because I’ve really got to ask you
And try and right this wrong
Because I’ve really want to know
Do you really love me too?

I’ve decided to ask you one more time
And maybe if I’m really lucky
The wedding bells for us will chime;
I know this could be premature
I’m sure you’ll say yes.

So once again ask …
Do you really love me too?

Repeat chorus

Today you spoke about another guy
And I pretended not to notice
But inside I thought, O why?
So I’ll have to ask again,
Do you really love me too?

Now you may be wondering why
And this is my simple reply,
“Because I really do love you!”

Lady of my Dreams

What is love but a tender feeling
A feeling I wish you felt for me.
I know I have that feeling
And, it’s a feeling for you;
The lady of my Dreams

At night I go out and romance
With women I don’t even know
And dream its you with who I dance
The Lady of my Dreams.

Now even my waking moments are bound in dreams
While where I want to be, is simply near you.
This feeling of love makes me want to scream
All because I know I cannot have you;
The Lady of my dreams.

Repeat chorus.

I’d really like to know your name
(I’m not kidding with this request,
even though you think it’s a game)
But to me you’ve become an obsession,
The lady of my Dreams.

Repeat “Dreaming of you, the Lady of my Dreams”
(softly fading away)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Namibian Ministries Re-engineered

I do not present a case for how the Cabinet should be structured, but rather concentrate on the individual tasks of Departments. In other words, the discretion of which Ministers should be appointed is not for my efforts, but rather only the makeup of the individual Departments into Ministries that could combine certain tasks.

Re-engineering the Public Service
It is easy to be critical of the government and the “bureaucracy of the state”. However, it is not always easy to provide an alternative plan or structure. In the following section, I suggest not only how government ministries and departments can be restructured based on my perception of economic and political changes, but also changing social needs, and new technologies available.

1) Office of the President
• The Office of the President shall include a Minister of Presidential Affairs.
• The following shall resort under the Office of the Minister of Presidential Affairs:
i. Auditor-General
ii. Director-General of the Central Intelligence Service
iii. Director-General of Planning
(Each of the above-mentioned shall have its own administration with its own Permanent Secretary)
The Presidential Economic Advisory Council will also be housed in the Office of the President. It shall consist of 5 individuals recognised for their knowledge and experience in business. The Chairperson of the PEAC shall also be one of the Presidential appointments to the National Assembly.

2) Office of the Prime Minister
• Shall be the leader of Government business in Parliament;
• Shall co-ordinate the work of the Cabinet and shall advise and assist the President in the execution of the functions of Government;
• Shall be responsible for the Public Service (government employees);
• Shall represent the Government as employer in labour relations;
• Shall be responsible for the Public Service Information Technology Management;

3) Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Shall be responsible for interaction with other nations, regional and international organisations;
• Shall be responsible for trade policy and external trade relations;
• Shall be responsible for the promotion of investment opportunities in Namibia (foreign direct investment);
• Shall be responsible for the promotion of Namibia as a tourist destination

4) Ministry of Home Affairs
• Shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a central register. This shall include:
i. Register of Residents;
ii. Register of Marriage Contracts;
iii. Register of Business;
iv. Register of Professions;
v. Register of Property Ownership (land & vehicles);
vi. Register of Licences for Natural Resources and Utilisation;
vii. Register of Trademarks, Patents and Copyright
viii. Register of External Trade;
ix. Register of Court Sentences, Proceedings, Declarations
x. Register of Bankruptcies and Insolvencies
xi. Register of other legal entities:
1. Non-Government Organisations
2. Religious Organisations
3. Welfare Organisations
• Shall make available to every resident any, and all, information recorded and stored concerning that resident.
• Shall be responsible for the control of immigration points and border posts
• Shall be responsible to maintain law and order in the country (Police)

5) Ministry of Environment and Resources
• The Ministry shall be responsible for the following economic activities with the objective of securing economic growth, prosperity and a life of human dignity for all Namibians:
i. Agriculture
ii. Energy
iii. Fisheries and Marine Resources
iv. Forestry
v. Mining
vi. Tourism
vii. Water
• Shall co-ordinate the sustainable management of Namibia’s resources;
• Shall be responsible for the granting of licences, and other administration tasks, in the afore-mentioned economic activities.
• Shall co-ordinate land reform and land resettlement policies and programmes;

6) Ministry of Finance
• Shall be responsible for State Income and Expenditure
• Shall collect all monies payable to the state, in the form of taxes, duties, licence fees, or any other state income;

7) Ministry of Works, Transport and State-owned Enterprises
• Shall be responsible for:
i. Government owned properties
ii. Government owned businesses (state owned enterprises)
• Shall be responsible for Transport (Aviation, Maritime Affairs, Road and Rail);
• Shall be a project management unit for all infrastructure development and maintenance;

8) Ministry of Labour Relations
• Shall be responsible for the tripartite relationship with employees, employers and the state. (In the case of state employees, the Office of the Prime Minister shall represent the Employer.)
• Shall maintain a database of occupations and work together with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Education to provide matching services for skills.

9) Ministry of Trade and Industry
• Shall be responsible for:
i. Consumer Protection
ii. Industrial Development
iii. Export Development
iv. Entrepreneurship

10) Ministry of Education
• Shall be responsible for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education.
• Shall be responsible for all institutions of learning, both private sector and state. (This will include registration and standards of education provided.)

11) Ministry of Information and Communication-enabled Technologies
• Shall be responsible for disseminating information on the government, its structure and programmes.
• Shall be responsible for the National Library and Information Services;
• Shall oversee developments in ICT for the development of Namibia;
• Shall create and support of Community Centres at all regional and constituency levels. These community centres shall provide information services through broadcasting, print and internet technologies
• Shall regulate the Telecommunications and Broadcasting sector;
• Shall be the custodian of the Access to Information Act

12) Ministry of Justice
(The administrative functions of the judiciary will be done by a department that is headed by a Director-General appointed by the Parliament of Namibia.)
• Shall consist of the following:
i. Office of the Attorney-General
ii. Office of the Prosecutor-General
iii. Office of the Ombudsman

13) Ministry of Health and Social Services
• Shall provide clinics, hospitals and health services to all residents;
• Shall oversee the national social security and national pension scheme;
• Shall be responsible for the payments of old age pensions, war veterans allowances and disability grants;

14) Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare
• Shall be responsible for equality of women in all areas of government;
• Shall be responsible for all areas of child welfare from birth through to primary education

15) Ministry of Regional and Local Government
• Shall assist and regulate the activities of the regional and local governments;
• Shall be responsible for the programme of decentralisation;
• Shall provide administrative support services to regional and the constituency level offices.

16) Ministry of Defence
• Shall be responsible for the defence of the country from external threats;
• Shall be responsible for the protection of our natural resources, on land or in the sea;

17) Ministry of Correctional Services
• Shall be responsible for the carrying out the sentences of the courts;
• Shall identify work programme for the prisoners sentenced to forced labour

18) Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture
• Shall oversee the Directorate of Youth and the National Youth Council;
• Shall be responsible for Sport and Culture in Namibia