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Published: 22 February 2018

NBL hands over annual donation to the National Institute For Special Education (NISE)

NBL hands over annual donation to The National Institute For Special Education (NISE) The National Institute for Special Education (NISE) was once again, for the 17th consecutive year enriched with an annual donation from Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group. NBL committed itself to another annual donation of 360 cases of its non-alcoholic beverage brands, and re-affirmed its continued support towards NISE, which includes the School for the Hearing Impaired; School for the Visually Impaired, and also the Môreson School for the Mentally Impaired.

Principal of the School for the Hearing Impaired, Manuel Oberholzer shared with great excitement that the NBL sponsorship continues to make a huge difference in the existence and financial status of the school. Oberholzer: “NBL’s support gives us hope and makes us strong. Their generosity makes a significant difference in all our lives. We generally use these annual donations from NBL for fundraising purposes, in addition to treating our guests and learners with some great tasting soft drinks during the year. We are very grateful, and appreciate it very much.” Principal of the School for the Visually Impaired, Marelize Fransman also stressed that this annual donation by NBL contributes significantly to the fundraising activities of the school.

Senior Brand Manager at NBL, Robin Rhode expressed excitement over the relationship with NISE. Rhode: “We are very delighted to once again make this donation to NISE. It is priceless to see how grateful the kids are as is always evident by their bright and smiling faces. Today is also testament to our commitment to the O&L Group purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’. This relationship with NISE started in 2001 and we have always enjoyed engaging with, and being part of the growth of these amazing schools through various initiatives which also includes supporting clean-up campaigns on the schools’ premises. These children are very special, and so are the teachers and leaders who committed themselves to running these establishments and making the best of it.”

NISE has been in existence for more than 21 years and accommodates close to 500 learners at the School for the Hearing Impaired; School for the Visually Impaired and Môreson School.
 
Published: 20 February 2018

Powered by Namibia Breweries Limited, Cab App service ‘LEFA’ is officially launched

Powered by Namibia Breweries Limited, Cab App service ‘LEFA’ is officially launched In response to the national concern of the alarming rate of road accidents, and fatalities on Namibian roads, Cab App service, LEFA – proudly supported and powered by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group was officially launched on Tuesday, 20 February 2018.

“Road fatalities in Namibia is a national concern and touches each and every one of us. Sadly, drunk-driving is one of the major causes of road accidents in the country,” said founder of ‘LEFA’, Melkisedek Shivute Ausiku, affectionately known as “Melkies” at the official launch. He added that the birth of this cab service was born from a place of concern and care for his fellow Namibian people, as well as for the future of the country. Ausiku: “With so many people dying on our roads, this greatly affects the growth of our country and economy. But even more so, it affects and greatly impacts the lives of so many people who lose a loved one. The LEFA Cab App is solely brought to life as contribution to curbing this unfortunate reality. The word “LEFA” is derived from the Oshiwambo word for lift. LEFA was inspired by my passion to solve problems such as the bad habit of driving under the influence of alcohol. It is my wish that patriots who engage in social gatherings where the consumption of alcohol is imminent should make use of a convenient service such as LEFA, instead of driving under the influence of alcohol.”

Speaking at the launch, NBL Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen emphasized on how LEFA speaks directly to NBL’s Stay Cool, Enjoy Responsibility’ campaign. Van der Westhuizen: “All this is done with the aim of addressing this national catastrophe that begs a change of mind-set, behaviour and attitude of motorists and other road-users to complement the great infrastructure such as our roads. Perhaps it is the fact that we seemingly have too many vehicles on our road, especially in a relatively small city like Windhoek where accidents happen on a daily basis. It is my hope therefore that LEFA would become every bit as much a part of your daily routine as a morning cup of coffee or a glance at your Facebook/Twitter or Instagram feeds. I believe the burst of LEFA onto the transportation scene brings with it incredible opportunities and efficiencies. NBL is proud to be associated with this venture and we extend our heartfelt congratulations on the launch of LEFA and a very successful partnership! We look forward to the positive difference LEFA will make in the lives of residents of the Windhoek city and beyond, and we welcome any constructive feedback to enable LEFA to become the trusted and successful brand it is destined to be.”

LEFA currently has 11 drivers and according to Melkies aim to have at least 50 drivers over the next month. The App is officially available for download and ready for service. The App is only effective in Windhoek at the moment, while according to Melkies plans are underway, with hopes and endeavours that soon the service will be spread to other towns in the country. Melkies: “A fee to ensure your safety and that of others, is better than ending up behind bars, or in a hospital bed, or in a grave. LEFA could play such a significant role in curbing drunk-driving if we all just embrace this service available for the better. Our slogan is punctual, safe and reliable, and we intend to be committed as best we can, on this journey of contributing to safer roads in the city, and ultimately in Namibia.”
Published: 15 February 2018

“Digital Taking Over The World of Business” – Dimension Data MD, Rowan Kleintjes

“Digital Taking over the World of Business” – Dimension Data Managing Director, Dowan Kleintjes While many continue to prefer doing things the old-fashioned way, especially when it comes to dealing with their finances, the digital platform is fast growing to becoming what could be the most preferred space for business, and individual finance banking, in the very near future. Managing Director of Dimension Data (DD) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group -, Rowan Kleintjes says that ten years from now we could be bypassing the traditional banks, with the current reality of many individuals bypassing banks to lend and borrow money from online service providers – indicating a worldwide trend towards digital transformation.

While efficiency is the main motivation for online activity, service cost and security are also real benefits to legit digital platforms. One of the digital platforms highlighted by Kleintjes as a strong and growing online facility is that of Blockchain which he reckons could be the leading transactional platform for the world. Today leading vendors such as IBM and Microsoft have released development tools for the blockchain. Kleintjes: “By the pace the digital sphere and all its perks are taking over, the world could, most probably be a very different place and experience as we have it now.” Blockchain – one of the world's leading platforms for digital asset ledger – according to Kleintjes, is one of the latest and fast-growing hubs for financial and other transactions which could make the use of, especially traditional bank services, irrelevant over the next decade unless there is significant innovation from banks. The public blockchain essentially relies on voluntary users to copy, verify, mine and store transactions based on other volunteer network users of computers across the globe. For your efforts as a miner you can earn a minimal transaction fee.

The Bank of Namibia back in September 2017 released a paper that there is no legal provision for the establishment of virtual currency exchanges in Namibia, and stated that it is not legal to tender in Namibia. You cannot use any of the cryptocurrencies in Namibia as payment. Since there are no regulations in place. While in neighboring country South Africa this is an entirely different scenario with nine ATMs and two exchanges where you can exchange your cryptocurrency into hard currency. SA retailers are accepting cryptocurrency as payment.

Kleintjes, who also serves as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) Association of Namibia says mobile is the key to decentralized philosophy of Bitcoin and Blockchain. Kleintjes: “Who has physically walked into a bank within the last month? Within the last 6 months? Within the last year? Banks are the ultimate intermediary. An institution that has portrayed trust in every way possible. From their grandiose buildings with marble columns, to the smartly suited gentlemen that walk through their doors. However, I now think of my bank as an app on my phone and not this massive institution. Mobile has removed me from the physical institution since I don’t have to go there, and I think about my bank in a new way. First we had banking networks that were symbolized by marble pillared edifices, now our banking network is contained in our pockets.”

But so what? What’s wrong with intermediaries anyway? A few things says Kleintjes…


Kleintjes: “Intermediaries are costly, but we still need them. They take a piece of the action and we pay the price. Just ask the corner grocery store about the 3.5% credit fees they have to pay. Or the hard working immigrant who is sending money back home to her family and has to pay a 10% fee just to send money internationally. Secondly, intermediaries are not efficient. It will typically take 2-4 days for that money to be transferred. Even if I’m just transferring money between bank accounts that I own it will take a few days. And, intermediaries are subject to an increased amount of risk. Because everything has to go through one institution, there is a centralized database of information or a central store of value. So if I’m a hacker – this is where I’m going to focus my efforts. Intermediaries are now this honeypot of money or information and they are walking around essentially with a big target on their backs.”

Kleintjes says the world economic forum conducted a survey, and found that expectations are that at least 10% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2025 would be stored on blockchain platforms. Kleintjes: Today, given the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets as well as private blockchain projects (most of which are still in the development phase) we have probably between $100 and $200 billion of value being stored on blockchains. 10% of GDP equates to roughly $8 trillion - so obviously there is a lot of room to grow.” The downside risk of this is the fluctuation in value of cryptocurrencies which has a significant impact, last year alone 70% value in Bitcoin was lost in a few weeks.

Dimension Data (DD) - a leader in the Namibian Information & Communications Technology (ICT) solutions market, focusing on systems integration for business clients in the country, is recognized and celebrated as one of the most impactful players in the sector by the worldwide leader in IT and networking, CISCO. Recognized as one of the top 100 players in the field of ICT, out of 65000 partners worldwide, DD was awarded the ‘Cisco Winners Circle’ Award for 2017.
Published: 13 February 2018

O&L Talent Attraction Program (TAP) welcomes 2018 intake

O&L Talent Attraction Program (TAP) welcomes 2018 intake The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group on Tuesday, 13 February 2018, welcomed ten participants to its Talent Attraction Program (TAP) for its 2018 intake. This now brings the total TAP participants to 83 since the program’s inception 11 years ago.

At the official welcoming of the new intake, O&L Group Director: Human Capital, Berthold Mukuahima emphasized the TAP program as a great success that has proven to be a critical part of the group’s purpose ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ which speaks directly to one of the Group Values, ‘We Grow People’.

Mukuahima: “11 years later and the TAP program keeps growing stronger and has certainly become a very popular season of choice for hundreds of hopefuls annually. On an annual basis applications to the program increase and become more intense with a growing influx of hopeful and prospective participants. Education and a conducive learning environment is one of the focus areas of the O&L CSI portfolio, because we believe that investing in the youth and young adults, and contributing to inspiring, and equipping them with the tool of education is one of the key elements in a prosperous future for this nation. The TAP Program is linked to a Mentorship program that serves as a support tool for the program participants. Each Mentor will be responsible for motivating, advising and guiding each participant to achieve their career and development objectives. In simple terms, the mentor is expected to hold the hand of the mentee as he/she goes through the program.”

Mukuahima further stressed that the O&L Group attaches a high price tag on talent attraction and talent development, and through this, nurtures the participants into future business leaders. The Program has been very successful during the past years with a high retention rate. He added that some of the current O&L senior leadership team members are former TAP participants, which according to Mukuahima is what makes this program special – that the participants have the opportunity to build careers within the group.

One such former TAP participant is Saara Kapiye who has been admitted to the TAP program seven years ago, and now holds the position of Human Resources Manager at one of O&L’s subsidiaries, Broll Namibia. Kapiye made use of the opportunity to share her experience with the new intake: “This journey is about making full use of the opportunity to not only grow yourself in your career, but also as a person. At first I was anxious and uncertain, but very excited about the opportunities that awaited me on this journey. Look at me, seven years later I am the HR Manager of a property development company. Don’t take this opportunity for granted. It is about what you make of it at the end of the day. The O&L Values are a great tool to guide and grow you going forward. I wish you all the best as you embark on this new journey!”

Mukuahima further stressed that the TAP Program has grown and developed into a significantly powerful tool in building its participants and grooming them to become experts in their respective fields of study. It has become a significant reflection of the O&L Group vision of ‘being the most progressive and inspiring company’.
Most of the 2018 TAP intake started their one-year journey on the program on the 1st of February, while some started earlier in the year. Mukuahima: “The O&L TAP program is not only about developing and grooming its participants into sharp leaders and members of the O&L Group, but it is also about growing leaders for the country.”

The 2018 TAP intake are as follows:
Mberimuna Katurota Procurement Namibia Dairies
Paavo Uutako Procurement Namibia Breweries
Wallace Endley Packaging Namibia Breweries
Wade Visagie Finance Namibia Breweries
Henri Laurie Finance Namibia Breweries
Amore Meyer Food & Beverage O&L Leisure
Gerson-Tangeni Varela Chef O&L Leisure
Bianca Fourie Chef O&L Leisure
Morne van der Merwe Human Capital O&L Leisure
Daniel Nikodemus Finance O&L Leisure
 
Published: 12 February 2018

First “Recycling hub” introduced in Windhoek

First “Recycling hub” introduced in Windhoek The first recycling hub in town, offering a central point where residents can drop off a variety of recyclables as well as correctly dispose of other items, was launched in Windhoek towards the end of 2017. The Dagbreek School for the Intellectually Impaired, winner of the Recycle Namibia Forum’s (RNF) Annual Schools Recycling Competition over the past few years, was the first choice for the RNF as a “one stop” collection point in Windhoek.

According to Anita Witt, RNF Coordinator, the enthusiasm and commitment displayed by the school – both from the learners as well as teachers and the school principal, made this an obvious choice to expand recycling efforts and awareness. Witt: “The school and its learners are also very involved with, and are supported in their efforts by their local communities, with regular clean-ups hosted in the suburbs surrounding the school. It has also become evident that residents of Windhoek are keen to do the right thing - thus offering a one-stop solution for a variety of items at Dagbreek School will be well received by residents in the Klein Windhoek / Avis and Ludwigsdorf areas.”

Apart from the usual recyclables such as paper, plastic, glass and cans, Witt says Dagbreek School now offers collection points for e-waste, as well as used household batteries. It is envisaged to expand the project with the implementation of a collection point for used fluorescent light bulbs during the course of 2018.
Philip Barnard, Financial Manager at Scrap Salvage Namibia: “Scrap Salvage wants to assist all companies with a cleaner and brighter Namibia. We have committed to assisting Dagbreek School with their Go Green policies, by donating a skip to the school. All proceeds of the e-waste will be donated back to the School to show our support with cleaning up Namibia.”

The household battery collection bin was sponsored by Varta Consumer Batteries Namibia, and to this end Harald Bartsch from Varta indicated that the company decided to also place a bin at Dagbreek School. Bartsch: “We would like to see this school as a strategic partner for us and the RNF, as they are very well known for their environmental efforts. Dagbreek School is willing to contribute towards the protection of our environment and nature and we absolutely love this positive attitude. Their hearts are in the right place and we want to support that.”

Witt says Dagbreek School has made quite an impact with their eco-friendly / green activities and initiatives, which include reusing recyclable items in their arts, crafts and woodwork projects, as well as gardening, composting, farming earthworms and lately aquaponics. The learners through these initiatives benefit as it also involves training that would open doors for future job opportunities. Principal of Dagbreek School, Paul du Plessis: “The school aims to be an example and to involve the entire public into eco-friendly activities that can benefit our country. We are grateful to the RNF and its members, who have made the provision of the various collection bins available as well as ensuring that the recyclables and hazardous waste are properly taken care of.”

Residents are reminded that all electrical appliances, including household items such as kettles, washing machines, fridges etc. all resort under e-waste and can be deposited at skip at Dagbreek. Other partners in the project include Rent-A-Drum with the schools recycling project (collection and weighing of the recyclables) and the City of Windhoek’s Waste Management Division, with assisting in disposing of the used batteries at the hazardous waste section at Kupferberg landfill.

Estelle Hein, Public Participation Officer at the Solid Waste Division of the City of Windhoek indicated that providing a central point for the collection of recyclables plus other waste, will be of benefit to residents, as they then do not need to drive to the landfill. Hein: "We are working towards zero waste to landfill, thus providing an opportunity to responsibly dispose of products which may be harmful to the environment, will contribute greatly to our efforts".