TransNamib on Friday reverted to a brand it has trusted for the last 50 years when it agreed to purchase six new locomotives from General Electric (GE), in a deal sources estimate to be worth about N$1 billion.
The locomotives are said to be an improved model of the current GE locos that have been in TransNamib’s service for the past half century.
Since independence this is the company’s first purchase of GE locomotives, which are expected to last for at least 30 years.
Acting CEO of TransNamib, Hippy Tjivikua, and the president and CEO of GE Transportation for Africa, Thomas Konditi, sealed the deal at Friday’s signing ceremony in Windhoek.
According to the agreement, TransNamib will purchase six C23EMP locomotives from GE with delivery expected within the next 18 to 20 months.
The six locomotives are to be deployed specifically to transport sulphuric acid from Tsumeb to Arandis, following the 10-year Rail Transport Agreement signed earlier this year between TransNamib and Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb.
Although no exact value is forthcoming for this 10-year deal that is scheduled to commence in November, experts reckon it is worth billions of dollars.
Residents of Gibeon village in the Hardap Region are in urgent need of basic social services, such as an ambulance and decent shopping facilities.
Community activist Nicklaas Dawson, who spoke to New Era last week, says since Independence more than 25 years ago the local residents have had to rely on Mariental for an ambulance. He said this has resulted in many deaths.
“Many women suffer complications at delivery and some pregnant mothers have died due to poor access to maternity services over the years,” the community activist said.
He said there is a need for the village to have its own ambulance to meet the needs of a growing population. Lack of proper health facilities is forcing them to travel long distances to seek medical attention.
“We only have one clinic in the area and there are no permanent doctors. We’ve seen people die because of poor service delivery,” Dawson said.
He says the clinic caters for the whole Gibeon constituency, which has a population of over 5 000 and reiterated the urgent need for the expansion of clinics in the area.
Contacted for comment last week, Ministry of Health and Social Services spokesperson Ester Paulus said the clinic at Gibeon was renovated recently and now has excellent infrastructure, including nurses’ accommodation facilities. “The clinic is staffed with two registered nurses and four enrolled nurses,” Paulus said.
Dawson also complained of the shops in the area, saying that many are poorly-stocked, forcing people to travel 70 km to the nearest town, Mariental, to do their shopping.
He also mentioned that he recently attended a meeting in Mariental where it emerged that the planned multipurpose shopping centre at Gibeon would no longer go ahead as planned.
Gibeon is one of Namibia’s most historically significant towns. It is the home of the Nama clan, the Witboois, and was the scene of a number of bloody skirmishes between the then colonial German rulers and the Nama people.
The village, which has a population of more than 3 000, is situated about 70 kilometres south of Mariental.
According to information made available by the Electoral Commission Namibia, around 4 956 people in the Gibeon constituency voted in the 2004 national assembly election, but in the 2009 presidential election the number declined to 3 669.
MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) reigning champions African Stars kicked off the new season on a winning note on Saturday, brushing aside the stubborn Mighty Gunners with a 2-1 victory at Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Striker Aubrey Amseb and enterprising winger Joslin Kamatuka were on target for Stars, while Asser Hara-Amseb scored the only consolatory goal for the Gunners. On Saturday – in the only match at Independence Stadium – Civics also played to a 2-all draw against Unam, while Tigers managed to record a convincing 3-1 victory over Citizens at Sam Nujoma Stadium.
At Rundu Sports Stadium, newly promoted Young Chiefs also started on a high note, securing a 1-0 win over Julinho Sporting, while United Stars kicked off their campaign with a resounding 4-0 victory over league returnees Rundu Chiefs.
At the coast, Rehoboth-based outfit Flamingoes put up a great fight to hold coastal giants Blue Waters to a 1-all draw and Black Africa managed a 1-0 victory over Eleven Arrows. In the first and only league opening match played on Friday evening in the capital at Independence Stadium, Tura Magic also delivered a gallant performance, which saw them share spoils in a goalless draw against Orlando Pirates.
Full League Results, Round 1-2
Friday, 11 September 2015
Orlando Pirates 0-0 Tura Magic
Saturday, 12 September 2015
Blue Waters 1-1 Flamingoes
African Stars 2-1 Mighty Gunners
Young Chiefs 1-0 Julinho Sporting
United Stars 4-0 Rundu Chiefs
Civics 2-2 UNAM
Tigers 3-1 Citizens
Sunday, 13 September 2015
Blue Waters 1-1 Black Africa
Civics 1-1 Tura Magic
Orlando Pirates 2-3 UNAM FC
Tigers 1-0 Mighty Gunners
African Stars 2-1 Citizens
United Stars 1-0 Young Chiefs
Rundu Chiefs 2-0 Julinho Sporting
Eleven Arrows 2-1 Flamingoes
Courtesy of the New Era Newpaper