16 Sep 2019 18:50pm

1 (WINDHOEK, 16 SEP, NAMPA) – The Katutura Health Centre will now operate for 24 hours a day as a response to public complaints about the lack of access to healthcare, Minister of Health and Social services, Kalumbi Shangula announced.

He said this today during the official opening ceremony of the Katutura Health Centre in the Katutura Central Constituency of the Khomas Region.

Shangula said in the past, patients who had not been attended to by closing time were referred to the Katutura State Hospital for treatment and this exacerbated the long queues and waiting times at the already congested intermediate hospital.

According to Shangula, the situation compromised the quality of patient care and led to staff burnout for doctors and nurses on duty.

The newly inaugurated 24-hour health centre is located in a catchment area of approximately 120 600 persons and during the last financial year, the centre treated a total of 116 866 patients, some of whom were transferred from other clinics in the Windhoek district, he disclosed.

2 (WINDHOEK, 16 SEP, NAMPA) – Namibia today joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

Namibia became signatory to the Montreal Protocol in 1993, which sought to control and phase out ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, methyl bromide and hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

Speaking at the commemoration event under the theme ‘32 years and Healing’ here, Deputy Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Lucia Iipumbu said since joining the protocol, Namibia has established a national ozone unit within the directorate of industrial development in the ministry to oversee the implementation of Namibia’s obligation to the Montreal Protocol.

She said Namibia was also one of the first countries in Africa to totally phase out CFCs, halons and methyl bromide in 2008, adding that the ministry has embarked on a journey to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbon gases, mainly used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

Namibia has already stopped the importation of products designed to use hydrochlorofluorocarbons and is nearing its phase-out schedule, she said.

3 (JOHANNESBURG, 16 SEP, ANA) - Thousands of commuters were left stranded today after Johannesburg Metrobus services were terminated following a strike.

One bus that was travelling from Roodepoort to Ghandi Square in Johannesburg CBD was hijacked.

Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shiburi said operations were in full swing this morning but had to stop after the incident, which was a result of intimidation.

He said he could not disclose further details, but the organisation was looking into Demawasu's demands and would hopefully resolve the matter by this afternoon.

Dion Makhura, Demawusa spokesperson, said the strike started at 3am, with almost 300 union members protesting.

4 (KUTAMA, 16 SEP, AFP) - The remains of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, who died on 06 September, arrived in his home village today for a subdued farewell at a dusty sports field after a weekend state funeral with African leaders in the capital.

Mugabe, who died aged 95 on a medical trip to Singapore, stayed in power for nearly four decades until a 2017 coup ended his increasingly autocratic rule.

His death has left Zimbabwe deeply split over the legacy of a man once praised as an anti-colonial liberation icon, but whose regime was defined by brutal repression and economic chaos.

He was given a state funeral on Saturday, but the return of Mugabe's body to his place of birth northwest of the capital was a low-key event.

The brown coffin with silver trimmings was placed under a small white tent surrounded by marquees sheltering about 1 000 people.

5 (JUBA, 16 SEP, XINHUA) - South Sudan has signed a mineral exploration agreement with two American and Canadian mining and metal refining companies.

The pact was signed by South Sudan's mining minister Gabriel Thokuj Deng and executives of US-based mining firm REE-Magnesium and Canada's CVMR Inc at the South Sudan embassy in Washington on 12 September, the firms said in a joint statement today.

The agreement would allow the mining companies to conduct satellite imaging to map out mineral resources in the conflict-torn east African country.

'Today is a great day to begin real cooperation between South Sudan, US and Canada to unlock the mineral wealth of my country; it has been quite a long time that South Sudan has been waiting for this day,' said Deng.

The exploration pact also seeks to allow the South Sudanese government to tap into its mineral resources of petroleum, iron, copper, chromium, nickel, cobalt, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, and gold, among others.