1993 In spite of favourable political and economic parameters and the prevailing peace and stability, foreign investments are generally still lacking, with the exception of single projects in the tourism and fishery sectors (this year employment in the fishery sector has more than doubled since 1991, rising to 11 500 employed). The existing fishing rights which were granted in 1987 for a seven year period terminate at the end of this year. Following the granting of new rights during 1993, 93% of all companies are either wholly or majority-wise owned by Namibians.
The Government undertakes to assist the ailing mining sector (still 11 500 workers) with R 240 million. The European Community helps with a further ECU 40 million from the Sysmin Fond.
The Development Brigade Corporation (DBC) is established to train demobilised jobless Ex-PLAN soldiers in various areas such as agriculture, forestry, construction and brick-making. The DBC is controlled by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Hidipo Hamutenya. About 53 000 PLAN combatants had to be demobilised before Independence but could hardly find any jobs due to a lack of skills, which are required on the Namibian labour market.
11.01. In order to rationalise the Public Service, the Government establishes a Cabinet Committee for the Rationalisation of the Public Service. The Frank Commission which was established before independence in order to fight corruption in the Public Service is, however, abolished (July). The result of the Frank Commission is the dismissal of 311 corrupt civil servants between January and September.
12.01. The Minister of Finance, Gerd Hanekom, suspends all petrol supplies to government vehicles due to the non-payment of deliveries to the Government Garage. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, maintains that the non-payment over the Christmas period is not a question of excessive use of Government vehicles or state monies not being available but rather one of administrative and technical nature. However, the embargo on fuel supplies is lifted on 14.01. Although, the ever increasing misuse of state vehicles (GRN vehicles) has become a major problem for the Government since independence.
15.01. The in Pretoria (28.08.1992) agreed Joint Administrative Authority of Walvis Bay and the Atlantic offshore islands takes up its work.
22.01. To the annoyance of many Namibians, the offensive swastika-symbol of the Nazi era, is still on sale in various forms. Klaus Dierks is prepared to lay charge against an incident he witnesses in a pub at Swakopmund (Nazi symbols displayed on a beer mug). He takes strong exception to the display and sale of Nazi symbols, which are a symbol for racial hatred and genocide as well as the superiority of a specific race above others. He maintains that such symbols are in contravention of the Racial Discrimination Prohibition Act (Act No 26 of 1991).
23.01. Namibia becomes the 19th member state of the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA).
25.01. Prime Minister Hage Gottfried Geingob leads a government delegation to Egypt and Côte d’Ivoire. The delegation consists of the Ministers of Defence, Peter Hilinganye Mweshihange and Finance, Gerd Hanekom, the Deputy Minister for Mines and Energy, Jesaya Nyamu, the Deputy Minister for Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism, Ben Ulenga, the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, Navin Morar, the President of the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Maxton Joseph Mutongulume. Geingob signs a technical agreement with Egypt. In Abidjan the delegation meets the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Felix Houphouët-Boigny.
February The President of Uganda, Yoveri Museveni, visits Namibia.
The Ford Foundation of the USA opens an office in Namibia.
01.02. Fanuel Tjingaete becomes the new Auditor-General and succeeds Jan Jordaan.
March The Labour Act (Act No. 6 of 1992) creates the base for a newly established Labour Advisory Council. The roof organisation of the Namibian trade union, the NUNW, declines, however, to participate in the Council.
13.03. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, declares in the National Assembly that in future road users have to pay what they consume and therefore an equitable, fair, cost-reflective and transparent road user charging system will be put in place in due course. This will would remove the burden of financing the road system from the general taxpayer. The envisaged road pricing system would establish the link between the supply of and the demand for transport facilities from road users.
24.03. Klaus Dierks announces that illegal flights over Namibian soil could be monitored if Namibia goes ahead with plans to buy primary and surveillance radar systems.
01.04. The Deputy Minister for Youth and Sport, Reggie Diergaardt (Member of the National Assembly for the UDF) resigns. He is succeeded by John Mutorwa, the former Deputy Minister of Water Affairs in the Office of the President.
04.04. Dirk Mudge, veteran political leader in the NP of SWA and present Chairman of the DTA, retires from public life.
President Nujoma makes known his third cabinet re-shuffle. The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hidipo Hamutenya, becomes the new Minister for Trade and Industry. The present Minister for Trade and Industry, Ben Amathila, becomes the new Information Minister. This change of portfolios causes some irritation because Ben Amathila is not informed beforehand and has to be persuaded on the highest level to accept the new appointment.
18.04. Namibia appoints five members for the United Nations Observer Mission for the Elections in Cambodia.
23.04. After the University of Namibia was established in September 1992, the new university is officially inaugurated. In the presence of President Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe, the first Chancellor is elected, the President of the Republic of Namibia, Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma. First Vice-Chancellor is Peter Katjavivi.
26.04. A catalogue for the promotion of investments and far reaching tax relieves are announced, in order to strengthen the industrial development.
28.04. After the governments of Botswana and Namibia have reached an agreement regarding the establishment of a Joint Commission to Repatriate Persons of Namibian Origin from Botswana in June 1991, the first group returns to Namibia. The people to be repatriated are the descendants of Ovaherero who fled during the Ovaherero-German War of 1904/06 to British Bechuanaland. The Ovaherero are re-settled in the area of Gam, south-east of Tsumkwe. The re-settlement process experiences various organisational and logistic problems.
02.05. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, travels with the Permanent Secretary for Finance, Godfrey Gaoseb, to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. There they conclude a loan agreement for R 30 million with the African Development Bank (ADB). The financing will be used for the completion of the Trans Kalahari Highway from Gobabis to Mamuno at the border with Botswana.
07.05. Klaus Dierks reveals that two unregistered airfields (Judaea East in the Uhlenhorst area and Voigtskub, west of Kalkrand) were used for clandestine and ulterior flights (smuggle of ostriches).
11.05. The second house of Parliament, the National Council which was elected during the elections for the Regional Councils and Local Authorities in 1992, commences his work. First Chairman of the House becomes Kandy Nehova.
27.05. The Minister for Finance, Gerd Hanekom, tables the Budget for the Financial Year 1993/94. He puts the budget under the slogan "fiscal discipline and restraint". While the real growth during 1992/93 was 3.5%, Hanekom now predicts a growth of only 2%, caused by the drought and a global recession. The budget makes provision for an expenditure of R 3 366 million (a decrease of 5% against 1992/93 caused by the commercialisation of Telecom Namibia) against an expected revenue of R 3 009 million, including foreign donor assistance of 92 million and R 835 million (R 735 million for 1992/93) from customs and levies from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The expected deficit of R 357 million represents 5,7% of the GDP of R 7,8 billion. R 347 million will be covered from credits. The Operational Budget utilises R 2 735 million. Capital projects to the tune of R 553 million (1991/92: R 669 million), are envisaged. Hanekom makes known some tax decreases (the highest tax class is lowered from 40% to 38%, lower income groups get more tax gains). He further announces the lowering of the General Sales Tax from 11% to 8% and the introduction of a new Additional Sales Tax (0%/5%/10%/15%) with the highest taxes on luxury items.
End May Some hundred young Namibians who were in exile in Cuba and the CSSR are repatriated.
04.06. Namibia plays an important role in the peace process in Angola. The Namibian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Theo-Ben Gurirab, initiates peace negotiations between the foreign minister of Angola, V. de Moura and South Africa, Pik Botha in Windhoek.
09.06. The President of Zambia, Frederick Chiluba, visits Namibia.
10.06. Namibia sends its first High Commissioner (High Commissioner Shapua Kaukungua, Political Councillor: Pius Dunaiski) to South Africa.
31.07. An agreement is reached between the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of South Africa on the revised Oranje River border which now, after demarcation, follows the river’s thalweg and no longer the high-water level on its northern bank. This agreement is at present (September 2002) not finalised and implemented.
01.08. The new chief for the Yeyi ( Mayeyi) area, Shikati Boniface Lutibezi Shufu is inaugurated at Sangwali.
16.08. Namibia achieves her greatest success in her foreign policy so far, the re-integration of Walvis Bay and the Atlantic offshore islands. It is agreed between Namibia and South Africa that the disputed enclave should return to the motherland at midnight, the 28.02.1994. The Namibian delegation is led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Theo-Ben Gurirab. The decision is taken after intense last-minute behind the scenes negotiations at the World Trade Centre at Kempton Park (Johannesburg). The final resolution is based on a compromise proposal by the African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General, Cyril Ramaphosa, backed by the Pan African Congress (PAC) (Patricia de Lille). This proposal contains a provision that Namibia should pay compensation for SA government assets in the port city. At the end it is South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Pik Botha, who makes the remarkable statement: "The National Party always rejected colonialism. That means we don’t have any business with Walvis Bay and the Off-Shore Islands".
05.09. The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Kaire Mbuende, is elected as new Executive Secretary for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Gaborone/Botswana. Stan Webster becomes his successor.
15.09. Namibia gets its own currency, consisting of the Namibia Dollar and Cents (the great resistance fighter against the German colonial power, Hendrik Witbooi, is pictured on the papaer money). The new currency is equivalent to the SA Rand which still remains legal tender in the country. This means that Namibia has a currency that is independent in name only. The money supply, the exchange rates, inflation and interest rates remain under the control of the South African Reserve Bank. Consequently decisions that directly impact Namibia’s economy are being made by South Africa in response to South African needs, not those of Namibia. The advantage of continued linkage to the SA Rand is the signal that Namibia is committed to maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment.
26.09. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, explains the criteria according to which state projects are allocated to Consulting Engineers since independence. The conditions are the following: The general experience of the consulting concern; the track record of the consulting concern with the Ministry; the spreading of the work evenly among the consulting profession taking into account the capacities and capabilities of the concerned firms; the application of Affirmative Action and the Namibianisation of foreign firms.
28.09. A Special Cabinet Meeting, held at State House and not in the normal Cabinet Chambers, decides on the future organisational format of the Walvis Bay Port Authority. The Namibian state owned transport company TransNamib under the chairmanship of Johann-Albrecht Brückner (CEO: Francois Uys) had fought in the previous weeks a formidable power struggle to bring the port under TransNamib’s control. They were supported in this by the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Marco Hausiku. Cabinet now decides to accept a proposal by the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, to create an efficient, new autonomous port authority, the Namibia Port Authority (NamPort). Dierks is supported by the President Nujoma and the Minister for Fisheries, Helmut Kangulohi Angula. Hausiku is absent during this Cabinet meeting and protests the outcome later.
It is decided to implement a new policy on running of the Namibian ports, as later reflected in the Namibian Ports Authority Bill of 1994. This Bill envisages to create a government-owned legal person to operates the ports and it opens up many opportunities for the private sector. The idea is that the future Namibia Port Authority (NamPort) to focus its activities on the public dimensions of the Port of Walvis Bay, the infrastructure, safety and environmental protection, whilst operating as a financially sustainable business entity. This Namibian ports model makes Walvis Bay one of the most efficiently operated ports in the world.
Consequently negotiates Dierks a grant from the German Government (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)) to finance a planning study to develop the Port of Walvis Bay into a major transport player along the African west coast and the end point of the Walvis Bay Corridor to South Africa as a more efficient alternative to the South African ports.
End September At his first national congress the NUNW confirms its links with the ruling party SWAPO.
October The Norwegian oil company, Norsk Hydro, drills a first off-shore borehole for oil explorations. Until 1996 three boreholes are planned, with a total investment of US$ 45 million.
01.10. The second definitive stamp series with butterflies (no watermark) and the new Namibian currency (Namibia Dollar) is issued.
The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, propagates the idea of a Trans Kalahari Railway Line from South Africa via Botswana to the Port of Walvis Bay. During an official visit to the United States during August he manages to involve a group of influential business people to take a renewed interest in this century project. The possibility of such railway line would depend upon the economic feasibility of various mineral deposits in Botswana, especially the huge coal fields in eastern Namibia (Aranos) and western Botswana.
A Cabinet Committee to make proposals to re-organise the Government Garage and to fight the misuse of state-owned vehicles, under the chairmanship of Klaus Dierks, makes far reaching suggestions for a new Government Garage.
20.10. Before the Engineering Profession’s Association of Namibia (EPA) Dierks gives a critical evaluation of foreign donor assistance. He cautions against taking soft loans and leaving a legacy of debts for subsequent generations: "Africa has a sad history of dependency on handouts and the final objective in accepting loans whether it contributes towards stimulating development. If we talk about donor assistance then we have to talk about a highway of debts ... donor assistance is best with as little strings attached and the challenge facing the developing world is to break out of the cycle of debt."
25.10. Fishing quotas of 775 000 tonnes in total are approved: 125 000 tonnes (1992: 115 000 tonnes) of pilchard, 150 000 tonnes (1992: 120 000 tonnes) of hake and 500 00 tonnes (1992: 450 000 tonnes) of mackerels are allocated by the Ministry of Fisheries. 120 applicants, out of a total of 316, get 159 licenses (out of a total of 565 applications). Only Namibians or firms with Namibian partners get allocations. The fishing sector gives 9 000 people employment (6 000 at independence).
01.11. Frieda-Nela Williams becomes the new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication. She succeeds Peingeondjabi Shipoh who becomes Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
10.11. After the DTA (Anna Frank) had tabled two motions in the past in the National Assembly on the changing of time according to the Namibian geographic position, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Nangolo Ithete, tables the Namibia Time Bill (Bill 39 of 1993) which makes provision to set the future Namibian time to the 15o degree eastern meridian which is on the meridian passing through Namibia which means that the new Namibian time will differ one hour from the present South African time which is set according to the 30o degree meridian in South Africa. The Bill also provides for a summer time which commences at 02h00 on the first Sunday of September every year and ends at 02h00 on the first Sunday of April in the following year. The new Namibian Standard Time comes into effect on the 03.04.1994.
Second half of November Although the diamond oversupply from Angola comes to an end and the diamond production of the Consolidated Diamond Mines (CDM) increases, the 3 500 workers of CDM call a strike which at the end result in a wage increase of 10%. This is the first labour dispute which is resolved in terms of the new Labour Act (Act No. 6 of 1992).
20.11. The private German airline LTU undertakes its inaugural flight from Windhoek to Munich and Düsseldorf (via Durban in South Africa and Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania). The guests of honour on the flight are the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks and the Namibian Ambassador in Germany, Nora Schimming-Chase.
23.11. The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Anton von Wietersheim, leaves the Cabinet meeting in protest, after Cabinet has cancelled an initiated punishment by Von Wietersheim of one of his ministerial officials (Otto Hübschle, husband of Michaela Hübschle, SWAPO member of the National Assembly), due to a pending investigation in this case.
24.11. Von Wietersheim is dismissed by President Nujoma. He is succeeded by Nangolo Mbumba, until now the Namibian Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Administrative Authority for the Walvis Bay Enclave.
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