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Even parliamentarians must pay for TV

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon Tjekero Tweya (right) enjoying the antics of Suta, the NBCs TV License mascot. The mascot visited Parliament last week to give MP’s a convenient opportunity to renew their TV licences and set an example for the nation at large. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is the national broadcaster’s line ministry.

The Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) used their new TV licence mascot, Suta, to drive home a powerful message that even parliamentarians must pay for TV.

“It is really good to bring services to the people, in this case, the lawmakers,” said Connie Ramatekoane, Supervisor TV Licence Inspections at nbc’s head office in Windhoek. The day before, on Thursday, 15 October 2015, the nbc’s TV Licence department had set up its mobile equipment at Parliament to enable Namibia’s policy makers to renew their TV licences on site conveniently and speedily. “The MPs have such busy schedules and so little time to make these payments,” Ramatekoane added. “And the response was overwhelming!”
The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon Tjekero Tweya came out in strong support also visiting the nbc’s mobile set-up. He said the funds raised from TV licences contribute to improve the operations and programming of the corporation. He noted that lawmakers should lead by example by ensuring that they obey all laws of the country.
“We would like to thank the many Members of Parliament who made use of this opportunity to renew their licences. Our collections on that day far exceeded our expectations. The support and feedback we received from the Honourables was fantastic,” said Stanley Similo, the nbc’s new Director General. “It was very encouraging to see how much the lawmakers appreciated the hard work and dedication of the TV Licence staff.”
The TV Licence department will be conducting two major road shows during the next three weeks. One road show will cover the towns Otavi, Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Katima Mulilo and Rundu. The second road show will focus on Omaruru, Karibib, Usakos, Arandis, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Walvis Bay. At the same time, mobile teams will be dispatched to shopping centres and the Government Office Park in Windhoek.
“The mobile teams will operate from 09:00 to 18:00 hours on weekdays and from 09:00 to 14:00 on weekends,” explained Ramatekoane. “The detailed schedule will be broadcast on nbc Radio and TV. The mobile teams will be able to answer any TV licence related questions and they will also offer card-swiping facilities.”
The nbc relies on the payment of TV licences to supplement its own income-generating activities, which range from the rental of transmitters to the selling of air time on nbc TV and Radio. “For us the collection of TV licence fees is crucial,” concluded Michaela Jaeger, the newly appointed Head: TV Licence. “The more income we can generate through our own efforts, the more we can reduce the burden we place on the State. Currently, we rely to a large extent on the subsidy we receive from the Government. If we can collect more money through TV licences, the government can use part of the subsidy to finance other important projects and programmes.”

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.