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Domestic workers demand increase in wages

Alfred Angula, general secretary of Namibia Farmworkers Union (Photograph by Johanna Absalom) A campaign which calls for an increase in the wages of domestic workers and an overall improvement in their working conditions, is in full swing.
The Namibia Farm Workers Union and the Namibia Domestic Workers Union plan to submit a proposal which sets a minimum wage for domestic workers to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in March next year, said Alfred Angula, general secretary of Namibia Farm Workers Union.
This follows after the just ended ‘Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers’ campaign.
The campaign was launched in June this year in order to give voice to workers and urge the public to recommend a possible minimum wage for domestic workers. Results of the campaign were released in Windhoek this week.
According to Angula, the majority of those who participated in the campaign, suggested that domestic workers should get paid an average of N$100 per day, which culminates to N$2000 per month. Results were taken from 483 domestic workers who visited the union’s office, 228 who called the office and 662 who cast their vote for the minimum wage via SMS.
The campaign is in line with the International Labour Organisation’s Convention on domestic workers (No. 89) that affirms that domestic workers are entitled to the protection of their rights and sectoral determination, which deals with the protection of workers.
Angula said domestic workers are faced with challenges such as low levels of remuneration and payment based on gender as well as abusive practices in respect of the payment of wages. “Currently, we have observed the increment of water, food, electricity and basically all the human basic needs but we have not seen an increment in the salaries of domestic workers in Namibia,” he said.
Unions, in partnership with the Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI), will be conducting a study in all 13 regions to further explore and identify a suitable amount and how the minimum wage can be implemented, considering the diverse economic and social conditions.
Plans are also in place to draft a contract of employment for domestic workers as most of them do not have any.

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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.