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Namdeb HR practitioner commits to making a difference in the lives of others

Namdeb HR practitioner commits to making a difference in the lives of others

Namdeb Human Resources’ Trizelle Olivier talks about the challenges a woman in mining faces to achieve a work-life balance.

“I started at Namdeb in July 2013, working as a temp receptionist. In December that same year, I became permanent as the Human Resources Business Partner.

“During my first year at the University of Stellenbosch, although having a bursary, I still struggled with funds to complete my studies. One of Namdeb’s plant managers approached me and, at his own personal cost, assisted me to get through my studies. That made me realise that the philosophy of sustainability and developing people are imprinted in Namdeb’s employees.

“I started at university with the plan to become a psychiatrist, but two weeks into the course I realised this was not what I wanted to do. I changed to industrial psychology with an extra course in entrepreneurship and innovation management.

“I believe in the intentional learning philosophy whereby learning involves asking the right questions, gaining perspective, self-evaluation and forming habits that apply what is learnt. I do not see a negative experience as limiting one’s growth, but rather I ask: ‘What did I learn from this experience, what should I continue or stop doing?’

“This helps me at work by seeing challenges as learning opportunities that will only lead to my growth and will help other employees grow as well.

“While working in mining, I have come to realise that you need to know yourself and know what values you stand for. One cannot be a good leader and not have self-awareness. This self-awareness lies at the root of a strong character. It enables me to lead with a sense of purpose and gives me the ability to better understand what I need from other people.

“In the mining industry, there are a lot of safety risks and it can be considered a dangerous place to work for men or women. However, I am pleased to say that Namdeb has taken the mature approach whereby safety comes first and employees feel free to discuss unsafe conditions and ensure they are addressed. Everyone shares one common goal, and that is zero harm.

“In the HR sphere, we have certain objectives, yet I have the autonomy to control my work situation. This has allowed me the freedom to approach my work in a way that suits my personality and skillset that contributes to Namdeb’s objectives.

“Namdeb’s culture of supporting work-life balance was one of the many reasons I decided to work there. But, even though the company supports a work-life balance approach, I personally find it a challenge to create this balance. My goal of wanting to be successful has at times made me spend more time working than with my family. I have realised this flaw and I now believe that there is no such thing as a work-life balance.

“I am working towards a ‘work-life synergy’ approach, where the interaction between the two aspects of my life produce a combined greater effect. Therefore, should I need to work late, I will, for example, involve my two children, aged three and five years, by getting them to draw or colour in while I work at home. I think most women face the same challenge as I do with the work-life balance: trying to be successful as well as the primary caregiver at home.

“I have an assumption that women have to work harder to prove their worth to others, so my advice to women starting in the industry would be not to do so, but strive always to prove to yourself that you are who you want to be.

“Maya Angelou, an American poet and activist, once said: “Courage allows the successful woman to fail and to learn powerful lessons from the failure, so that in the end she didn’t fail at all.”

“I have had a number of highlights while working at Namdeb. One of them is very recent. Part of the company’s initiative on Valentine’s Day this year was to share the love within the community and we went to the hospital and old age home in Lüderitz.

“An old woman lay in a room alone, while the rest were either sitting outside or watching TV. We went to her and explained that we just wanted to share the love by giving her a cookie. We found out that she was blind and she grabbed me with excitement and kept hugging me, and clapping her hands. This made me realise how a small good act can have a lasting impact on someone. One person can make a difference.

“It is my aim to make a difference.”



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


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.