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After 30 years in a shack, Berseba couple takes ownership of their own proper house

After 30 years in a shack, Berseba couple takes ownership of their own proper house

The elderly Sam Goliath and his wife, Maro Elize, a Berseba couple whose only home for more than thirty years was a tin shack, recently moved into their own proper brick house, built from their accumulated savings as members of the Shack Dwellers Federation, with further financial assistance from Standard Bank’s Buy-a-Brick scheme.

Twenty eight Berseba residents received homes of their own of which 20 were build through the Buy-a-Brick initiative and eight by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. This pioneering scheme, run in collaboration with the Shack Dwellers Federation, is turning the lives around of hundreds of people across the country.

Still somewhat stunned by the prospect of living in a brick house, Elder Maro said “This house was built with just 10 cents. That’s all we had to start with. It started with saving 10 cents, then another 10 cents and another and before we knew it we were saving a lot. That’s all you need to build your house too.” The funds from Buy-a-Brick to the federation, were the final financial boost she and Sam needed to start building a home for themselves.

“When we first heard that we would be able to build our homes last year we didn’t believe it because we have been waiting for such a long time, however it all became real when we saw them laying the foundation to our home,” said Maro.

“When we set out to partner with the Shack Dwellers Federation to alleviate the housing shortage, we knew it would make a big difference in people’s lives, however seeing Maro Elize’s reaction has just brought a deeper understanding of what it truly means. We are not only building homes but we are giving people hope for the future, we are lifting them from the shackles or poverty and we are giving them dignity to live out the rest of their lives in comfort,” said Standard Bank’s Head of Marketing, Communication and CSI, Magreth Mengo.

In her great wisdom, Maro added “I want to thank God for inspiring the people behind the Buy-a-Brick initiative because without them we would not have a decent home. l would also like to urge anyone who doesn’t have a home to join the Shack Dwellers Federation so they can empower you to also get one.”


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.

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.