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CIF and MANWU agree on employment conditions

End of May, the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) and the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU) signed an agreement on conditions of employment, including minimum wages, in the construction industry. Both parties once again negotiated a two-year “collective agreement” on behalf of their members, respectively.
The agreement clearly stipulates the minimum wage requirements in Namibia’s construction industry. Of immediate relevance to the industry is the adjustment to the minimum wages, which are to be increased by 9% for the first year and 9.5% for the subsequent year. The increase of minimum wages is to become applicable as soon as the Collective Agreement has become law and is promulgated in the Government Gazette.
Changes to the previous collective agreement also include an adjustment of the Service Allowance from 120 hours to 144 hours per annum. Thus every worker will be paid equal to 144 hours of his/her wage, which will be part of the remuneration in December. This allowance will be calculated pro-rata for each fully worked month that the employee was in service during that specific year.
The wage increase after the recent negotiations was higher than in previous years, which was then 7.5% and 8%, respectively. With the simultaneous adjustment to the Service Allowance and taking into consideration an inflation rate of 6.5%, wages have effectively increased in real terms within the given mandate of both parties members.
Housing and medical services were key points on the agenda; and MANWU’s demands included a housing allowance as well as medical insurance. However, the CIF, despite recognising the need, were more inclined to see these issues addressed at a national level. At the same time, it was agreed between the two negotiating parties that a task force would be established to address those issues affecting workers in the industry.
All construction companies are required to respect wage and other labour requirements as stipulated in the Collective Agreement. The request for extension of the new “Minimum Wage Agreement” to the construction sector at large was directly submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Meanwhile Government Gazette No. 4970 dated 19 June 2012 remains relevant until the new Collective Agreement between the CIF and MANWU will be promulgated by the Honourable. Minister Doreen Sioka.

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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.