POPULAR Democratic Movement (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani, said the government must consider suspending citizens’ monthly payments for mortgage and vehicle loans for 30 days to ease the financial burden on households during the Covid-19 pandemic. The party suggests that the government grant a loan repayment holiday for at least 30 days. 

“This would leave households enough cash to mitigate and contain the virus,” said Venaani. Venaani called on municipalities to open taps that have been closed due to unpaid water bills for 30 days, as it would help with sanitation. He suggested that the government reduce the burden on transport, namely taxis and buses. 

Ovaherero authority sends 

a message to the community

THE Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) has issued a statement asking its communities to stay safe and avoid taking risks.  In addition, it said weddings should be postponed until after the winter. The OTA has asked Namibians to move back to remote villages and to keep immune systems strong by taking vitamin supplements. However, they reminded communities that these vitamins will not cure the virus. 

Unam invokes social distancing

THE University of Namibia (Unam) has decided to reduce staff members and students on campus between 18 March and 18 April, depending on how the Covid-19 outbreak is contained. Students, who have been given an extra week of recess, will continue with online learning from 30 March, while all non-essential staff will work from home. Core services will continue. 

The university advised students to vacate the hostels for this period. However, international students will be allowed to stay depending on circumstances. Local students with special circumstances will be assisted. 

Standard Bank takes 

a stance against Covid-19

The Standard Bank of Namibia has announced that all cross-border business travel has been suspended, while employees are being provided with the necessary information and tools to minimise risk. 

They have also implemented a work-from-home provision. According to head of marketing and communication Magreth Mengo, the bank is busy increasing the sanitation of public spaces, as well as conducting meetings with external parties over digital platforms. They further urge clients to make use of digital channels, such as internet banking, the banking app, mobile banking and PayPulse, to reduce physical meetings and visits to branches.