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Published: 19 April 2017

“Do the rights things right” – Sven Thieme

“Do the rights things right” – Sven Thieme “The general public’s support of growth at home, and the importance of the business fraternity, both public and private to do the right things right are critical for the Namibian economy going forward”, said Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, and President of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) at a recent visit to the Roama Gates Manufacturing plant in Ondangwa. Thieme accompanied the Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who represented the Head of State, Dr. Hage Geingob on an official invitation of Robby Amadhila, Managing Director and owner of Roama Gates Manufacturing.

Thieme did not hold back on his applauds to the Namibian government for the excellent environment created for Business Namibia in particular, to flourish and make a positive contribution to the future of the country, as well as for taking a stand to implement and apply due processes and procedures - in the best interest of Namibia. Thieme: “A great example is the process followed and resulting in the setting aside of the airport tender. Doing the right thing is not always the popular thing, but it is the impact, the resilience to push through and create a better future not only for a handful, but for all, and for the greater good, that matters. Abuses are common, both by corporations and in the public sphere. So many times people ask questions about how to deal with corruption and demands for kickbacks, as they try to penetrate the business arena. Across the world we have seen what happens when companies and corrupt officials conspire to serve their own selfish interests: They wreak havoc on our planet and its fragile ecosystems, destroy communities and perpetuate the cycle of poverty. As a result, many people distrust business and public institutions. And why wouldn’t they? Such practices aren’t only morally wrong, they are bad for business. Business should be a champion of good governance, taking a strong stand against corruption and lobbying for a better world. We should be fighting to build and support strong and healthy communities because the people who live in them are our employees and our customers, our suppliers and investors - a business and the community it serves, together with government, are interdependent.”

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stressed that the private sector (through organized and informal business) has a key function in Namibia’s economic development and industrialization. She emphasized that the business sector is expected to respond adequately to the challenge of making realistic inputs into formulating development plans at a national and regional level, contribute to the implementation of such plans and that government would like to see a profitable and flourishing private sector, stressing that in the spirit of reciprocity, Government expects the private sector to contribute holistically to development through solid corporate social responsibility initiatives. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila: “It is quite pleasing to witness and recognize that our own business people are finally manufacturing and producing goods of high quality, which is an ambition advocated in our Vision 2030 and Development Plans, such as the NDP5 and Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP). When the government and private sector are pulling in the same direction, then our country is heading into the right direction, namely to be characterized as ‘a prosperous and industrialized country, developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability’ to use the foresight of Vision 2030.”

In support of the Prime Minister, Thieme stressed the role and support of the public at large, and the Namibian consumer as critical in the future of local industries and the nation’s economy. Thieme: “One would think that it is common sense that we add as much value locally as possible, and realize that creating jobs locally is an investment at home. Surely manufacturing locally and procuring from home supports growth at home. Yet, we still find that some of us are happy to save a dollar by procuring an imported product that may be a little cheaper (whether it is because the country of origin has economies of scale, provides subsidies, or has some competitive advantage – this doesn’t matter.) The bottom line is that we need to understand the multiplier effect of the opportunity cost of not supporting local – on future jobs, on our ability to develop skills, on our ability to become economically independent, on poverty eradication, - and how our children will pay this price. Can you imagine if everyone has an understanding that every time I buy a local product, I contribute to the eradication of poverty and address income inequality?”

Thieme continued to praise government for its efforts – in the midst of the global economic crunch - to ensure the protection of the fortunes of Namibia. “The strict fiscal measures that have been put in place is but one of the interventions that will pull us through these difficult economic times but is necessary for the benefit of our children, and their children. However, it is the collective responsibility of you and me, of each and every Namibian to uphold this status. Human rights, gender equality, the rule of law and transparency, ending corruption, decisive climate action - these are just some of the areas where businesses – whether big or small - can drive change, and at the same time shape its own long-term success.”

Roama Gates Manufacturing produces fencing material such as gates, steel posts, stays and palisade panels. It also manufactures hostel and domestic beds, door frames and steel doors, as well as braai stands and burglary doors. They supply to mostly hardware stores which include Chicco, BH, Kambwa, Build-It, Pupkewitz Namibia, Kaap Agri and to individual customers with fencing tenders. The plant employs 43 Namibians. Owner and Managing Director (MD) of Roama Gates Manufacturing, Robby Amadhila: "We opened the plant in 2005 and today we manufacture up to 500 items a day depending on the product, and account for 80% of Namibia’s Gate needs. I have no doubt about the potential of this business today, or going into the future. However, much needs to be done on the industrialization drive to ensure productivity, bigger market access and public procurement.”
Published: 12 April 2017

The 2ND annual Tafel Lager Braai Challenge celebrates great success

The 2ND annual Tafel Lager Braai Challenge celebrates great success This past Saturday, 08 April saw the United Sports ground in Olympia sizzle with 14 teams from different corporates battling it out for the title of the 2017 annual Tafel Lager Braai Challenge. Launched last year, this annual charity fundraising event was brought to life by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group through its brand Tafel Lager, in support of O&L subsidiary, Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia, and Radio Kosmos 94.1FM as media partner.

The O&L Centre Risk Team who entered the challenge under the pseudonym “Risky Business” ended up as the overall winner of the 2017 annual Tafel Lager Braai Challenge. The winning team walked away with N$12,500 in cash and donated it to the SPCA – a charity they chose as beneficiary of their winnings. NBL’s Events and Sponsorship Supervisor, Nico Gericke says this second Tafel Lager Braai Challenge has grown even stronger this year both in public support and entries. Gericke: “It went really well and we are very inspired by the efforts made by the participating teams in delivering great dishes. The fun and entertainment inclusive of Big Ben and Andries’ performances, as well as the competitive spirit of the day contributed immensely to what turned out as a major success. Thank you to each and every team that participated, and also to the public at large for the overwhelming support towards this charity fundraising initiative.”

Organizer of the event, Nico Jacobs also expressed satisfaction at the result of the event. Jacobs: “It was more than I expected it to be. The Tafel Lager Braai Challenge once again proved that fundraising for charity can be a very fun experience.”

The runner-up was Sign Design in second place, while “Hero’s” took the third spot.
Published: 11 April 2017

VIGO cleans up special schools’ premises

Vigo cleans up special schools’ premises Last week Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – through its non-alcoholic beverage brand VIGO continued its outreach to the National Institute for Special Education (NISE), by initiating and sponsoring a clean-up campaign on the institute’s premises. This annual initiative forms part of VIGO’s continuous commitment to NISE which includes the School for the Hearing Impaired; School for the Visually Impaired, and also the Môreson School for the Mentally Impaired.

NISE also recently benefitted from NBL’s annual donation of 360 cases of its non-alcoholic beverage brand VIGO – an annual donation which, according to the Principal of Môreson School, Anita Kreft contributes immensely to the well-being of the institute. Kreft: “We are immensely grateful at every contribution, whether cash or in kind, and value the relationship and support of VIGO as this motivates and inspires us to perform our task of educating and nurturing these special kids to the best of our ability. Furthermore, it definitely contributes to a conducive learning environment as learners have a chance to reenergize especially after an ice-cold VIGO which they enjoy so much.”

The annual VIGO clean-up initiative that took place last week, was a great success according to the O&L Group Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Coordinator, Venessa Mwiya: “A safe and healthy environment is crucial for learning. This annual clean-up initiative at the NISE premises, is our way of contributing to a healthy learning environment through our commitment to education which is an important focus area on the O&L CSI agenda.”

Brand Manager for VIGO, Ndapandula Hatuikulipi: “NISE plays such an important role in the education system of Namibia as it caters for special children with special needs that cannot be accommodated in the traditional school system. In line with the O&L purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ for all Namibians, we are committed to the upliftment of a special body like NISE as it supports one of our CSI pillars - Education – which we as a group are very passionate about.”

NISE has been in existence for more than 20 years and accommodates more than 450 learners from the School for the Hearing Impaired; Môreson School, and the School for the Visually Impaired.
Published: 06 April 2017

OLC Solar Energy wins another solar power plant tender

OLC Solar Energy wins another solar power plant tender The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group is proud to announce that OLC Solar Energy - a Joint Venture between O&L Energy - a subsidiary of the O&L Group - and its strategic partner Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH together with their PDN partners – was awarded another tender to construct a solar power plant. Awarded in December by CENORED, this follows barely one month after the groundbreaking ceremony of the OLC Arandis Solar Energy project, which took place on 24 November last year.

According to OLC Solar Energy Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of O&L Energy, Bernd Walbaum, the tender awarded to them by CENORED includes the construction of a 6.4 MegaWatt (MW) Solar Plant in Tsumeb. Walbaum: “Construction of the plant is expected to kick off towards mid this year while we plan to be operational by the end of 2017. For O&L Energy specifically this is a great stride and a massive stepping stone in the right direction. In line with our vision which is to be the most progressive and inspiring company, we aim to position ourselves as leaders for renewable energy by being a most respected Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Namibia. Together with our partner Cronimet Power Solutions GmbH with whom we operate as OLC Solar Energy Corporation, I am confident that we will be very successful in our endeavors and the projects we embark on. The O&L Group purpose “Creating a future, enhancing life’ for all Namibians in support of the O&L Value “Naturally Today, For Tomorrow’, is a focus point on this journey towards an energy self-reliant Namibia.”

Steffen Kammerer, co-director of OLC Solar Energy and Managing Director (MD) of Cronimet Power Solutions, explains: “With this second award of a highly competitive tender, by Namibia’s regional energy distributors, it is a further testament to the competitiveness our strategic joint venture is delivering to our stakeholders in Namibia’s maturing PV market.”

Executive Chairman of the O&L Group, Sven Thieme stressed environmental sustainability as a critical key in the future of Namibia, and expressed excitement in O&L Energy, and OLC Solar Energy’s endeavors in, and commitment to contributing to driving Namibia on a path of energy self-reliance. Thieme: “The O&L Group’s commitment to the environment is entrenched in its value ’Naturally today for tomorrow’ as well as its 20% carbon footprint reduction Vision metric. Appropriate policies and procedures have been developed to ensure that environmental impacts are determined, regulatory requirements are met, and suitable environmental practices are applied. We believe that the protection of the environment and natural resources is critical in the future sustainability of our business and our country at large. Well done to OLC Solar Energy, and our subsidiary O&L Energy in particular, and congratulations on taking O&L’s level of involvement in contributing to the dream of a Namibia reliant on its own energy resources to an even higher level.”

Meanwhile, the 3 MW Solar Power Plant at Arandis – a tender awarded to OLC Solar Energy by ErongoRED – is expected to be operational by May this year. Kammerer: “Construction started in January, which includes earthworks, leveling the ground and putting up fences. The Arandis project is the first project as an IPP for O&L Energy specifically. We expect the plant to be completed and ready to run on time as scheduled, and I am happy to say we are on par with our outlined construction program.”

Walbaum continued to say that more solar plants can be expected from the OLC Solar Energy team within the next months.
Published: 05 April 2017

It’s Tafel Lager Braai Weekend

It’s Tafel Lager Braai Weekend Preparations for the 2nd annual Tafel Lager Braai Competition are well underway says organizer, Nico Jacobs from Dros Namibia. As main sponsor of the event which was introduced last year, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – (a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group) through its brand Tafel Lager, in partnership with O&L subsidiary, Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia and Radio Kosmos 94.1 FM as media partner - is confident that this annual charity event has the potential to grow even stronger following the positive support from the public at the debut event last year.

NBL Sponsorship Supervisor: Sponsorship & Events, Nico Gericke: “Fundraising events does not always have to be something too formal or serious, but it can actually be an occasion where those that participate and contribute to the cause, have fun and excitement. The Tafel Lager Braai Competition is a fun-filled family event that most Namibians can relate to. What makes it more special is the fact that it gives participants – in this case, the winning team - the opportunity to plough back into the community by enriching the lives of a selected charity organization of their choice with their winnings.”

The overall winning team will be awarded with a cash prize of N$12,500 that will be donated to a charity of their choice. PnP Namibia Retail Marketing Manager, Gilbert Botha: “While Pick n Pay is committed to uplifting the lives of the communities in which it operates, we are glad to be part of this initiative that will make a difference in the lives of those less privileged. Last year was a great success, and we look forward to an even greater success this year.”

Taking place at the United Sports ground in Olympia, Windhoek, the theme for this year’s braai is ‘Leg of lamb’. NBL Brand Manager: Mainstream, Samanthé Heyns: “The day will see Andries Vermeulen (Oppi Stoep) as entertainer and Master of Ceremonies (MC) at the event, and will feature BIG BEN as special guest judge. There will also be a live rugby match and a kiddies’ area, as well as local performers to keep our braaiers and the audience entertained.”

There is still time for teams to enter the competition which takes place this Saturday, 08 April at the United Sports ground in Olympia. More information on the 2017 Tafel Lager Braai Competition, including entry application and fee details can be obtained from the organizer of the event, Nico Jacobs at

Interested parties have until Friday, 07 April at 14:00 to enter.
Download PDF Document: It’s Tafel Lager Braai Weekend
Published: 05 April 2017

O&L - proud supporter of the WIKA Karneval for 65 years

O&L - proud supporter of the WIKA Karneval for 65 years The popular annual WIKA Karneval is well underway with an exciting program lined-up for WIKA supporters and the general public at large. Celebrated for the first time in 1953, the Karnevalgesellschaft Windhoek 1952 (Windhoek Carnival Society of 1952), is commonly known as WIKA and has grown to become one of the most anticipated festivals in the country.

The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group has for the past 65 years proudly supported the WIKA Karneval. O&L Group Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme: “As one of the main sponsors, the O&L Group and its subsidiaries are excited to be associated with this much anticipated annual event that has over the years become one of the highlights on the local cultural calendar - largely attributed to Namibia’s diverse society which forms the perfect setting for this type of celebration that embraces our ‘Namibianness.”

WIKA festival committee member, Harald Hecht: “Although WIKA is based on the carnival celebrated in Germany's Rhine Valley, Namibia's celebrations have developed into a multicultural festival that is even more unique and much loved by Namibians. While the WIKA Karneval has a strong German component, we also cater for the non-German speaking community at the O&L International Evening. And of course, the youth and children are not excluded.”

The festivities which started on the 25th of March, stretch over a period of two weeks with the traditional Biwak at the SKW Beer Garden. During this event the reigning royal couple traditionally performs one of their last official duties by addressing a city council representative and hundreds of guests who enjoy among others the great traditional food, live music and beer. The Präsidenten Brau beer is specially brewed by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) every year for the WIKA festival. NBL Manager: Sponsorships & Events, Danie Keulder: “We are very passionate about our involvement with the WIKA festival, because it gives us the opportunity to extend this long serving relationship while connecting with our consumers in a fun filled environment.”

In addition to the specific support offered by the O&L Group companies like NBL and Namibia Dairies which provides fresh cream for the much loved “Kaffee Bar”, the O&L Group is also the main sponsor of the International Evening which takes place on 06 April this year. O&L Group Corporate Relations Manager, Patricia Hoeksema: “The international evening celebrates cultures from all over the world in an evening of fun-filled light-hearted entertainment – which is true to our purpose of ‘Creating a future, Enhancing life’. After all, we all work very hard and sometimes we need to be reminded to also take time out to have fun!”
The Royal Ball also known as ‘The Prinzenball’, which took place on 31 March has proven to be one of the highlights during the WIKA festival, for it marks the crowning ceremony of WIKA's new royal couple, whose identity is kept strictly confidential until that evening. From the moment of their accession to the throne, the prince and princess form the centre of the carnival celebrations. They lead the fun loving fraternity through the carnival season, take the stage night after night in true royal style and watch the celebrations from the elevation of their throne. On Saturday 1 April, the new royal couple met the broader city community during the traditional float procession through Windhoek's Independence Avenue. The float procession not only introduces the prince and the princess to the city folk, it also makes people aware that the annual carnival season has officially kicked off and is ready to move full steam ahead.

Thieme says that the WIKA Karneval is one of the events on the Namibian social calendar that always excites him. “Despite its German heritage, WIKA has over the years become a truly Namibian fest and experience that embraces our diversity and celebrates our ‘Namibianness’. With an electrifying kick-off on the 25th of March, I am excited about the fun-filled programme for the rest of this week, which truly embrace ‘One Namibia, one nation’. Thursday night will provide for an evening of laughter and fun at the O&L International Evening with special guest artist, Chester performed by well-known South African ventriloquist, Conrad Koch. On Friday-evening, WIKA presents the Büttenabend or Prunksitzung while Saturday will present the Namib Mills JUKA evening– a party with karneval traditions strictly for those between the ages of 16 and 29 years old. If you’re looking for a breather and to simply just have fun, don’t miss out on the WIKA Karneval! See you there!” Thieme concluded.
Published: 04 April 2017

Dagbreek School for the Intellectually Impaired once again win Schools Recycling Competition

Dagbreek School for the Intellectually Impaired once again win schools recycling competition The Dagbreek School for the Intellectually Impaired once again walked away as the overall winner of the annual 2016/17 Schools Recycling Competition hosted by the Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF), with an average 222kg of waste collected per learner. The All Nations Christian School ended up in 2nd place and Pro Ed Academy from Swakopmund in 3rd place, while Delta School Windhoek scooped the 4th place and the Hage Geingob High School took 5th place.

According to the RNF Coordinator, Anita Witt, when the competition started in 2009 with 10 schools, an average weight per learner of only 15kg was collected. Today, participation stand at more than 50 schools. Witt: “In 2014, the average weight per learner collected was 30 kg, which went up to 98kg in 2015. Last year, when Dagbreek won for the first time, they doubled the previous record of 98kg with a total of 179kg per learner. This year was upped even more and the final results show 222kg per learner.”

Dagbreek won a cash prize of N$10 000 sponsored by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, and proud member of the RNF. All Nations Christian School received N$5 000 sponsored by Collect-a-Can, and Pro Ed Academy received N$2 500 from Plastic Packaging. Delta School Windhoek and Hage Geingob High School each received N$1 500 and N$1 000 respectively, sponsored by Rent-A-Drum.

Witt: “It is quite interesting to know that the two schools with the lowest number of learners, both All Nations and Dagbreek have a learner capacity of approximately 100 learners, in comparison to Delta and Hage Geingob with more than 1000 learners. Although the weight collected is divided between the number of learners to get the kg per learner - it is still significant that these two small schools are always in the top three - as is Pro Ed Swakopmund with 435 learners (3rd place this year and 2nd place last year).”

According to Witt, a total of 128 tons were collected by the schools during the 2016/17 year. “Visualizing this volume makes you realize exactly how much the schools have diverted from the refuse dump to be recycled. The category of Best Improved schools was a close contest between Hage Geingob High School and Emma Hoogenhout Primary School. The volumes collected by both Hage Geingob School and Delta School Windhoek, a newcomer, has seen them ending up under the Top Five - an impressive performance. Much can be attributed to the input and efforts of individual teachers and principals - notably under the Top Five schools.”

In the category Best Improved School, Hage Geingob High School also won a weekend away to the B2Gold Otjikoto Nature Reserve and Education Centre. The prize includes accommodation, meals and transport for 40 learners who will enjoy a fun-filled, educational weekend at the nature reserve. Runner up in this category was Emma Hoogenhout Primary School who walked away with shoulder bags sponsored by Mpact.

This year's event was made special with the performance of one of Namibia's most renowned musicians, Elemotho. His performance was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present. Coca Cola Namibia sponsored this highlight for the prize-giving which took place at the City of Windhoek’s Waste Management Centre in the Southern Industrial Area.

Apart from winning prizes, Rent-A-Drum also pays schools for the recyclables they have collected which amounts to N$30 000. This is an increase of N$10 000 compared to the payments of last year. This results in the winning school receiving N$10 000 as the first prize, plus N$4 500 for their recyclables.
Published: 03 April 2017

O&L Women on the move

O&L Women on the move A very excited Executive Chairman of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, Sven Thieme personally announced the most recent promotions to the Group’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT). “The O&L Group is passionately committed to growing its people through internal development programs, as well as programs available to the public at large. I am always inspired by our people coming up through the ranks as this is a manifestation of our support of government’s Vision 2030, by being committed to provide equal opportunities for both men and women,” said Thieme.

Sara Kapiye, an Honours Graduate in Industrial Psychology from the University of Namibia (UNAM), has recently been appointed as the Human Capital Manager at the Group’s subsidiary, Broll Namibia. Her career at O&L started as one of the 2011 O&L Talent Attraction Program (TAP) intakes when she held the position of Human Capital Generalist at Namibia Dairies (ND). “Words cannot begin to describe how O&L has enhanced my life. I am truly humbled and honoured by the growth opportunity entrusted to me. I would like to thank each and every one at Namibia Dairies for the amazing learnings over the past 5 years. I am very excited and look forward to continue my journey with Broll Namibia,” said Sara.

Christin Obst has been appointed as Manager: Strategic Sourcing at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL). Obst joined the Group in 2004, and was the NBL Procurement Manager before her new position. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Reutlingen University in Germany and also completed the Senior Management Development Program at the University of Stellenbosch in 2009 while earning the Director’s Award for the Best Graduate in Namibia. With more than 13 years of experience in procurement and supply chain management, Christin had the following to say: “I am very excited and honoured about the opportunity presented to me, and to support NBL in further building on its market position. Particularly in today’s challenging economic environment it is vitally important to expand and benefit from our strategic relationships with suppliers and business partners. I look forward to working with an experienced and highly motivated team.”

Rene Duffy, NBL’s new National Marketing Manager has been part of the O&L family for more than 25 years and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various segments of the business ranging from Quality Control and Quality Assurance to New Projects and Product Development as well as Innovations and Marketing. Duffy: “I am very appreciative that I have been trusted to take on this new opportunity to allow me to embark on my next learning curve in my career. I am excited about what lies ahead and look forward to this journey with the very capable NBL Marketing team.”

Victoria Möller has just been appointed as the new Marketing Manager of Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia. Victoria is no stranger to the O&L Group and has been part of the O&L family for the past 6 years. She started her career at O&L as Brand Manager of Broll Namibia, heading up the Wernhil and Town Square portfolio after which she joined PnP in October 2014 as Brand Manager. Victoria possesses a wealth of experience and expertise in Marketing, Public Relations, Events and Brand Management. “I am extremely humbled and privileged to be granted this growth opportunity to support Pick n Pay Namibia in building the brand to become the retailer of choice for Namibians,” says Victoria Möller.

Thieme concluded by emphasizing that these appointments reaffirm O&L’s commitment to growing its people and Namibia at large. Thieme: “Businesses need to celebrate and cultivate diversity, including gender, at all levels, as a vital driver of creativity and innovation. Leveling the playing field for everyone requires transforming business models and cultures, re-evaluating incentive structures and transforming governance. If we are to be successful, we need to design workplaces so women and men can thrive. These appointments thus takes us further on our journey to building a diverse workforce that contributes to creating a more successful O&L and ultimately the country at large. I am personally inspired by the passion and attitude of these ladies and I am confident that their sparkling personalities and passionate drive complements them and their teams’ ability to take their respective companies to the next level.”

Download PDF Document: O&L Women on the move