Touching on recent amendments passed on Gambling and Entertainment act, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta stated that 95% of gambling machines in the country are illegal and need to be formalized.
The minister made these remarks in an interview with the Informante’s morning mix show. Shifeta stated although the ministry of environment will not confiscate these illegal gambling machines, owners will need to register their machines in order to pay tax.
He stated that currently there are only four active licensed casino’s in the country and the new act will now include the regulation of gambling machines in Shebeens and Bars as well.
“No one will lose their machines, however with the formalization of gambling machines, all machines will have an electronic device which will see how much money it generates and what tax ratio’s can be applied. This device will also counter-act crime as the machines will be trackable via the devices. The only people who will fear this operation are criminals,” Shifeta said.
Touching on the current status of the conservation of national resources, the protection of wildlife which includes flora and fauna, as well as tourism, Shifeta stated that the country is faring well.
“When it comes to job creation and GDP in the country, tourism has become a major contributor, and currently even surpasses agriculture due to the recent drought. According to 2018, statistics, a total of N$1.5 million tourists came into Namibia, which creates a myriad of jobs in transportation, restaurants as well as hotels and lodges,” the minister stated.
Shifeta added that plans are currently under-away to expand the tourism sector, which will focus on creating uni-visas at Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier conservation shared by Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This area has been declared as the biggest transboundary conservation area in the world and contains around 85% of the world’s elephant population.
Shifeta further encouraged that a third international airport located a Katima would increase the influx of tourists into the country.
Touching on going green in the country, Shifeta stated that by the year 2030 Namibia aspires to generate 79% of its energy from renewable energy.
He stated that currently the country has already signed numerous agreements, which focus on the generation of renewable energy
“We don’t really generate that much emissions, in Africa we don’t even generate 1%, however, we are still developing, North America and China are one of the top generators of harmful emissions. In order to mitigate this, developed countries are requested to initiate a U$100 billion fund; however the US has pulled out of these dealings,” he said.