Following Namibia's Independence on 21 March 1990, the Ministry of Mines and Energy was established under the leadership of the Hon Minister Dr Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo and Hon Deputy Minister Helmut Angula. Geologists Dr Leake Hangala and Prof Sybrand de Waal were the first Permanent Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry respectively. The Ministry comprised of four directorates, namely the Directorate Mining under Director Kombadayedu Kapwanga, the Directorate Geological Survey of Namibia under Director Dr Roy Miller, the Directorate Energy under Director Dr Jarvis Enkara and the Directorate Administration and Finance under Director Josephat Mazeingo. The Diamond Board, still regulating and controlling the production, evaluation and security of diamonds, was also brought under the control of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Other utilities under the auspices of the ministry are the National Energy Council, the national electricity provider NamPower; and the national oil company Namcor.
Hon Dr Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo
Dr Leake Hangala
Hon Helmut Angula
While the Geological Survey continued to be housed in the old German Hospital in what was then Leutwein Street (Robert Mugabe Avenue), the other directorates of the newly established Ministry and Namcor occupied the offices of the former Department of Economic Affairs in the Trust Bank Building at the corner of Independence Avenue and John Meinert Street.
Trust Bank Building
Soon after Namibia became independent, the ministry embarked upon a number of schemes in accordance with the following objectives:
to administer the relevant legislation and to exercise control over mineral, energy and other land-based resources
to monitor constantly the performance of the existing legislation and to enact any further legislation deemed necessary
to monitor and control developments having an impact on geological resources
to promote investment by creating an enabling environment conducive to the optimal utilisation of Namibia’s mineral, energy and other land-based resources
to maintain and expand the contribution of formal and informal mineral and energy sectors to the economy of Namibia
to maintain and promote regional and international cooperation in the mineral and energy sectors
to ensure sustainable development of all earth-based resources
to develop strategies for optimal land-use planning
to minimise the impact of the exploitation of Namibia’s mineral, energy and other land-based resources on the environment by ensuring
development in a responsible way and in compliance with the national policy and universally accepted practices and standards
to assess the impact of previous mining and development activities on the environment through baseline studies and to develop strategies to manage this impact
to develop multidisciplinary and integrated land-use planning, working closely with other ministries
to research and disseminate relevant quality scientific data to address national issues related to resources, environment and hazards in earth
science and energy-related matters
to provide value for money and customer-oriented services to all stakeholders.
Drafting of legislation started immediately,
and soon the Petroleum Products and Energy Act of 1990 was passed
by Parliament, followed by the Petroleum (Exploration and Production)
Act No. 2 of 1991 and the Petroleum (Taxation) Act No. 3 of 1991.
Under the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, NamCor was
set up. Drafting of mining legislation appropriate for an independent
Namibia also commenced, and culminated in the promulgation of the
Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act No 33 in 1992. Work on the
Mine Health and safety Regulations also started.
Government through the Ministry of Mines and Energy also embarked upon an extensive,
nationwide rural electrification programme. Major expansion of the electricity transmission and distribution network has taken place
and a national electricity master-plan was compiled. The Hon Deputy Minister Angula was succeeded by Hon Jesaya Nyamu on 01 March 1991.
During 1992 and 1993, the Namibian Government Service underwent a restructuring process. The Geological Survey emerged from this
exercise strengthened and with three Divisions, namely Regional Geoscience, Applied Geoscience and Geotechnology, with a total staff
establishment of 78 positions.
Hon Jesaya Nyamu
Miller left the Geological Survey in 1992 to become the first Technical
Manager of Namcor. Dr Brian G Hoal, great-nephew of Haughton who headed the Geological Survey in Windhoek between 1926 and 1934,
took over from him until 1996. Also in 1992, construction work for a new and custom-built Geological Survey of Namibia started, in
full recognition of the fact that the existing facilities were completely inadequate to meet the requirements of a modern Geological Survey.
Finally, the comprehensive reference volume “The Mineral Resources of Namibia” was published that same year.
In 1993, the Government of Namibia and the European Union signed an agreement making
some 40 million Euro available under the Sysmin scheme for support to the Namibian mining industry. This
support programme aimed at reversing unfavouable developments in the mining industry through providing
loans at reduced interest rates, and the establishment of a revolving fund, the Minerals Development Fund,
which was established in 1996. A major Mining Investment Forum was held in Windhoek in the same year.
promote hydrocarbon exploration, a first licensing round was held in 1991, which attracted world-class companies to further explore,
amongst others the previously discovered Kudu Gasfield offshore southern Namibia. A further licensing round was held in 1994, before
the licensing process was opened up in 1998. Negotiations also started with neighbouring Angola for the development of a hydropower station
on the Kunene River.
In November 1994, a milestone was reached when three agreements were signed between the Government of Namibia and De Beers giving the Government
a 50% stake in the former Consolidated Diamond Mines and leading to the formation of Namibia’s leading diamond producer Namdeb as
a joint venture between Government and the private sector. The new Geological Survey building, which constituted the first phase of a
combined facility for the entire Ministry of Mines and Energy was completed in 1994, and inaugurated by His Excellency, President Sam Nujoma,
on 18 August 1994.
Geological Survey of Namibia 1994
Geological Museum was established at the new premises and the Geological Survey’s programme of high-resolution airborne geophysical surveys
also started in 1994, and has since included some of the largest airborne surveys worldwide.
In 1995, Dr Hangala took over as Director of NamPower, and Dr Handupula Shimutwikeni was appointed as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry
of Mines and Energy. The Minerals Ancillary Rights Commission was established, and, in the light of a Cabinet Decision, the Directorate
Mines under the newly appointed Director Dr Gabi Schneider began the process of reviewing and substantially revising the existing
diamond legislation, which eventually culminated in the promulgation of the Diamond Act No 13 of 1999. Siseho Simasiku succeeded Dr Enkara
as Director of Energy, and the Petroleum Laws Amendment Act, 1998, and the Model Petroleum Agreement, 1998, as well as the Petroleum
Income Tax (PIT) and the Additional Profits Tax (APT) were gazette in order to cater for the economic and fiscal aspects and royalties.
Dr Handupula Shimutwikeni
In 1996, the Minerals Board of Namibia was constituted in terms of
section 9 of the Minerals Act. Dr Hoal left the Geological Survey of Namibia that same year, and was replaced through a transfer of
Schneider. The institution was invited to join the International Union of Geological Sciences, and its current director is at present
serving as a member of the Executive Council of this highest body in the earth science. Inge Zaamwani followed Dr Schneider as Director
of Mining. Sadly, the Permanent Secretary Dr Shimutwikeni passed away in a tragic car accident on 15 December 1996. He was replaced
on a temporary basis by the Director of Administration and Finance, Mazeingo. Also in 1996, construction of the new headquarters for
the Ministry of Mines and Energy at the site of the Geological Survey of Namibia commenced. The building was completed after a three year
building phase and inaugurated by His Excellency, President Sam Nujoma on 10 June 1999, thereby creating an excellent one-stop facility
for investors and stakeholders in the minerals, energy and earth science sectors. Meanwhile, Zaamwani was called to take the position
at the helm of Namdeb Diamond Corporation, and the new Director of Mining, Kennedy Hamutenya took up her old position.
Siseho Simasiku was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy on 1 May, 1997, and Paulinus Shilamba followed him as
Director of Energy. Joe Mazeingo took over the position of Managing Director of Namcor in 1997, and Wilhencia Uiras became the new Director
of Administration and Finance in 1998. The White Paper on Energy Policy was released that same year.
Meanwhile, on 31 March 1999, the Ministry had to bid farewell to its long-standing Minister, Hon Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, who left
for the Ministry of Prisons and Correctional Services and was replaced by the former Deputy Minister Hon Jesaya Nyamu. Hon Dr Klaus Dierks
became his Deputy, and served until 31 March 2000, when he retired and was replaced by Hon Immanuel Ngatjizeko.
Hon Immanuel Ngatjizeko
Hon Dr Klaus Dierks
With the establishment of the Electricity Control Board in 2000, the Ministry
saw a number of changes. Simasiku took over as Chief Executive Office of the Board, and Shilamba also followed him.
1 April, 2000, Joseph Iita became the new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. As a consequence of the White
Paper on Energy Policy, a project to restructure the electricity supply industry was conceived, and culminated in the establishment
of Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs) since 2003. Drafting of a new Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Bill started in 2000,
and the Minerals Policy was released in 2002. The Petroleum Products and Energy Amendment Act, also referred to as the National Energy
Fund Bill, was promulgated in 2003.In early 2001, Martin Heita became the Director of Energy, replacing Shilamba. However, he left after
only one year and was followed by Gottlieb Amayanga in 2002. Still in 2001, Uiras moved on and was replaced by Hannu Shipena as Director
of Administration and Finance.
Joseph S. Iita
That year 2001 also saw the establishment of a new directorate within the Ministry of Mines and Energy, namely the Directorate of Diamond
Affairs, headed by the Diamond Commissioner. The outstanding importance of the Namibian diamond production for the economy of the country
had long been recognised, and also the fact that this importance warranted an entire new unit to deal with it, rather than have this
complex issue under the auspices of the Directorate of Mines, which was already extremely busy with all the other mining operations.
Hamutenya became the first Diamond Commissioner, and was followed in the position of Director of Mines by Asser Mudhika. Since then
the Directorate of Diamond Affairs has established satellite offices at Oranjemund, Lüderitz and Swakopmund, and has substantially
improved the control of the diamond mining operations.
On 31 August 2002, Hon Jesaya Nyamu left for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Hon Dr Nickey Iyambo took over at the helm of the Ministry
of Mines and Energy. The first of three regional electricity distributors (REDs), the northern RED or NORED, was established that year.
In 2003, the centenary of the Geological Survey of Namibia was celebrated with a seminar opened by the Right Hon Prime Minister, an exhibition
and an open week, particularly aiming at raising awareness amongst young Namibians. In 2004, the institution was named “Research
Organisation of the Year” during the National Science Fair. To stimulate exploration in the hydrocarbon sector, another licensing
round was held in 2004, and created considerable international interest.
Hon Dr Nickey Iyambo
Meanwhile, Hon Deputy Minister Ngatjizeko had been appointed Director General
of the National Planning Commission on 30 April 2003, and was succeeded by Hon Henock ya Kasita. Following Namibia’s fourth general
elections, Hon Minister Dr Nickey Iyambo was appointed as Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry on 30 March 2005, and Hon Erkki Nghimtina took
over the Ministry from him. Following the resignation of Amanyanga in 2004, Selma-Penna Utonih became the Director of Energy in 2005,
while Shipena was promoted to Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitaton, and replaced by John Titus,
also in 2005.
Hon Erkki Nghimtina
Hon Henock Ya Kasita
When Mudhika retired in 2006, Erasmus Shivolo became the new Director
of Mines. The Energy Directorate facilitated the establishment of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Institute at the Polytechnic
of Namibia. Restructuring in 2007 changed the leadership of the Directorate of Mines, which has henceforth been headed by the Mining
Commissioner, and Shivolo was confirmed in that position. In the same year an agreement was reached for the marketing of Namdeb diamonds,
and the Namibian Diamond Trading Company was formed. Also in 2007, a successful Base Metal Mining Conference was hosted by the Ministry,
a small scale miner’s stakeholder Forum was put in place, two more REDs, Erongo RED and CENORED were established, and the
Off-grid Energisation Master Plan was compiled.
In 2008, the boom in uranium exploration reached such dimensions, that the Ministry through its Geological Survey of Namibia decided to
undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the uranium rush in the central Namib. The Ministry registered a special purpose
company, Epangelo Mining, in order to fully partake in the exploration and development of the countries mineral resources for the benefit
of its people.
Hon Bernhard Esau
2009, Hon Henock Ya Kasita moved on, and was replaced by Hon Bernhard Esau as Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy. The highlight in 2009
was the fact that Namibia chaired the Kimberley Process certification Scheme. Despite the international credit crunch, uranium exploration
and mine development continued unabated, however, the copper mines closed and the diamond industry witnessed severe cutbacks. Handling
and mitigating this situation was a great challenge for the Ministry.
Hon Isak Katali
Hon Willem Isaaks
Following the 2009 presidential and parliamentary elections, on the 23rd of March 2010, Hon Isak Katali, former
Deputy Minister of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, took over the helm of the Ministry of Mines and Energy from Hon
Erkki Nghimtina, who moved to become the newly appointed Minister of Works and Transport, and Hon Willem Isaaks succeeded
Hon Bernhard Esau, who was appointed Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources. The high resolution airborne geophysical
survey, which had started in 1994, has been completed in 2010, and the White Paper on Energy Policy of 1998 is now under review.