Nova Vita Shuts Its Doors

TWENTY years after opening its doors to treat drug and alcohol addicts, the last day of business of Telecom Namibia’s Nova Vita Centre was 31 December.

Oiva Angula, the spokesperson of Telecom, confirmed this upon enquiry yesterday but said the closure was only temporary.

In light of the fact that the institution is “reorganising” its business operations, this move was necessitated, he said. “We needed to shut it down, because it’s not part of our core business. We need to focus on [the] provision of ICT (information and communication technology) services to the market. But we hope to start a bigger facility, change the location and obtain a business partner.”

According to Angula, Telecom “hopes to find a partner” with whom to jointly run the centre in the future.

Its inception took place on 1 July 1994.

Unable to disclose the exact amount Telecom has had to plough into this non-core arm, but confirming that it was a multi-million dollar operation, Angula said: “Ja, it was a big operation.”

The spokesperson said the closure of the facility “left no one in the cold”. The three permanent Telecom Namibia staff members who were attached to the centre have in the meantime been redeployed to the wellness department of the parastatal. Everyone else who provided services to the centre only did so on a consultancy basis and have their own private practices, Angula stressed.

The three employees are expected to be involved in the planned facility.

Before saying that the closure would hopefully only be temporary, Angula conceded: “[It’s] always painful for a social programme to wind down because Namibia is experiencing an increase in alcohol and substance abuse. We hope there will be someone who will take over the franchise.”

Angula added: “The name Nova Vita has been associated with success and Telecom Namibia for a long time.”

A reader of The Namibian expressed sadness about the closure of the centre in a text message to the newspaper recently. “It’s a big shame and disappointment nationally and internationally that creates a void that will never be filled again. We think with nostalgia of the founder of Nova Vita, Ollie Joubert. Also the very first committed staff and others [like] Ben van Rooi, Tanya Verwey, Sophie Maasdorp, Dr Ben Africa, Willem Annandale and Dr Ben van der Merwe.”

Source : The Namibian