NWR dismisses retrenchment claims

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Tsumeb

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has dismissed unofficial reports that it tried to ‘enforce’ voluntary retrenchment and non-renewal of employment contracts in an effort to cut costs at the parastatal.

The grapevine has it that if the parastatal’s alleged move becomes a reality it would see at least over 300 people becoming unemployed across its resorts.

This was however dismissed by NWR’s managing director, Zelna Hengari, and the communication and corporate manager, Mufaro Nesongano, who said it was news to them.

“That’s news to me, we are not planning on doing something of that nature, neither now nor later,” commented Hengari who said she was out of the country on official duty and referred this reporter to Nesongano.

“I can confirm at this point in time that there are no such plans to retrench employees and neither have there been any ideas to do so. We are doing some cost cutting but not in a way of retrechning anyone, instead we are looking at other avenues of cutting costs,” said Nesongano.

In terms of those whose contracts lapse the company looks at the positions and determines whether the service of such position is still needed or not.

“If we do retrench, it means we are increasing unemployment and this will have a negative effect on the economy as a lot of people depend on those people. So people should not panic, there is nothing such as retrenchment,” assured Nesongano. Last month the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, expressed his disappointment in some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are not performing.

Shifeta was quoted as saying: “These companies are supposed to make money and not become a liability to the shareholder. If you have a company and it’s never making money – not even break even – then why call it a company? Call it Red Cross or something, because it’s not making any money.”

“If you have a company and it is not making money for so many years and it can’t even cover its operational budget, the owner will say: ‘Get rid of that liability’. Unless we turn that company into Section 21 to be a welfare [service] to help people who have no employment. The shareholder (government) wastes a lot of money … (on) mismanagement,” he said.

Shifeta went on to say that NWR has to shape up and start making money, because they have been in the industry for long.

NWR has been optimistic it will recover from its previously tainted image through its revamped resorts across the country where it hopes to increase its profits by offering exceptional service.

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