WINDHOEK – Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Alpheus !Naruseb, yesterday told Meatco’s management that the corporation and his ministry need to find common ground.
This he said is to achieve the ultimate goal of selling the country’s premier meat production facility. Recent years have seen tremendous amounts of animosity between Meatco, whose infrastructure belongs to government, and the corporation’s management and board.
Meatco is described as a state-owned meat processing and marketing entity set up to sell products to local and international markets on behalf of Namibian cattle farmers. The corporation operates various slaughter facilities across the country and engages in related manufacturing and other production activities by means of production operations, which include the Windhoek and Okahandja factories, tannery, feedlot, cannery and wholesale.
During yesterday’s familiarisation tour to state-owned enterprises that fall under his ministry, !Naruseb said he wanted to learn about the corporation’s processes and where synergies could be drawn between his ministry and the corporation’s responsibilities.
As the meeting commenced, which included a tour of Meatco’s production facility, the corporation’s board chairperson, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, noted it is vital to determine what is needed to save the corporation during tough economic conditions. “Working closely with the MAWF is crucial for Meatco’s success,” she said.
Meatco has been without a substantive Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since the suspension and subsequent resignation of Advocate Vekuii Rukoro mid-last year. Earlier this year, Meatco appointed Jannie Breytenbach as the new acting CEO. Breytenbach replaced Ingo Schneider, who was acting in that position since the suspension of Rukoro in May. Rukoro’s suspension followed a lengthy collision course with the corporation’s board of directors.
A new CEO would be expected to turn around the corporation, in line with a re-alignment exercise already approved by the board for implementation. The aim of the exercise is to transform Meatco corporation into an efficient business unit, providing clients and customers with the best possible service in the market, managing its costing structures, building and fostering its marketing brand and to contribute in safeguarding the Namibian economy moving forward.
According to insiders, Meatco operates in a unique business environment with almost unlimited access to sophisticated international markets; however, supply side constraints for raw materials on a consistent basis are the biggest challenge.