Address by Hippy Tjivikua, Acting CEO of Trans Namib at the TransNamib
On the 24th of August 1996, the Heads of States of SADC Countries signed the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communication and Meteorology, of which Article 7.1 states that and I quote, “Member States shall facilitate the provision of a seamless, efficient, predictable, cost-effective, safe and environmentally-friendly, railway service which is responsive to market needs and provides access to major centres of population and economic activity.” Unquote.
As a signatory to this Protocol, Article 7.2, on Railway Policy, Namibia agreed to develop a harmonized regional railway policy in respect of, I quote:
a) the economic and institutional restructuring of railways in a phased and co-ordinated manner, which shall include consideration of the following:
i) according autonomy to railways in order to enable them to achieve full commercialization by, amongst others, streamlining railway organisations, reforming management and upgrading essential railway labour and improving labour productivity;
ii) increasing private sector involvement in railway investment with a view to improving railway work and service standards and lowering unit costs for services;
These quotations are relevant to the turnaround plan of TransNamib as we count stock today.
Upon their appointment and assumption of office in July this year, our new Board of Directors hit the ground running and made the assessment of the situation on the state of affairs at TransNamib. The outcome was very clear. TransNamib needed a turnaround plan.
Barely 53 days ago, the Board unveiled a very ambitious turnaround plan that will recue and resuscitate the company from its desperate position. In order for the plan to succeed, the Board requested Management and staff to support the plan and work tirelessly to transform TransNamib from dire straits to a beacon of hope.
Today, my Management Team would like to pledge their unequivocal support and absolute commitment towards the tenets of the turnaround plan. Management is cognizant that TransNamib is at cross roads and perhaps the last chance to reclaim the glorious days. I am proud to say that my team has the kaleidoscope of skills required in order to execute and sustain the plan. They are well qualified and well experienced and they certainly know what they are doing. We at Management have ongoing daily consultations amongst ourselves as well as with the Directors. Therefore, a positive attitude is a prerequisite for a successful turnaround plan.
As the plan unfolds, we transform our fears into hope and delight as you will hear from Madam Dantagos Jimmy Melani about the progress we are making. It should be noted that we have a very demanding Board… of course for a good course as they are allergic to failure. We sincerely appreciate the openness and candid advise given to Management on a continuous basis by our Directors. Therefore, Management and staff see the compelling value proposition in this plan and we believe that we can take TransNamib collectively from one end of the pendulum to the other.
Not long ago, our neighbours such as Botswana and South Africa were facing similar challenges that we are facing today. They adopted turnaround plans and they worked. Today those sister companies are profitable and successful.
As President Obama said… Yes We Can!
As we focus on what we can collectively do best in order to turn around the company, we are confident that immediate short term plans will yield positive results and rewards to the customers in the longer term. Therefore we as a team strongly believe that teamwork and total support is the fundamental key to the successful implementation of this plan.
In order for TransNamib to survive these turbulent times, it is imperative that TransNamib adapts and evolves and becomes competitive again through this turnaround plan. With 70% or 127 days left to conclude this phase, we believe that we can achieve more by working closely with the Board.
On that note, I welcome you all and I would like to leave you with a quote by Debbie Wassermann Schultz who once said, “We own the economy. We own the beginning of the turnaround and we want to make sure that we continue that pace of recovery, not to go back to the policies of the past…”