Oosthuizen quits as RCC acting boss

April 27, 2015, 8:33am

Oosthuizen quits as RCC acting boss

 
THE acting chief executive officer of the Roads Contractor Company, Pieter Oosthuizen, has resigned from the post and will assume his role of general manager from Thursday this week.
RCC board chairperson Sonia Bergh and public enterprise minister Leon Jooste confirmed Oosthuizen's resignation yesterday, saying the company has already started the process of looking for another acting CEO.
Bergh said the board understands why Oosthuizen has chosen to resign because it has been difficult for him and his family after the publicity he received from the media concerning the position.
“We informed minister Jooste and other parties about the situation on Friday. We have advertised twice but due to negative publicity, we have not been able to get anybody. We hope to complete the process by next month,” said Bergh.
Although Oosthuizen could not comment on this on Saturday, The Namibian understands that he had asked the board to find another acting chief as he was under pressure and that the board had not taken leadership at the level where it should have by now.
Oosthuizen allegedly felt that he has taken too much flack for an organisation which was already in a bad state long before his time.
Jooste said he was informed that Oosthuizen was leaving last week Friday and that this was his personal decision. He also said the board would now have to appoint an alternative CEO.
Oosthuizen's resignation comes when government sources told The Namibian that the SOEGC secretariat has recommended the reinstatement of all the suspended parastatal CEOs and other managers. Currently, RCC, TransNamib, Air Namibia and the Namibia Training Authority have suspended bosses.
The sources further said that the SOEGC secretariat recommended that all the boards of the affected parastatals should be removed and that Cabinet is expected to approve these recommendations tomorrow.
In the case that Cabinet endorses these recommendations, Sara Naanda (TransNamib), Theo Namases (Air Namibia), and Maria Nangolo-Rukoro (NTA), Leilanie Hochobeb (RCC's internal auditor), and Nokokure Katjiuongua (Air Namibia general manager for ground operations) could be reinstated.
Asked about the recommendation by the SOEGC secretariat, Jooste said: “The other SOE executives' status remain as was pending the outcome of our investigations and there is nothing happening in regard to the boards at this stage.”
The Namibian has learned that Oosthuizen's move comes after hearing about government's plans to dismiss him for the way he ran RCC as well as his role as chairman of another ailing parastatal TransNamib.
Those in the know said that Oosthuizen's move comes shortly after a Cabinet technical committee on SOEs decided to endorse recommendations by the SOEGC secretariat.
SOEGC director Frans Tsheehama could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Sources said it has been a tough week for the parastatal boards who had to brief their line ministers as well as public enterprises minister Jooste. The Namibian understands that the Air Namibia board had a tough time explaining many of its decisions to the ministry of works, while RCC is pleading with government for a bail out of N$400 million.
Bergh on Saturday said she is not aware of the replacement plans for board members and said they met Jooste last week Friday, to brief him on the situation at RCC as well as to seek assistance in regards to the appointment of a chief executive officer.
Works PS Peter Mwatile last week pointed out that the RCC's financial problems were far bigger than the amount they owe in Value Added Tax (VAT) which resulted in the finance minister freezing their bank account till payments were made.
Mwatile said he, along with the company board, had gone to present the RCC case to Cabinet last week for a decision on the way forward.
He said the company needs about N$400 million if it is to function properly. A Cabinet committee on Treasury chaired by the finance minister was tasked to find a solution to the problem.
By Tileni Mongudhi, Ndanki Kahiurika
: The Namibian