Erongo Marine delivers on dividends promise

20 Apr 2018 16:40pm
WALVIS BAY, 20 APR (NAMPA) – More than 150 employees of Erongo Marine Enterprises at Walvis Bay, mostly fishermen, on Friday received their first dividend payouts.
In November last year, the company introduced the Harambee Trust in response to the national Harambee Prosperity Plan, and shares were allocated to employees who are not in management positions.
The beneficiaries will from now on receive about N.dollars 30 000 annually after tax deductions.
Speaking at the celebration on Friday, Managing Director at Erongo Marine, Martha Uumati said apart from setting a good example for equal distribution of resources, they also aim to empower, equip and transform.
Uumati added that in general, such payouts impact the lives of about 750 people who are under the care of these employees.
“Our fishermen are our most valuable assets, and by making them part of the company ownership, we started and celebrate a revolution of empowering people,” she said.
Uumati said the employees were trained in financial management before receiving the money so that they are able to invest wisely and transform their lives.
She said it is the responsibility of all fishing companies in Namibia to empower their employees and make a change in their livelihood, which will extend to their families.
“We listen to labour unions when they say most of the workers in this industry are underpaid; we demonstrated here today that we can change the situation,” she noted.
Also speaking at the same event, Secretary-General of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union, Jacob Penda applauded Erongo Marine for abiding to statutory regulations in the payment and treatment of workers.
Some companies, he said, do not respect workers’ rights and even refuse them union representation.
“We have a problem of inequality in this country, with many companies making a lot of money but paying workers poor salaries. I call on the country to act on such companies and force them to follow labour laws,” said Penda.
He said the score card used to rate company performance and determine their fishing quota, should also include how they pay their workers.
“This is so that those who do not pay workers well can receive little or no quotas as they do not deserve such quotas, since it does not benefit workers,” said the unionist.