Warmbad community demonstrates over mine retrenchments

05 Oct 2018 17:10pm
WARMBAD, 05 OCT (NAMPA) – The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) and community of Warmbad on Friday staged a demonstration over the retrenchment of 94 employees from the Namibia Tantalite Mine in August.
Speaking before the demonstration, MUN’s southern regional chairperson Allen Kalumbu said they want to call upon Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila to intervene in the matter, saying the hearing on the matter is scheduled for 09 October 2018.
“On Tuesday we will hear what the Labour Court has to say to settle the matter on what happened at the mine, but we want the government to support us and intervene so that these workers can go back to work,” he said.
The petition detailing the group’s concerns was handed over to the Warmbad Settlement Office.
“The people’s outcry cannot fall on deaf ears as if we have no authority in this country,” states the petition, read by Kalumbu.
He further said a lot of people depended on the mine for an income.
The group also questioned how Government can say it is serious about employment, when it is under their watch that people are “being robbed of a job and maltreated by those we entrust with our resources”.
“We can all attest to the fact that the community is depraved of development but God has endowed this region with resources and the government has done little to make sure these resources are utilised to equally benefit the region and its people,” the petition reads.
The petition was received by Karasburg East Constituency control administration officer, Barnadus Waterboer who assured the group that the petition will be forwarded to the Prime Minister’s office.
The mine announced in June that it would retrench 94 out of a total 105 employees because of water shortage and lack of production.
An agreement on severance packages took about two months as MUN and the mine struggled to reach an agreement and the matter was taken to the labour commission.