Save RCC to save employees: PSUN

06 Aug 2019 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 06 AUG (NAMPA) – Acting secretary general of the Public Service Union of Namibia (PSUN), Ujama Kaahongoro is calling on Government to find solutions to the problems faced by the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) and save the jobs of nearly 300 employees.
Speaking here during a media briefing on Tuesday, Kaahongoro said PSUN does not believe in the bailing out of the struggling State-owned enterprise without long-term rescue plans being set out.
He said the company should be given running capital and assistance to service some machinery, followed by contracts and monitoring of their operations to ensure it does not run into debt again.
The union is of the view that this way, the debt-ridden company could resuscitate itself and become self-sustainable.
“We suggest that RCC be exempted from the requirements of the public procurement process and be given a percentage of road maintenance work for a particular period of time, to be run and monitored by personnel with the requisite skills seconded from the ministry or any other agency, as opposed to closing down this motherly asset,” Kaahongoro said.
The wholly State-owned company falls under the Ministry of Works and Transport pending its approval for supervision under the Ministry of Public Enterprises following the enactment of the Public Enterprises Governance Act this year.
“RCC’s future is bleak and the employees, of which the majority are not close to retirement, are on the verge of being added to the existing worrisome unemployment rate, if no preventative measure is put in place,” said Kaahongoro.
He said PSUN believes there is still a strategic rescue plan for RCC that will give it a lifeline and for unnecessary job losses to be averted.
Kaahongora pleaded with President Hage Geingob to direct the Cabinet Committee on Treasury and Cabinet to develop a sustainable strategic rescue plan other than liquidation or closing down RCC, saying this will have adverse effects on the future of innocent employees and their dependents.
The Namibian newspaper reported in May that Works and Transport Minister John Mutorwa said Government has a plan to bring the RCC back to life and that a N.dollars 280 million bailout was on the cards, along with mandatory public works tenders to maintain the country’s roads.
Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste previously also ruled out the privatisation of ailing State-owned enterprises.