Otjibamba Lodge Workers to Be Jobless

WORKERS at Otjibamba lodge between Okahandja and Otjiwarong might be retrenched this month because of financial constraints, Djion Neto, corporate affairs officer at the company, Global Quaestor International, that oversees the lodge’s operations, has revealed.

Neto said the lodge can no longer keep up with its financial obligations, and will have to close down sometime this month and all workers will be jobless.

The workers, some of whom claim to have worked at the lodge for over 10 years, said they fear losing their jobs, as they have families to look after.

The lodge is a stopover for tourists on the way to the north and it employs about 30 people. It is also a private game ranch that offers game viewing with its giraffe, eland, oryx, kudu, ostrich, springbok and impala.

Neto said the lodge has been experiencing financial difficulties for a long time and, as a result, workers were not only underpaid but received their salaries late, “sometimes as late as the 11th of the next month”.

“Due to these cash flow problems, April salaries were not paid in full and depending on the availability of cash at the time,” he said, adding that the workers have been receiving only 70% of their salaries.

Neto said the money owed to the workers will be paid out in full once the necessary arrangements have been made.

He also said no bonuses or salary increments has been awarded over the past four years.

The Namibia Food and Allied workers Union representative, Penda Kambangula, said they are yet to be formally notified of plans to close down the lodge so that the necessary arrangements can be made for workers’ packages.

Source : The Namibian