SPYL Slams Transnamib and RCC

Plans by TransNamib and the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) to retrench over 1 000 employees drew condemnation from the youth wing of the ruling party Swapo on Friday.

Calling it deliberate sabotage, the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary for labour Paulus Mbango said at Friday’s press conference: “We stand in solidarity with the RCC and TransNamib workers and we gly condemn the proposed retrenchment.”

Last week both parastatals announced plans to retrench employees. This came just five months after TransNamib announced an 180-day turnaround strategy to cut losses and have the company concentrate on its “core business”.

“It is scandalous that companies owned by a demarcating state will think of treating its workers in such an arrogant fashion, as if they were running a private company solely to maximise their profits,” said Mbango.

He said with jobless levels already far too high especially amongst the youth, such big increase in retrenchments would be devastating both for individual workers and their families and for the country’s economic growth prospects.

Mbango said the SPYL would fully support the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) and Namibian Transport and Allied Workers (Natau) in their dispute over restructuring plans. The league said it would rally all of Swapo into mass action if the two state-owned companies press ahead with their retrenchment plans.

“Swapo Party and its government have ensured peace and stability and a conducive environment for economic development and national reconciliation to prevail,” he said.

Therefore, he added, a reliable transportation network is a requirement for peace and economic development.

“When transport systems are efficient, they provide economic and social opportunities and benefits that impact the economy,” he added.

On the other hand, he said, when transport systems are deficient or sabotaged, they can have an economic cost that is too ghastly to contemplate. Mbangu called on TransNamib to reclaim its strategic role in transportation solutions for all Namibians through rail and road.

“Those in charge of TransNamib [must abstain] from pursuing personal gratification at the expense of service delivery to all Namibians especially those in rural areas,” he said.

He said Founding President Sam Nujoma had a good vision for TransNamib and the railway network in Namibia but it is clear that the sabotage seeks to reverse what has been achieved.

“Who is behind this Mr Oosterhuizen and whose interest is he serving?” he asked in reference to TransNamib board chairperson Dr Pieter Oosterhuizen.

Mbangu said the tendency of purging qualified Namibians, and expatriates with questionable backgrounds being shipped in like “a modern-day Jesus to Christianise pagan Namibia must stop”.

“Namibia is not for sale,” he added.

He called on the Minister of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtina to restore confidence in TransNamib by withdrawing the appointment of the “white consultant” to allow the substantive CEO, Sara Naanda, to do her contractual work unhindered.

TransNamib is set to retrench 963 workers, and staff to be affected by the retrenchment are 445 civil engineers, 110 vehicle mechanics, 134 road ops, 227 in service delivery, 20 Rail South Africa operators and 27 communication and marketing personnel.

Source : New Era