KEETMANSHOOP, NAMIIBIA-- The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) has called on the government to intervene and investigate retrenchments in the mining industry as it believes the reasons given by mines to retrench employees are not good enough, and that retrenchments are instituted mainly to maximise profits.

MUN Southern Region Chairperson Allen Kalumbu, who made the call to the government during a media conference here Tuesday, said: "The reasons mines are sending young Namibians to the streets are not good enough or are unreasonable as in most cases mines retrench for the sake of maximising their profits by cutting wage bills."

He said 94 employees at the Tantalite Mine in Warmbad are about to lose their jobs, and that about 1,800 job losses are expected in the mining sector countrywide by the end of September this year. Kalumbu urged the government to investigate the retrenchment to ensure that the mines are acting according to the law.

He also called on the government to start revoking mining licences of companies who embark on retrenchment exercises without valid reasons and then opt to recruit a skeleton crew. "These companies retrench people, then recruit them again and start paying them peanuts."

Kalumbi said the idea of allowing investors into the country is to create employment and not unemployment, thus the government should revoke the mining licences of those who fail to do so.

"There is no way a skeleton crew can work in the mining industry; we cannot tolerate seeing our fellow Namibians on the street each and every day due to investors who are not serious to run businesses in this country," he said.

Kalumbu said the MUN was worried about the mining industry being brought to its knees as retrenchments and that outsourcing had become the order of the day. "It is becoming normal that every day and every month people are continuously losing their jobs. The current trend is worrisome to us and it needs to come to an end," he stressed.