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Councillor under fire over recruitment agency

2021-10-05  Obrien Simasiku

Councillor under fire over recruitment agency
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Businessman and Tsumeb constituency councillor Gottlieb Ndjendjela has received widespread criticism over his recruitment agency, which allegedly takes large chunks of income earned by workers who are placed by the company in retail outlets. 

His agency, known as Employees Placement Services Namibia CC (EPSN), is the middleman between employers and employees. It now faces damning criticism, and is labelled as being exploitative for pilfering workers’ pay as it also disburses salaries.  

This has now opened a can of worms, with many saying Ndjendjela’s company has been ripping them off as it claims a certain percentage from the salaries before it pays the employees. 

“The existence of this company has created problems between the actual employer and its employees who are under the impression that they are remunerated poorly, while in actual fact they are providing a substantial amount, which is then divided,” said Affirmative Repositioning (AR) Movement activist John Johannes. 

“This arrangement is colonising our people, as our people are subjected to petty salaries. That is why we are observing many dismissals because the employers have no direct relationship with the employees. Also, they (companies) have nothing to say regarding the salaries, because they regard it as a private or personal arrangement between EPSN and the employee, knowing that they have provided reasonable remuneration.”

Ndjendjela, who became councillor following last year’s regional council election, last week confirmed ownership of the company, but was quick to say nothing was wrong.

He blamed political gimmicks for the spotlight the company finds itself in, and promised to provide clarity on the matter. But, he has not honoured his promises, despite several follow-up attempts.

On Friday, AR released a statement in which they detailed a contractual relationship between EPSN and Choppies retail stores. 

“We have identified that the root cause of the employment relations’ calamity at Choppies is a labour broker agency called EPSN, owned by councillor Ndjendjela. He is acting as the middleman,” AR activist Benedick Louw said in a statement. 

Louw added that they confronted Choppies Outapi, where there were some labour issues. 

“Employees work 12 hours without overtime, six days a week, no Social Security benefits and without payslips. Employees are earning N$9 per hour, while capitalist Gotty’s slave labour company pays them N$7.50,” he claimed.

In addition, he said, Choppies has agreed to terminate ESPN’s contract with immediate effect. 

“We will wait for their official announcement. We are, therefore, sending out a general warning to all retail establishments in Namibia to put an immediate stop to workers slavery and exploitation in the industry because those perpetuating workers’ suffering will be dealt with accordingly.”

– osimasiku@nepc.com.na 


2021-10-05  Obrien Simasiku

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