Namdeb offers voluntary retrenchment as part of business optimisation
Edgar Brandt Windhoek-Namdeb, the 50/50 joint venture company between the government and Anglo American’s diamond unit De Beers, has confirmed it has embarked on a business optimisation process to ensure sustainability, as the company plans to increase production in 2018. The optimisation process includes voluntary separation (retrenchment) packages that will reportedly target at least 130 workers of the company’s total workforce of about 1,700. “The planned production increase in 2018 requires Namdeb to rebalance its labour workforce as well as align to strategic requirements over the next few years. Therefore, the business optimisation process includes options for all employees to apply for early retirement and voluntary separation. This process provides an opportunity to ensure that Namdeb retains specialised and experienced skills, whilst adhering to our affirmative action, gender diversity and inclusion aspirations. All applications for early retirement under voluntary separation conditions … will therefore be considered within this context,” explained Namdeb’s corporate affairs manager, Pauline Thomas. Thomas added that Namdeb, as a responsible employer, has a long-standing and firm commitment to the welfare of its employees and communities impacted by its operations. She said this is why Namdeb’s management has ongoing engagement sessions with shareholders, its employees (including the Mineworkers Union of Namibia), and has ensured a collective understanding on how it needs to do the right things today to ensure a better tomorrow. Thomas was however not able to divulge the exact number of employees to be affected and exactly when their employment contracts would end. “We are unfortunately not at liberty to share details pertaining to dates or numbers with the external public as it is a closed reporting period for the business,” said Thomas. According to Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) Oranjemund branch chairperson, Shavuka Mbidhi, at least 130 workers would be targeted. Mbidhi last year said Namdeb had informed its members that it would gradually cease operations, starting with Elizabeth Bay Mine at the end of 2018, Daberas at the end of 2019, Sendelingsdrift in 2020 and Southern Coastal in 2022. Commenting on the developments yesterday, MUN assistant general secretary Paul Shitumba noted that he had not yet engaged the MUN branch to ascertain what was happening in terms of the voluntary retrenchment packages. “By next week we will have a clearer picture of what is happening there,” said Shitumba.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-30 09:33:19 9 months ago