8 January 2013

Namibia: Gobabis Municipality Lays Off Forty Nine Workers

THE Gobabis municipality retrenched 49 of its workforce at the end of last month after it offered them what it termed "voluntary retrenchment packages", an exercise that did not turn out as they expected.

According to sources at the cattle town, the council had a target to retrench about 80 workers. They had 166 employees.

"Since the voluntary retrenchment did not work, they [council] will go ahead to retrench others in order to make up the targeted number," said the source.

Gobabis Mayor Sila Bezuidenhout confirmed that 49 employees took the voluntary retrenchment packages. However, she could not provide more information, saying the town's chief executive officer, Ephraim Dawids, would be in a better position to comment.

Dawids declined to shed more light on their actions, pointing out that they, as a council will have to decide on what to respond to the media after their meeting.

Last year, The Namibian reported that the municipality planned to reduce costs and that one of its measures would be to ask workers to accept retrenchment.

Dawids, who described the exercise as a "voluntary exit scheme", said then that it was premature to give any figures.

"We did a business review looking at the services we provide and how we can improve," he said.

According to him, the review found that the municipality was overstaffed and spending more on salaries than on providing services to people.

The council had been in the news recently with reports of financial problems and huge debts.

Copyright © 2013 The Namibian. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.