Namibia: NBC to Lay Off 150 Staff, As It Ponders Liquidation

10 September 2019

NEARLY a third of the national broadcaster's staff will lose their jobs, and the institution will return to "end of transmission" era in a last-ditch effort to keep it in business.

Chairman of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Sven Thieme, outlined the drastic and immediate cost cutting measures yesterday.

A total of 156 employees of the cash-strapped NBC will be retrenched starting tomorrow until year-end, to remain with 413 employees out of a staff complement of 569.

Thieme said current employment agreements of the remaining staff complement may be renegotiated, with the aim to reduce cost linked to current and future employment benefits structure.

Starting this morning, the NBC television broadcast hours will also be slashed from the current 24-hours to 07h00 - 21h00, and all indigenous news bulletins will no longer exist.

Also affected will be the frequency of English Television News Bulletins, which will only run once per day, at 20h00.

"The live broadcast of Parliamentary proceedings (National Assembly and National Council sessions) on NBC2 will be discontinued and will only be broadcast delayed and in a condensed edition the next day in addition to the news stories," Thieme said.

Thieme said the NBC would not be able to fully cover the upcoming presidential and National Assembly Elections, unless such production is fully financially supported.

The board chairperson said only an injection of N$290 million by government during the current financial year, will save the parastatal from possible liquidation.

Ultimately, the broadcaster should be liquidated if funding is not provided.

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