Windhoek — The chairperson of the Board of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Sven Thieme, said on Monday that the notion of people losing their jobs at the state-owned broadcaster is still a reality under the current economic circumstances.
Thieme said this when responding to the employees' petition last month that called on management and the board of directors to reverse all austerity measures implemented at the NBC with immediate effect.
NBC earlier last month announced a slew of austerity measures - among others including switching off live cameras from parliament and considering retrenching 156 of its staff.
But Thieme, responding to the employees' petition through their representative, the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu), this week said job losses at the corporation are a reality, even in the event they will be lucky to receive the appropriate funding from the shareholder.
"What we must be aware of is that the shareholder might dictate how the entity should be managed/structured moving forward by virtue of their ownership over NBC," Thieme told Napwu general secretary Peter Nevonga in the letter on Monday.
Thieme said the board is of the same view around lifting of the austerity measures, however, the measures will remain in place until the financial situation at NBC is fully addressed.
He said austerity measures were implemented with the sole understanding aimed at rescuing the NBC from financial and operational demise.
"It is an open secret that the financial affairs of the NBC have been coming for the past fifteen years, if not more," he said.
"As we all know, the current challenging economic situation in our country has put a lot of entities in serious trouble. The NBC is not immune to this," he said.
He said the board would be acting delinquently and against all aspects of good corporate governance should it just abandon the austerity measures process without all concerns raised not being addressed, with the main one being inadequate funding of the NBC.
Also, on contract workers, Thieme said the corporation is currently not in a position to give permanent employment to all contract workers.
"Where will the funds come from? What we are looking forward to is an engagement that will seek to bring 100 percent efficiency and high level of productivity," he said.
He said the NBC has done its best to at least have the contract employees on its payroll despite the "very difficult and challenging circumstances".
"What should be appreciated by all and sundry, is that NBC simply doesn't have enough funds to continue operating with the current mandate," Thieme said in his 10-page response to the labour union.