Namibia: Hotel Retains Staff With Pay Cuts

Hotel Rundu has cut salaries of all employees by 25% as the hospitality sector struggles to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Many hotels and lodges are trying to reduce and cut costs as the industry faces cancellations from foreign tourists who are the life-blood of this sector.

According to a report from the ministry of environment and tourism, the industry is estimated to lose in excess of N$70 million per day during this time.

Whilst some accommodation establishments have opted to retrench workers, Hotel Rundu has resorted to reduce pay packages of all employees.

Hotel manager Hafeni Shiponeni said they have found ways to retain their employees.

"We have not retrenched anyone, we also negotiated with the employees and had an agreement that their salaries will be reduced so that we can keep them instead of retrenching," he said.

The hotel employs about 20 workers, 16 permanent and four casual workers.

Shiponeni added that although their industry is literally on its knees, and it is not certain whether it will recover anytime soon, he remains hopeful that in the next phase they will be able to pick up business.

"It is very difficult, especially for our industry but we are hoping things will change in the new stage. We are currently relying on local tourism but we usually made income from internationals and workshops so it's really difficult," he added.

The industry has come to a complete standstill with big and small hotel operators experiencing huge financial losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The manager also said they are in the process of applying for a subsidy from the Social Security Commission to supplement their wage bill. As part of their corporate social responsibility, the hotel recently donated food parcels worth N$12 000 to about 60 households within the hotel's vicinity. The management says the parcels are a token of appreciation to the community for their continued support to sustain themselves during the current times.

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