Namibia: Meatco Targets Ageing Workers in Restructuring

State-owned meat processer and marketer Meatco yesterday announced it was embarking on a restructuring process that will see employees aged 55 and above affected.

Meatco currently employs some 720 staff, of which about 80 falls under those targeted to be retrenched. In a statement, Meatco spokesperson Rosa Hamukuaja-Thobias did not say how many employees will be retrenched but pointed out the move was to ensure the corporation remains competitive, sustainable and profitable.

"The company crafted a leaner, agile and dynamic structure to make Meatco more robust in this ambiguous global environment," she said, adding that the volatile environment in which Meatco operates calls for business adaptation to ensure resilience. She said the corporation thrives to remain competitive, profitable and sustainable in a rapidly changing dynamic business environment.

"With the current interventions to adapt, Meatco remains optimistic of the future and its commitment to create wealth for all Namibians," she added.

Meatco is mandated to serve, promote and coordinate the interests of livestock producers in Namibia and strive for the stabilisation of the meat industry of Namibia in the national interest.

The corporation is also mandated to market products within Namibia or elsewhere to the best advantage of the producers of livestock in Namibia, among others.

Last month, Meatco CEO Mwilima Mushokabanji said the corporation is working hard to reduce its debt and is creating a new Meatco that adapts and responds to the prevailing business environment.

He said this while reacting to a report of an independent analyst Rainer Ritter of last year, which formed part of an investigation by the ministry of public enterprises into the operations of the company.

"I am sure you saw a document circulating that says Meatco owes a debt of approximately N$800 million. I would want to clearly state that is not correct and provide the correct information, and when we revised our strategy as Meatco, we were very clear in saying that we want to generate wealth for the country through being sustainable, competitive and profitable," he said.

"One of the strategies we have addressed aggressively was the debt reduction strategy. At this stage, our long-term debt stands at N$382 million and we have worked hard at reducing this debt, which is mostly interest paid to banks, as our overdraft interest rates were very high."

The report allegedly stated that the company could face liquidation if it does not reduce costs drastically to make it profitable.

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