State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) minister Leon Jooste has confirmed that the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) Judicial Management Bill has been given a thumps-up and is currently awaiting parliament approval to be passed into an Act.
“It must be approved. The reason for that is that the RCC Act Section 12 prevents for the RCC to be placed under judicial management or wound up without an Act of parliament. So we first need to get that authority from parliament,” said the minister in an exclusive interview with The Villager.
Cabinet recently took a drastic decision to have the embattled public enterprise put under judicial management, thus saving it from completely being wiped out.
At the preset moment, besides the passing of the bill, not much as happened, as Jooste said, “We are still there, its just that we’re following process. We need to table the bill in parliament”
As soon as the bill is passed then the Attorney General (AG), Sacky Shanghala will prepare an affidavit to the high court to apply for judicial management.
Jooste said, “That must all still happen this year, so it’s in process.”
Judicial management was hailed by the works minister Alpheus !Naruseb as the best solution possible other than shutting RCC down thereby opening the space for private sector to take over its functions.
RCC board chairperson Fritz Jacobs, speaking to The Villager at a presser held by !Naruseb at his offices described the move as triumph of common sense.
“It is a first for the country and this process might possibly be a bit of an experimentation because all in all one would have rather advised that the SOEs must be capacitated. Looking at their impact, SOEs are the engines of the economy becaue they are so many and they are employing so many. A bulk of the asserts are with the SOEs also,” Jacobs is quoted by The Villager as saying.
The move against RCC has sparked public debate on whether jobs ought to be saved at the expense of losing billions or vice versa.
Jooste’s stance was drastic, and he was hell-bent on shutting down the public enterprise’ doors together with a contigent of like-minded high profile political figures.
Experts have gone on to speculate which enterprise must be next as SOEs’ propensity to draining state coffers had reached intolerable levels at the back of a struggling economy.
A daily paper is on record reporting that RCC’s lawyers had warned government against applying for the company’s closure on the basis that it had failed to pay its debts implying that GRN would shoulder the responsibility to pay then up.