The axe is not going to fall on the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) anytime soon as its board and line minister, John Mutorwa, have struck a deal to give an upcoming self-sustainable financing model a chance.
Speaking at a press briefing this week, the minister said he had a “fruitful meeting with RCC,” and was waiting for the model to come out before waving it in the face of cabinet for its decision on the way forward.
“I visited the RCC and other State Owned Enterprises at their offices. I was thoroughly briefed about the progress where they are in terms of working on this sustaining financing scheme or model,” he said.
He has since written to the RCC board chairperson, Fritz Jacobs expressing his pleasure on the upcoming plan saying, “I am waiting for that particular model because some people are doubting it.”
“Some people have already reached the conclusion that no the RCC will never be in a position to develop itself sustainably. But you must give people the benefit of the doubt and don’t respond on their behalf,” he added.
Mutorwa also suggested that saving RCC is imperative for the many people whose livelihoods depend on their being employed by the entity.
“Only when everything else has failed then the issue of placing RCC under judicial management will arrive but for now we have not reached that stage,” he stamped.
Given the manner in which the entity has run losses and bled state coffers in bail outs, State Owned Enterprises minister, Leon Jooste last year sort to place the company under judicial management.
Simply put, this means giving viable companies which are in financial trouble a more even chance to rehabilitate themselves and be restored to profitability.
But this move was echoed by calls to have the company shut down or handed over into private hands, a move which was stopped by then works minister, Alpheus !Naruseb.
Speaking for his entity, board chairperson, Jacobs said, “We are working on it and we are not taking our eyes off the ball.”
He told The Villager last year that judicial management was a first for Namibia and that it would be an experiment being carried out on RCC “Because all in all one would have rather advised that the SOEs must be capacitated.”
He said then that instead of cutting them off despite a record of unprofitability and continuous draining of the financial coffers, SOEs still needed support as they are still imperative to economic growth.