The RCC board chairperson Fritz Jacobs has told The Villager that he welcomes the Cabinet Committee on Overall Policy and Priorities’ (CCOPP) decision of placing the parastatal under judicial management.
Exclusively speaking to The Villager this week, Jacobs says the final decision comes as a victory for the company whose top management and workers had faced the grim prospect of being chopped on the stake. The Finance Ministry had withheld further bail-outs for the company after it had sent a begging bowl to Calle Schlettwein who said bailing it at this time did not make any ?nancial sense.
The line Minister Alpheus !Naruseb has been lately ?ghting tooth and nail to save RCC and Jacobs told The Villager that last week’s decision was a “victory for common sense”. “I very much welcome the decision because the initial request was outright closure and common sense has prevailed for Cabinet to say that we must ?nd a way to rescue the company,” he says.
The decision was put to parliament for approval. Pressed on whether this move would see other SOEs which are in the same dire ?nancial straits also facing the same fate, Jacobs says RCC has only been targeted as “an experiment” for the ?nal nail on all struggling SOEs.
“It is a ?rst for the country, and this process might be a bit of 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 because they are many and they are employing so many. A bulk of the assets are with the SOEs also,” he tells The Villager.
He says instead of cutting them off despite a record of unpro?tability and continuous draining of the ?nancial coffers, SOEs still needed support as they are still imperative to economic growth. Concerning the fate of the RCC board, !Naruseb this week told reporters that the problems at the parastatal had only been inherited, thus implying that chances of the board getting ? red are from slim to none.
Jacobs also says his team will be there to liaise with the administrative manager whose role he says is after all not permanent and that they will not “evaporate into thin air over night.” “Our board remains intact; our duty is to ful?l our ?duciary duties. A judicial manager is a temporary arrangement, and of course, even though the board is under a judicial manager there is still public consultation.
The same with the SME bank which is even under liquidation but they are still consulting with management and so on, all the time. It’s not like you evaporate overnight because there is a judicial manager,” he says.
However, Jacobs does not entirely have the fullest picture of what would become of his team and the company in the long run after the company has gone through the needed face-lift processes. “Let us see what happens, we stand to advise our principals and the board is not insigni?cant in this role,” he says. Using ?gurative language, !Naruseb, however, suggested to The Villager that what has happened at RCC will soon catch up with other struggling SOEs under his ambit.
“I wish I was able to look into the crystal ball, but at this point, I am focusing on RCC. It is not different from other SOEs regarding incapability to meet their ?nancial liabilities. Look at Transnamib, the money that they need to revive their fortunes is probably twenty or ten times much more than what RCC initially asked for. It is the same thing if you look at Air Namibia.
As a father how would I justify embracing one side and sending the other child to the gallows, that’s the nature of a father, he wants to see the best for all his children and that is my stance,” he said.