TransNamib board chairman Lionel Matthews says the Ministry of Finance needs to optimally deploy N$175 million to the parastatal in the short term for it to carry out some of its activities.
Matthews says the funds will be used for the current situation and proposed solutions, the purchase of shunting locomotives, wagons and tankers, and to release some locomotives for mainline use.
He was speaking yesterday at a press conference in Windhoek.
“The proposed program and budget relate to infrastructure improvements, additional staff recruitment and training/consulting interventions, and improving the work environment and employee performance and more,” Matthews said. .
In the long term, the government plans to invest N$2.2 billion in the provision and upgrading of railway infrastructure for the period 2022/23 to 2024/25, following the N$1.3 billion for 2020 /21 and 2021/ 22 period.
This comes after the Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP) confirmed that an investment of N$2.5 billion is required to execute the new TransNamib mandate, which would come mainly from recapitalisation, sale of assets non-essential, government grants and vendor funding. .
Matthews said these investments are managed by the Department of Public Works and Transport, as rail infrastructure is owned by the government.
“The government, through state-owned enterprises, has provided N$523.6 million during the financial period 2022/23 to 2024/25, of which N$175 million will be made available for the financial year 2022 /23,” he said.
Matthews said that the main objective of the financial allocation is to support the implementation of the ISBP and to meet at least one of the conditions of the Bank of Namibia’s N$2.6 billion financing commitment. development in southern Africa.
“It has been agreed with the Ministry of Finance to rework the ISBP and fulfill all the conditions of the DBSA and Development Bank of Namibia financing offer of N$2.6 billion over the six coming months,” he said.
Matthews said that despite the challenges, the government is sticking to its development goals in transport, logistics and infrastructure.
UNION AND INDUSTRIAL ACTION IN PROGRESS
Johny Smith, the managing director of TransNamib, said the parastatal had received a petition from the Transport and Allied Workers Union of Namibia (Natau), making certain demands.
It comes after employees protested in June, expressing their dissatisfaction with their working conditions.
“The company filed an urgent request against Natau to prohibit and prevent the union from carrying out industrial action in the form of a strike as planned by Natau, whose planned start date was to be July 18,” it said. -he declares.
Smith said the two sides had come to the conclusion that Natau would hold a secret ballot on Aug. 12 to determine whether or not the employees should strike.
“TransNamib has no money for pay rises.
“If employees choose to take industrial action, the company will apply the principle of no work, no pay during the strike period,” he said.
Smith said TransNamib continues to remain in a difficult financial situation due to its short-term cash position, as well as its limited rolling stock capacity.
“As a company operating with a loss of over N$10 million per month, its financial situation is precarious.
“TransNamib management has gone to great lengths to engage the union and our internal stakeholders on the perilous financial situation,” he said.
Smith said they remain hopeful and call on employees to assess and understand the disastrous consequences of the industrial action for the already struggling entity.