- Prime Minister Hage Geingob announced this morning that recent oil exploration off the Walvis Bay coast has confirmed that the country has oil reserves, although not in commercial volumes.
Cabinet announces Meatco ownership
After five years of wrangling between stakeholders and the Government, Cabinet has officially announced its future stake in Meatco and approved a unique cooperative with a majority of members’ shareholding of 70% and the Government taking a ‘golden share’ of 30%.
The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, senior management and board members from Meatco, the Meat Board and the Abattoirs Association of Namibia were all present to hear the official word from the Minister.
However, Agriculture Minister John Mutorwa made it clear that until the relevant new laws have been put in place, Meatco will continue to operate under its current laws.
Due to the fact that the directive made by Cabinet is not in line with the proposal made by the Meatco Working Group, livestock producers will hold a special general meeting to discuss the way forward.
Announcing the decision on the future ownership, operational structure and legal framework of Meatco, Mutorwa explained that 10 Cabinet resolutions were passed.
He stressed that the Meatco Act of 001 does not explicitly state or define who the owners of Meatco are.
“This vexed question has preoccupied the minds and efforts of the Government as well as the Namibian livestock producers since the writing of the Act in 2001.”
According to him, the immediate and most urgent task now is for the Ministry and other stakeholders to finalise the Namibia Meat Company Bill and for the cooperative and for onward processing through appropriate channels.
However, until this is finalised and the Bills are passed in Parliament, any applicable laws shall continue to remain in force.
Spending almost five years on the Meatco’s ownership structure, Mutorwa said that Government is not intimidated by the current structure of Meatco.
He elaborated on other resolutions that were taken by Cabinet and said that Meatco’s new structure and business model based on the unique cooperative should have a council that is made up of delegates from regional structures and that the ownership of the cooperative be made up of commercial and communal farmers who sell their livestock under the auspices of the Cooperative.
Furthermore, it was approved that the benefits to the farmers should be derived from the sales of their livestock with a bonus taking into account those who sell more to the cooperative in order to encourage sales under the auspices of the cooperative.
The Cabinet directed that the Ministry should ensure that all commercial and communal farmers in all regions are members of the cooperative
Furthermore it was decided that the Governments veto voting right regarding major decisions taken by the trading company should be vested in the Ministry of Agriculture.