NWR proceeds with salary cuts

The company’s managing director asked all stakeholders to support the measures implemented to ensure its survival and longevity.

31 August 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT







WINDHOEK

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) says it has implemented salary cuts for its more than 600 employees.

The company on 9 July announced that it will reduce the basic salary and working hours for all its employees for a period not exceeding three months, starting this month.

NWR spokesperson Mufaro Nesongano said the need to cut salaries was a last resort after the company had exhausted all other cost-cutting measures over the past 16 months.

“Being one of the first state-owned enterprises to undertake this route, there was a misunderstanding created within the media that this was an illegal decision being taken by the company.”

However, Nesongano said it is important to note that the Labour Act makes provision for an organisation to enact a salary cut and reduce employee working hours accordingly for a period not longer than three months.

“NWR is probably the first public sector institution to take such a measure. This in itself is not surprising because the tourism sector was devastated by the impacts of Covid-19. Some other organisations were not so lucky and had to close down due to the pandemic,” managing director Dr Matthias Ngwangwama said.

He added that implementing the salary cut was one of the most difficult decisions he has had to make since assuming this role.

“It is not something I took pleasure in doing, but in the current circumstances, the options were limited,” he said.

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“Contrary to what some stakeholders indicated, reducing remuneration and hours is not unlawful, but regulated in the Labour Act. Stakeholders should familiarise themselves with and try to understand the provisions of the Act rather than make harmful statements that, in the end, may harm the reputation of the company,” he said.

Ngwangwama requested that all company stakeholders support the measures management is trying to implement to ensure the company’s survival and longevity.

Nesongano added that NWR is pleased to observe that some of those who were initially critical of the company’s stance to enact a salary cut have come to understand its move, which is geared towards securing the livelihoods of its staff members.

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