Ohorongo Cement workers want more houses

17 November 2021 | Labour

ENZO AMUELE

WINDHOEK

Ohorongo Cement employees staged a protest on Monday and handed over a petition to the management.

The company had promised in 2016 to build 200 houses worth N$9 million for its workers at Otavi and Tsumeb.

According to Immanuel Festus, regional coordinator of the Mining, Metal, Maritime and Construction Workers Union (MMMC), only six houses have been built.

“An amount of nine million Namibian dollars was set aside to build houses and … only four million was used to purchase … 18 plots in Otavi out of the 30 erven made available by the Otavi town council for an amount of N$26 000 each, which amounts to less than N$400 000. When we did our inspection, we found out that only six houses were built on the plots that were purchased by Ohorongo Cement,” he said.

Festus called on the management to step down and accused them of not respecting the trade union.

Workers’ demands

The workers are asking the company to honour its promise.

The union’s acting general secretary, Joseph Garoëb, said the workers also complained about shiftwork.

“The company applied for exemption and then accepted by the government, but it was not gazetted yet the company is forcing workers to work shifts whereby the continuous shift is not yet approved by the relevant ministry,” he said.

Rudolf Coetzee, the general administration manager, received the petition on behalf of the company and told the group that he would forward it to management and respond in due course.

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