RCC sells assets

The Roads Contractor Company says it is cleaning up its asset register in difficult times.

16 November 2016 | Infrastructure

The cash-strapped Roads Contractor Company (RCC) is to have an online auction of its construction equipment.

Bidding will open on 17 November and continue until 24 November.

The RCC is advertising 45 categories of equipment, which include 48 road graders, 13 front-end loaders, 11 smooth drum rollers, five diesel tanker trucks, five tractors, a crane truck, a forklift and a tipper

truck.

The online advertisement indicates that the equipment will be sold “as is”.

The sale of assets is non-suspensive, which means that the auctioneer will not allow time for potential buyers to arrange mortgage finance after the fall of the hammer.

The sale is also not subject to any feasibility or any other condition required by the buyer.

Some of the equipment is old, dating back to the 1960s, ''70s and ''80s. The majority of the stock, though, dates back to the early 1990s up to 2012. Some are in working condition while some are stripped.

The acting chief executive officer of the RCC, Tino !Hanabeb, said the auction is being held to “clean up the asset register” of the parastatal.

He said a lot of the equipment is scattered across the country, old and would otherwise end up as scrap. He did, however, admit that the auction was also necessitated by the financial challenges the company is facing.

!Hanabeb added that it would not be helpful to keep some of the equipment since the RCC''s equipment use is on average 180 to 190 hours per month.

“If it is not helping us why would we keep it?” he said.





At the announcement of the controversial 150-day turnaround strategy for RCC in January 2015, the then acting CEO, Pieter Oosthuizen, said a reassessment of the company''s plant and equipment found that these had not been properly maintained.

A lack of funds has been a perennial problem for the RCC since its inception in 1999 because, said former insiders, the parastatal was established without any funding from central government.

Oosthuizen in his turnaround declaration also mentioned that the RCC had struggled to operate at an optimal level because of undercapitalisation and declining revenue streams since 2012.

Sources say the RCC cannot fulfil its mandate because it is placed at the mercy of joint ventures since the bulk of road and other construction jobs are contracted out.

The RCC was created as a public entity to “undertake work relating to the construction or maintenance of roads or any other construction works”, which include buildings, bridges, waterworks, dams, reservoirs, tunnels, canals, aqueducts, irrigation works, harbours, aerodromes and railway construction.

The sources added that most of the joint-venture partners, primarily well-connected Namibians partnering with Chinese outfits, are in essence pulling the strings and in most cases bring in their own employees and equipment.

The sources added that the RCC has no oversight over the joint-venture partners, which are registered under the Companies Act and therefore cannot be audited by it.





CATHERINE SASMAN

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