Returning NBC workers ‘have bills to pay’

Originally, 67 employees had stayed away from the strike, but as of yesterday morning, the number has increased to 165 amid a barrage of public ridicule against those returning.

19 May 2021 | Labour


NBC average salaries per month

Senior reporters/producers - N$33 736

Chief reporters/senior sub-editors - N$41 446

Editor/executive producer - N$67 055

Other benefits

13th cheque equal to basic salary

Housing subsidy (36% employee contribution [EE], 64% employer contribution [ER])

Medical aid (29% EE, 71% ER)

Pension (5%, 7%, 9% or 12% EE; 16% ER)

Group life policy for employees (50% EE, 50% ER)

Mortgage bond protection plan (100% ER)


Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) employees who have aborted their participation in the ongoing strike and returned to work said they would struggle to pay their monthly bills if they stayed away from work for too long.

The strike, the longest in the history of the national broadcaster, is premised on the principle of “no work, no pay”.

Based on that rule, striking employees are not only deprived of their salaries but all other benefits to which NBC contributes financially, such as medical aid and pension plans.

This has proven to be a thorn in the side of some employees, who said they have no alternative financial options to fall on.

As such, some have returned to work, citing an inability to survive without pay.

At the beginning of the strike, 67 employees indicated that they were not participating. This figure increased to 131 by 6 May and might have increased even more since then.

Those who returned to work have endured verbal assaults by their striking colleagues for ‘selling out’ on the demands for better working conditions.


“We are labeled ‘traitors’ by our colleagues who are on strike, but personal circumstances differ from employee to employee,” a worker who returned to work recently told Namibian Sun this week.

“There are those who can still afford their bills even if they don’t get paid, but some of us cannot. I don’t have N$11 000 stashed somewhere to fulfil my monthly deductions such as medical aid and others.”

Another employee cited his looming rental bill as the reason he returned to work.

In a recent circular seen by Namibian Sun, NBC’s management has disputed assertions that employees are underpaid.

“In the case of NBC’s news permanent staff alone, the reporters/senior reporters/producers/sub-editors job family earns on average a total remuneration package of N$33 736.02 per month, while the chief reporters/senior sub-editor/bulletin editor/senior producer job family an average of N$41 446.17 per month. The editor/executive producer job family earns an average of N$67 055.29 per month,” it read.

“These amounts include, amongst others, an 13th cheque, which is equal to the basic salary, a housing subsidy, medical aid, pension, a group life policy for employees and a mortgage bond protection plan as well as cellphone and monthly non-cash cellphone allowances for those who qualify due to operational requirements.”

NBC’s wage bill for its 523 employees, with almost 80 managers, takes up nearly 70% of the broadcaster’s operational costs.

Northern region unrepentant

Meanwhile, NBC employees based in the northern regions said they will not give in to intimidation and will continue to strike.

Six employees, four of them permanently employed and one of them a manager, are back at work. This while a total of 32 employees remain on strike, five of them contract workers.

Speaking to Namibian Sun on Monday on behalf of the northern striking employees, Samuel Shikesho, NBC chairperson and shop steward at Oshakati, said they will remain on strike until their demands are met.

The strike started on 22 April and, close to four weeks later, no agreement is in sight.

NBC had its subsidy from government slashed by 62% and the company said if employee demands – which include an 8% salary increase and 24 months of back payments – are met, the broadcaster will have to embark on massive retrenchments.

NBC board chairperson Lazarus Jacobs declined to comment on operational matters pertaining to the broadcaster pending a legal challenge that had been brought about by the Namibia Public Workers Union.

Partially back on air

After weeks of being off air, several NBC stations have started broadcasting again after some of their staff members returned to work.

These include the 20:00 TV prime news, National Radio (English service) and Tirelo Ya Sechaba (Setswana service), while Kati FM (Oshiwambo service) might be back on air this Friday, according to inside sources.

Similar News


Forced leave to cut guards’ salaries

3 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Labour

Kenya Kambowe Rundu Rundu security companies have been accused of forcing employees to go on leave for up to 10 days a month to cut...

Land registration staff want permanent employment

2 weeks ago - 31 May 2021 | Labour

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe Communal Land Rights Registration Team (CLRRT) has proposed to the agriculture...

NBC contract workers want permanent jobs by 1 June

2 weeks ago - 28 May 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKNBC’s working committee says it would like to see contract workers employed by the corporation receive their permanent contracts by...

NBC, Napwu iron out pay modalities

2 weeks ago - 27 May 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE and TUYEIMO HAIDULAWINDHOEK/OSHAKATIThe Namibia Public Workers Union and the NBC are working on modalities to ensure that striking employees will be paid their...

NUNW extends begging bowl to affiliates

3 weeks ago - 24 May 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe National Union of Namibian Workers is asking for money from its affiliates to pay a deposit of 75% on an overdue City of...

More than 11 000 laid off since April 2020

3 weeks ago - 24 May 2021 | Labour

NAMPAWINDHOEKThe ministry of labour, industrial relations and employment creation recorded 11 210 retrenchments between April 2020 and March 2021, its quarterly report has indicated.The report...

Remaining striking fishermen to be re-employed

3 weeks ago - 21 May 2021 | Labour

LEANDREA LOUWWALVIS BAYThe remaining 290 unemployed fishermen who went on an illegal strike five years ago will be re-employed by a local fishing company.An estimated...

PM sparks hope for NBC stand-off

3 weeks ago - 20 May 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKGovernment is pulling all stops to find additional funding for NBC, Prime...

Returning NBC workers ‘have bills to pay’

3 weeks ago - 19 May 2021 | Labour

STAFF REPORTERNBC average salaries per monthSenior reporters/producers - N$33 736Chief reporters/senior sub-editors - N$41 446Editor/executive producer - N$67 055 Other benefits13th cheque equal to basic...

New deputy labour commissioner under fire

1 month - 10 May 2021 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe appointment of Kyllikki Sihlahla as the new deputy labour commissioner has raised eyebrows, with critics questioning her suitability for the job.There are also...

Latest News

Starlile wins Winter Cup

14 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIStarlile from the Okahandja Racing Club beat the likes of You Touch My Heart (second place) and Newton Spark (third place) to the finish.Starlile...

Bronze for Du Plooy

14 hours ago | Sports

Namibia’s triathlon champion Divan du Plooy took bronze at the just-ended African continental championship in Egypt.The Namibian was competing in the Under-23 category in Sharm...

Plot prices in Keetmans nearly...

14 hours ago | Economics

The Keetmanshoop municipality has dropped the price per plot in the new Brukharos extension to N$16 900 per plot for low-income earners to afford housing.The...

President too quiet in crisis...

14 hours ago | Health

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKFormer health minister Dr Richard Kamwi is among those who believe that President Hage Geingob’s silence, as the country endures its worst wave of...

Covid-19: Six SA tourists die...

14 hours ago | Health

NEWS24JOHANNESBURGSix elderly tourists died from Covid-19 after 37 out of 40 travellers on a bus trip in Namibia tested positive for the coronavirus.According to Netwerk24,...

Covid-19’s impact on sports

14 hours ago | Sports

Limba MupetamiThe effects of Covid-19 continue to flow through Namibia’s health, educational, financial, and commercial institutions and the sport sector is no different.Matches and competitions...

Won’t do it - Kanalelo

14 hours ago | Sports

KickOffThe former Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Fillemon ‘Ronnie’ Kanalelo worked at both Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United as a keeper trainer, and had his last coaching...

SA govt sells majority stake...

14 hours ago | Business

Nqobile Dludla - The South African government is selling a 51% stake in South African Airways (SAA) to Takatso consortium, which will initially commit more...

EDITORIAL: President must address the...

14 hours ago | Opinion

The clarion calls for President Geingob to crawl from under his rock and provide leadership insofar as the deadly surge in Covid-19 infections is concerned...

Load More