Workers underpaid at Wu's housing project

Subcontractors at the Kaisosi housing project in Rundu are said to be paying their workers far below the minimum wage.

19 June 2020 | Labour



Labourers recruited by subcontractors building houses for prominent Chinese businesswoman Stina Wu are paid far below the minimum wage.

At the site in Rundu's Kaisosi location, workers are forced to accept between N$60 and N$100 per day on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

This while the minimum wage is N$135 a day.

Namibian Sun recently reported that Wu's company, Helmsman Group, terminated the previous subcontractor's contract.

Northern Land Civil Engineering was accused of paying workers N$108 per day.

Inferior sand

Allegations about Northern Land's use of inferior sand in the building process have also surfaced.

According to building inspectors, loam soil compromises the quality of structures.

The termination of that contract saw about 120 workers left jobless.

Prior to the termination of the contract, Northern Land CEO Immanuel Shilongo said the use of the inferior sand was a result of poor funding from the principal contractor.

From bad to worse

After terminating the contract, the group appointed one of its own companies, Gladimar CC.

Four subcontractors were also appointed to construct houses at the Kaisosi housing project.

Prior to the appointment, the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) had been in contact with Helmsman with regards to 33 workers who were laid off by Northern Land.

The parties came to an understanding and entered into a memorandum of understanding, dated 5 June.

A copy of that agreement seen by Namibian Sun shows that all 33 workers would be reinstated and resume work from 8 June.

However, on Monday, Namibian Sun received a call from a disgruntled group who form part of the 33 workers.

N$60 per day

They said while some were called back to work, others were not.

Furthermore, those who were reinstated were informed that they would be paid N$60 per day.

The group also expressed their dissatisfaction over Manwu representative Richard Matengu, who on the national broadcaster said that the matter had been resolved and that all workers had returned to work.

When contacted for comment, Matengu expressed his dismay and requested an urgent meeting with Helmsman management.

That meeting lasted for over three hours.

Another termination?

During the meeting, Helmsman's human resources manager Nancy Chibala said she had requested the subcontractors to increase the wages.

“After I picked up that the subcontractors were paying their labourers N$60 per day, I called for a meeting at which we gave them two days to think about it,” she said.

Should the subcontractors not increase the wages, their contract will be terminated as well, she said.

Namibian Sun further uncovered that Helmsman directly employs 22 workers who earn N$100 per day, while those employed by the subcontractors earning N$60 per day.

Attempts to get comment from Wu proved futile, while on Monday she denied that anyone at the project earns N$60 per day.

Meanwhile, despite Helmsman terminating Northern Land's contract, the companies are still in business at Wu's Galaxy Mall in Rundu.

Similar News


Jobless teachers protest over ­recruitment process

21 hours ago | Labour

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKUnemployed teachers will embark on a national demonstration on Thursday to protest against the education ministry's recruitment procedures.The United Unemployment Teachers Movement (UUTM) will...

Shoprite workers threatened, union claims

1 day - 19 January 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKStriking workers of retail group Shoprite Holdings are allegedly being threatened by their employer to drop the ongoing demonstrations or...

NYS fails to pay guards, union on time

2 days ago - 18 January 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKThe National Youth Service (NYS) has failed to pay security guards their...

Nampol unapologetic over Shoprite shootings

2 days ago - 18 January 2021 | Labour

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI Namibian police deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said rubber bullets were...

GIPF pulled into Shoprite-AR brawl

6 days ago - 14 January 2021 | Labour

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEKThe Government Institutions Pensions Fund (GIPF) could suffer collateral damage from the...

Swapo enters Cheetah Cement fray

1 week ago - 13 January 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKSwapo’s Otjiwarongo branch has entered a labour dispute involving Cheetah Cement and its employees after calling for a meeting to...

Strikers score court victory against Shoprite

1 week ago - 11 January 2021 | Labour

ADOLF KAURASWAKOPMUND Shoprite employees cheered after the High Court in Windhoek ruled in favour of their trade union, Nafau, in its application against the...

Nafau files urgent application against Shoprite

1 week ago - 07 January 2021 | Labour

NAMPA WINDHOEKThe Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) has filed an urgent application...

Employee salaries are market-related, says Shoprite

2 weeks ago - 06 January 2021 | Labour

NAMPA WINDHOEKShoprite Holdings Namibia and its subsidiaries offer market-related salaries and working conditions that are in compliance with prevailing labour legislation....

Show solidarity with Shoprite workers: Jauch

3 weeks ago - 24 December 2020 | Labour

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK The chairperson of the Economic and Social Justice Trust (ESJT) Herbert Jauch says Namibians should show solidarity and support the fight against starvation...

Latest News

RTE and Slaughterhouze part ways...

7 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKNamibian record label Remember The Eagle (RTE) Records has agreed to part ways with local group Slaughterhouze.While the group consists of DJ Spuzza,...

Trustco scrambles to meet JSE...

21 hours ago | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUTrustco Holdings Limited is scrambling to finalize and submit its financials as a Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s deadline, less than two weeks away, looms. JSE...

New vehicle sales moving in...

21 hours ago | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUVehicle sales contracted by 2.0% year-on-year in December 2020, compared to a contraction of 2.2% year-on-year in December 2019, with 714 units sold in...

Nekongo breaks silence on Fishrot...

21 hours ago | Crime

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKSwapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo yesterday said he did not know that the N$65 000 allegedly deposited into his personal account...

15 350 pupils ‘lost in...

21 hours ago | Education

ESTER KAMATIOTJIWARONGOWith the ministry of education taking a blended approach through online efforts and remote teaching and learning, about 15 350 learners did not return...

Shangula looking beyond Covax for...

21 hours ago | Health

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKNamibia is looking beyond the Covax facility to procure additional stock of Covid-19 vaccine, health minister Kalumbi Shangula has said.The Covax facility, an initiative...

Namibia more of a consumer...

21 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUNamibia recorded a trade deficit to the tune of N$1.4 billion in November 2020. The recent figure shows that the deficit improved by...

Going back to the original...

21 hours ago | Opinion

It's not too late to salvage Namibia from the jaws of predatory tendencies threatening our existence as a nation.Think of the ideal Namibia we had...

Groundwater threatened by drilling

21 hours ago | Environment

FRANK STEFFENWINDHOEKIn 2011, a hydrological study dating back to 2001 was republished.Together with the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR in Hanover, Germany),...

Load More