NBC employees’ discontent with the national broadcaster’s Board

Sharlien Tjambari

Employees of the National Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) at the Erongo Regional Office in Swakopmund participated in a nationwide peaceful demonstration on Tuesday, demanding permanent employment for contract workers and for better financial management at the national broadcaster.

A petition was handed over to the NBC’s Erongo office manager, Celle Nkuvi. The petition is addressed to the Board Chairman of the NBC, Sven Thieme.
Employees say despite the NBC’s current negative financial position, managers go on unnecessary trips and claim exorbitant travel allowances. Employees say these funds should be spent on more important issues within the broadcaster.
Employees are also unhappy with the outsourcing of certain functions at the national broadcaster to independent contractors and this further drains finances.
The petition further reads: “Favouritism, discrimination, nepotism and regionalism is an ongoing phenomenon at the NBC. This issue creates an unconducive environment for employees to work in and creates unproductivity of workers, which hinders the effectiveness of the organisation’s operation”.
The employees of NBC Swakopmund office expressed their dis-appointment in the Board of NBC which considered retrenchment as an option to reduce cost while the country’s unemployment is so high.
NBC reportedly has over 150 workers, some of whom are on contract for more than 7 years already. The workers feel it is not in line with labour legislation and these people could have been permanently employed, as then they took could benefit from a pension fund, medical aid and home loan assistance.
Employees further demand the NBC honour its recognition agreement with the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU).
“They say an independent investigation should be lodged into the mismanagement of funds at the NBC by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. NAPWU demands NBC to get rid of the one month’s contracts and employ all contract workers permanently. We demand that NBC stops with the use of independent consultants in disciplinary hearings and outsourcing services which can be executed internally”, the petition reads further.
The Manager of the NBC in the Erongo Region, Celle Nkuvi, received the petition on behalf of the NBC Board and said employees have the right to stage a demonstration if it is done legally. “I have nothing to say but to receive this petition on behalf of the Board”, said Nkuvi.
The employees have given the national broadcaster fourteen days to respond to the petition.

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