Andrew Kathindi

Air Namibia employees are set to receive a lump sum payment for their promised one year salary which government had committed to pay after the airline was placed under liquidation, Public Enterprises Minister, Leon Jooste, has confirmed.

Air Namibia employees were informed by Bruni & Mclaren, the appointed liquidators of Air Namibia, that their last salaries will be paid at the end of March, and that any other amounts which they feel they may be entitled to should be submitted as claims to the liquidators.

“The Air Namibia employees will receive their full severance packages from the liquidators. We will then pay the ex-gratia payment to the value of 12 months’ salary to each employee in a single lump sum. I have instructed officials form the ministries of Public Enterprises and Finance to meet as soon as practical to clarify the modalities,where after we will ensure that full implementation takes place,” Jooste told Windhoek Observer.

The Minister said that the employees will receive their salaries soon after the parties agree on the details.

With over 600 jobs set to be lost with the liquidation of the airline, Government through Finance Minister, Iipumpu Shiimi, committed to pay 12 months’ salary to each employee to cushion them while modalities are being worked out regarding their packages.

The employees have, however, accused Government of keeping them in the dark over the salaries and on Wednesday through their lawyer, Henry Shimutwikeni, demanded an indication as to when and how their payments will be made.

“It is now about one month since the above-mentioned commitment and undertaking was communicated by yourself on behalf of government of the Republic of Namibia and our clients have received no indication as to the modalities of the commitment,” read the letter to the minister.

According to Air Namibia employees, the commitment by Government to pay their salaries for 12 months was intended to be independent of the liquidation process.

This, they stated was “as it was clear from statement of affairs of Air Namibia that the recovery ratio shall not sustain your commitment.”

The airline’s liabilities stand at over N$3 billion with N$981 million worth of assets.