‘Issue of hot potatoes’
Ogone Tlhage - Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says the government is expected to announce its position with regards to its ownership in Meatco in due course.
He however would not give a timeline about the decision and only said the ownership issue was receiving necessary attention.
He made the comments at a public enterprises CEO meeting held this week.
During a questions and answers session held at the forum, Meatco board member Ronald Kubas asked Jooste about Meatco’s ownership and said the board needed to be informed on the way forward.
Responding to Kubas’ query, Jooste said the government was attending to the issue and informed him that it was not a straight-forward matter.
“This is an issue of hot potatoes,” Jooste responded to the query.
“The long-term issue is what should government’s role be, how do we come in, where do we come in … these are ongoing discussions,” Jooste said.
“We are not yet at a place where we can make a decision just yet. We will tackle the issue from time to time,” he added.
He asked Meatco stakeholders for more time as the government studies its position.
“Bear with us as we tackle these things,” Jooste said.
Meatco chairperson Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun in 2015 announced that government would take up 30% stake in the form of equity, it was reported in the media.
The government’s vying for a stake in the company is because the meat industry has been declared a strategic sector that is dependent on weather and climate change.
Meanwhile, the Meatco Group recorded revenue of N$1.6 billion for its 2016/17 financial year, 6.2% down on the previous financial year. The corporation recorded revenue of N$1.687 billion – 6.3% down on the previous reporting period.
A total of N$899 million, about 53% of Meatco's total revenue, was paid out to producers.