Broadcasting Services

NBC Retrenches Staff As It Considers Possible Liquidation

Almost a third of the Namibian national broadcaster’s staff are at risk of losing their jobs, and the institution has said that it would probably return to an “end of transmission” era in a last-ditch effort to save its business.

The Chairman of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Sven Thieme, announced these drastic cost-cutting measures earlier this week.
 A total of 156 staff members of the cash-strapped NBC will be retrenched starting next week until the end of the year. Four hundred and thirteen employees will remain out of the current staff complement of 569.
 Thieme said that the current employment contracts of the remaining staff complement could be renegotiated, with the aim of reducing cost linked to the current and future employee benefit structure.
 This week the NBC television broadcast hours were slashed from 24-hours to 07h00 - 21h00, and the national broadcaster announced that all indigenous news bulletins would no longer exist going forward.
 The frequency of the English TV News Bulletins has also been affected as they will now run only once per day, at 20h00.
 Thieme revealed that the NBC would not be able to fully cover Namibia’s upcoming presidential and National Assembly Elections unless the production is fully financially supported.
 The chairperson of the board said that only an injection of N$290 million by the government would save the parastatal from possible liquidation.
 Ultimately, the NBC could be facing liquidation if funding is not provided.

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