Erongo Marine permanent employees celebrate after first dividend pay-out
Midwater trawl fishing company, Erongo Marine Enterprises last week paid its 150 permanent workers more than N$6 million in dividends as part of the shareholding scheme of the Erongo Marine Harambee Workers Trust. Each employee received about N$40,000.
The trust was set up last year exclusively for the Namibian citizens employed by the company, most of whom are employed as crew aboard the company’s two trawler vessels. This was their first dividend pay-out.
Through the trust, the company’s workers were given shares in the horse mackerel right holding company Arechanab Fishing and Development Company of which Erongo Marine Enterprises is a shareholder. The trust also gives workers direct ownership in one of the company’s fishing vessels, as well as participation in the trust’s management as trustees are appointed from the ranks of the workers.
Erongo Marine Enterprises became a pioneer among the fishing companies when it introduced broad-based empowerment through shareholding. The trust is the shareholding vehicle.
“It motivates me as a fisherman. For all the years that I’ve worked in this industry, this is a first,” said Fish Master, Geoffrey Krone. “The Harambee Trust has made a tremendous impact on my life. It is not only I who will benefit but also my family. I will also use the money to invest in other people’s lives,” said Stewardess Rauna Petrus. “The trust money will ensure that I can give my children a better education,” said Josef Kasunga, who has worked for Erongo Marine for 18 years.
“It is evident that broad-based economic empowerment is the way forward if we wish to ensure social cohesion and sustained development of our country. By giving our workers a voice in the management of the company and also awarding them financially for their contribution to its success, we are doing our bit to create a more inclusive economy. In the words of our President, ‘no one should be left out’,” said the Managing Director, Dr Martha Uumati, while encouraging her staff to use the money to make a positive difference in their lives.
The horse mackerel industry operates in a high-volume low-margin environment. By volume, it is the biggest component of the Namibian fishing industry, contributing about 65% of total landings. Erongo Marine has two midwater trawlers delivering a combined annual catch of approximately 60,000 tonnes.
Caption: Elated Erongo Marine employees celebrated their dividend at a special event last week in Walvis Bay.