No retrenchments at Rössing Uranium for next three years – MD
By Adolf Kaure.
The Managing Director of China National Nuclear Corporation, Johan Coetzee reacted to recent union statements, saying that Rössing Uranium will not retrench any of its employees for the next three years.
Following the recent announcement of Rössing Uranium’s life of mine extension from 2026 to 2036 as approved by the Board on 22 February, the company embarked on an extensive stakeholder engagement programme which included meetings with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Labour, the Namibia Competition Commission, the Mineworkers Union of Namibia’s national leadership, as well as Rössing employees including the MUN Branch Executive Committee.
“During these sessions the company maintained and has guaranteed job security for our employees until December 2026 and no retrenchments are envisaged within the next 3 years,” stated Coetzee.
The MUN western regional office alleged via a recent press statement that there were implications on the workers’ working conditions and job security, which the management of CNNC Rössing Uranium refuted.
“Rössing Uranium views any unfounded and unverified allegations to the company in a very serious light. The reasons being that there are currently no concerns of job losses, nor any interest and aspirations of employees that have been negatively affected,” said Coetzee.
“However, a voluntary separation process is where an employee has the right to enquire on his or her package, if the employee takes up the package, it is a voluntary decision to mutually separate from the company for whatever reason, such as new employment opportunities, early retirement, but not due to retrenchment or redundancy.”
The Managing Director reiterated that a voluntary separation process is not the same as a dismissal or retrenchment.
“Although the package is the same or similar to what was used for calculating previous retrenchment packages, it does not mean that the employee has been retrenched in terms of section 34 of the Labour Act 2007.”
“The company can at its own discretion determine the voluntary separation package on offer and in this case the Rössing board approved a similar package, which we believe is fair and above market trends in the industry.”
“Dismissals in terms of Section 34 are concluded by a letter from the employer giving the employees and Ministry of Labour notice of termination of employment. In this case, the company has not issued any letter to that effect and has therefore not activated section 34.”
“As per section 34, the employer is required to give notice at least 4 weeks in advance before intended dismissals.”
“Filing a notice now, is pre-mature and not required or obligated at all, as no retrenchment process is being considered at this stage,” he said.
Coetzee further said that any such notice will be considered in the last quarter of 2026.
“The company maintains that compulsory retrenchments is only envisaged in 2027, and the company, together with the union, will engage and comply with the Labour Act,” said Coetzee.