Spare a thought for Telecom Namibia

23 January 2015
Author  

That Telecom Namibia is a company in distress is undisputed. Last year was a nightmare for the company with several media reports of workers not being paid on time on a number of occasions.

The company announced last year that it would start voluntary retrenchments as margins continued to be squeezed for a variety of reasons.

The company also recently announced that it had closed down its Nova Vita Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Klein Windhoek as it was not part of its core business.

A series of bad investments in both South Africa and Angola did not help as the company struggled to recover funds that it had invested in these two countries.

The company’s investment in the country’s second mobile operator, TN Mobile, seems to have added to the long list of bad investments as the mobile telecommunications operator has struggled to increase its market share since the company changed hands in 2013.

Add to that the decision to pump millions of dollars into sponsoring the recently held CAF African Women Championships in Windhoek, and then you have a cocktail for disaster.

Frans Ndoroma, if he is honest with himself, would be the first to admit that his last years in charge of Telecom Namibia were a disaster. Despite the company’s extensive infrastructure across the country, it inexplicably continues to play second fiddle to MTC.

But while the company’s woes can without a doubt be attributed to bad management decisions, there is no doubt that the continued theft of Telecom Namibia’s optic fibre and copper cables has made the situation even worse.

The high incidents of theft and damage of Telecom Namibia’s infrastructure across the country have become a serious cause for concern, and if no drastic action is taken, the situation will remain with us for a number of years affecting both individuals and businesses.

Despite offers of financial rewards, Telecom Namibia has struggled to apprehend the hoodlums who are hell bent on destroying the company’s infrastructure resulting in millions of losses as Telecom replaces the damaged infrastructure and cables across the country.

The company is also losing out on goodwill as its customers continue to suffer from intermittent cuts in services.

The regular occurrence of copper cable theft indicates the operations of a syndicate.

The police should work extra hard to bring the culprits to book before they cause further misery to Telecom and its customers.

Those companies or individuals that are buying the stolen copper cables should be heavily punished if caught. Namibia should not be turned into some banana republic in which the normal operation of business is affected by organised crime.

As the public we should also play our part by reporting these malcontents to the police as the country cannot afford the rise of organised crime.

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WINDHOEK OBSERVER

The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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