KAT to cut 150 Jobs

9 June 2006

The Karas Abattoir and Tannery (KAT) is to cut between 100 and 150 jobs. The move comes as part of a restructuring plan necessitated by the planned closure of its ostrich slaughtering plant 20 km south of Keetmanshoop. Goats and sheep are also slaughtered at the abattoir. Mouton said the last ostriches would be slaughtered at the dual-purpose abattoir during the second week of this month. In an attempt to rescue the sinking ostrich industry in the South, the Government, through Agribank, pumped in millions of dollars to keep the industry afloat. However, Agribank last year exited the sector, saying that the ostrich industry was not as viable as had been anticipated. The company's report said while prices of ostrich meat remained under pressure, the cost incurred to raise the birds until slaughter stage were exorbitant. KAT board members will meet next week to discuss the restructuring process scheduled for July. New projects are being considered such as the slaughtering of small livestock to create new jobs which would be offered the those affected by the job cuts. Managing director Frikkie Mouton stated that he had tendered his resignation to the KAT board, but would stay on for at least three to six months to hand over the operation to his successor. This comes a few months after the company changed their name from Ostrich Production Namibia (OPN).

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