Chairman’s Report

AS THE INDEPENDENT CHAIRMAN OF THIS DUAL LISTED
COMPANY IN THIS COUNTRY THE SAYING: “AGAINST ALL
ODDS” COMES TO MIND…

If Namibia were any other country and if Trustco was just another company,
then yes, the current economic contraction would certainly be a depression,
and not what is now generally accepted as a mere recession.

“NAMIBIA TODAY IS NO LONGER A TODDLER. IT IS A NATION, SELF ASSURED,
FULL OF CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENT OF ITS CAPACITY AND ABILITY
TO MOULD ITS DESTINY. WE ENSURED THE ENTRENCHMENT OF DEMOCRACY
IN ALL ITS FACETS IN OUR COUNTRY. WE ARE STILL MAKING SIGNIFICANT
STRIDES IN OUR EFFORTS TO BRING ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE.” STATE
OF THE NATION ADDRESS, 23 JUNE 1992 – FOUNDING FATHER, DR S NUJOMA

The founding father is correct when he states that Namibia has never demanded
entitlement or expected pity or aid from international investors and
the development community. Similarly, Trustco is not demanding investment,
we are earning it. After all, we are walking tall as an independent nation and
our aim should be to rather become the first choice for foreign investors and a
preferred destination of investment and developmental capital. Trustco, as a
group, aspired towards this target, making this a reality for ourselves this year.
Through initiatives guided by the board and spearheaded by management, we
can claim we’ve managed to reach our target, albeit battled and bruised. We
never wavered and will never waver, because Trustco does not have a history or
reputation of giving up in the face of adversity. Trustco has over the last year
secured the inflow of more than NAD 1.45 billion through international transactions
alone, and maintained itself as a model for other Namibian businesses
to follow.

“LET US RESOLVE TO LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER IN THIS HOUSE AND
NOT HARM ONE ANOTHER, OR OUR VISITORS.” PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
OF NAMIBIA, H.E DR HAGE G GEINGOB

His Excellency, President Geingob’s words must be echoed. However, Namibians
amongst themselves, have allowed social media to become a platform for
abuse. Trustco stands for and advocates freedom of speech. That right has its
limitations. If we abuse the right, we may become an unattractive destination
and investors might see us as unappealing. If we cannot work together to
solve what ails our nation, we cannot expect international capital to take risks
we seem unwilling to take ourselves? We need true democrats to back up and
strengthen institutions so that our national problems can be resolved.

“I HAVE SAID IT BEFORE, AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN, WE MUST ALWAYS
STRIVE TO ENSURE THAT NO NAMIBIAN CITIZEN IS LEFT BEHIND IN OUR
DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS.” FORMER PRESIDENT, HIFIKEPUNYE POHAMBA

Trustco agrees with His Excellency, the former President of Namibia, Hifikepunye
Pohamba. Trustco is one of those institutions and the group has led the
charge towards economic empowerment for its employees and the community
in which it operates. Trustco promotes and enables all employees with one year of service to become shareholders, so that each employee can share in the risks and rewards of the group’s success. Over the past 5 years, the growth in the share price has
made many an employee a great deal wealthier, and the board can see how this has affected morale and earnestness in tackling the group’s missionof wealth creation. This second least densely populated country is cognisant of the fact that no
one can operate as an island, but must cultivate a cohesive culture where all have to work together to achieve our national and international status and
commitments.

 

“WE HAVE SET OURSELVES IDEALS THAT WE MUST FOREVER UPHOLD, NAMELY
PURPOSEFULNESS, PERSEVERANCE AND A STRONG DESIRE TO WIN. HOWEVER, OUR
PEOPLE SHOULD NOT ONLY HOPE FOR MORE JOBS TO BE CREATED FOR THEM. WE NEED TO BE MORE PROACTIVE AND PARTICIPATE AS
ENTREPRENEURS, NOT ONLY AS WORKERS, IN OUR ECONOMY. HARD AND HONEST WORK WILL NOT DO US ANY HARM; INSTEAD, WE WILL BE REWARDED FOR OUR TENACITY AND DILIGENCE.”
COMMEMORATION OF CASSINGA DAY, 4 MAY 1998
– FOUNDING FATHER, DR S NUJOMA

Trustco also ensures that employees share the fruits of labour by paying a dignified wage and by developing employees like none other. Trustco’s wage policy was expanded to the construction division and has now set a new standard for blue collar workers in Namibia. The board implores other businesses to follow our leadership and make a dignified wage a basic condition of employment across the country. Trustco’s Top 40 leadership
development program also strives to provide elected employees further opportunities by creating a platform to empower them.

 

“WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY, AND WE HAVE THE WILL. WE
SHALL SUCCEED. I AM SAYING THIS WITH PROFOUND CONFIDENCE AND BOLDNESS
BECAUSE OF WHAT WE ACHIEVED SINCE THE BEAUTIFUL AND PROMISING
DAWN OF OUR POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE ON 21 MARCH 1990.” STATE OF
THE NATION ADDRESS, 30 APRIL 1999 – FOUNDING FATHER, DR S NUJOMA

 

It is not only the lives of its employees that Trustco enhanced this year. The board was of the opinion that we needed a more varied, more diverse set of independent non-executive members, and in consultation with management launched a successful, albeit heated campaign for their recruitment. Trustco received 63 applications for the board member position, most of whom were a very large number of young successful Namibian individuals with strong leadership qualities, impressive curriculum vitae, but who unfortunately mostly lacked the required boardroom experience for a company of this magnitude.

With this need identified, Trustco subsequently decided to provide Namibians with the opportunity to grow, to be challenged and to be empowered. The group therefore established a junior board, consisting of only Namibians, to empower these young individuals. Both staff members and non-executive candidates were selected as junior board members and will gain experience at the highest levels of corporate governance. Trustco believes that this initiative will be part of our solution to train and empower the next generation of leaders. Let us take our eyes off our feet struggling in the mud on the road to prosperity and look at the horizon where success and good, compassionate behaviour will only be reached by putting one foot in front of the other. Namibians, as corporate citizens and we, as board members, must first rise to the challenge and focus more on rewarding success and outlive the bad by creating more good. With a newly empowered board, Trustco will never deviate from its destiny to support the Namibian nation, but in every country it operates in we aim to reach the greatest heights, because Trustco does not crawl when it can run.

ADV Raymond Heathcote SC
CHAIRMAN AND INDEPENDENT
NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR