The Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has made a plea to the government to pay retrenchments packages owed to former miners at BCL mine in Selebi Phikwe.
The Union Secretary General Mbiziane Ramokate expressed disappointment this week that although “promises” were made to fully pay the BCL workers who lost their jobs late last year, “Not all of them have been paid”.
”It is not true that the examiners have been fully paid, the examiners are still owed millions in retrenchment packages that in our opinion should be paid by the government”, Ramokate said.
Ramokate said that he found it very strange that the liquidator had found it right to tell the nation that the former miners have been fully paid when he (liquidator) knows quite well that they have not been paid their retrenchment packages.
Given the failure to pay the laid off miners, BMWU says it will raise the issue when it meets the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Resources advocate Sadique Kebonang later this month.
Atleast 6000 workers at BCL mine were laid off following the decision by the government to close down the copper nickel mine and its sister company ÔÇô Tati Nickel Mine in Francistown.
Since its closure, the government has made attempts to sell the mine assets but has hit the snag. By July 2017, the mine had no offers except from an entity called Emirates Investment Holdings (EIH) and another Dubai based company seeking to re-process the BCL slag dump to recover metal values. Kebonang previously said that should the mine find no suitable candidate by December 2017, the mine will come to a final liquidation.
Recently the Selebi Phikwe Town Council (SPTC) said that it has resolved to intensify its efforts to seek private partners to carry some of its development projects as there are no signs of the reopening of the mine.
Selibe Phikwe Town mayor Molosiwa Molosiwa has said that if successful, the implementation of the targeted projects will results in creation of jobs for Phikwe dwellers who were left jobless.