Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Ex-BCL miners refuse retrenchment pay-out

The provisional liquidator of BCL Ltd, Nigel Dixon Warren says some BCL ex-employees have rejected the retrenchment packages offered to them. 
Although details are still sketchy, this publication is reliably informed that the said ex-employees’ bone of contention is that some of their outstanding dues were not included in the retrenchment package.
Warren confirmed that they had only managed to pay 12 individuals while 87 are still yet to claim their retrenchment packages. 
However, in yet another twist to this saga, the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) now says there is great possibility that the 87 “ex BCL employees” might be ghost employees, adding that there is need to smoke them out for a smooth transition.
Warren also said this past week that he would approach the government to request for more funds to pay at least 35 ex-BCL employees who were promoted before the mine was placed under provisional liquidation. He said the employees were not budgeted for hence government had to assist with funds.
BCL owes various creditors including the Botswana Power Corporation and Water Utilities Corporation, as well as banks, up to P1 billion. Of the 6 000 or so workers under BCL Ltd, the vast majority were paid their terminal benefits before Christmas.
The Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Minister, Sadique Kebonang revealed that BCL mine would be sold for US$300 million (P3 billion). Although he did go much into details he said the buying company is associated with a royal family in Dubai.
BCL Ltd wholly owns BCL Mine and BCL Investments, as well as an 85 percent stake in Tati Nickel Mining Company. All operations ceased in October 2016 after government successfully applied to the High Court for provisional liquidation citing the impossible costs of continuing operations.



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