Saturday, October 24, 2020

Former BCL general Manager Mphathi enlisted in the “Save Phikwe” task team

The former General Manager of BCL Montwedi Mphathi has been enlisted in the task team that is to look into the problems beleaguering the township of Selebi Phikwe as a result of the imminent closure of the BCL mine. 

Business Botswana (BB) recently announced that it has appointed a task team following the decision by the government to place both BCL & Tati Nickel mines under provisional liquidation. 

On Monday, BB confirmed the names of the task team which includes among others former BCL GM Mphathi, Chambers of Mine CEO Charles Siwawa as well as former Botswana Accountancy College Executive Director Mike Lesolle. Also in the list is First National Bank Botswana’s rising star and economist, Moatlhodi Sebabole as well as Chief Executive Officer of the biggest pension fund, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) Boitumelo Molefe. 

Amongst other things the task team is expected to receive both oral and written submissions on information that may be considered vital to the longevity of both mines and Selebi Phikwe region. For close to a decade now the town of Selebi Phikwe has been gripped by lingering possibility of the BCL Mine closure which had brought questions on the long term viability of the town. BCL Mine is Selebi Phikwe’s mainstay.

“Business Botswana further engaged the Selebi Phikwe Business Community to appreciate the impact of the decision on businesses and Phikwe residents and also to encourage the residents to cooperate with the task team with a view to find alternative solutions to the situation,” said BB CEO Dr Racious Moatshe on Monday. 

In November 2007, CAS Consultants, an international consultancy company, blatantly warned the government that if it does not take any action aimed at diversifying the economy of Selebi-Phikwe it risks prospects of a revolution. In its bulky report delivered to the government, the consultants stated nine strategic points adding that “doing nothing is not an option”. The implication of the closure of the BCL Mine would, in the absence of diversification programme, be severe. The consultants warned that the loss of employment would directly affect thousands of Batswana.

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