The government intends to recall more prospecting┬álicenses that were given to local companies prospecting inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
However, the government denies recalling the licences because of pressure from Survival International, which has been accusing the government of forcibly removing Basarwa to pave the way for mining in CKGR.
Most of the companies who were given licences had wanted to explore gas in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Minerals and Water Resources, Nchidzi Mmolawa, said they are recalling the licences after companies that were given licence to explore gas had failed to abide by┬áregulations.
Mmolawa said the┬ágovernment has since taken a decision to recall the licences after it became evident that people who were issued with licences were now involved in tricky business.┬á
Mmolawa indicated that some of the companies were found be involved in dubious business deals.
“We had given one of the local company a prospecting licence where the company later started selling the prospecting licences to other companies. This resulted in the government taking a move to recall the licences,” said Mmolawa.
He said other companies later protested the government move┬á and approached the courts. Mmolawa stated that so far they government has won another case where they had cancelled a prospecting licence that was given a prospecting licence in CKGR and the company approached the court.
┬á“The government has already won a case in which a local company Strata (PTY) LTD was challenging the government decision to cancel a prospecting licence that was given to the company,” added Mmolawa.
Mmolawa┬ástated that the government was concerned that some of these companies were not exploring for gas after being given licence.
He said that the government has since taken a decision to cancel licences that were given to companies that failed to explore for gas.┬á
He said that┬áholding on licences without exploring minerals was denying the country an opportunity to make revenue. He said that there are companies that want to start exploring and the government has taken to cancel such licences and give them to companies willing, able and ready to invest.┬á