Member of Parliament for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaaane has launched a spirited campaign through an urgent motion to force the government to reconsider its decision to place BCL under provisional liquidation.
The motion comes on the heels of reports that President Ian Khama has convened a special meeting of Parliament to discuss the Draft of the National Development Plan 11(NDP 11).
Moswaane’s motion is expected to be debated during the sitting of Parliament which is expected to convene from 26 October to 1stDecember this year.
The Telegraph is in possession of a copy of Moswaane’s draft motion which states that if the government does not find a solution to the Selibe Phikwe situation, the negative impact will cost the government 20 billion pula in the next 2 years compared to the 1.5 billion needed to help the mine.
Moswaane also wants Tati Nickel Copper mine which is a subsidiary of BCL to be opened.
According to the motion, should the government fail to help Selebi Phikwe, people will die of stress related diseases, debts and failure to service bank loans.
Moswaane’s motion says that Selibe Phikwe will be struck by abject poverty. This, he argues means government will spend more money on relief measures. He further argues that commodity prices are expected to resuscitate by 2018 and as a result, the closure of the mine to re-open it later will come at a higher cost than the one government is trying to avoid.
“The BCL mine does not only affect Selibe Phikwe, it also has negative effect to the city of Francistown (Tati nickel mine) which is situated 50km away from the city,” reads Moswaane’s motion.
The motion states that “it must be noted that Selibe Phikwe has a population of 50 000+ people who are heavily dependent on the mining activities by virtue of employment or having a relative/parents working in the BCL mines.”
The motion further states that the taskforce which consists of experts have made “recommendation that they be given additional 1.5 billion; this was on the reasons that they have made a research/feasibility study that funds available they can break even to keep the mine on operation.”
“Selibe Phikwe is a town heavily dependent on the mining sector and as a result, the people of Selibe Phikwe will suffer irreparable harm,” motion further reads in part.
Moswaane says that industrial companies, commercial entities are dependent on mining activities and as a result it is not only the miners who are going to lose their employment; 80% of all businesses will close.