Botswana’s Mineral and Energy Minister, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, issued a stern warning that his ministry would not allow speculative mining companies to hold the country at ransom in a bid to enrich themselves.
Speaking at the Botswana Resource Conference that started Wednesday, he said companies which do not meet the cut will automatically get their licences withdrawn.
“We are happy that companies that have been here have been able to sustain themselves,” he said about most of the companies that were represented at the conference when he was officially opening the conference.
“However, we are concerned about the rampant speculation in the market if it goes unchecked. Closer to what is going on on the ground …. If they fail the licences have to be withdrawn.
“We will have to deal with them kindly and diplomatically and where firmness is required we will have to do so,” he said.
He pointed out that it is unsustainable for people to sit on land while there are some serious investors waiting.
“We can not allow speculators who would fail Botswana and the investors. It is unreasonable to sit on land while there are serious investors waiting,” he added.
His comments come at a time when the economy is faced with a lot of challenges including the rise in interest rates and power shortages within the region.
Kedikilwe is highly regarded as the most performing minister within the cabinet and is within the top four key ministries in the current government.
As part of the long-term plans for the ministry, it is to be service centered and is to position the country on higher levels.
The Botswana Resource sector is aimed at honestly exchanging views on matters concerning the economy of the country.
“A great performance within the economy can be achieved and will be achieved through the mineral sector,” he said, referring to the beneficiation programme, adding that “we expect meaningful development from the sectors.