Friday, August 12, 2022

Mines have failed to develop Francistown – Councilors

Francistown City Councilors (FCC) last week took a swipe at the mining companies around Francistown, saying that they failed to develop Francistown in terms of infrastructure and uplifting the people’s lives.

During a full council meeting, the councilors reached a consensus that there is need by government to review the shares that are benefited by government, especially with the non-diamond mining companies like Tati Nickel Mining Company and Mupane Gold Mine.

“Francistown is in the vicinity of these Mines but there is nothing to show in the city that the mines have invested in developing the locals as you see that we do not have good roads and we have a dilapidated hospital,” said Satellite Councilor, James Kgalajwe.

Kgalajwe stated that the country continues to be ripped off of minerals, which are exported to other countries, creating wealth for foreigners while Batswana are always trapped in the misery of poverty.

He also pleaded with the government to try and urge Tati Nickel Mining Company to establish a smelter in Francistown rather than carrying copper and Nickel to the smelter in Selibe Phikwe, not creating jobs for people in Francistown.

Another councilor, Stephen Michael, lambasted the government, saying that foreigners have long enjoyed the wealth of minerals but the government ignores the plight of the citizens.

“In Francistown we have plenty of resources but the system continues to favour foreigners instead of locals. As I speak, we have many ranches owned by foreigners and these ranches have different resources that can benefit locals, such as special rocks, wild animals and others,” he told the full council.

The councilors went on to say that there is need to summon the management of the different mines around Francistown to come and have a dialogue with regard to the development of Francistown.
The Councilors were responding to a quest by the Research Fellow at the Botswana Institute of Development and Policy Agency (BIDPA), Dr Margaret Sengwaketsi who was at the Francistown City Council full council meeting. Dr Sengwaketsi was on a mission to seek ideas from the city councils on what opportunities exist in Francistown to benefit the locals. She told the councilors that the report will be issued to the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA).

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