Over two hundred employees of Lobatse Clay Works are likely to lose their jobs as the company faces closure.
Production at the plant has long stopped while water and electricity have been cut off as the company is unable to settle its bills estimated to be running into millions.
Information passed to this publication suggests that Lobatse Clays Work is on the verge of collapse and more than two hundred employees are likely to lose their jobs.
It is understood that the employees have been informed that this is their last month to receive monthly wages. Some staff members have not been reporting for duty since last December.
Secretary General of Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) Moffat Ramokate said, “It is highly likely that more than two hundred employees of Lobatse Clay Workers will lose their jobs and as the union we are very worried about the issue”.
He explained that since last year things have not been going very at the plant. “Surprisingly management does not want to come out and clearly explain what is going on.” Ramokate said the union was once informed that the plant would be sold to a certain company, but so far nothing has materialized.
Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) spokesperson Boitshwarelo Lebang in a brief press statement indicated that business is currently undergoing transformation following a series of challenges it has faced, including market conditions.
“We are currently in talks with potential strategic partners around the restructure and are therefore not at a stage where we can share any further information with the media or the public and will readily do so at the earliest opportune time”.
Contacted for comment Lobatse City Mayor Malebogo Kruger said she was aware that production at the plant has stopped but has not been officially informed about the problems at the plant.
“It would be a blow if such a huge plant collapsed,” she said adding that she expects to meet with the leadership of the plant management and discuss challenges surrounding the plant.
“I am optimistic that the council will do something to assist to avoid closure,” she said.
Lobatse Clay Works (Pty) Ltd was established as a private company in 1992 and is wholly owned by BDC. It was set up to manufacture clay products for the Botswana and regional market.
The company manufactures and supplies a variety of quality clay products, including face bricks, pavers and special shaped bricks to designers and craftspeople in Botswana and the region. Today Lobatse Clay Works produces in excess of 30 million units per year and is involved in most of Botswana’s major construction projects.