Monday, October 19, 2020

Pula Steel thrown lifeline to re-start work

BCL Mine subsidiary Pula Steel Company has resumed operations after it was ordered to close down for the past two months by the Department of Waste Management for failure to comply with pollution control requirements.

Pula Steel Company Corporate Service Director Brian Mosenene confirmed that the Department of Waste Management had inspected the plant and given it the green light to re-open its operations.

He revealed that the department had ordered them to carry an extensive safety precaution particularly relating to the emission of hazardous smoke which was coming from the plant. 

Mosenene said they had since complied with an order which was issued and an instruction to operate under a two-month provisional license before a final determination of a fully operational license could be issued by end of October.

“I think we have done all that was lacking behind and it is just that the Department of Waste Management  wants us to meet all their safety requirement which I strongly believe we have met,” said Mosenene.

Mosenene said they had lost a lot of money during the closure of the plant but could not state the amount.

Mosenene fell short of accusing government officials of bias, arguing that there were other metal companies operating in Botswana (which he did not name) some of which did not have proper structures but were never ordered to close.

Sunday Standard understands that the only other metal company is based in Ramotswa.

Pula Steel is not new to controversy as at one stage they had some differences during a tendering process after Watson Construction was dumped after its Managing Director M. Ellinthorne had queried some drawings. The queries that the civil engineering contractor raised related to inadequate reinforcing details.

Recently the company dismissed eight Indians forcing the DISS to investigate the matter, which Mosenene confirmed. 

Pula Steel deals with processing of scrap metals into billet and different types of steel products. BCL is the major shareholder in the company with 50.5 percent stake while the other partners are CEDA, the Verma family and Wealth Generation. 

Mosenene confirmed that he and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) former secretary general Mpho Balopi are the directors of Wealth Generations and have some shareholding in Pula Steel. 

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