The Selebi Phikwe Town Council has resorted to engage lawyers to help them collect million of Pulas owed to it by various dwellers including former miners who have lost their jobs.
The Town Council clerk Godimo Garegope said this week that SPTC is owed atleast P10, 138, 366, 80 in rates and P916, 711, 10 in service levy. The debt accumulated over the years despite a strong campaign to get the debtors to pay their dues.
“We have engaged lawyers to help us collect the money from debtors and take legal action where we feel is necessary”, Garegope said.
Asked if they have never considered writing off the debts bearing in mind that BCL mine which was the biggest employer in the town has closed down leaving a lot of the town residents unemployed therefore unable to pay their debts, the town clerk responded in the negative.
”We have not considered that because we need the money to provide the residents with the services they want. Besides that the debts have accumulated before the mine was closed”
Garegope further added that most of the people who owe SPTC are people who have properties in Selebi Phikwe but work and reside somewhere as in the country.
The Selebi Phikwe town was economically hard hit late last year when the copper nickel mine owned by BCL Limited was shut down by the sole shareholder, Botswana Government.
Atleast 6000 workers at BCL mine were laid off following the decision by the government to close down the copper nickel mine and its sister company ÔÇô Tati Nickel Mine in Francistown.
Last week, the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) made a plea to the government to pay retrenchments packages owed to the former miners.
The Union Secretary General Mbiziane Ramokate expressed disappointment that although “promises” were made to fully pay the BCL workers who lost their jobs late last year, “Not all of them have been paid”.
”It is not true that the examiners have been fully paid, the examiners are still owed millions in retrenchment packages that in our opinion should be paid by the government”, Ramokate said.