Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union (BPCWN) has said that it is against a move by government to sell the controversial and embattled Morupule B power plant.
Instead the union proposed that the whole plant should be demolished.
The union’s comments come after the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources Kitso Makaila announced that the government is considering selling Morupule B to the contractor, China National Electric Equipment Corporation.
Bahithetswe Lentswe, the secretary general of BPCWN said as the union they are strongly against the government’s intention to sell the power plant as the idea is ill-advised.
“This came to us as a shock and embarrassment when the minister made the pronouncement. There are some many questions that need to be answered before the government can opt to sell the power plant,” said Lentswe.
He added that “if the government wanted to take drastic action against the contractor, it could have long done that but now chances to take legal action are very slim.”
Lentswe said BPC management failed to consult its employees on some options that the government want to take as far as the troubled power plant is concerned.
“Employees are totally blank about this latest development and it is really bad not to inform your employees,” he said.
Lentswe reiterated that as the union they do not think that it is a good idea to take such an option because once government sells the power plant this will have drastic implications.
“We all agree that the power plant has so many problems because things were not done correctly from the onset. But we have now learned from our mistakes and such mistakes should never happen in other huge projects,” he said.
Lentswe said once the plant is sold many people will definitely lose their jobs as the contractor might decide to bring its own staff.
He stated that the electricity tariffs might “also go up and many people will not afford to use electrify as well as connecting electricity because the contractor will have to recover his expenses.”
Lentswe indicated that the government should consider demolishing the plant and start afresh and look for a reputable company to build a new plant because currently it is quite expensive to run the plant.
“It should be noted that there are no spare parts for this power plant and one wonders why it is like that,” he said.