Keorapetse calls on govt to rescue BCL

Dithapelo Keorapetse
Dithapelo Keorapetse

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Selebi-Phikwe West MP, Dithapelo Keorapetse says he is expecting government to table a financial rescue package in Parliament for BCL mine to cushion it against tough financial situation.

Addressing residents of BCL location at Tebogo Primary School last Wednesday, Keorapetse said it was common for government to assist companies facing a similar predicament with supplementary budget to keep them afloat. He said a financial rescue package would cushion BCL employees from job losses or their salaries being affected by the dwindling copper and nickel prices.

He added that copper and nickel prices have dropped significantly in the world markets adding that the situation was likely to affect the mine’s financial standing.

“We are hoping to hear government’s position and intentions on BCL’s financial challenges,” he said.

Reports indicate that the mine is likely to pay its employees a bit late this month due to its financial situation and that some employees were briefed on this possibility.

The mine had shutdown to repair the smelter at a cost of P700 million. The shutdown, which started in July, was initially scheduled to end in September but has since been extended.

The mine’s public relations and marketing manager, James Molosankwe could not be reached for comment.

Keorapetse said he has requested a day-long meeting with the BCL mine management that would include councillors to be briefed on its operations as well as touch on the accidents that claimed lives of some mine employees recently.

“We will also request the mine to always avail preliminary reports on the accidents,” he added. He was optimistic that the smelter would start operating soon.

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