Revival of textile firms key to Phikwe economy

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The mining town is anxiously waiting, with a begging bowl in hand, to see what the budget has in store for her.Alongside the major development programmes that SPEDU has managed to kick-start in Selebi-Phikwe and surrounding areas through the funds from the Re-employment account, people of this town still hope that government will reconsider reviving the textile industry to create employment and relieve the Ipelegeng programme.

To the unemployed and low-income earners the textile industry assured them a stable income as compared to the temporary Ipelegeng programme.  "Okare di firm di ka bulwa mma ra kgona go bona ditiro (I wish firms would re-open so that we get employment)," said one unemployed lady who worked for one textile firm that was closed a few years ago. From the initial 17 textile firms, only one, Denish, is operating after Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) shut down Microlith last year for failure to fulfill rental obligations.  Former mayor Molosiwa Molosiwa also wished that government would consider re-establishing the textile industry in the mining town. "Factory shells have turned into white elephants and Ipelegeng is not a sustainable programme that can substitute the benefits that were presented by textile firms. "We know it is a long process but it would in the long run ease the burden on the Ipelegeng programme," he said.Molosiwa observed that the initial process of attracting textile firms to Selebi-Phikwe was not done properly; hence it should be reviewed for it to present sustainable employment opportunities. One firm was allegedly given a cash injection of P34 million to start up its operations but it never showed up. "Let us retrace our steps and identify the loopholes then come up with a sound and watertight textile industry programme that will be sustainable and create employment. "We cannot afford to watch and despair. The budget must also look into reinstating development projects that were earmarked for this town but were deferred because of economic recession," he added. 

A local businessman Tebogo Venson said this year's budget must concentrate more on the BCL mine. He said there had been talks that there was a company that wanted to set up a sulphur capture plant to convert mine emissions into sulphuric acid.  

Editor's Comment
Women unite for progress

It underscores the indispensable role women play in our society, particularly in building strong households and nurturing families. The recognition of women as the bedrock of our communities is not just a sentiment; it's a call to action for all women to stand together and support each other in their endeavours.The society's aim to instil essential principles and knowledge for national development is crucial. By providing a platform for...

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