Financial troubles at Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) seem to be far from over. The latest developments reaching The Monitor are that lecturers sponsored by the organisation have been ‘temporarily retrenched’.
The body that exists to serve the interests of the mining industry in the country has been facing recurring cashflow challenges.
The Chamber’s chief executive officer, Charles Siwawa, admitted to The Monitor over the phone that indeed they have temporarily retrenched their staff assigned at Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) and Botswana College of Engineering and Technology (BCET).
Information gathered by this publication reveals that only two coordinators are left behind to facilitate students’ studies.
“All I can say is that we have retrenched the teaching staff and it is temporary. At the moment we are trying to ensure that the situation does not prove to be gloom and doom for students,” Siwawa said.
“It is a temporary procedure as we are still sourcing funds. We will call them back if we become successful.”
Asked whether they would sponsor students in the future, Siwawa declined to talk about it, while the current
Previously, Siwawa revealed that his organisation is holding talks with government to formulate a way forward regarding the situation.
The Chamber lost one partner, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German development agency.
The German agency provided the organisation with teaching personnel on the courses it sponsored.
“The contract between BCM and GIZ ended in 2017, but if we find a model that we can set again we will definitely work with them for the training programme,” Siwawa said.
Students’ living allowances and lecturers’ monthly salaries have faltered since December 2017. The students went for attachment at mines across the country in January with no allowances.
Courses sponsored by BCM are Fitting and Machining, Air Con and Refrigeration, Industrial Electrical, Heavy Plant Mechanics and Plumbing and Pipe Fitting amongst others.