BNF pertitions Mokaila over "ugly" BCL hostels

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SELEBI-PHIKWE: The Botswana National Front (BNF) in the Selebi-Phikwe West constituency has petitioned the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila over BCL Mine's squalid hostels.

BNF publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa, who was reading the petition, said as a party, they found it fit to launch the campaign named "Away with BCL hostels".He stated that though BCL is not the only organisation with hostels in Leseding and Thakadiawa wards, it owns most hostels and accommodates its workers in these unhygenic units.He said that right from the start of the development of Selebi-Phikwe, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) government and the company it owns, BCL, never cared about the welfare of the hostel dwellers.

He noted that after spending millions of Pula on the upgrading of its houses, the company has never seen it necessary to do away with this type of accommodation for its lowly paid workers. "Hostels were originally designed to provide accommodation for single male workers near the workplace for a period of a work contract.Some men live in single rooms with their wives and children.  "Occupants of 20 single rooms share one common kitchen and ablution facilities," he said.Mohwasa said their research has revealed that on average a block of 20 rooms is occupied by 50 people who include men, their partners or wives and children. He stated that currently workers are housed in the Cosgrin, McAlpine, Area One hostels and other hostels next to Phikwe Primary School.He said that Area One has 90 units, Cosgrin 59, Phikwe Primary School 120, while McAlpine has 100 units.

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