Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, says despite efforts to resuscitate the town’s economy, government agencies are not buying goods and services from companies based in Phikwe.
Responding to President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi’s State of the Nation Address, Keorapetse said that a lot needs to be done to save the town.
“Some Government agencies, including those that exist in Selebi Phikwe are not buying from Selebi Phikwe based companies. There are a few textile companies based in Selebi Phikwe industrial such as Dinesh Textile, Netta’s, Back to School and many others. These factories struggle to get business for their apparels which include protective clothing such as laboratory coats, overalls, vests, jackets, gowns and full body suits,” he said.
He called on the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry to use the law to prevent importation of school uniform such as the popular grey pants, white and blue shirts, as well as stop importation of Personal Protective Equipment.
The MP condemned the government for awarding a Chinese company a tender to supply uniform for Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) when unemployment is high in the country.
Keorapetse said there was need to review the mandate of SPEDU from a mere facilitator to an investment arm of the region.
He said most companies operating in Selebi Phikwe have not benefitted from government’s incentives of tax, import duty , and 30 percent off take.
“They hear about these from speeches of politicians. It is time to accelerate the implementation of these incentives,” he said.
Another issue that should be considered it the reopening of the BCL mine since the demand and prices for copper and nickel prices have improved internationally and that there is enough ore to last for decades.
Keorapetse said the liquidators of the mine are deliberately prolonging the process because they unfairly benefit from the delay.
“It is easy money for them, money from heaven if you may”.
He added that there is serious violation of the law at BCL care and maintenance and trampling of workers’ rights including the right to a safe working environment.