Toteng Residents Lose Out

| May 11, 2015

Residents of Toteng have expressed concern that the sudden closure of Discovery Metals Boseto Mine (DML) had negatively affected the local economy.

They argued that the closure had affected the business community and some residents who earned a living via renting houses to the mine employees. BOSETO is a copper and nickel mine situated at Toteng village, about 70 km from Maun in the Ngamiland district.

The mine was developed using open cast methods and was expected to create direct employment for the locals. The mine, which had operated for five years, was shut down with immediate effect beginning of March this year after it was declared insolvent leaving over 800 employees stranded.

The village development committee (VDC) secretary, Mr Thabo Simasiku said in an interview that the mine had left many in limbo as they expected a lot from it. He said most of the residents were excited about the opening of the mine hence they got loans from banks to builtt more houses targeting mine employees.

In addition, he said residents were shocked to learn that the mine had been shut down. Mr Simasiku noted that even though the mine did not absorb many locals, most of the businesses were however flourishing while some residents also benefited through house rentals.

He said the mine management made a lot of promises when they started but had failed to fulfil them. He said the only project that the mine employees undertook was the ongoing construction of destitute house in the village.

“It is a pity as most of the houses have turned into white elephants. Some employees have left without paying house owners,” he added.

He also revealed that the mine engaged sub-contractors that made business at the expense of the community as they failed to employ locals while on the other hand using their resources such as the water from the river. He said there was no arrangement made to fetch water, adding “today the mine is closed and the river is dry.”

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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