New min­ing reg­u­la­tions

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Bereng Mpaki

THE gov­ern­ment has or­dered lo­cal min­ing com­pa­nies to only pro­cure cer­tain goods and ser­vices in the coun­try.

The move, which comes into ef­fect to­mor­row, cov­ers ser­vices such as trans­port and lo­gis­tics, ac­com­mo­da­tion and waste man­age­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter writ­ten to min­ing com­pa­nies by the Com­mis­sioner of Mines, Mo­hale Ra­likariki, such ser­vices would be “strictly re­served” for Ba­sotho.

The res­o­lu­tion, he says, is in line with Sec­tion 11 of the Mines and Min­er­als Act which pro­vides for pref­er­ence of Le­sotho goods and ser­vices.

Mr Ra­likariki also says be­gin­ning to­mor­row, min­ing com­pa­nies and their con­trac­tors would no longer be al­lowed to pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion for their staff out­side the coun­try be­cause there is ad­e­quate hous­ing in Le­sotho.

All waste man­age­ment con­tracts, Mr Ra­likariki fur­ther says in the let­ter, “should strictly be left for com­pe­ti­tion among Ba­sotho”.

Mr Ra­likariki also in­di­cates that the min­istry would help link min­ing com­pa­nies to lo­cal sup­pli­ers.

“The Min­istry of Min­ing will also as­sist min­ing com­pa­nies by creat­ing a slot in the up­com­ing Min­ing Di­a­logue on which reg­u­lar mine sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors will be told to pro­cure trans­port lo­cally,” states the let­ter.

Min­ing Min­is­ter Le­bo­hang Thotanyana yes­ter­day told the Le­sotho Times that the reg­u­la­tions seek to em­power lo­cal en­trepreneurs so they could mean­ing­fully par­tic­i­pate in the min­ing in­dus­try.

“The spirit in which we, to­gether with the min­ing com­pa­nies, are im­ple­ment­ing these reg­u­la­tions, is to boost lo­cal­i­sa­tion in the min­ing sec­tor and al­le­vi­ate poverty among Ba­sotho through the cre­ation of job op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

“I, for one, have made a com­mit­ment to help im­prove the lives of Ba­sotho through in­creas­ing their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the min­ing in­dus­try. So this move is part of our ef­forts to cre­ate job-op­por­tu­ni­ties for the peo­ple.

“We have lo­cals who can ad­e­quately take on the roles cur­rently be­ing played by sup­pli­ers from out­side the coun­try.”

The min­is­ter said the three ser­vices would be added to those al­ready be­ing ex­clu­sively pro­vided by lo­cal sup­pli­ers which are mine con­tract­ing, drilling and blast­ing.

Mr Thotanyana, how­ever, em­pha­sized that the reg­u­la­tions were in no way in­tended to cre­ate op­er­a­tional chal­lenges for the com­pa­nies, adding the min­istry would be flex­i­ble where lo­cal pro­cure­ment is not pos­si­ble.

“This is not in­tended to cre­ate un­nec­es­sary bot­tle­necks to the min­ing com­pa­nies as ex­cep­tions will be made, af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions, for highly spe­cialised ser­vices not avail­able lo­cally,” he said.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Letšeng Di­a­monds Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Mazvi Ma­ha­ra­soa, said her com­pany was al­ready procur­ing the three ser­vices lo­cally.

“These reg­u­la­tions will not have much of an im­pact on our side be­cause we are al­ready procur­ing these ser­vices lo­cally,” Ms Ma­ha­ra­soa said.

“Letšeng Di­a­monds is work­ing well with lo­cal sup­pli­ers al­though we some­times en­counter mi­nor chal­lenges here and there.”

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