Chairman of the BCL board of directors Akolang Tombale is yet to meet and address issues between copper/nickel mine management and the union.He told Botswana Guardian on Wednesday following his rescheduling of the Kenya business trip that he will have to go and address BCL staff before the end of the week or next week.
He said he has so far acknowledged receipt of the petition from the Mine Union Workers (Selibe Phikwe branch). Last month Union members wrote to Tombale expressing their displeasure at BCL general manager Dan Mahupela’s incompetence, citing among other issues, failure to strategically position the mine so as to sustain itself, shortage and unhealthy accommodation, salary increment, continuous failure by joint negotiation committee leader Motsile Siyanda to resolve workers’ issues at the Joint Negotiation Committee and consultative committee forums.
The Union is complaining that since the departure of Montwedi Mphathi in 2011, production started declining significantly and it fears that in the next three years, the situation would be worse. The decline is allegedly caused by non-performance of mining equipment due to their poor mechanical conditions. Some of them are old and need to be replaced.
New ones continue to produce lower than expected due to poor service maintenance. Further, they have discovered that even if enough tonnage may be taken to the smelter, still, there will be a loss in revenue due to low grade of copper that is mined. Last week, BCL spokesperson James Molosankwe refused to respond to questions on the petition, referring Botswana Guardian to Tombale who said he was not aware of the crisis at the mine.