by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 30 January 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is calling on Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, to intervene in the state-owned mining company Alexkor, following its failure to pay staff salaries.
Last week, staff in Alexander Bay were informed that there was no money to pay them and that they had to take a “long weekend”.
Clearly, Alexkor finds itself in financial distress. This, however, would not have happened if the management of Alexkor was operating responsibly.
This is not the first time that poor management of Alexkor has come to light.
Exactly one year ago, over 60 employees had their contracts terminated because they dared to speak out on mismanagement within this embattled state-owned enterprise (SOE). In effect, they lost their income and their ability to mine.
Whilst Alexkor’s core business is to facilitate access to small miners to recover diamonds, it has become little more than a shell company. At present, there are no people within the management team or on its boards, that are sitting hundreds of miles away in Pretoria, who have real knowledge of the industry, particularly the inshore marine mining industry, which brings in over 80% of their income.
Instead, its main interest is protecting the benefits of its top heavy and highly paid management team.
In effect, the same tune of corruption and mismanagement that has played out at all other SOE’s across the country, is now banging its drums at Alexkor.
Worst of all, is that the Department of Public Enterprises is fully aware of the situation at Alexkor, but is turning a blind eye, while the people of Namaqualand suffer.
In the meantime, driven by poverty, jobless contractors are taking the law into their own hands by illegally digging for diamonds on the shoreline and inshore on all open areas.
Alexkor’s failure, is also the ANC government’s failure, brought on by the lack of political will to see small miners the respective community prosper from the Namaqualand’s diamond rich resources.
Only change under a DA-led government will turn the situation around to ensure a booming mining sector in the Northern Cape, that benefits all the people and not just those connected to the failing ANC.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387