MH calls for Ministry’s urgent intervention

MH calls for Ministry’s urgent intervention
MH calls for Ministry’s urgent intervention

Africa-Press – Lesotho. Mookoli Holdings (MH), a company that works with drilling and blasting at Polihali project complains that the foreign companies have taken over the drilling and blasting job opportunities that the government of Lesotho has dedicated to Basotho owned companies.
MH Managing Director Thapelo Tsa Rasebonang explained that his company that is currently engaged with drilling and blasting at Polihali Project is exposed to number challenges that he thinks the Ministry of Mining needs to intervene. He reported to the media on Tuesday that on May 30, he submitted a letter to the department of mining, requesting, among others, localization of major drilling and blasting projects. He decried that there is no security for local companies in drilling and blasting business,noting that they need to be protected from the foreign companies, specifically the Chinese owned companies.
He said his company operates at Polihali project under Rumdel and AC Joint Venture and the management of the project he works under has forced him to collaborate with South African (SA) companies which will consume 80% of the income.
“I have fought against this idea for a long time so much that I even gave up my work for two months,” he said. MH Managing Director also mentioned the issue of categorization of the mining industry and standardization of work rate and guidelines on partnerships or joint venturing with foreign companies. Enforcement of monitoring of the industry activities and review of the current contracts in the major projects like Polihali, Marakabei, Monontša and Sehlaba-Thebe projects are some of the concerns.
He said ever since they submitted the letter to the department, they have not received an acknowledgement that the letter was received. For his part, the Commissioner of Mines Pheello Tjatja explained that they do not have much say on the issues that were stated in the letter because their duty is only to offer licenses to people who will be working with drilling and blasting and permission of who can import explosives in the country or manufacture them. He emphasized that they offer licenses to everyone who applies be it local or foreign company though they limit foreign companies.
He added that they are not involved in the agreements that take place between the drilling and blasting companies and the people they choose to hire. “We can only be involved if it is about the blasting happening in the mine. Also we can be involved in the issues regarding localization because we have given out a policy that states that major projects should be handled by Basotho companies,” he said. He noted that the letter was supposed to be addressed to the inspector of explosives or Commissioner of Police because they are the ones who administers the usage of explosives in the country and also offer explosives licenses.
He said despite the efforts they make for Basotho to get licenses, some citizens apply for licenses only to sell them to foreign companies, adding that when there is some misunderstanding, they want the ministry to intervene.

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