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Salgaocar pledges E5m for social corporate responsibility

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MPAKA - Salgaocar Swaziland (Pty) Ltd has pledged a sum of E5 million towards social corporate responsibility in the country.

This was announced by the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sivarama Petla yesterday at Mpaka during the inauguration of its rail operations.

Petla said this money would be allocated for the supply of clean drinking water to the communities, education and in the medical field.

"We believe in sharing our growth with the community in which we operate. With your permission, Your Majesty, we are glad to announce that we have made a budget provision of E5 million for this year’s corporate social responsibilty acitvity fund.

"This fund we allocated for the supply of clean drinking water, education, and in the medical field," said Petla.

The CEO further told the King that 229 Swazis had been employed by the company directly while 16 were expatriates of Salogaocar’s associate companies coming into the country.

Agreement

He also said for the first time in the history of the country, a private company had signed an access agreement for rail use.

"This shows our efficiency not only in the mining but also in the logistics which is a key role in this business. We have also created history by achieving the first shipment in less than 1 000 days after starting operations. To date, Salgoacar has achieved four shipments consisting 197, 143.26 mt," he said.

CEO is still escorted

MPAKA - Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Salgaocar Swazi-land (Pty) Ltd, Sivarama Petla still enjoys police escort.

This was evident yesterday at Mpaka during the company’s inauguration of its rail operations.

Petla arrived at the arena being chauffered in his top of the range black BMW 750i registered ‘Iron 1 SD’.

His car was being escorted by a police sedan from the traffic department of the Mbabane Police Station.

The police sedan was registered GSD 56 PO.

After alighting from his car, the BMW was parked behind the tent where VIPs were seated.

The police car also parked right next to it for the entire duration of the event.

Also notable during the event was that most of the executives from Salgoacar were being escorted by bodyguards.

Bodyguards

The strong built bodyguards were all dressed in black suits, white shirts and black neckties.

They were seen constantly keeping close guard on the Salgaocar executives and frequently speaking lightly on their audio security devices pitched on their ears.

...Gideon Mahlalela’s absence conspicuous

MPAKA - Chief Executive Officer of the Swaziland Railway, Gideon Mahlalela was conspicuous with his absence yesterday during the inauguration of Salgaocar’s rail operations in Mpaka.

The project is a joint venture initiative between Salgaocar and the Swaziland Railway

Mahlalela, the long-serving CEO of the Swaziland Railway, was supposed to deliver a speech yesterday during the event.

He could not make it as he is still being hospitalised in South Africa.

Instead, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Swaziland Railway, Noah Nkambule presented a speech on behalf of the rail company.

A railway employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mahlalela missed out on the event because he was very ill and was in SA.

During the event, Nkambule said his company had entered into what was known as a ‘Track Access’ agreement.

In terms of this agreement, Salgaocar will operate its own trains on Swaziland Railway’s network.

Utilise

It will use its own outsourced locomotives and wagons in the railway line to Maputo and further utilise Swaziland Railway’s equipment to transport the iron ore dumps.

Swaziland Railway’s role would be to keep the infrastructure, comprising the track and telecommunication networks in good condition at all times, to ensure uniterrupted movement of trains and their cargo.

"It is one of the ways of bringing on board private sector participation. We are aware that the same concept is one of the options SADC governments prefer to consider, among other options, (such as rail concessions) in forging partnerships with the private sector," he said.

Salgaocar pulled all stops

MPAKA - Salgaocar Swaziland (Pty) Ltd pulled all the stops to put up a beautiful event yesterday during the inauguration of its rail operations in Mpaka.

The event, which was attended by close to 500 people, turned out to be a celebration of the company’s existence in the country and its expansion.

After all the formalities and speeches, it was time for some real fun.

One would have mistaken the event for an air show as two choppers did exceptional displays which left the audience in awe.

After their perfomance, the choppers did what was described as the ‘Swazi bow’ in front of the King and his guests.

One chopper was pulling a large Swazi flag while the other was also pulling an equally large Salgaocar flag.

Two planes also took to the air, showing exciting displays at high speed.

A new train with new wagons also emerged along the railway line and stopped at the end of the arena.

The King was then invited to open a bottle of champaign in celebration of a milestone reached by the company.

When the King popped the champaign, the train driver pressed the horn and it was a celebration all the way as some screamed ‘Bayethe’.

The train then went away, straight to Maputo while another one followed shortly thereafter.

The event ended on a high note with guests served with food in a marquee erected nearby.

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