Roux opens up on mine delays
MBABANE – Roux Shabangu says the delay in reopening the Dvokolwako mine is justified.
The South African businessman was responding to senators’ concerns that were made in Parliament last week Wednesday that the mine remained inoperative even though he was given the licence more than a year ago. He runs a company called Roux Consolidated Investments, which has the exclusive mining rights. According to the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Princess Tsandzile, the mine is due to reopen in August.
Local politicians expressed misgivings about Shabangu and whether or not he could still re-open the dormant mine as well as raising the question of whether or not he still deserved the licence.
Senator Thuli Msane and Senate Deputy President Ngom’yayona Gamedze expressed anxiety over the businessman’s previous links to controversial issues in his home country. These specifically included the South African Police lease deals worth about E1.5 billion, which Shabangu allegedly signed.
In an interview last Friday, he said there were many checks and balances that came with opening a diamond mine and one had to approach such an enterprise with a proper plan.
"I’ve already invested a lot of money towards reopening the mine and I tell you no normal person would invest millions of Emalangeni and not want to see the mine work. People must try to understand," said Shabangu.
He added that even if he were to forfeit the mining licenCe and another mining company came in, it would still take time for it to come to the point where the mine could operate fully.
He said it was clear that some people did not understand what was going on at the mine, but nonetheless they would soon realise that his company had not been sitting and doing nothing.
"We plan to open the mine at the end of August," added Shabangu.
The businessman implored the nation to be patient and pointed out that the process of reopening was likely to be influenced by the speed at which the rest of the mining equipment was cleared for entry into the kingdom’s borders.
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