STONE CRUSHING AND MINING COMPANY TO BE SET UP IN LAVUMISA
LAVUMISA –About 300 Lavumisa residents are expected to benefit from the establishment of a stone crushing and mining plant in the area.
According to the proponents of the envisaged multi million project, mining is expected to start mid next year. This came to light during a scoping meeting held on Saturday at Royal Jozini Big 6 Conference Room.
SMAP Stone Crushing and Mining Company are the proprietors of the project. The company’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Kuhle Dlamini said the company is wholly Swazi owned as all the directors are indigenous Swazi citizens.
Dlamini said the company directors have vast knowledge in the mining industry as a majority of them work for mining companies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. “The company directors have vast knowledge in mining as some of them are currently working for companies mining chrome, coal, gold and platinum in the region. With these people on board, the Lavumisa people should have confidence in the investors and that the project will come to prosperity,” Dlamini said.
Regarding the issue of investment, Dlamini was non committal, instead saying investment projections were not finalised and he declined to reveal how much money would be pumped into the project.
Chief Executive Officer of Simav Sheq Consultancy Mavela Sigwane said about 60 people will be employed in the first phase of the project and the remainder will be employed as the project operations expand. Simav Sheq was contracted by the investors to provide consultancy services on the project.
Sigwane explained that people who will be employed were those with skills in welding, engineering, driving, catering and driving. When using the country’s dependency ratio of 1:7 calculations reflect that about 420 people will benefit.
According to Sigwane, the mining area is located opposite Royal Jozini Big 6 and it’s about four kilometres from the MR8 Road. Sigwane further mentioned that it was hard to determine the quantity of quarry available at the site; however, he assured the scoping meeting attendees that the project would be long term as the quarry lies on a 20.41 hectares belt.
Currently, Simav Sheq is yet to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study which is expected to be completed in March 2014.
Regarding the markets, the PRO said they will be targetting the local market as well as supplying the Southern African region. “We are located at an area close to the rail line and we are looking at utilising rail transport in supplying the other countries including South Africa, Mozambique and the rest of the region,” Dlamini said. The rail line is about four kilometres away from where the mining plant would be established.
The opening of the quarry mining plant would come with a positive growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is the total value of goods produced and services provided within a country during one year. According to the Central Bank of Swaziland’s (CBS) latest report, quarried stone production is on an upward trend and was estimated to be over 85 732 cubic metres in the second quarter of this year. Quarried stone production performance is determined by the performance of the construction sector which looks vibrant.
... Lavumisa people will be given preference
LAVUMISA – SMAP Proprietors say they will not compromise on the quality of skills required for the sake of just employing more people from the area.
SMAP Public Relations Officer Kuhle Dlamini said local people would indeed be given first preference, however, in areas where special skills are required, well skilled personnel will be sought from outside the area or from neighbouring countries.
“We are cognisant that the project is expected to enhance the lives of the people of Lavumisa, but we cannot employ them without considering the skills they possess in some different areas,” Dlamini explained.
He mentioned that quarry mining required people with special skills like those who will be involved in the handling of explosives. He told the over 30 scoping meeting attendees that in areas where specialist skills were not essential, a sizeable number of them would be employed.
He urged people of the area to start preparing themselves for the project. Presently, Dlamini said, there are some of the jobs which might be outsourced; therefore people were expected to prepare for that. Illustrating, he said a company to provide security on site will be needed. Other jobs that will be made available are under construction, catering and transport.
The company directors said staff houses for senior and junior staff would also be constructed. Other construction works will include the construction of a football pitch, a tennis court and a dining hall to mention a few.