09 May 2014 14:30pm
HUSAB MINE, 09 MAY (NAMPA) President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Thursday encouraged women employed at the new Husab Mine in the Erongo region to work hard, and to hold onto their jobs as employment is scarce.
Visiting the accommodation facilities at Husab, also known as the contractors village, the president made time to speak to the women working at the mine, asking them about their working conditions.
The 37-hectare contractors village worth N.dollars 250 million, will be home to more than 4 000 people.
The facilities currently house the employees of companies contracted to build the mine, as well as employees of the mine itself.
It has bedrooms, kitchens, six dining halls, recreational areas and bathrooms.
Pohamba also asked to see physically where the 120 women working in different sections of the mine lived.
Where are the women? I want to see where they sleep, you cannot tell me to leave, he said after the mine management requested that his visit to the facilities be cut short so that he could attend the official opening.
Speaking to some of the female miners, Pohamba told them not to complain so much about salaries, but to be grateful that they have jobs.
Money is never enough. Some of you are saying the salaries are not good, but it is my pleasure to see you working.
Take good care of your jobs, there are many people in the DRC informal settlement of Swakopmund without jobs, and you are fortunate enough to work, he told them.
At the same time, Pohamba thanked the Chinese government for investing in the mine and ensuring that Namibians obtained employment.
After viewing both the male and female accommodation facilities, the Head of State could not contain his excitement, describing the facilities as wonderful.
As a former mineworker, I am impressed with the facilities provided to the employees here. What I have seen is wonderful, as during our time we did not have such good things, he said with a smile.
On his part, Keping Zheng, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swakop Uranium, the company which runs the Husab Mine, emphasised that employment preference at the mine is given to women.
Preference in terms of jobs in this male-dominated industry is given to women, he remarked.
Zheng added that the mine has committed itself to social development and empowerment aspects such as involvement in social responsibility programmes, local recruitment, education, training and sound environmental management practices.
Our corporate social investment to date is in excess of N.dollars 5 million, though Husab is still in the construction phase, he stated.
The president then commissioned the commencement of mining operations at Husab.