Mining should benefit all: Kandjoze

13 May 2016 14:30pm
EPUKIRO, 13 MAY (NAMPA) – Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze says the vast resources and huge opportunities in the mining and energy sector should benefit all regions.
This comes after residents complained about a lack of development in the Epukiro Constituency. They made mention of dilapidated infrastructure such as schools and clinics and the lack of electricity in their constituency.
Speaking on Friday during a two-week visit to Okoutjove in the constituency as part of his familiarisation trip to the Omaheke Region, Kandjoze urged the local community to explore mining opportunities in their areas.
“There are huge opportunities in mining and exploration. Do research, seek an appointment with me and we will refer you to the right people who will help you,” the minister said.
He noted that the ministry also intends to strengthen decentralisation in the rural constituencies which have been threatened by the decline in commodity prices in the mining and energy sector.
“These offices that we have to build will have to be sourced from a budget and it also has to be maintained, but unfortunately the commodity prices are not doing justice to such plans.”
Kandjoze also promised to improve the delivery of services such as rural electrification for farmers and businesses in the rural communities.
“Our attempt is to improve service and we want to get rid of corruption and all malpractices in our ministry so that we can strengthen the delivery of quality and accessible service.”
Meanwhile, Kandjoze said Government is planning on initiating value-addition projects for domestic mineral goods to create employment and wealth-creation platforms for marginalised communities.
“Value cannot be added to every mineral, but minerals such as diamonds, zinc and uranium should be processed and value should be added here. It has its challenges but we cannot keep exporting jobs and wealth to other countries.”
Government has introduced a Mineral Joint Value Addition Committee in this regard
“We have been tasked to add value to our minerals, and Government is saying that we must stop exporting raw mineral goods. The committee is also finalising a report on that,” he said.
Kandjoze’s visit to Omaheke ends 26 May.