21 Nov 2013 11:50am
SWAKOPMUND, 21 NOV (NAMPA) Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua has called on the newly-established Namibian Uranium Association (NUA) to assist in skills development for Namibians in the mining sector.
The governors call follows statements by various uranium experts in this region about the importation of skilled employees from other countries, thereby hindering the employment of only Namibians at local uranium mines.
Speaking during the launch of the NUA here on Wednesday, Mutjavikua requested that the association must put in place a programme which will offer assistance to Namibians to acquire the necessary skills to plough back into the mining sector.
He also expressed frustration at the persistent skills shortages experienced in the sector for the past decades, with no long-term solution produced.
Namibia is a mining country, and the issue of skills shortages should be addressed so that it could be eradicated during the next 10 years, he added.
We have been talking about this skills shortage since my time working in the mining industry, and we continue to talk about skills shortages to date.
I hope in the next 10 years, we will not touch on the issue of skills shortages again, he stressed.
The NUA is an advocacy body aimed at exclusively representing the needs of the uranium industry in Namibia, and to shape the context in which the industry operates through the coordination and sharing of ideas and facilities.
The association comprises members of all uranium mining operations in Namibia, including exploration companies and associated contractors.
These include Rössing Uranium Limited, Langer Heinrich Uranium, Swakop Uranium, Areva Resources Namibia, Bannerman Mining Resources Ltd, Valencia Uranium, Reptile Uranium Namibia, Zhonghe Resources (Namibia), Marenica Energy Limited and Rio Tinto Exploration.
It is governed by a board of six directors, who amongst others consist of Deon Gabers from Swakop Uranium as chairperson, and Hilifa Mbako from Areva as vice-chairperson.