Rehoboth gives Chinese firm marching orders

Maggie Ming said management is confident that the dispute will be settled amicably.

21 September 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES







WINDHOEK

The Rehoboth town council says it will no longer go back and forth with the Africa Huaxia copper mine owned by a Chinese company, and has asked them to leave the town – or cough up more than N$10 million in outstanding electricity payments by the end of this month.

Rehoboth CEO Simeon Kanime told Namibian Sun that the mine management refused to pay the council about N$15 million for the leasing of land and electricity usage.

The company was supposed to pay N$35 000 a month for the land, but no formal contract was ever signed.

However, a valuer brought in by the council recently recommended a monthly rental fee of N$20 000 instead of the N$35 000 initially agreed upon.

“We will no longer entertain the Chinese mine. They will have to pay this N$20 000 backdated to 2011 before the end of September or they must leave. We are tired of this back and forth,” Kanime said.

Negotiations ongoing

Speaking on behalf of the mine management, Maggie Ming said they are confident that the dispute will be settled amicably.

According to her, Africa Huaxia Mining (Pty) Ltd is committed to corporate governance principles to encourage and support a culture of safe, ethical behaviour, in addition to integrity and respect and, therefore, concerns raised by the town council are discussed with the involvement of the Electricity Control Board (ECB).

“The dispute on the rental payments of the land on which the Swartmodder mine operates are being addressed via Minerals Ancillary Rights Commission (MARC) in terms of section 110(4) of Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act, Act 33 of 1992. We have made reasonable progress with the support and involvement of ECB and MARC respectively, but due to the confidentiality of the ongoing deliberations, we cannot avail much information at this stage.

“We, however, acknowledge receipt of the eviction letter from the Rehoboth town council,” she said.

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