Katali Irked By Locals Selling EPLs to Foreigners

THE Minister of Mines and Energy, Isack Katali, says he is deeply disturbed by many Namibians who are holders of the exclusive prospecting licences (EPL’s) in the mining sector, but opt to sell them to multinational foreign companies, and remain mere proxies.

Katali made these remarks as a guest speaker at the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) northern branch’s annual general meeting at Ongwediva yesterday.

“However, what is deeply disturbing our ministry and the government as a whole, is the fact that these EPLs have become “get rich quick” schemes, for our own people who have previously benefited from the acquisition of these licences,” said Katali, adding that many of these foreign companies lack skills.

He said that the government should intensify efforts to grow and stabilise the mining sector by allowing greater participation of the Namibian people through partnership in contributing to the control of the sector.

Katali also called upon Namibians who are qualified in the mining sector to make their skills available to encourage capacity building among many people.

On the energy sector, Katali said that Namibia will continue to be vulnerable to the fluctuation in petroleum products that keep changing prices worldwide since the country does not produce petroleum of its own.

“A Spanish company with their partners have started to drill a well in the Walvis Bay basin. However, any discovery of oil today does not mean tomorrow or next year we shall feel the effect of that discovery. It may take up to 10 years before we can pump that oil into our cars,” said Katali.

He said the strategy the ministry has taken to electrify schools as a priority is working well, while adding that the Kudu gas project is also on point in generating electricity for the people in the future.

Finally, Katali said he was disappointed with the regional electricity distributors not doing enough to supply the communities with electricity.

Source : The Namibian