Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, has called on the mining sector to do more and consider introducing employee share schemes in the ownership of the company.
Alweendo said among the benefits of employee share schemes is a stronger relationship with employers and that they will be motivated to work diligently in the interest of the company.
The minister made these remarks during the official opening of the 2023 mining expo in the Capital yesterday under the theme “Namibia’s role in the sustainable supply of minerals to support the global energy transition”.
He emphasised the fact that minerals, in their various forms, have been and will continue to be central to Namibians’ livelihoods, if not to the survival of humanity itself. With every phase of human development, starting with the first industrial revolution, has depended mainly on mineral resources.
“As we enter the next phase of technological advancement and social change, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, minerals will continue to play a vital role and this is already evident from the growing global demand for critical minerals,” he said.
The minister highlighted that it is an undeniable fact that the mining sector remains one of the key contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, foreign exchange earnings and the economy at large.
It is for this reason he stressed that mineral resources must be developed sustainably to achieve socio-economic goals.
“This is to be done in such a manner that in the long run the resources are preserved, the environment is protected, and human well-being is guaranteed. investors that are operating in a mutually beneficial manner,” he urged.
He commended investors who have earned their license to operate by providing decent jobs, respecting local community cultures and customs, as well as contributing to the broader advancement of the communities where they operate.
“Our message to the investors who have earned their license to operate is that we value your investment and that we are committed to creating an environment that is conducive to sustainable investment. We will continue to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which we manage the mining sector,” he expressed.
However, Alweendo raised concerns that few investors in the mining sector are yet to earn their license to operate, and these are the ones who failed to create a mutually beneficial relationship with their stakeholders, be their employees or the communities where they operate.
Stating that such investors usually violate the rules of engagements, and they are the ones that do not respect the mineral license conditions pertaining to safety and the environment.
“To these investors, our message to you is that we are a country governed under the rule of law and it applies to everyone. It is time that you start to earn your license to operate,” said the Minister.