ERONGO governor Neville Andre believes that giving land to mining companies could lead to the alleviation the problem of squatting in the Erongo region, which is increasing at an alarming rate.
Andre has urged local authorities to make land available to large mining companies, at favourable rates, for the companies to service the land for their employees.
“It is common practice in the Namibian uranium exploration and mining industries that employees are supported with housing schemes so that homeownership is encouraged and developed.
“It is my hope that local authorities in the region hear the plea by these industries and provide them the land, to ease the housing burden,” he said.
Andre added that the industry has contributed a lot to the economic spin-offs in the region in the past three decades through their corporate social responsibility projects.
“These activities in the uranium mining sector, in particular, contribute enormously to the national agenda of poverty alleviation and the relevant pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“The sector has always been ready to take up its social responsibility in this respect and will continue to do so in the future. The work of the Rössing and Swakop Uranium Foundations and the contribution of entities that are even under care and maintenance is noteworthy,” he said.
Direct employment provided by uranium mining and exploration companies in Namibia is about 2 900 permanent and 1 500 contract jobs, with only 3,2% of the employees being expatriates.
Most of the mining companies have 100% Namibian employees.
The Husab Mine is the single largest employer in Namibia’s mining industry, with more than 1 800 permanent jobs and 500 contract employees.
Andre was speaking at the state of Erongo region address at Swakopmund recently.