- So far 673 jobs have been created against a target of 1150 in the next 12 months.
The Selebi-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) has set itself an ambitious target of creating 6, 856 jobs in the next 36 months.
The organisation is under pressure to give a good account of itself by diversifying the economy of Selebi-Phikwe and the surrounding region. It was formed after closure of BCL Mine that left 6 000 former miners jobless overnight more than a year ago with the specific task of diversifying the regional economy and creating jobs.
In an interview with Global Post, SPEDU’s Corporate Communications Manager, Shiellah Moribame, said that the organisation was currently involved in 15 projects covering 12 citizen-owned companies in IT, services and manufacturing.
Three of the projects are government owned projects while two are foreign owned in agriculture sector. Moribame noted that the total investment value from companies was estimated at P1.185 billion.
To-date SPEDU has managed to create 673 jobs against a target of 1150 in the next 12 months.
“SPEDU has embarked on economic diversification in the region and is opening up business investments,” Moribame said. “Our mandate is to diversify the economy by developing sectors that will contribute meaningfully to the GDP.”
She noted that there was untapped opportunities beyond mining were plentiful. Moribame said in December last year, a company producing bottled water resumed operations. The Managing Director of Fresh2go Phikwe Pure, Peter Hughes, revealed that his company currently employed seven people.
Said Hughes: “We started our business through the help of SPEDU, LEA and CEDA. So far the business is moving at a snail’s pace due to stiff competition from well-established entities.”
He took the opportunity to appeal to the government to re-establish railway links between the former mining town and major ports in southern Africa. Hughes emphasised that it was cheaper to transport goods by rail than by other modes of transport.