Banks pledge support to ex-miners

Will meet them half-away in settling their loans 


FRANCISTOWN: The Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang says local banks have pledged their support to ex-miners by meeting them half way in settling the loans they acquired.
The development comes in the aftermath of the recent closure of both Tati Nickel and BCL which has left over 5000 miners jobless, raising fears that they will not be able to service the loans they acquired.
Reacting to questions put before him at the Francistown City Council about the measures put in place to rescue the embattled miners in servicing their debts, Kebonang indicated that recently government sat down with different local banks and discussed the issue of loans. He stated that upon their discussions the banks pledged to support the embattled ex-miners by meeting them half way in settling their loans. “We approached the banks because we understood that the current situation the ex-miners find themselves in is painful and has left them financially troubled. Most importantly we considered those who acquired loans and currently servicing them. Therefore, we are happy that the banks have pledged support by agreeing that those who owe loans will only pay 50 percent of the remaining debts,” revealed Kebonang, when reacting to enquiries of Francistown councilors.
The minister observed that the government approached the banks for assistance because they do not want the ex-miners to be left with lot of debts. Kebonang’s expectation is that all ex-mine workers who acquired loans from banks will be able to clear the outstanding balances when they received their terminal benefits very soon. “We hope the support offered by the banks will minimize financial troubles the ex-miners are facing,” he stressed.