The question relates to the liquidation of Pula Steel and its sale. You will recall that as a result of the closure of BCL mine, which had substantial stake in Pula Steel, Pula Steel was also affected and was placed under liquidation.
You will recall that Pula Steel is one of the issues I raised in this Parliament. I believe this was when Rre Seretse was still a Minister of Trade and Industry. There was all evidence that this was a scam in the sense that many things did not make sense and the business concept did not make sense in terms of how things proceeded in Pula Steel. For instance; I questioned why Pula Steel depended on its raw materials as scrap metal, but scrap metal was allowed to be exported to South Africa? I asked how on earth Pula Steel would make profit when they produce low quantities of steel billets and at the time there were stock piles in the international market especially that China was also producing much cheaper steel? I asked these questions. I asked why for instance; a new company like Pula Steel was working with the likes of Hindok in India and People Map Agency India? Why is it that round about the same time that Pula Steel was registered or incorporated, these two companies were also incorporated in India? Why is it that Pula Steel depended on these companies for supply of personnel and material? These are the questions that I asked in Parliament and warned as I did with many others things including BCL, that we are headed for a disaster and that disaster actually came to pass, Pula Steel was liquidated.
Even the liquidation of Pula Steel has not been going well because it has not been transparent and following proper laid down procedures. So, up to now, we do not know who is interested in buying Pula Steel apart from official information that we have. We do not know how far the liquidator, Registrar and Master of the High Court are in terms of selling Pula Steel.
We are worried as the people of Selebi Phikwe because our town is becoming increasingly desolate since the closure of the BCL mine. The economy of Phikwe has almost collapsed, businesses have closed, people have lost their jobs, unemployment and poverty levels are high. Many people found themselves in instant destitution because of the closure of the BCL mine and the closure of Pula Steel among other businesses that collapsed. It is in our interest that Pula Steel is first resuscitated and properly resuscitated given to legitimate business people who will turn it around and make sure that it operates profitably. That is our plea and we want to find out from the Minister whether...
The people of Selebi Phikwe pray that you need to close the border so that the scrap metal does not leave the country. Pula Steel should be reopened and people hired for job creation and economic diversification of the town. Most importantly, that BCL should reopen because companies like Glamco are ready to buy the metal from BCL. That should be the priority. I will stop here to hear from the Minister on what they are doing to make sure that Pula Steel reopens and is run profitably and everything is in order in terms of its winding up by the current liquidator and whether everything has been done according to the ethos and rigors of corporate governance and the laws of this country
*Keorapetse is MP for SELEBI PHIKWE WEST. He was directing the question on PULA STEEL LIQUIDATION AND SALE to MINISTER OF INVESTMENT, TRADE AND INDUSTRY during MINISTERS’ QUESTION TIME