EMBATTLED: URB plant in Dumela Industrial

Employees of United Refineries Botswana, an oil company co-owned by Tati East Member of Parliament Samson Guma Moyo, CEDA and Mmoloki Tibe have accused management of flouting regulations.

In an interview with The Voice, some employees who stormed Moyo’s constituency office in Francistown this week to demand payment of their deferred salaries said the site has been operating without running water and electricity.

A disgruntled employee, Jobe Mphato, who claimed to be owed over a year’s salary in arrears said security guards at the premises have to bring their own drinking water and use the nearby bushes to relieve themselves.

The 44-year-old told The Voice that his former colleagues are in danger of being attacked by criminals whenever they have go to the bushes to answer a call of nature.

“In fact they were recently attacked because it is very dark there and the site is in the remotest area of Dumela Industrial site,” he said.

His colleague, Bathami Mbati who also spoke on behalf of the over 30 employees demanding payment from the embattled company, said the company could be operating an unlicensed security company.

“At one point they engaged reputable local security companies but due to their failure to honor their contractual obligations, companies terminated their contracts. They then recruited some staff members including myself and set up an internal security company,” claimed Mbati.

When The Voice visited the company premises at Dumela Industrial, a security guard manning the gate was reluctant to talk about the working conditions for fear of losing his job, but he admitted that there was no toilet or drinking water. “Ke a iphandlela” (meaning I make a plan), he said.”

The Voice also contacted the company’s Managing Director, Mmoloki Tibe, who dismissed the accusations by the disgruntled employees. “We are law abiding citizens and the same goes for our company. If however there’s anyone who’s of the view that we’re flouting the law, there are established processes to be followed to get redress. One thing for sure though and will apply to all future allegations, is that we can’t run the company through the media,” he said in response to texted questions.

Tibe however admitted that they owe staff salaries and said they were committed to settling the arrears in time for Christmas.

He attributed their cash flow problems to the nature of the business and accused local retailers of shunning locally produced oil. “We produce per order and the order has to be sizeable given the plant capacity of 70 tons per day,” he said.

Tibe said their challenge has been small orders which they have to accumulate to make it a viable order.

He said they are also worried because some retailers in South Africa will sell a 2litre of cooking oil at R45 and sell the same here for P30. “You can check for yourself. I mean the same brand, it is shocking. Obviously people are dumping,” he said.

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cheerful

These employees have to do without proper drinking water and sanitation at their place of work this is unacceptable .

The Managing Director says that they cannot run the company through the media – how odd all the media seems to be doing is exposing the poor working conditions for employees.

If there is no such thing as access to drinking water and proper sanitation on the premises – there is a need for it to be shut down until these issues are rectified.
Surely there are Health and Safety regulations that companies must adhere to??

cheerful

There seems to be no lightng at this Industrial Site ?- Security ??

cheerful

There are many things going on here at this company that should not be happening

cheerful

“the site has been operating without running water and electricity.” so how is the company operating without these?
Do the employees have uniforms or from a safety point of view do they have protective clothing
Someone should inspect this place and make assessments where the failings are and make recommendations, in the meantime it should be shutdown
That is why the cholera epidemic cannot be contained because of people going to bushes instead of toilets where there should be washand basins and toiletries like soap etc.

cheerful

There could be other companies not looking after the welfare of their employees
It is the duty of the media to highlight such issues

cheerful

This issue of companies not looking after the welfare of their employees is a global problem
Amazon a global company has been in the spotlight for treating workers in inhuman conditions
In Israel some thai workers are living in deplorable conditions

This company when shutdown should be fined heavily for not having facilities for their employees such as no access to drining water, toilets no electricity etc. if they are regulations in place

cheerful

This paragraph is interesting Questions need to be asked if the Managing Director cares for the welfare of the employees if there is no drinking water, toilet facilities for the employees, no electricity does this Managing Director know how to Manage??? “The Voice also contacted the company’s Managing Director, Mmoloki Tibe, who dismissed the accusations by the disgruntled employees. “We are law abiding citizens and the same goes for our company. If however there’s anyone who’s of the view that we’re flouting the law, there are established processes to be followed to get redress. One thing for sure though and… Read more »

cheerful

In an earlier article the Managing Director mentions the following taking into account the Company has been Closed for the last SIX MONTHS:- “Managing Director, Mmoloki Tibe, has told The Voice that he was not aware that their employees congregated at Moyo’s office. “Had I known I’d have attended them” he said. “Yes..we owe staff salaries, but not for over a year. We have been paying as cash flow allows and at the same time explaining any delays and reasons for that. Salaries are contractual and have to be paid and we have re-assured staff that we shall pay,” he… Read more »

cheerful

The Media need to make another follow up on this issue and see what happens next?

cheerful

Is this SADC standards to deny workers access to running water, toilets,electricity etc. ???