Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Masi has challenged Mitsubishi Corporation, a contractor for the construction of Tedzani 1V Electricity Power Plant to utilize local workforce in the project.
The project, whose sole owner is Electricity Generation Company Limited (EGENCO), started on June 11, 2018 and is expected to run for 39 months.
Speaking on Wednesday during the official launch of project at Tedzani Power Station in Thyolo, the minister said engaging local communities in the project would provide cheap labour to the corporation on one hand, on the other hand, locals would get income to transform their livelihoods, thereby making a significant contribution to all aspects of development.
“As such, I plead with the contractor of this project that apart from bringing their experts here, they should also employ local workforce which is cheap and readily available. This will mean that there will be job opportunities for the communities and their income would uplift their lives,” he said.
Masi then urged the communities to work hard and also with diligence once employed at the construction site for the success of the project.
“Be professional. Follow whatever rules and regulations that will be stipulated for the working conditions for mutual understanding between two parties and of course smooth implementation of the project,” he said.
In his remarks, Mitsubishi Corporation General Manager, Yusuke Mosodo said his company had already started employing locals and that there was hope that the figures would rise depending on stages of the project.
“We understand the need to engage the local workforce and currently we have close to 60 local people from the communities excluding the expatriates,” he said.
The construction of Tedzani 1V Power Plant is expected to add 19.5 megawatts to the national generation system which currently produces 351 megawatts, thereby reducing frequent blackouts.