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02.08.2005 Regional News

Goldfields Tarkwa Mines inaugurate committee

GNA

Tarkwa (W/R) Aug. 2, GNA - Goldfields Ghana Limited (GFGL) Tarkwa Mine on Tuesday inaugurated a 31- member Tarkwa Mine Consultative Committee (TMCC) at Tarkwa.

Briefing the press, Mr Steve Yirenkye, Community and Corporate Affairs Manager of the Company, said the Committee would discuss policy issues and take decisions on matters, which concerned all the stakeholder communities and the development of the Wassa West District Assembly as a whole.

He said the Committee would meet quarterly and their maiden meeting would be used to discuss developmental projects with more focus on Alternative Livelihood Programmes (ALP) /Sustainable Developmental Projects, training of ALP beneficiaries, self help programmes in the communities among other things.

The committee is made up of eight chiefs within the Company's operational area, one Assembly member and an elder from all the catchment communities, three representatives from the District Administration and one representative from the district education office.

The other members of the committee include one representative each from the District Health Directorate, District Environmental Protection Agency and the Labour Office.

The rest are two representatives from the District Department of Agriculture, five representatives from Goldfields Ghana Limited and the Western Regional Economic Planning Officer.

Mr Johan L. Botha, the Chairman of the Committee, said unemployment had been a major problem all over the world and as much as the Company would have wished to employ many people within the Company's operational area, it was limited to do so because most of the people lacked the requisite skills. Mr Botha, who is also the General Manager of the Company, said in an effort to address some of the unemployment problems, the Company was undertaking an apprenticeship-training programme for senior secondary school /technical /vocational school graduates in mainly engineering courses to enable them to gain employment in the mines or elsewhere. He said another measure the Company had adopted was to increase the number of beneficiaries in the ALP in the year 2006 financial year adding that Opportunities Industrialisation Centres International (OICI) had, therefore, been contacted for them to come out with development programme for each of the catchment communities. The Chairman said the company was also spending millions of cedis to investigate into the possibility of establishing an oil palm mill in the area to help to create an alternative source of employment for the people.

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