Minister of Mining Rashid Gaffar has asked Mota-Engil to construct a primary school in Traditional Authority Machinjiri in Blantyre as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Speaking when he visited the company’s quarry mining site in the area on Monday, the minister said although he was satisfied with the mining operations, the company needed to do more to give back to the community as it has been in the area for a long time.

Said Gaffar: “Although it is not your responsibility, you still should do something; in the next five years, I want to see a primary school constructed by you.

“In the next 10 to15 years, I want to see a secondary school and even a mining college that will teach surrounding communities basic mining skills.”

In his remarks, Blantyre district comissioner Bennet Nkasala assured the minister that his office will engage Mota-Engil on the way forward.

He said: “We shall engage them to help alleviate some problems the area is facing, especially on infrastructure development.

“The road from Machinjiri Area 5 to this site also needs upgrading to bitumen standard.”

On his part, the site’s manager Alexandra Monteiro commended the minister for sparing his time to visit the site, describing it as a wakeup call for the company to do more.

“We have taken note of all what the minister has said. Indeed we have been here since 2011 and it’s high time we did something for the community. But before everything, we need to consult and follow proper procedures,” he said.

The minister later also visited Tikondane Mining Cooperation in Lirangwe where he promised to source a soft loan amounting to K10 million for the group to purchase modern equipment to ensure smooth operations.

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