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’Mega project can create 22,000 job opportunities’

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The owner of Kimberley Rehabilitation and Development says his mega brick-making project will create 22,000 job opportunities and enable middle-income families to become homeowners.

THE OWNER of Kimberley Rehabilitation and Development, Fernando Garcao, said his mega brick-making project would create 22,000 job opportunities and enable middle-income families to become homeowners.

Garcao stated that it would be a R6 billion investment in the city that would bring about many benefits for residents.

He said the project was the culmination of numerous consultations with provincial government, Sol Plaatje Municipality and the Department of Mineral Resources.

“The majority of officials support my project. A public participation process was undertaken and my proposal to rehabilitate the unused mine dumps was welcomed as it will alleviate crime and the dumping of rubbish in these areas. It will restore the sparkle to the city and address sewage leakages.”

Garcao added that he was approached by officials from the Presidency to export bricks and to also rework the gold dumps in Gauteng.

“I advised them that I am focused on working in the City. I am also in discussions with a company in Angola regarding a possible export venture. Many people are very excited about my ideas and the many opportunities that it holds.

“Many people advised me that my project was a pipe dream, but I am passionate about investing in Kimberley and bringing about economic growth to the city. The project will create 1,500 direct and 22,000 indirect jobs.”

He said that he had completed a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment.

“I have a prospecting licence as well as a permit to mine the land. Everything is above board. I appointed qualified civil, electrical and road engineers, architects and various national and international experts on this project. We just need to start the ignition, to get going, but are being delayed by council as it will have to upgrade the infrastructure that will benefit the entire city.”

Garcao stated that the unused mine dumps could not be profitably mined.

“I was advised that some of the land that was identified for mining in Roodepan might be a wetland due to overflowing sewage.

“I am no longer involved in the diamond industry and I am fully involved in brick manufacturing. My last venture involving diamonds was in 2015.

“I also have plans to open a feeding scheme to provide nutritious meals to underprivileged children and to further their education.”

He noted that the cost of constructing houses could be drastically reduced by providing locally-produced building materials.

“My bricks are SABS approved and are tested regularly. We want to enter into contracts with SMMEs and contractors to build affordable houses. We are also looking at building a hotel that will provide much-needed employment. I always make it a priority to employ qualified contractors locally. I am also supplying the gravel that is being used to repair the R31.”

He pointed out that the bricks provided for the Soul City housing project had undergone rigorous testing.

“A total of 960 houses were built and I am proud of my work.”

Garcao was very clear that he was not involved in any bribery or corruption.

“If I need to pay bribes it means that there is something wrong with my business. Instead, corrupt individuals are taking advantage of the ignorance of others.”

He explained that he had contacted the chairperson of the Spellum committee when the EFF wanted to do a site inspection on his property last week.

“I was informed that the Spellum committee wanted to visit the site but would first advise me as to when the entire committee would be available.”

He believed that his company should have been given an opportunity to address council before a decision was made to put the project in abeyance.

“I have nothing to hide and am willing to answer any questions. It will be a pity if this project does not materialise. I do not want to resort to the legal route, but a reasonable expectation was created when my application for the land was approved by council.”

Garcao stated that he would continue with the commercial sale of bricks until council approved the application to rehabilitate the mine dumps.

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