The North West provincial government and Country Bird Holdings are now hard at work to strengthen their relationship, following media reports that the poultry enterprise intended to relocate to KwaZulu-Natal.
The deputy minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Obed Bapela, and North West premier Bushy Maape led a government delegation to engage with the management team of Country Bird Holdings (CBH) yesterday (Wednesday, 3 November).
The meeting follows an eNCA article earlier this week, in which it was reported that CBH were to close up shop in the province and relocate, because of the ailing economy and poor basic service delivery.
Food For Mzansi has since reported that the poultry enterprise dubbed the rumours “fake news” which caused shock among employees. The implication of 2 000 job losses apparently prompted government to intervene.
Saving jobs, luring investments
During the meeting, CBH chief executive officer Brendon de Boer pointed to the challenges they were encountering in Mahikeng. These include water interruptions and the impact of electricity outages because of load shedding.
De Boer said operations had also been disrupted by protests from within the surrounding community, which had compelled the company to seek assistance from law enforcement agencies to prevent the halting of operations.
“Supreme [a division of Country Bird Holdings] has invested significantly in the North West province and with the support of government, we would like to maintain this investment and, where possible, look at further investment.
“Today’s engagement has gone a long way towards strengthening our relationship with government and we look forward to building on this into the future,” says De Boer.
Premier Maape has called on all stakeholders in the sector to work together to ensure jobs are saved in the province.
“We have to be a responsive government and if there is any issue that warrants our attention, we will definitely intervene and resolve these matters. Covid-19 has had serious financial implications for the country, and we need to preserve the jobs we have while working on luring investments to the province.”
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