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Business & Economy

Tuesday, 22 September 2009 17:47


Written by 
{pp}Commenting on the successful conclusion to court proceedings and the plea bargain agreement between the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), S.A. Botswana Hauliers (Pty) Limited (S.A. Botswana Hauliers) and its company representative and director, Mr. Muller Conrad Rautenbach (Billy Rautenbach), Rautenbach says that he is overjoyed to be able to enter South Africa once again.

“It has always been my goal to return to South Africa to pursue potential business opportunities here once my name was cleared,” says Rautenbach, who is a Zimbabwean citizen and resident. “It’s been a frustrating time of exile for me having to watch the evolution of business in the new South Africa and being unable to make my contribution.”

During his 10-year exile, Rautenbach continued to support the South African economy with a procurement spend of R415-million (an average of US$1 million / R8 million per week over a period of one year) through his mining activities. In 2006 Central African Mining & Exploration Company plc (CAMEC), a company listed on the London stock exchange, acquired various mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which were developed by Rautenbach.

During this time SABOT, a massive transportation and logistics company associated with CAMEC, also placed Africa’s largest trucking, trailer and tanker order valued at over US$58 million (R466,640,000) with various Johannesburg-based suppliers. CAMEC was also responsible for spending over US$250-million in the DRC, which included creating employment for over 5,000 people at its Luita plant. At an average of 5 people per household, 25,000 people are being sustained as a result of this operation.

The Luita operation also saw the completion of an expatriate village – fondly known as Billyville by employees and contractors – with over 200 houses, recreation facilities, staffing hostels, and a 2000m2 office complex. As part of its corporate social investment (CSI) activities, millions of dollars were ploughed back into the DRC to uplift the communities surrounding CAMEC’s operations. These projects included renovations to a clinic and the provision of necessary medial equipment, and the construction of a crèche and primary school. Construction also included a technical college to educate 3,600 children in the skills needed at the processing plant such as mechanics, electronics and welding to help alleviate the skills shortages in the DRC.

Further CSI initiatives included the reconstructing of local infrastructure i.e. the 80km national road between Kolwezi and Likasi previously destroyed by floods; power lines of 23,4km from the town of Fungurume to Luita, and a state of the art water treatment system providing 40,000 litres of drinkable water per day was constructed in an area previously known for cholera. The company also commissioned and built two dams of 50,000m3 and 1,5 million3 litres respectively.

CAMEC’s mining and production operation at Luita not only created employment opportunities for thousands but also stimulated business opportunities for local contractors i.e. a brick making plant as there previously was none. “Business has a major role to play in the developing countries of Africa,” adds Rautenbach. “The developments in the DRC have been very rewarding and I’m particularly excited and optimistic about the recent changes in Zimbabwe. Together with many other business people, and South African companies who will be pivotal to this process, I look forward to helping to create new networks within the South African business community to pursue opportunities in the emerging ‘new Zimbabwe’.”

Rautenbach, representing S.A. Botswana Hauliers (Pty) Limited, reached a plea bargain agreement with the NPA on 18 September 2009. It is believed that following careful analysis and consideration it was concluded that the alleged offences, which occurred more than 10 years ago, related directly to S.A. Botswana Hauliers and not to Rautenbach personally. All criminal charges against him have been withdrawn and he is at liberty to enter the Republic of South Africa, subject to the compliance with normal immigration and custom formalities. 

Issued by:
Madelain Roscher
PR Worx
+27 (0) 83 468 6819
+27 (0) 11 896 1818
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On behalf of : Billy Rautenbach

Issued by: PR Worx
+27 11 896 1818
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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