Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates to be reopened in phases
─ $5 billion allocated to GuySuCo
Government will be re-opening the Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates using a phased approach.
This was confirmed by Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill during his presentation of Budget 2020 today.
The three estates were closed by the previous administration and a Special Purpose Unit (SPU), was set up to spearhead the divestment and privatisation of certain parts of the assets of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
Minister Edghill told the National Assembly that from a total of $5Billion provided for the GuySuCo in the budget, $3Billion will be used to conduct an assessment on the state of the assets and the level of reinvestment to be done, starting with an initial allocation of $3 billion, in 2020, for critical works.
The Minister explained that the additional $2 Billion will subsequently be made available as work progresses.
“Our Government will work to solve the problems of the industry holistically,” Minister Edghill said.
The Public Works Minister explained that as it relates to the Wales Estate, “works have commenced to create opportunities and employment under the newly established Wales Development Authority.”
Presently, the main focus of GuySuCo is to ensure that it achieves “a break-even status” in the shortest possible time.
Government has already hinted at implementing a better administrative body to transform the sugar sector.
A new, competent and skilled Board of Directors will also be appointed soonest.
“We will ensure greater efficiency through the necessary re-tooling, product diversification and re-training where necessary,” the Minister told the House.
Workers, residents and the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union had protested the closure of the estates, which subsequently severely impacted several communities.
The closure of the sugar estates left thousands without jobs or sources of income. Without alternative measures in place, many of the sugar workers struggled to provide for their families.
During his inauguration address, His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had pledged the PPP/C Government’s commitment to ensuring the livelihoods of the sugar workers are regained.