THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority has warned prospective employment seekers of job scammers who are bent on extorting them of their money.
The warning comes after the circulation of a fake advert on social media stating that 1194 artisans for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) phase II.
LHWP is a multi-phased, multi-billion maloti/rand project between the governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa.
It comprises water transfer and hydropower generation components with associated ancillary developments. Major works of the first phase of the project included the construction of the Katse Dam, the water transfer and delivery tunnels, ‘Muela Dam and ‘Muela Hydropower Plant and the Mohale Dam.
The second phase of the water transfer component comprises a dam at Polihali and a transfer tunnel that will connect the reservoir at Polihali with the Katse Reservoir.
The fake job advertisement comes after the commencement of the construction of advance infrastructure at under the second phase of the project begins.
A M394 million tender for advance infrastructure has been awarded to WBHO-LSP joint venture. Work was scheduled to commence on the 9th of this month.
“Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 2, Polihali Dam…we are looking for various artisans for the project commencing in March,” reads part of the advert.
“Two hundred and thirty-five A Class Welders, 265 B Class Welders, 315 Boilermakers, 215 Pipefitters. Available Posts: 85× Mechanical Fitters, 40× Riggers, 15× Safety Officers, 1× Project Manager, 2× Site Managers, 6× Estimators, 2× Structural Engineers, 1× Mechanical Engineer,22× Electricians, 1× Safety Manager.
“Please forward you resume and all relevant document to, mandieM12@yahoo.com or call Cedric on 072 322 6787,” the fake recruitment advertisement further reads.
However, the LHDA said they have nothing to do with the advert.
“The LHDA distances itself from the misleading recruitment advertisements currently being publicised in social media. This is a scam intended to make money out of people who are desperate to get jobs.
“Whenever there are vacancies at the LHDA, these are advertised using documents bearing the LHDA letterhead. The advert states, among other things, the qualifications and experiences required, job responsibilities and applications forms are filled and returned to LHDA head office or e-mailed to the official LHDA e-mail address.
“Consultants or contractors doing work under Phase II of the LHWP will never advertise jobs in an informal and incorrect manner such as the one that is doing the rounds on WhatsApp,” the LHDA said in a statement.
The LHDA said it is finalising the appointment of a labour recruitment consultant who will work closely with the local community structures to register job seekers and ensure transparent recruitment processes. The authority also said it has instituted investigations into the scam.
“Any other agencies purporting to be recruiting for Phase II are doing so without the blessing of the LHDA and are contravening the LHDA’s recruitment policies. This matter is currently being investigated.”
In the past, the mining sector has encountered similar scams with several jobseekers losing money.
In 2017, when the Mothae diamond mine was preparing to commence production, a similar fake job advertisement circulated on social media before it was quashed by the management and the Ministry of Mining. Similar job scams have also been reported at the Liqhobong diamond mine and at the Matekane Group of Companies, which provides mining and construction services among others.
Job scams are said to be popular in countries where there are high levels of unemployment. According to the Bureau of Statistics, Lesotho’s official unemployment rate was 32, 8 percent in 2016.
However, this figure is widely believed to have risen in recent years due to the pile up of graduates who are unable to enter the job market after tertiary education due to the country’s inability to create jobs, coupled with skills mismatch with the labour market demands.