More than a year after the government announced that Guysuco will be moving to close the Rose Hall sugar estate in Berbice by the end of 2017, Minister of State, Joe Harmon, has now announced that there will be a likely delay in that closure.
At his post cabinet press briefing today, Mr. Harmon was questioned about plans to be put in place for the planned year-end closure. It was then that he announced that the closure might now be pushed over into 2018.
Harmon said while a date would have been set for the closure, developments in the industry over the past months would be the timeline for closure this year can no longer be met.
He was referring to the establishment of a special unit, which will be spearheading the sale of Guysuco assets.
The Minister said that with the new unit coming it to force, “you cannot just bring something to an end and not have something in place to take it up”.
The Private Sector Commission has been talking about the purchase of some Berbice assets of Guysuco including the problem plagued Skeldon estate. Mr. Harmon said such proposals and negotiations will have to be addressed by the special unit.
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union has been pressing the government to delay the closure of the estate, fearing the effect the closure will have on the community.
Hundreds of residents are employed by the sugar industry in Berbice and the estate’s closure would put them on the breadline.