Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1989 Apr 1 Sa
Margaret Thatcher

Interview visiting Namibian Uranium Mine

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Arandis Uranium mine, Namibia
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Editorial comments:

Between 1515 and 1645. The COI tape of this statement survives in the Thatcher MSS.

Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 350
Themes: Foreign policy (Africa), Foreign policy (development, aid, etc)

Question

What sort of statement are you making, do you think, by coming to what is supposed to be the economic heartland of Namibia?

Prime Minister

First this is British overseas investment in Namibia. It is doing a fantastic job for Namibia. It is something like 17 percent of the GDP of Namibia. We have seen how this company has an international safety award. It provides houses for its employees. You have seen the kind of houses, you have seen the schools it provides and the hospitals it provides.

So it is really an example of what a British company can do in a country like Namibia, or a country like South Africa, how it is helping the economy, how it is helping the education of the people, how it is helping their skills, how it is helping to raise the whole standard of living. And it is all British so it is very good. [end p1]

Question

You have talked to General Prem Chand and the other officials from the United Nations. Is it your sense that they feel confident that they have got enough manpower and equipment to carry this process through?

Prime Minister

Well, they have just started today and I think so far that they are quite confident that they will be able to discharge their duties and bring Resolution 435 to fruition and get the elections fairly and impartially administered.

As you know, we have said that if the people, 4,500, are not enough, we will respond if they require more. But in addition to the 4,500 there are a lot of civilians who have got to compile the registers and arrange the ballot papers and the stations and so on.

But it is all exciting. We are here on the first day and what happens with Namibia and how well that operation goes and how well the new government does afterwards will I think have a very great influence on events elsewhere in Southern Africa.

Question

What do you say to those people who say that this mine here is a typical example of the rape and pillage of South West Africa? [end p2]

Prime Minister

Nonsense!