Writes : ‘Makarabo Matsumunyane and Tshepo Heqoa
From some of the documents that were compiled for transit of wool bales from Maseru Dawning to China to a company named Yulian Wool Industry dated 10th February 2019, it is unclear how Basotho Fibre was sold. It appears that the buyer paid for just a portion of the total fibre that was exported and the weight paid for is termed conditioned weight.
Moreover, while speaking to some of the experts in wool sales and purchase, they explained that conditioned weight is normally referred to as the “weight of a textile material when all the moisture from it has been removed by drying in a special type of woven (i.e woven dry weight) and then adding standard moisture regain which is different for different textile materials.” They further said they have never heard any wool being auctioned already conditioned, that normally greasy raw wool is sold at auctions.
It appears in one of Maseru Dawning documents entitled “Packing list” dated 06/02/2019, that there are three different weights that were appearing in the sales: the gross weight of 17, 064 Kg for all the 102 bales of wool that were sold to Yulian Wool Industry, the net weight of 16, 911 Kg that is normally paid for by the buyer, and the conditioned weight of 10, 891 Kg that was paid for according to the “Commercial invoice” issued by Maseru Dawning (Pty) Ltd dated 06/02/2019.
According to the information that appears on the invoice, a Kg of wool was bought at US$ 10.20(US) hence the weight of 10, 891Kg was paid a total of US$ 111, 088.20 that was converted to ZAR in the “Customs worksheet I.R.O.” dated 09/02/2019. On the later document appears the
When asked if they have a facility to clean the wool as the papers described the exported wool as “greasy shorn wool including fleece-washed wool, not carded and combed”, Stone Shi said they do not have a cleaning facility but the companies that buy clean the wool themselves. Stone Shi could not answer clearly why the buyer paid for only 10, 891 Kg of wool instead of 16, 911 Kg.
Does this simply mean that Maseru Dawning is exporting more wool than is getting paid for? Meaning Basotho wool is sold at a cheap price? All 6000 Kgs of wool have been given off for free while Basotho are crying and waiting tirelessly for their hard-toiled money.
gross and net weight not the conditioned weight at a total of R 1, 529, 656 (US$ 111, 088.20).
On the other hand, the farmers have been waiting for weeks at Standard Lesotho Bank to get their income that was promised to be paid in full this month, but even today a very small portion of the income they expected has been paid. Could this be the reason why people are getting such an unsatisfying income. It goes without saying that Maseru Dawning together with the Government of Lesotho have robbed the farmers their only income that they have worked untiringly for, for the whole past year.
The wool and mohair farmers are fuming with rage throughout the country demanding the payment of the fiber the sale thereof is very unclear and shady. When responding to an interview over the phone on the 29th May 2019, Stone Shi revealed that when selling the wool they always sell it as ‘how was he able to sell the wool to an international buyer without having washed it first in Lesotho?
And what could his meaning of ‘selling conditioned wool’ be if he sold wool to a company that will also wash the wool and sell it further. clean wool because its weight does not change as all the moisture in the wool would have been removed.
He said therefore they sell the wool on the basis of clean weight hence for any international market the wool is sold as clean wool. Conversely, a sensible question would be ‘how was he able to sell the wool to an international buyer without having washed it first in Lesotho? And what could his meaning of ‘selling conditioned wool’ be if he sold wool to a company that will also wash the wool and sell it further.