A new board of directors of the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Committee (SILWC) has been appointed. According to a statement issued by the Housing Ministry, Housing and Urban Settlements Minister Randall Mitchell presented the instruments of appointments to members of the new board on August 28. Attorney Dane L. Halls has been appointed the new SILWC chairman. Other members of the board are John Jaglal, Vinda Maharaj, Fedel Sherwin Adonis and Hinni Maraj.
The SILWC was formally established by Act No 64:05 of 1951 to control and administer the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund to Caroni workers and to provide proper housing solutions for sugar workers and cane farmers. Over time, its focus has shifted to include the improvement of housing for persons who were involved in the sugar industry.
Mitchell thanked the members for offering themselves for public service. He reminded them that their remit is aligned to the overall policy direction of the Ministry which seeks to “improve the living conditions of citizens.” In underscoring the considerable delay in finalising the new Board, Mitchell urged the members to always remember that their mandate affects people’s livelihoods and well-being, therefore they should not delay in addressing all matters.
The ministry said in the absence of a board, many residents in SILWC communities were unable to apply for and access loans. The ministry also said many communities were left in severe need of infrastructural upgrades and it is hoped this situation will soon be rectified. SILWC is considered one of the largest land owners in TT. The SILWC is estimated to have 24 housing developments stretching from Macoya in the East to La Gloria in South.
Since its inception, SILWC has assisted in the construction of approximately 14,000 homes.