Monday, June 24, 2024

Debswana aims to turn Jwaneng into a glittering sports hub

Debswana Jwaneng Mine General Manager (GM) Koolatotse Koolatotse is determined to turn the town into a sports diamond hub.

The plan is one of many intended to keep the township alive way after the mine closes. As a vibrant mining town, Jwaneng is in a good position to thrive as a sports hub.

“Jwaneng has got sport facilities and infrastructure of different sporting codes. The township is annually hosting national championships for various sporting codes,” the Debswana Jwaneng Mine GM says.

In his mind, he sees a future Jwaneng township where sport plays a crucial role in the lives of the people. Worldwide, sports is held in regard as a unifier and a mode for social and economic development.

“Sport is one of the vehicles that can be used to unite people and make them participate towards the common goal. I believe that turning Jwaneng into a Sport hub is a doable initiative that can sustain Jwaneng,” he says. 

KK, as the Debswana Jwaneng GM is affectionately known, says the economic life of the people of Jwaneng must continue beyond mining. This calls for earnest implementation of ideas that will make the township sustainable beyond the diamond agenda.

The initiative aligns well with the recently launched ‘Mind Set Change’ programme by Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi. The program’s main objective is to compel people to come up with new initiatives that can improve on livelihoods.

“The mindset change seeks to see social and economic status of people improve and become better. I believe if we change our mindset and come up with initiatives that will be beneficial to Jwaneng beyond the diamonds’ agenda, the livelihoods of residents will be saved from economic catastrophe after diamonds are depleted,” he reasons.

He further observes that diamonds are not renewable energy and the mine has a lifespan. As such, we must be ready for life after mining.

The Debswana Jwaneng Mine GM believes the Selibe Phikwe catastrophe can be evaded. At its peak, the then copper and nickel mining town relied heavily on the mining. When the mine closed, it collapsed as people were not ready for life beyond mining.

Koolatotse says they have to diversify the economy so that people will continue living normal lives after the end of operations.

“We know in terms of value what we are doing cannot replace diamonds. However, something has to be done as a way of giving back to the community and involving people to participate in something outside mining of diamonds,” he says.

This is however easier said than done. To attain the desired dream of turning Jwaneng into a Sports hub, they will need to empower and develop people. “I will have to resource the people for the dream to be accomplished.  That is how we will be creating human diamonds,” KK observes.

The human diamonds will be able to manage, run and identify talent in sports for it to be sustainable and for tangible results to be attained. The Hub will able to host major events that will be of great value to the economy of Jwaneng.

Some of the major sporting events that the Jwaneng Township hosts include the famous Toyota Desert race, Easter Softball Extravaganza Tournament, national Bowling nationals, football tournaments, cycling races and others. The GM last weekend hosted the GM’s Soccer Fiesta.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper