Friday, March 1, 2024

Debswana empowers small citizen suppliers

Debswana mining operations – Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM)- on Monday launched the Tokafala Supplier Development initiative  under the auspices of the Tokafala Programme.

Welcoming the participants during the launch, Senior Finance Manager at OLDM, Kgomotso Kereng said Debswana remains committed to matters of socio-economic development. 

She said the programme is a commendable effort given that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the operating environment of many institutions and businesses across the globe.

“I want to congratulate those who will be participating in this programme. Entry to this programme is competitive, with rigorous selection exercise which includes the use of robust criteria tools, interviews and field visits,” she said.

She encouraged the participants to make use of the progamme and learn as much as they can, keeping in mind how to adapt to the changing industry trends due to covid 19 pandemic. She said the onus solely lies on participants as agents of change to share the knowledge and skills they gain through innovative application in their various operations.

Giving a keynote address the General Manager of OLDM Bakani Motlhabani revealed that a total of 100 participants have since been enrolled on the Mining Supplier Development Programme of which 47 are from Boteti Sub District and 53 from Jwaneng/Mabutsane area. He said it was pleasing to note that the programme made effort to enrol as many female owned businesses as possible adding that 31 percent of participants are women.

“Today 20 participants will do the training so that we are able to comply with the Covid 19 controls, the rest will continue during the year,” he said.

Motlhabani said since its inception, the Tokafala programme has made an impact towards development of SMME’s. Among others he said the programme attracted a diverse set of SMMEs from various sectors in which 54.6 percent were female owned and 44.6 percent were youth owned. 

He said 130 enterprises were enrolled in Gaborone, Francistown, Maun and Letlhakane supporting 807 jobs and creating 91 new ones.

“300 youth in Jwaneng and Boteti areas were enrolled on the Tokafala STRYDE programme and 70 percent of the youth enrolled on these programme are women. There is improved partnership with financing and lending institutions such as CEDA and other government departments,” he said.

He said Debswana is committed into making a meaningful and lasting contribution to Botswana and communities around the mines. He emphasized that the diamond company has a Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy(CEEP) which aims to capacitate citizen companies to participate in Debswana Supply Chain.

He said they are currently developing a new CEEP framework, which will focus on Impact Analysis as well as ring fencing certain goods and services for citizens.

“I believe we can agree that all these efforts are indeed an integral part of developing the mining industry and it is an exciting time for local suppliers, despite the challenges we face with the Covid 19 pandemic,” said Motlhabani.

The Tokafala Supplier Development initiative will take 10 months and will include four months of entrepreneurship training followed by six
months of aftercare support.

The objective of this programme is to develop capacity and competitiveness of citizen companies. This will help them improve their access to markets and ensure sustainable
enterprises. The programme focuses on improving skills on sales, 

operations, financial, strategic business management and a 6-month after care support.
Launched in 2014, Tokafala programme is a joint partnership between
government, Debswana, Debeers group and Anglo American. The mandate of
the programme is to support the government of Botswana’s citizen
economic empowerment policy


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