Debswana has embarked on an outsourcing and privatization programme at its mining operations in Orapa and Jwaneng as part of the implementation of its North Star strategy which began in 2006. Outsourcing and privatization was completed at head office in 2007.
In implementing this programme, Debswana negotiated and signed a Privatization and Outsourcing Agreement (‘Privatisation Agreement’) with the Botswana Mine Workers Union in April 2006, which provides guidelines, structures and procedures that regulate the implementation of privatization and outsourcing initiatives. One of these structures is the Privatisation Committee made up of equal numbers of Union and Management representatives. The Company and the Union also negotiated a Retrenchment Agreement which provides a process for handling redundancies and retrenchments arising thereto. The Retrenchment Agreement provides for consultation with the Union and affected employees. It also provides a separation package for employees who opt for voluntary separation and those who are retrenched.
The outsourcing and privatization programme aims at focusing the company on its core business and availing opportunities to companies that can undertake these non-core businesses effectively and efficiently. This programme has been widely communicated within the company and consultations have been on-going since the adoption of the North Star strategy in 2006. Significant progress has been made with full participation of all parties in compliance with the collective agreements.
A number of interventions have been carried out to brief the affected employees as well as to equip them with skills in order to enhance their capacity to tender for the services being outsourced. The interventions include group and individual counseling sessions, entrepreneurship training and financial planning courses.
Financial Fairs were also organised at both Orapa and Jwaneng to the give affected employees a chance to meet financial institutions that will assist them after separation with the company. The companies that participated included banks, medical aid companies and wealth management companies.
Debswana is also holding weekly briefings with the affected employees to ensure they are well informed on the developments that take place.
In Jwaneng, 94 people will be affected by outsourcing and privatization in the following services:
Parks and Gardens
C- Mess ( Accommodation Cleaning and Catering Services)
Housing Service ÔÇô (Gas delivery and internal uplifts)
In Orapa, a total of 366 people will be affected in the following service areas:
Township maintenance (carpentry, plumbing and building sections)
Parks and Gardens
Shopping centre and Bottle store
Security at the gates and airport
Aggregate and Block Plan
Company Laundry services
It is expected that most of the identified services will have been outsourced by December 2008 with the programme expected to be completed by February 2009.