Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Debswana’s human face in Jwaneng pegged at P1.2 billion

By Cedric Swanka

JWANENG – Apart from mining diamonds, Debswana Mining Company seems to be positioning itself to be well-known for large-scale corporate social responsibility activities.

The company’s precious diamond mine ÔÇô Jwaneng, has made revelations that it has recorded expenditure of up to P1.2 billion for project developments in and around the town of Jwaneng.

Acting Jwaneng Mine General Manager – Koolatotse Koolatotse says the mine has to date spent over P1.2 billion in Corporate Social Investment (CSI) which covers areas such as education, sport and health.

The company`s CSI activities have seen lump sums of money being spent on various projects including the Jwaneng mine waste water utilisation project with an estimate cost of P66 million.

Koolatotse says another million Pula was used to build – in partnership with local contractors, five houses that were handed to members of the local community.

As expected, the company also extended a hand to the sports fraternity with chess and football among those which have enjoyed the presence of Jwaneng mine.

Started back in 2016 the Diamond Dreams Academic Awards, also sees the company partnering with Government to reward outstanding achievement across all subjects for teachers, students and their schools. The initiative is driven towards education and covers twenty three primary schools and four junior schools around Jwaneng. The project has seen over a million Pula being directed toward it.

“Botswana produces 16 percent to 23 percent of the world’s diamonds and we want to prepare for a future beyond diamonds by investing in our communities and other zones of influence. Diamonds contribute to 88 percent of Botswana`s total exports hence why it is no surprise that the transformation of Botswana over the past fifty years is a result of diamonds.” continued Koolatotse.

Jwaneng mine which has the richest mining pipe, centre pipe in the world has been able to invest in Botswana thanks to statutes such as the Kimberlite Protection Certification and the Precious and semi-Precious stones Act no 3. These statutes help in protection of diamond ore from being used for personal gain by individuals and ensure the country`s interests in diamonds are observed.

Jwaneng mine through Debswana, has also partnered with the Government and other stakeholders. During the 2018 Jwaneng mine General manager`s cycle challenge, they raised P1.2 million alongside other stakeholders. “Debswana procures 80 percent of goods and services from local companies, with the balance being spent on South Africa based companies. We have also provided skill development to SMME, as 27 SMME`s have already benefitted thus creating over 2000 jobs.” Shared Koolatotse

Lefhoko village is located 20 kilometres from Jwaneng and a figure of P1,5 million recently used to build a kitchen in Lefhoko Primary School. The Primary School received a fully fitted kitchen block with electricity, gas stoves and its own ablution block. The gesture was well received as Assistant Deputy Commissioner in Lefhoko village, Lesang Kgomoetsile said “It is worth noting that this is one of many projects that Jwaneng mine has invested in. An endeavour to deliver a long lasting positive impact to communities within the mines zone of influence.” The Assistant Deputy Commissioner was speaking on behalf of the Assistant Minister of Basic Education Thato Kwerepe.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.