Diamond minerÔÇöDebswana–continues to outsource and privatise activities and operations that are not in line with its core business of mining, parliament has been told.
This was revealed by the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources Ponatsego Kedikilwe when responding to a question from Ngwaketse West MP, Mephato Reatile.
The MP, whose area includes Jwaneng where Debswana has an operation, had wanted to know the details of the services that Debswana planned to outsource and when the privatisation exercise will be complete.
Debswana completed privatisation and outsourcing of services like cleaning, catering, gardening, retail, bottle store, printing and household gas provision in 2008.
“Debswana has commenced prefeasibility studies to assess privatisation and outsourcing opportunities in housing and accommodation, aircraft services, education services, health services, water and power utilities,” said Kedikilwe.
The studies are expected to provide information on project timing and cost as well as social and economic benefit. The project will be implemented in 2011.
Unveiled in late 2008, Debswana’s privatisation and outsourcing initiative was widely expected to benefit former employees and citizen owned companies.
The outsourcing and privatisation policy was borne out of a desire to contain costs and improve process performance and efficiencies through a sustainable focus on business imperatives.
“The outsourcing and privatisation program aims at focusing the company on its core business and availing opportunities to companies that can undertake non-core operations effectively and efficiently,” said then Debswana Services Manager, Mbaakanyi David.
The outsourcing and privatisation program is part of Debswana’s 2006 North Star Strategy, which was aimed at improving operations efficiency, cutting down operation costs and streamlining Debswana operations.
The program kicked off with intense consultations between Debswana and its business partners, as well as affected employees and Botswana Mine Workers Union.
This resulted in Debswana and BMWU signing the Privatisation and Outsourcing Agreement in April 2006.
The agreement provided guidelines, structures and procedures that would regulate the implementation of the privatisation and outsourcing initiative.
One such structure was the Privatisation Committee, which was made of union and management representatives.
Debswana made an undertaking that all employees who would be affected by the outsourcing and privatisation program will be given first preference in the tendering process.
The employees were also given support and orientation through the assistance of Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and Peo Venture Capital.