Saturday, May 21, 2022

Dr Adrian Gale, the architect of “Orapa Today, Boteti tomorrow,”

As he retires to his home country in the United Kingdom(UK) the outgoing General Manager of Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines(OLDM), Dr Adrian Gale will not only be remembered for his great leadership skills, but even for coming up with the vision of “Orapa Tomorrow and Boteti Tomorrow,”

This vision seeks to create a better OLDM which is safe, sustainable successful and make it a great place to work and live. The vision also seeks to leverage Orapa as the hub to bring a sustainable future to the residents of Boteti Sub District even when mining elapses.

Dr Gale a Chemical Engineer by profession took over the reins to head OLDM in 2010. He has an extensive mining and metallurgical experience having worked in a number of countries around the world. He also has vast experience in fields of project management, commissioning, exploration, processing and refining of a variety of minerals.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Standard last week, he said that when he took up his position as General Manager at OLDM he came up with the vision “Orapa today, Boteti tomorrow” to better the lives of the residents of Orapa and Boteti sub district as a whole.

“This vision seeks to add value to the lives of the people of Orapa and Boteti sub district as a whole. “Today” is about making Orapa a great place to live and work, with the best schools, zero harm and zero crime. “Tomorrow is to position Orapa as the Hub Capital of Boteti, the gateway to Makgadikgadi, the first great diamond mine in Botswana, a museum to capture the anectodotes and artifacts of this critical period in the history of Botswana” said Dr Gale.
He said that Orapa has the potential of becoming a mining town as well as a tourism town. He said that by developing Orapa Game Park into a sanctuary for endangered species, he wanted to transform the town into a tourist attraction town.

“I made sure that I transform the Orapa Game Park so that it becomes a sanctuary to keep the endangered animal species. Rhinos and other animals have since been brought into the park. I would love to see Orapa becoming a successful mining town as well as Tourism area. This will in turn add value to the lives of people not only in Orapa but even in Boteti,” he said.

Among some of the successes he achieved through his vision, are the development of education in Orapa schools, radio station coverage in the area and the development of Orapa Mine Hospital leading to its COHSASA (Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa accreditations.

“We also have good sports facilities. In 2013, Orapa won as the cleanest town in Botswana. We have one of the country’s best athletes Nigel Amos as our prot├®g├®’. This is part of my vision to transform Orapa and make it a good place to work and live,” he said.

Some of the successful projects that have benefited Boteti during his tenure include the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects and the annual General Manager’s Charity walk.
“Some of the funds that we raised through the General Manager’s Charity walk have since been used to build houses for the underprivileged in the Boteti Sub District in response to the Presidential Housing Appeal,” he said.

Dr Gale also prides himself with the fact that when he joined the mine, the country was still reeling through the effects of the global recession but he managed to steer the mine through the odds.

“There were a number of challenges when I joined this mine because the country was still reeling from the effects of the global economic crisis. I had to devise strategies to mitigate these challenges,” he said.

Among some of the achievements, Dr Gale also said that he managed to build a peaceful working relationship between the unions and the mine management.

“When I joined the mine in 2010, the relationship between the unions in OLDM and the management was bad. There were always queues near my office. I managed to resolve these tensions by coming up with an open door policy for employees or unions to freely air their grievances,” he said.

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