The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has partnered with Debswana Diamond Company to manufacture leather protective products for the mining company with the purpose of empowering local enterprises.
The project forms part of Debswana’s citizen empowerment strategy that aims at developing and capacitating local suppliers of goods and services to provide services to mines.
LEA offers ÔÇô on a temporary basis – shared premises, capital equipment, business and technical services, as well as access to finance.
In a press release statement LEA says that Debswana has identified the leather programme as a platform through which it can assist in growing the sector and at the same time empowering local Small Medium Macro Enterprises (SMMEs).
The project started in January 2016 when LEA created sample products among them leather protective gloves, spats and aprons as well as non-leather items, grease drum lid covers and tool kit bags.
In January 2017, 60 tool kit bags had been supplied to Jwaneng mine and a further 60 and 20 grease drum covers are ready to be sent off to Orapa and Letlhakane mines.
It further states that the long term objective is to involve Batswana entrepreneurs so that in future they can structure their own companies and compete with other suppliers for products to Debswana.
LEA is currently working with Debswana to test the samples in order to assemble the mine standards in terms of safety and quality.
The quality will then be tested by the Department of Mines and Botswana Bureau of Standards, with opportunities to admit the supply chain not only of Debswana mines but De Beers and Anglo American group of companies in future.
At the moment LEA has four incubators which are: Pilane Multi-Purpose Incubator, Leather Industries Incubator, Francistown Industrial Business Incubator and the Glen Valley Horticulture Incubator and furthermore there is procedure that is ongoing to open yet another incubator in the 2017-18 financial year.