The Business Development Manager at Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) Matthews Bagopi has lamented on the increase of criminal activities in Palapye village.
He said the surge in crime is owed to the unprecedented growth of Palapye and the influx of people seeking and hoping for job opportunities.
Bagopi was speaking during the handing over of Palapye Central Police Station after it was refurbished by the mine at a cost of P700 000. The refurbishment was part of MCM’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) under its Motheo Expansion project.
“Examples are rapid increase in copper cable theft and other undesirable activities. MCM and Botswana Police Services have also held joint campaigns against drugs. On road safety matters, we successfully cooperated in emergency assistance during road accidents and firefighting,” he said.
Motheo Expansion Project was started by MCM to develop an open cast mine, a coal washing plant and other associated infrastructure. The main aim of this project is to facilitate MCM’s contribution to Botswana’s economic growth and transformation of coal into unlimited sources of energy.
Giving a brief overview on the refurbishment of the Police Station by the mine, he said Botswana Police Services (BPS) pleaded for their help to refurbish and give a facelift to the facility which was already in a dilapidating state. He said they had no option but to heed the call to assist with this refurbishment.
“It was not easy to source funds. We managed to source funds through project Motheo making this project the second under our Motheo banner,” he said.
Last month MCM also held a ground breaking ceremony to mark construction of Palapye Multi Purpose Stadium worth P25 million as another CSI initiative under its Motheo project.
Bagopi emphasized that under Motheo Projects the mine has managed to stimulate positive socio-economic impacts within Palapye and the neighbouring areas. He revealed that over 1 400 employment opportunities were created during the construction phase of Motheo project and over 400 permanent employment opportunities are expected to be created during the operation phase of the project.
“Furthermore, training and development opportunities, local procurement and the awarding of contracts to citizen companies are some of the economic benefits from the project. This has seen the growth of our expenditure on local procurement skyrocketing to as high as 90 percent,” he added.
Meanwhile Bagopi said for BPS to carry out its mandate, it requires not only manpower but also sound and fit for purpose facilities from which they can operate from as they serve the community in their policing areas. He pleaded with companies operating in Palapye to lend a helping hand and partner with BPS, key government stakeholders and civic entities to give support in helping fight crime.