Despite the fact that they are due to wrap up operations, Mupane Gold Mine has embarked on an initiative to empower its employees and intensify skills and benefits.
This was revealed by Mupane Human Resource Manager, Vincent Mothupi, during a stakeholder meeting hosted by IamGold in Francistown last week.
Mothupi said that Mupane Gold mine is only left with two to three years before they close up, such that all of the mine employees are under threat of losing their jobs.
To that end, he said, the mine has taken a deliberate decision to retain its employees until closure, increase their remuneration and supplement their skills so that they have added advantages of finding alternative employment after the mine closes shop.
He rubbished allegations that the mine’s citizen empowerment initiative is deplorable, saying that they have only 33 expatriates, who are regarded as possessing scarce skills, out of their total 400 employees.
“We continue to empower our employees and give them vigorous training as a way of retaining them and giving them hope so that they survive even after the mine shuts down,” Mothupi said.
To date Mupane has sponsored 27 employees to diploma and degree courses. Mothupi also said that they have localized senior positions in the mine to dismiss the myth that top posts are reserved for foreigners.
The mine has also taken a deliberate decision to concentrate its recruitment on areas in and around Francistown, which is their place of operation.
However, Mothupi lamented the lack of skilled manpower in the mining industry, saying that they are sometimes forced to recruit from outside and later face the laborious task of dealing with work and residence permit applications.
“We therefore would not want to recruit expatriates over locals because the process of getting them to work here legitimately is slow and tiresome. But we will always recruit expatriates in fields such as metallurgy and mining engineering because there is a dearth of such personnel in Botswana,” he concluded.