Friday, January 22, 2021

‘Debswana’s CSI policy has government’s blessing’ – Merafhe

The Vice President, Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe, has hailed Debswana‘s Corporate Investment Policy as a milestone that has the blessing and full backing of government.

Speaking after the annual Orapa and Letlhakane Mines General Managers’ Sponsored Walk in Orapa last weekend Merafhe said that because Debswana’s policy emphasizes collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders, it has the blessing of government as it builds capacity in the communities and ensures sustainability of all the projects undertaken.

Debswana introduced its CSI policy two years ago, and it has so far proven very successful as it emphasizes partnerships with the communities within which the company operates.

Debswana has, in the past, donated a 10.9 kilometer road, valued at P22 million to the Central District Council. A further P 35.5 million was spent on CSI initiatives that include Orapa-Letlhakane and Damtshaa roads. Other programs include an annual investment of P 100 million on Debswana’s hospitals, schools, clinics and infrastructure development which are also accessible and beneficial to local communities.

Merafhe further said that Debswana’s partnership with the community fosters ownership and encourages self reliance, values which government has, over the years, been struggling to instill in Batswana.

He further urged other companies to emulate the commendable efforts of Debswana and come up with concrete CSI policies which can make a sustainable contribution to the development and economic growth of Botswana.

“CSI is not just a charitable donation or an enhancement of one’s corporate image; it is about contributing to the real needs of communities in whose areas the corporate does business” said the Vice President.

He added that CSI is good for business as it enhances corporate image and improves employee morale. Giving thank-you remarks after the walk, OLM General Manager, Seb Sebetlela, said that Debswana has, over time, maintained its core values of “show we care”. He said that, as Debswana, they are committed to the welfare of the people whose lives they touch and the communities, nations and environments within which they operate. He added that the General Managers’ sponsored walk is a true definition of the partnership between Debswana and the Boteti community.

In its 5th year running, the annual general manager’s sponsored walk, which is a philanthropic partnership between the mines, business partners and the wider Boteti community has, over the years, raised funds to meet the needs of the community. It has, to date, raised over P400 000, which has been used to improve the lives of the less fortunate members of the Boteti community.

“The funds that you have raised through this walk will further enhance our impact and make a huge difference in the lives of the beneficiaries, and for that I, once again, sincerely thank you,” said Sebetlela.

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