The General Manager of Tati Nickel Mining Company, Seb Sebetlela, has revealed that the voluntary separation exercise that they embarked on at the beginning of the year is a resounding success.
Sebetlela told The Sunday Standard recently that though they did not reach the target that they had wished for, they were happy with the number of employees who had opted for a voluntary exit package.
“By the end of May, 65 employees had indicated that they wanted to leave voluntarily. However, we refused two of the applications as they were critical to our operations,” said Sebetlela.
While not ruling out the possibility of retrenchment in the future, Sebetlela said that they will explore other avenues through which they can better manage their manpower, adding that all decisions are subject to the challenges that the company will be facing at the time.
Earlier this year, the giant copper/nickel miner urged its employees to opt for voluntary exit as it tried to duck out of a full-blown impact of the global economic crunch, prompting analysts to paint a bleak future of Francistown and the banking sector in general.
At the time, Leutwetse Tumelo, the Chief Executive Officer for Capital Asset Management, said: “Tati Nickel has been a driver of Francistown economy. This is going to have a negative impact given the fact that it has driven up the property market in that town,” he said.
Tati Nickel also revealed that its localization exercise has also gone smoothly as only 65 of its 1115 employees are expatriates. The mine management, however, revealed that there is a need to employ more foreigners to augment the dearth of skills in Botswana.
“At the same time, it is important to realize that the mine is presently undergoing a lot of expansion and maintenance, such that a lot of expatriates have been roped in by our contractors to carry out specialized maintenance operations,” said Peter Meswele.