Residents of Samson Guma Moyo’s Tati East constituency continue to reap immense rewards from Tati Nickel Mining Company’s trailblazing community social responsibility program.
Introduced in 2006, Tati Nickel’s CSR program has to date disbursed over P9 million to a total of 10 projects in communities within a 50 kilometer radius of the company’s operations.
“Tati Nickel’s CSR program was introduced in 2006 as a means of reiterating our commitment to ensuring that the communities within which our company operates also benefit from our operations,” Corporate Services Manager, Peter Meswele, revealed in an earlier interview.
The CSR program was introduced in line with the national Vision 2016 and the mining giant’s slogan, Tati Nickel Cares, which reinforces the company’s commitment to ensuring that its operations add value to the economy of Botswana through improving and sustaining the livelihoods of the communities within which they have been operating, with a view to doing business with them in future.
Preference would be given to small businesses in rural areas so that they can be sustainable and compete evenly with other businesses that are seeking businesses from the mine.
After recently handing over a P420 000 mobile clinic to the North East District Council, Tati Nickel last week took Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Shaw Kgathi, on a tour of a number of farming projects that they have funded in the villages of Matshelagabedi, Matsiloje and Matopi.
The agricultural schemes include 5 horticultural projects in Matsilioje, Matopi and Siviya, all funded through a P280 000 grant from Tati Nickel.
Other projects include poultry projects in Sekokwe, funded at P75 000, and a P50 000 guinea fowl project.
The total investment in agricultural projects currently stands at P 460 000, and all of the projects are operational. Two tannery projects were also funded to the tune of P80 000. A total of 9 farmers are engaged in horticulture and 3 in poultry.
This is the first phase of these agricultural projects, and phase two will commence as they show signs of growth and success.
Speaking at the event, Kgathi said that the people of Tati East are blessed in that they have found a model company that is willing to give back to the nation and support government initiatives.
He added that Tati Nickel’s efforts to improve and commercialize agriculture is spot on and in line with government efforts as it is important for Batswana to be able to produce their own food.
For his part, Tati Nickel General Manager, Seb Sebetlela, urged the beneficiaries to work hard to ensure that their projects are successful.
“It is important that you institute prudent management standards that will enable you to monitor your profits against your expenses and grow to employ more and more Batswana,” he said.
The grants and assistance were given after needs assessments were made to select individuals who showed great potential and commitment to their work.
Kgathi also commended the fact that some of the beneficiaries of the projects like the guinea fowl project and the tannery in Matsiloje are young people.
He commended the knowledge, skill and commitment displayed by the youth, saying that government will look into using such as both training centers and inspirational examples that could be used to lure more youth into agriculture.
Tati Nickel’s flagship project for this year is the Maths and Science results improvement initiative, which involves six junior secondary schools and one senior secondary school.
The result improvement project is a people centered development initiative that is a joint venture between Tati Nickel and the Ministry of Education. In Phase one of the project, Tati Nickel forked out P950 000 to benefit Shashe River School and six other junior secondary schools.
The schools were provided with the latest Math and Science books, multimedia and security equipment, and also computers with internet connectivity.
To enhance performance and competitiveness among students, Tati Nickel also introduced a revolving trophy for most improved results in math and science, also as a way of gauging if their investment is bearing fruit. Phase one of the project is complete and cost the mine P1 million.
Phase Two of the project will involve the purchasing of computers with relevant Math and Science software to be used in Math and Science remedial classes.
Last year, government officials from the Department of Secondary Education and Tati Nickel employees went on a familiarization tour to South Africa to learn about remedial centers for Math and Science subjects. The benchmarking tour provided an in depth knowledge of how to make the project a success. Tati Nickel will provide the computers and software to be used by the students while government will provide classrooms for the remedial lessons. To make the project even more successful, teachers will also be trained on new skills. Phase Two of the project is expected to cost P2 million.
Tati Nickel’s CSR program is focused on social and business development. The company also emphasizes on returns on the investments that it has made, and therefore goes a long way in assisting to ensure that its investments are always successful.
Tati Nickel is also constructing factory shells at Matsiloje, which will later be handed over to the village development committee.
In the past Tati Nickel donated a P400, 000 mobile clinic to the north east district, which to date services villages which are not within the vicinity of the Matsiloje clinic. The mobile clinic has a designated nurse who visits catchment areas on a daily basis to provide health services. A doctor also makes weekly visits to consult patients in these areas.
Government provides medication, syringes, bandages and other medical equipment while Tati Nickel provides the mobile clinic and caters for its maintenance and manpower needs.
Tati Nickel has also assisted members of the community to open up a tannery, a hair salon, a bakery and a public garden in Matsiloje and Matopi. The bakeries will have exclusive contracts to supply bread to the mine. Women from the local communities have also been empowered to run the mine’s canteen.
Proceeds from all these projects are the sole benefits of the community.