Residents of the north east district continue to benefit from Tati Nickel Mine’s corporate social responsibility program. The mining giant launched its corporate social responsibility program in 2006 and, to date, the program has tremendously benefited many villages within its areas of operation and beyond. This emerged in Matsiloje last week when the mine donated a P400, 000 mobile clinic to the north east district.
Speaking at the hand over ceremony of the mobile clinic, which was graced by, among others, Labour and Home Affairs Minister, Charles Tibone, and area MP, Guma Moyo, the mining giant’s nickel mine’s Corporate Communications Manager, Thuso Dikgaka, said that the mine will continue to assist in development projects to benefit areas within their operations.
He told the gathering that Tati Nickel Mine unveiled its corporate social responsibility program in 2006 after extensive research to identify urgent areas of need in the communities in which they operate. He added that to ensure the success of the program, the company designated members of staff to run it. According to Dikgaka the objective of Tati Nickel’s corporate social responsibility program is not to take over responsibility from government but rather to complement government’s efforts.
”Today we are here to showcase the success of the government-private partnership for development program and this mobile clinic is proof of our commitment to the development of this country as epitomized in our slogan, Tati Nickel Cares.” he said.
The mobile clinic will service areas in the north east district, among them Matsiloje and Pobepobe, most of which have to travel long distances to the Matsiloje clinic for assistance. It will have a designated nurse who will visit the catchment areas on a daily basis to provide health services. A doctor will also make weekly visits to consult patients in these areas.
The project is a combined venture between government and the mining company and the former will provide medication, syringes, bandages and other equipment while Tati Nickel will provide the mobile clinic and cater for its maintenance and manpower needs.
Narrating some of the company’s corporate social responsibility success stories, Dikgaka said that they have assisted members of the community to open up a tannery, a kindergarten and a hair salon in Matsiloje. Another tannery, bakery and public garden will open very soon in 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.
Minister Tibone hailed Tati Nickel’s corporate social responsibility program as a trendsetter and one of the best in Botswana and said that it was a typical example of the potential for success inherent in the government’s private partnership for development program.
Tibone said that Tati Nickel has repeatedly proven itself to be a model of foreign direct investment that is not only concerned with mining but also has the welfare of Batswana at heart.
He applauded the massive turn-out saying that it is evidence of the cordial relations that exist between the mining company and the public despite negative media reports to the contrary. Tibone also said that it is one of the best examples here in Botswana that a company would channel its community development projects towards improving provision of health services.
“Tati Nickel’s continued efforts are proof that the mining company is not only a responsible corporate citizen of Botswana but also a valuable development partner to government in the north east district,” said an elated Tibone.
He urged other corporates within the north east district to take a leaf from Tati Nickel’s book and also take part in the partnership for development program.
“Even though the government does its best to provide services, the contribution of the corporate world to complement our efforts is greatly welcome as it will go a long way in assisting government to avail services to the people,” he said.
“It is my wish that other companies can take the cue and also work to assist government in its development endeavors,” he said adding that the company’s efforts are in line with the Vision 2016 ideal of health for all.
Tibone added that government has always insisted that the benefits of the mining industry have to be enjoyed by not only the communities around which the mines are operating but the nation at large and Tati Nickel mine has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that this noble objective is attained.
The minister also said that it is imperative that the corporate community comes forth to assist government because, unlike in the past when missionaries used to build schools and health facilities for the community, the tide has changed and government is now looking to enhance partnerships with the corporate world to develop the country.