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Job creation vital to transformation

05 Feb 2023

Job creation through value chain development is crucial  to transformation.

This was said by the Vice President Mr Slumber Tsogwane during a meeting with Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) executive management in Orapa on Thursday as the mine readies to commence an outsourcing and privatisation exercise.

Mr Tsogwane stated that for Botswana to achieve vision 2036 as a high-income economy it was crucial to creating employment opportunities.

He said one of the major challenges was a gap between the rich and the poor as well as high unemployment rate amongst the youth.  He implored the mining company to align with the concept of targeted citizens as per the Economic Inclusion Act.

He said Botswana witnessed economic growth through diamond sales in the 70s by an average of seven to eight per cent economic growth but job creation lagged behind.

He said government plans to have a middle-class strategy whereby people would retire and form businesses to sustain livelihoods and create wealth.

“The aim is to encourage people to retire without any fear and take on the business world to elevate the economy,” he said.

For his part, the General Manager of OLDM Mr Mogakolodi Maoketsa assured  employees that the outsourcing and privatisation exercise, there would not  lead to any forced  retrenchments.

However, he said should there be a need to retrenchment, they would implement voluntary separation.

He noted that the mine had reached and signed an agreement with Botswana Mine Workers Union on how privatisation and outsourcing would be carried out.

He stated that timelines for the commencement, implementation and completion of the exercise had been set and agreed upon by the two parties. Employees who had been affected by outsourcing and privatisation he said were consulted.

Mr Maoketsa emphasised that no one would be forced to retire and the exercise would be carried out following compensation guidelines for those retiring through voluntary separation.

“Those who have been affected by the exercise but did not have any intention to retire through voluntary separation, will be assisted by the company to find them jobs and if need be, they will be trained for a new job,” he said.

He stated that by May 2023 privatisation and outsourcing would reach the completion stage adding that all the affected employees were undertaken through training to equip them with skills so that they could also get an opportunity to tender for projects in the mine.

Mr Maoketsa indicated that tendering for the projects would commence from March to May 2023.

“An incubation process would be done at a later stage so that those in businesses could continue getting support,” he said.

He further stated that 45 per cent of services provided in the mine were from Batswana, adding that on supplier development support, eight companies from Boteti District were assisted financially at a total amount of over P54 million.

Debswana’s commitment he said was to create 2000 jobs through Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thandy Tebogo

Location : ORAPA

Event : OLDM executive management

Date : 05 Feb 2023