Giving back big time

Set up in 2019, the Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme has clear Key Performance Indicators, which as well as creating mass employment, includes pumping P20 billion back into the local economy on citizen owned companies. “By doing this we will increase the participation of Botswana citizen owned Small, Micro to Medium Enterprises in Debswana’ s supply…

Diamond mining giants, Debswana are halfway through an initiative which they hope will ultimately create employment for 20, 000 people by 2024.

Set up in 2019, the Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme has clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which as well as creating mass employment, includes pumping P20 billion back into the local economy on citizen owned companies.

Speaking at a stakeholders engagement meeting recently, Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) General Manager, Mogakolodi Maoketsa revealed this equates to roughly half of all Debswana’s spending in that time.

Maoketsa reiterated the company’s commitment to leveraging its purchasing power and influence to achieve socio-economic development in the communities.

“By doing this we will increase the participation of Botswana citizen owned Small, Micro to Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) in Debswana’s supply chain, which will in the long-term, de-risk and enhance the capacity and sustainability of the local supply base,” he said.

According to Maoketsa, in 2021 Debswana achieved a 37% citizen spend with a local non citizen spend of 48% and 31% foreign spend.

“An absolute value of P7.8 billion has been spent on citizen owned companies over a period of three years with 80 citizen suppliers assisted with funding of more than P800 million in partnership with local commercial banks,” continued Maoketsa.

He further said this year, Debswana will focus on implementing plans aimed at integrating its supply chain to local manufacturing and repairs and maintenance companies.

Maoketsa noted partnerships with various stakeholders, both private and government owned entities, are key as the two areas of local manufacturing and local repairs and maintenance have the potential to create meaningful and sustainable employment.

Besides creation of employment, they also have the potential to develop the country’s manufacturing base and enable it to compete in the SADAC region; and position Botswana as the go to country on heavy-duty earth-moving vehicle repairs and maintenance due to its central geographical location in southern Africa and mining skills.

Botswana is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, producing about 21 percent of global output. The country is also the largest producer of rough diamonds in the De Beers Group of Companies, as well as being Botswana’s largest taxpayer. Roughly 80% of the profits generated by Debswana is accrued as government revenue for the benefit of citizens.

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