ORAPA: Women working under the operations of Debswana’s Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) received kudos from their general manager (GM), Bakani Motlhabani, who even intimated that they intend to hire more women in senior leadership positions.
Motlhabani said so when updating various stakeholders during the well-attended 2020 OLDM Community Engagement Forum.
People from various government departments, parastatals, and community-based organisations, chiefs, politicians amongst others from the Boteti sub-district attended the forum. The objective of the forum was to brief OLDM’s key stakeholders about its business operations, community initiatives and the impact of the mines’ activities on communities.
Topics that were discussed at the gathering included the Business Performance and Projects Update, which dealt with how OLDM performed over the years, projects currently going on, future projects and the safety of the employees.
Another topic that was discussed at the event by the GM was the Social Way Overview, which entails minimising negative social impact and maximising socio-economic benefits to host communities.
Motlhabani also addressed the issue of Community Grievances, which deals with steps that members of communities affected by OLDM’s operations should follow when they want to give the mine some ideas, compliments and grievances.
The GM also briefed the attendees about the engagements that OLDM had with various stakeholders in the Boteti sub-district last year.
Lastly, Motlhabani briefed his audience about the issue of Corporate Social Initiatives (Investments) or Corporate Social Responsibility.
CSI is a self-regulating business model that helps a company to be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.
When addressing the audience, Motlhabani expressed hope that more women at OLDM would move up the corporate ladder.
“We have women in OLDM who are occupying senior leadership positions. We hope to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions,” said a jovial Motlhabani.
Out of the 14 senior leadership positions at OLDM, males occupy 12 while women hold only two. In a related matter, Motlhabani was also happy to reveal that 99% of OLDM workers are Batswana.
“We want to be a global benchmark diamond business. We act in line with our values. We want the country to derive maximum value from our mining operations in various socio-economic aspects such as health, education and others. We also care very much about the safety of our employees, environment and the nation at large,” Motlhabani said.
The OLDM boss also disclosed that the staff complement of his three operations currently stands at 2,793. Breaking down the number of employees by gender, Motlhabani said that 21% of workers are females while 79% are males.
“We want the number of our women employees to reach 50%. We are also a company of choice that prides itself in giving everyone equal opportunities such as people with disabilities and vulnerable groups,” he said.
At the end of Motlhabani’s presentation, the audience was given the opportunity to compliment or ask Motlhabani questions about how the operations of the mines were affecting them.
Most participants appreciated OLDM’s efforts of supporting and developing communities within its zone of influence, but noted that the mine could do more.
Some of the suggestions included refurbishing kgotla buildings at Rakops, making a database of qualified youth within Boteti with a view to employ them in future, procuring goods and services from local companies and the provision of water to villages like Letlhakane, which are sometimes afflicted by shortage of clean water.
Motlhabani promised the participants that the mine would do everything in its power to address those problems if funds permitted.
However, Motlhabani advised the participants to also ask for help from relevant government departments because the mine would sometimes be constrained to address their problems.