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MCM to empower citizens

Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) has heeded government’s call for local enterprises to come up with initiatives geared at empowering citizens.

This was one of the underlying messages from the launch of the mine’s new Corporate Strategy (see Business Lead) for the years 2022/27 at Little Paws Garden in Palapye over the weekend.

The MCM Board Chairperson, Dr. Bonny Ignitius Matshediso revealed the new strategy includes initiatives geared at empowering Batswana to take part in the economic activities in line with the coal mine’s business output.

He said ahead of the weekend launch, MCM had already taken a decision to establish a fully-fledged office for citizen economic empowerment.

“This was strongly motivated by the belief that empowering Batswana to own businesses could help reduce the country’s national import bill,” stated Matshediso.

For the month of March alone, Botswana’s imports stood at close to P10 billion, with food responsible for 11.9 percent (over P1 billion) of the bill.

“We’ve a plan to achieve 50 percent Citizen Spend supporting 3, 000 jobs by 2027. We have a duty as a responsible company to make sure that Batswana are prioritized in access to the economic opportunities that may result from our operations and we have full commitment in doing just that,” declared Matshediso.

The Chairperson further noted the new strategy houses an expansive desire to create business success through dedicated human capital development initiatives that can enhance their operational efficiency and productivity.

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“We’re looking at putting together a comprehensive and cohesive organisational culture that prides itself in collective success and fights together when the chips are low,” he said.

Promising a collective team effort, Matshediso pledged to ensure their marketing and sales team gels well with their mineral resource management team to jointly undertake market intelligence exercises that can yield a proper response to their market demands.

MCM has borrowed a leaf from diamond giants, Debswana, who, since 2019, have committed to disbursing P4 billion to citizen owned companies every year as part of their five-year initiative aimed at empowering citizens.

Through their Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme (CEEP), Debswana plans to spend P20 billion on citizen companies by 2024.

The P4 billion accounts for 40 percent of Debswana’s entire annual spending on services and represents the largest CEEP spend by a private company in the country.