Botswana Businesses Benefit from De Beers Investment
The local spending on goods and services by the company and its joint ventures reached P4.3 billion (US$394 million), representing 81 per cent of their combined procurement expenditure in the country.
Funding of community development programmes in Botswana went up 31 per cent to P124 million (US$11.4 million) in 2016. The money was for a range of projects, including upgrades to community health and education facilities, accommodation programmes for key workers and cultural tourism development.
A vital part of the company’s community activity is its Tokafala enterprise development programme, which supported more than 100 businesses and 570 jobs through the year. And more than P49 million (US$4.6 million) was spent on training for employees, most of them (96.8% of workforce) local people.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “While our diamond partnership with the Government of the Republic of Botswana has delivered a great deal of direct economic benefit over the last five decades, we are increasingly looking for ways in which we can also maximise our contribution outside of our core business.
“Putting the supply chain to work is helping to secure jobs and deliver substantial benefits to local businesses across a range of sectors. Meanwhile, our community investments are helping with the provision of important services for people who need them across the country.”
Recognising the importance of Botswana’s rich ecosystem, De Beers Group and its joint ventures also ran a number of programmes designed to protect species under threat or in danger of extinction.
This included a rhino conservation project, supported by Debswana – a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers Group and the Government of the Republic of Botswana – to increase the country’s rhino population through a breeding programme that then releases rhinos back into the wild.
The Report, published on 4 May, highlights that further progress with workplace HIV/AIDS programmes was made, helping reduce the number of HIV positive employees in Debswana dying from the disease to less than one per cent – down from 31 per cent just 15 years ago.
During the year, the company teamed up with the Botswana Innovation Hub and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture to host the inaugural Youth Innovators Conference, with the aim of developing entrepreneurs among young people.
And it helped showcase Botswana’s unique offering to business leaders in the US as part of a country-wide roadshow focused on supporting economic development and diversification.
As a result of improved financial and operating performance, globally De Beers Group returned US$5 billion to stakeholders in 2016 – a 26 per cent rise on 2015 – through taxes, payments and dividends, emphasising the importance of the relationships with stakeholders, including governments, communities, suppliers and joint venture partners.
The Report to Society 2016 can be viewed online at www.debeersgroup.com/reporttosociety.
About De Beers
De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers, visit www.debeersgroup.com.
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