In May 2018 Multotec Botswana embarked on a community project by building the Kgotla shelter - Leobo. The Tawana Ward embarked on a project to develop the village’s Tawana West Kgotla basic infrastructure for which they requested donations in the form of:
• Basic gravelling of Kgotla 2 km access routes
• Provision of water & possibly power to the Kgotla
• Development of the Kgotla ablution block
• Kgotla office & storeroom
• Kgotla shelter – Leobo was donated by Multotec Botswana
On 14 March 2020, Multotec Botswana officially handed over the Leobo to the village leadership in the presence of Debswana OLDM General Manager Mr. Bakani Motlhabani, Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness Honourable Sethomo Lelatisitswe, Kgosi Baruntshi Kegapetswe, Kgosi Dira Galeragwe, District Commissioner Ewetse Selelo, Honourable Councillors, Government Officials, VDC Chairperson, public and Multotec staff.
In his speech the General Manager of Multotec Botswana Mr. Peter Mbada highlighted that Multotec Botswana employ just over 120 employees in the country and employ a number of citizen companies both as sub-contractors and as outsourced partners.
The citizen companies include those owned by women and youth. This is done to encourage broad based economic participation by all citizens including the previously marginalised. He also stated that Multotec Botswana purchase more than 80% of its consumable goods and services locally so as to support local companies and hence secure local jobs.
He stated: “We believe in supporting the communities that we exist in and this is testified to by our policies on Corporate Social Responsibility and the work we have done for various groups and institutions. We have two adopted schools, Mokane in Letlhakane and Sekoma in the Jwaneng area and have assisted them in various ways including building an office block and setting up tuck-shops for them.”
He continued to say, “We have also assisted other youth businesses by sponsoring their events and also donated service for the local Catholic community on their monumental project. For us, getting involved in community projects is not just about ticking boxes or just doing rituals but we do it genuinely to leave a legacy and plough back to the communities that we exist in. This is witnessed by the fact that we do not normally blow our own trumpets on most of our projects, but we genuinely and quietly make an impact.”
Mr Mbada reiterated that the Leobo project is a special project because the Kgotla is central to the lives of Batswana. “Therefore, being offered the privilege to build this project for the community is very special to Multotec Botswana and we are grateful for such an opportunity.” He mentioned that Multotec Botswana is not handing over this project and walking away; but are handing over and announcing that they are here as part of the community. He thanked the community for accepting Multotec Botswana in the community and for all the support they give to the company.
Peter Mbada concluded by thanking his predecessor Mr. Kris Vergote, who handed over this project to him before he moved on to his new role as General Manager for Multotec Africa and stressed the value of family within Multotec.
The guest speaker, Debswana OLDM General Manager, Mr. Bakani Motlhabani, in his remarks appreciated being invited to share this very special day with the community. He acknowledged the good work that Debswana’s business partner, Multotec has done for the community of Letlhakane. He stated that “It truly brings us joy as a company when our business partners get involved in the development of communities. It is important that companies commit to ensuring that they contribute positively in and around their areas of operation. Gone are the days when institutions focus on profit making alone, there is a deliberate move to demonstrate social responsibility that aims to uplift communities. Support of sustainable initiatives such as this Leobo project, are sure to have a lasting impact for future generations.”
He emphasised the importance of the Kgotla in Botswana - it is a place where ideas are freely shared concerning developments and resolution of disputes. “It is a sacred place for promoting our culture and customs as well as freedom of expression as enshrined in Botswana’s constitution. It is therefore commendable that Multotec undertook this noble initiative of building the Kgotla shelter. The Tawana Ward community, through the leadership of their VDC, did well in ensuring that they partner with Multotec. As a result, their Kgotla is one of the developed and dignified customary courts in the village.”
The 14 March, was a day that deep-rooted that collaboration exists between the community and private organisations, developments can take place in support of government’s mandate. He reiterated Debswana’s commitment to creating, building and maintaining sustainable partnerships. They also donated P10 000 to the Kgotla as well as thatch (bojang) to be used as roofing material in some of the ward’s development. He believes that the true test of humanity is when a community comes together to help one another, attending to emerging needs that ensure dignity for all
This Leobo project is not only aligned to Debswana’s strategic focus areas nor only to Multotec’s, but those of Botswana’s Vision 2036 Pillars of Sustainable Economic Development and Human Social Development. The day was kept alive through entertainment like drama, choirs, poems and polka dance.