We invest in our communities as well as our mines.
We look beyond the life of our mines with a view to building strong communities that will prosper in the future.
It is important to us that we listen to the needs and concerns of the communities surrounding our mines. We want to be a good neighbour and have a positive impact on these areas. That not only helps us maintain our licence to operate but also underpins confidence that our diamonds can be a real source of value for the communities close to our operations.
In 2015, we spent US$8.4 million on philanthropic and socio-economic programmes in Botswana. That’s almost 40 per cent of what De Beers Group spent in its three African countries of operation – Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. The money went mainly on education and health and on skills development programmes such as Tokafala.
Debswana operates hospitals at Orapa and Jwaneng Mines, which serve as district hospitals and provide essential medical services to mine employees, their families and the wider community. Also, our Botswana companies fund programmes to prevent HIV/Aids and treat sufferers.
In 2015, we invested US$260,000 in improving the waste water infrastructure in Jwaneng town, and we provided electricity, computers and other equipment to schools near our mines.
Also, we are working to hand over Orapa town to local and national government management. It is a plan aligned with the priorities of the Botswana Government and focuses on the long-term potential of the town as a tourism hub and centre for light industry.