Tati Nickel cares (Part II – Community development)

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tati photoTati Nickel Nickel Mining Company (TNMC) has a well coordinated CSR programme which started in 2007 with a view to “promote a healthy, well educated and skilled community with enhanced employment and business opportunities.” In the first three years of the CSR program, the main strategy was to empower communities located within a radius of 70 kilometers from the mine, while the two main areas were social investment (education, health and community development) and business development (commercial, industrial and agricultural). The program has now extended to cover the whole country, but of course still considering the neighboring villages to be the primary partners.

Last time (ref. Sunday Standard edition dated 9-15 June, 2013) we were writing to inform the public of our Corporate Social Responsibility Projects pursued by TNMC in education. The positive feedback that we received from various public members was yet another proof to us that we have chosen the right CSR policy targets.

Ancient wise words state that, ‘it is better to give a fishing rod than a fish’. This is why the CSR policy that we pursue in the community development sphere is aimed at making the beneficiaries self-sufficient and self-sustainable in generating their own income, improving their quality of life and ultimately being capable of co-sponsoring our CSR projects. In the same manner as in the educational projects, TNMC’s activity in this domain is well balanced with efforts undertaken by the Government together with public organizations, NGOs and the business society in poverty eradication and community development, thus boosting employment opportunities and raising the standard of living.

Here are some of the projects TNMC has accomplished in the past: mini enterprises (with sewing factory, vehicle repair workshop  and a kitchen for outside catering) in Matshelagabedi, a mini-poultry in Sekokwe, establishing  an irrigation system, water pumps and water storage tanks in 5 plots in the North East District. Some of these projects are directly owned by the Village Development Committees and individual entrepreneurs lease portions of the land to cultivate vegetables and pay monthly rent to the VDCs .

Here are other examples of TNMC CSR projects focused on improving the quality of life in the surrounding areas of the Phoenix mine: construction of bus stops in Francistown, provision of assistance to crime prevention groups in the villages around Francistown, including a donation of a portable cabin to the Botswana Police Service.

Not uncommon are donations of used materials/equipment to the community. Materials donated by TNMC are still very usable to the communities in the North East District. This includes drums to be used as waste bins, wooden pallets, used conveyors, computers, 1000L containers etc.

The Managing Director’s Charity Walks are of a special distinction. The Charity Walk in September 2012 was the third sequential event that involved over 500 people. The purpose of the charity sponsored walk is to promote wellness and simultaneously raise funds that can be used to support communities across the country. The walk was a success and raised a net sum of P252 000. In 2012, employees of TNMC were allowed to donate their leave days towards the charity fund. The funds raised were used to construct and fully furnish houses for two disadvantaged families in Matshelagabedi and Matsiloje at a total cost of P180 000. One of the recipients is an unemployed mother of 10 children and grandchildren. This project was planned and implemented in close coordination with the Social and Community Development of the North East District Council.

TNMC has been doing its best to remain a responsible citizen for as long as possible and continue its CSR projects despite the challenging conditions such as the declining ore grade at the Mine and drastic drop of nickel prices (from 18,420 USD/ton in January to 13, 650 USD/ton by the end of June 2013) which has lead to the increase in costs of production. Tati Nickel mines and processes the lowest ore grade in the whole world and this is what makes our Mine very special. We strive for success in all our endeavors because “Tati Nickel Cares”.

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