By partnering with the right internal and external individuals while listening to Botswana and understanding where its government wants to drive to, Debswana says the country has shown elements of impact on its communities and people. This was said by Tefo Molosiwa, former Debswana Diamond Company’s Head of Safety and Sustainable Development. He was participating in a panel at the ongoing Mining Indaba under the topic “Qualification and Quantification of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) risk and Uncertainty Across the Mining Life”.
“If you look at the way the government of Botswana has invested those funds into health, education, and environment, it shows what the partnership can do,” Molosiwa said noting that ESG is about systems you establish. Before the agreement between Botswana and De Beers in 1966, Botswana was ranked the third poorest country but has grown to become an upper middle income country currently after signing in 1969. Molosiwa said Debswana’s requirement and expectation in terms of what they need to deliver for stakeholders is very clear in its building together program as it talks about sustainability. As an example, Molosiwa noted the principles of hydrogen that Anglo American (the mother company to De Beers) is taking forward. “It is very clear where we are going to use that in our next mines (for example Orapa Cut 3). It is also clear that from a national perspective, there is a great desire to develop a hydrogen strategy and talk to how the strategy moves into other parts of the economy.”
Molosiwa also said what has been important for Debswana is the system for mechanism of implementation. “It is critical to have your visioning. It is critical to be clear about the objectives and KPIs. But if you don’t have any mechanism of implementation, that’s where the fuzziness begins.” He said Debswana has an operating model system that helps them take those KPIs, cascade them into the organization, and ensure that those KPIs are integrated into all the functions of the company.
“We are looking to do the same thing with our strategic intent but at a national level. So understanding the national intent but building that accountability so that we can be accountable at a national level,” he said adding that this is similar to what Debswana has done from an energy requirement perspective. Debswana has done the same through its carbon neutrality strategy by collaborating with government of Botswana and other key stakeholders.