A total of 144 employees have been honoured and recognised for their long-term commitment of over 20 to 40 years to the Debswana's Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM).

Among the long-serving employees, 112 served the mining company for 20 years, 15 were awarded to have been with the company for 25 years, 11 for their 30 years’ service, four employees had been with the company for 35 years and two employees were appreciated for their loyalty to the Mining company for 40 years.

OLDM Assistant General Manager, Ditiro Lentswe applauded employees for their dedication and implored them to create impact by leaving a lasting legacy. He said there is wealth of knowledge and experience that they possess, which he believes they will share with others.

“Beyond your work and being valued we recognise the personal contribution you have made within our internal and external communities,” Lentswe said.

OLDM's General Manager, Mogakolodi Maoketsa noted that committing these many years of life to a single company is indeed a commendable achievement and a source of encouragement and inspiration to many people.

Maoketsa told the award recipients that they have witnessed and endured changes which the company has undergone to remain relevant, agile and profitable for its employees and shareholders.

"The most recent of these changes was in 2020; where in keeping with our transformation programme which includes mitigating the company’s fixed costs portfolio, we retired two of our assets here at the Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines operation.

“These being the permanent closure of the aged Orapa Mine Plant 1, which was over 48 years; as well as placing Damtshaa Mine under care and maintenance, as we continue to determine its short to long term commercial viability," he said.

Maoketsa noted that employee longevity and loyalty is critical to any organisation’s success. Even though organisations recruit new talent to help gain new capabilities through fresh and new perspectives.

“We value long serving employees as they have the institutional memory, understand the work culture and complexities required to derive optimal value, high performance and productivity," he noted.

One of the employees who worked for the mining company for 25 years, Segolame Mabote expressed gratitude and said they have grown in various aspects of their careers and personal lives, and that they have seen the company transform Botswana's economy including them as individuals.

Mabote revealed that many of them joined OLDM after completion of school at the different levels many years ago.

"Some of us came very young, some even found their spouses here and have so far become parents and grandparents, still working for the mining company," he said.

Further, that through their combined efforts, they significantly contributed to making Botswana the envy of other countries, in terms of its economic development and the provision of various social amenities for Batswana.

Mabote applauded the Mining Company for introducing the long service awards, stating that the gesture is a demonstration of the company’s appreciation of the loyal service rendered by its employees.

"I recall many years ago, when I first drove here for work, I took eight hours to Serowe, on a J5 truck. I used to drive to Francistown on dusty gravel road, some awards recipients here are fortunate to have found developments, they use solar powered entrances and drive on tarred roads, with more houses built in the area," Mabote said.

Another employee, Lute Mosweunyane, who has worked for Debswana Mining company for 40 years, said he joined the company immediately from Swaneng Hill school, which is now Swaneng Senior in 1983.

"I grew with the company, I even married in 1992, still working for the company," Mosweunyane said. The long-serving employees were awarded certificates for their outstanding commitment to Debswana Mining Company.