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Botswana: NGO calls on all mining companies to support government efforts in fight against Covid-19

‘Press Release on De Beers Group 20 Million Contribution to Covid-19 Relief Fund’ 7 April 2020

Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) and Botswana Labour Migrants Association (BoLAMA) are elated that De Beers Group has heeded the call made to the mining sector on the 24 March 2020 by BoLAMA and has responded with a sizeable contribution of 20 million towards the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. On the 24th March 2020, BoLAMA issued a press release calling on the private sector to support the Government of Botswana’s (GoB) response efforts to combat Covid-19. The call specifically targeted the mining industry.

A subsequent call by GoB to the private sector for donations was made and a fund was established on the 26th March 2020. On the 6th April 2020, De Beers Group made an announcement on several of its social media platforms, of a $ 2,500,000 donation made across Botswana and Namibia as relief support towards the public health emergency. The amount directed to Botswana was $ 1,700,00 million of which BWP 10 million injected into the Covid-19 Relief Fund and another BWP 10 million slated for logistics, supply and community support.

…We call on: other mining companies and allied industries to follow the example set by De Beers; the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) to give an industry position on social protection strategies for employees impacted by covid-19 and how they intend to work with Government in realizing them;  the private sector to have a vision beyond their short-term financial interests, by realigning and contributing 50% of their unused CSR budget towards the Covid-19 response; the government to consider a enacting a law that makes CSR mandatory for all companies.

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