Letlhakane — President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama says the discovery of diamonds in the Boteti area has laid a strong foundation for the development of the country.
President Khama said yesterday at Letlhakane kgotla when addressing the residents of Boteti East to bid them farewell that revenue generated through exportation of diamonds had contributed immensely to the development of the country's economy and livelihoods of Batswana in general.
He also applauded an Australia-based geologist, Manfred Marx for his prospecting work, which led to the discovery of a kimberlite tunnel at Orapa mine.
President Khama said revenue generated through exportation of diamonds had made Botswana what it is today, saying the geologist was recently interviewed on BBC radio in relation to the discovery of diamonds in Botswana.
He said that the Office of the President, through Permanent Secretary to the President, Mr Carter Morupisi, would invite the geologist to Botswana for official recognition.
President Khama said the diamond mining industry had been the engine that drove the economy of the country, adding that Debswana and Boteti mining had contributed to the growth of the local economy in the Boteti area.
President Khama was hopeful that with the support of the mining industry, the livelihoods of the communities in Boteti would continue to improve, noting that the village of Letlhakane was not only symbolic as the sub-district headquarters, but must be recognised as the real mining town.
He said Jwaneng and Orapa were referred to as diamond mining towns while in actual fact, Letlhakane, which is located at the centre of four operational diamond mines, should be labelled as the real capital of the mines.
" I am aware that prospecting is ongoing around Letlhakane with the possibility of discovering more mineral deposits in future, therefore, the village of Letlhakane will be recognised as the real capital of the mines," he said.
Meanwhile a representative of the mining industry in Boteti, Mr Ditiro Lentswe said the industry would be actively involved in driving the pillars of Vision 2036.
Mr Lentswe said the diamond mining companies would continue to mine diamonds in Boteti with the utmost discipline and expected delivery towards the development and dignity of the people of Botswana as embraced in democracy principles of the country.
He said while diamond mining was the backbone of the economy, Economic Diversification Drive must be encouraged to reduce reliance on diamonds revenue to ensure sustainability of the country's developments in the future and beyond diamond mining.
Mr Lentswe appreciated President Khama's support for the 'Boteti today, Boteti tomorrow' initiative, which is focused on investing in alternative projects to sustain Boteti beyond diamond mining.
He said Debswana and Boteti Mining have supported poverty eradication and presidential housing appeal initiatives by delivering tangible projects to the community of Boteti through corporate social investment.
Mr Lentswe said the mining industry was guided by President Khama's benevolent initiatives aimed at building resilient communities in the sub-district.
The residents of Boteti East appreciated President Khama's leadership style and awarded him 12 cattle, five sheep and three goats among other presents. Karowe diamond mine awarded him a model of Lesedi la rona diamond and a bicycle.
Source : BOPA