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Three cuts above the rest

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OLDM fired up for new project

Debswana’s proposed Cut-3 project, which will breathe new life into Orapa mine, is also expected to create numerous employment opportunities for locals.

This was the promise made by Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) General Manager, Bakani Motlhabani, speaking at a stakeholder’s engagement in Orapa earlier this month.

The get-together was designed to give stakeholders an update on OLDM activities, community initiatives and the state of business at the three mines.

Scheduled to commence in 2023 – although it is still to be approved by Debswana’s Board of Directors – the Cut-3 scheme was widely discussed on the night.

“The project is a mine expansion which will increase the size of the pit at Orapa. This is where you mine more waste rock so that it opens the size of the pit. It will extend the mine’s life until 2046,” explained Motlhabani, adding that at the moment, under the ongoing Cut-2 project, the mine’s lifespan is set to end in 2033.

The GM revealed plans are currently at the pre-feasibility stage.

“That basically means we are considering all options open to us. From there it will be feasibility then implementation,” he continued.

Although Cut-3 is yet to receive the green light, Motlhabani is extremely confident the project will get the board’s seal of approval.

“I am certain that Cut-3 will be approved looking at the market. It will benefit people greatly as there will be employment creation; extending the mine’s life means people will be employed!” he reiterated.

“It will impart skills to the community and those who provide accommodation like guest houses, hotels and houses for rent will benefit,” added the General Manager.

Turning his attention to the mining giant’s corporate social responsibility, Motlhabani announced Debswana had donated P3.75 million to the Ministry of Basic Education for the construction of a special education facility at Tsienyane Primary School in 2020.

Based in Rakops, Tsienyane Special Education Unit Class was established in 2010 with an initial enrollment of 16 pupils. The current intake stands at 51, with pupils aged from seven to 21.

“It is the only Unit in the Boteti Sub-District with a catchment area covering Xere, Mmadikola, Toromoja and Khumaga. The objective of the project is to improve educational results amongst students living with disabilities and to identify unique capabilities of the learners and channel them to areas that they can perform at their full potential,” concluded Motlhabani.

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A teacher on a disc

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A teacher on a disc

EU-Pick Tutorial to revolutionise distance learning

At a time when governments across the world have suspended school terms in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, the biggest challenge faced by the education sector is how to ensure learning continues outside the classroom.

Three gentlemen from Francistown may just have the answer.

Lawrence Khuwa and Vincent Sebele of EU-Pick Tutorial are spearheading distance learning through videos, audio and using indigenous languages.

In an interview with Voice Money, Khuwa revealed they decided to translate learning materials first to Setswana after realising many students fail primarily because they do not understand due to the language used during lessons.

“In January we distributed tutorial videos in secondary schools around Francistown,” he said, adding this was done free of charge.

Khuwa said they have approached more schools to start uploading the videos, which can then be shared with students using other mediums such as USB, compact discs and even audio.

“It has to be something kids can use at home, because we do understand that not everyone has access to a computer. We also have the audio version of the tutorial material for students to listen to during their spare time,” he said.

“We’ve tested these videos and our students all posted impressive results,” declared Khuwa, revealing they also plan to roll out the programme to primary schools imminently.

The third piece of this jigsaw is Dr Tampiwa Chebani of Tach Multimedia who explained the project’s overall target is to improve results in both junior and senior secondary schools which have been on a downward spiral in recent years.

“We’re also looking at the modern student and are trying by all means to use gadgets that they are accustomed to!”

Dr Chebani noted that the 21st century learner is used to consuming content through audios and videos via the many gadgets available in the market.

“Most don’t really want to sit in class and listen to a teacher and we thought the use of videos would be more appealing and fun,” he added.

He further said since they use indigenous languages it also enhances learning and makes it easier for parents to be more involved in their children’s schoolwork.

“Through these videos we’re able to do remote tutoring for kids living in far places. It is also ideal for parents who can’t afford tutorial fees,” he said.

The determined trio further told Voice Money that they intend to approach private companies and propose a partnership or collaboration in an effort to increase EU-Pick Tutorial’s reach.

Currently the learning materials, which focus on areas that historically students have struggled in, are only available in Setswana but they plan to release a Kalanga version soon.

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Payless to pay more!

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Payless to pay more!

Choppies drag Payless owner to court over P121 million debt

Choppies, through its distribution centre, has dragged Payless supermarket’s majority shareholder, Saleem Malique to court over unpaid debts.

Choppies Distribution Centre (CDC) had loaned an amount of P121 048 424.78 to Payless supermarkets. Indeed, in total, the doomed enterprise owes suppliers P1.3 billion.

It has now been deemed through the Companies Act that Payless is unable to pay the money owed to CDC.

In a recently released circular to its shareholders, Choppies confirmed it has been unable to recover the P121 million debt.

On the 13th of March this year, the High Court granted a provisional order for the winding up of Payless supermarkets and the appointment of a provisional liquidator.

A final order of the liquidation is expected to be made on 27 April 2020.

During the liquidation process, the liquidator will, as directed by the High Court, evaluate the prospects of selling the business as a whole or individually.

As a secured creditor, Choppies has told shareholders that CDC may, if appropriate, support the provisional liquidator in operating the business in order to enable sale of the business or businesses.

Now Choppies has taken Malique, who holds a 90 percent shareholding in Payless Supermarkets, to court after he failed to execute a deed of suretyship which he guaranteed as a surety, guarantor and co-principal debtor.

It is said Malique had committed to take responsibility for Payless supermarkets obligations to CDC, ceding and pledging his Payless shares.

After being issued with demand by CDC for payment of the outstanding P121 million, Malique reportedly failed to effect payment of such amount.

As a result, Choppies through its distribution centre, approached the courts of laws seeking judgment against Malique for the full payment of the debt as well as interest.

The company also wants Malique’s Payless shares to be attached. He was served with summons on 3 March.

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