De Beers, Debswana and DTCB pledge P55 million to support covid-19 vaccine rollout

CEO of De Beers Group, Bruce Cleaver

De  Beers  Global  Sightholder  Sales  (DBGSS),  Debswana  Diamond  Company  (Debswana)  and Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) today pledged a combined P55 million to support the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Botswana.

The pledge will comprise financial support as well as a range of in-kind support to assist with the administration of the vaccine.  

The support will be funded through a contribution of P25 million from DBGSS, P25 million from Debswana and P5 million from DTCB.

The share of the pledge to be contributed by De Beers Group forms part of Anglo American’s global commitment to supporting national vaccine programmes in the countries in which it operates.

DBGSS, Debswana and DTCB will continue to engage  with  Government and  consider  the  best ways  for the  financial contribution  to  assist  in procuring  vaccines  for  the  benefit  of  Botswana’s  population. 

In-kind support will include the provision of medical facilities, personnel, equipment and supplies to assist with the delivery of the vaccine rollout.

DBGSS, Debswana and DTCB are committed to the fair and equitable distribution of  vaccines  and  support  the  priority  approach  as  defined  by  the  National  Deployment  and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) for Covid-19 in Botswana.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “We have been partners with Botswana for more than 50 years, and through that time we have a shared track record of recognising and supporting each other’s needs. We are proud to have assisted with several important public health programmes in the past, and as the world continues to grapple with Covid-19, we are committed to working with Government  to  ensure  we  support  Botswana’s  national  vaccination  strategy  in  the  best  way possible.” 

He said partnering for  thriving  communities  is  a  key  pillar  of  their  sustainability  work,  and  the health infrastructure they have built up in Botswana over the decades will offer vital support for the administration  of  the  vaccine,  while  “our  financial  contribution  can  play  an  important  role  in supporting national vaccine procurement.”

Lynnette Armstrong, Acting Managing Director, Debswana, said as Botswana begins the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccination programme, Debswana, together with other private sector partners, has been  invited  by  the  Government  of  Botswana  to  assist  with  the  broader  National  Covid-19 Vaccination Plan to reach 1.6 million people.

Armstrong said the Government and private sector partnership will assist  in  supporting  a  safe,  effective  and  efficient  Covid-19  vaccination  programme. 

“Covid-19 vaccination is a critical aspect of the fight against the pandemic and as Debswana, we look forward to providing support through our mine hospital health facilities, offering support to communities, as well as contributing financially through the partnership with DBGSS and DTCB,” she said.

 Sedireng Serumola, Managing Director, DTCB, said: “DTCB takes great pride in playing a critical role in assisting the Government of Botswana during these trying times. It is through partnerships such as these that we can pull together critical resources to help make a valuable contribution towards the fight against this pandemic.”

Serumola stated that Government cannot fight it alone, and this is indeed a positive step in DTCB’s commitment to remain a supportive and involved corporate citizen.”

The pledge to the vaccine rollout programme builds on the support DBGSS, Debswana and DTCB have already provided to date in helping Botswana respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Debswana committed  P24  millions  of  support  to  relief  programmes  in  2020,  providing  access  to  PCR testing capacity at its mine hospitals, as well as funding a range of crucial PPE.

 DTCB provided P2.5 million comprising an in-kind contribution of Covid-19 testing kit swabs and viral transport media. 

DBGSS  contributed  P20  million  (through  a  combination  of  P10  million  in  cash support and P10 million in-kind support) to the Covid-19 Relief Fund, which assisted with vital activities  such  as  the  purchase  of  PCR  testing  machines  and  a  range  of  hygiene  and  sanitary equipment.

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