Letšeng lights the way

Letšeng lights the way

MASERU – LETŠENG Diamonds last Friday awarded scholarships to 39 Basotho students to study mining-related subjects at universities.

The mine has over the last 10 years sponsored thousands of students as part of a project to give back to the community. Speaking at a ceremony to award the scholarships in Maseru, Letšeng Diamonds CEO, Mazvivamba Maharasoa, said there is a dire shortage of skills in commercial mining. The scholarship programme is designed to solve this problem, she said.
She said the mine has established an educational trust through which it pays scholarships and fellowships for deserving Basotho students. Maharasoa said youths should consider taking up mining-related courses because “there is a chronic deficit of skills in commercial mining”. She said when opportunities such as these come, students should grab such chances with both hands.

“As winning the scholarship was competitive so is finding a position of employment, as can be seen by the great number of unemployed youths in Lesotho,” Maharasoa said.
After completing their studies, the students will be given a two-year compulsory internship at the mine to give them hands-on experience.  “This will ensure that they are adequately prepared for the job market. The students are contractually obliged to offer their services to the mine and the nation after graduating, otherwise the grant is forfeited and will therefore have to pay back the money,” she said.

“With the increase of diamond mining in Lesotho, employment opportunities will increase dramatically.” Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Mining, Lebohang Thotanyana, congratulated the students for being part of the beginning of change in the country.

“What Letšeng has done for you is a big sacrifice and therefore use the opportunity well to benefit the country and your fellow countrymen,” he said. Thotanyana said it is time that the mining industry takes a new turn, to minimise the number of foreigners managing most of the mines in the country.  “Investing in mine-related skills is our priority. Remember to put your country first just as it has put you first,” he said. Thotanyana urged those that are still continuing with their studies to be sure that what they have chosen to study through the sponsorship is exactly what they wanted to do.

Rose Moremoholo

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