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As part of their Legacy project by Motheo Project, Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) launched the construction of a multipurpose stadium on Friday in Palapye.
Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony, Minister of Local government and Rural Development Kgotla Autwetse said the project is a game changer and it should be guarded jealousy. “Its commencement, I am told shall create 70 labour oriented employment opportunities attracting five local sub contractors,” he said
“I challenge you to aggressively mobilize youth to take advantage of developing their sporting talent through this infrastructure,” further said Autwetse.
He also challenged the beneficiaries to utilise the facility fully and make it an economic spinner for the region.
Morupule coal mine (MCM) General Manager Edwin Elias said, the construction of the multipurpose stadium is in line with the mine Corporate Social Investment with a focus on community development particularly sports, culture and heritage.
Elias said the mine has completed several investment projects in the areas of sports amongst them the refurbishment of the community hall and a sporting facility comprising of netball, volleyball, lawn tennis and basketball pitches.
“Also an annual sponsorship to Botswana Chess Federation for the chess tournament since 2018 and a donation towards the Long Tennis tournament held in Palapye in 2019,” he said.
“In relation to elite sports, the mine is also the sponsor of the Botswana Premier League outfit Morupule Wanderers, whom we also hope will benefit a great deal from this facility,” he added.
Furthermore, Elias said as a business, their responsibility goes far beyond their shareholders, employees and beyond mining coal. “We create ideal environments for strategic partnerships to promote socio- economic benefits for our people,” he said.
Moreover, he indicated that MCM has so far handed over several community projects. He said they have donated a total of 28 bus shelters around Palapye, refurbished library at Palapye Secondary School, built a classroom block for students with intellectual disability at Ratsie Sethako Primary School and the refurbishment of Kgotla shelters in Serowe, Palapye, Moremi and Topisi villages.
“MCM also recently donated two vehicles and a set of oxygen ventilators to the Palapye DHMT, to contribute to community wellness promotion efforts…in the next few days we will be handing over another Motheo Legacy project, the refurbished Old Central Palapye police station, to further contribute towards the improvement of police services within our zone of influence,” he said.
Further, he said the development will make Palapye the preferred destination for sports and entertainment.
“This means that upcoming and professional sports men and women can sharpen their skills at this facility. It also means that sporting and non- sporting events can be hosted in Palapye creating a platform for Palapye to transform into an economic hub,” he said.
Motheo Project Senior Project Manager Lefika Moagi said, it is the standard of the mine to leave footprints with every expansion project and Motheo Project is another of the MCM expansion projects which will leave a legacy for the community.
“The footprint for the Motheo Project legacy is what we are gathered here for, the ground-breaking of a multipurpose stadium,” he said.
He said the project is awarded to a 100% citizens owned company. “Excavator Hire (EH) Construction, is expected to use local resources and deliver a quality product on schedule and on budget by the end of 2022,” he said.
Moagi said the project will be constructed in phases, namely Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3. “Morupule Coal Mine Board and Management approved the development of Phase 1 which includes development of a football field and a netball pitch, sythetic football turf which is FiFa approved quality, quality, grand stands , parking facilities, wall fencing, access roads and pedestrian walkways, electrical infrastructure, potable water infrastructure, sewerage infrastructure and ablutions facilities, he said.
“MCM intents to develop other phases with other interested partners in futurr and/ or allow other developers or interested parties to develop them for the benefit of the community,” he added.
He further said, future phases entails developing of volleyball court, tennis court, squash court, Olympic size swimming pool, five a side soccer amongst others.
Furthermore, Moagi said Motheo’s legacy project is envisaged to benefit the community of Palapye and the surrounding villages with the infrastructure for sports, recreation and entertainment.
For his part Member of Parliament for Palapye Onneetse Ramogapi said the development by MCM will contribute to sport tourism which can go a long way in boosting econo5of the local people after the sector had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the stadium shall come in handy for Palapye and Central District communities especially in the area of sport development, skills share and sports offering a variety of career alternatives..
Ramogapi applauded MCM for their continuous support. “Morupule Coal Mine have opened the door for us, they consult us, MCM is not only doing business here they are also helping the community,” he said.