June 23, 2023 – United Manganese Kalahari (UMK) handed over a multi-million rand, picturesque disability centre to the community of Bojelapotsane village near Kuruman.
The auspicious occasion was graced by top officials from the mine, including the mine’s General Manager Mr. Joe Mosupyoe, the SED Officer Mr. Terence Mamabolo, the Corporate Affairs Officer Ms. Gloria Mbatha, the Human Resources Manager Ms. Ramsy Shika and their Communications Officer, Ms. Nthabiseng Liphalane. Also present was the Joe Morolong Mayor Councillor Dineo Leutlwetse-Tshabalala who, in partnership with the magnanimous mine, played a pivotal role in the realisation of the magnificent project, as were councillors, traditional leaders and the community at large.
The twenty-bedroomed centre has the capacity to double the number, because the rooms have adequate space. The rooms equally cater for both females and males with different disabilities. The centre has all facilities specifically meant to make life easier for disabled persons. Fully furnished, the centre has a reception, administration office, kitchen, entertainment room, dining room, and storeroom with a state-of-the-art ablution system.
The structure is totally free from Eskom power and yet every room and office are aglow, meaning the solar power is in charge of the centre. The benevolent mine drilled a borehole and mounted a water tank also within the solar energy technology to fill and supply the entirety of the centre. This literally means that the centre is immune to power outages and this is an added value to the smooth running of the centre. The unique structure came into existence through the involvement of three ladies, all from different directions but with one common vision.
Boitumelo Kolwane, from the same village, initiated the project after attaining credible expertise as a worker in a similar establishment at Schweizer-Reneke, North West. She brought the brilliant idea back home. She used her family home as a starting point.
At a distance the community leaders observed the wisdom behind her project, so they offered her a derelict school nearby to use. It was temporary relief though, because it could not meet the disability needs. She built a five- roomed house adjacent to the school, but again, it was also difficult to meet the requirements.
The Joe Morolong Mayor was aware that such a project existed. It was when Gloria Mbatha from the mine asked the mayor where the mine can provide a hand of assistance that she unstintingly pointed to Boitumelo Kolwane’s compassionate project.
There was ecstasy and triumph during the handover ceremony as the mayor, the mine manager and traditional and religious leaders all expressed their total support for the community’s development. The centre shall cater for disabled people from as far afield as North West.
The Founder and Director of the centre, Boitumelo Kolwane, said that the gesture demonstrated by the mine was pro-community with the mayor saying that the intervention by the mine in the development of the broader community has become a perennial undertaking.
The mine’s General Manager, Mr Joe Mosupyoe, said that the mine’s objective is to grow in tandem with the community. The mine has delivered numerous projects in the district and keeps working in synchrony with the local municipalities in its endeavour to uplift the local communities.