By Mamohaila Rampo
Letšeng Diamonds has awarded scholarships to 6 Basotho students to study mining-related subjects in South African universities.
Two scholarships were for new recipients namely Neo Mary Metsing who will study BSc Hons in Geology at the University of Cape Town and Lekunutu Letela who will study Diploma in Millwright at the Artisan Training Institute.
The other four scholarships were for continuing recipients namely Relebohile Malebo who is to study BHS in Emergency Medical Care, Tšepo Molongoana for BHS in Emergency Medical Care, Sebongile Motseki who will be studying BEng Metallurgy and Lebellang Tšephe who will be studying Diploma in Millwright.
To date, 46 scholarships have been awarded to deserving young Basotho. Of these, 45 have graduated successfully from their areas of study. 25 have been employed full-time by the mine and 2 are on internship.
Letšeng Diamonds Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kelebone Leisanyane pointed out that the mine is committed to providing scholarships to deserving Basotho to pursue studies in programmes that contribute to the development of the country’s natural resources.
He mentioned that, it is provided for under Section 8.3 of the new mining agreement, which states that “mining company shall establish an educational trust for the payment of scholarships and fellowships to Lesotho nationals selected by the mining company.”
He said Letšeng is further committed to supporting the government in addressing socio-economic challenges that include skills shortage and job creation in the mining sector.
Keisanyane mentioned that the sub-committee of the board of directors responsible for corporate social responsibility and investment, in consultation with the Ministry of natural resources and the national manpower development secretariat determines the areas of study to be sponsored under the scholarship programme.
These are fields of study related to the exploration and development of Lesotho’s natural resources with the aim of helping close the skills deficit within the company and across the entire mining sector.
“My plea to you is that upon completion of your studies, you should come back and serve your communities and this nation. The skills and knowledge you would have acquired are needed to grow and develop the diamond mining industry in this country,” pleaded Leisanyane with the scholarship holders.
The ceremony on the other hand served as a meritorious event awarding the best-behaved scholarship recipients and the best-performing scholarship recipients, while also awarding certificates to new, continuing and completing scholarship recipients.
As a first time receiver of the scholarship Letela expressed his gratitude to Letšeng diamond.
Also for those that would one day like to attain the bursary, Letela recommended them to be persistent and not give up when putting in their applications because he also applied a couple of times and got rejected until he got the scholarship.
He also recommended them to follow the mines frequent updates on Facebook for any scholarship alerts.
The ceremony was officiated by the Hon. Minister of Natural Resources Mohlomi Moleko with the Minister of Education and Training Hon. Ntoi Rapapa and theNational Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) Director Flory Rakeketsi.