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Machaba Safaris head of human resource Oemelenna Otsile has revealed that the company prides itself in prioritising citizen empowerment through employment creation. This as the company has over the years prioritised employing citizens in positions of management.
According to Otsile, from September 2023 the company has a total staff complement of 225 citizen employees and only 7 non-citizens. Of which the non-citizen employees include 4 general managers, a regional executive chef, regional general manager and the executive chef.
“We have 25 managers, 6 general managers, a human resource manager, office manager, asset manager, finance director, stakeholder relationship manager and a guest experience manager. All of these positions are occupied by Batswana,” she revealed.
She further indicated that the company spend more than P 15 million on its local employees’ wages annually as compared to the P2,9 million spent on non-citizens. She added that the managers and other executive positions held by locals are paid at par with those of non-citizens.
“The company spend P1, 328, 005.29 on locals’ salaries every month while P247, 400.00 is spend on non-citizens and this makes us one of the companies that invest more on citizens. This also shows that Batswana are benefiting from the tourism industry of this country,” she said.
In December last year, the company officially opened a new camp in the heart of the NG32 concession named Kiri Camp, which has employed 53 staff members headed by a young Motswana acting as a general manager. The camp was opened for operations in June 2022 but it was officially opened by the Minister of Environment and Tourism Philda Kereng on the 23rd of December last year.
According to NG32 concession manager Olerile Batsholelwang, the camp was named after the Kiri channel which flows past the island on which the camp is situated. It is raised on wooden decks to give one a view of the Kiri floodplains which stretches out in front and the camp’s luxury tents are designed to incorporate the surrounding ebony forest, and use of wood, canvas and reeds.
The camp offers a combination of land and water activities to some of the most remote and previously inaccessible areas of the delta. Travelers can enjoy a relaxing meander down the river in a mokoro or a motorboat, enabling them to see wildlife from the river.
Minister Kereng appreciated the company’s vision to create employment for the locals living in the delta, adding that the NG32 concession has villages of Xhaxhaba, Xharaxao, xhoxhao, Daonara and Ditshiping who benefit from the camps under Machaba Safaris Group.
“This is the main reason why government through my ministry introduced the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme for the benefit of all,” she noted. Machaba Safari Group was established in 2012 by Alistair Rankin, Chris Hatshe and Murray Collins first by opening the original Machaba Camp and the collection has since grown to include the newly opened Kiri Camp, Gomoti plains Camp, Little Machaba camp, Gomoti private camp as well as the Ngoma safari lodge. In Zimbabwe the collection includes Verney’s camp, Deteema spring camp, Ingwe Pan Camp and Mana River camp.