Botswana – After working for China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for some 13 years, Kegomoditswe Mukani is now building her second house in Mmopane, a village lying to the north of the capital city of Gaborone.
Construction of this 3 bedroom-house is assisted with free-interest loan provided by CCECC’s Chinese staff, who raise funds from their own pockets.
“When I prepared starting the new house, I went to the general manager to seek help, and they agreed, I and my husband are so happy and really appreciate their help,” the 38 year-old administration clerk told Xinhua.
CCECC conducted its first project in Botswana in 1985 for the Botswana’s railway upgrading. Since then, the company has fully implemented social responsibilities.
Botswana staff are the majority in the company. “We have only one Chinese in around every 15 staff,” said George Guan, General Manager of CCECC Botswana branch. It also provided a 5-storey house with furniture and living goods for Botswana orphans and made donations, even houses to the poor.
“It is called Africa, we call it home,” the company’s motto placed in a prominent place at its office compound in Gaborone reflects its commitment to the locals.
Mukani entered CCECC in 2003, first as a receptionist, then was promoted to the current position as a senior employee in 2009. Shortly after promotion, she built her first house in Mahalapye village, around 200 kilometers north of Gaborone.
“I never expected to have these houses before working in CCECC,” said Mukani.
“These people [Chinese] listen. When you have problems they will listen. At the end of every year I get a bonus. When you negotiate a salary increment they still take that into consideration.”
Mukani is convinced that experience and knowledge she acquired from the company could help her to have a place in job competition.
“I have to thank CCECC for the knowledge I have acquired in permit application procedures as well as company transport logistics, so if the company ever closes down I would not be left entirely helpless,” she said.
Thirty-year-old Gadifele Ntshele is an account assistant in CCECC, who believes that she has the best job ever.
“I finished school and job-hunted for two years. Just when I was about to lose hope I saw a vacancy CCECC had released needing a secretary. I applied and got the job. After two years of job hunting you can imagine my absolute joy,” she said.
According to her, this job changes her life and her family.
“Not every employer can do what CCECC has done for me,” said Ntshele, adding that the CCECC equips her with more skills.
“They saw potential in me, and gave me a chance,” she said.
Her future plan is to become a certified accountant, “If it were not for this Chinese employer, the thought of being a certified accountant would probably have not crossed my mind.”