Archive for June 21st, 2007
21 June, 2007
GABORONE – Vice President, Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has thanked the Cuban government for erecting a bust of the countrys late first president, Sir Seretse Khama.
Speaking at the unveiling of the bust in Cuba on Monday, Gen. Khama told the Cubans that their generosity of spirit and selfless commitment to assist developing countries like mine is very commendable.
The bust if housed at the Havanas Park of African Heroes, which is the only one of its kind in the world. Gen. Khama described the gesture as a true mark of friendship and solidarity between the people of Africa and Cubans.
He said Botswana feels honoured that a bust of its late president will be amongst other African heroes at the park.
It is our hope that this representation of his true likeness will contribute to greater understanding of who he was and what he stood for as well as enhance friendship between our peoples.
Gen. Khama told the audience that Sir Seretse Khama assumed the countrys presidency during the most difficult times in the history of Southern Africa.
Botswana was, at the time, surrounded by aggressive, racist and oppressive regimes to the extent that some in the industrialised countries felt that anyone who believed that Botswana could be a viable, independent and sovereign state was greatly mistaken.
It therefore required courage, determination, visionary leadership and [continue reading]
20 June, 2007
KASANE – Chobe district councillors have asked the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) to play the advocacy role for small businesses and ensure that they are located strategically to benefit from the big projects.
They said after an address by LEA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tebogo Matome that small businesses should be linked with big companies in a mentorship programme.
Councillor Shamaku Machawa said at the moment big development projects such as the Mamabule coal project were coming up and only multi national companies would benefit.
Information on how small businesses could benefit from these projects must be availed, he said.
Another councillor, Mr Tengenyana Tuelo of Pandamatenga said it was good that LEA has established offices countrywide, noting that the Chobe district is strategically placed to benefit from LEA.
He urged LEA to sensitise business people about the availability of animal hides in the Chobe district. We could start up a leather tannery and manufacture belts, he said.
Mr Tuelo said the government must do away with policies that hinder Batswana from becoming self sufficient in cereal production. He cited that the land board policy, saying twelve hectares per person is not enough for subsistence and commercial farming.
He praised LEA for drawing up business plans for small business people, adding that in the past people were reaped off by consultants.
Business people did not even understand the business plans, hence the collapse of their businesses.
Councillor Tuelo said foreign companies should be encouraged to buy locally produce goods.
He said some chain stores such as Choppies and Spar buy most of their produce from South Africa while the local agricultural produce is in abundance.
However, councillor Judge Sango of Khwai, advised LEA to consider appointing people from [continue reading]
20 June, 2007
PILANE – Police have been accused of being slow in responding to calls from business people to attend to criminal activities.
Scrap metal dealers in Pilane said in Kgotla meetings called by Police last week that there are instances where they have reported criminal activities to the police adding that at times they arrive late or never show up at all.
The meeting was called up after the police have realized an alarming increase in number of cases relating to scrap metals where people have lost their valuables.
Inspector McDonald Sebina of Mochudi Police indicated that there is a booming market for scrap metal in South Africa and therefore a number of businesses buying scrap had opened up in the country.
Insp. Sebina, Community Policing Forum Coordinator said as a result a number of cases have been reported where people had lost their valuable property only to discover that it has been sold to scrap dealers.
He said in some instances even if a suspected property disappeared in one piece it will be dismantled so that the buyer will not suspect any foul play.
He said it is necessary to advice the dealers on what to do before buying scrap metal.
He expressed concern that [continue reading]
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
19 June 2007
Posted to the web 19 June 2007
The encore of the familiar refrain of the almost-prohibitive costs of doing business in Botswana resulting from high finance costs and serious constraints in the local supply of raw materials was the order of the day at a BEDIA-sponsored seminar for manufacturers yesterday.
Participants used the occasion at Boipuso Hall in Gaborone to tell the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority that high interest rates and the importation of raw materials were two factors responsible for pushing costs up.
“There is no fabric factory in Botswana. This means we import from other countries,” said Craig Chow, the Managing Director of apparel maker Caratex Botswana, which exports knit-to-shape jerseys or sweaters to the US under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Another concern for local manufacturers is high utility costs(charges for water, power and telecommunications). Chow said he was surprised that in Botswana, utility corporations charged the same rates for household and industrial consumption, which was not the case in other countries.
As an exporter, yet another concern for him was the fact that Botswana is a landlocked country, meaning that transport costs were beyond their calculations.
Despite these difficulties, however, Chow said [continue reading]
June 20 2007 at 05:41PM
A text message service Johannesburg motorists used to check for outstanding traffic offences has been scrapped and replaced with an advanced and “much inclusive” online service, Johannesburg metro police said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said motorists could log on to www.payfine.co.za to view and pay their outstanding traffic fines.
“The 36997 sms service was discontinued on June 13. Motorists can now go on-line, view images of their cars photographed either speeding or jumping traffic lights, then pay for the fine on-line.”
He encouraged [continue reading]
June 21 2007 at 04:34AM
There will not be any wage settlement this week. The strike will intensify.
That was the message on Wednesday night from public sector unions, who said they would not be intimidated into signing the government’s wage offer of a 7,5 percent increase.
This is despite the government saying that it will not increase its offer any further.
Hopes of a settlement faded as reports claimed that the government had told unions that it would revert to its earlier offer of a 7,25 percent increase if unions refused to accept the 7,5 percent offer by 6pm on Wednesday.
The building was evacuated and negotiations were delayed
This was shot down by unions, who said the ultimatum would incite anger among public servants and was not in the spirit of the bargaining process.
Chaos erupted at the Public Service Bargaining Co-ordinating Council (PSBC) in Centurion when about 400 irate protesters marched into the offices, yanked a fire extinguisher from the wall and emptied the canister inside the building, sending PSBC staff members, unionists and government negotiators running for cover.
The building was evacuated and [continue reading]
20 June, 2007
SEROWE – The Group Executive Chairman of Pula Holdings, Mr Kagiso Mmusi has described the countrys endeavours to train a technology literate workforce as encouraging.
He said it was encouraging that great efforts were being made in the form of design and technology exhibitions to respond to the need for technical education in Botswana.
Addressing the Central Region Design and Technology Exhibition in Serowe on Saturday, Mr Mmusi emphasised the importance of having a sufficient technology literate workforce for the country to fare well in a competitive world.
The exhibition was attended by students from primary, junior and senior secondary schools in the region.
He described design and technology as one subject that with time could make a significant contribution to the countrys economy, as it produced multi-skilled, versatile, and adaptable youngsters.
Since competition was very high, he observed that potential investors wanted to invest in countries with well-developed and productive human resource.
The Chairperson of the Central Region Design and Technology Exhibition, (CEREDTEX), Mr Polite Mabalani said the annual event was meant to create awareness and exposure to the challenges of modern technology among students, parents and companies.
In addition he said the exhibitions gave [continue reading]
20 June, 2007
GABORONE-Botswana law makers and enforcers it appears are unable to keep up with technology.
Only a year after the Road Traffic Act was amended to incorporate prohibition of the use of cell phones whilst driving, another craze has hit Botswana.
Some vehicles are fitted with screens that allow drivers to view motion pictures or DVDs while driving.
This evidently poses more danger to motorists and other road users. However, there is no law specifically banning such gadgets.
In fact, Botswana does not have any law prohibiting watching of DVDs or motion pictures whilst driving.
Botswana Police Service Public Relations Officer, Snr Supt Solomon Mantswe said there is no law that specifically deals with viewing of motion pictures while driving.
Mr Mantswe , said only if it can be proved that an accident was caused by use of a DVD player while driving, the driver can be charged for causing an accident or death by reckless and inconsiderate driving under Sections 50 and 51 of the Road Traffic Act.
He however did not rule out the possibility of an amendment of the Act to outlaw the use of DVDs and other gadgets whilst driving.
Motorists and other road users [continue reading]
20 June, 2007
SELEBI-PHIKWE -The time is ripe for the government to harmonise business laws and regulations, says BCLs organisational capability divisional manager, Mr Joseph Lisindi. He said in a meeting between the BCL management and members of the Parliamentary Labour Relations Committee (PLRC) on Monday that the current situation was disturbing.
He was particularly concerned about the processing of work and residence permits.
Mr Lisindi advised that business laws and regulations should take cognisance of each other.
The meeting between the two was to explain the role of PLRC, as well as to have an open discussion on labour related issues with the mine management and staff.
Mr Lisindi explained that in other countries, work and residence permits were treated as one document and suggested that it was time Botswana followed suit.
The current scenario constrains the business community to hire expatriates and as such, we usually lose scarce skills to other countries which have relaxed labour laws.
It takes about six weeks to process permits. In Botswana, it is very easy to get a permit for a herd boy than a mining engineer.
On other issues, Mr Lisindi called for the introduction of a local skills database, saying such an initiative would keep all the business stakeholders abreast with the kinds of skills that could be imported from other countries.
Such an initiative will help in identifying and [continue reading]