Archive for June, 2007
28 June 2007
Fan parks could draw more than a million visitors to South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, whether or not they have tickets for tournament matches, says British academic Rogan Taylor.
Speaking at a Soccerex seminar in Johannesburg this week, Taylor, a football industry specialist from Liverpool University, highlighted the importance of public viewing spaces and fan parks during the World Cup.
“Less than 10 years ago, the host country would have advised people not to travel if they did not have tickets,” Taylor said. “But now everybody comes, ticket or no tickets.”
He said that up to a million visitors were expected in South Africa for the 2010 tournament, and that many would stay on longer. “The focus will be in South Africa in the months both leading up to and after the World Cup, and people will stay much longer in South Africa.”
Taylor noted the value of [continue reading]
28/06/2007 18:41 – (SA)
Johannesburg – Nurses fired for joining the public servants’ strike would be reinstated as part of efforts to normalise health care delivery, the department of health said on Thursday.
About 2 700 nurses were sacked for defying a court order which banned their participation, as essential services workers, in the three-week strike.
Department spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said their dismissals would be withdrawn and be replaced with a final written warning when they returned to their posts.
He said nurses had begun returning to their posts even before the strike was finally settled at a 7.5% increase, compared to the 12% the workers had originally been aiming for.
The department was reviewing the [continue reading]
source: IC Publications
8/06/2007 16:07 GABORONE, June 28 (AFP)
Surging coal demands from China, India and southern Africa have bolstered Botswana’s mining potential, a senior government official told an international conference on coal mining here Thursday.
“Botswana coal is very much in demand. In particular the emerging economies of China and India have led the growth in demand for coal internationally and represent potential markets for Botswana coal,” said Akanyang Tombale, permanent secretary at the minerals and energy ministry.
He told the two-day conference that increasing power demands in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region “offers this country an opportunity to transform from a net importer of power to a net exporter leveraging on its coal resources”.
The planned expansion of the Morupule coal-fired Power Station Project and evaluation of coal-bed methane gas in several parts of Botswana are expected to increase [continue rading]
source: BBC News
Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
A body to standardise air safety measures across Africa has been inaugurated in Namibia.
The Africa Civil Aviation Agency (ACAA) will be based in the capital, Windhoek, and will train pilots and co-ordinate aviation policy across the continent.
Africa accounts for only 3% of global air traffic, but is responsible for 17% of fatal air crashes.
The agency’s director says it will bring Africa’s safety standards into line with those in Europe and the US.
The BBC’s Frauke Jensen in Windhoek says most accidents are deemed to be human error, often not caused by a lack of skills but pressure from operators.
Our reporter says the ACAA wants to change the attitudes of aviators, companies and governments, many of [continue reading]
June 28 2007 at 04:25PM
With the Small Business Tax amnesty deadline looming, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) will extend its office hours from Thursday, a Sars spokesperson said.
From Thursday, Sars branch offices will extend their operational hours until 6pm, spokesperson Adrian Lackay said.
Sars offices would also be opened on Saturday but only to receive tax amnesty applications.
“Sars must reiterate that Saturday, June 30, 2007 is the deadline for amnesty applications and that no further extensions will be granted,” Lackay said.
The revenue service has so far received more than 300 000 applications, 60 000 of which were received after the first deadline of May 31, he said.
Lackay estimated that [continue reading]
28 June, 2007
KASANE – Kasane residents have welcomed the envisaged establishment of community radio stations.
This followed the announcement of plans to set up the stations, by Communication Science and Technology minister, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, during a kgotla meeting.
Mrs Venson-Moitoi told the gathering that the visit was to get their views on the proposed community radio stations before the next parliamentary meeting. Residents indicated that community radio stations were long overdue.
Mr Herbert Samunzala of Kasane welcomed community radio stations but said government should have a say on how they are run.
Mr Gibson Nshimwe said fears that radio stations may fuel racial discrimination or tribal conflict were far- fetched.
Parliament should not mistake us for rebels, community radio stations are very necessary he said.
He said a board would be appointed to run the community radio stations at the same time allowing government to play a part.
Mr Nshimwe said the board will be comprised of representatives of different ethnic groups.
He also urged the minister to consider privatisation of the Department of Broadcasting Services.
He said at the moment the department was not administered properly as opposition parties did not enjoy the same privileges as the ruling party.
For his part, Mr David Mabothana, said in communities radio stations, news should be read in all languages spoken in that area.
Another resident, Mr David Kanyemba, said the stations would contribute towards [continue reading]
28 June, 2007
GABORONE Botswanas permanent representative to the United Nations, Mr Samuel Outlule has blamed greed for the conflict that are wrongly attributed to natural resources.
Addressing the UN General Assembly and Security Council debate on natural resources and conflict this week, he said just like producers of natural resources, manufacturers and exporters of arms must be held accountable.
This was because some people use the proceeds of the sale of natural resources to buy and import arms to perpetrate or fuel wars instead of providing food, education, health care, clean water and communication infrastructure.We must not demonise or stigmatise natural resources, Mr Outlule said.
Natural resources do not cause conflict. It is illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, human greed, mismanagement, corruption and exploitation that generate conflict.
Mr Outlule said the seedlings of conflict are planted when the vast majority of citizens are excluded from enjoying the wealth of their national heritage.
He said political stability, good governance, people-centred development and respect for the rule of law, as well as transparent and accountable national systems were essential for the efficient management of natural resources for the common good.
He also said positive and innovative actions, policies and practices by people combined with good leadership were critical to transforming a resource to good use.
He added that member states of the UN have individual and collective responsibility to do all in their power to [continue reading]
28 June, 2007
VIENNA – The Nuclear Technology Centre at Seibersdorf outside Vienna in Austria otherwise known as the International Atomic Energy Agency looks like any research centre.
But the inside is extra-ordinary. It is no wonder some in President Festus Mogaes entourage declined to enter the facility during a visit on Tuesday fearing radiation exposure. But safety was guaranteed.
Messers Busch Petersen and Chikelu Mba who heads the Food Agricultural Organisation and the Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory, respectifully, took Mr Mogae through various stages of the laboratories explaining the operations and their relationship with member countries. Mr Mogae heard of the technique used in tracing radiation activity.
He was told that inpectors take samples and smears from nuclear facilities, as well as environmental samples of water, soil and vegetation to search for traces of actinides indicating the presence and operation of an undeclared unclear installation in the vicinity.
He was told that there was the urgent need for developing countries to have trained and skilled personnel in nuclear science.
Officials also briefed Mr Mogae on plant breeding where induced mutations are used to improve food security and cash crops in member states.
Mr Mogae was informed that the agency had nothing to do with genetically modified food.
He was told that the focus was on developing, adapting and disseminating appropriate methodologies for enhancing effeciency in the induction, detection and evaluation of mutation events using a range of [continue reading]
source: BBC News
South Africa’s main trade unions have ended their four-week strike, which has closed most of the country’s schools and hospitals.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has decided to accept the government’s offer of a 7.5% pay rise – they had demanded 9%.
The government had originally offered 6%, while the unions had wanted 12%.
Correspondents say it has been the biggest strike since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Cosatu said the strike, which involved hundreds of thousands of people, had been a “historic turning point in the lives of public-sector workers”.
“This combination of unity and militancy means that never again will the employer dare to treat us with the callous indifference they have displayed in the past and during this dispute, until they were forced to compromise when confronted by the militancy and determination of their workforce,” it said.
Before the decision was announced, one union official told the Business Day newspaper that [continue reading]
27 June, 2007
GABORONE – More than 2.1 million shares were traded across the financial sector stocks in the past week, says a weekly report from Capital Securities.
The report says Financial National Bank Botswana (FNBB) shares were the most active with a little more than two million shares traded at 375t.
Since its share split on June 15, 2007, the report says FNB shares have appreciated by 1.4 per cent to the current price of 375t.
It says Standard Chartered was the top gainer in the sector moving up 3.9per cent to 2450t with 11983 shares traded.
Barclays Bank and ABCH, the report says, were unchanged at 915t and 250t while Letshego only recorded a 0.4 per cent gain on 20 057 shares.
However, the report says Letshego has issued a cautionary announcement to shareholders advising that some significant minority shareholders are contemplating a possible sale of their shares.
The announcement advises shareholders that the full impact of this possible sale is still being determined.
It further advises shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in the companys securities until a further announcement is made.
Meanwhile the resource stocks closed the week lower with gains recorded only on CIC Energy with nine per cent, IAMGold with 2.3 per cent and LionOre with 0.03 per cent according to Capital Securities report.
At the close of business of June 22, 2007, the report says, most of the [continue reading]
27 June, 2007
SHAKAWE – Okavango Wilderness Safari camp managers double up as health professionals even though they do not have the necessary qualifications.
According to one of the workers, Mr Tsietsi James, the managers administered injections and other medication to sick employees despite the fact that the managers were not qualified as health workers.
Mr James said the injections were not even recorded in their medical cards. Another worker, Ms Kearabile Tebo, said her ill health worsened after a certain camp manager injected her.
She pleaded with the Parliaments Labour Relations Committee to verify the expertise and qualifications of the nurse that has been hired by their employer.
If you vomit, she said you might be pregnant, she added.
The workers also complained about unhygienic conditions such as ablution blocks.
The workers made the allegations during a visit by a parliamentary committee on labour relations to the Vumbura Plains Camps in the Okavango Delta which was run by the Okavango Wilderness Safaris.
The workers said camp managers injected, dispense medication and measured employees blood pressure and temperature on sick workers even though they are not health professionals.
The management of Vumbura Plains Camps also confirmed the allegations of the workers, but said they are administered through the recommendations of a qualified company nurse who is contacted through a telephone.
The MP for Kgatleng West, Mr Rakwadi Modipane, criticised the practice as unlawful and illegal.
Nobody in this country is allowed to inject a person without the necessary qualification, he said.
Mr Modipane, who also chairs a parliamentary health committee, said he was going to follow the issue up and [continue reading]
27 June, 2007
SHAKAWE – Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS) workers and management have been advised to work together harmoniously for the growth of their company.
Addressing the management and workers at Vumbura Plains Camp in the Okavango Delta, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Labour Relations, Mr Tshelang Masisi, told them that if they did not work harmoniously and diligently their company could collapse and end up losing their jobs.
This is where you get your bread and butter, Mr Masisi, who is Francistown West MP, said. He cautioned workers on truancy and management on discrimination.
Mr Masisi also implored management to desist from sacking the workers just because they had shared their grievances with government officials.
He said it was the feeling of his committee that a certain employee of the company was fired immediately after he had told the then Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Maj. Gen. Moeng Pheto about the appalling working conditions during the ministers visit to the camp.
However, an official of the company, Mr Sam Kavindama, said the employee was not fired because he had poured his grievances to the minister, instead he was fired because his performance was below par.
Wilderness Premier Camp Brand Manager, Mr Robert Burns, said his company tried by all means to abide by the labour laws.
Mr Burns however said his company, which had a staff complement of about 700 at times makes mistakes, adding that they were incidences where some employees were fired but recalled if procedures were not followed.
Mr Burns added that some of the negative issues about his company arose probably because of misrepresentation, misinformation or ignorance.
Giving vote of thanks, Kanye North MP, Mr Calvin Batsile, also emphasised the need for good working relationships and sharing of ideas between workers and management.
Mr Batsile also called on management to allow their workers to establish a workers committee to [continue reading]
June 27 2007 at 10:09PM
Trade unions are expected to finalise their consultations on the future of the public service strike on Thursday.
Trade unions caucused on Wednesday night at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) at Centurion, south of Pretoria.
Several unions attending that meeting said they were ready to suspend the strike, and some have indicated that they were ready to accept government’s final offer, which includes a 7,5 percent wage increase.
“We have a mandate from our members to suspend the strike. We will obviously want do that together with other unions. We will wait until tomorrow for the meeting with other unions. Hopefully at that stage something will happen,” said Manie de Clerq, general secretary of the Public Servants Association (PSA).
Congress of SA Trade Unions president Willie Madisha was also optimistic after Wednesday night’s talks.
“There has been a great deal of progress… but tomorrow when [continue reading]
27 June, 2007
GABORONE – Although everyone cannot be an entrepreneur, there are no restrictions on the owning of shares and sharing in the economic gains of enterprises, says finance minister Baledzi Gaolathe.
Inaugurating the Botswana Stock Exchange Investment Forum under the theme Creating Wealth for Botswana in Gaborone last week, Mr Gaolathe said the stock exchange was the most democratic of institutions in the capitalist economic system.
Mr Gaolathe said a liquid market helped to reduce income inequalities through the sharing of profits made by companies, thereby facilitating wealth redistribution and making citizens true shareholders in the economy.
He said while the government and the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) efforts were necessary to develop the capital market, they were not sufficient to realise its full potential.
In this regard, he said, the private sector could and should play a significant role in the development of the capital markets.
A strong private sector does not always emerge by itself, adding that the role, which government plays and will continue to play, is to create an enabling environment to allow private sector activities to flourish.
Such an environment encompasses the sound management of the economy, a good regulatory system and world class infrastructure, which is what we are committed to do.
He told the participants that capital markets were all about [continue reading]
New British PM promises change; Blair heads for Middle East
Gordon Brown became Prime Minister of Britain yesterday, promising new priorities and a departure from the politics of Tony Blair. But, even as Brown took office, Blair continued to steal the spotlight with the announcement that he would become Middle East envoy for the US, Russia, European Union and the UN.
And the shadow of Blair’s decision to commit British forces to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan hangs over the new prime minister. “The first priority of Gordon Brown has to be recognising the disaster of the strategy in Iraq and making plans for the withdrawal of our forces,” said Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, a Blair critic.
Closer to home, it seems relations between President Thabo Mbeki and Brown will thaw. They have been icy for a month since Brown said Britain no longer needed to apologise for colonialism and Mbeki responded with a highly critical Internet column.
Mbeki conveyed his ‘‘warmest congratulations’’ to Brown yesterday. Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said South Africa was convinced Brown would build on the UK’s constructive engagement in Africa.
Brown, meanwhile, faces a [continue reading]