Archive for July 12th, 2007
July 12 2007 at 02:16PM
By Ayanda Mhlongo and Sapa
A breakthrough in talks between trade unions and employers in the metal and engineering industry has resulted in unions bringing an end to the “indefinite” strike.
Employees in the metal and engineering industry began their strike earlier this week, demanding a salary raise and increases in benefits.
The unions initially demanded 10 percent but that was brought down after talks with their members.
In Durban on Wednesday, thousands of union members marched through Wmanest Street to the City Hall where representatives handed over a memorandum to Steve Foster from the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa.
A few hours after the [continue reading]
12 July, 2007
GABORONE – SADC has distanced itself from reports that the organisation is putting together an economic rescue package for Zimbabwe.
A statement from SADC Secretariat says the body has been inundated with queries from the news media on an alleged economic rescue packages for Zimbabwe that was, among others, broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on its Morning Live programme on Monday.
Citing a Sunday newspaper, SABC says that SADC is putting together a package that include the pegging the Zimbabwean Dollar to the South African Rand to stabilise the exchange rate of the former and curb inflation, the statement says.
The SADC statement dismisses such assertions as the information did not originate from the secretrait.
However, in a statement, the organisation says the stability of all the economies in the SADC region, including that of Zimbabwe is of great concern and significance to our organisation.
It says SADC will always [continue reading]
12 July, 2007
SELEBI-PHIKWE – The Assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri has called for the establishment of a communication link between unions, employers and the government to ensure economic progress.
Speaking at meetings with the National Mining and Allied Workers Union, Botswana Mine Workers Union and BCL management team in Selibe-Phikwe on Monday, he said the move is crucial for the country to move forward.
Mr Matlhabaphiri said lack of cooperation among the bodies could affect progress and the countrys economic growth.
The assistant minister also stressed the need for both the government and the employers to discuss freely about issues that concern workers, because most conflicts and misunderstandings are due to lack consultation.
He also touched on the handling of disputes between employees and their employers, saying in most instances the workers reported the cases straight to the Industrial Court instead of initially referring them to the unions and the Department of Labour.
He advised workers to join unions, which will communicate with their employers and the department on their behalf if the need arises and expressed concern about unions that split up resulting in the formation of many bodies.
Currently, he said the number of unions is increasing in the country, a situation which he described as unhealthy.
He therefore encouraged the unions to [continue reading]
12 July, 2007
GABORONE – The upcoming stamp design competition is intended to create a pool of skilled artists who can design stamps for BotswanaPost.
BotswanaPosts Public Relations Manager, Mr Keoagile Rafifing said in an interview that the competition would help the organisation to select artists from local personnel for the designing of Botswana stamps.
Currently, BotswanaPost has Jack Mazebedi and Keeme Mosinyi as the only two prominent Batswana stamp designers, adding that they want to create a database of stamp design artists to assist the two designers to perfect their skills.
The aim is to have more local artists skilled in this profession, he said. BotswanaPost, together with Botswana Philatelic Society, is hosting the competition and it is the first of its kind held at the request of artists.
The competition is held under the themes Energy in Botswana, Usage and Conservation, Performing Arts, Donkeys in Botswana.
It is open to all artists who have attended a BotswanaPost workshop for artists, previously designed stamps for BotswanaPost and all other artists.
He said the competition would enhance artists skills to be able them to come up with the desired standard and quality stamps.
To help artists take advantage of the opportunities in stamp design, he said BotswanaPost had been training artists to participate in stamps designing for the past two years.
Our stamp issuing programmes, designs and [continue reading]
12/07/2007 10:25 – (SA)
Johannesburg – Media reports that Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma called for new intervention by the SA Development Community (SADC) in Zimbabwe were misleading, her department said on Thursday.
“Nothing is further from the truth,” said spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa.
“Rather than calling for a new SADC initiative on Zimbabwe, Minister Dlamini-Zuma was reiterating the decision of the SADC Summit held in Tanzania in March this year.”
This had mandated President Thabo Mbeki to mediate between Zanu-PF and opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, and mandated the SADC executive secretary to look into the country’s economic situation.
Media reports said Dlamini-Zuma had told reporters in Pretoria this week that SADC should step in to save the deteriorating Zimbabwean situation.
Mamoepa said Dlamini-Zuma had expressed concern about the country’s general situation, including its deteriorating economic situation.
“…It is in part, for the reason that SADC has [continue reading]
International Trade Centre (Geneva)
11 July 2007
Posted to the web 11 July 2007
In this award-winning business case, technology opens new job opportunities and allows Bushmen to share their valuable knowledge to conserve the environment.
That indispensable electronic tool of every rising young executive, the personal digital assistant (PDA), has been matched to the traditional knowledge of the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert to give Africa a new profession: digital wildlife tracker.
The high-tech wildlife trackers have been used against poachers, in ecotourism, environmental education, research and monitoring. The free software that links up traditional knowledge to electronic data mapping has been applied around the world to social surveys, organic farming, integrated pest management and disaster relief.
The new profession sprang from the work of Louis Liebenberg, a South African conservation scientist who learned tracking from bow-and-arrow hunters in Botswana. He recognized the importance of their skills and knowledge for conservation — and how little it was valued by protection authorities, partly because the Bushmen could not read or write.
With former University of Cape Town computer scientist Justin Steventon, Mr Liebenberg developed a hand-held computer and software to capture their knowledge. He called the system CyberTracker. The computer displays a palette of symbols representing more than 40 animal species, subspecies and plants. The icons also cover activities such as drinking, feeding, running, fighting, mating and sleeping. Pressing an icon records a sighting or other indications. Each screen allows the user to record increasingly detailed information. They found that one tracker might record up to 300 observations in a day.
Connected to a satellite navigational system in 1996, the hand-held computer automatically recorded the details, time, date and exact location. This information was processed on a base-station computer to create maps and charts of animal movements and feeding habits. Today, all the data collection can be done on a PDA and worked on a personal computer. The free software used to turn a tracker into a digital wildlife tracker has now been downloaded over 25,000 times in more than 50 countries.
When Mr Liebenberg received a Rolex Award for [continue reading]
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
11 July 2007
Posted to the web 11 July 2007
A recent book on banking in Botswana identifies post offices as a potential tool for increasing the banking footprint throughout the country.
“Enhancing Access To Banking and Financial Services” is written by Keith Jefferis. In it, the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Botswana (BoB) says the relationship between the Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) and BotswanaPost offers great potential to spread banking services more widely.
“Whereas bank branches cover only 45 percent of the population, the existing network of post offices covers a significantly higher proportion of the population (65 percent) than the bank branches and therefore potentially provides a way of improving access to the rural and unbanked population,” the book says.
According to the BotswanaPost website, the parastatal has a network of 114 post offices and 75 postal agencies countrywide which are divided into 3 regions, namely, Central, North and South.
Jefferis says worldwide experience shows that providing banking services through the post office network is a viable low-cost option.
He makes a good case for the cultivation of relations between [continue reading]
posted on this site:Wed 11-Jul-2007
“SADC as a region and South Africa in particular will, or already, feel the consequences”
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) should step in to save the deteriorating economy of Zimbabwe, South Africa’s foreign minister said Tuesday. “We are concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe and its economic situation which has been deteriorating,” Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria. “The problematic economy in Zimbabwe means that SADC as a region and South Africa in particular will, or already, feel the consequences. That is why we must do our best to revitalise and restart the economy for the benefit of Zimbabwe and the region.” Dlamini-Zuma was speaking to reporters shortly after holding talks with Massimo D’Alema, Italy’s deputy prime minister. She said it was the economic and political meltdown that led SADC to facilitate talks between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the opposition, which would help resuscitate the impoverished country’s economy.
“It is difficult to rebuild an economy where there is severe division and polarisation. It is important that on all fronts the economy is regenerated,” she added without specifying the [continue reading]
July 11 2007 at 03:50PM
By Lindsay Dentlinger
Three tenders to run the new 2010 Green Point stadium and redeveloped urban park after the 2010 World Cup had been received by the end of the extended deadline on Tuesday afternoon.
The three submissions involve seven companies that are vying for the 30-year lease, estimated to have a present-day value of R260-million.
Twenty-nine applications for tender documents were recorded by the City of Cape Town in June and the deadline for submissions was extended by a month at the request of interested parties, who wanted more time to prepare a bid.
City 2010 spokesperson Pieter Cronje said it was too early to divulge the type of business the bidders were proposing for the R2,8-billion stadium or details of the companies involved. The city would first have to determine whether the submissions complied with the tender specifications.
One of the tenders was from a single company, another was [continue reading]
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
10 July 2007
Posted to the web 11 July 2007
Malawi has started selling much-needed maize to Zimbabwe under an export agreement which includes a US$10 million line of credit.
“We have already exported 90,000 metric tonnes (mt) within the past two and a half months,” Patrick Kabambe, Malawi’s Principal Secretary of Agriculture and Food Security, told IRIN. “We have received some payments for the maize that has been sent”.
Malawi’s agriculture sector has had a second successive bumper harvest, making an almost complete recovery from a drought in 2005 that left close to five million people in need of food aid.
This year’s maize crop has seen a 22 percent increase over last year’s: 73 percent higher than the average for the past five years, according to government estimates. On the other end of the scale, Zimbabwe’s economy is struggling with an inflation rate officially at about 4,000 percent, food and foreign currency shortages.
Zimbabwe’s maize order has been urgent. “The Zimbabwean government wanted us to supply at least 100,000mt every month; we told them it was not possible in terms of logistics – processing, fumigation etc,” said Kabambe.
What remains uncertain is how Zimbabwe’s crippling fuel crisis will [continue reading]