Archive for July 22nd, 2007
July 22 2007 at 09:18AM
President Thabo Mbeki has unequivocally stated that he would refrain from spending a third term as president of the country, but he has his conditions.
Mbeki on Saturday touched on the grave subject of the ANC’s fierce succession battle in a light-hearted moment during a government imbizo in one of the Western Cape’s poorest areas, Delft.
The stage was set for party-political quips and bantering as Mbeki was seated between the ruling party’s biggest rival, Democratic Alliance leader and Cape Town mayor Helen Zille and ANC premier Ebrahim Rasool, while they jointly tried to come to grips with the politically and racially divided province’s challenges.
The president also subtly put his foot down over the divided ANC factions in the province.
“I have spoken to the mayor and premier Rasool, ministers and deputy ministers, saying, you know it is my view that I need to be president of SA for 10 years after 2009 (when his term ends),” he told about 300 community leaders. “But I failed. All of them, without exception, said the constitution said you can’t,” Mbeki said.
In the midst of the [continue reading]
author/source:Business Report (SA)
Sales have increased by 75 percent in the past three weeks
By Tonny Mafu
Johannesburg – Bulk grocery buyers from Zimbabwe have streamed into the South African border town of Musina, making purchases of up to R20 000 a visit. This comes in the wake of severe shortage after the Zimbabwean authorities enforced price cuts this month. Retailers across the country were left with empty shelves, after consumers cleaned out all stock at reduced prices. The shortage of basic groceries has increased the number of shoppers crossing the border into South Africa. Musina’s retailers of household goods have experienced a huge increase in sales. One beneficiary of the wave of Zimbabwean buyers is Spar, the largest retailer in the border town. Pieter Koekemoer, the store manager, says sales have increased by 75 percent in the past three weeks. The increase in turnover has been driven by bulk buyers, who are also known as runners. These customers can buy goods worth up to R20 000 at a time. Their purchases include cooking oil, sugar, bread and soap. Spar’s bread sales have doubled in the past month to 5 000 loaves. Koekemoer says there has also been a rush to beat a deadline set for July 31, after which Zimbabweans will require a licence to buy in bulk for resale back home. The Zimbabwean government has accused businesses of profiteering on the country’s spectacular meltdown, now in its seventh year.
The economic crisis has seen inflation soar to about 4 500 percent, the highest in the world. This has been aggravated by a strong black market in foreign currency and consumer goods. Authorities have [continue reading]
July 22 2007 at 09:41AM
Soccer enthusiasts will have to get used to sitting in their “own” seats as 2010 regulations are being put in place ahead of the Soccer World Cup in three years.
The Tottenham Hotspur tour of South Africa this week is more than just a soccer bonanza for supporters of the beautiful game – it is also a practice run for the security services ahead of the World Cup.
Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo said one of the regulations that would be implemented was personalised seating.
“Only the person holding the ticket of a specific seat may be allowed to sit there. At the moment it only refers to the seat number. During the World Cup only the person in whose name it is bought will be allowed to sit in the allocated seat,” said Naidoo.
Naidoo said details of how this would be implemented would be dealt with by Fifa, but it was unlikely that people would have to carry an identity book or passport.
He said soccer lovers would have to [continue reading]
“I will hate to reach a stage where I will be forced to take over the companies from you”
Harare – Zimbabwe’s government has set up a state company to seize control of private local and foreign firms that President Robert Mugabe’s administration says are engaging in “economic sabotage” in a bid to end his rule. Mugabe threatened last month to seize private companies for “dirty tricks,” including hiking prices and cutting output, which he says are part of a Western-backed “regime-change” agenda led by Zimbabwe’s former colonial master Britain. On Saturday, the official Herald newspaper said the government had revived the Zimbabwe State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) to work alongside the state Zimbabwe Development Corporation (ZDC) “as vehicles for acquiring companies that it might want to take over for engaging in economic sabotage.” The government had also set up a Z$30 billion fund to help private distressed companies battling to remain viable under Zimbabwe’s economic crisis, the Herald quoted Industry and Trade Minister Obert Mpofu as saying. But Mpofu said while the government was willing to assist, it would not hesitate to seize firms owned by industrialists suspected of deliberate sabotage and refusing to cooperate with authorities.
“I will hate to reach a stage where I will be forced [continue reading]
source: International Herald Tribune
By Ron Nixon
Published: July 21, 2007
ON a muggy day in Kigali in 2003, some of the highest-ranking officials in the Rwandan government, including President Paul Kagame, flanked an American businessman, Greg Wyler, as he boldly described how he could help turn their small country into a hub of Internet activity.
Wyler, an executive based in Boston who made his fortune during the tech boom, said he would lace Rwanda with fiber optic cables, connecting schools, government institutions and homes with low-cost, high-speed Internet service. Until that point, Wyler, 37, had never set foot in Africa — he was invited by a Rwandan government official he had met at a wedding. Wyler never expected to start a business there; he simply wanted to try to help the war-torn country.
Even so, Wyler’s company, Terracom, was granted a contract to connect 300 schools to the Internet. Later, the company would buy 99 percent of the shares in Rwandatel, the country’s national telecommunications company, for $20 million.
But after nearly four years, most of the benefits hailed by him and his company have failed to materialize, Rwandan officials say. “The bottom line is that he promised many things and didn’t deliver,” said Albert Butare, the country’s telecommunications minister.
Wyler says he sees things quite differently, and he and Rwandan officials will probably never agree on why their joint venture has been so slow to get off the ground. But Terracom’s tale is more than a story about a business dispute in Rwanda. It is also emblematic of what can happen when good intentions run into the technical, political and business realities of Africa.
Attempts to bring affordable high-speed Internet service to the masses have made little headway on the continent. Less than 4 percent of Africa’s population is connected to the Web; most subscribers are in North African countries and the republic of South Africa.
A lack of infrastructure is the biggest problem. In many countries, communications networks were destroyed during years of civil conflict, and continuing political instability deters governments or companies from investing in new systems. E-mail messages and phone calls sent from some African countries have to be routed through Britain, or even the United States, increasing expenses and delivery times. About 75 percent of African Internet traffic is routed this way and costs African countries billions of extra dollars each year that they would not incur if their infrastructure was up to speed.
“Most African governments haven’t paid much attention to their infrastructure,” said Vincent Oria, an associate professor of computer science at [continue reading]
21/07/2007 22:09 – (SA)
Cape Town – President Thabo Mbeki has urged unemployed South Africans to create their own job opportunities through the setting up of small businesses.
Addressing Lwandle community members near Cape Town at a presidential Imbizo on Saturday, Mbeki told the unemployed to utilise the several business support programmes which the government set up for their benefit.
“The government has put aside money to help you start your own businesses – you must utilise these opportunities.”
Speaking in isiXhosa, Mbeki said it was not government’s responsibility to create jobs.
“All what government can do is to create an environment conducive for job creation.”
Mbeki was responding to some of the many problems which the residents had put before him including lack of housing, sanitation and schools.
The residents welcomed the President with thunderous applause, chanting, “Mbeki! Mbeki!”.
The crowd sang the Mbeki’s praises on his arrival for an presidential imbizo at the local sports complex.
He was accompanied by Western Cape premier [continue reading]