Archive for August 7th, 2007
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007
South Africa should turn to the UN Security Council to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe to embrace democracy, says veteran ANC MP Kader Asmal.
In one of the strongest statements to date from a senior ANC member and former cabinet minister about the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, Asmal said he favoured an “internationalized” approach.
South Africa is currently involved in mediation efforts sanctioned by the Southern African Development Community.
However, if Asmal has anything to do with it, the pressure on Mugabe for change will be wider and more drastic, including turning to the UN to turn the screws on Mugabe.
Asmal told the Cape Town Press Club that he detested what he was seeing in Zimbabwe and that [continue reading]
East African (Nairobi)
7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007
Africa is the continent that will be hit hardest by climate change. Unpredictable rains and floods, prolonged droughts, subsequent crop failures and rapid desertification, among other signs of global warming, have in fact already begun to change the face of Africa.
The continent’s poor and vulnerable will be particularly hit by the effects of rising temperatures – and in some parts of the continent, temperatures have been rising twice as fast as in the rest of the world.
In wealthy countries, the looming climate crisis is a matter of concern, as it will affect both the wellbeing of economies and people’s lives. In Africa, however, a region that has hardly contributed to climate change – its greenhouse gas emissions are negligible when compared with the industrialised world’s – it will be a matter of life and death.
Therefore, Africa must not remain silent in the face of the realities of climate change and its causes. African leaders and civil society must be involved in global decision-making about how to address the climate crisis in ways that are both effective and equitable.
FOR THIS reason, when the G-8 heads of state met in early June in Heiligendamm in Germany, [continue reading]
August 07 2007 at 06:17PM
The 2010 Soccer World Cup will be a showcase not just for South African arts and culture, but for that of the entire continent, the monthly Host City Forum was told.
South Africa was expected to play a leading role in ensuring the Southern African Development Community and the continent as a whole benefited “in many ways” from hosting the soccer extravaganza, said government unit director general Joe Paahla.
The unit is part of the department of sport and recreation and has to co-ordinate the government’s provision of, among others, information communication technology, infrastructure, transport, safety and security and health facilities for the tournament.
“Greater attention needs to be given in making sure that all the programmes we are involved in leave a lasting legacy in South Africa and other parts of the African continent,” Paahla told the forum in Johannesburg on Friday.
“The key projects [continue reading]
07 August, 2007
TSHABONG – Indigenous knowledge and skills need to be improved among small businesses so that their products can be able to compete internationally, says businessman, Mr Moses Chimbombi.
Speaking during mini-show exhibition in Makopong in the Kgalagadi District, Mr Chimbombi said the community was living in poverty because people were not using their indigenous knowledge and skills to improve their standard of living. “You should be proud of that knowledge and skills”, he advised.
Mr Chimbombi urged the participants to ensure that they branded their products as a way of marketing them.
“It is important that each and every business is branded so that we will be able to meet the international standards and consequently compete with the international market,” he added.
He advised participants to group themselves and do collective marketing, which would be benefit them as they would share the expenses and give strength to one another when the need arose.
He said they should not be scared of competition but rather they should learn from their competitors for their businesses to grow further.
Mr Chimbombi said the small businesses should realise that there was a shortage of jobs in Botswana, saying it was upon them to ensure that they worked hard to create jobs.
He said they should thank the Department of Social and Community Development for giving them an opportunity to market themselves freely.
“We know that marketing is expensive but here we are given the opportunity for free [continue reading]
07 August, 2007
KASANE – The Department of Culture and Youth is holding auditions to choose traditional dance troupes that will represent Botswana in India, Namibia and China.
The department is in a nationwide tour to scout for talent that will represent Botswana in the countries as part of cultural exchange programmes.
So far, the department has auditioned, Makgodumo in Ramotswa, and recently its delegation was in Kasane to have a look at the Matsosangwao group.
An official of the department, Mr Orometswe Maotwanyane, said they are looking for new groups that would leave a lasting impression.
“We are not looking at popular groups,” he said. “We want to give exposure to other groups.” He said troupes that failed to make it this time around would have a chance to try for other trips.
“We have signed cultural exchange programmes with many countries, there are many trips still coming,” he said.He explained that therew would be no prizes for the groups to win.
“The only benefit for them is exposure.” As for the performance by Motsosangwao, he said the [continue reading]
7 August 2007
South Africa has set aside R16-million to establish 10 Fabrication Laboratories, also known as “FabLabs”, around the country, providing disadvantaged communities with opportunities in the design, testing and fabrication process.
FabLabs are a state-of-the-art resource venue aimed at promoting cutting-edge design, product development and process technologies for crafters and designers.
Speaking at the launch of the Northern Cape FabLab in Kimberley this Monday, Science and Technology Deputy Minister Derek Hanekom said the facility was a hands-on laboratory with advanced desktop manufacturing equipment that allows for the building of “just about anything” from inexpensive and readily available materials.
“Skills include design, fabrication, testing and debugging, monitoring and analysis and documentation of the process,” he said, adding that they were the brainchild of the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Centre of Bits and Atoms.
The department is rolling out FabLabs nationally through its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS) implementation unit, which is hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The AMTS unit has in turn entered into [continue reading]
August 07 2007 at 02:29PM
Despite numerous deadlines sliding past, the department of trade and industry is confident that an announcement as to when the lottery balls will start rolling again is just days away.
“It’s very imminent. We have done all the checks we needed to do,” DTI director-general Tshediso Matona said on Monday.
The department and the minister were aware that numerous deadlines had come and gone, but Matona said they were confident a decision would be taken within days.
“While it may not be this week, because of the public holiday, we should be able to say when the announcement will be made as to who will be awarded the licence to run the national lottery,” he said.
South Africa has been without a [continue reading]
07 August, 2007
GABORONE-The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, is attending the eighth Langkawi International Dialogue from August 6 to 8 in Langkawi, Malaysia.
A news release from the ministry says Mr Gaolathe will be representing President Festus Mogae.
The focus of this years dialogue is to explore possible solutions to human capital development, capacity building and poverty, and is held under the theme: “Poverty Eradication Through Human Capital Development and Capacity Building.” The release says the objectives of the dialogue since 1995 has been to foster the principles of smart partnership among nations, nationalities, governments, businesses and social sectors.
It also says smart partnership is all about networking, exchanging of ideas, importing knowledge, trading with and extending support to one another for mutual benefit.
It says it is a business practice based on partnership among the Commonwealth Partnership for [continue reading]
07 August, 2007
JWANENG – Workers organisations in Jwaneng have called for abolishment of A-salary scale.
Submitting to the Salaries Review Commission, BOPEU, BULGASA, BGWU, and Manual workers union argued that the employees on the A-scale found it difficult to survive because the cost of living was high.
Botswana Government Workers Union representative, Mr Bankinyana Montsiemang, said the A-scale should be abolished and be replaced with B-scale in order for government to address the salary payment gaps.
Mr Montsiemang also submitted to the commission that the workers should be allowed to go beyond top notch of A-scale.
He said the union also proposed that housing schemes be extended to the industrial employees to enable them to own property at the end of their contract, saying scheme should also be developed to match with the current motor vehicle scheme.
BULGASA representative, Mr Mopati Tapiso, said transfer allowances should be the same either voluntary or involuntary because officers incurred the same costs in terms of damages as well as inconveniences.
He also said spouses should be placed within commuting distance because it inconvenienced them in terms of welfare, such as economically, socially and psychologically.
In addition, he said the commuting distance would also address the issue of [continue reading]
source: BBC News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Mining group Xstrata has launched a $1bn (£500m) takeover of South African platinum producer Eland Platinum.
Xstrata, which is Swiss-based but listed on the London Stock Exchange, said it had the support of investors controlling 51% of Eland’s shares.
The bid also had the backing of Eland’s board of directors, Xstrata said.
Commodity and metals prices have been pushed to record levels by strong demand, prompting mergers as firms look to boost output and cut costs.
“We believe that Eland’s production of concentrate in the very near term and strong growth pipeline provide an ideal platform from which to grow a [continue reading]
August 07 2007 at 10:57AM
By Daily News Reporters
An agreement in the early hours of Tuesday morning
has brought an end to the fuel strike with workers
expected back at work by Wednesday morning.
But fuel supplies are only expected to return to normal by the weekend and motorists have been warned to limit their travel.
“Our intention is to make sure that in the next three to four days we can restore supply to all our customers,” said BP spokesperson Sipho Maseko.
Despite the strike being declared over, Durban service station owners have warned motorists to use their cars only when necessary until the situation at service stations returns to normal.
The warning came as more and more service stations around Durban were forced to turn motorists away as the fuel supplies had run dry by Tuesday.
In Durban, at least 15 BP sites had run out of fuel and other service stations were also almost dry.
The fuel situation was compounded after the Sapref refinery in Prospecton shut down on [continue reading]
A motion by Member of Parliament for Gaborone West South Robert Molefhabangwe requesting government to consider establishing Palapye as the country’s industrial capital has caused major divisions in parliament.
Some members of parliament disagreed with the motion accusing people from Central District, especially from Serowe/Palapye, of trying to take all developments to their area. They cited the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), expansion of Morupule Power Station and Mine as major projects that will change the face of Palapye so there is no need for additional projects.
Assistant Minister for Trade and Industry, also MP for Boteti North Lebonaamang Mokalake did not hide his displeasure at the motion, saying the reasons raised by Molefhabangwe are not valid.
Tabling the motion, Molefhabangwe said ‘Palapye has plenty of land and it is near the Morupule Power Station. It is also nearer to the four major dams in the northern part of the country and it will be cheaper to do business there”.
Mokalake argued that the main reason why Botswana does not attract investors is because of poor work ethics, an inadequate skilled workforce, and an inefficient government bureaucracy, among others.
He said the reasons advanced by Molefhabangwe are not valid since Palapye is also experiencing a shortage of land. He said that the bulk of the land in Palapye was leasehold and is owned by [continue reading]
07 August, 2007
GABORONE – Competent workforces are pre-requisites for growing world economies that Botswana need to emulate, says CEDA chief executive officer Dr Thapelo Matsheka Giving a keynote address at the Gaborone Technical College (GTC), Dr Matsheka said it was through initiatives that empowered students to perform to their highest possible capability that “we can hope to develop among them the competence levels required for world class productivity and performance”.
Dr Matsheka congratulated the college for introducing the awards, which were initiated in 2003 and also engaging industry to participate in its activities.
He said participation of industry in developing workplace skills in collaboration with the colleges was a good initiative to ensure that the college education was geared towards addressing skills shortage in industry.
The audience heard that Botswana technical education programmes were develop together with industry, saying this would address the outcry from the industry for a technical collage programme that was relevant and addressed the needs of industry.
“This cooperation fulfills the aspirations of Vision 2016, which emphasises the partnership between public and private sector in the development of education,” he said.
In addition, he said, Vision 2016 challenged Botswana to set up a system of education that was able to adapt to the changing needs of the country.
He said it was therefore imperative that “we seek improvements in [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given SA’s economy a broad thumbs up, but does not think growth will meet the 6% expansion rate targeted by the government for 2010 and beyond.
In a report released by the treasury yesterday, the IMF said economic growth would slow to 4,8% this year — in line with official estimates — then decelerate more sharply to 4,5% next year, versus government forecasts that the pace will quicken to 5,1%.
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said this was largely because the treasury was more upbeat on the strength of investment from SA’s public and private sectors, which is expected to replace consumer demand as the economy’s main growth engine.
“The key issue they raised is a need to have a larger supply of domestic marketable goods,” he told reporters in Pretoria.
SA’s economy has grown an average rate of 5% over each of the past three years, its fastest in more than two decades, but factories have failed to meet local demand, and imports have outpaced exports strongly.
The government will spend R416bn on infrastructure over the next three years as part of efforts to boost economic growth to 6% by 2010 and halve poverty and unemployment by 2014.
The IMF backed official initiatives to reduce social and wealth disparities, but said labour market and trade reforms to improve productivity and simplify tariffs could help spur faster growth.
In a summary of its annual article IV consultation with the government, the IMF projected annual average growth in SA’s economy at 4,8% over the next five years. “SA has made considerable economic progress in the past decade,” it said. The country’s steady expansion “benefited the rest of the region”.
“The near-term outlook remains broadly positive, with [continue reading]