Archive for September 4th, 2007
source: Daily News
By Tebogo Moisakamo
GABORONE – President Festus Mogae says as he approaches the end of his tenure, he leaves behind an indigenous media industry that is in a far stronger position.
Speaking at the annual MISA media awards Friday, Mr Mogae said he was pleased with the news media and urged journalists to continue with the good work as the press is a mirror in which the society sees itself.
“Today we see the emergence of a vibrant and increasingly developed media culture, which is pre-requisite for any society to successfully compete in the current global marketplace.”
However, he said, “there is still work to be done if we are to truly realise our potential to become world class competitors in information products and publishing,” he said.
Mr Mogae said the freedom enjoyed by the people and the news media has made the press grow and be a potential to promote economic and social growth.
“As government we acknowledge the media’s contribution as a job creator and marketing platform, as well as watchdog for continued good governance in the private as well as public sectors.”
The president called on the news media to be well informed:
“Our media ought to be the experts, rather than consumers of information about our society. In this respect the press can only inform others about what they have first educated themselves.
“I believe we can and should do more to ensure that quality journalism becomes a hallmark of our democratic discourse. I wish to stress that this [continue reading]
The SADC telecommunications industry is faced with the challenge of managing modern workplace issues as technologies constantly evolve, an industry expert has said.
Speaking at the second Southern African Telecommunications Authority (SATA) human resources regional meeting held at Phakalane Golf Estates recently, BTC General Manager (Operations) Benson Rapalai said that the region’s telecommunications firms were also facing the challenge to satisfy staff needs that vary from generation to another. The meeting was intended to deliberate on issues that will shape human resource policies in member countries with the view to building a reliable and profitable ICT industry and mature markets in the SADC region.
“BTC is going through a major transformation exercise – whether there (is a) need to address specific human resource issues that we are currently experiencing,” Rapalai said. Personnel in various telecommunications organisations have a duty to [continue reading]
Business Daily (Nairobi)
4 September 2007
Posted to the web 4 September 2007
The Government has reduced electricity connection charges for rural areas by more than half, aiming to spur growth of small business and boost living standards.
The new charges that Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi said will come into effect immediately, will see rural businesses pay a deposit of Sh5,000 and clear the balance of Sh10,000 in 10 monthly instalments.
Domestic consumers will pay a deposit of Sh15,000 and clear the remaining bit of Sh19,980 in 12 monthly instalments.
This is a significant reduction from the previous rates that required commercial and domestic consumers in the rural areas to pay Sh15,000 and Sh34,980 respectively to get connected to the national electricity grid.
The connection charge reduction is expected to increase the pace at which Kenyans get electricity access in the rural and peri-urban areas and double the penetration rate in this segment of the population.
Mr Murungi reckons that the increased connection on the rural front is part of a broader plan to wire at least half of the country and accelerate the rate of economic growth.
“This programme aims at enhancing economic growth in the rural areas since the beginning of all development is light,” he said.
Higher electricity coverage is also seen as a key plank in [continue reading]
4 September 2007
Anglo Platinum today announced plans to sell mining assets to black economic empowerment (BEE) groups as well as establish a new employee share ownership plan that will place assets with a value of approximately R35-billion under control of historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs).
Anglo Platinum is the world’s largest primary producer of platinum group metals (PGM), with a market capitalisation of some US$39-billion, and is majority-owned by Anglo American.
The company said in a statement that it would sell a 51% stake in Lebowa Platinum and 1% of the Ga-Phasha Project for a total of R3.6-billion to Anooraq Resources. Anooraq will now own 51% in both ventures through a new company called Lebowa Holdco.
Anglo Platinum and Anooraq have also agreed in principle to transfer their respective 50% interests in the Boikgantsho and Kwanda joint venture Projects into Lebowa Holdco, such that [continue reading]
source: Daily News
By Thandy Monei
GABORONE – The bulk of government tenders by value go to non-citizen firms.
Mr Botsile Gubago, a consultant, said though the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) Act provides for the introduction of preference schemes to promote citizen empowerment, the preference and reservation schemes have had no impact on the development and growth of Batswana-owned businesses. Speaking at a national workshop on the development of a comprehensive strategy for citizen economic empowerment, he said, in terms of state procurement, all the evidence points to the continued dominance of non-citizen enterprises in winning major government tenders.
Mr Gubago said this suggested that the potential for using the public procurement process was not being realised. He said while citizen-owned companies were awarded most of the tenders representing 62 per cent of the total, this was not the case with the value as citizen-owned companies were awarded just 17 per cent of the government business represented tenders between 2004 and 2006.
He said there was virtual no joint ventures bidding for government tenders. That, he said, begged the question as to how capabilities, knowledge and competencies would be transferred to Batswana.
He said though Batswana enterprises might not necessarily have the managerial, technical and financial resources to bid for multimillion Pula projects, in some countries it was a requirement that non-citizen interest should partner with citizen companies.
He said in Malaysia and South Africa, as well as [continue reading]
The consumer market is on an upward spiral and the retail sector should empower the youth by offering them trainee management opportunities so that they are self-sufficient James Kamyuka, the Chairman of Fairground Holdings, said at the Consumer Fair 2007′s prize-giving ceremony last week: “The Botswana Consumer Fair has helped in creating employment, especially for the youth who would otherwise be roaming in the streets.
‘Your Spring Shopping Oasis’ is (the) tagline for the event, thus this event will always be held in spring and its mission will always be consumer-centric.”
Viable plans are underway to further develop the fair to the taste of the exhibitors and consumers. “I am sure you have seen a leaner and more focused exhibition that is compact in duration and not congested,” Kamyuka said.
“Our quest for continual improvement will see us conducting another survey during this exhibition so that we can [continue reading]
source: Daily News
GABORONE – A quartet of local young men in their mid twenties has vowed to take advantage of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) free trade protocol which starts next year.
The foursome who own Odipeca Clothing Company expressed their intension to conquer the regional market at the just ended Consumer Fair. The fair, they said, provided them “the required platform to market our products.”
Spokesperson of the group, Mr Matlhomola Motsage, said in an interview that their chief aim was to penetrate the global market rather than confine themselves to Botswana and its neighbours.
“Our sales returns have given us enough confidence that we can compete anywhere anytime with any foreign label because our products are of high quality,” he said.
Odipeca produces almost every garment ranging from t-shirts, sweaters, caps, suits, designer jeans and even lingerie.
Currently, Odipeca is contemplating opening a major branch in South Africa owing to [continue reading]
The Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) is fighting for independence from the Minister of Lands and Housing to be able to make decisions that can benefit the corporation.
At a meeting with Members of Parliament (MPs) recently, BHC Chief Executive Officer, Reginald Motswaiso urged the legislators to consider amending the BHC Act, which was last amended in 1994. “In order for the corporation to operate more efficiently, it has become imperative for the corporation to diversify its revenue base and it has done this by taking on jobs from government departments and other agencies as well as undertaking commercial developments.
However, in order to operate efficiently under these changed circumstances, it has become apparent that some sections of BHC Act need amending to vest some powers in the board of directors rather than in the minister, so as to allow for speedy responses,” he said. Among the decisions the BHC wishes it could make [continue reading]
source: Voice of America
By Blessing Zulu
03 September 2007
Political tension between Zimbabwe and Australia spiked on Monday after Canberra followed through on a recent announcement that it was stepping up sanctions against Harare by deporting eight students who are children of top Zimbabwe officials.
Government sources in Harare said the move sent shock waves through government and ruling party circles where there is fear that other Western countries such as the United States, Britain and Canada may take their cue from Australia and deport the dependents of top government and ruling ZANU-PF officials.
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said last month that the suspension of student visas, an extension of existing sanctions against Zimbabwe, was provoked by President Mugabe’s disregard of democratic principles and human rights.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard called Mr. Mugabe an “undemocratic bully” while briefing the media on talks with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Sources told VOA that the young deportees were met at Johannesburg International Airport by a visibly infuriated Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Rural Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chihuri’s son Sylvester and Mnangangwa’s son Emmerson were among those deported, the sources said.
Australian sources said [continue reading]
September 03 2007 at 07:47PM
Measures to curb or control foreign ownership of land in South Africa are proposed in a government-commissioned report, a copy of which was obtained on Monday.
A panel of experts call in the document for a two-year moratorium on foreign ownership of land.
In addition, the land affairs minister should impose a qualified prohibition on such ownership, says the report.
It was commissioned by Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana.
The report was scheduled to be released by Xingwana at a news conference on Monday morning, but the event was cancelled at a late stage. Copies of the document were leaked to some reporters later in the day.
The panel, chaired by Shadrack Gutto, recommended the possible outright prohibition on foreign ownership of South African land.
On the grounds of [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Henry Makiwa
03 September 2007
A woman and a child were killed in two separate incidents involving transport and food stampedes at the Zimbabwe Agriculture Show this weekend. Reports said a throng of hungry people charged to grab free food and snacks that were distributed at the closure of the week-long exhibition on Saturday.
An official of the Harare Agriculture Society (HAS) on Monday confirmed the accident but quickly distanced the organisation from any responsibility over the incident. He denied suggestions that a scramble for food was at the centre of the mad dash, adding instead that the stampedes were caused by the overwhelming attendance at the show this year. Our sources said at least 10,000 people passed through the gates on Saturday alone.
Daniel Mahau, the spokesman of the HAS, said the organisation has set up a committee to investigate the two incidents.
He said: “We regret as a society about what happened. As yet we have no official report as yet even though we have set up an in-house committee of three to thoroughly investigate the mishap.
“We have our own security as a society and had hired the police in order to [continue reading]
September 04 2007 at 01:24AM
Telkom said on Monday that it was in talks with Britain’s Vodafone and MTN, sparking talk it wants to sell its fixed-line business and its stake in mobile phone operator Vodacom.
Telkom gave no further details. Vodafone and MTN – sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator – said separately the talks were at a “very preliminary stage”.
“We’ve said before that we are interested in increasing our stake in Vodacom,” Vodafone spokesperson Mark Percy said. Vodafone and Telkom jointly own Vodacom, South Africa’s top mobile phone operator.
Telkom shares rose as much as 10.68 percent, before closing 8.39 percent firmer at R190.99. MTN fell 2.57 percent to R106.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend Telkom was close to selling its 50-percent stake in Vodacom to Vodafone. It also said MTN and a private consortium were bidding to acquire Telkom’s fixed-line assets.
“We view the news positively and [continue reading]