Archive for September, 2007
The Chief Executive Officer of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) Dr Tebogo Matome yesterday pleaded with Botswana financial houses to change their minds and finance Small to Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) currently shunned by banks.
Speaking at the launch of a special SME Credit Express Facility by Standard Chartered Bank at the GICC, Matome – who is regarded by many as an investment wunderkind, having been chief executive of the BSE during the seminal stages of the Botswana bourse, among his achievements – said other banks should stop their pessimism towards funding small businesses.
“The hour is late for local financial institutions to rise to the challenge by emulating Standard Chartered Bank and engage themselves with the SMME sector of our economy,” he said.
Stanchart’s SME credit facility is the latest in a series of efforts by Botswana’s oldest bank to distinguish itself in the increasingly competitive banking sector, fuelled partly by prospects of unparalleled investment in the mining sector.
A key feature of the new facility is the elimination of [continue reading]
26 September, 2007
MOCHUDI – A retired senior assistant commissioner of police says law enforcement agencies alone could not overcome the fight against stock theft activities hence the need for collaboration between farmers, herdsmen, police and other concerned parties.
Ms Annah Matshego told a one-day community-policing workshop at Rasesa on Wednesday that farmers had a greater role to ensure that their cattle were well cared for and view farming as a business.
She said the spirit of working as a team would play a pivotal role in promoting a spirit of togetherness and shun belief of ga di nkame, meaning its none of my business.
She said meat formed part of the staple diet of many Batswana and this has resulted in an increase in the number of butcheries.
Thieves have created an opportunity to steal or deal in illicit meat industry where cattle are stolen by criminal syndicates who connive with herdsmen and supply such butcheries with meat.
Ms Matshego said the practice affected farmers and Botswanas economy as the country relied much on the cattle industry for economic growth hence the need to focus efforts in curbing stock theft.
One remedy, which could help address stock theft in the district, was an [continue reading]
26 September, 2007
GABORONE – A number of Botswana Diamond Valuing Company (BDVC) employees face retrenchment following the restructuring of the company.
BDVC would cease to run when the new entity, Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), a joint venture between mining conglomerate De Beers and Botswana government, starts operating next year.
There are fears that not all employees would be absorbed by the new venture as some employees have been served with letters informing them of possible retrenchments.
The letters state that the companys new business model requires enhanced and new skill sets and a new way of working and behaviour.
They go on to warn that this might subsequently affect employees who do not have the required competencies or match the new and revised job profiles.
In the letters, the company also states that it plans to outsource some of its current functions and as a result of [continue reading]
26 September, 2007
LETLHAKANE – Orapa and Letlhakane Mines General Manager, Mr Sebetlela Sebetlela says the mines have been inundated with problems such as power failure, shortage of tyres and the Damtshaa Mine conveyor failure.
He told the Minister of Mineral, Energy and Water Resources Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who was accompanied by the Assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri last Thursday that Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa production have been marginally below target.
He attributed this to the failure of the main Damtshaa service conveyor, low throughput of the primary crusher at the Letlhakane Mine and Damtshaa mine plant, which has been unable to run efficiently since the doubling up of production.
Mr Sebetlela said the Botswana Power Corporations (BPC) power failure also contributed to the deficit. Messrs Kedikilwe and Matlhabaphiri, who embarked on a tour of the mines, were also briefed on other challenges such as the mines cracks and underground water.
These, the general manager, said were big challenges, adding that they had to remove the water suspected to have caused the cracks from of the pit.
The ministers were also briefed on the No 3 plant project, which is [continue reading]
26 September, 2007
GABORONE-The Gaborone Taxi and Local Bus Service Association has announced major changes in its operations with effect from Monday.
The changes are effected as a response to cases of bad driving and the high incidence of accidents and also in recognition of the preparation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as Gaborone has been earmarked to host some teams that will be participating in the tournament.
The changes follow the successful consultation with Routes Committees and Managers. The associations chairperson, Mr Gibson Matenge says all routes in Gaborone will follow the stipulated procedures from the starting point to the completion point, U-turns are prohibited, and all traffic regulations/laws shall be followed as per conditions of the permit.
Conductors are prohibited in mini-buses in Gaborone except in cases where [continue reading]
26 September, 2007
PALAPYE – All role players have been implored to start engaging on a substantive expansion of the Palapye sewage infrastructure to cater for big undertakings earmarked for the village.
The MP for Palapye, Mr Boyce Sebetela alluded to this during a consultative meeting with the management of Bergstan Gauff Consultancy and China Jiangsu International, who have been taken on for the sewage project.
With big ventures such as the 1200 mw power plant, the second university, as well as the expansion of the Morupule Colliery operations, the legislator said there is the need to upgrade the infrastructure in anticipation of the population growth in the village.
He explained that big projects were not taken into account during the planning of the current sewage infrastructure, as such there might be a mismatch between the design assumptions and the reality now.
Therefore we need to start planning for those projects for the upgrading to be incorporated in the National Development Plan (NDP 10) otherwise we might be sitting on a time-ticking bomb.
Also, he told his audience about [continue reading]
26/09/2007 09:02 – (SA)
Johannesburg – The richer countries have become the dominant decision-makers at the United Nations at the expense of the poor, said SA president Thabo Mbeki in New York on Tuesday.
“The skewed distribution of power in the world – political, economic, military, technological and social – replicates itself in multilateral institutions, much to the disadvantage of the majority of the poor people of the world” said Mbeki at the 62nd session of the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York.
“The dominant have also become the decision makers in the important global forums, including at this seat of global governance.”
Mbeki said this power relation jeopardised the success of the UN’s developmental ideals.
“Even as we agree on the important programmes that should bring a better life to billions of the poor, the rich and the powerful have consistently sought to ensure that whatever happens, the existing power relations are not altered and therefore the status quo remains.”
Mbeki said while poor people saw the UN as [continue reading]
26 September, 2007
NEW YORK – The Minister of Foreign Afffairs and International Cooperation, Lt. General Mompati Merafhe has raised concern about the more than 600 Multilateral Environmental Agreements, many with their own governing bodies and secretariats.
This is, by any standard, an overly large number of institutions dealing with the same subject; environment, he said when addressing the United Nations High-Level Event on Climate Change at the UN Headquarters on Monday. The theme of the event was: The Future is in Our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge on Climate Change. Minister Merafhe noted that the High-level Panel on System-Wide Coherence in the areas of Development, Humanitarian Affairs and the Environment is a reminder about the challenges facing developing countries emanating from the multiplicity of institutions and multilateral environmental agreements.
He lamented that developing countries are unable to cope with the extensive reporting and participation requirements of the current multilateral environments structure which has depleted expertise and resources from implementation.
The three Rio Conventions (biodiversity, climate and desertification) have up to 230 meeting days annually. Add the figures for seven other major global environmental agreements (not including regional agreements) and that number rises to almost 400 days.
He pointed out that ministers of environment need more time to attend meetings and [continue reading]
26 September 2007
Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong and South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka co-chaired the third meeting of the China-South Africa Bi-National Commission on Monday, vowing to deepen cooperation between the two countries.
Zeng proposed that China and South Africa strengthen political consultation and enterprises exchanges and increase cooperation on human resources, agriculture and poverty eradication.
Zeng noted that the two countries had expanded cooperation on trade, culture, science and public health since they established their strategic partnership in 2004. According to SA government figures, South Africa exported goods worth R14-billion to China in 2006, while importing goods worth R46.7-billion.
It was agreed during the meeting that the China-Africa Development Fund would be used to encourage companies from both [continue reading]
The coordinator of Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), Badumetse Hubona, told residents of Palapye yesterday that her team is on course to complete the project by 2009 as scheduled.
“There is a lot of interest in this project and we all want to see this university open its doors to our children in 2009. We believe with your support we can deliver on this,” she told a meeting at the Palapye main Kgotla. She said that soon, the coordinating office is moving to Palapye. She briefed residents on various issues related to the project, including compensation of masimo owners whose plots have been acquired to build the university. The institution will be located in Palapye.
While Hubona is optimistic that the project would be completed on schedule, there are doubts among residents whether this would be possible. Perhaps Kgosi Klaas Motshidisi, who served the [continue reading]
The Voice (Francistown)
25 September 2007
Posted to the web 25 September 2007
As the 2010 Soccer World Cup rush approach, Government is digging dipper into her pockets to develop three stadiums and the Sir Seretse Khama Airport to host world cup teams and tourists.
Unveiling government’s strategy to the World Cup, Minister of Tourism Kitso Mokaila and the Minister of Sports, Moeng Pheto, said that cabinet agreed to cough out P2 million to use for the development of the National Stadium, University of Botswana and the Botswana Defence Force stadiums, which they anticipate will be used by world cup teams that the country is likely to host. Botswana is targeting teams from England, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Argentina, France, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Denmark and the United States of America. Teams from Africa that have been targeted are Cameroon, Togo, Senegal, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana and Angola.
“Cabinet approved that we need to have three standard FIFA playing grounds and [continue reading]
The planned R4.2-billion liquid-fuels pipeline linking Mozambique and South Africa should be completed by the end of 2009, a spokesperson for pipeline company Petroline has said.
Petroline spokesperson Eugenio Silva told Reuters this week that work on the pipeline would start in mid-2008 and finish by the end of 2009. Petroline is a consortium consisting of Mozambican state-owned fuel company Petromoc and private South African and Mozambican investors.
“Current market growth indicates a critical petrol and diesel shortage in Gauteng in the future, and Petroline’s pipeline and storage facility will be able to satisfy a large portion of the future demands in South Africa by means of importation via Mozambique,” Petroline said in a statement.
“This should result in the decrease of the pressure on liquid fuels imports on Durban harbour and [continue reading]
source: BBC News
By Peter Biles
BBC News, Johannesburg
Most deported Zimbabweans cross the border again into South Africa
The number of Zimbabwean migrants in neighbouring South Africa may be a lot lower than recent estimates of between 2m to 3m, a survey reveals.
The study conducted in three suburbs of Johannesburg by a University of South Africa academic says there may be fewer than 1m Zimbabweans in the country.
However, nearly all of the migrants say the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe caused them to leave.
The report says most of them have no legal status and are undocumented.
This is not a national survey, but it does paint a picture of the hundreds of thousands of desperate Zimbabweans who have fled their [continue reading]
September 25 2007 at 05:00PM
South Africa imported goods from China to the value of R46,7-billion in 2006, the presidency said on Tuesday.
In a statement issued to mark Monday’s bi-national commission meeting between the two countries, it said South African exports to China came to R14-billion over the same period.
The meeting, co-chaired by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and her Chinese counterpart, Vice President Zeng Qinghong, was held in China.
The presidency said China and South Africa had agreed to use the China-Africa Development Fund to encourage companies from both countries to promote trade and investment in areas such as minerals, energy, infrastructure development, machinery, home appliances, agro-processing, tourism and finance.
“One of the success of the [continue reading]
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
25 September 2007
Posted to the web 25 September 2007
Food security in Africa is likely to be “severely compromised” by climate change, with production expected to halve by 2020, according to climate change experts.
The projections are contained in a report launched last week in London by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was followed by an experts’ panel discussion.
“The discussions [last week] concluded that Africa is likely to be the most affected [by climate change] partly because of the increasing aridity in the north [the Sahel] and Southern Africa: and these are the most populous parts of the continent,” said Martin Parry, the co-chair of the IPCC’s working group which authored the report. He also listed the lack of technology available to adapt to environmental change as other aspects which would make the region vulnerable.
About 25 percent of Africa’s population – nearly 200 million people – do not have easy access to water; that figure is expected to jump by another 50 million by 2020 and more than double by the 2050s, according to the report.
Over 95 percent of Africa’s agriculture depends on rainfall, according to the [continue reading]