Archive for November 24th, 2007
23 November, 2007
GABORONE – Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources says the SADC region will require massive investment in both the generation and supporting transmission capacity to meet the ever increasing power needs.
Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe who was speaking at the 23rd Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) executive meeting in Gaborone on Wednesday said the levels of investment required when considered together with other national development requirements are beyond the ability of governments to shoulder.
He observed that utilities are faced with the huge responsibility of attracting other sources of investment into the power sector.
Given the opportunities that exist for both internal off-take and international trade in electricity it should not be too difficult to attract investors, he said.
The minister told chief executives of SADC power utilities that Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has embarked on the first of the two phases, each with an installed capacity of 600 Megawatts (MW), of a project to expand the Morupule Power Station.
He further said the government through legislative and other facilitation is also supporting the development of Mmamabula, a 4800MW coal fired power plant through an Independent Power Producer (IPP) structure.
Mr Kedikilwe however cautioned that SADC cannot afford to lose sight of [continue reading]
23 November, 2007
KAMPALA – President Festus Mogae is to hold bilateral meetings with Jamaica and Canada on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM).
Botswana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Roy Blackbeard, said in an interview that the President will also use the opportunity to bid CHOGM farewell as he will be leaving office next year March.
Mr Mogae will also propose a toast at a banquet held in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, the titular head of the Commonwealth.
Meanwhile, Mr Blackbeard dismissed assertions that the body is just a talk shop, saying it plays a major role in breaking down trade barriers and promoting good governance. He said the organisation is important in that it helps members such as Botswana to negotiate market access for their goods with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
With regard to promotion of good governance, he said in line with the Harare Declaration of 1991, countries that do not comply face some kind of sanctions.
Punitive measures include suspension, ban on [continue reading]
23 November, 2007
GABORONE- Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has partnered with Barclays Bank to assist Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to secure funding.
Speaking at a seminar aimed at equipping business people with knowledge and expertise on how to operate successful businesses, Ms Cynthia Ketshabile of LEA said her organisation had signed memoranda of understanding with key stakeholders, the latest being Barclays Bank.
LEA had also signed agreements with First National Bank and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) with the aim of making access to funding easier for SMMEs, she said.
Ms Ketshabile said LEA was responsible for the promotion of policies and programmes aimed at ensuring the success of SMMEs, adding that they offered assistance to businesses in the three key sectors of manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.
Their main targets, she said, were women, the youth and the unemployed in whom the organization endeavoured to [continue reading]
source: The Zimbabwe Independent
SOUTH African President Thabo Mbeki yesterday piled pressure on President Robert Mugabe to speed up the pace of talks between the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Mbeki’s push comes in the wake of a slowdown in the tempo of negotiations between the two parties which have been engaged since May.
The two parties have missed deadlines in September, October and November. Now they have come up with a new early December deadline which should be met before the Zanu PF congress and the ANC’s conference mid next month. Fears linger that Zanu PF is trying to take Mbeki and the MDC down a garden path and sink the process later.
Sources say the delays are indicative of pitfalls which lie ahead in the talks that need to be dealt with now. Mbeki is said to have come to ensure the talks remain on track and the parties display a sense of urgency in their attitude as the elections fast draw closer.
Talks which had resumed on Sunday in Pretoria broke off on Tuesday because [continue reading]
by Wayne Mafaro
HARARE – South Africa’s Nedbank Group has expressed interest in bankrolling a US$38 million project to construct a new terminal and runway at Victoria Falls airport.
Documents in the possession of ZimOnline show that Nedbank Capital, a division of the Nedbank Group Limited, supported a bid by Ngezi Road Joint Venture to undertake the Victoria Falls airport project.
Ngezi Road Joint Venture comprises construction companies Costain, Bitcon and Tarcon.
The undated document compiled by the joint venture’s advisers, Zimlantic Export and Import (Private) Limited, shows that Nedbank was proposing two funding options for the airport project.
The first option would be a loan facility, secured by ring-fencing the revenue from the project during repayment period, which could be between 10 and 20 years.
Option two is a Build Operate Own and Transfer (BOT) arrangement in which the bank owns the assets for an agreed time until the [continue reading]
23 November, 2007
GABORONE – The establishment of a Non-bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) will safeguard the stability, fairness and efficiency of the non-bank financial sector.
Speaking at the launch of the authority in Gaborone, this week, finance and development planning minister, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe said the institutions will now be closely regulated.
He said various pieces of legislation such as the insurance industry, pension and provident funds acts will also have to be put in place to govern those areas.
Currently, Mr Gaolathe said his ministry was the regulatory authority for non-bank financial institutions in the country.
These institutions include the insurance companies, pension fund administrators, micro lenders, security dealers, finance and leasing companies, investment advisors and asset managers among others.
It is intended that these regulatory functions would be handed over to the NBFIRA, as soon as it [continue reading]
November 23 2007 at 05:40PM
The proceeds of Standard Bank’s $2,4-billion proposed partnership between Standard Bank and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) will see $450-million utilised in Africa and $400-million earmarked for growth in South Africa, Standard Bank said on Friday.
After briefing shareholders, the bank said that $300-million would be set aside for international activities, and $200-million would be contributed towards a Global Resources Fund.
In addition, $200-million will be set aside for private equity investments. The largest portion, $900-million has been earmarked as strategic capital reserves.
In October Standard Bank announced that the ICBC, China’s largest bank, would become a 20 percent shareholder in the Standard Bank group in the biggest foreign direct investment by a Chinese company.
Standard Bank group chief executive Jacko Maree said the alliance had the support of [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
23 November 2007
Posted to the web 23 November 2007
POWER utility Eskom warned yesterday the cost of its expansion plans for the next five years was likely to double to R300bn, and electricity tariffs would have to rise “at least” 20% a year for five years to help cover the bill.
Surging global costs for power equipment, and the rapid capacity expansion needed to meet rising demand, had pushed up the price tag, said Eskom’s finance director, Bongani Nqwababa. “Preliminary estimates show our estimated capital expenditure is going to double to R300bn for the five years starting in (financial) 2008-09,” he said.
Much of this would have to be financed by tariff hikes as Eskom could borrow only about half of the total without compromising its balance sheet, he said.
There were also limits to what the utility could hope to receive in [continue reading]