Archive for January, 2008

SAA to sort out baggage woes

source: SouthAfrica.info

22 January 2008

South African Airways (SAA) is set to improve baggage handling services to its customers through a new partnership with cargo and airport ground handling company Swissport International

From 1 February, Swissport will handle SAA’s airport ramp handling requirements in South Africa, the national carrier announced this week.

“We are delighted that Swissport has agreed to handle SA Airways,” SAA general operations manager Chris Smyth said in statement. “Between Airports Company South Africa, Swissport and SAA, we will work hard to remedy some of the baggage-related difficulties which have affected our customers.

“Ultimately, we are confident that Swissport will succeed in providing a reliable and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

Botswana’s runaway inflation is expected to edge even further out of the central bank’s target range while the outlook remains bleak, according to an analyst with Investec Asset Management.

Commenting after the publishing of inflation data for December last week, Maungo Lebanna said excessive demand is likely to fuel inflation.

“The December number was in line with our forecast,” Lebanna said. “We expected headline inflation to rise to 8.3 percent; it rose to 8.1 percent year-on-year from 7.7 percent in November.”

He was speaking in a briefing exclusive to Monitor Business last Friday. “At the December Monetary Policy Meeting, the Bank of Botswana highlighted upside risks to inflation stemming from fuel and administered prices.

Last year, the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) announced plans to hike rentals, the magnitude of which still hasn’t been disclosed.

“The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has also not indicated incremental rates for power tariffs.

However, its contract with Eskom has been renewed, as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
21 January, 2008

PALAPYE – Residents of Maunatlala in the Tswapong North constituency are worried over the delayed construction of the Lotsane Dam.

They complained about the delay during a kgotla meeting addressed by the MP for the area, Mr Thebe Mogami in Maunatlala on Wednesday.

The dam construction was scheduled to begin this March but has since been postponed to end of the year, a move which the constituents did not take kindly.

I am very disappointed to hear from the project officer that the construction of the Lotsane Dam will be done at the end of the year, Maunatlala Councillor Barbara Motlopi said.

The residents indicated that the minister responsible for water resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe and their MP told them sometime back that they would soon witness the ground breaking of the construction.

Mr Mothusi Ntseme, Well Field Consulting Services Environmental Control Officer, told the residents that the delay emanated from the review of the Enviromental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the dam and the tendering process.

I promise that by March 2008, we would have completed the review of the EIA and the management plan. He explained that the design of the dam will be done by an Australian company.

Mr Ntseme told the meeting that the water affairs department has promised that the construction of the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

21 January 2008
Posted to the web 21 January 2008

Johannesburg

Two cases of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) have been confirmed in Botswana, health officials said.

“The two cases were picked up during a routine survey for multidrug- resistant TB (MDR-TB),” Setshwano Mokgweetsinyana of the Department of Public Health, told IRIN. The survey also confirmed 100 cases of MDR-TB.

MDR-TB strains cannot be treated by at least two of the main first-line TB drugs, while XDR-TB is resistant to most first and second-line drugs, severely limiting treatment options. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), XDR-TB strains have now been detected in 41 countries, including South Africa and Mozambique. Most southern African countries lack the laboratory facilities to detect XDR-TB.

Patients usually develop MDR-TB as a result of not completing treatment for an earlier bout of TB; failure to complete the lengthy MDR-TB treatment creates the risk that they will develop XDR-TB.

The two XDR-TB cases were admitted to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
21 January, 2008

This is a response to the front page report in the January 13-19, 2008 issue of the Sunday Standard entitled Mogae appointed Nchindo Chief Govt Negotiator.

The article alleges that the President appointed Mr Nchindo the Chief Government Negotiator to represent the Botswana Government in the re-structuring of De Beers in 2001.

The publication further claims that the President signed secret, full and exclusive powers of attorney to give Mr Nchindo authority to represent the Botswana Government in the said restructuring.

The claim is false in the extreme. The Debswana Board, together with representation of other shareholders in De Beers, conducted the restructuring, a complex process.

As is public knowledge, Debswana is owned equally by De Beers and the Botswana Government. Mr Nchindo was [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 January, 2008

Zimbabweans had no electricity or water again this past weekend after nationwide power failures led to the complete shut down of basic services from Saturday evening until Sunday afternoon. This was only 2 weeks after a similar blackout hit the country due to breakdowns at Hwange and Kariba power stations.
State media reported that a major breakdown had occurred but gave no other details. Many shops were forced to close because it was not possible to operate tills or process any transactions. Water supplies, traffic lights and automated teller machines were badly affected.

The problem was eventually attributed to power failures at Eskom in South Africa, which is grappling with power shortages because of increased domestic demands and lack of forward planning by their government. Eskom supplies various neighbouring countries with power, including Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. South Africans are furious about the power cuts and on Friday commuters near Pretoria set fire to six trains after there had been a two-hour delay due to power outages. Eskom then announced that exports to neighbouring countries would be suspended.

As has been the case with the SADC initiated crisis talks being mediated by President Thabo Mbeki, Zimbabwe’s deal with Eskom is not transparent. Peta Thornycroft, the Zimbabwe correspondent for the UK Telegraph newspaper, said Eskom is secretive and unhappy about talking to the press. She said [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BY WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

Discovery Metals has completed the first phase of its Plutus prospect drill programme in Maun, which indicates that the copper-silver mineralisation extends south-west of the current boundary of the Plutus inferred mineral resource.

“The drill results from holes PD202 and PD203 indicate that the Plutus copper-silver mineralisation extends south-west of the current southern boundary, suggesting there is further potential to increase the size of the Plutus resource,” Discovery Metals MD Jeremy Read says in a statement to shareholders.

The Plutus prospect currently contains an inferred mineral resource of 14.5 mt copper at a grade of 1.3 percent, and 12.6 g/t silver at a cut-off of 0.6 percent copper.

The statement says the company has re-commenced drilling following the Christmas break. “Our Phase Two Plutus drill programme will look to extend the mineral resource to the south-west towards the Petra inferred mineral resource 2.5km away, and also to complete infill drilling to better define the higher grade zones at Plutus,” says Read.

Discovery started pre-feasibility for the Maun project in August last year and aims to complete it by mid-2008.

In December, the company reported a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
21 January, 2008

GABORONE – Investors optimism of making profit in Botswana over the next 12 months grew by 25 per cent this year from 41 per cent to 66 per cent.

This is well above the global average of 42 per cent, Grant Thornton International Business report says. It says Botswana is the only country in the survey where optimism for the next 12 months grew across all seven indicators that were assessed.

The report says optimism is highest in profitability, investment in new buildings and investment in new machinery.

The economy is expanding at a strong pace and prospects for 2008 are good as the positive near-term outlook for diamond mining and cattle farming underpin expansion throughout the economy.

Mr Jay Ramesh, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton in Botswana, says the positive survey result is very encouraging after a period of very low activity in this part of the continent.

It reflects confidence that our region is set for growth and we can reasonably expect global attention to turn towards Africa, more especially to the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The report, a summary of an annual survey of privately held businesses, shows that despite intense media coverage of global financial crisis, 42 per cent of businesses report feeling optimistic about the economic outlook for the next 12 months.

Furthermore, the report says, when asked about [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BY WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

Vancouver-based explorer Hana Mining has released encouraging results from the 10,000-meter diamond-drilling programme at its Ghantsi copper-silver project.

The company says in a statement that the area is no stranger to exploration of this kind, having been drilled intermittently since 1962 by the likes of BHP Billiton, Anglo-American, Delta Gold and Newmont Mining Corp.

Hana Mining says with more advanced infrastructure now and higher metal prices being fetched in the marketplace, the Ghantsi zone is potentially a large, target-rich area with already well-established, economically significant mineralisation.

“Currently, Hana is progressing with its 10,000-meter drill programme,” says the statement signed by the company’s President, Peter Wilson. “We’ve completed 20 holes and have [continue reading]

source: IOL
January 22 2008 at 05:28AM

By Louise Flanagan and Sapa

Eskom and key business leaders set up a task team on Monday, after the parties met to discuss the implications of the current energy crisis for business.

Addressing the media after the meeting in Midrand, Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga said the task team represented sectoral interests such as mining and municipalities.

Maroga said the 38 companies and 131 executives who made up the task team had been represented at the meeting.

The companies had expressed “overwhelming” support and commitment to be “part of a solution”.

Maroga said Eskom was accelerating the implementation of plans for co-generation of energy with some of its industrial customers, whereby their waste-heat would be turned into electricity.

“I am confident we will get through this,” said Maroga.

Industry had agreed to try to cut its electricity usage, start co-generating and [continue reading]

CTO auctions 531 vehicles

source: BOPA
21 January, 2008

GABORONE – The Central Transport Organisation (CTO) will be disposing off 531 vehicles at the total reserve value of approximately P7 million in 10 auctions around the country.

Information from CTO states that the vehicles to be auctioned have had a life span of between two years to 17 years and they range from station wagons, sedans, vans, and trucks as well as trailers and motor cycles.

The lowest reserve value is P1 000 and the highest is P25 000. It further says that the massive auction will commence in Gaborone on February 26, followed by Mahalapye, Serowe, Selebi Phikwe, Francistown, Kasane, Maun, Gantsi, Tsabong and ending in Lobatse on March 13.

Another 22 vehicles will be sold through sealed bidding at a total reserve value of P362 700 to non-profit making organisation that are recognised by government.

The General Manager of CTO Lieutenant Colonel Moakofi Modisanyane said in an interview that their policy is to auction boarded vehicles every two months.

Lt. Col. Modisanyane said the government fleet of vehicles currently stands at about 10 000 vehicles. However, he stated that they [continue reading]

University honours Mogae

source: BOPA
21 January, 2008

GABORONE – President Festus Mogae has been awarded a doctorate of Humanity by The Limkokwing University at its first graduation ceremony in Botswana on Saturday.

I am both proud and humbled by the fact that, with this honorary doctorate, I am able to associate myself with a truly unique, as well as widely respected academic institution.

I am also proud of the fact that this same institution has now become an integral part of our countrys landscape, President Mogae said in acceptance of the award.

Limkokwings international status, he said, is underscored by the fact that it is now operating on three continents.

Apart from Gaborone, it operates in Malaysia, Beijing, Jakarta, London and Phnom Penh. President Mogae said much of his own personal optimism about the future of Botswana is derived from the steady progress made in rolling out educational opportunities.

Over the past decade [continue reading]

Gem buys Botswana project

source: Business Report
May 30, 2007

By From Reuters

Johannesburg – London-listed Gem Diamonds had bought a dormant project in Botswana from De Beers and Xstrata for $34 million (R242 million), the company said yesterday.

The project is located in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where Botswana’s high court ruled in December that hundreds of San people had been wrongly evicted and should be allowed to return.

Gem Diamonds said it hoped to build a mine as a result of buying Gope Exploration, which suspended rights to a kimberlite deposit in the centre of top diamond producer Botswana.

“The relatively high value of the diamonds is strategically attractive to Gem Diamonds,” it said, adding that a sample parcel of 3 400 carats had been valued at $121 a carat.

After updating an existing feasibility study, the firm said it would probably apply for a mining licence, hold talks about a government stake and consult with communities.

Pressure groups that helped the San file a lawsuit had accused the government of evicting people to allow diamond mining, but De Beers and the government denied this.

Gaborone said it wanted to [continue reading]

source: Mail & Gardian
Johannesburg, South Africa
07 September 2007 01:38

South African media company Sabido, the holding company of locally based television station e.tv, has acquired 49% of Gaborone Broadcasting Company (GBC), e.tv said in a statement on Friday.

Fifty-one percent of GBC was held by Mike Klinck, a Botswana banker, who acquired the station four years ago.

Klinck welcomed Sabido’s investment as a breakthrough for GBC, adding: “This is a fantastic development for the broadcasting industry in Botswana.”

When it launched 19 years ago, GBC was Botswana’s first television channel. It covered Gaborone and the surrounding areas, reaching a population of approximately 450 000. Its estimated active viewership was 160 000 and it broadcast a mix of sitcoms, dramas, sport and factual programming.

GBC had exclusive free-to-air rights for Botswana to the Uefa Champions League football tournament. [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
WANETSHA MOSINYI

The deputy CEO of the National Development Bank (NDB) says the offering of school fees and home loans is still within its mandate as prescribed by the law establishing it.

Tshekiso Monyatsi was responding to queries in the public arena after the bank broke new ground by launching loans covering school fees and the purchasing of property.

In an interview with Business Week, Monyatsi said the development finance institution followed the right procedures before launching the new loan facilities.

He said the National Development Bank Act of 1963 also allows the bank to undertake project financing in property and education development.

“We are in that kind of business, and the launch of these two products was to cater for the development of human capital,” Monyatsi said. “We are playing by [continue reading]





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