Archive for February 5th, 2008
05 February, 2008
GABORONE – Construction of Botswana Innovation Hub will act as a catalyst to enhance Botswanas ability to compete globally in the ICT arena.
Minister of Finance and Development Planning Mr Baledzi Gaolathe said when presenting the National budget on Monday that the project is expected to start in 2008 for completion in 2010.
Further Government will sign international ICT connectivity infrastructure agreements intended to connect Africa to all major worldwide Internet traffic routes and destinations, he said.
He said in addition the national high capacity broadband telecommunications backbone ring infrastructure will be completed once the more than 2000 kilometers Tran Kalahari fibre-optic project is completed by the end of April 2008.
Once all these projects are operational, Botswana will have a fully resilient core ICT backbone connecting to the rest of the world which matches the best in the world, he said.
In regard to improvement of transmission coverage of Radio Botswana and Botswana Television (Btv) Transmission Programme, he said this is expected to improve from 80 percent for the Radio and 40 percent for the Btv to 95 percent coverage for both by the end of 2008/2009 financial year.
Mr Gaolathe said as for Maitlamo Policy of Government, the intention is to connect additional 197 villages during Nteletsa II.
He said implementation [continue reading]
05 February, 2008
GABORONE – The general public and other consumers are informed that the retail pump prices for petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin has been increased with effect from Tuesday.
A press release from the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources states that the adjustments are that both unleaded and lead replacement petrol have been increased by 25 thebe per litre, while diesel and the illuminating paraffin went up by 50 thebe per litre.
This means in Gaborone retail pump price for petrol has increased from P5.60 to P5.85 per litre; diesel from P5.27 to P5.77 per litre and paraffin from P4.88 to P5.38 per litre.
This increase follows the last price increase which effected on Dec. 1, 2007.
The adjustment is due to the increase in the prices of [continue reading]
05 February, 2008
GABORONE – Government has presented a nearly balanced budget of P30.22 billion for the 2008/9 financial year.
Out of the amount, P21.84 billion is recurrent estimates while P8.5 billion is proposed for the development budget.
This is very substantial and the highest government has ever proposed, finance and development planning minister, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe said when delivering the 2008 budget speech in Parliament yesterday. This years theme is: Accelerating Achievement of Vision 2016 through NDP 10.
Total revenues and grants are forecast at P29.889 billion, whilst expenditure and net lending is forecast at P30.220 billion.
The net result is an almost balanced budget with a small deficit of P331 million or 0.4 per cent, Mr Gaolathe said.
The figures do not include the cost of any public sector salary increment for 2008/2009. To spend the money, he cautioned, required strengthening of technical units within government and private sector to deliver projects on time and in a cost-effective manner.
Total revenues and grants for the 2008/2009 financial year are estimated at P29.89 billion, while the countrys largest revenue source, mineral revenue, is estimated at P10. 56 billion.
Customs and exercise revenue is expected to grow by 10.5 per cent to [continue reading]
05 February, 2008
GABORONE – As National Development Plan (NDP) 9 comes under wraps, government has started preparing for NDP 10 while at the same time having to address shortfalls of the previous plan period.
The next plan period, which commences in April next year, has to address the need to accelerate poverty reduction; employment creation and economic diversification; as well as consolidate the countrys social and physical infrastructural achievements.
The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, said in his budget speech Monday that preparation for NDP 10 commenced in July 2007.
The minister said the prepations started with the drafting of the keynote policy paper that is a summary of key issues of concern emanating mainly from the current plan period, local government plans, as well as strategies and policy thrusts.
My ministry is currently finalising the macroeconomic outline for NDP 10, which will be considered by government in March 2008, Mr Gaolathe said.
He told Parliament that the draft NDP 10 will be debated in the house in November 2008, to be ready for implementation from April 1, 2009.
He called on political leaders to participate in the various [continue reading]
05 February, 2008
SEROWE – In its bid to transform the Serowe Marketing Cooperative Society into a full fledged conglomerate, the management says the organisation will soon start with the renovation of its old offices.
The ventures general manager, Mrs Setsile Mollowakgotla, said the move is aimed at making the society to be recognised and respected by the community, government and financial institutions.
It goes without saying that the societys offices are too old and out dated. Plans are at hand, dully approved by the local council and ready to be constructed. The structures will be started by the end of 2008 or early 2009 latest. She told BOPA that the project is expected to cost about P2 million.
She said the society was the second to be registered in Botswana in October 1971 after the Swaneng Consumers Cooperative Society hence the need to be upgraded to meet contemporary standards.
Mrs Mollowakgotla said cooperatives fall under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which has a full fledged Department of Cooperatives that provides guidance, support and advice in managing the entities.
Other departments that assist the organisation include the Department of Animal Health and Production and the Local Enterprise Authority.
This society is made up of subscribed members from Serowe and surrounding villages, she said, adding that it [continue reading]
BY OLIVER MODISE
The Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) has signed a contract agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to act as transactional advisors in the Privatisation of Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC).
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is set to advise on increasing private sector participation, reducing telecommunications charges and extending telephone coverage at BTC.
According to a press statement released by PEEPA at the weekend, the signing ceremony was attended by officials of PEEPA, BTC and Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.
Last year, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) approved a tender from the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology which sought to engage IFC to act as transactional advisors for the privatisation of BTC.
According to the statement, IFC is expected to work with PEEPA to secure a strategic equity partner that can invest and operate BTC. IFC is also tasked with introducing policy measures to liberalise the telecommunications industry. “The privatisation of [continue reading]
4 February 2008
Posted to the web 4 February 2008
As from Tuesday, motorists will pay 17 cents extra per litre for petrol. The Department of Minerals and Energy has announced that Diesel will go up by seven cents per litre while paraffin goes up by two cents per litre.
According to the department certain economic factors affected the unit over and under-recoveries for the period 27 December 2007 to 31 January 2008. The average international product prices of petrol increased whilst Diesel and Illuminating paraffin decreased. “The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate weakened when compared to previous period … with the exchange rate during the period (27 December 2007 to 31 January 2008) being 6.8433 compared to 6.9838 during the previous period,” the department said.
On Thursday, Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni announced that the Monetary Policy Committee decided it was appropriate to leave the repo rate unchanged at 11 percent per annum.
However, the governor said consumer inflation continued its upward trend, measuring 8.6 percent in December 2007. “The main drivers were again petrol and food. “Petrol prices increased at a year-on-year rate of 23.8 percent in December, while food prices increased at a rate of 13.9 percent,” he said on Thursday.
Showing the dramatic effect of these factors, Mr Mboweni said [continue reading]
February 04 2008 at 01:43PM
By Stella Mapenzauswa
South Africa’s power crisis may already have damaged economic growth, even though the country’s mines have bounced back after electricity shortages brought production to a halt.
The longer it takes Eskom to boost energy output for industry, the greater the chances that 2007 could have marked the end to four years of brisk economic growth at around five percent.
South Africa’s gold and platinum mines, the lifeblood of the economy, stopped work for five days last month as Eskom imposed rolling power cuts across the country.
Many analysts have already factored the impact into their forecasts of gross domestic product growth.
Even if mines make up for lost output, Eskom’s plans to ration power could cut 2008 growth down to four percent at most, said Bureau for Economic Growth economist Pieter [continue reading]
BY BAME PIET
“Lobtrans and LCS (Lobatse Cash Store) companies are no longer in existence, the companies died yesterday. As of today you are unemployed and you can pack your bags and go,” those were the chilling words of John Stevens to a crowd of Lobtrans employees on Friday morning. He was appointed by the High Court in Lobatse as the liquidator of Lobtrans on Thursday.
On a positive note, he announced that he would be engaging Unitrans to manage the Lobtrans fleet of over 70 trucks to distribute fuel throughout the country.
“You are going to be paid your salaries, severance benefits, and leave pay. But there are employment forms from Unitrans which you should fill and successful applicants will be hired,” he announced. But the words were not enough to convince the astounded employees who accused their former employer of dumping them. “So what is going to happen to us from today until the matter is resolved at the High Court? Who are we, are we employees of Lobtrans or Unitrans?,” an employee enquired. But Stevens [continue reading]
04/02/2008 15:26 – (SA)
Johannesburg – South African state utility Eskom has undertaken a management shakeout and set up a recovery team that will take various steps to avert a repeat of recent load-shedding, according to an internal Eskom document.
“We are undoubtedly experiencing one of our most difficult periods in Eskom’s recent history, as power supply interruptions reach a level that are unprecedented in SA,” the letter to Eskom staff from Chief Executive Officer Jacob Maroga says.
“As you have heard, the national response plan has been announced. In order to implement this plan we need to further intensify and accelerate our performance on demand and supply-side management by bringing critical plant back to service, managing primary energy, reducing demand and improving on communication with all stakeholders – including yourselves,” it says.
He said he had established a demand and supply recovery team, adding that members of the executive committee had been given various tasks on this body.
“We have no choice but to succeed in this endeavour – for Eskom as well as for SA,” Maroga says in the letter.
The recovery team will be led by Erica Johnson, currently Managing Director of System Operations.
Eskom’s Brian Dames will take over as Managing Director of a new combined department made up of Primary Energy (which sources fuel), Generation and [continue reading]