Archive for September 11th, 2008
11 September, 2008
FRANCISTOWN – The Vice President Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe has assured the private sector that the government is committed to creating a conducive environment for them.
Speaking at a dinner to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Botswana National Business Council (BNC), which was hosted by the First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), Lt Gen Merafhe said the government also has a duty to ensure that businesses respond to the needs of the people.
He said without a private sector that is committed to the national agenda of sustainable economic development, efforts to diversify the economy, create jobs and fight poverty would be seriously undermined.
Gen Merafhe said the country’s ability to compete globally will depend on the vibrancy of the private sector in different areas such as manufacturing, financial services, tourism and many others that have the potential to [continue reading]
11/09/2008 12:04 – (SA)
Johannesburg – President Thabo Mbeki called off a planned visit to Swaziland on Thursday so that he can stay in Harare to encourage power sharing talks.
“We are in Zimbabwe the whole day today,” Mbeki’s spokesperson, Mukoni Ratshitanga, told AFP.
Mbeki, mediator in the talks between Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has now twice called off a [continue reading]
Botswana’s travel management company, TravelWise, has concluded an empowerment deal that has seen its citizen shareholding increase to 40 percent, a statement has said.
The majority of the remaining shares are held by South African investment giant Bidvest.
“We are delighted with this investment into TravelWise and Rennies Foreign Exchange in partnership with Bidvest,” said Kabelo Binns, spokesman for the citizen consortium.
Binns, who is also a shareholder in Oganne, said the newly established consortium invested into the tourism sector because of its growth potential, especially with the advent of the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.
Bidvest is the owner of many leading brands such as [continue reading]
10 September, 2008
MAHALAPYE – An intensive drive to collect arrears of water bills in Mahalapye using the stick and carrot tactic seems to be working.
The Mahalapye Station Manager for the Department of Water Affairs, Mr Lawrence Modo, said the residents owed his department more than P1 million a month ago but had responded with a massive disconnection campaign.
Mr Modo said the department disconnected about 1 400 of its more than 4 000 customers in the village and managed to collect more than P1 million in arrears.
He said in July, the department collected about P2 million worth of arrears. The department has since reduced the default rate by 16 per cent.
Mr Modo said the employment of a debt collector in [continue reading]
Botswana was negotiating an “accelerated” power programme to deliver more electricity “far earlier”, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe said last week.
Kedikilwe told the Africa Downunder Conference in Australia that he would “pat himself on the back” if he could bring on an additional 250 MW of power by 2010.
He said the proposed 250 MW was planned by an independent power project (IPP) for which the law had been amended and which would make use of coal-bed methane.
Current electricity demand in Botswana was 530 MW, 72 percent of which was imported, “and therein lies the danger”.
The Botswana government itself was generating only 150 MW and intended to increase that by 600 MW in the first phase, followed by another 600 MW “back-to-back”.
Negotiations were being [continue reading]
source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: September 10, 2008
HARARE, Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe was looking to sign a power-sharing deal Thursday, and his main opponent also said agreement was close as they wrapped up a marathon day of negotiations.
The two were optimistic going into the Wednesday sessions with President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa mediating, but hopes faded as more than 11 hours passed with no word of a breakthrough. Their comments late Wednesday raised expectations again, but the remaining issues were likely among the most difficult separating rivals of different generations and sharply opposing perspectives on the challenges facing Zimbabwe.
“Hopefully a deal will be signed tomorrow,” Mugabe said.
The main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, said there was “very little work left” to do. He did not elaborate, but the key stumbling bloc has been how much power he and Mugabe would have.
Tsvangirai said they will reconvene Thursday afternoon. On Thursday morning, Mbeki was expected to brief other regional leaders on [continue reading]
09 September, 2008
FRANCISTOWN – The tightening of monetary policy will reduce the ever-increasing inflation, says Governor of Bank of Botswana (BoB).
Speaking at the welcome reception prior to the National Business Conference in Francistown on Sunday, Mrs Linah Mohohlo said in May and June this year, the bank decided that further tightening of the monetary policy stance was necessary after noting that inflation remained above the objective range and was likely to give rise to the public expectation of even higher double digit inflation.
Mrs Mohohlo said the bank rate was increased by 50 basis points each in May and June 2008 to 15.5 per cent.
At its August meeting the monetary policy committee again observed that inflation continued to be above the three to six per cent objective range and noted the potential rising demand pressures emanating from the high annual rates of growth of both bank credit and government expenditure.
Despite these worrying trends, Mrs Mohohlo said committee decided that a [continue reading]
“There is progress in some areas and lack of it in others”
Leaders of Zimbabwe’s rival parties were confident last night that a breakthrough could be achieved today. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the two leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, were all optimistic – but to different degrees. Yesterday was the second day in the latest round of protracted power-sharing talks mediated by President Thabo Mbeki in Harare. Sources close to the talks warned against “unguarded optimism”, saying Zimbabweans could cheer only when all three leaders had put pen to paper on a deal that could end their long suffering.
“There are a few remaining issues that could still stall progress,” warned one source. “This process has dragged for quite a while now and it’s better to celebrate when the die is cast.” But Mutambara, of the smaller faction of the MDC, rang a more optimistic note, saying “tremendous progress” had been made. He predicted that a deal could be signed today.
Mugabe was more guarded: “There is progress in some areas and lack of it in others,” he said. Tsvangirai said there had been positive developments. “These talks have been dragging for [continue reading]
09 September, 2008
FRANCISTOWN – Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) has reaffirmed its commitment towards improving its services in all business aspects.
Speaking at the corporations first-ever Customer Day in Francistown, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Reginald Motswaiso, said its challenges were to provide quality service to customers and stakeholders at all the times.
Good customer service is no longer enough, it has to be superior and beyond expectations.
Mr Motswaiso said the day came about as part of the efforts to continuously engage stakeholders, particularly tenants and customers and most importantly to interact and get feedback about their products and service.
He said the purpose of the Customer Day was to share information about BHC products and services, provide and get feedback, promote interaction and relationship building with the BHC stakeholders and to expose the BHC functional departments to [continue reading]
FRANCISTOWN: As efforts to engage its stakeholders advance, the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) hosted its first-ever BHC Customer Day in Botswana’s second city last Saturday under the banner of “Taking BHC to The People”.
Explaining the objectives of the event, the quasi-government housing agency’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Reginald Motswaiso, said the day had come about as part of their efforts to engage their tenants and other customers and to get feedback on their products and services.
“Earlier this year, the Corporation resolved to outsource its maintenance services and establish a customer call centre (in order) to improve customer service within the Corporation,” Motswaiso said.
“Maintenance of our properties around the country is [continue reading]