Archive for November 7th, 2008
07 November, 2008
PARLIAMENT – The global financial turbulence is still unfolding and there is still a great deal of uncertainty about what is happening to various economic agents, financial institutions, economies and their governments.
Briefing Parliament, Wednesday on the global financial crisis and its impact on Botswana economy, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, said it was evident that the crisis was spreading.
Mr Gaolathe said as for Botswana, though the GDP declined from 5.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent between 2006/07 and 2007/08, it was mainly due to a fall in output in the mining sector, which contracted by 3.5 per cent.
“However, the decline in commodity prices, the reduced demand for imports in the industrial countries, and the slowdown in direct investment are likely to retard economic growth in the period ahead.” He said the main risk to Botswana economy from the financial crisis was the reduction in demand and prices of minerals.
Mr Gaolathe said the [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
7 November 2008
SA’s softly softly approach to the Zimbabwe crisis is set to change when Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of state hold an emergency meeting on Sunday.
Former president Thabo Mbeki, right up to the moment when he was removed from office, stuck to his policy of quiet diplomacy in dealing with President Robert Mugabe.
Mbeki has been accused of favouring the octogenarian leader in mediating the conflict with Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Yesterday, however, chief government spokesman Themba Maseko said that when the [continue reading]
07 November, 2008
GABORONE – The deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe left Botswana with no choice, but to openly express her concern and make calls for Zimbabwean authorities to create a conducive climate to holding free and fair elections.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Phandu Skelemani said this during a lecture on Botswana’s position with respect to the power sharing deal and lessons on quite diplomacy at the University of Botswana this week. Mr Skelemani explained that relations between Botswana and Zimbabwe have been underpinned by a common cultural and historical heritage as well as geography.
“The period following the first round was marked by serious acts of politically motivated violence and intimidation, including repeated arrests and detention of one of the candidates, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai,” he mentioned.
Regrettably, he noted that there was no change as [continue reading]
The Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) says it is currently coordinating with other stakeholders to facilitate the launch of the highly anticipated Commodities and Derivatives Exchange in the coming financial year.
The parastatal’s CEO Alan Boshwaen says in the Botswana IFSC 2008 annual report released this week that together with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), they are preparing for the launch.
He says the pan-African exchange, which will be based in Gaborone, will employ 75 professionals to help develop the country’s capital markets in the first phase.
The promoters of the [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
7 November 2008
Barack Obama’s win could open up the possibility of a free-trade agreement between southern Africa and the US, trade and industry director-general Tshediso Matona said yesterday.
Negotiations on a free-trade agreement between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and the US were suspended by mutual consent in 2006 after about three years because of disagreement on the scope of the proposed deal.
Since then, Sacu has concluded a trade, investment and development co-operation agreement with the US.
Matona said the US government under Obama would probably give renewed attention to Africa, though there was [continue reading]
7 November 2008
Telkom has announced the sale of a 15% stake in cellular operator Vodacom, worth R22.5-billion, to multinational cellular operator Vodafone, which will also result in Vodacom becoming one of the largest South African companies listed on the JSE.
The transaction will see Vodafone’s share in Vodacom increased from 50% to 65%, giving the UK-based cellular operator full control of South Africa’s largest cellular operator by subscriber numbers.
Telkom will distribute its remaining 35% stake in Vodacom to its own shareholders by way of an unbundling process, and investors will for the first time have direct [continue reading]
07 November, 2008
JWANENG – Debswana has heeded President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s call for education on the effects of alcohol abuse.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Blackie Marole recently conducted tours of both Orapa and Jwaneng mines to preach to the employees the danger of abusing alcohol. According to Debswana Public and Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms Esther Kanaimba, Mr Marole’s message was delivered within the context of safety at the workplace.
She said safety was the company’s number one priority.
Therefore, she stressed that the abuse of alcohol could compromise safety in the workplace.
Ms Kanaimba said Debswana has embarked on alcohol awareness campaign to educate the employees on the consequences of reporting to work under the influence of liquor and other habit-forming drugs.
She said input from the Botswana Mine Workers Union have also [continue reading]
Two weeks after the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) at Kuke in Gantsi District, government has eased the movement of cattle in the country, the director of Veterinary Services, Moetapele Letshwenyo said at a press briefing yesterday. The restrictions on cattle movement were put in place to control FMD and this resulted in the closure of Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) abattoirs in Lobatse and Francistown causing a shortage of beef in many parts of the country.
Letshwenyo said that the movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their fresh products in all districts (zones) except Gantsi District (zone 12) has now reverted to the pre-Gantsi outbreak status. But movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their fresh products into, within and out of the infected and surveillance zones within Gantsi District is prohibited. Movement within the rest of Gantsi District is only allowed for [continue reading]
6 November 2008
Following a strategic cooperation agreement between Fifa and the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), spectators in sub-Saharan Africa will now be able to view the 2010 Fifa World Cup free of charge.
According to Fifa, the agreement ensures the distribution and broadcasting of all 64 World Cup matches live on free-to-air television and radio in 41 territories in English, French and Portuguese.
Fifa has selected the AUB as its partner for that region based on its capacity to reach the largest possible audience, as well as its commitment to broadcasting development and tailored programming and content exchange in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The AUB has shown considerable strengths in uniting broadcasters under one umbrella to ensure that all sub-Saharan Africans will be able to have access to the radio and TV coverage of and around the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” said Fifa President Sepp Blatter in Cotonou, Benin, last week.
“We always promised that 2010 would be an African world cup and with today’s cooperation agreement we have made is a big [continue reading]
05 November, 2008
PARLIAMENT – Botswana will continue to seek double taxation agreements to reduce the cost of doing business in the country, says President, Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
To address concerns that the tax system in Botswana was complicated and a disincentive to investors, he said in his state-of-the-nation address on Monday that the government was in the process of reviewing the tax system with the aim of simplifying it.
President Khama explained that to further support the growth of the agricultural sector, farm implements and spares would be exempted from Value Added Tax.
He said the achievement of the national vision pillar of a more prosperous and productive nation would require successful local entrepreneurs, as well as dedicated and skilled workers.
Regarding Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), he said, the [continue reading]
November 06 2008 at 07:16PM
Telkom and Eskom copper cables worth approximately R1,2-million was recovered at a scrapyard in Midrand on Thursday, Gauteng police said.
Inspector Moses Maphakela said members of the Protection Security Services (PSS) unit raided the scrapyard around 5pm on Thursday.
Police saw three large containers and found the copper cables inside.
A 21-year-old woman, the manager of the scrapyard, was arrested for possession of [continue reading]
06 November, 2008
Victims of road accidents that occurred prior to the coming to force of the 2007 Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund Act are not covered by the new act.
This was said Tuesday in parliament by the assistant minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Samson Guma. He explained that the MVA Fund Act of 2007 does not provide for retroactive applications.
Therefore, all cases arising from the period to the effective date of the new Act were dealt with in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund Act of 1998.
Mr Guma said the Act could not be brought into force until the regulations were published since they [continue reading]
SELEBI-PHIKWE: Slowly but surely this mining town is edging towards economic diversification, discarding its image of a ghost town in the process.
It may have failed as a hub for the textile industry that saw many residents, especially women, fall victim to fly-by-night investors.
But today, the feared closure of BCL Mine has receded with new findings giving it a new lease of life.
Earlier this week, the town experienced the beginning of more exploration for base metals, indicating greater economic benefits through increased revenues. Triprop Holdings, a company promoted by the Shrenuj Group of India, has been granted [continue reading]
06 November, 2008
KASANE – Police in Kazungula are putting in place tight measures around lodges and camp sites following a spate of robberies in Kazungula and Kasane.
Toro, Kubu and Thebe lodges recently experienced a series of robberies in which tourists were targetted at gun point. Superintendent Keletso Ntekola of the Kazungula police said the Toro Lodge was recently robbed in the early hours of the morning by two unknown men suspected to be armed with an AK-47 riffle.
“A man who works there as an accountant was robbed P500. They threatened to shoot him if he made any noise,” he said. At Kubu Lodge, two German nationals who were there for a study of the Chobe River, were also robbed at gun point.
Robbers disappeared with R200 and $200.
Mr Ntekola said, although shots were fired during the robbery, no one was injured. “In the morning, we [continue reading]
source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: November 6, 2008
CAPE TOWN, South Africa: Hopes for a power-sharing government in Zimbabwe are doomed because President Robert Mugabe’s party has unleashed a new wave of violence against opposition members, the opposition charged Thursday.
The Movement for Democratic Change said political violence across the southern African nation was increasing amid a two-month stalemate in power-sharing talks that are stalled over allocating Cabinet posts.
“ZANU-PF has unleashed a new orgy of brutality and assaults,” the MDC said in a statement from South Africa before a weekend regional summit.
The opposition said 25 supporters were attacked Oct. 27, with five of them needing hospital treatment. Three days later, state security agents raided MDC homes and [continue reading]