Archive for January 8th, 2009
08 January, 2009
RAMOTSWA – At least 250 employees of steel manufacturer, Tswana Steel, have lost their jobs after it resolved to close.
Mr Jemister Chininga, the company’s managing director, says their operating costs had increased considerably, while revenues had plunged.
This was mainly due to increases in the cost of raw materials and declines in the price of steel.
Mr Chininga said they have stopped production as they were running the business at a loss and would wait for the market to stabilize before resuming production.
He said they were paying high prices for raw materials while selling their products cheaply.
The company stopped production in September, but continued paying its [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
8 January 2009
Johannesburg — DESPITE fuel prices dropping to four-year lows at the end of last month, the airline industry ended the year on a dismal note with little to look forward to .
Data released this week by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) show that airline share prices continued to fall last month , sliding 60% below the level at which they started last year, as industry losses for the first three quarters of last year reached $4bn.
In SA most airlines battled to remain in the black. Both state-owned South African Airways (SAA) and low-cost airline 1Time posted losses last year. SAA reported a R1,09bn loss in the year to March while 1Time showed a headline loss of 3,01c a share in the six months to June .
Comair, operator of kulula. com and British Airways, still managed to post a profit but saw earnings slow sharply in the year to [continue reading]
08 January, 2009
PALAPYE – Morupule Colliery failed to reach its coal production target in 2008 as was the case in the previous year.
The failure of the Debswana owned coalmine to reach its budgeted coal production, was revealed by the Morupule Mine Manager, Mr Albert Milton when speaking during the seasonal party for employees.
Mr Milton said that 2008 has not been a good year for them in the mine. He indicated that as of November 2008, Morupule Colliery only managed to produce 852 269 tonnes of coal as opposed to what they budgeted for, which is 975 288 tonnes.
In 2007, the then Mine Manager of Morupule Colliery, Mr Cletus Tangane indicated that the mine budgted for a coal production target of a million tonnes and by the end of 2007, they only managed to produce about 827 300 tons.
At the time, Mr Tangane indicated that they only managed to sell about 764 043 tons of coal.
Mr Milton said coal sales were 30 per cent below budget.
“This represents a shortfall of 12 per cent. Even our sales are [continue reading]
08/01/2009 13:30 – (SA)
Johannesburg – Human Rights Watch (HRW) Thursday urged South Africa to stop deporting Zimbabweans fleeing the humanitarian disaster in their country and grant them temporary shelter instead.
“To avoid deportation from South Africa, Zimbabweans currently have no option but to claim asylum, placing even greater pressure on a system already struggling to process refugee claims according to international standards,” HRW said in a statement.
It is estimated that some 25 000 to 30 000 Zimbabweans applied for asylum in South Africa’s border town of Musina during the last five months of 2008, the rights body said.
The figure is close to double the total Zimbabwean asylum applications lodged in [continue reading]
Canada-based African Queen Mines has abandoned its Braganza gold project in Mozambique to focus on priority targets in Botswana and Namibia.
The company last month announced that it had discovered diamondiferous kimberlites in the Okavango.African Queen said results of geochemical sampling from its Okavango property confirmed the presence of G10 garnets and other kimberlitic indicator minerals on its key diamond targets.
The Okavango property comprises three prospecting licences covering approximately 2592 square kilometres held by African Queen’s wholly-owned subsidiary, PAM Botswana.By abandoning the Mozambique project, the company is relinquishing all rights with respect to the underlying property licences and everything relating to [continue reading]
January 08 2009 at 10:02AM
By Nompumelelo Magwaza
Taxi fares and food prices are not likely to go down after a decrease in fuel prices. Although KwaZulu-Natal taxi associations have welcomed the drop in fuel prices they have indicated that taxi fares will remain unchanged.
Petrol prices decreased by R1,65 a litre as of midnight on Tuesday, leaving many motorists with a smile.
The Durban South Taxi Association’s Mzameni Mthiyane said every taxi association had a standard plan that allowed it to increase taxi fares at least twice in a year.
“Taxi fares will not decrease or increase because of fuel price. It is a standard plan and we cannot trust the petrol price because it fluctuates all the time,” Mthiyane said.
Bus fares have also increased since [continue reading]
08 January, 2009
PALAPYE – Botswana’s largest producer of coal, Morupule Colliery Limited is grappling with a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate at more than 32.
The Morupule Mine Manager, Mr Albert Milton, delivered the bad news during the Morupule Coillery employees Christmas party.
Mr Milton said that the prevalence rate was an indication that Morupule Colliery is not close to winning the HIV/AIDS war.
“I must hasten to add that our prevalence rate is still high. At 32 per cent, we are not at all close to winning this war.” However, Mr Milton said that he was informed that within the space of a year, a total of 243 employees out of 292 employees were counseled and tested for HIV/AIDS. This represents a very high rate by all standards.”
He encouraged Morupule Colliery employees to be committed to the zero transmission in their lifestyles.”Bothers and sisters, let’s try to commit to [continue reading]
SELEBI-PHIKWE: BCL mine in Selebi Phikwe has announced that it will retrench 348 employees as a result of the commodity market crunch that has seen the metal prices dropping below the mine’s break even point.
Nickel prices have dropped by 61 percent, copper by 47 percent and cobalt by 62 percent. The mine will retrench 15 percent of the workforce in management positions and seven percent of the non-management staff.
Addressing a press conference recently, General Manager, Montwedi Mphathi, said this time around the mine is looking to the labour force, which constitutes 40 percent of its costs, to try and reduce its running expenses.
He said other inputs like [continue reading]
07 January, 2009
GABORONE – Beer and soft drink prices are set to increase next Monday as Kgalagadi Breweries Limited has announced another price increase after the government imposed a 30 per cent alcohol levy late last year.
KBL’s corporate affairs and strategy director, Mr Thapelo Letsholo, said the price of beer will increase by about 10 per cent and soft drinks by about 11 per cent. He said the increase will vary between brands.
He said price increases are set according to a number of variables such as raw material costs, commodity price cycles, transportation and freight costs and inflation outlook.
The new increases will see a can of soft drink costing at least P5 and a can of beer costing about P7 in most bars and [continue reading]
January 07 2009 at 11:50AM
Hackers have blown the whistle on banking fees – in a report banks hoped to keep buried.
The Competition Commission, the authors of the 590-page report, had originally blacked out certain sections, which banks claimed were confidential.
The commission has now opened a criminal case against Wikileaks, a website dedicated to exposing “unethical behaviour in governments or institutions”.
The Technical Report of the Banking Enquiry, concluded in June last year, was the result of a 22-month inquiry into South African banking, particularly the big four: Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank and FNB.
An intergovernmental task team is expected to be formed soon to look at recommendations by the Competition Commission to reform [continue reading]
SELEBI PHIKWE: Urgent implementation of delayed government plans to put up an electric fence along the country’s border with Zimbabwe will alleviate rampant cross border crime, according to a petition sent to Minister of Justice, Defense and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse, by the opposition Botswana Congress Party.
The petition was handed to Bobirwa District Officer, Ewetse Selelo at Gobojango Customary Court on Christmas eve following demonstrations in the villages of Semolale, Mabolwe and Gobojango.
Reading the petition the party’s council candidate for Bobirwa North ward, Thulaganyo Lucas, complained mainly about government’s alleged failure to deal with cross border crime in Bobirwa.
The petition demands that as a short term measure the work of [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
07 January 2008
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has expressed concern that the charging for mobile phone services in foreign currency by all the major networks is seriously impeding the right of Zimbabweans to communicate. Many people interviewed by Newsreel say they can no longer buy airtime for their phones because the little forex they manage to get has to be used to buy scarce basic commodities.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently granted the mobile networks permission to charge in foreign currency. This was after the networks complained that they lost money to hyper-inflation by producing monthly phone bills. MISA noted the inability of subscribers to buy airtime for their phones and said this added to ‘the appalling state of fixed and mobile telephone networks in Zimbabwe which has seen subscribers failing to communicate as and when they desire, despite the high tariff charges.’
Although Zimbabwe’s economy has virtually been ‘dollarised’ the majority of workers still earn the [continue reading]
Business was booming for most of the hospitality sector’s operations during the festive season.
Chirne Christensen, the Marketing Manager of the Peermont group which owns and manages the Grand Palm Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort, the Mondior Hotel and Metcourt Hotels, says there was good business throughout the holidays.
He says the Metcourt Hotel and the Grand Palm in Gaborone were fully booked on both Christmas Day and New Year eve. Most of the guests were Batswana, but there was a sprinkling international international clients.
The popular Grand Palm restaurant, Mokolwane Bistro, was also fully booked over [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
7 January 2009
Will they or won’t they? Only the top leadership of the MDC who are meeting in Johannesburg have the answer to this four month-long guessing game that has kept Zimbabweans on tenterhooks, since talks to form a new government stalled last year.
All eyes are now fixed on the ‘no holds barred’ meeting between Morgan Tsvangirai and his top strategists and transition team, which is going on in South Africa to decide whether the MDC should join a unity government with arch-enemy Robert Mugabe.
A source told us the indaba would also discuss the humanitarian crisis and human rights situation in the country, before taking a final decision.
The meeting would try to hammer out a consensus on the strategy to be adopted, if they were to join an inclusive government. They are expected to draft a [continue reading]
07 January, 2009
SEROWE – Some 3600 farmers in Serowe have so far received free seeds from the Ministry of Agriculture through the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture (ISPAAD).
Mr Kabelo Molotsi, the Technical Officer, Farm Mechanization in the ministry’s Serowe district office, said the farmers have been given 6700 bags of 10kg maize, 3400 bags of 10kg sorghum and 527 2 kg sachets of cowpeas.
However, Mr Molotsi said they don’t have any millets (lebelebele) seed to give out and that cowpeas were now in short supply.
He said the major problem experienced by farmers who have already engaged in ploughing had been the sporadic rain, which he said was hindering progress.
“The problem with rain fed agriculture is that it depends heavily on the weather and thus far the rain has [continue reading]