Archive for January 12th, 2009
source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
10.01.2009 10:40:04 A
Bank of Botswana’s business expectation survey for 2009 firmed against the previous ones but the international financial crisis and the input costs dampen the mood for the exporter as the global economy experienced sluggish demand.
The survey, which is the eleventh, covered 100 business operations from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, water and electricity, construction, trade transport, financial and business services sectors.
According to the survey conducted between September and November 2008 there was a strong response of 65 percent against the previous one that attracted as much as 57 percent.
Further, it indicated that the confidence level firmed during the second half of last year – rising to 82 percent as against 65 percent during the [continue reading]
January 12 2009 at 12:17PM
By Karyn Maughan and Sapa
The judgment that quashed African National Congress President Jacob Zuma’s prosecution – and led to ex-president Thabo Mbeki’s ousting from office – is in tatters.
Five Supreme Court of Appeal judges on Monday morning unanimously overturned Judge Chris Nicholson’s ruling that Zuma’s prosecution was invalid because the National Prosecuting Authority had failed to invite the ANC leader to make representations about the criminal allegations against him before charging him.
Nicholson’s judgment was the basis on which Thabo Mbeki was fired as president.
And, speaking for himself and his colleagues, Appeal Court Deputy Judge President Louis Harms has hit Zuma with a punishing costs order for his “cut and paste” conspiracy allegations against the State.
Judge Harms chastised Judge Nicholson for [continue reading]
The only gold mining company in Botswana, Mupane Gold, could benefit from the global recession as investors resort to buying gold as a safe haven against the financial crisis, pushing the commodity’s prices up during 2009.
Business Week is reliably informed that Mupane Mine, which is located near Matsiloje in the North East District, continues to operate at full production and has no plans to lay off workers, a far cry from nearby Tati Nickel mines.
Despite a poor outlook for the near-term, analysts expect gold to have a stellar year in 2009, though the price rise is unlikely to be exponential.
They point to the fact that gold stocks may still have a little catching up to do as a positive factor of good potential.
Gold was one of the few sectors that [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
10.01.2009 10:34:41 A
Still suffering from depressed base metals prices, BCL experienced another disaster towards the Christmas break when nickel solidified inside the furnace leading to the company stopping metal production indefinitely.
According to those who work close to the smelter, there was pressure on the furnace as larger amounts of ore were put for processing leading to the blockage of the furnace.
The halting of production led to the company losing millions of Pula as a result of the stock piling of ore and lost revenue from Tati Nickel, which processes its ore at BCL. Other estimates say that this might have cost the company around a billion Pula to overhaul, repair and service the smelter.
BCL said this week that the flash smelting furnace has been offline since December 3 leading to zero metal production. However, during the [continue reading]
HARARE – Pan-African hotel and leisure group African Sun, which is building a 160-room hotel in Gaborone’s new CBD, is intensifying its expansion drive on the continent by increasing rooms from 2, 469 to 8, 500 by 2012.
The Zimbabwe-founded African Sun has operations or building projects in Botswana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, and South Africa.
Group chairman Eben Makonese said at the beginning of this year, the group expects to have started managing four hotels in Nigeria that have a total room capacity of 566.
Additional projects, he said in a statement accompanying the group’s financial results for [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
12 January 2009
Johannesburg — NEW year optimism is likely to fade a bit in local markets this week, despite the absence of official data widely expected to paint a dismal picture of the economy in the first half of this year.
A confidence index due from the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) tomorrow will probably show a dip in the mood of business last month, says the body’s CEO, Neren Rau.
“If we get an uptick, the reason would be some positive developments over the festive season, when markets recovered somewhat,” he told Business Day. “I don’t expect a dramatic improvement and a pickup would be more of an anomaly than an established trend.”
In November, the SACCI business confidence index (BCI) edged up two index points to 86,7, after diving to 84,2 in October. The index monitors the business climate through [continue reading]
12 January, 2009
GABORONE – After several years of strong and often spectacular growth, commercial real estate markets in the country are beginning to show the effects of an economic slowdown that has quickly spread far and wide across the globe.
Phakalane Properties Real Estate Agents and Management Properties Valuers Managing Director Mr. Lesang Magang concurred that the market value of all the products and services produced including housing properties, are faced with a sharp decline in the event of an economic recession.
“Unless you are in the business of selling houses, low prices are not good news, however if you are somebody who is planning on investing and buying property, a period of economic recession will help you have choices that you want. It is a good time to look for investment properties,” said Magang.
He pointed out that as the global markets adjust to the change in [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Kagiso Madibana
10.01.2009 10:36:24 A
The ongoing international financial crisis is expected to pose a number of threats and critical challenges to Botswana’s business ventures, big or small, during the course of this year.
This is made worse by the lack of progress on issues of diversification. So far, most of the big companies in the country deal with mining companies while some place the bulk of their business on overseas dealings.
The international credit crisis that started in 2007 has since spread across the world and has hit the mineral dependent southern African country where it hurts most.
Local companies hardest hit by the global economic recession are the mining houses, notably BCL, Tati Nickel Mine and [continue reading]
BOBONONG: The government has approved the establishment of service centres in Tsetsebjwe, Mathathane and Gobojango in order to facilitate service delivery, the MP for Bobirwa, Shaw Kgathi, has said.
And in a decentralisation effort aimed at easing pressure from the Bobirwa sub-district, the government has also approved the establishment of Mmadinare as a sub-district.
But these developments have not happened without a hitch. Briefing Babirwa recently, Kgathi said the people of Semolale have protested the decision to make Gobojango a service centre at the expense of [continue reading]
January 11 2009 at 11:50AM
By Craig McKune
While consumers spent about 23 percent more for a basket of basic foods over Christmas, the South African National Consumer Union hopes to see “meaningful” price decreases in coming weeks, reflecting dropping fuel costs.
But analysts have said this assumption is overly simplistic.
The weekly Weekend Argus shopping basket, which has monitored the cost of 23 basic food items since August 2007, was priced at R349.69 in the week before Christmas, up 23,2 percent on the year before.
This was higher than Statistics SA’s year-on-year food inflation figure of 16,6 percent for November, which covered a [continue reading]
12 January, 2009
GABORONE – Since the advent of farming among Batswana, the art of saving through motshelo or “money group” has been more of a custom than just a practice.
Apart from having stood the test of time, the practice has also evolved, broadened its horizons, sharpened and ultimately been “born anew.” Based on an aura of trust, and proceeding on expectation plus anxiety, motshelo still remains the lifeline of most households in Botswana today.
For centuries Batswana, mostly women, have been haphazardly honing the practice of motshelo, dissecting it and tightening screws to better the art its operation.
And now in the 21st century, their work is paying off.
“I seldom have financial problems because I have our motshelo to fall back on in case I am stranded,” comments Shirley Ntsake, a staunch motshelo advocate.
Although the practice is facing stiff pressure at a time of plummeting food prices and global financial crisis, motshelo practitioners have been [continue reading]
source: International Herald Tribune
By Celia W. Dugger
Published: January 11, 2009
JOHANNESBURG: Facing a determined challenge from a breakaway faction, the governing African National Congress presented a campaign manifesto on Saturday that advocates a greater government role in generating jobs and major new spending on education, health and antipoverty programs.
With the economy weakening and elections only a few months away, party officials depicted the new agenda as a pronounced shift to the left, but some political analysts said the change was far more modest and questioned the party’s ability to deliver.
The party’s president, Jacob Zuma, told tens of thousands of people gathered for a rally in East London that the party would “put in place a comprehensive, state-led industrial policy that will direct public and private investment to support employment creation and broader economic transformation.”
Citing the need to revive the economy in the face of a global [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Obusitse Kologwe
10.01.2009 11:52:16 A
Euro College, an independent Institution of education in Dublin, Ireland, held a one-day seminar in Francistown on Wednesday to stimulate the locals’ interest in improving their educational standards, earn a living as well as share cultural experiences.
Diarmaid Mac Murchadh, Euro College’s Business Development Manager and the representative of the institution, the seminar was an effort to enlighten the out-of-school students and public in Botswana of the opportunities that could be of their own benefit in the Ireland.
Murchedh said that this was an opportunity for those Batswana who wanted to pursue their studies as well as [continue reading]
President Ian Khama is keeping people in suspense.
After asking former Assistant minister Samson Guma Moyo to step down, Khama has not appointed Moyo’s replacement despite the obvious need of a replacement at the ever busy ministry.Countries around the world including Botswana are feeling the effect of an international trade crunch.
This notwithstanding, Khama seems not to be in a hurry to appoint an Assistant minister to assist minister Gaolathe who last year was away from office due to illness. This is not the first time that Khama has kept the nation guessing. Just before he was inaugurated as the president at the beginning of April last year, Khama kept everyone guessing about who he was going to appoint as the vice president.
Some of the names that were bandied about included Mompati Merafhe – who ultimately became the main man, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Neo Moroke and even the [continue reading]
12/01/2009 09:37 – (SA)
Bloemfontein – The Supreme Court of Appeal rules on Monday on the validity of the decision to re-charge ANC leader Jacob Zuma.
Deputy Judge President Louis Harms is expected to read the judgment from 10:00 to 11:00 in an appeal lodged by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).
The NDPP is appealing against a Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling which effectively halted Zuma’s corruption prosecution.
Outside the Bloemfontein court, journalists outnumbered security officials and members of the public, with a handful of men singing pro-Zuma songs while some ANC supporters were setting up a stage at [continue reading]