Archive for January 15th, 2009
15 January, 2009
GABORONE – The unfolding world economic down turn is posing a formidable threat and critical challenges to the stability of Botswana’s workforce, especially in the mining industry, trade union leaders say.
In an interview this week trade unions charged that the workers’ concerns are not high on the list of priorities of policy makers. This emerged after some local companies opted for the dreaded layoff of employees.
Among the companies which have hinted employee management strategies on account of dwindling business operations are BCL, Tati Nickel Mine and Debswana Diamond Company.
The unions said their own calculations are that the total number of planned layoffs had risen to more than 1000 since the current wave of retrenchments started. Late last year BCL indicated that it would slash its workforce by 388 and Tati has followed suit with similar action while Debswana has put some of its employees on paid leave The latest addition to this saga includes more than 250 employees of Botswana’s steel giant, Tswana Steel.
Mr Johnson Motshwarakgole, National Organizing Secretary of [continue reading]
source: The Botswana Gazette
Small businesses could just take the opportunity presented by the glo0bal economic downturn to tilt the scales in their favour.
Some markets observers say this is the right time for small businesses, especially local ones to show that they can be up to the task when it comes to satisfying customer needs.
Ms Boitumelo Bolele of First Mortgage Company told The Gazette in an interview this week that SMMEs should take advantage of their quick reaction time to make the situation work for them. She observed that big companies are experiencing problems because they take a long time to reach decisions on how to re-strategise.
“Their decision making processes are cumbersome and long compared to those of small business which are taken almost at a glance,” she said. Bolele said smaller companies can easily detect change and quickly adapt to [continue reading]
The launch of be Mobile last April signalled rising growth expectations for Botswana’s telecommunication industry, according to Business Monitor International (BMI), which is facilitated by the British global market researcher, Companiesandmarkets.com
The launch of be Mobile by the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) places Botswana ahead of South Africa and Nigeria to take position one in tele-density in the fourth quarter of 2008, despite the country’s small population.
BMI’s latest report on the telecoms markets of East and Southern Africa assesses the current state of development facing the region’s mobile, fixed-line and Internet communications sectors.
In 2007, the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) awarded BTC a neutral licence, opening doors for the parastatal to go into the small but lucrative mobile phone industry.The licences were also extended to [continue reading]
15 January, 2009
KANYE – The Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development, (ISPAAD) noble intentions are likely to come to naught as a result of the attitude of some tractor owners who continue to demand that they get more than government recommended fee of P400 per hectare, says Mr William Dodile.
Such tractor owners, said Mr Dodile, charge farmers between P450 and P500 respectively.
Mr Dodile who is an agricultural demonstrator for Moshupa Sub District said this development has left some farmers especially those who are less privileged, in the lurch.
He made this report during a kgotla meeting addressed by the Member of Parliament for Moshupa, Mr Maitlhoko Mooka in Lotlhakane West on Monday.
“The fact that owners of these tractors want their money paid upfront exacerbates the [continue reading]
Principal policy analyst in the Ministry of Local Government, Malinga Dumisani, says the P364 million budgeted for labour intensive projects will not be affected by austerity measures being adopted as economic recession measures.
Dumisani was responding to growing concerns that as the recession takes hold and more projects are scaled down or abandoned, the labour intensive projects could be similarly affected.
When the money was set aside last year, urban councils benefited for the first time.
Dumisani, who is also the coordinator of the programme, says the new labour intensive scheme is different from previous ones in that it will run permanently, in accordance with a presidential directive.
“This programme is different from any other budgetary programme,” he says. “Even its financial year is [continue reading]
Southern African News Features (Harare)
15 January 2009
The potential for renewable energy development in Africa is growing as both investors and regional leaders seek a new clean energy frontier.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the continent could become a “gold mine” for renewable energy due to abundant hydro, solar and wind resources.
This is because the continent has substantial new and renewable energy resources, most of which are under-exploited.
For instance, the AfDB points out that only seven percent of Africa’s enormous hydro potential has been harnessed. Existing estimates of hydro potential do not include small, mini and micro hydro opportunities, which are also significant.
Geothermal energy potential stands at 9000 megawatts (MW), but only about 60MW has been exploited in Kenys and Tanzania. Estimates further indicate that a significant proportion of current electricity generation in 16 eastern and southern African countries could be met by bagasse-based cogeneration in the [continue reading]
15 January, 2009
FRANCISTOWN – A car is like a loaded rifle when being in charge of a drunken driver.
Addressing a kgotla meeting at Somerset Extension on the revised Road Traffic Act, The Francistown South legislator, Mr Khumongwana Maoto said the consumption of alcohol by drivers endangers the lives of road users.
He said stringent measures are being put in place and would see many being jailed in default of road offences payment.
Mr Maoto told the residents that surveillance cameras are going to be mounted on major roads and at strategic places to capture any infringement of the traffic law.
“Any evidence provided by such devices would be admissible in any court of law,” he said.
The legislator told the residents that every driver who fails to pay the fine would have their driver’s license confiscated until the [continue reading]
The Botswana Training Authority, with the approval of the Minister of Home Affairs, has closed down 15 institutions that were not properly registered.
Marketing and Promotions Manager, Lazarus Lekgoanyana, says that the issue of offering courses that are not accredited is escalating like crime in the country.
“These institutions continue to take advantage of ignorant citizens and those who cannot access information in rural areas. We are trying our best to disseminate information and we are still to brief the councillors around the country on this issue so that they help us curb this crime,” he said.
He explained that they are questioning themselves as to what they are not doing to send the [continue reading]
The Office of the President has denied reports that it is soon to take on more soldiers at the government enclave.
“I am not aware of any members or former members of the Botswana Defence Force who are being seconded to this office. We are not expecting an influx of soldiers to the office,” said OP spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay.
Ramsay said he was aware of only two retired soldiers who have long been deployed at the office.
Sources say scores of soldiers have lately been deployed at the Office of the President.
Fears that the government of President Ian Khama, appears to be militarising the civil service seem to be gaining ground. Late last year, Member of Parliament for Tonota, Pono Moatlhodi, was reprimanded after he raised concerns about the appointment of soldiers to the civil service during parliamentary deliberations. Be that as it may, bureaucrats at the Office of the President have declined to [continue reading]
January 15 2009 at 07:07AM
The docking of the nuclear-powered heavy missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy in Cape Town marks the first time a Russian naval vessel has berthed in a South African port in more than 200 years.
Less than 20 years ago, the two countries were Cold War enemies, but it was all bonhomie and mutual compliments at the press conference on board the ship on Wednesday.
Admiral Rusty Hicks, from the South African Navy, and Rear Admiral Vladimir Kazatonov, from the Russian Federation Navy, almost outdid each other in saying how they admired each other’s navy and looked forward to increased co-operation.
The ship, named after Peter the Great, is on its way from Venezuela, where it took part in exercises with the Venezuelan Navy, to the Indian Ocean to “perform some responsibilities”, Kazatonov said.
These include helping to fight piracy off [continue reading]
15 January, 2009
Speech by Botswana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Mr Charles Ntwaagae when presenting his credentials to President of Cuba, Mr Raul Castro on December 11.
Your Excellency It is with a profound sense of duty and privilege for me to convey to Your Excellency, and through you, to the Government and people of the Republic of Cuba, the warm and fraternal felicitations from Your Brother, His Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana.
Allow me to seize this opportunity to extend our sympathies to the bereaved families, the Government and People of Cuba following the devastating effects of Hurricane Gustav ad Ike a couple of months ago.
We deeply admire the remarkable resilience which the Government and People of Cuba demonstrated in the face of [continue reading]
FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown College of Education (FCE) is getting a considerable facelift that will take in laboratories, walkways, dormitories and staff houses, according to the principal, Sir Wonder Masebola, who said this when addressing the first general assembly for this year yesterday.
Under the P11-million, the college is also going ergonomic by installing an elevator in the admin block, for use mainly by the disabled.
“We want to create a friendly environment for the disabled,” Masebola said.
“I had to source extra funds from the Ministries of Finance and Education because there were things that were not included in the bill of quantities.
The Ministry of Finance has given us an additional advance P2 871 880 00 and I am waiting for a letter of authority from the Ministry of Education, which is also giving us a [continue reading]
14/01/2009 18:05 – (SA)
Johannesburg – The outbreak of cholera in South Africa cannot be blamed on the Zimbabwe epidemic, said the national department of health on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Fidel Radebe said there were areas in South Africa that had a history of the disease long before the outbreak in Zimbabwe.
South Africa had recorded a death toll of 15 with about 2 000 people affected by the disease since November last year.
Radebe was responding to comments in the media by some health officials that the disease was brought to South Africa by Zimbabweans.
He said it was inciting violence to blame Zimbabweans for the outbreak in South Africa when the country had a history of cholera in areas where lack of proper sanitation and [continue reading]