Archive for May, 2010
Former deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Opelo Makhandlela, who was forced to retire last Friday, has indicated that he will be taking legal action against his early retirement.
“What I can say about all this is how disappointed I am after working tirelessly for the Ministry of Education and the government and being sent packing like a herdman,” he said. “My work record is there for all to see and I have never been brought before a disciplinary hearing for any offence,” he added.
He said that the permanent secretary, Ruth Maphorisa ‘rudely’ called him from [continue reading]
5 May 2010
Just over 60% of South African privately held business owners believe that black economic empowerment is an important factor in terms of winning new business, Grant Thornton’s 2010 International Business Report finds, with companies preferring to fast track key employees and develop existing staff to achieve empowerment targets.
The figure of 61% has remained fairly constant since 2008 (59%) and just 2% down since 2009 (63%).
When the South African data is assessed regionally, it is interesting to note that BEE is far less of an issue in KwaZulu-Natal (53%) in terms of winning business, while Eastern Cape (66%), Gauteng (65%) and Western Cape (61%) rank BEE as an imperative.
“The past 36 months have seen a similar level of attention on broad-based BEE implementation with most [privately held business] owners citing the issue as important,” said Grant Thornton’s Tony Balshaw in a statement this week.
“However, we believe that surviving the tough economic conditions was the primary focus in most companies over the [continue reading]
Investment in Africa from countries such as China and India has rekindled optimism in a continent that sits on the world’s biggest deposits of platinum, chrome and diamonds, attracting a record number of delegates to this year’s World Economic Forum on Africa.
Bankers may make up the largest group of delegates as they look to profit from an economy expanding at double the pace of rich nations and a market that has just surpassed 1 billion people. Banks like Barclays and Standard Chartered Plc aim to be dealmakers as rising industrial powers such as China look to the continent to supply raw materials and India buys up land to feed its growing population.
“Africa has a yet-to-be-tapped investment, trade and market potential,” said Kuseni Dlamini, the chief executive officer of Johannesburg-based Old Mutual Plc’s South African unit, the largest African insurer. “I’m always on the look for investment and [continue reading]
May 05 2010 at 01:27PM
Trade union Solidarity on Wednesday said that the singing of the lyrics “shoot the boer” by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema could amount to incitement to murder.
“The singing of “Dubul’ ibhunu” (shoot the boer) by Julius Malema… could be tantamount to incitement to murder,” the union said in a statement.
Solidarity said its view came as a result of an investigation conducted by its research institute.
“Malema’s singing of the song is not directed at a specific individual, but he could still be charged with incitement to murder,” said Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) head Johan Kruger.
“The SRI maintains that even if a murder is not committed, a person can still be found guilty of incitement to murder. If a murder is committed, the issue of complicity in murder comes up,” read the [continue reading]
Opelo Makandlela, deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development has been fired.
Makendlela was one of the three permanent secretaries at the ministry. He confirmed that he is no longer an employee of the Ministry of Education, “as I have officially retired”.
The ‘retirement’, a forced exit by the government, was announced to Makhandlela last Friday.
Sources say he was called from a trip only to be greeted with the news that he was being retired. The Permanent Secretary to the President, Eric Molale, it is said, signed the letter.
No reason was given for the forced retirement.
Makandlela becomes the latest high-ranking casualty in a series of forced retirements by [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
A number of investors with family and professional links to President Lt Gen Ian Khama are behind Wilderness Safaris, which has built a lodge on land that was taken away from Basarwa of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve.
Khama’s nephew, Marcus ter Haar, and the president’s personal lawyer, Parks Tafa, are directors of Wilderness Safaris, which has in the past been linked to President Khama.
In 2002, the Bushmen were forcibly expelled from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), but were reinstated their land in 2006. Despite the court ruling, the government has since banned them from accessing a borehole, which they rely on for [continue reading]
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
3 May 2010
Bulawayo — Fourteen months after Zimbabwe’s government of national unity was formed, harassment, arbitrary arrest and general intimidation of journalists remains common.
In a statement issued on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the Zimbabwe chapter of the press watchdog Media Institute of South Africa deplored repressive legislation constraining journalists.
These include the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which prevents media organisations from hiring unaccredited journalists; the Public Order and Security Act which has been widely used to prosecute critics of the president, his government and policies; and the Broadcasting Services Act, which sets such complex requirements for registering broadcast media that the government-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation remains the only station on [continue reading]
The Botswana Television (Btv) management does not want the raging factionalism within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to be discussed on the television’s political programme, Matlho-a-phage, The Monitor has learnt.
Matlho-a-phage is a Btv Sunday evening current affairs programme, which discusses local political developments. Panellists are invited to the studio for the round table discussions.
When the discussion is about a political party, usually a representative from that organisation is invited to come and be grilled by the panellists who at times include journalists.
Some analysts say due to the recent developments in the BDP, the party is a topical issue which needs to be discussed on Matlho-a-phage. However, the programme has been discussing irrelevant topics, while ignoring the [continue reading]
03 May, 2010
GABORONE – Until you step inside, Charlies Arms in Palapye looks like any other old building – simple and ordinary.
A lifeless parameter wall, whose only redeeming feature is an inscription Charlies Arms in fancy typescript, notwithstanding, makes for the courtyard.
However, I find myself gazing inquisitively at this uninspiring mass of smothering concrete standing majestically in what used to be Palapyes central business district in the colonial period.
Suddenly I am gripped by an unexplained but riveting feeling of nostalgia. Intrigued, I uncharacteristically make my grand entrance into Charlies Arms and what a pleasant surprise I have. By the way Charlies Arms is a pub housed in the precincts of Palapye Hotel.
My eyes immediately switch into a search mode as I curiously pan my head across the four [continue reading]
An observer mission to Botswana’s 2009 general elections has called for Botswana to regulate media coverage of political party candidates to address the perceived bias in media coverage.
“Specifically, there is need for appropriate legislation to enforce equitable and balanced coverage of political campaigns. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) must be empowered to ensure that public resources are not monopolised by the ruling party, an advantage which is not available to opposition parties,” reads the report by SADC Parliamentary Forum.
The forum’s recommendations are part of a comprehensive observer mission report, which was presented to the IEC recently on [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
4 May 2010
Johannesburg — FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday unveiled legislation to be passed urgently to curb the influence of a group of Reserve Bank private shareholders he accused of threatening to undermine the Bank’s independence.
He also introduced the first major restructuring of the Bank’s board of directors since it was formed in 1921, and the start of a broader review that could lead to its nationalisation.
“What this bill is about is to promote better governance and to ensure that the independence of the Bank is not tampered with,” Gordhan told reporters.
“Urgent measures” were required to respond to “activities which could undermine the bank’s independence”, he said. The Cabinet had approved the bill at its last meeting, and it would be gazetted for public comment this [continue reading]
Government, through the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST), has called on Chinese contractors engaged in government projects to execute their work with speed and within budget without compromising quality and durability.
Minister Johnnie Swartz made the call at a consultative meeting between MIST and the Chinese contractors at the GICC last Thursday.
Swartz told the contactors that delays in delivering government projects leads to budget overruns and for a small economy like Botswana, this could run the country into a serious deficit.
“We therefore can no longer risk the potential for cost overruns on these projects,” Swartz said. The minister also appealed to [continue reading]
Johannesburg – Construction workers who built South Africa’s stadiums for the 2010 Soccer World Cup were on Monday given free tickets by the organisers to watch the games.
“Today we recognise your contribution,” organising committee chief, Danny Jordaan told workers at Soccer City stadium.
More than 200 workers who built Soccer City received two double tickets, including the June 11 opening match, to be played at the 95 000-seater venue.
“My office is just next to the stadium. I saw flood lights going up at night and the workers working long after sunset to make sure the stadium is complete,” said Jordaan.
The workers tickets are part of FIFA’s Ticket Fund initiative, aimed at distributing 120 000 complimentary tickets to [continue reading]
Botswana is among select Sub-Saharan economies expected to expand by more than five percent this year and beyond on the back of rapidly normalising commodity prices and global trade.
The April report of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook released last week predicts that Botswana’s economy will expand by 6.3 percent this year and by 5.1 percent in 2011/12. This is compared to the government’s expectations of a five percent economic growth in 2010/11.
Part of this strong recovery, the IMF says, is due to Botswana’s policy decision to spend its way through last year’s recession, also known as countercyclical fiscal policy.Instead of providing stimulus packages to affected sectors, Botswana opted to maintain, and in some cases ramp up, spending throughout the recession as a way of supporting the economy. As a result, the country ran a deficit of P13.5 billion for 2009/10, partly financed by a P6.6 billion African Development Bank loan and a [continue reading]
03 May, 2010
GABORONE – About 24 Chinese construction companies are currently engaged in major government projects at an estimated total cost of P20 billion, Infrastructure Science and Technology Minister, Mr Johnnie Swartz has revealed.
Giving a key note address at the consultative meeting between his ministry and Chinese contractors on project implementation challenges, last Thursday, Mr Swartz said he chose to engage Chinese contractors alone, because they formed the majority of contractors in government construction projects.
According to Mr Swartz, the countrys construction industry had experienced bottlenecks associated with inadequate skilled manpower, poor workmanship and cost overruns.
Above all, he said the construction industry reputation also continued to be tarnished by small groups of unscrupulous operators and rogue traders through unprofessional practices.
Therefore, the purpose of the meeting was to award Chinese contractors an opportunity to voice their side of [continue reading]