Archive for October, 2010
October 27 2010 at 12:42am
Johannesburg – The Gauteng government and Eskom will form a task team to tackle cable theft and the illegal connection of electricity in a bid to improve power supply, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Tuesday.
“We need to move away from the bad culture of illegal connections. We have to work hard on changing the mindset of our communities so that people know that they have to pay for the electricity they use at all times,” Mokonyane told media after a meeting with Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana and CEO Brian Dames.
The joint task team comprising government, Eskom and civil society would address ageing infrastructure, lack of skills and [continue reading]
Johannesburg – SA ranks 54th in Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released on Tuesday.
South Africa scored 4.5 in this year’s index. A score of zero indicates highly corrupt, and 10 a low level of corruption.
The 2010 CPI showed nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index scored below five, indicating a “serious corruption problem”, the global civil society organisation said.
Botswana rated highest of all African countries at 33rd with a score of 5.8. Mauritius notched up 5.4 in 39th place.
“These results signal that significantly [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Kabo Mokgoabone
The transport group index pushed the national year-on-year inflation rate higher in September, ending the months of softening Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures.
Central Statistics Offices (CSO) said inflation rose to 7.0 percent y/y in September from 6.7 percent y/y in August as a host of basket items, including clothing and footwear, transport, furnishing and equipment had an impact on the figures.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages remained steady. Analysts said the numbers are in line with expectations.
“Given that the September inflation number is in line with our [continue reading]
PALAPYE: Botswana’s future looks so bright that the country could return the goodwill of South Africa – which currently supplies 80 percent of Botswana’s power – by exporting electricity to that country and others in the southern African region.
Officially launching Morupule Colliery Expansion Project on Fiday, Vice President Mompati Merafhe said the success of the project would transform Botswana’s economy from one heavily reliant on the goodwill of neighbouring countries for energy to one self-sufficient in power generation.
“Our country will be better-placed to one day return the goodwill by exporting surplus electricity to the neighbouring states,” Merafhe said.
“This should be our driving factor as we set in motion a process of expanding our coal mining and processing initiatives at [continue reading]
Africa-Asia Confidential (London)
25 October 2010
Mayhem broke out on 15 October at the Collum Coal Mine in southern Zambia after Chinese owners shot workers protesting over dangerous and difficult working conditions.
The workers were demanding higher salaries and an explanation as to why they had not been paid for two months. The tense relations between Chinese managers and Zambian workers is a critical issue ahead of 2011 national elections.
Asian investments are an emotive issue in Zambia. Chinese mine managers have clashed with protesting workers several times before. India’s Vedanta Resources has also come under fire from civic groups for refusing to renegotiate its low royalty and tax obligations when world copper and cobalt prices soared.
Opposition leader Michael Sata accused Chinese companies of gross exploitation of Zambian workers at the last election, and delighted in goading Beijing’s ambassador to Lusaka into some very undiplomatic utterances. Within hours of the shooting, Sata sprung into action again, having earlier softened his [continue reading]
To mark 35 years of the existence of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Botswana, the two governments saw it fitting to promote media cooperation because the Fourth Estate plays a conducive role in building and developing relationships.
Officiating at the China-Botswana media seminar last Friday, Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, Liu Huanxing, said media partnerships between the two countries could enhance the existing socio-economic and cultural cooperation.
He said good media relationships could help Sino-Africa relations by bringing more tangible benefits to Africa because people will be informed about social and [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
In a rare moment coming at a time when public finances and debt are getting out of control, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has gathered its critics for 2011/ 12 budget consultation next week.
The gathering, named Budget Pitso, is a culmination of concerns from the industry and NGOs that Botswana public budget is done in ‘secrecy’.
“We are doing this because of the background,” explained Kenneth Matambo, the Finance minister. “We have been criticised about government budget and people heard only about it when it is presented in Parliament. Maybe the criticism was valid.”
A number of policy think tanks like BIDPA and trade unions have queried the way budget formulation is being [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
26 October 2010
Johannesburg — THE leading indicator of business activity in SA dipped slightly in August after a strong rise in July, adding to evidence that the recovery is tentative and may slow down over the rest of the year.
The leading indicator, which points to trends six to 12 months ahead, declined 0,1% in August, after a robust 1,3% rise during the month before, figures from the Reserve Bank showed.
The Bank’s economist, Iaan Venter, said that while it was dangerous to look at one month in isolation, the monthly dip was part of a sideways trend, suggesting that growth remained subdued.
“I still believe it’s indicating a moderate growth trend,” he said.
Other figures yesterday showed that company failures rose 2,1% last month compared with [continue reading]
Members of Botswana Police Service launched a Corporate Development Strategy on Friday morning as another indication of commitment towards service delivery to customers.
Acting director of Transport and Telecommunications Branch, assistant commissioner Goboletswe Dimeku said that adoption of standards by government departments would enable them to identify where to start in moving towards efficient delivery as well as determining how much they have achieved.
“This therefore provides an opportunity to prioritize services, allowing them to focus their effort and resources on [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Obusitse Kologwe
Botswana and South African delegates from respective ministries of Defence and Security last week converged on Marang Gardens in Francistown to discuss issues pertaining to defence, public and state security and reviewed the progress made in the implementation of resolutions passed at the previous 8th Session of the Commission held in Cape Town.
The Botswana delegation was led by Lesego Motsumi, the acting minister of Defense, Justice and Security while the South African delegation was led by Lindiwe Sisulu the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, along with Dr Siyabonga Cwele, who is the Minister of State Security and other Senior Government officials.
The commission expressed satisfaction with the [continue reading]
PALAPYE: The General Manager of Morupule Colliery, Albert Milton, says Botswana’s coal is among the best in the southern African region and presents huge opportunities for future export opportunities.
Speaking at the launch of the mine’s expansion project on Thursday, Milton said he hopes the country will be in a position to supply neighbouring countries with electricity once the expanded mine is fully operational.
Morupule Colliery has enough coal for both domestic and export demands. The colliery is expanding from mining one million tons to three million tons per annum in a project that will cost P1.5 billion. Milton said the resource would give Botswana an opportunity to diversify its economy.
Morupule Colliery boasts “an excellent safety performance” of no lost time injury since 2008, a rare phenomenon in the mining industry. The colliery supplies [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
by Irene Madongo
25 October 2010
The visit this week of officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Zimbabwe spells bad news for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and government officials hostile to transparency, an economic analyst has stated.
It’s been reported that the six-member IMF team will meet a number of senior government officials, including Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono. The team will examine the state of the economy under its Article IV provision, which requires it to visit member countries, collect information and discuss economic developments and policies.
On Monday, economic analyst Masimba Kuchera said: “To most of the people who have a lot of things to hide, and mainly people in ZANU PF, it is bad news. Some of the advice of the IMF is how to tighten controls on the fiscus, taxes and monetary authority. For the RBZ and ZANU PF I don’t think it will be good news.”
The IMF has been highly critical of the RBZ and has even called for an audit of the institution, a move ZANU PF has strongly resisted. Following another visit this year, the IMF said serious governance problems have remained at the RBZ, stating that accounting and internal controls are weak, and there was no [continue reading]
The government and the World Bank will soon engage consultants for the development of a coal roadmap, a strategic document on how the country will manage and derive optimum benefits from the estimated 212 billion tonnes of coal.
Experts believe further studies using more superior technology will soon advance estimated coal resources towards 300 billion tonnes.
Yesterday, the Director of Mines, Kgomotso Abi, said the government and the World Bank were currently preparing terms of reference to be used to retain a consultancy for the development of the roadmap.
“We are finalising the terms of reference, following which we will engage a [continue reading]
source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 12:16
The Transport group index registered an increase of 1.6 percent, from 129.6 to 131.6 between the two periods. Accroding to Acting Government statistician, M. P Kerekang this was largely due to an increase in the constituent section indices of Transport Services and Purchase of Vehicles which rose by 5.9 and 2.5 percent respectively.
The rise in Transport Services section index was mainly due to an increase in Minibus and Taxis Fares by 9.4 percent while long distance Bus (bitumen road) increased from 16.86 thebe to 18.55 thebe per kilometre, which effected on 1st September 2010. The increase in Purchase of Vehicles section index was attributed to the general increase in the prices of vehicles.
On other indicators, Kerekang said the September 2010 national Consumer Price Index was 139.4, registering an increase of 0.6 percent on the August index of 138.7. The urban villages’ index was 138.7 in September, recording an increase of 0.8 percent from 137.6 in August. The cities and towns’ index went up by 0.6 percent, moving from [continue reading]
Government’s P38 million rescue package for the troubled textile industry has thus far benefited 44 companies, employing 2, 831 citizens and disbursing P5.6 million in the process.
On Monday, a Ministry of Trade and Industry statement announced that of the 44 companies, 11 were large scale, seven medium, 25 small and one a micro-business. Successful applicants for the rescue package are mainly from Gaborone and Francistown with 19 companies in total, followed by Molepolole, Selebi-Phikwe, Tutume, Bobonong and 10 other villages.
“There has generally been slow growth in the coverage of the locations of companies that have benefited,” the statement reads. “The Ministry is, however, hopeful that the spread of [continue reading]