Archive for April, 2007

source: IOL

April 20 2007 at 12:19PM

By Wendy Jasson da Costa

South Africa’s commitment to fighting corruption has been called into question after a detailed international study found that it had failed to fully implement international anti-corruption conventions.

Eight other African countries – Algeria, Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda – have also been fingered in a study by the global civil society movement, Transparency International (TI).

The report indicated that all these countries had legal gaps regarding the regulations of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and Related Offences.

However, when contacted for comment, the spokesperson for the department of public service and administration, Lewis Rabkin, on Thursday said they would do so only once they had obtained a copy of the report and studied its findings.

Transparency International said it [continue reading]

Original Press release from Transparency International

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source: allAfrica

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

EDITORIAL
April 19, 2007
Posted to the web April 20, 2007

Poor project implementation is a known disease in this country. Parliament and councils sit in endless meetings where they deliberate on social development projects and eventually the appropriate plans and funding are approved. The whole process is cumbersome and often involves millions of Pula.

While much effort and time seem to be spent on the conception and mobilisation of projects, it appears little or nothing is done to ensure the agreed projects are successfully implemented. In many sessions in Parliament, members have complained about poor project implementation.
Africa 2007

President Festus Mogae has also in the past devoted his State-of-the-nation address to this cancerous problem. It would seem that his efforts to appoint his deputy as government’s coordinator of the various projects have not borne much fruit.

A case in point is a 10km access road that connects Moremi to Lesenepole villages in the Tswapong North Constituency. According to media reports, a company that had failed to construct the road has “mysteriously” been paid P8 million. The company had been paid even though council representatives and [continue reading]

source: news24
20/04/2007 17:30  – (SA)

Cape Town – Poachers in the Kruger National Park killed a total of 94 animals, including 20 white rhino, last year, said Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk on Friday.

Also on the list of animals poached in South Africa’s flagship reserve were 35 impala, 15 buffalo and three lions, according to a written reply by the minister to a parliamentary question.

The list covers the 12 months from April 1 2006 to end March this year.

Other animals poached included four zebra, three waterbuck, one elephant and a crocodile, said Van Schalkwyk.

source: BOPA
20 April, 2007

GABORONE – Botswana will soon open a zinc mine along Botswana-Namibia boarder at a place known as Kihabe, west of Nokaneng in the North West District.

The project started in 1983 but due to its remoteness within Botswana and the struggle for independence in Namibia through the 1980s, the project was inactive.

Mount Burgess Mining applied for a prospecting licence at Kihabe for 1969/03 and was granted and if all went according to plan, the project would be scheduled to commence production around November 2008, the company news states.

The prospecting licence covered a fault-bounded basin where potential exists for sediment-hosted base and precious metals deposits and nuclear fuels in the form of Carnotite, says the statement from the companys website.

The company says recent drilling by Mount Burgess mining into a 2.4km long base metals anomaly confirmed the presence of significant zones of zinc, lead and silver with credits for copper (0.34 per cent) and vanadium.

Mount Burgess Mining requested both Namibian and Botswana governments to open the Dobe boarder gate near Tsumkwe in Namibia, which was the companys base for diamond exploration.

With these developments in place, remoteness of the project [continue reading]

source:  about:Bestsellers

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

This week Alexander McCall Smith released the 8th book in the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency series. This series of delightful mysteries takes place in Botswana and features Mma. Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s first lady detective.

source: BOPA
20 April, 2007

PALAPYE – Morupule Colliery is to commission construction of a coal wash plant estimated at P87 million to enable the company to produce good quality coal.

The mines manager, Mr Cletus Tangane, said at the ground breaking ceremony on Tuesday, that Morupule Colliery sat on a coal field which has an estimated 15 billion tons of coal, which, at the current rate of extraction would deplete in 15 000 years.

Mr Tangane said late last year, the company entered into a contract with South Africa DRA Plant Design and Control Engineers to construct a wash plant which was expected to be operational by the end of the year.

He said the wash plant would process coal to remove coal by-products such as ash that was of no benefit to coal users.

Therefore, Morupule Colliery would be selling a finished product that has an increased value.

Morupule Colliery has been able to penetrate the Southern African Development Community market and was supplying graded coal to Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Tangane said Morupule Colliery recognised the need for good environmental governance and was [continue reading]

Source: Reuters Africa
Fri 20 Apr 2007, 5:36 GMT
LONDON (Reuters) – Botswana will likely issue more domestic bonds to mop up excess liquidity in its financial system, Botswana’s central bank governor said on Thursday.

Although Botswana’s inflation rate has been slowing, Governor Linah Mohohlo said she was concerned by forecasts showing that liquidity would continue to grow.

“We are in the process of convincing the government, and I think they have already bought into this, to float more domestic bonds,” she told a conference in London.

Mohohlo also told Reuters there was “a very good chance” that outside institutions would issue more Eurobonds denominated in the Botswanan pula.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) issued a Botswana pula bond earlier this month following the successful issue of pula bonds by both the EIB and the African Development Bank in 2005.

Botswana is a popular market for foreign investors and boasts the best sovereign rating in Africa, rated at “A2” by Moody’s and “A” by Standard & Poor’s.

The diamond-rich country is aiming for an average of 5 percent annual economic growth over the next three years.

“But we are hoping for more [continue reading]

source: Herald Tribune

Published: April 19, 2007

 

In an effort to expand its global reach in computing, Microsoft plans to offer a stripped-down version of Windows, Office and other software for $3 to people in developing nations.

The program, which is being announced in Beijing Thursday by the Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, represents an ambitious expansion of efforts to introduce products to those who have lacked access to personal computers, especially in developing nations.

While these countries have a growing appetite for technology as a means to spur growth and raise living standards, they also have very limited budgets. Some governments have encouraged alternatives to Microsoft’s Windows, notably Linux, a free operating system.

The Microsoft push comes as a nonprofit project, One Laptop per Child, plans this year to start producing machines priced at about $150 — with a goal of reaching $100 — that will run a version of Linux. Several countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria, have made tentative commitments to distribute the laptops to millions of schoolchildren.

Microsoft has offered discounted versions of Windows selectively in the past, to a few developing nations like Malaysia and Thailand, priced at $30 or less. But the new program, called Microsoft Unlimited Potential, goes further with more software and deeper price cuts and extends to all developing nations, said Microsoft’s senior vice president for emerging markets, Orlando Ayala.

Ayala said that the program also would be offered to low-income communities in the developed nations, including the United States — those families with incomes in the bottom 15 percent of the population, about $15,000 a year for an average household .

Under the program, Microsoft would make its discounted software available for installation on computers that would typically be sold to national, state or local governments, which would [continue reading]

source: IOL
Thieves have cracked two safes at Waterkloof Air Base and made off with at least R1,3-million that would have been used to pay for landing rights and fuel for foreign flights by President Thabo Mbeki and other VIPs, Beeld reported on Thursday.

The theft of dollars and rand outside Pretoria occurred on Tuesday night. The Air Force confirmed that the theft had taken place.

Sources told Beeld that the thieves used crowbars to gain access through two security doors at the finance offices, and then cut open the two safes. –
Sapa

source:Reuters

Thu 19 Apr 2007, 14:22 GMT

 

 

GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswana’s annual inflation rate continued its downward trend in March, slowing to 6.3 percent from 7.2 percent in the previous month, official data showed on Thursday.

Central Statistics Office data showed prices continued to fall after inflation jumped to 11.4 percent year-on-year on the devaluation of the pula currency in 2005.

Botswana introduced a formal inflation target of 3-6 percent in February 2006, but indicated that the target would not be achieved in that year due to the impact of the pula’s devaluation in May 2005.

source: BOPA
19 April, 2007

PALAPYE – Palapye MP Boyce Sebetela has adviced his constituents to gear up for the advent of free trade in the SADC region.

The era, the MP told a kgotla meeting at Boikago ward on Monday demanded very high work ethics such as efficiency and productivity.

Once SADC free movement of goods, services and people takes effect in the region beginning next year, Mr Sebetela said, it will be ursher in an era of tough competition for markets, among others.

Liberalisation of markets, the MP who was once assistant minister for Finance and Development Planning said, was not a theoretical thing as some people believe.

He said all Batswana should embrace the challenges presented by the free movement era and be prepared to compete with businesses from other SADC countries.

Mr Sebetela said by 2010 government protectionism as expected by the SADC protocol on free movement will cease to exist.

This, he said calls for local businesses to start positioning themselves and working hard to reap the reward presented by the huge market opportunity of the 14 member states.

On other issues, he informed residents that with the coming to an end of the Cotonuo agreements this year, Botswana beef will now face stiff competition for the lucrative European market.

This therefore, he said means that farmers should supply the Botswana Meat Commission Cattle with quality cattle.

He implored all Batswana with field and boreholes which have been abandoned to [continue reading]


source: news24
18/04/2007 19:58 – (SA)

Johannesburg – At least 600 000 people had accessed services on the upgraded transport information system by 13:00 on Wednesday, said the transport department.

“That is phenomenal,” the department’s safety promotions manager Ntau Letebele said.

Letebele acknowledged that the system was still shaky in some areas like Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“Our technicians are working on it…to make the system stable”.

The best-performing stations were Windsor Park in Durban with 4 259 transactions, 3 793 in Tshwane Central RA, 3 291 in Johannesburg and 2 722 in Bloemfontein.

‘Please be patient?’

Vehicle-testing stations, vehicle-registering authorities [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

April 18, 2007
Posted to the web April 18, 2007

Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe

The Executive Director of the Botswana Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Mariah Machailo-Ellis has called on chain stores to copy the example of Choppies to ensure that Batswana are empowered in the retail business.

She was prompted by Choppies’ unprecedented move to advertise 68 management trainee positions last week. The store , which has 48 branches countrywide , announced early this year that Batswana may buy the Choppies franchise.

Choppies has moved ahead of older chain stores in recruiting young Batswana for management positions. “Other chain stores should take a leaf out of Choppies’ book. Choppies is proving that it is possible to localize management posts in chain stores,” the outspoken director of the federation of employers said.

Machailo-Ellis said there was no reason why chain stores that had been doing business in Botswana for decades were still operating with expatriate managers.

“Besides, expatriates are expensive to maintain. Empowering Batswana to take up these management positions would save the companies a lot of money,” she said.

She urged Choppies to fulfill their promise. “We hope this is not just lip-service. It would be good for Batswana if Choppies fast-tracked its citizen empowerment programme,” she said. Choppies Human Resources Manager Ben Stergling told [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

April 18, 2007
Posted to the web April 18, 2007

Bame Piet

Police have recorded a 23 percent increase in theft of motor vehicles since the beginning of the year compared to the same period last year. While 89 vehicles were reported stolen during the same period last year, the thieves have struck 110 times this year.

Senior Superintendent Milton Mapange of the Serious Crime Squad said yesterday that most of the cars are abandoned after they are used in the commission of other crimes like robbery and house break-ins. He revealed that the criminals target Toyota vehicles, especially mini-buses and open vans. “They also target government vehicles parked in schools, clinics and council premises,” he said. Mapange added that most of the stolen cars have been recovered and the police are following leads about the missing ones. He explained that car theft often involves syndicates because a vehicle should have an immediate market after it has been stolen. He suspected that scrap yards are a lucrative market for stolen cars in Botswana. The vehicles are stripped at the yards and their parts sold to unsuspecting customers.

Like many senior police officers, Mapange complained about the slow pace at which court cases are finalised. He said that motor theft is committed by the same people who are out on bail for similar or [continue reading]

source: BOPA
18 April, 2007

PALAPYE – The project coordinator of the planned Botswana International University of Science and Technology says she is confident that the university will open its doors to students in 2009.

Ms Badumetse Hubona said even though she agreed with Palapye residents that time was running out, she said government was committed to opening the institution to its first 2 500 students in 2009.

Ms Hubona informed the residents that an environmental impact assessment study has begun, and that the education ministry was in the process of establishing a transactional advisory team which would be responsible for drafting legal documents inviting businesses for partnership in the project.

She said the university was originally scheduled to open in 2007 but because of major tasks such as the environmental impact study, acquiring a plot, identifying partners, and other logistics that were to be in place first, the date was pushed to 2009.

She said the education ministry was negotiating with other stakeholder ministries to employ the vice-chancellor of the new university.

Palapye residents had expressed their scepticism on the university opening its doors in 2009.

They said nothing was happening on the ground to convince them that all was going according to plan.

One of the residents, Mr Pius Ramogapi, said the works that needed to be in [continue reading]