Archive for June 2nd, 2007

source: BOAP
01 June, 2007

GABORONE – Government has suspended the issuing of licenses for diamond-cutting and polishing companies until further notice, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources said.

Speaking during a conducted tour of the Diamond Trading Company building in Gaborone on Wednesday, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the proliferation of such companies might make them difficult to regulate in the long term.

Mr Kedikilwe said more preparations were needed before issuing more licenses, adding that there was also a need to establish an office that will monitor the companies.

He said government was lobbying multilateral banks that specialise in the diamond industry to establish branches in Botswana to support the cutting and polishing companies.

However, he said, local established financial institutions should take the opportunity to be the biggest players in the industry.

Mr Kedikilwe was informed that the building was 17 days behind schedule but that it would be completed as originally planned in November.

The project manager, Mr Peter McMorran, said some of the factors that contributed to the delay were lack of skilled manpower as well as building material.

Mr McMorran told the minister that more than 1 000 people were employed. However, the number fluctuates according to need. Seventy per cent of the employees are Batswana.

The Diamond Trading Company building, financed by the De Beers Group, was estimated to cost about P480 million.

The building would be fitted with state of the art technology and equipment that amount to about P82 million.

A press release from the De Beers says the company would fund the first consignment of diamond sorting and valuing equipment.

Thereafter the company will take the responsibility to replace redundant equipment. BOPA

source: BOPA
01 June, 2007

GABORONE – The number of murder, armed robbery and rape cases are increasing at an alarming rate, according to Botswana Police Services reports.

A weekly police report says 95 people have been murdered since the beginning of the year up to May 27 and that the number is 25 cases higher than that recorded last year during the same period.

The report says seven murder cases were recorded during the week of May 20 to May 27, and that six people have been arrested in connection with six of the cases while a seventh suspect committed suicide.

On traffic accidents, the report said 10 people have died in 309 separate accidents during the same period.

The number brings the total number of road accident deaths to 166 since the beginning of the year. The report also states that 286 motorists were charged for speeding out of 1 555 cases of traffic violations in the week which ended on May 27.

It says about 180 motorists were breathalyzer tested for alcohol and that 13 have been charged for driving under the influence of alcohol while 14 were fined for using hand held mobile phones whilst driving.

The police also recorded 32 armed robbery cases involving about P21 000 and property valued at over P60 000.Out of the 32 cases, two involved the use of firearms, 20 involved the use of knives while the rest involved various weapons.

The 32 cases brings the number of armed robbery cases reported since beginning of the year to 732 as compared to 723 recorded during the same period last year.

On rape cases, the report says the police recorded 18 rape cases in which four suspects were arrested for four of the cases.

The cases bring the number of rape cases to 573 compared to 533 reported during the same period in 2006.

Still in the past week, 13 motor vehicles were reported stolen and four of the vehicles were recovered. BOPA

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
source: allAfrica

31 May 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007

Wanetsha Mosinyi

Negotiations with various potential bidders are going on regarding the purchase of Botswana Ash (Botash) shares.

Late last year, Botash announced that the company had attracted the attention of various companies in the chemicals industry. In a recent interview, the Managing Director of Botash, Derek Cochrane, confirmed that a number of companies had expressed interest, but declined to name them or the extent of their bids. Cochrane referred all further inquiries to Imara, a South African firm engaged in the negotiations on behalf of Botash.

The Director of Imara, Rod MacLeod, was terse in his response: “Negotiations are proceeding and an announcement will be made at the appropriate time.”

Botash stated in a recent statement: “In recent months, a number of companies have made approaches to the shareholders of Botash with a view to acquiring shares in Botash and the current shareholders are now formally considering some of these approaches.” However, the company warned that interested parties should take into account the interests of all Botash stakeholders, including its employees and customers, and that any new shareholders in Botash must commit to its long-term future. “Any sale of shares that may ensue from these discussions (will) be subject to the approval of the Botswana Government, the respective boards of directors of the other Botash shareholders and other regulatory authorities. Any such sale should not materially affect the daily operations of Botash,” the statement said.

Botash is one of Africa’s major producers and suppliers of soda ash and salt. The company, originally known as Soda Ash Botswana, was born out of an [continue reading]

source: IOL

June 01 2007 at 01:09PM

South Africa’s petrol prices will rise by 23 cents a litre across all grades from June 6, the government said on Friday.

A statement from the minerals and energy department said the most-used 95 grade would climb by 3,28 percent to a new record high of R7,24 a litre in the central Gauteng province, which includes the financial capital Johannesburg.

Analysts have said rising food prices and fuel costs, which make up about 4,7 percent of the main CPIX index targeted by the central bank for monetary policy, are likely to add to inflationary pressures in coming months. IOL

source: BOPA
01 June, 2007

The President Mr Festus Mogae yesterday met a joint China/South Africa business delegation which is in Botswana to explore areas of possible investment.

The delegation was headed by Mr William Wu who is also the Chief Executive of the China-Africa Trade and Industry Development Corporation with interest in glass manufacturing.

Mr Wus company has a subsidiary company called Shanghai Fengyue that is already in Botswana.

The Managing Director of Shanduka Energy, Ms Phuti Malabie is representing South African businessman, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, who owns the company but could not be part of the delegation.

The company has interest in the energy sector and it is looking to explore prospects of Botswana as an energy hub with developments like Mmamabula projects and the countrys vast coal deposits. During the visit, the delegation will meet business partners in Botswana and officials of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. BOPA

source: IOL
June 01 2007 at 06:52PM

The resumption of the national lottery was brought a step closer on Friday when the National Lotteries Board delivered its report and recommendation for awarding the new operating licence to Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa.

“This means that the detailed investigative work that was being undertaken into the shareholders of all the bidders pursuant to the court judgment has been concluded,” he said in a statement.

It marked a major milestone in completing the statutory process for awarding a licence to operate the national lottery.

“I will require time to carefully study the report and to apply my mind to all the issues covered to enable me to take a decision.

“During this period, I will also take legal advice, and [continue reading]

source: IOL

June 01 2007 at 07:27PM

British Prime Minister Tony Blair ensured that Africa was firmly on the agenda of the international community during his time in office, President Thabo Mbeki said on Friday.

The two leaders met at the Union Buildings in Pretoria as part of Blair’s farewell tour to Africa.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Mbeki said Blair took a “strong and bold” position on Africa.

“Now there isn’t anybody in the world who wouldn’t want to put the Africa issue on the agenda. And I say it’s thanks a lot, Prime Minister, to the position that you took,” Mbeki said.

Further progress on Africa at next week’s Group of Eight (G8) meeting of developed states in Germany would be a perfect farewell gift to Blair, Mbeki suggested.

Blair said: “Next week’s G8 gives us an opportunity to take another big step forward in the process begun at Gleneagles on Africa and climate change.

“There has been a massive amount of money given to debt relief there has been an increase in aid to Africa, but we need to do far more.”

That the two leaders, who were on a first name basis, enjoyed a special relation was clear from the smiles and easy body language following the meeting. Mbeki even said he hoped Blair “would stay in touch”.

The one issue they did not always agreed on was how to tackle the situation in Zimbabwe.

On Friday, however, Blair said Mbeki’s mediation efforts on behalf the Southern African Development Community should be given an opportunity to succeed.

“The solution is an African solution for Zimbabwe… we would do whatever we can to support the changes necessary to improve the lot of people in Zimbabwe,” Blair said.

“It’s not what I say or what anyone else says. It is what happens to the people of Zimbabwe and the solution ultimately, since nobody else is giving a solution, is a solutions which comes from this region,” he said.

The two leaders would have their last discussion at an official luncheon hosted by Mbeki in honour Blair.

The Africa trip, which saw Blair also making a turn in Libya and Sierra Leone, is his last major tour before stepping down as prime minister in July. – Sapa, IOL

source: allAfrica

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
31 May 2007
Posted to the web 1 June 2007

Chandapiwa Baputaki

The Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) has developed a milestone chart to guide the college’s evolution to expand into tertiary education by 2009 and transit into an open university by 2016.

The institution will include tertiary education in addition to secondary and vocational, which they have offered since their inception in 1998.

The director of BOCODOL, Daniel Tau said in an interview that his institution is currently diversifying the certificate level courses to include diplomas, which they are still piloting with an enrolment of 500 learners.

However, they are still putting in place a pilot project to check the efficiency of the programmes and effects of the learners’ support system before embarking on marketing themselves aggressively.

“We need to build capacity to match the number of learners that we intend taking on board. When you bring more learners without capacity, quality tends to go down and we would not want to do that,” Tau said.

He revealed that their venturing into tertiary education came after the students who were completing certificate courses requested that they be offered an opportunity to continue their education with them.

“Our courses are mainly from the market research that we conduct before introducing a course. We do not want to offer a course that is already offered by other institutions because it would not make sense and we would end up competing in all respects,” Tau asserted.

He indicated that more people are beginning to realise that distance education is a viable option if [continue reading]

source: BOPA

01 June, 2007
SEHITHWA – The Ministry of Education has instructed publishers of a social studies book for standard seven titled: Social Studies is Fun, to stop publishing it as it contains offensive paragraphs.

Education minister Jacob Nkate said they had also given instruction for the book to be withdrawn from schools.

Addressing a Mbanderu Youth Association of Botswana (MYAB) conference in Sehithwa, Mr Nkate said he first heard of the offensive words during kgotla meetings he addressed recently in his constituency.

The book, which is co-authored by a Moherero states that Otusira is part of Baherero culture whereby after the death of a relative, a net is erected and men will have unprotected sex with young girls inside the tent. It further states that this in itself spreads HIV/AIDS.

The matter cropped up again during the Sehithwa conference when the associations chairperson Mr Topias Marenga asked for the ministers intervention.

Mr Marenga explained that Otusira was not a practice, but refers to the shelter, which they use to sleep in during gatherings such as funerals and weddings.

He said Baherero and the Mbanderu felt insulted by the [continue reading]