Archive for June 6th, 2007

source: IOL
June 06 2007 at 08:54AM

A parliamentary committee has heard that visitors to South Africa would have to register with a local service provider before enjoying “international roaming” on their cellphones, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

The measures come as part of the Regulation of Interception of Communication Amendment bill being discussed by the justice committee.

The bill’s aim is to help fight against organised crime and the use of cellphones to commit crimes. It requires that personal details of every cellphone user be recorded.

A clause in the bill says that a non-South African would have to supply full names, passport number and address before getting access to roaming from a local provider.

However, there are fears that this could result in lengthy queues at ports of entry and of costly administrative delays for cellphone companies. It could also lead to problems with the arrival of foreigners during the 2010 Fifa World Cup who would have queue up to register their phones before leaving international airports.

Representatives of cellphone companies said these measures would be difficult for their operations. They expected delays at airports. – Sapa, IOL

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

4 June 2007
Posted to the web 5 June 2007

Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe
Gaborone

Government has decided to turn the Tlokweng-Gaborone road, one of the most congested highways in the capital city, into a dual carriageway, Department of Roads’ project coordinator Jacob Sello has confirmed to Monitor.

He said work on the stretch from the Polytechnic roundabout to the Tlokweng-Zeerust border gate would start next January.

The expansion, according to the project supervisor, will take 30 months.

Sello said the existing Polytechnic circle would also be replaced by traffic lights.

“Construction of Machel Drive and Mobuto Drive (3.4 Km) will also be upgraded to dual carriage way. The upgrading of Machel/Mobuto Drives and Tlokweng border post road is expected to begin in January 2008 with,” he said.

Sello would not state the total cost of the project because it was yet to go to tender. But Bergstan Africa Consulting and Developing Engineers (Pty) Ltd are the project consultants. The company last week published notices for public consultation meeting regarding the proposed upgrading of the road. In its advert in Friday’s Mmegi, the consultants said the project would address the increasing traffic flow within the city.

It is also envisaged that the expansion and upgrading of the road would help minimise congestion as well as road accidents experienced along Mobuto Drive from the University of Botswana (UB) circle. allAfrica

 source: IOL
Sapa
June 06 2007 at 06:36AM

South Africa is on a strong financial footing, despite “huge economic and social challenges”, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told an International Monetary Conference meeting in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“The economy is performing well, but we still have millions living in poverty and many more unable to get jobs,” Manuel said.

“We cannot be satisfied with our performance until we have made a bigger dent in unemployment and poverty.”

He told the IMC the country’s economy grew 5 percent last year – the highest growth in 25 years, and the third year of sustained economic growth.

The unemployment rate had also declined for three years in a row, with more than a million jobs created.

“All the major indicators of economic growth are showing that the present economic boom represents one of the longest sustained increases in income in about 40 years,” Manuel said.

“What started off as a consumption boom has [continue reading]

source: IOL

June 05 2007 at 04:28PM

South African Airways (SAA) has paid R55-million in penalties imposed on it by the Competition Tribunal, the Competition Commission said on Tuesday.

SAA made the payment on Friday, the Commission said in a statement.

The penalties included two for R20m and one for R15m, concluded under a consent agreement between the SAA and the Commission, it said.

The first penalty was imposed for price-fixing by SAA and Lufthansa through their bilateral agreements.

The second, paid jointly with SA Express, was for alleged fuel levy charge fixing through a domestic airlines’ agreement.

Both complaints were brought by the Commission

The third penalty was for alleged abuse of dominance regarding override commission and trust payment agreements between SAA and travel agents. This complaint was brought by Comair.

The Commission said that although Comair and Nationwide airlines opposed the third consent agreement, all three were confirmed by the Competition Tribunal in the second half of 2006.

The payment follows that of a R45m penalty by SAA on May 31 last year.

This penalty was imposed following a July 28, 2005 ruling by the Tribunal that the SAA had abused its dominance by inducing travel agents not to deal with its competitors. – Sapa, IOL

source: allAfrica
Southern African News Features (Harare)

5 June 2007
Posted to the web 5 June 2007

Djibril Diallo
Harare

The African Union is helping to get the ball rolling for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa by rallying countries across the continent to use football’s tremendous appeal for a broad range of development and peace activities through the International Year of African Football 2007 (IYoAF) and the World Cup Legacy Programme.

The AU is holding its first ever conference of Ministers of Sport on 4-8 June in Addis Ababa to generate involvement in these World Cup initiatives in Africa’s 53 countries, and more broadly for using the power of sport to advance education and health, improve livelihoods, increases opportunities for women and girls, and encourage peace-building.

The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), the South Africa Local Organizing Committee for the World Cup, the Governments of South Africa and Ethiopia, and the African Football Confederation (CAF) are key partners for the initiatives.

FIFA, led by President Sepp Blatter, is helping to ensure that the entire continent benefits from the World Cup through its “Win in Africa with Africa” initiative, which is also the World Cup slogan.

The United Nations is also part of the team. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, “Sport is increasingly recognized as an important tool in helping the United Nations to achieve its objectives, in particular the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs].

“By including sport in development and peace programmes in a more systematic way, the United Nations can make full use of this [continue reading]

source: IOL

June 05 2007 at 05:34PM

Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi has chastised public service unions for their emphasis on a 12 percent wage increase, saying it will be inflationary.

“In our opinion, by putting the emphasis on a stated percentage on one item where conditions of service and remuneration frameworks are made up of a composite of mutually sensitive items will not be in the best interest of country as a whole.

“It will set in motion inflationary forces which South Africans can ill afford,” she told MPs in the National Assembly during debate on her budget vote on Tuesday.

Government’s latest offer presented to the unions on Monday included a general salary increase of 6,5 percent and “occupation specific dispensations” for various professions over and above this.

These would be effective for all categories of nurses, legally qualified professionals in justice, and school principals from July 1. Teachers would follow on January 1 next year.

The offer further included [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

4 June 2007
Posted to the web 5 June 2007

Gaborone

The newly launched tourism outfit, Travel Leisure (Pty) Ltd., aims to capitalise on Botswana’s overall ranking by the 2007 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum 2007 which places the country at a lofty number three in Africa and 70 in the world as a tourist destination of choice, says former United States Ambassador to Botswana Joseph Huggins, who co-owns the company with the Chilisa family.

Speaking at the launch of the company at the Gaborone Sun last Thursday, Huggins said travel and tourism was currently one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy in terms of job creation.

In Botswana, tourism accounts for one in every 10.8 jobs and is the second largest foreign currency earner, said Huggins, who is the chairman of Travel Leisure.

In terms of the top 20 foreign currency earners in tourism for Africa, the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) ranks the country at number seven, generating over 549 million United States dollars per year, the former Ambassador said.

“As you can imagine, there is significant growth potential in this area, and we at Travel Leisure want to play a role in improving these rankings for Botswana.”

Huggins said he had made a long-term investment in Travel Leisure and that he and his partners would have to work hard to establish their brand in the United States and other markets.

“Having said that, this is a challenge that I look forward to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 June, 2007

GABORONE – Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has opened its first contact centre in an effort to improve customer service.

The facility, which will be accessible through a toll free number, serves as a one-stop shop for the corporations customers regardless of where they are located.

Giving a key note address at the launch, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, said every organisations success largely depended on the quality of service it rendered to its customers.

Mr Kedikilwe said nowadays businesses had to provide excellent customer service to stay afloat and ahead of their competitors.

He said through the centre, WUC aimed to improve its efficiency level by reducing response time to customers who call in need of assistance.

He however warned against abuse.

It is my ardent hope that this service will not be abused like other toll free numbers like the police and nurses.

Mr. Kedikilwe said the centre, which was equipped with state-of-the-art call, was manned by highly trained agents to service the corporations entire customer base.

He said the centre would make it possible for clients to get the latest information on their accounts, responses to their questions and queries as well general information on the corporations products and services at the touch of a dial.

As part of its customer service drive, the corporation had also increased the number of its customer service centres and given a face-lift to existing ones Mr Kedikilwe said although water tariffs had not increased since 2003, the unit cost of water production had risen due to escalating inflation and the devaluation of the Pula in 2005.

While my ministry and the WUC wish to [continue reading]