Archive for June 8th, 2007

source: BOPA
07 June, 2007

SEROWE – Fake foreign currencies are suspected to be in circulation in Serowe following two instances where they were found.

In the first one, according to the Serowe Police Station Commander Senior Supt Victor Nlebesi, a 37-year-old Zimbabwean man was arrested on April 26 when he attempted to buy a cellular phone using alleged counterfeit United States Dollars at the Boiteko Junction Shopping Complex.

A certain businessman suspected foul play and reported the incident to the police who searched the perpetrator and found 500 Zimbabwean Dollars, 100 Zambian Kwachas, R650 (South African Rand) and US$1450.

The suspect, who was still remanded would appear before the Serowe Magistrate Court on June 13 while the notes were sent to the forensic laboratory for validation.

Should he be found guilty, Senior Superintendent Nlebesi said he would be imprisoned for seven years or less.

In the other incident 13 notes of US$100 also suspected to be fake were found by children sweeping their yard at Mere Ward on April 30.

The matter was reported to the police by the bank after the concerned father took the money to the bank for verification, as the notes were light in texture, did not have water mark and security threat.

Mr Nlebesi has advised members of the public to always be on the alert, as fake currencies were suspected to be in circulation.

He said they should avoid black market but instead use the banks for foreign transactions. BOPA

source: Mmegi

Recent media reports that the Botswana Police Service is a step closer to establishing an Air Wing has been greeted with applause from various sectors of the society. “It is definitely a positive step. We have always advocated for the allocation of resources to the Police Service.

Helicopters would definitely give them the capacity to discharge their mandate effectively,” said Baboloki Tlale, Executive Secretary, of Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisation. He said the public has always expressed concern that the Botswana Defence Force was being given more support by the government, while the Police Service seemed to be overlooked. “This will definitely help address those concerns. It would give police more resources and modernise them. It would give them more visibility thus helping prevent crime,” he said.
Puseletso Mokgware, a hawker at the Gaborone Bus Station says police officers’ ability to react on time would be enhanced by the purchase. “We have changed from times when officers could take hours to arrive to a scene of the crime. We now expect them to arrive in a matter of minutes because criminals are much more brutal. You could get murdered for your sweets and bananas. We need officers who are much more effective” she said. However she said she hopes that reports of emergencies would be treated with equal attention. “I hope they do not only reserve the helicopters for so-called serious crimes which normally means attending to rich people and their assets. We want them to use those helicopters to help some of us poor people,” she added.
Speaking on behalf of the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower, spokesman Tebogo Rapitsenyane said the body appreciates [continue reading]

source: SuperWheels

Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2007 – 15:20

The Toyota 1000 Desert Race, organised by the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa, and to be run this year from June 15 to 17, provides an annual boost for tourism in Botswana, and also provides the economy with a major foreign exchange injection.“In terms of boosting the economy and tourism, the Toyota 1000 Desert Race is one of the most important events of the year in Botswana,” said Skean Drummond, chairman of the Four Wheel Drive Club organising committee in charge of this year’s event. The FWDCSA, first formed in 1972, has been involved with the event since its inception.

“The race has over the years provided a major boost to the Botswana economy, and has also had a major affect on tourism,” said Drummond. “A great many of the visitors for the race have also discovered Botswana as a leisure destination. This has provided the tourism industry with a boost, but the event also provides opportunities along the route for small scale entrepreneurs to provide a wide range of services to competitors and spectators.”

Drummond added that over the years the Four Wheel Drive Club, along with [continue reading]

source: allAfrica.com

7 June 2007
Posted to the web 7 June 2007

John Allen
Cape Town

South Africa’s central bank today increased interest rates for the first time in six months in an attempt to curb inflation.

The governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni, announced in a nationally-televised statement that the rate at which the bank lends money to commercial banks – the “repo” or repurchase rate – would rise from 9 to 9.5 percent starting tomorrow.

The decision of the bank’s monetary policy committee became almost inevitable after news last week that the consumer price index had risen 6.3 percent in the year to April, defeating the bank’s objective of holding inflation to between three and six percent for the first time since August 2003.

In a nationally broadcast television address today, Mboweni said fuel and food prices had been the main forces driving up inflation. Petrol prices had increased by 15.5 percent and food prices by 8.6 percent in the year to April – the latter as a result of grain and meat price increases. In addition, the economy was also subject to “more broadly-based price pressures.”

Bank forecasts suggested that oil and food prices, as well as a continued high rate of household spending, continued to pose a threat to attempts to keep inflation in check.

International oil prices would remain subject to upward pressure, Mboweni said. He suggested that local food prices were affected by international trends, such as the diversion of grain products to the production of biofuels and demand resulting from higher global income.

The growth in household spending was reflected in high rates of domestic credit, he said, quoting growth figures around 26 to 29 percent. The increase in spending was bolstered by higher employment level and higher incomes. In an aside, Mboweni hit out at critics who had suggested that higher employment rates were “an urban legend.”

However, he also noted that the economic growth rate had declined to 4.7 percent for the first quarter of 2007, mainly as result of a drop in mining activity and slower growth in manufacturing.

Nevertheless, he added, “the economy is still growing at a rate around estimated potential and the higher rate of fixed capital formation… is expected to sustain economic growth going forward as well as increase the growth potential of the economy.” allAfrica

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

7 June 2007
Posted to the web 7 June 2007

The pan-African merchant bank, the African Banking Corporation (ABC) Holdings Limited, seems to be making progress in its cash raising endeavours that should see the bank expanding to other markets on the continent.

Already, several unnamed investors have expressed interest in buying ABC shares ahead of the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) intended to pave way for private placement. One of the international financiers that have agreed to place a 10 percent equity in the bank worth close to P40 million is the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank.

The EGM, which is to be held on June 28, is expected to seek approval of current shareholders for the deal.

The South Africa-based ABC Group chief executive officer, Douglas Munatsi, told a press conference in Gaborone yesterday that the IFC is prepared to cede money for use in the Group’s expansion programme. But, he said, the IFC wants to retain its right to sell its stake later.

“Many investors have approached us, and we are looking at investors that have not invested in ABC so that we diversify shareholding. In the past, we used the money we raised to strengthen our business, but we are looking at going into other countries in Africa.”

Munatsi added that the investment into the bank by the IFC is a confidence boost for the pan-African bank.

However, he explained that with [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

7 June 2007
Posted to the web 7 June 2007

Oliver Modise

Registrar and Master of the High Court Godfrey Nthomiwa has placed lawyers who have not renewed their practising certificates on a 30 days notice or face removal from the roll of practicising attorneys.

“Pursuant to section 13/96 of the Legal Practitioners’ Act, you are hereby given thirty days notice from 30th May 2007,to renew your Practising Certificate(s), failing which your name will be removed from the roll,” states one of the letters from the Registrar.

In a list of private law firms released by the High Court, Mokongwa Attorneys, Rahim Khan and Company, Mosate &Associates, Mosweu&Company, YS Moncho Attorneys, Sikhakhane &Company, Chris Du Plessis Attorneys, Mankge-Masuge Attorneys have been listed among those that have not yet complied with the Legal Practitioners Act.

Included in the list of law firms that have not regularised is Gaborone West-North legislator and reigning Botswana National Front (BNF) president Otsweletse Moupo’s law firm, Moupo, Motswagole and Dingake. The law firms have been given up until June 30 to regularise or face the axe.

This is not the first time that the Gaborone West North MP had failed to regularise. Last year he made headlines when he failed to regularise until the [continue reading]

source: IOL

June 07 2007 at 04:47PM

Should Eskom raise its tariffs by 18 percent as it reportedly plans to do, it would force the South African Reserve Bank to adjust its inflation target “much higher”, governor Tito Mboweni warned on Thursday.

He made the warning as the Bank opted on Thursday to increase its key repo rate by half a percentage point to 9.5 percent.

“If the rate they (Eskom) are asking is to be implemented then we’ll have very high CPIX indeed,” he said

Year-on-year consumer price inflation less mortgage costs CPIX breached the upper limit of the Reserve Bank’s inflation target of three to six percent in April reaching 6.3 percent.

Mboweni warned that the figure would increase much more if electricity goes up by 18 percent.

Eskom announced last month that it would follow a public participation process before hiking tariffs to finance the upgrading of its infrastructure.

Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga told the SABC: “Prices have to go up. We are spending R150-billion over the next five years to build new plants and to improve services and all this has to be paid for.”

Mboweni said while he understood Eskom’s need for increased funding the power utility should find “more creative” ways than just hiking its prices. – Sapa, IOL

source: SouthAfrica.Info
7 June 2007

California-based business consulting company Frost & Sullivan states that the South African information technology (IT) infrastructure outsourcing market earned revenues of between US$2.78-billion and $3.5-billion in 2006, estimating that it will reach $5.6-billion by 2012.

“South Africa’s IT infrastructure outsourcing market is expanding at a robust rate due to sustained economic growth,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Lindsey Mc Donald in a statement issued this week.

“The market is poised to experience fairly significant consolidation within the next five years.”

According to the business research and growth consulting firm, South Africa’s IT infrastructure outsourcing market will continue to show healthy levels of growth, but that the country would need to focus on the requirements of the SMME sector in order to effectively capitalise on existing opportunities.

“This follows a trend whereby large market participants have started to increase their services and areas of expertise through targeted and strategic acquisitions of ‘best-of-breed’ service providers,” the company said.

The company states that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

6 June 2007
Posted to the web 7 June 2007

Gaborone

Botswana investors have poured P100 million into the Stanbic Managed Prudential Fund in a little over a year, overturning previous assumptions that Batswana are more interested in spending than saving, Stanbic Investments Botswana says in a statement.

The Fund, which was established in April last year, has so far achieved 34 percent growth, resulting in its being named a top-performing fund in the last quarter of 2006 in a leading investment industry survey by Alexander Forbes.

Leina Gabaraane, who is the Managing Director of Stanbic Investments, says the performance of the Fund shows that the assumption that Batswana are more of consumers than savers may be false, adding that the Fund topped the P100 million mark much quicker than was anticipated.

“The success demonstrates that previous assumptions about our market need to be modified. It may be true that we lack a deeply entrenched savings culture, but this is not because Batswana are short-sighted or prefer spending to saving. A key reason is the lack of appropriate savings products in our market,” Gabaraane says.

“Another lesson from this success is that Batswana are learning to assess investment risk and some categories of investors may have a stronger risk appetite than was previously thought.”

The Fund is marketed and managed by Stanbic Investments Botswana that has been so [continue reading]

source: new24
07/06/2007 19:37  – (SA)

Johannesburg – A safe way for the public to report suspected crime – anonymously by SMS – was announced in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Citizens suspecting crime can send an SMS from their cellphones to the number 32211 and remain anonymous.

Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi said police would do everything in their power to make this initiative – called “Crime Line” – work.

“I think the crime we need to concentrate on is housebreaking, because [that crime is associated with] a number of other offences, such as murder, rape and crime.”

Crime Line was a joint venture between the SA Police Service and Primedia.

Last year the public was asked to SMS a Johannesburg radio station if they suspected criminal activities taking place. This led to many arrests.

Sixty finger print identification scanners, costing R45 000 each, were also presented to the police at Thursday’s launch. The money was raised by radio listeners.

The scanner allows the police to identify people with their thumb prints, and gives access to information such as criminal records.

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula, who was also present, said he was very optimistic about the venture.

“We have to deal with the criminals in this country and [continue reading]

source: BBC

Robert Mugabe

The president has been accused of human rights abuses

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will not lose sleep over being stripped of an honorary degree, a leading government official has said.

Edinburgh University announced on Wednesday it would withdraw the degree it awarded to Mr Mugabe in 1984.

The university cited human
rights violations by the Zimbabwe government for its decision.

But Zimbabwe’s deputy information minister, Bright Matonga, said the move was meant to embarrass Mr Mugabe.

The president was awarded the degree for his services to education in Africa, but has since been criticised by Western countries for a crackdown on political opponents and creating economic problems in the African country.

The decision to strip him of his honorary degree was welcomed by university staff, students, politicians and human rights campaigners.

Mr Matonga said the [continue reading]