Archive for June 25th, 2007

source: BOPA
25 June, 2007

RAMOTSWA Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) officials were advised to address the gaps between small entrepreneurs and chain stores and encourage patronage in local products.

South East councillors were concerned that chain stores buy most of their products from South Africa while local produce was abundant. They said market remained a problem to small entrepreneurs, and hence their businesses collapsed.

Councillors were speaking after LEA officials introduced the programme and their office in Ramotswa at a full council meeting.

Cllr Douglas Kereng said they should encourage Batswana to have the spirit of supporting others locally; adding that in that way LEA could make a big difference in many businesses and achieve its mandate.

Another councillor, Bore Nkwe advised LEA to visit schools and introduce their services so that children could grow having knowledge about business as most of Batswana were used to rearing of cattle only.

He said they could help to develop their interest in business and identify competitive business opportunities when they finished school.

Cllr Nkwe also requested them to negotiate with their sister institution, CEDA to look at construction of dams as many could start moulding of bricks at their lands.

Council chairperson, Mr Daniel Kgosiemang said 69 percent of the population was the youth and they still have the energy to engage in businesses though some were disadvantaged by education and understanding of the market.

He appreciated LEA services, adding that it [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2007, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK

President Robert Mugabe’s government has published a bill to move majority control of “public companies and any other business” to black Zimbabweans.

The goal is to ensure at least a 51% shareholding by indigenous black people in the majority of businesses.

Critics say it could hurt investor confidence in Zimbabwe, suffering from the world’s highest inflation and food, fuel and foreign currency shortages.

Now the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill will go to parliament.

‘Financing of acquisitions’

It is expected to back the bill, which stipulates that no company restructuring, merger or acquisition can be approved unless 51% of the firm goes to indigenous Zimbabweans.

The empowerment bill says that “indigenous Zimbabwean” is anyone disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on race grounds before independence in 1980.

It also provides for the establishment of an empowerment fund which will offer assistance to [continue reading]

More reforms needed

source: BOPA
25 June, 2007

GABORONE – The outgoing resident representative of Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Botswana, Mr Marc Meinardus, said more reforms are needed to enhance democracy in Botswana.

Speaking in an interview after meeting President Festus Mogae on Friday, Mr Meinardus said there is need to encourage civil society in the country to engage in political dialogue.

We also tried hard to encourage women participation in politics because their failure could be attributed to various factors such as women voting for male into various positions, said Mr Meinardus.

He said they also encouraged Parliament to be more outspoken and be independent in order to maintain checks on the executive.

Mr Meinardus said the foundation achieved a lot during the four years he was at the helm. He said helped in the establishment of the media council, promotion of women organisations and restructuring of Botswana Federation of Trade Unions.

He said newly established democracies in the region are [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 June, 2007

MMANKGODI – Indiscriminate cutting down of trees to sell for firewood is a concern for the Kweneng District Natural Conservation Board.

Board Chairperson, Mr James Motlhalamme, regardless of the countrys drought conditions, some people continued to carelessly cut trees for commercial purposes leaving the land bare which cause desertification and denying Batswana the use of trees for other purposes like eating their fruits.

He also told a kgotla meeting in Mmankgodi that grass was also harvested at a high rate for businesses leaving livestock starving.

Mr Motlhalamme urged residents of Mmankgodi together with tribal leaders to conserve natural resources found in their area.

Meantime, Mr Olefile Mhaladi, the Board Secretary said government introduced some regulations which would assist to protect some natural resources or veld products such as firewood.

He said the regulations provide that no person shall, without a permit from the Board or from any person authorised by the board harvest any veld products. He said his office wouldsoon release permits to harvest firewood.

Mr Mhaladi said one person was allowed to collect and use one tonne load of firewood for household for a month only, without any need for a permit. But a permit was required for more than that and a P2 fee was charged.

He said the regulation also [continue reading]

source: IRIN Africa

LUSAKA, 22 June 2007 (IRIN) – Engineers are mimicking the technology of termites to build cheap, durable, environmentally friendly and desperately needed road infrastructure in Zambia and, in the process, providing jobs at grassroots level.

The almost indestructible nature of termite mounds and the realisation that this technology could be adapted to build roads even more hard wearing than those made from asphalt came at the cost of a broken limb.

“The idea came from my best, best friend, a South African named Henry Halle, who, in his garden, tried to kick those [termite] hills away. On his third try he broke his leg,” said Kim Anderson, a Danish national working in the Zambian capital, Lusaka. “After that he came to me and said, ‘This is something! We need to replicate this technology for construction.'”

Anderson, a regional manager for a Danish air service company, secured financing from the European Union and the Danish government for a road construction pilot project in South Africa, based on termite technology, and a recent initiative in Zambia.

It is not the first time that termite technology has been used to [continue reading]

source: IOL Business Report
June 25, 2007

By Jacqueline Mackenzie

Johannesburg – The rand was slightly softer, but confined to recent ranges in early trade on Monday ahead of a busy week for local economic data.

By 8.50am the rand was bid at R7.1590 per dollar from its previous close of R7.1302. It was bid at R9.6314 to the euro from a previous R9.6029 and at R14.3112 against sterling from R14.2429 before.

The euro was bid at $1.3451 from $1.3466 overnight, while gold was quoted at $652.65 per ounce from its previous close of $653.90.

ETM analysts said in their morning report that expectations that today’s US home sales data for May will show a further contraction confirming that the housing correction is far from over, has helped US bond yields retreat across the curve, especially at the short end.

“As yields have corrected lower, so the US dollar come under some pressure with a candlestick chart of the daily dollar index looking exceedingly bearish, albeit oversold. This would explain why the rand did not respond negatively to the fall in US equity markets seen last week.

“Any rise in the level of risk [continue reading]

source: IOL
June 24 2007 at 12:20PM

By Eleanor Momberg

Cellphones and watches could replace printed tickets for fans wanting to watch World Cup soccer matches in South Africa in 2010.

The use of such modern technology would counter ticket fraud and eliminate chaos at the turnstiles during the World Cup, according to access control experts.

Their comments came shortly after several soccer fans had to be hastily accommodated at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Wednesday night when they discovered the tickets they had bought for the Mamelodi Sundowns/Barcelona clash had been duplicated. Also contributing to the chaos on Wednesday were traffic jams and the fact the people did not sit in the correct seats.

This prompted callers to a Gauteng radio station to question the organisers’ ability to control crowds attending matches during the international event.

Access control and other technological security innovations were showcased by security specialists at the 13th annual security industry expo, Securex, in Sandton.

It remains unclear when the 2010 organising committee will put out tenders for access control to the stadiums.

The technology chosen could be used to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

24 June 2007
Posted to the web 24 June 2007

Godfrey Mutimba

A top Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) official last week announced the Morgan Tsvangirai led faction will participate in next year’s synchronized polls.

Addressing more than 20 000 people at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo, MDC vice-president, Thokozani Khupe said party supporters should go in their thousands to register so that they could vote in next year’s crucial polls.

Tsvangirai’s faction had earlier this year announced that it would boycott next year’s polls unless a new people-driven constitution levelling the electoral playing field is in place. But President Robert Mugabe has ruled out a new constitution.

Khupe said participating in the elections was the only democratic way of removing Zanu PF from power. As she spoke there was wild cheering from the thousands who packed Mucheke Stadium.

Supporters had told The Standard that they came to the rally in order to convince the party leadership to take part in the elections.

“We will not go to war with Zanu PF,” Khupe said to cheers from the party’s supporters. “The time for war is over because everyone participated in the liberation struggle and fought the common enemy. Now it’s a brother to brother issue that can only be resolved through the ballot box and this time around we will show the old man (President Robert Mugabe) the exit door by going to the polls.”

She added that Zimbabwe’s problems would worsen if Zanu PF’s rule was not stopped.

“Youths should desist [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)

24 June 2007
Posted to the web 24 June 2007

Thapelo Sakoana

Government has tabled a final settlement offer of 7.5 percent salary increase to public servants in a bid to end the current pay dispute with labour unions.

Public service unions have been engaged in lengthy talks with government, initially demanding 12 percent salary increase and later dropping to 10 percent.

The Department of Public Service and Administration, however announced on Friday that government had finally signed a final offer, which was presented to the labour unions.

“In seeking to bring closure to these negotiations and in line with the indication given to labour in order to settle the current wage dispute, government has put its signature to a final settlement offer,” said the department’s spokesperson Lewis Rabkin.

Mr Rabkin said in terms of the constitutional provisions of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council, the proposal will stand for 21 working days.

This means that the unions have 21 days to consult and seek mandate from their membership on whether to accept or reject the offer.

“We remain optimistic that we will be able to achieve majority signature for the agreement,” said Mr Rabkin.

This offer includes a 7.5 percent general salary increase, the introduction of the Occupation Specific Dispensation for identified categories of employees, increased housing allowance, increased medical assistance.

It also includes alignment with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, increases in the night shift, standard and special danger allowances.

In addition, government’s offer includes [continue reading]