Archive for July 4th, 2007

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

3 July 2007
Posted to the web 4 July 2007

Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe
Gaborone

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources who is also chairman of the Debswana board Dr Akanyang Tombale says exploitation of Botswana’s coal reserves has been boosted by emerging demand in China, India and the southern African region.

He was speaking at the official opening of a two-day international investors’ conference on coal mining in Botswana whose theme was ‘The Awakening of the Coal Giant‘ last Thursday.

The conference, which was sponsored by the Fossil Fuel Foundation for Africa, attracted over 200 delegates from the US, the UK, Australia, India and the SADC region. “Botswana coal is very much in demand outside (our) borders. In particular, the emerging economies of China and India have led the growth in demand for coal internationally and represent potential markets for Botswana coal,” Tombale said.

“Closer to home, the increasing power demand in the SADC region offers this country an opportunity to transform from a net importer of power to a net exporter, leveraging on its coal resources.

“You might (also) be aware of [continue reading]

Invest in coal

source: BOPA
03 July, 2007

GABORONE – Government will ensure that the development of the Mmamabula Coal project does not pollute the environment.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral, Energy and Water Resources, Dr Agolang Tobale, said in an interview that all precautions have been taken to make sure that the environment was not negatively affected.

Dr Tombale explained that the technology that was going to be used would minimise pollution. Besides, investors were funded by the World Bank therefore the project had to comply with the standards of the bank.

He was interviewed following his address at an international conference on coal in Botswana in Gaborone last week where he said Botswanas friendliness to investors was well documented and that the country was highly rated in the provision of an enabling climate for investment.

He urged local and foreign investors to invest in Botswanas coal and associated industries.

This country has a long history of democracy, is the least corrupt in Africa, has some of the lowest tax rates in the world, has no foreign exchange controls and the economy is well managed, he said.

Foreign investors are free to repatriate their profits and Batswana are friendly people by nature.

Dr Tombale said Botswana had one of the most progressive mining codes in the world.

He told participants from the mining industry that there was stability and predictability in the mineral legislation.

He said some of the highlights of Botswanas mining codes were the grant, renewal and transfer of minerals concessions which were virtually automatic and predictable subject.

Provision for retention license that allows a company that has completed an [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 July, 2007

MAUN – Sefofane Air Charters has started a flight school in Maun to produce pilots for the continually growing demand for pilots worldwide and to feed the expanding tourist air-charter industry.

The companys Chief Executive Officer, Mr Neil Lumsden, said during the dual launch of a new diesel aircraft engine and the local flight school that the training institution would produce 20 pilots every year.

Mr Lumsden said the other aim was to reduce Sefofane Air Charters dependency as a charter company on expatriate pilots and to give Batswana the opportunity to train as pilots.

Northern Air Maintenance, a sister company to Sefofane Air Charters, also unveiled the thielert diesel aircraft engine.

Northern Air Maintenance, an acclaimed biggest aircraft maintenance organization in northern Botswana, which services Sefofane fleet — and all major air charter companies in Maun — has installed this first Centurion 1.7 engine into Sefofane Air Charters-owned Cessna 172 (A2-CUB).

Mr Lumsden says the new diesel engine has reduced fuel consumption, and provided for higher speed that allowed for shorter flights.

He added that new [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 July, 2007

SEROWE – The Directorate on Corruption of Economic Crime feels that allowing some councillors to draw two salaries from the government is undesirable and can be conducive to corruption.

The anti-corruption unit was responding to a question from Cllr Seno Mokhondo of Serule who wanted to know if an individual was allowed to draw two salaries from one government, as it is the case with industrial class employees, who are councillors.

The Central District Council, which wrapped up its business, last Friday after a two-week deliberations has two such councillors.

Though the DCEC suggested that the question should be directed to the Attorney Generals Chambers for legal interpretation, it said from the good governance and best practice perspective, the practice is undesirable and can be conducive to corruption and has the potential for conflict of interest.

Cllr Mokhondo had also asked if the arrangement augured well for the public service reforms aimed at enhancing service delivery. Answering other questions, the Central District Deputy Council Secretary, Mr Nelson Molepolole, said the council had taken steps to strengthen its collection activity in the 2006/07 fiscal year.

We have arranged for combined trips with water operators for revenue collection, meter reading and updating ledgers, he said in response to nominated Cllr Oabile Moupi who wanted to know measures in place to strengthen the councils collection activity.

Mr Molepolole said there was [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 July, 2007

SELIBE-PHIKWE – A Mmadinare resident, Mr Joel Motshegwe, has warned Batswana against paying attention to people fond of politicising citizen empowerment programmes.

Instead, Mr Motshegwe advised Batswana to buy shares from the soon to be privatised Botswana Telecommunications Corporation to improve their standard of living.

Mr Motshegwe sounded the advice during a kgotla meeting addressed by the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi in Selebi-Phikwe last Thursday, as part of her countrywide consultation on the operations of her ministry.

Mrs Venson-Moitoi had encouraged the audience to buy BTC shares. However, some sceptics said it would remain a dream as most Batswana could not afford such an investment.

Mr Motshegwe criticised the sceptics and described them as hypocrites who would be the first to make such investment.

He warned against the politicisation of citizen economic empowerment programmes, which usually backfired against critics . He citing eligible parents refusal to pay schools fees, as well as failure to pay service levy following ill advice from some politicians.

He advised Batswana to learn from their mistakes and avoid being misled by [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 July, 2007

GABORONE – The 14 members of Salaries Review Commission were sworn in at the Office of the President on Friday.

The commission, appointed by President Festus Mogae, is chaired by Mr Iqbal Ibrahim, former BOCCIM president.

The Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Daniel Kwelagobe, said in an interview after the swearing-in that the commission would not only recommend a salary increase but assist in retaining and attracting people in the public service.

Mr Kwelagobe said government was faced with a problem of attracting, motivating and retaining people with skills.

These are the people who can add value to the work they are assigned to do, he said. Without such people, quality service is also affected. And the commission is assigned to look into such factors.

Mr Kwelagobe said there was a gap in the areas of medicine, engineering and architecture as the people in these areas kept on looking for greener pastures.

He said this presented a problem when filling in these vacancies, as there was nothing much to attract and retain qualified personnel.

The salaries exercise is scheduled to run from July 1 to October 31. Mr Kwelagobe said the commission would be granted extension if the need arise.

For his part, Mr Ibrahim said theirs [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 July, 2007

MOCHUDI – Bakgatla should promote the spirit of self reliance and be compassionate to help Botswana fight poverty, HIV/AIDS and unemployment, says Debswana Public and Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr Jacob Sesinyi.

Mr Sesinyi made the appeal in Mochudi last week when presenting a Nissan van valued at P169 000 to Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo, a community-based organisation for the terminally ill.

He said what people saw as a small present was always important to the community and would make a permanent and positive change to their lives.

He said the revenue that was generated from diamond mining was used to develop Botswana through provision of educational, health and other services.

Mr Sesinyi said despite what had been achieved by government, Botswana still faced problems of poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS. The responsibility of private sector, parastatals such as Debswana, and individual members of the community should be compassionate, loving and caring by helping government to provide for the people.

On behalf of Debswana, Mr Sesinyi applauded Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo for helping the community and urged the organisation to move forward and be exemplary to other districts.

He commended the volunteers for devoting their time, energy and even resources to helping the less fortunate members of the community, adding that patience in whatever one did was the only recipe for building the nation.

Mr Sesinyi said he was proud of what the board of the centre had done with the little rsources that it had. Debswana and other private organisations would continue to help Batswana.

He urged Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo to use what it had been given responsibly. The organisation should not [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

3 July 2007
Posted to the web 3 July 2007

Gaborone

Parents who fail to partner with whoever is doing something for their child are guilty of negligence, President Festus Mogae said in Gaborone on Friday.

Speaking at a Junior Achievement Botswana (JAB) dinner, Mr Mogae commended JAB for embracing the challenge of cultivating the spirit, as well as life skills, of entrepreneurship among the youth.

President Mogae said as the Patron of JAB, he had observed over the past decade, the unique contribution the organisation had been making towards enhancing the life skill of its young achievers.

“It is due, in part, to just such commitment on the part of both JAB participants and those who have guided them over the years, that we now already have among us an emerging generation of Batswana who are both willing and capable of embracing the immense challenges of competing in the emerging global marketplace,” he said. “To these volunteers I am, and all parents should be truly grateful.”

Mr Mogae said recognition should be given to the contributions of some men and women who, through their selfless commitment, continued to make the delivery of JAB programmes possible to the youth.

He said this was well reflected in both the collective effort that went into the JAB programme and the qualities of assertiveness and self-reliance demonstrated by its young graduates.

“It is because of their selfless efforts they have, that some of our young people will grow up not only familiar with business concepts such as inventory or stock, rate return or profit, but also be aware of occupations such as accounting, auditing, economic finance, stock-keeping and verification as possible careers to be followed or pursued.”

He said with these solid achievements JAB has, and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

3 July 2007
Posted to the web 3 July 2007

Harare

Parallel markets are booming, businesses and industries are buckling and consumers are paying the price as the Zimbabwean government’s attempts to forcibly control runaway inflation backfire.

In the face of soaring hyperinflation, President Robert Mugabe’s government ordered a 50 percent cut in the prices of basic commodities last week. Defiance of the order was seen as a move to topple Mugabe and businesses were raided and threatened with closure on Monday 2 July.

John Robertson, an economist based in the capital, Harare, told IRIN: “Consumers are getting the worst end of it. While they had every reason to be happy when the government ordered price slashes, that happiness is fast waning, because the attempt to militantly control prices is boomeranging.”

The government set up a taskforce to monitor and enforce compliance but a mid mid-June salary increase for civil servants, which topped 600 percent, sent the prices of basic commodities, clothing and transport fares shooting up.

Mugabe accused industry leaders of attempting to discredit his government ahead of next year’s elections, calling them “snakes” and threatening to nationalise businesses that refused to comply.

Co-Vice-President Joseph Msika told mourners at [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
East African (Nairobi)

3 July 2007
Posted to the web 3 July 2007

Paul Redfern
Nairobi

The wealth of Africa’s super rich grew by more than 14 per cent last year, the second highest continental figure in the world after Latin America.

According to the annual survey of the world’s richest people by the investment bank Merrill Lynch and its Consultancy firm Capgemini, the wealth of Africa’s richest people amounts to around $900 billion, a staggering figure in a continent beset by poverty and low income.

Merrill Lynch estimates that there are around 100,000 “high net worth individuals (HNWI)” across Africa. These are people with at least $1 million to invest in financial assets excluding their first homes.

According to Merrill Lynch, the phenomenal growth in wealth by Africa’s wealthiest elite is down to high commodity prices, which led to a real GDP growth in the continent of 5.1 per cent in 2006.

“This in turn led to increased interest in [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 04 2007 at 04:24AM

By Alex Eliseev, Lee Rondganger and Angelique Serrao

Murders, violent house robberies, hijackings, cash-in-transit and bank heists have shot up. The number of police officers slain is the highest in three years. But the police claim they’re winning the war against crime.

The spike in violent crimes, and yet another failure to meet the government’s annual target of decreasing crime by seven to 10 percent painted a grim picture at the release of the national police statistics on Tuesday.

Frighteningly, almost 60 percent of the country’s 12 581 house robberies – the crime South Africans fear most – were executed in Gauteng.

‘House robberies jumped by 25 percent over this period’
Commissioner Jackie Selebi and Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula claim community participation is the only way the war will be won and that the missed targets will only further motivate the police.

For over a decade, virtually every category of crime in the country has been on the decrease.

But between April 2006 and March 31 this year, 19 202 people were murdered, up 2,4 percent, and 126 558 people suffered violent robberies, a 4,6 percent increase.

Cash-in-transit robberies went up by almost 22 percent, from 383 to 467; bank robberies more than doubled from [continue reading]

see also: What do robbers look for? from IOL

source: IOL

July 03 2007 at 08:26PM

Vodacom was granted an interdict on Tuesday to prevent striking workers from blocking the entrance to its Midrand headquarters, the company said.

Spokesperson Dot Field said the interdict restrained the Communication Workers Union from entering or being on the premises after striking workers breached agreed [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Cape Argus (Cape Town)

3 July 2007
Posted to the web 3 July 2007

Eskom has been granted an interdict against three trade unions that have threatened to plunge the country into darkness.

Eskom spokesman Fani Zulu said yesterday that the parastatal had served papers on the National Union of Mine-workers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and Solidarity, which had warned of widespread in-dustrial action that could cripple the country’s power grid.

The unions have demanded a 12% salary increase and given Eskom, which has made a 6% offer, until Thursday to return to the negotiating table with a revised offer.

Zulu said: “The company has served papers on the three unions following an urgent ap-plication that prohibits the uni-ons from embarking on industrial action.”

He said the company had asked the unions on [continue reading]