Archive for August, 2007

spource: Daily News

By Baleseng Batlotleng

GABORONE – Government has been advised to ensure that Batswana benefit from the envisaged privatisation of state assets. Dr Eugene Mokeyane, an economic consultant, said yesterday that privatisation is a powerful tool for empowerment.

“The privatisation policy must be predicated on the need to ensure that Batswana are the major beneficiaries,” he said. He was speaking at a National Workshop on the Development of A Comprehensive Empowerment Strategy in Gaborone.

Dr Mokeyane warned of the danger of privatisation being hijacked by a few well to do people in partnership with foreigners.

“There is a danger that only a few Batswana, probably in partnership with non-citizen interests, will be winners [continue reading]

source: Daily News

By Edison Ramonkga

GABORONE – A local mushroom farmer is up in arms and acusses South African cartels of selling produce at lower prices to drive Batswana out of business.

Mr Deon Vansale said in an interview that in 2005, he spent P1.5million to start a mushroom production in Tsamaya in the North East District but he was forced out of business last year by cheaper products from across the border.

He said South African mushrooms were sold at P3 a box while he sold the same box for P12. Mr Vansale said he was supplying Maun, Kasane and Francistown and when production cost increased he applied for a P500 000 loan from CEDA. But up to today , he was still waiting for CEDA to approve his request.

The project which employed 15 people, he said, was doing well [continue reading]

source: IOL

August 31 2007 at 01:25PM

Small business owners have until 1pm on Saturday to submit their 2006 tax return and financial statements in support of their applications for the small business tax amnesty.

“Sars is encouraged by the number of queries and visits to our offices in the past week,” the SA Revenue Service said on Friday.

Sars would therefore keep their offices open until 6pm on Friday, and in a further effort to assist clients, Sars would also accept documents at its offices between 7.30am and 1pm on Saturday.

“Sars has been made aware, through tax practitioner bodies, that many of their clients who have applied for the amnesty have been unable to obtain relevant documents from third parties such as financial institutions and other sources.”

It was for this reason that Sars had [continue reading]

source: Daily News

By Emmanuel Tlale

PALAPYE – Vision 2016 Council has identified monitoring and evaluation, as strategic areas that are imperative to enabling the council to deliver on its mandate, says Mr Resego Taolo.
The Vision Council’s monitoring specialist told a three-day workshop for project planners in the local and central government that it has taken a deliberate effort to strengthen result based on monitoring and evaluation.

Mr Taolo said in Palapye that as development plans were key vehicles in the implementation of the national vision, the council would ensure that monitoring and evaluation were incorporated in all national development strategies.

“One essential ingredient is that as we make our plans from the onset, they should incorporate monitoring and evaluation so that at any point in time we are able to tell the nation where we are in terms of the seven pillars of the vision both at the national and local level,” he said. “It is the wish and intention of the council that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The Botesti River is expected to flow again 20 years after it dried up. That means the residents will once again hear the piercing cry of the fish eagle from the forests of Boteti River.

Along with other colourful species, the majestic black and white bird of prey was a regular feature on the banks of Boteti River feeding on fish and other aquatic creatures. As the river gradually dried up, its shrill cry faded until it became a distant sad memory.
A resident of Makalamabedi, who only identified himself as Moporofiti is adamant that in a matter of months, the Boteti River will flow up to Mopipi Village. “As I tell you, it is moving towards Motopi. It has passed our cattle post at Tshatshamu. The way it is moving with such force, I have no doubt that it will be in Rakops in a month’s time.

“What makes me so positive is the fact that even in Maun, it is still raining heavily. The way this water moves, if it finds you on the way, it may sweep you off your feet,” said an excited Moporofiti.

Because of the long dry spell, livestock farmers along the river opted to dig up wells from which [continue reading]

source: Daily News
By Daphne Motswakae

KASANE – Societies have not yet taken the full advantage of their human resources by involving women as much as men in the democratic process, says the Speaker of the National Assembly of Lesotho.

Speaking at the 11th Commonwealth Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers in Kasane on Wednesday, Ms Ntlhoi Motsamai said it was a well established fact that women make about half the population of the entire world, and that women’s numerical strength in the world population was not reflected in the political life and decision making processes and structures of the nation.

“Indeed for our countries to develop, we need to exploit the full potential of its human resource, both women and men,” she said.

Ms Motsamai told Commonwealth speakers from the African region that women representation in decision making positions was an idea whose time has come if not long overdue.

She said the month of August was appropriate because it was the month of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The new Companies Act has been hailed as a progressive piece of law that has liberalised businesses in Botswana in line with modern standards across the globe, John Kiggundu, a law professor at the University of Botswana, said Tuesday evening.

Kiggundu was presenting a public lecture on the statute he helped draft between 1998 and 2003, but which only came into effect in July this year.

The lecture, which was also attended by Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Frank Youngman, was hosted by UB as part of its on-going 25th anniversary celebrations.
It was also a part of the university’s programme to show the public some of its contributions to the national economy.

A feature of the new law is the [continue reading]

source: IOL

August 30 2007 at 11:10PM

Cape Town – The South African government would not do anything beyond what the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had tasked it to do with regards to Zimbabwe’s crisis, President Thabo Mbeki said on Thursday.

Responding to a question in the National Assembly on the South African government’s role in assisting Zimbabweans, Mbeki said the task he was given by SADC was to bring together Zimbabwe’s political parties, civil organisations and other groups so that Zimbabweans could agree on the best way to deal with their situation.

“There are no separate measures that would be undertaken by the South African government outside that process.

“We are not going to be involved in any regime change in Zimbabwe – it would be fundamentally wrong,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party and the opposition, the movement for democratic change (MDC), were fully committed to the talks and [continue reading]

State media under fire

source: Mmegi


FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Television (Btv) came under fire from the majority of councillors who believe the station gives them a raw deal.

The councillors put the charge to the Director of Broadcasting Services (DBS), Bapasi Mphusu during a full council meeting.

First to launch his attack was Motlatsi Molapisi who alleged that a directive was issued from above that as long as the Btv was not allowed to cover parliament proceedings, the councils should also get the same medicine.

“Btv has never covered this council during your absence and I’m compelled to suspect that this directive came directly from you,” alleged the elderly Molapisi. He also alleged that the radio reporter has never covered them since he was transferred to Francistown.
“The radio reporter is always giving coverage to Nata. Both the Btv and the radio never cover our political and council meetings. On behalf of this council we are complaining. We want coverage when it is due,” he said. Immediately after he took his seat, Sam Masunga took over the onslaught and quipped that the coverage given to Francistown was only when Btv was reporting about crows.

He also complained that the station was ignoring [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Lance Guma
30 August 2007

The weekly Financial Gazette reports that the Czech Republic is closing its embassy in Zimbabwe because of what its foreign affairs minister described as ‘crazy’ policies by Robert Mugabe’s government. Karel Schwarzenberg is reported to have addressed members of the Czech chamber of deputies last Thursday disclosing that the government would also close embassies in Uruguay and Singapore. According to the paper 50 employees are set to be retrenched with the government saving over US$5,8 million.

The argument put forward by Schwarzenberg is that Zimbabwe’s policies are ‘somewhat crazy’ and because of this the activities of the embassy were never going to be effective. The Czech Republic will let its embassies in neighbouring countries take over any [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 August, 2007

GABORONE – Botswana Institute of Administration and Commerce will soon become Botswana Civil Service College.

Deputy Director of Recruitment at the Directorate of Public Service Management, Ms Pearl Matome, said at the public service convention that consultation was ongoing with relevant stakeholders to effectively implement this transformation.

Ms Matome said this change was in response to the dynamic competency requirements of public service which must be improved to compete with global standards.

For his part, the Coordinator of Public Service Reforms, Dr Omponye Kereteletswe, said that a recent customer satisfaction survey indicates that Botswanas public service provids 25 per cent service while world standards stood at 75 per cent.

Dr Kereteletswe said this posed a challenge to the public servants. Some officers think that they are doing customers a favour when they render a service, he said.

He cited lack of ownership, accountability and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

30 August 2007
Posted to the web 30 August 2007

Wyndham Hartley
Cape Town

More armed US soldiers are not welcome in Africa, said Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota yesterday.

Any country that allowed itself to be a base for the US strategic command in Africa (Africom) would have to live with the consequences, Lekota said.

Africom’s recent creation has been interpreted as the US suddenly recognising the strategic importance of Africa to the US.

Last month it was reported that Lekota was not responding to US requests for him to meet the first Africom commander, Gen Kip Ward.

Briefing the media yesterday, Lekota said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) defence ministers had, at the summit in Lusaka this month, decided that no member states would host Africom and more armed US soldiers.

He said this was also the “continental position” of the African Union.

However, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has evidently already offered her country as a base for Africom.

Lekota said as far as he knew most African countries supported [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 August, 2007

GABORONE – The Solar Energy Curriculum Development (SECD) programme seeks to establish training standards and curricula for the two main solar energy technologies used in Botswana.

The technologies are solar water heating and solar photovoltaic electricity. Speaking at the launch of the programme, Assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, said it was intended to provide an alternative approach moving from supply driven to demand driven provision of vocational training.

The initiative is in line with the ideals of the National Policy on Vocational Education and Training (NPVET) which calls for increased access to vocational training programmes as well to develop programmes that target the job market.

Mr Matlhabaphiri said skills development had become a topical issue in Botswana, particularly with major projects emerging around Botswana for diversification and growth of the economy.

He said the competitiveness and sustainability of these projects would depend on the quality and availability of skilled labour.

The efforts we are witnessing today are in line with the aspirations of the Vision 2016 pillars of a prosperous, productive and innovative nation and an educated informed nation, he said.

Mr Matlhabaphiri said the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 August, 2007

TSHABONG – A massive migration is taking place in the Kgalagadi South area as wild animals migrate to South Africa due to the gripping drought in Botswana.

Mrs Onalenna Kgathi, district wildlife coordinator, said in an interview that besides losing animals to South Africa, some were dying as a result of the drought.

The animals cross to South Africa drawn by the moist air following late rains in April, she said. Mrs Kgathi said the massive migration similar to this one, happened in 1985.

She lamented that once the animals crossed into South Africa, they would not return. In South Africa, once an animal enters a farm or ranch,she said, the property owner could claim ownership.

Thus, most farmers along the border could take advantage of the migration and lure the animals into their property.

If it does not rain soon, she said more animals would be lost. We are waiting patiently for the rainfall so that the animals could recover and return to the wildlife management areas, she said.

As if migration across the border was not enough, she said, some animals have [continue reading]

Themba Gadebe

30 August 2007

Johannesburg law enforcers are receiving training from American experts on tackling terrorism financing and money laundering ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The American members of the world renowned Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are giving a week-long training course to Johannesburg Metro Police and members of the South African Police Service.

Speaking to BuaNews, Michael Martinel, supervisory special agent of the FBI, said it was important to prepare South Africa to respond to these challenges.

At the same time, Martinel commended his class of 31 students on their intelligence in security issues. “I have been giving training to a lot of people, but this is the most intelligent class. I am actually learning more from them,” he told BuaNews

Metro Police spokesperson Inspector Edna Mamonyane said the FBI had been providing training to their officers for the past two years.

“Our officers have been trained in the fields of [continue reading]