Archive for August 6th, 2007

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

GABORONE – Botswana cannot afford not to conform to international quality standards, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Lebonaamang Mokalake says.

Launching the Botswana National Accreditation Focal Point (BNAFP) in Gaborone this week, Mr Mokalake said the end result of Botswana being spectators is less socio-economic prosperity and being left behind in global competitiveness.

He urged the business community to use the focal point as it will facilitate the competitiveness of local products and services regionally and internationally.

Mr Mokalake said the national accreditation focal point is a result of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on trade to facilitate the elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade among SADC member states, in the region and other regional blocs.

He said the non-tariff barriers to trade, include technical barriers to trade, which are mainly standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment processes in the form of procedures for calibration, testing, inspection and certification.

He said such barriers should be compatible within the region so as to facilitate intra-regional trade in goods and services. Mr Mokalake said these conformity assessment measures should be based on relevant international or globally acceptable standards in order to avoid unnecessary obstacles and barriers to trade.

They should together with the competencies of the bodies that provide them through accreditation, be proven to be consistent with international best practice.

The assistant minister said it is on the basis of these that the SADC ministers responsible for trade adopted a memorandum of understanding on standardisation, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology in September 2001.

He said it is in this regard that an accreditation mechanism for calibration and testing laboratories, certification and inspection bodies in a cost effective manner has been adapted.

Mr Mokalake said this entails a regional accreditation body supported by accreditation focal points within the SADC member states which are to use this service.

He said the structures would be [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Weekend Argus (SA)
published:Sat 4-Aug-2007
posted on this site:Mon 6-Aug-2007

The Mbeki charade, which must be maintained at all costs, is that Zimbabwe has a legitimate government that is merely encountering some temporary economic difficulties.

William Saundeson-Meyer

This week President Thabo Mbeki predicted, somewhat wistfully it must be said, that free and fair elections will be held in Zimbabwe next March. It is difficult to see how this scenario is likely, given the increasingly erratic behaviour of President Robert Mugabe and the deepening political and economic crisis in that country. Some three million Zimbabweans have entered South Africa illegally over the past four years. The flow is increasing: between 6 000 and 10 000 people are crossing the northern border every day. Others have sought sanctuary further afield, especially in the UK. It is estimated that a quarter of the Zimbabwean population has now found a haven elsewhere.

Since possibly half of the Zimbabweans eligible to participate in elections have already made clear [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

MAUN – There is need to educate people on prevention and management of disaster in their areas, says Botswana Red Cross secretary general, Ms Mabel Rammekwa.

Speaking during a one-week disaster management workshop in Maun, Ms Rammekwa said in view of Botswanas climatic change, Batswana should be well-informed on ways of preventing disaster and how to fight the catastrophes.

She said disaster was a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or individuals that caused wide spread human, material or environmental losses, which exceed the ability of the affected community or individuals to cope using their own resources.

Therefore, she said, people needed assistance from government, Non-Governmental Organisations and donors. Ms Rammekwa urged participants to take the workshop seriously because they could help safe lives or damage to property caused by disaster in their areas.

For his part, Coordinator of the Disaster Management Training, Mr Kgosietsile Maripe, said the objectives of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

MOLEPOLOLE – A public service of the 21st century needs people who are efficient and sensitive to customer needs. We should therefore embrace productivity reforms, performance improvement coordinator in the ministry of communications, science and technology said this week.

Ms Ennie Molobe told staff of Department of Information Services (DIS) in Kweneng Region that for us to survive our times, we need to embrace change. The region covers Kgatleng, South East and Kweneng Districts.

Ms Molobe who was a guest speaker at the departments regional meeting in Molepolole said to survive the intensive competition that was brought by globalisation; the civil service have no choice but to transform. We need to place ourselves at competitive advantage by making our products and services the best, Ms Molobe said.

Appreciating that the meeting sought to address issues crucial to employees, she said employees need to be holistically sound in order to perform soundly.

An officer who has social problems, she said, could not be expected to perform optimally. Therefore, she said, social issues have a bearing in promoting a motivated, good performing or a demotivated and poor performing workforce.

She also told DIS staff that the blame culture common in the civil service has a negative bearing on performance. This is a tendency to blame others and situations for anything negative.

But Ms Molobe urged civil servants to always believe that they were [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Kgalagadi South MP, Mr Neo Moroka, has welcomed the Draft National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy as it is in line with two Vision 2016 pillars.

Supporting the draft policy in parliament on Thursday, Mr Moroka said the country could become an educated and informed nation as well as an innovative and creative one through implementation of the policy.

He said Botswana is part of a competitive and globalised village and that the policy would result in a timely dissemination of information and spread of communication technology.

I believe all the relevant ministries who are major stakeholders in this policy should come on board to realise this policy, said Mr Moroka.

He said the ministry of finance and development planning, which is the countrys treasury, should make funds available to achieve everything set out in the policy.

Mr Moroka said there is also need to ensure that the implementation of the policy is expedited. The procedures followed in the procurement process should also be looked at as they slow the implementation of projects, he said.

MP for Letlhakeng West, Mr Filbert Nagafela, said the country should learn from the Chinese, whose children learn computer skills from a very young age.

Our children should be taught these computer skills so that when they go to the new university of science and technology in Palapye, they already possess the necessary ICT skills, said Mr Nagafela.

Moshupa MP, Mr Maitlhoko Mooka, said the policy should make Botswana one of the leading countries in ICT. All the necessary [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

6 August 2007
Posted to the web 6 August 2007

Nicola Mawson and Chantelle Benjamin

AS PETROL distributors worked around the clock at the weekend to avert a crippling fuel shortage, employers tabled a new offer that could end the strike tonight if it is accepted by striking union members.

Petrol stations in Gauteng, where 60% of SA’s fuel is sold, were hardest hit, but shortages have also been reported in Western and Eastern Cape. Stations in KwaZulu-Natal were also starting to feel the pinch yesterday.

The new offer was tabled by the National Petroleum Employers Association, which had earlier tabled wage offers ranging from 6,5%-8%.

Members of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) are saying they would not accept anything below 8,5%, and ideally see 9,5% as first prize.

Solidarity and the South African Chemical Workers Union have already accepted the employers’ offer of an 8% wage increase.

Last night, Keith Jacobs, deputy general secretary of Ceppwawu, said unions had a new offer after two days of intense negotiation and would return to their members to obtain a mandate before meeting again tonight at 8pm.

Other issues on the table were a proposed increase in maternity leave from four to six months and the establishment of a standardised 40-hour working week.

Jacobs would not discuss the details of the offer.

“We are going back to our constituencies to present them with the new offer. I must say that the talks over the past two days have been very positive and it’s quite possible that the strike will be over by tonight.”

Meanwhile, the fuel retail industry said it was [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

GABORONE – The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will remain unachievable if poor and uncoordinated planning in many Sub-Saharan Africa countries continue.

UNDPs senior policy advisor, Mr Gana Rofang, based at the Regional Service Centre in South Africa said this at a two-day seminar in Mokolodi recently to assess Botswanas needs and costing exercise for achieving MDGs. He said countries do not plan systematically to achieve MDGs and that African countries face unique structural constraints that hamper the continent to attain MDGs.

Mr Rofang cited the high disease burden, dependence on low productivity rain-fed agriculture, as well as poor transport infrastructure .

He said Botswana can avoid the poverty trap by making deliberate well coordinated development policies to achieve the MDGs.

The UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms Viola Morgan said the United Nations as partners in development is interested in making sure that Botswna achieves the MDGs.

Our concern here is to ensure that Botswana is on course to achieve the MDGs, said Ms Morgan. One of the consultants conducting needs assessment and costing exercise for Botswana, Mr Allen Price of Conningarth Economists, said in gauging Botswanas progress towards the attainment of the MDGs, it is necessary to review both Vision 2016 and National Development Plan (NDP9) to assess areas of cross-over.

Scaling up the fight against HIV/AIDS remains the most critical challenge facing Botswana in her path towards [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:News24 (SA)
published:Mon 6-Aug-2007
posted on this site:Mon 6-Aug-2007

“There is no problem. African leaders know each other well”

Langkawi – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, internationally condemned for his nation’s economic meltdown and human rights abuses, was given a warm welcome on Monday at an anti-poverty summit in Malaysia, said delegates. While he had proved elusive to the packs of journalists and photographers staking out the venue, he was said to be actively taking part in round-table discussions with other African and Southeast Asian leaders. Delegates warmly welcomed Mugabe to the three-day conference, known as the Langkawi International Dialogue, which had stirred some controversy because of his presence. A Malaysian delegate said: “Mugabe is actually participating in all the events” and had been “hugged and kissed” by some participants. The delegate, who didn’t want to be identified, added that “other people had expressed unhappiness with Mugabe, but not at this conference.” Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said participants should focus on sharing experiences rather than politics. He said: “I think you have to look at the positive side. There are a lot of lessons to be learned. We must not give in to political inputs to everything we do.”

Asked whether there had been a negative reaction to the Zimbabwean leader, he said: [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

Stanbic Bank does not have a training and localisation programme but has instead undertaken to submit the programme by end of this month.

This was revealed by Labour and Home Affairs assistant minister, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, in Parliament last Friday in response to a question from Gaborone South MP, Mr Akanyang Magama. Mr Matlhabaphiri said there are just seven Batswana in senior management positions while expatriates are six in senior management.

I will only be satisfied with the pace of localisation at the bank when all posts have been localised, he said. He, however, added that Stanbic Bank intends to localise the position of managing director [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Palapye MP, Mr Boyce Sebetela, on Friday moved a motion without notice proposing that an Gaborone West South MP, Mr Robert Molefhabangwe, has tabled a motion requesting government to consider establishing an industrial capital in Palapye, where it will be easy to address problems of shortage of land, power and water, which are a hindrance to economic development.

Mr Sebetelas proposal was that the word capital on the current motion be replaced by hub whilst the whole text remained unchanged.

Before tabling the motion, Mr Sebetela, said it was appropriate that Palapye be established as an industrial capital since records show that about 15 years ago the village was considered ideal for a hub.

He noted that at the time there was also a proposal to have a trans-Kgalagadi railway line which was to connect Palapye to Namibia and South Africa. He said Mr Molefhabangwes motion was only calling for a revisit on what was discussed in the past.

He said the village was strategically located and that there were projects such as the coal cleaning plant to be commissioned late this year, which would attract investors.

The legislator further said for Botswana to be a player in todays complex and global economy, tough decisions should be made.

In modern global economy there is no such thing as Botswana is competitive nowadays people talk of areas which have been provided with infrastructures. “I’m sorry we don’t have much of a choice but to create our own Luxemburg”, he said.

Gaborone Central legislator, Mr Dumelang Saleshando, said members of the House were not opposed to the principle of the establishment of the capital but that the bone of contention was that the motion predetermines where the hub should be established.

He then proposed that Palapye be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

6 August 2007
Posted to the web 6 August 2007

Wyndham Hartley
Cape Town

Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni has signalled that another rise in interest rates may be on the cards this month, describing SA’s inflation outlook as “a bit more worrying”.

“I’m not saying we will be increasing interest rates, I’m saying we might,” Mboweni told Parliament’s finance committee on Friday. The Bank’s monetary policy committee meets next week to decide whether another increase in lending rates is necessary, after raising its key repo rate by a cumulative 2,5 percentage points to 9,5% since June last year. Earlier in the week, the governor said that even when the main culprits of rising inflation were excluded — food and fuel — it was clear that price pressures were mounting and becoming more generalised.

Inflation measured by CPIX has breached its 3%-6% target for three months in a row, and so far there is little evidence that higher interest rates are curbing credit demand, which Mboweni also described in a speech last week as “uncomfortably” high. The governor said on [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Lobatse Mental Hospital has 13 computers one for each unit, save for the library, supplies officer and psychology unit.

Answering a question from Lobatse MP, Mr Nehemiah Modubule, health minister, Prof. Sheila Tlou, said her ministry was in the process of procuring more computers this financial year and the hospital would be considered for additional computers.

Mr Modubule had asked the miniter if she was aware of the acute shortage of computers at Lobatse Mental Hospital. Parliament also heard that the Southern District Council has re-applied for a telephone connection for Polokwe Primary School after the first application submitted in June 2006 could not be located.

Assistant Local Government minister, Mr Ambrose Masalila, was answering a question from Moshupa MP, Mr Maitlhoko Mooka.

Mr Masalila also said the council has a provision of P300 000 to connect electricity to the school. He said an application has been submitted to the Botswana Power Corporation and quotations were yet to be received.

Mr Mooka had asked when a telephone and electricity would be provided at the school. Meanwhile, Local Government minister, Ms Margaret Nasha, told the House that [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 August, 2007

Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, says the post of General Manager (News and Current Affairs, Radio and Television) has remained vacant because the department is still looking for a suitable candidate.

Mrs Venson-Moitoi told parliament that the position is a high level management position requiring a person with the right exposure and experience.

When the post was advertised it attracted three candidates-two locals and one foreigner. DPSM short listed two candidates, a local and an expatriate, she said.

She said, however, the department felt that [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 06 2007 at 12:51PM

By Zara Nicholson, Henri du Plessis, Jadewitten and Niêmah Davids

Petrol shortages have been spreading across the country as the petrochemical industry strike enters its second week, triggering a panic rush for the pumps that is leaving filling stations dry.

The strike by one of three unions in the sector, which also involves tanker drivers, has prompted the industry to hire extra contract workers and delivery drivers to keep the supply line open.

Filling stations in Durban began to run dry at the weekend after the Sapref Refinery there was shut down due to a shortage of staff, joining the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.

Industry sources said there was enough fuel at depots, but there was a shortage of tanker drivers to deliver fuel to filling stations.

Panic buying and hoarding by consumers was exacerbating the problem.

Negotiations between employers and the chemical,Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) will continue at 8pm today.

City garages continued to be overwhelmed by panicking motorists at the weekend.

Aldred Smith, owner of the BP garage in Kirstenhof, said [continue reading]