Archive for August 8th, 2007

source: BOPA
08 August, 2007

MOCHUDI – The diversification of Botswanas economy remains a major challenge for every citizen, especially those with entrepreneurial traits, the Chief Exexutive Officer of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Dr Tebogo Matome, said.

Officially opening Kgatleng District Agricultural Show in Mochudi, Dr Matome said too much dependence on mineral resources, especially a heavy reliance on diamonds alone, had rendered the economy vulnerable to international shocks related to this industry.

Dr Matome said another challenge that continued to stall Botswanas economic growth and diversification arose out of the apparent lack of a widespread entrepreneurial culture among Batswana.

He said inadequate entrepreneurial competence and skills had been the main cause of enterprise collapse and failure that had plagued local enterprises for a long time.

He told the audience that LEA was an initiative by government to transform SMMEs from their mediocre and non-viable state to became profitable, robust and sustainable enterprises.

He said SMMEs had, in many countries around the world, been essential catalysts and impetuses for what turned out to be the largest and best economies.

He added that LEAs purpose was to build the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 August, 2007

Parliament has heard that sellers of scrap metals are required to produce proof of its source. Also, they need to have a declaration from organisations such as Botswana Railways and Botswana Power Corporation before scrap is sold as a way of reducing vandalism of infrastructure.

Answering a question from Selebi-Phikwe West MP, Mr Kavis Kario, Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila, said his ministry and the police would continue to monitor the situation.

However, he said, the onus lied on the honesty of the buyers of scrap metal. Also, he said, his ministry would engage the Ministry of Trade and Industry to determine how the new growing trade could be regulated.

Minister Mokaila said his ministry was reviewing the waste management legislation which [continue reading]

Themba Gadebe

8 August 2007

Fifa signed up Telkom as a “national supporter” of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in a deal worth $36-million, making the local landline operator the second South African company to do so.

Telkom joins First National Bank in this sponsorship class, earning both companies the local marketing rights to both the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, which will be held in South Africa, and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The deal makes Telkom the main partner for fixed-line network infrastructure provisioning to broadcast the event to audiences across the globe. This includes the interconnection of stadiums, broadcast compounds, media centres, the International Broadcasting Centre and the Fifa and Local Organising Committee (LOC) headquarters.

“A huge volume of mission critical voice and data traffic will move over the Fifa event network during the Fifa Confederations Cup and the Fifa World Cup,” Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said.

“This requires a reliable partner to develop the fixed-line components of the necessary telecommunications infrastructure.”

Valcke added that the deal not only highlights Fifa’s confidence in South Africa as a host nation, but that it also shows that the country’s business community believes in the incredibly positive impact the event will have on the country.

“Telkom views its involvement as a National Supporter of the 2010 Fifa World Cup as an opportunity to team up with the sporting world’s greatest showpiece,” Telkom acting chief executive Reuben September said.

September said that being involved in the event would be a good way to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Ministries have been urged to take a keen interest in the implementation of the proposed National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy.

Debating the draft policy in Parliament, MP for Bobirwa, Mr Shaw Kgathi, said its implementation was a mammoth task for the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology.

You should make sure that you develop measurements and targets to implement this policy, he said.

Mr Kgathi said the policy came at a time when Botswana was entering the National Development Plan 10. Therefore, everything should be done to ensure the success of the policy.

He said the Information Age Council, as spelled out in the draft policy, should include ministers of education, and youth, sports and culture, as they were major stakeholders in the policy implementation.

Assistant Minister of Education and MP for Ngwaketse South MP, Mr Peter Siele, said the policy was appropriate in this age and time as it would drive Botswana towards the attainment of Vision 2016.

He said implementation should concentrate on the rural villages like those in his area, whose schools did not have electricity — connect them with the rest of the world.

He urged the ministries with a say in the realisation of the policy to come on board and provide the necessary amenities.

He said theft of cables in Botswana was worrisome and could jeopardise the good intentions if it is not given utmost attention.

Mr Oreeditse Molebatsi, the MP for Tswapong South, said the ministry should address issues of foreigners in government departments who occupied various ICT positions.

He said such foreigners denied many qualified Batswana, who were roaming the streets, employment opportunities.

Mr Molebatsi said e-health should also be considered for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – The Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration is working on a draft bill that will provide for structures and systems to facilitate collective bargaining in the public service.

Minister Daniel Kwelagobe, who was answering a question in Parliament, said the draft bill might be presented to parliament during the budget meeting that starts in February next year.

He said there would be no structures for wage negotiations for the next budget speech in February 2008.

Mr Boyce Sebetela, the MP for Palapye had wanted to know structures and systems in place for wage negotiations for the next budget speech, with the advent of unionisation by some staff associations.

Answering another question from [continue reading]

John Battersby

8 August 2007

South Africa, now established as something of a bridge between the developing and developed worlds, is set to play an increasingly important role as global economic and strategic power shifts from the industrialized countries of the G8 to the new economic powers of the south.

A recently published book by author Antoine van Agtmael (The Emerging Markets Century) is confidently predicting that this shift – which is already clearly evident with the rise of mega-economies in China, India and Brazil – will reach a tipping-point as early as 2030 to 2035.

At that point, Van Agtmael predicts, the nations of the developing world – in which South Africa finds itself at the forefront – “will overtake the developed world by 2030-35.”

Tito Mboweni, the governor of the South African Reserve Bank, recently noted that while growth in the world economy averaged 4.5% during the past five years, growth in developing and emerging economies increased to 7% during the same period – up from 4.5% in the preceding five years.

As has been observed in The Economist, developing nations already account for more than 50% of global economic output, and the national champions of the emerging economies – Tata, Infosys and Wipro in India, SABMiller, Sasol and Sappi in South Africa, Haier in China, Embraer and CVRD in Brazil and Samsung in South Korea – are now global players in every sense of the word.

In fact, they account collectively for [continue reading]

Security bill passes

source: BOPA
08 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – The Intelligence and Security Services Bill went through the committee stage in Parliament, with some amendments.

Some of the adopted amendments were suggested by Specially Elected MP, Mr Botsalo Ntuane, and the MP for Palapye, Mr Boyce Sebetela.

Before the bill was adopted, Mr Ntuane gave a lengthy presentation on the amendments he wanted inscribed on the bill. He called for the creation of Part VII which would deal with inspector general, tribunal and the investigation of complaints.

On the creation of inspector general the amendment read in part: The inspector general shall be appointed by the president after consultation with the speaker of the National Assembly and the leader of the opposition and shall be a person who qualifies to be appointed as a judge of the High Court.

The clause further reads: The inspector general shall be mandated to investigate maladministration, abuse of power, corruption and improper enrichment within the intelligence services.

Another amendment Mr Ntuane put forward was that the inspector general, in conducting an inquiry, could conduct preliminary inquiries in order to determine whether or not the complaint is vexatious, trivial or made in bad faith before commencing a full inquiry.

Unless a court order is obtained, the clause further reads, inquiries will not be conducted publicly as most activities are concerned with national security issues.

The legislator said he was glad that both schools of thoughts, from MPs who are liberals and those he termed securiocrats — that is, obsessed with security — had been taken on board through the amendments which were adopted by parliament.

This is a critical and rather sensitive bill and it is important that we come out with a legitimate product, he said. NGOs such as BOCONGO should feel that we have taken their views on board.

Mr Nutane said he was happy that [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 August, 2007

LOBATSE – The envisaged United States Africa Command (Africom) does not signal the militarisation of US policy towards Africa.

Instead, it means there will be support for efforts to improve conditions in the continent that promote economic development, as well as an effective response to natural disasters, US Ambassador Katherine Canavan said recently.

Opening Tebelopele Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre in Lobatse, she said the planned facility is greatly misunderstood in Southern Africa.

She said the United States military will not direct its operations, but will incorporate representatives from other US government agencies such as the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development.

The US military will be there to support efforts to improve conditions in Africa by promoting economic development, combating diseases and responding to natural disasters and famines.

Ambassador Canavans comments follow media reports that the Botswana is one of the countries in the continent that are being considered to host the facility.

She expressed hope that facilities such as the P1,5 million Lobatse Tebelopele centre will be common across Africa.

On HIV/AIDS, Mrs Caravan said although the US has provided resources and support, she commended the governments active leadership for providing hope and a promising future for the country.

She cited the anti-retroviral therapy programme, saying that [continue reading]

source: IOL
Aziz Hartley
August 08 2007 at 07:14AM

With the ink barely dry on an agreement ending the petrol strike, another dispute in the industry may be about to start.

Petrol pump attendants, among others, are demanding a R2 500 a month minimum wage, 10 percent wage increase, 40-hour working week and four weeks annual leave.

Joined by workers manufacturing car parts and spares, motor mechanics and panel beaters, they are preparing to strike under the banner of the Cosatu-affiliated National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) after negotiations with employers in the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) deadlocked.

As 150 of them protested outside Cannings, a city panel beating business owed by RMI chief negotiator Barry Canning, Numsa regional organiser Roger Piedt said: “The effect on the public is that forecourt attendants will not be there to fill up vehicles, mechanics won’t fix or service cars and panel shops won’t get repairs done to damaged vehicles.

The mood among members is such that everyone is ready to down tools. Lunchtime demonstrations are already taking place and [continue reading]

source: IOL
Sheena Adams
August 08 2007 at 07:10AM

Lotto fans can breathe a sigh of relief with the news that Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa has finally decided on a new operator.

The new lottery is likely to be up and running before the end of September.

The minister’s spokesperson, Vukani Mde, said on Tuesday that negotiations between the National Lotteries Board and Mpahlwa had been “to-ing and fro-ing” since June but that the process was all but concluded. The minister was likely to make an announcement on the preferred bidder this week.

The decision will bring to an end a saga that has been complicated by legal action since the lottery was suspended in March. The four-month review process has seen [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007


Land boards are generally perceived as some of the worst service providers in the country. Not only is their policy implementation inconsistent but there are also allegations of rampant corruption there.

This situation has not only disadvantaged many Batswana but it has also harmed many development projects.

A few number of land boards, though, have been working very hard to improve the boards’ sordid public image. That is welcome.

It was therefore with a sigh of relief that we learnt about the Ngwaketse Land Board (NLB) pioneering the launch of a website, becoming the first ‘e-compliant’ body of its type in the country.

We could not agree more with Marianne Nganunu, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communication Science and Technology when she noted that “as Ngwaketse Land Board, you have just opened a door to a whole new world of opportunities”.

As we understand it, the NLB website will make information available and serve as a communication channel for users of land board services. We have no doubt this will go a long way in expediting the whole development process in the Southern District.

We hope the website will have all the relevant information that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The establishment of the United States Africa Command will be a unique military command that would incorporate representatives from other US government agencies, such as the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

US ambassador Katherine Canavan said this at the official opening of Lobatse Tebelopele Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre last week.
Canavan said the reasons for its (US Command) establishment has been greatly misunderstood in southern Africa. She said the agencies would not have representatives on the Africa Command so the military could direct their operations but that the US Department of Defence “can better support efforts to improve conditions in Africa by promoting economic development, combating disease, and responding to natural disasters and famines”.

Through the efforts of Africa Command the Americans “hope that in the coming years, buildings such as this, will be common across Africa,” she said of the P1.5 million Tebelopele structure.

The US envoy added that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

6 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007

RPC Data Limited (RPC Data) has announced the commencement of a contract to supply a Pensions Management Information System to the Kenyan Government. The BSE-listed IT company’s Executive Director Mompati Nwako says the P16 million contract with the Government of Kenya is the culmination of an exhaustive evaluation programme that included a public tender in which bidders were invited to offer their solutions from all over the world.

The tender process involved presentations of the solution and reference site visits to other clients and users in Botswana.

“This project is an important foreign exchange earner for Botswana and will add to the already forecast export earnings for RPC Data of over 1.5 million US dollars,” says Nwako.

“It will have the combined benefit of exposing the company and its staff to more complex and diverse technical expectations and of marketing Botswana as a brand through a company that is majority-owned and run by Batswana in this highly competitive industry.”

The contract was signed by [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007

Chedza Simon

Botswana has been praised as a lucrative market for South African tourism.

Nothando Mathe of South African Tourism revealed that in 2006, South Africa received more than 760 000 Batswana tourists. Addressing journalists and stakeholders at Phakalane Golf Estate last week, Mathe said: “This to us is significant as Botswana is South Africa’s fourth largest source market globally. Our task as South African Tourism is to make sure that we have our pulse on what Botswana travellers is looking for and then deliver on their needs.”

She said Botswana is an important market because of commonalities in language and sharing of the border. Mathe explained that the importance of Botswana market to South Africa has led to them changing their strategies from one that was based on events to one based on having a fully-fledged brand presence in Botswana.

“This necessitates the need to have a deeper understanding of this market and our efforts from now on will be to deliver to this market what Botswana travellers needs. Our country is much more than a shopping destination,” she said.

She pointed out that Batswana should not only come to South Africa to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007

The Court of Appeal has held that Multi Choice Botswana was not a broadcaster in Botswana but only enabled subscribers to receive broadcasts.

Multi Choice Botswana, is a company associated with Multi Choice Africa, a South Africa-based company that provides the DStv subscription television service to subscribers in Botswana and elsewhere in Africa.

The wrangle between Multi Choice Botswana and the National Broadcasting Board (NBB) followed the issuance of broadcasting licence by the board in October 21,2005.

However, the High Court subsequently set aside the boards decision on the basis that the Broadcasting Act has not kept pace with advances in technology.

Dismissing NBBs appeal with costs the Court Of Appeal noted that it seemed that [continue reading]