Archive for August 14th, 2007

source: BOPA
14 August, 2007

GABORONE – The total value of orders placed through the De Beers depot in South Africa on behalf of Debswana for 2006 was P157.5 million.Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, told parliament that the amount paid to De Beers for providing procurement and purchasing services for 2006 was P3.5 million.

Mr Kedikilwe said Debswana officers could not effect purchases directly from South Africa suppliers because it was among other reasons, cheaper to use the De Beers depot.

He said the benefit comes for participating in the De Beers Global Contracts which aggregate spend from the De Beers mines in South Africa, Canada and Tanzania, Namdeb and Debswana.

He said on the other hand, the ministry was building capacity [continue reading]

source: BOPA
14 August, 2007

FRANCISTOWN – Local companies are reluctant to form joint venture partnerships with foreign companies. “No company in Botswana has come forth to bring their database to us for joint ventures despite all the invitation by BEDIA [Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority] ,” said the acting BEDIA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Brian Mosenene.

Addressing the Francistown business community last week, Mr Mosenene attributed the adamancy of Batswana in joint venture partnerships to low entrepreneurial acumen.

He said part of BEDIA’s mandate was promote joint ventures between local and foreign companies yet this has proved to be a daunting task as Batswana were not heeding the advice.

Mr Mosenene said joint ventures could help introduce more companies from outside to invest in Botswana and in turn create more jobs for locals.

“Our challenge at BEDIA in promoting joint ventures is that local businesses are not ready or have limited experience in partnerships.

It is embarrassing for BEDIA and Botswana as a country for a foreign investor to come here only to find there is no local business person to talk to as they won’t know anything about the business they came for,” he said.

Although he encouraged business people to consider entering into [continue reading]

14 August 2007

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is hosting a conference in Durban between 29 and 31 October, during which it aims to promote South Africa as an ideal destination for trade and investment.

The DTI will host the South African International Trade and Investment Conference and Exhibition 2007 (SA Invest 2007) in partnership with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TI-KZN) at Durban’s International Convention Centre.

According to the department, the conference is an essential marketing tool to grow the country’s economy and facilitate the empowerment of small business.

The DTI will use the event to market South Africa as a business destination and to increase competitiveness and innovation in key sectors of the economy.

The conference will consist of [continue reading]

08.14.07, 4:13 AM ET

LONDON (Thomson Financial) – Discovery Metals Ltd said it has found a new copper zone of over 2 kilometres at its Maun copper project in northwest Botswana.

The Australian company said the new zone has further increased confidence in the ability of the Maun project to sustain long-term, open-pit operations.

The new zone is located directly along strike from the Maun project’s flagship Zeta prospect.

Managing director Jeremy Read said besides starting pre-feasibility drilling at the Zeta prospect, the company is [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 14 2007 at 12:55PM

The coal mine strike over low salaries continued on Tuesday with no end in sight, trade union Solidarity said.

“The people are still striking. There is no indication from the Chamber of Mines or from the strikers that they want to end the strike,” said spokesperson Reint Dykema.

About 3 500 Solidarity members started striking at coal mines around the country on Monday over an inadequate pay offer, particularly for artisans.

Dykema said the same number continued to strike on Tuesday.

He said production had been disrupted at some of the mines, but that the two large producers Anglo Coal and Exxaro were particularly “hard hit”.

The mines were in the Mpumalanga and Gauteng area.

Dykema said members were unhappy with the lower categories of workers being offered a 10 percent increase and artisans eight percent.

Solidarity is demanding a 10 percent increase for miners, artisans and officials for this year and for next year.

The Chamber is offering an increase of between 7,5 and 8,5 percent.

Chamber of Mines spokesperson Jabu Maphalala said [continue reading]

source: BOPA
14 August, 2007

GABORONE – The signing of a national political stability pact in Guinea Bissau demonstrates the willingness to achieve national reconciliation and restore political stability, says President Festus Mogae.

Speaking at a state banquet in honour of the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau, Mr Martinho Dafa Cabi on Sunday, Mr Mogae commended Guinea Bissau’s political parties for signing the pact early this year.

He said the pact will provide a conducive environment for national reconciliation and the creation of an all-inclusive government pending the holding of legislative elections in 2008.

Botswana was among the first countries to recognise Guinea Bissau as an independent state and her membership to the United Nations.

President Mogae said Botswana appreciates the difficulties that Guinea Bissau has experienced since attaining independence and the extent to which they hindered development efforts as well as the consolidation of peace and democracy.

Prime Minister Cabi has committed his government to organising free, fair and transparent elections, to place public finances on a sound footing, to work towards implementing public administration and security reforms and to fight corruption and organised crime.

Mr Mogae described the commitment as a mammoth task which calls for [continue reading]


14 August 2007

Cape Town-based alternative telecommunications company Sundial Telecom is offering free calls to a number of overseas destinations every Saturday for the rest of 2007.

The company, licensed by the Independent Communication Authority of SA, is going head-to-head with state company Telkom’s WorldCall products in a battle to win the hearts of SA consumers.

“We offered some free calls to our subscribers during May and June,” Sundial Telecom MD Nick Barton said in a recent statement. “It has been received so positively that we’ve now made this a key aspect of our service for the remainder of the year – even incorporating it into our calling card product.”

Between 10am and 6pm every Saturday, holders of Sundial Telecom’s Call the World card or voucher are able to call selected destinations free of charge using “free minutes” allocated by their cellphone network provider or the Telkom Closer call plan.

In July it was Canada and the US. “Free” call destinations for the rest of the year are China and Hong Kong during August, Greece and Italy during September, Germany in October, Spain and Portugal in November, and the UK and Ireland in December.

Sundial Telecom can be used from any [continue reading]

source: BOPA
14 August, 2007

SEROWE – Botswana Railways has approached the government and other stakeholders to fund feasibility studies into the construction of rail lines from Capricorn to Mmamabula and Mmamabula to Ellisrus in South Africa.

The two 80 km rail spur from Mmamabula and the 27 km line, according to Ms Lena Kalake, the Botswana Railways corporate planning manager would predominately be export routes for coal from Mmamabula to South Africa.

She told the Central District Development Committee (DDC) meeting that though the rail lines would be constructed by a foreign company, CIC Energy “they will be transferred to BR to operate and eventually own.” Ms Kalake briefed the DDC about the organisation’s turnaround strategy that took effect last October and included rehabilitation of the rail lines, expansion and refurbishment of other facilities.

She said it had also embarked on a branding exercise to change its image and come up with a new logo and colours by this December.

The DDC also heard that Botswana Railways was considering a suspension of a loss-making passenger service.

“We want the government to finance it, as part of social service, as it is the best practice the world over, failing which it will be phased out in two months,” she explained. “Negotiations with the government and the public on this issue will start this month.” As a commercial entity, she said the company had formed a [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by John Regonamanye
12.08.2007 7:56:23 P

Member of Parliament (MP) for Palapye, Boyce Sebetela, on Friday won the hearts of many MPs from across the political divide when he sweetened a motion that was expected to divide the house.
MPs heaped accolades on Sebetela saying his amendment to a volatile motion tabled by Gaborone West South MP, Robert Molefhabangwe, had saved parliament from a possible split and ethnic tensions.

Sebetela moved an amendment calling on Parliament to request the government to consider the establishment of industrial and commercial hubs as a strategy to address problems of shortage of land, power and water, which are a hindrance to economic development as prospective investors end up looking elsewhere due to cost and scarcity of raw materials and factors of production.

This was an improvement on an earlier motion by Molefhabangwe which called on government to develop Palapye as Botswana’s industrial capital.
Palapye has lately become a lightning rod of controversy, with some politicians and citizens complaining that the area was hoarding all developments because President Mogae and Vice President Ian Khama were from that area.

Gaborone North MP, Keletso Rakhudu, told parliament that he was initially against the motion “but with the wisdom shown” by Sebetela in coming up with the neutral amendment he now supported the motion.

“Initially I was against the motion because it was particular with Palapye becoming an industrial capital disregarding other prospective places.
“The simple mention of Palapye made me uncomfortable as other MPs were likely to want their areas of interest to be included too thus causing havoc in the House. But I am thankful that this House has intelligent MPs in the likes of Honorable Sebetela”, Rakhudu said.

Rakhudu further said [continue reading]

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source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana generated US$ 252 million (about P1.6 billion) from exports to the United States through the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) last year.

Brett Johnson, the AGOA Trade and Business Manager in Botswana said this at a workshop of the Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) on joint ventures held at Thapama Lodge in Francistown last Thursday.

He said from the total amount the textile and apparel sector generated made in its exports to the US US$28 million.

AGOA also facilitated US$3.2 billion (about P19.9 billion) in non-oil exports from sub-Saharan Africa to the US.

Through AGOA, countries in the sub-Saharan Africa have duty free access to the US market. Johnson said through the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub, which is funded by USAID, southern Africa will keep attracting new investors from the US and elsewhere.

“Recently, I had an inquiry from two prominent businesses that are interested in investing here, which means Botswana is on the radar,” he said. However, Johnson said Batswana entrepreneurs must strive to improve the standard and quality of their goods.   “The US market is very competitive and demanding; you are competing with producers from all over the world who also want to penetrate the American market.”

He said countries in Southern Africa face cost, capacity and time challenges in transporting their products.   The Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Alexander Babedi, echoed Johnson’s sentiments regarding challenges [continue reading]

source: allafrica
SW Radio Africa (London)

13 August 2007
Posted to the web 13 August 2007

Tichaona Sibanda

The serious deterioration in the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe will top the agenda of the Southern African Development Community summit in Lusaka, Zambia.

Foreign, security and defence ministers from the SADC bloc will meet on Wednesday on the eve of the Heads of State summit to discuss the Zimbabwe issue and that of Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A delegation from Zimbabwe’s government is already in Lusaka and will attend SADC ministerial meetings scheduled from Monday through to Friday

The highlight of the summit will be a briefing on Friday by South African President Thabo Mbeki to his counterparts on the progress of the mediation talks between the Zanu (PF) and the MDC. An extraordinary SADC summit in March tasked Mbeki to mediate talks between the ruling party and the opposition in an attempt to resolve the country’s long political crisis, which has brought in its wake a deepening economic crisis.

A high-powered delegation from the Tsvangirai led MDC is also in Lusaka and is being headed by Vice-President of the party, Thokozani Khupe. Secretary for Foreign Affairs Elphas Mukonoweshuro, who is also in Lusaka, said their game plan was to maintain a high profile presence in order to engage key players in the region, especially foreign ministers.

‘We want to ensure that as they (foreign ministers) deliberate as council of ministers, they are able through our inputs to have a [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 13 2007 at 03:13PM

It is anticipated that in 30-years nuclear energy will contribute significantly to South Africa’s energy needs, the department of minerals and energy said on Monday.

Launching the draft nuclear energy policy and strategy, director general in the department Sandile Nogxina said South Africa’s “abundant uranium” reserves meant nuclear energy was an important electricity supply option.

The policy and strategy document sets out government’s plan to create a whole industry around nuclear energy.

This is why government would re-capitalise certain nuclear agencies and also finance the setting up of new ones, the Chief Director of Nuclear Energy at the department, Tseliso Maqubela, said.

He said the country needed to [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 13 2007 at 08:58PM

Twenty-three Vodacom employees were suspended on Monday, in a sequel to a month-long strike, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said.

The employees were a part of a strike in July and August, in which the CWU demanded recognition from Vodacom.

They were also arrested two weeks ago for going against an interdict preventing picketers from entering, interfering or obstructing access to Vodacom premises.

They were later released on bail, and were then suspended a week later.

CWU spokesperson Mfanafuthi Sithebe said: “These loyal and disciplined members did not engage in any misconduct during the strike action, except to be told that they have crossed the agreed upon picketing line.

“During the strike action our members were complaining about the behaviour of the Vodacom security [continue reading]