Archive for August 19th, 2007

source: ZimNews

author/source:Standard (Zimb)
published:Sun 19-Aug-2007
By our staff

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr Gideon Gono’s three children and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri’s son are among the eight children of top government officials facing deportation from Australia, The Standard can reveal. On Friday, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer announced that Australia would deport children of Zimbabwean government officials and other people on the sanctions list studying in that country. “I have also decided to initiate steps to revoke the student visas held by eight children of senior members of the Mugabe regime,” he said. “Once their visas have been revoked, the government will take the appropriate measures to have these individuals removed from the country.” Downer said “a further two adult children who are children of a senior Mugabe regime figure” wanted to study in Australia but he personally intervened to have their applications rejected. He, however, declined to reveal the identity of the “senior figure”.

Although the Foreign Minister did not mention the names of the children, reports from Australia indicated yesterday that among those who will be deported are Gono’s twin daughters Pride and Praise, who are studying tourism and hospitality at [continue reading]

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source: IOL
Jani Meyer
August 19 2007 at 12:04PM

Access to cheap broadband in South Africa is no longer a pipe-dream, after multi-billion-dollar deals were signed to construct underwater cables connecting the East Coast of Africa to India and Italy.

Neotel, the second fixed-line operator in the country, said the project would be up and running by early 2009 and it would slash Telkom’s prices.

Telkom controls the ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and the local loop that links homes to the telecommunications exchanges in South Africa.

The “connecting” plant of Neotel will be at Mtunzini in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The Seacom (Sea Cable System) is being developed at a cost of more than $550-million (R3,8-billion).

Suveer Ramdhani, Neotel consultant, said construction would start as [continue reading]

source: India News
From correspondents in Gujarat, India, 01:00 PM IST

Ahmedabad-based Torrent Power Limited is keen to invest about $500 million in coal mining in Botswana and is also exploring prospects for generating and distributing power in the southern African nation.

A two-member delegation – of Torrent Power and Rosyblue, a $1.3 billion South African diamond cutting and polishing company, – called on Botswana President Festus Mogae last week to explore business opportunities in the landlocked nation, sources said here.

Torrent chairman Sudhir Mehta and Dilip Mehta, CEO of Rosyblue, also held talks with Ponatshego Kediklwe, minister for minerals, energy and water resources in Botswana.

The Torrent chairman later held discussions with officials of the Botswana Power Corporation and indicated that his company was keen to mine coal for export to India where there is huge demand.

‘We are ready to invest at least $500 million in the project (in Botswana) as soon as possible,’ Sudhir Mehta said.

India in its 11th five-year plan (2007-12) has decided that coal will be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

15 August 2007
Posted to the web 15 August 2007

Ignatius Banda
Bulawayo

Sithabile Khuzwayo is one of many women who bring groceries and clothing from across the borders of neighbouring Botswana and South Africa to sell at the flourishing flea markets of Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo.

She told IPS that the hostility of Botswana’s locals to Zimbabwean traders has made buying wares in Botswana risky. “Before the problems began in Zimbabwe, we could move around without attracting any trouble, but now we have become targets. Some traders are mugged and their goods taken by Batswana,” she said.

The 30-year-old Khuzwayo complains that “the exchange rates are so volatile it has become difficult to price my wares to at least show a bit of profit”.

The city’s markets have become centres of trade and finance where cross-border traders sell their wares and also source foreign exchange. For many residents struggling in a harsh economic environment amid growing shortages of basic commodities, cross-border traders have become the only suppliers of food.

Apart from groceries, cheap clothing from Botswana — originally imported from China — is the other essential product being sold in Bulawayo’s flea markets.

The dire economic circumstances have attracted thousands of [continue reading]

source: Herald Tribune
By Michael Wines
Published: August 18, 2007

JOHANNESBURG: South African democracy is so adolescent, barely 13 years old and still largely unformed, that almost every significant political development is a precedent. Now some wonder whether president Thabo Mbeki is about to create a new one: the lame duck.

Mbeki, the nation’s dominant political figure since the middle of Nelson Mandela’s presidency in the late 1990s, has 20 months left before his second and final five-year presidential term ends in 2009. But suddenly, he is looking vulnerable.

The latest and most dramatic example surfaced last week, when he abruptly fired Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, a deputy health minister who had earned international acclaim by turning around the government’s hapless efforts to address South Africa’s AIDS crisis. The deputy, Mbeki said, was not a team player.

Criticism of that dismissal was surely expected. But not, perhaps, from such close quarters: The Congress of South African Trade Unions, a partner with Mbeki’s African National Congress in the political alliance that rules the nation, accused the president of weeding his government of talented officials while leaving stacks of “deadwood” untouched. “Basically, if you’re working hard and are an independent thinker, you will get the chop,” the group’s leader, Zwelinzima Vavi, said.

The South African Communist Party, the other partner in the ruling alliance, was just as blunt. “We are of the view that this requires a fundamental review of the exercise of the presidential prerogative” in appointing and firing officials, the party said. Madlala-Routledge is one of the party’s rising stars.

More is at stake here than one deputy’s job. South Africa’s ruling political party, the African National Congress, or A.N.C., will convene in December to [continue reading]