Archive for August 23rd, 2007
source: The Financial Gazette
Rangarirai Mberi and Clemence Manyukwe Staff Repo
SOUTH Africa has rejected the possibility of direct financial aid to Zimbabwe, a plan proposed by other Southern African regional leaders, deepening uncertainty over the likely structure of an economic rescue package being worked out by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
SADC last week tasked its 14 finance ministers to work out a comprehensive rescue plan for Zimbabwe after a summit that, as expected, held back any public rebuke of President Robert Mugabe whose ZANU PF party is seen frustrating regional efforts to heal a full blown economic crisis blighting one of the continent’s once promising economies.
But South African Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, said on Tuesday his country would not throw taxpayers’ money into saving Zimbabwe’s economy. Zimbabweans would have to do that on their own, he said.
Diplomatic sources said Manuel’s comments were reflective of the dominant view within the ruling African National Congress and Thabo Mbeki’s Cabinet towards Harare. Manuel is one of South Africa’s longest serving finance ministers.
“We cannot decide what kind of economy the Zimbabweans must have. They must get the prices to work, they must drive the changes. We cannot commit financial resources,” Manuel said in a televised debate in his country’s parliament.
Manuel’s comments reveal differences within SADC over the form of an aid package for Zimbabwe.
Tomaz Salomao, the SADC executive secretary, had in his Zimbabwe report to last week’s summit, held in Lusaka, Zambia proposed that [continue reading]
23 August 2007
Posted to the web 23 August 2007
The South African government said today that Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders are “united in their resolve” to help Zimbabweans find “a lasting solution” to their socio-economic and political problems.
In a statement released after its regular weekly meeting, President Thabo Mbeki’s cabinet denied media reports that SADC heads of state are divided on the way forward in Zimbabwe. It said the reports were ‘misleading’ and ‘fictitious’.
This directly contradicts a report in the South African newspaper, Business Day, which said leaders at last week’s SADC summit were ‘at odds over Zimbabwe’s controversial economic report, which they failed to adopt’.
The cabinet said it [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
KHAKHEA – President Festus Mogae will be among the 5 000 people expected to gather in Khakhea on September 1 to kick start the activities marking commemoration of Vision 2016.
Preparations of the event are at an advanced stage and both the local organising committee and the Vision Council are impressed with the manner in which communities making up Mabutsane Sub-District seem to be appreciating the national vision.
The visions publicity manager, Mrs Charity Kgotlafela, said the council was delighted with the preparations so far. She said since the council decided to rotate the commemoration activities of the vision around rural communities last year, many communities seem to be embracing the national dream very well.
Speaking in an interview, Mrs Kgotlafela said residents of the 17 villages making up Mabutsane Sub-District are working hard to ensure that the 2007 commemoration activities were a success.
Last year Sehithwa became the first village to host the [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
GABORONE – MPs have expressed mixed feelings about the proposed Domestic Violence Bill, which will be presented in the November session of Parliament.
Deputy Speaker and MP for Thamaga, Ms Gladys Kokorwe, will present the bill to Parliament as a Private Members Bill. MPs were briefed on the envisaged bill during a breakfast meeting at the Grand Palm on Tuesday.
Ms Kokorwe said it is necessary to have a law that protects against all forms of domestic violence, and appealed to the MPs to support the bill and consult with their constituents to bring them on board.
When you read and discuss the bill, do not look at it as an issue of women as there are also men who are terribly abused, Ms Kokorwe told her colleagues.
She said such domestic violence often leads to the so-called passion killings. Ms Kokorwe told the MPs that the bill did not include marital rape, but Selebi-Phikwe West MP, Mr Kavis Kario, said it should be brought in as an amendment as it is is a debatable issue worldwide.
Communications, Science and Technology minister, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi shared Mr Kavis sentiments, saying it should be included because [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
GABORONE – Botswana National Front (BNF) members are convinced that the Security and Intelligence Bill that was passed by Parliament recently is an attack on the countrys democracy and civil liberties.
The party, which is the main opposition, handed a petition voicing the concern to acting Permanent Secretary for Political Affairs, Mr Augustine Makgonatsotlhe, recently.
A party official, Dr Lebogang Letsie said when handing the petition that the bill is an instrument that will be employed by the government against opposition parties, trade unions, civic organisations and individuals.
Dr Letsie said the BDP has deliberately limited debate of the controversial bill, thereby denying ordinary Batswana and civil society organisations the opportunity to meaningfully interrogate the bill and understand its true implications on their lives.
The petition says opposition MPs were denied the opportunity to air their views as they were excluded from a previously planned all-party caucus.
These sneaky attempts to urgently see the bill through, at any cost, it says, are indicative of the sinister motives of the government in initiating the legislation.
It says another troubling feature of the saga is the speed with which the government intends to translate the bill into law.
Despite the political crisis in Zimbabwe, Botswana does not face any external political and security threat and it is extremely troubling to see imagined fears being operationalised into potentially repressive legislation whose overall effect will be to deny Batswana of their various freedoms.
Regarding American military base in Botswana, the petition says, more and more evidence is emerging that the government will be willing to host a new US Africa Command (AFRICOM).
It says the aim of AFRICOM is to protect US interests against China, which now [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
PARLIAMENT – Environment, Wildlife and Tourism minister, Mr Kitso Mokaila, says he is convinced the Hotel and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) played no role in a plot by some safari companies to challenge government policy.
Answering a question in Parliament from MP for Francistown South, Mr Khumongwana Maoto, the minister said he wrote to HATAB inquiring about a plot by some non-citizen safari operators to mobilise other non-citizen safari companies in raising funds to challenge government policy.
They wanted to challenge the policy of reserving category C tourism enterprises for citizen through a leaked document that was circulating among non-citizen operators. I immediately brought this to the attention of HATAB.
In response, HATAB informed to [continue reading]
August 23 2007 at 11:45AM
By Lusanda Doko
Existing Cell C subscribers and those lured by the company’s new weekend free talk promotion are bashing their phones’ keypads in frustration.
The Wooza Weekend promotion requires customers to recharge their accounts during the week to be able to call any Cell C number for free on weekends.
The obvious lure of being able to talk for free means that the network is flooded over weekends, and making use of your free call becomes almost impossible.
Pay as you go subscribers who tried to load airtime have also complained about the flooded network.
When phoning customer services, subscribers are asked to switch off their phones, for five minutes and try again.
Cell C’s media liaison officer Vinnie Santu said: “We have received a number of complaints from subscribers who haven’t been able to get coverage during weekends. This is a direct result of the Wooza Weekend promotion.”
Cell C said they are aware that certain [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
GABORONE – A new trust which is jointly funded by Debswana and De Beers has donated P10 million to a trust fund that administers a number of community projects in the Tsodilo area.
The trust, which is known as the Diamond Trust, was launched this week through video conference by the chairperson of board, Mr Stephen Lussier. Speaking at the launch, Mr Lussier said it was not the sole responsibility of government to provide social and economic developments, and that it was incumbent upon companies such as Debswana and De Beers to contribute when they could.
Mr Lussier said the trust will fund the entire spectrum of social projects, except those that were political of religious in nature.
The P10 million donation was given to Letloa Trust Fund, a non-governmental organisation that administers a number of community projects in the Tsodilo area.
Mr Lussier said the idea of forming the Diamond Trust began three years ago after representatives of the two companies visited and saw the work of the Letloa Trust in Shakawe.
He said the work was so impressive that [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
PARLIAMENT – The draft national policy for cooperative development has failed to address some of the challenges that led to the collapse of cooperative movement.
Debating the policy which was put before the House last week by the trade and industry ministry, Palapye MP, Mr Boyce Sebetela, said poor leadership and lack of commitment also contributed to the collapse of the movement in Botswana.
The MP said some of the leaders did not have the drive to take the movement to another level. He called on the ministry to keep records and to urge Batswana not to undertake similar businesses and saturate the market.
The MP said if records were kept, the ministry would be able to asses the cooperatives every three years and advice on the way forward.
Mr Sebetela further called for the relaxation of land use and licensing restrictions for economic prosperity. our licensing regime is still so difficult let us remove these barriers to resuscitate the movement, Mr Sebetela said.
He also suggested that [continue reading]
source: Mining Weekly SA
Published: 23 Aug 07 – 9:54
Australian explorer Discovery Metals has further enhanced the Maun copper project, in Botswana, after new drilling revealed a fourth zone of copper-silver mineralisation within the project area.
The company said in a statement on Thursday that the prospect, known as the Plutus, was close to the flagship Zeta prospect and the nearby Petra and North East Zeta prospects, which had all been significantly advanced this year by drilling.
Plutus, identified through a maiden drilling programme across the prospect, was hosting copper-silver mineralisation over at least five kilometres of strike length.
The new drilling has confirmed historical drill results with copper mineralisation grading [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
KANYE – Debswana Jwaneng Mine presented the Lesedi Counselling and Testing Centre in Kanye with P165 485 for its planned new offices.
The cheque was presented by the Mines General Manager, Mr Balisi Bonyongo at a ground-breaking ceremony in Kanye on Monday.
Mr. Bonyongo said the mine was committed to working with communities in which it operated to improve their quality of life.
He said the mine always thought about the consequences of its actions so that its contribution to the communities and the nation at large was real and making them proud.
Mr Bonyongo said as a good corporate organisation their company subscribes to the philosophy that its business success should be underpinned by social and economic responsibility.
He said the mine was actively involved in [continue reading]
August 23 2007 at 10:29AM
Government is adamant that electricity prices will have to rise substantially to fund new investment and, if the regulator does not approve prices hikes well above inflation, it will force it to do so.
Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin said this week that if there was a huge discrepancy between what the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) approves and what Eskom has asked for, the government would intervene.
The price increase must make business sense for Eskom or Nersa must have an [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
MAUN – North West District council chairperson has called for an integrated management of the Okavango Delta to ensure its sustainability.
Speaking at Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP) one-day consultative workshop in Maun, Mr John Benn, said Botswana might lose the largest inland water system if proper mechanisms were not put in place to prevent people from polluting the delta.
Mr Benn said Botswana might in the end remain with only the name that she once had the largest Ramsar site in the world.
The Okavango Delta does not only benefit human beings through economic activities but it is also a habitat for many wildlife species. These animals might migrate to other countries if the delta is not well taken care, he said.
He commended the ODMP secretariat for consulting with stakeholders on ODMP, saying this created ownership of the management plan of the delta.
ODMP aims to integrate resource management for the Okavango Delta that will ensure its long-term conservation and provide benefits for the well being of the people through sustainable use of its natural resources.
Briefing participants, Mr Ramogapi Gaborekwe of Department of Environmental Affairs in Maun, said [continue reading]
23 August, 2007
Parliament has approved the supplementary estimates for the Consolidated and Development Funds totaling P15.290.240.
Presenting the estimates, finance and development planning assiatant minister,Mr Duncan Mlazie said the bulk of the money would go towards the newly created ministry of Youth Sports and Culture.
The Attorney Generals Chambers, he said, requested for a supplementary budget of P5 million to augment the provision in the compensation vote. Other ministries to request for supplements are those of agriculture and local government. Meanwhile, MPs among them, Mr Pono Moatlhodi of Tonota South and Mr Isaac Mabiletsa of Kgatleng West made contributions before the House approved the supplementary estimates.
Mr Moatlhodi argued that funds requested by [continue reading]
After showcasing its vast coal resource to international investors in June, Botswana has found a willing investor in major Indian company Torrent Power Limited, which says it is ready to invest US$500 million in mining, power generation and distribution.
Author: Rodrick Mukumbira
Posted: Wednesday , 22 Aug 2007
Indian power generation, transmission and distribution company Torrent Power Ltd [TOPO: Bombay Stock Exchange] has joined the rush for Botswana’s coal, announcing this week that it intends to invest US$500 million in mining and exploring prospects for generating and distributing power in the southern African nation.
Botswana has a vast coal resource, showcased at an international coal investor conference held in Gaborone in June, believed to be in the region of over 300 billion tons.
The government says the resource is greatly under-exploited with less than one million tons of coal mined per year.
The Ahmedabad-based Torrent will be the second company to join the rush after CIC Energy, the TSX and BSE-quoted company that is progressing the Mmamabula coal deposits, whose resource is estimated to be approximately 2.3 billion tons.
Torrent Power has a generation capacity of 500 megawatts at Ahmedabad comprising 400 megawatts coal based thermal power station at Sabarmati and 100 megawatts dual fuel based combined cycle power plant at Vatva.
It transmits and distributes approximately 7 billion units of power to approximately 1.8 million customers spanning an area of 408 square kilometres in the cities of Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and Surat.
“We are ready to invest at least US$500 million in the project (in Botswana) as soon as possible,” Sudhir Mehta, chairman of Torrent, was quoted Wednesday in Indian press reports.
Last week, Mehta met with President Festus Mogae to [continue reading]