Archive for September 25th, 2007

Wheat prices shoot up

source: BOPA
25 September, 2007

GABORONE – Batswana might find themselves paying more for bread, pasta and all flour based products after wheat prices went up worldwide.

National Sales Manager of Bolux Milling, Mr Lazarus Lekgoanyana said the world stock is currently at 18 per cent instead of the normal ratio of 25 per cent.

He said this is due to the drought that has enveloped the world. Grain is already in short supply because of droughts in wheat producing places such as South Africa, which is the main supplier of countries, including Botswana, Canada, Australia and Europe High demand and low inventory, he said, has resulted in high prices, Mr Lekgoanyana said. The price of a 12.5kg bag of flour might increase from P40 to P 60.

The rise in the price of wheat could also [continue reading]


source: BOPA
25 September, 2007

MMASHORO – Intense negotiations are going on with commercial banks to solicit financial assistance for the sunflower production project, says lands and housing minister Brigadier Dikgakgamatso Seretse.

He was briefing the residents of Mmashoro, north west of Serowe on the status of the project that is anticipated to begin in earnest next year.

The undertaking, which is the brainchild of a South African based Continental Agricultural and Industrial Development Company, has targeted Botswana, as the centre of sunflower production in order to process bio-diesel.

Already, Minister Seretse told the audience last Thursday that the National Development Bank (NDB) has extended a helping hand in the running of project.

We have negotiated with NDB so that this project may be run through trusts like Ipelegeng Development Trust.

The bank will loan money to the trust and those interested will get it from the trust but before they could enjoy their profits, they would have to pay back the money they borrowed.

He said the situation was ideal, as people would have financial assistance at their disposal.

He encouraged the residents to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 September, 2007

JWANENG – Government is seriously considering provision of infrastructure to agricultural production areas, says agriculture minister, Johnnie Swartz.

He said Friday at Naledi lands near Jwaneng that the aim is to increase agricultural output which has been declining since independence.

Mr Swartz is hopeful that the recommendation to provide basic infrastructure will be adopted and implemented soon to improve productivity in the agricultural sector.

He observed that, the provision of infrastructure will provide an environment that can attract potential farmers into the sub-sector.

Mr Swartz said a total of 47, 000 hectares were cultivated throughout the country in the last ploughing season which produced 27 300 metric tonnes.

Minister Swartz said 95 per cent of the production came from Pandamatenga, whilst five per cent was produced from the rest of the country.

He revealed that Ngwaketse west farmers who ploughed 1 650 hectares in the same period accounted for only six tonnes of cereals.

Mr Swartz says the low productivity of the agricultural sector and its failure to ensure national food security is a great concern to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 September, 2007

GABORONE – The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is developing a Market Access Master Plan, which shall among other things identify suitable expositions for Botswana made handicrafts.

LEA is already establishing international business linkages that will facilitate exports abroad, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Lebonaamang Mokalake said when asnswering a question in Ntlo ya Dikgosi.

He said an agreement has been made between LEA and USAID-financed Southern African Trade Competitiveness Hub to collaborate more closely on exploring the penetration of the USA market under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), which grants preferential tariff treatment for imports from the Sub-Saharan Africa into the USA.

Kgosi Mwakaupi Seemeko had wanted the government to consider assisting Batswana to access lucrative markets for their handicrafts.

The Assistant Minister added that LEA is in direct contact with a firm that imports handicrafts, based in the State of Virginia, in the USA, which buys periodically from South Africa.

He also mentioned that LEA has invited the importer to visit Botswana during their trip to South Africa.

It is gratifying to note that, the greatest impact LEA has had in the [continue reading]

source: IOL
Staff Reporter
September 25 2007 at 12:46PM

Several hundred workers arrived at the Green Point stadium construction site on Tuesday morning only to be informed that a lock out was in place which prevented them from coming within 40 metres of the construction site.

Contractors WBHO and Murray & Roberts said the lock-out was because unions had failed to sign agreements linked to a dispute over a travel allowance for workers.

Striking workers went on a violent rampage last week, damaging offices on the site.

An urgent interdict was issued by the Cape Town labour court last week which found that the strike action was illegal and unlawful.

This morning hundreds of workers gathered behind the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 September, 2007

WASHINGTON DC – President Festus Mogae has re-iterated the need for Africa to know the full details of the proposed US Africa Command (AFRICOM) before it commits itself.

President Festus Mogae, who is in the US said, as African leaders, we are keeping an open mind until we know what form the AFRICOM will take.

Speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), he said: We will have to know in detail the nature of the arrangement.

He was giving a talk on: Botswanas Future – Reflections on HIV/AIDS, Democratisation and US/Botswana Relations.

However, Mr Mogae stated that defence chiefs in Africa have already expressed reservations about the proposal and as a result, African leaders have agreed to continue to engage the US over the issue.

He admitted that AFRICOM is controversial and that the leaders will also engage the defence chiefs.

Regarding the relationship between SACU and the US, President Mogae said while they acknowledge that SACU member states stand to benefit by trading freely with the US, the former are concerned by the huge imbalances in the level of development of the parties.

He explained that the factor and others such as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 September, 2007

SEROWE – The role of the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) is to create and sustain an effective communications regulatory environment.

Also, Mr Aaron Nyelesi, BTA Senior Public Relations Officer, said its vision is to be the leading world-class communications regulator guided by organisational values of integrity and honesty while focusing on customers, stakeholder satisfaction.

He was addressing the ongoing full meeting of the Central District Council about the organisations mission.

Mr Nyelesi explained that BTAs responsibilities include the creation of a transparent regulatory environment for service providers to deliver quality affordable communications.

In addition, he said it is mandated to achieve this by managing the frequency spectrum, resolving industry disputes and setting standards and tariff principles.

He further said the organisation ensures compliance with communications services regulatory framework through management and monitoring quality, customer satisfaction levels and broadcasting content.

Also, he explained that [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 September, 2007

SEROWE – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Serowe has expressed its readiness for the 20-day voter registration, which begins next month.

Senior Elections Officer, Mrs Onneetse Malope said in an interview that everything is in place.

She believed her office, which is responsible for three constituencies has mobilised enough resources for the exercise. It has already started pitching up tents at registration points.

A total of 264 Form Five school leavers, who will be serving as registration officers have undergone orientation, she said and explained that deployment to the registration centres will start on October 1st while the majority of them will be stationed in their home villages during the exercise.

Mrs Malope stated that the registration stations will open at 8am and close at 6pm. She was optimistic that many people will register compared to previous years given the intensity of the voter registration campaigns that the IEC has mounted this year.

Regarding the issue of transfers, she reminded the electorate to contact the IEC office at their new places of work so that their registration could be transferred.

He indicated that people are expected to vote at their places of registration except those who have to change workplaces.

A regional officer in the Department of Civil and National Registration, Ms Kagisano Frank said eligible Batswana are coming in large numbers to [continue reading]


SOUTHERN African countries yesterday lined up behind Robert Mugabe in a row over whether the Zimbabwean president would be invited to an EU-Africa summit in December, saying they would boycott the event if he is banned.

The meeting in Lisbon would be the first in seven years. Plans for an EU-Africa summit in 2003 were put on hold after Britain and other EU states refused to attend if Mr Mugabe did. They accuse him of rights abuses.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said last week it would be inappropriate for him to attend if Mr Mugabe were present because the Zimbabwean leader would divert attention from important aspects of the agenda.

But leaders of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Small and Medium-sized businesses will soon bid their financial troubles goodbye when Standard Chartered Bank launches its unsecured loan scheme of up to P250, 000 for local businesses.

Head of Consumer Banking at Stanchart Pierre Mourier says small business owners will no longer have to produce bank statements, audited books and other requirements that have been standing between some of them and acquiring loans.

He was speaking at the launch of the Stanchart Independence Golf Tournament at the Gaborone Golf Club last Friday.

“Running a small business can be a nightmare,” Mourier said. “Access to finance is limited and dreams about taking your business to the next level is constantly crushed by lack of finance. Good ideas are kicked out of the door by banks as the promoter cannot provide the necessary security or the complex financials and cutting edge business projections.

“That is the current reality of running a small business in Botswana. We now declare independence for SMEs in Botswana by [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Lance Guma
24 September 2007

Retail giant Edgars joined the list of companies being targeted for takeover by Mugabe’s increasingly embattled government. Reports indicate the company wants to close down 19 of its 55 stores owing to the effects of the controversial price-cut policy imposed by government in June. More than 200 workers risk losing their jobs. Instead of acknowledging that the economic environment created by the price cuts is not sustainable for businesses, government has simply threatened to take over the companies that are struggling and is accusing them of pursuing a regime change agenda.

Industry and Trade Minister Obert Mpofu made the threats at a Zanu PF meeting and was quoted by the state media saying, ‘It is unfortunate that when we say these things, people brush them off and say it is only a joke. We are now going to take over the companies (and) buy them out. If they think we are not serious, let them wait until we knock at their doorsteps.’ He said they had already started identifying companies they want to take over. The state run Chronicle reported that Mpofu was expected to meet leading companies on Monday and that Edgars was one of them.

The UK Sunday Telegraph reports that Mugabe told a politburo meeting that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

De Beers has clarified that its diamond exploring air-ship known as the Zeppelin crashed from the ‘dock’ contrary to police reports that it went down on a routine exploration flight.

The plane was held in the air by suspenders tied to the ground – the dock – when it was sent crashing to earth by strong winds a few kilometres away injuring the pilot on board. “The accident happened at the exploration base set-up in the vicinity of Jwaneng mine.

The Zeppelin was not flying at the time of the accident,” the company said. Last Thursday, the state television quoted the Mabutsane Police station commander saying the airship was on a routine mission when it was forced to fly beyond its limit by strong winds and crashed down when the pilot failed to cope.

However, De Beers on Friday said the airship was not flying but was docked with the pilot on board as is standard [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)

24 September 2007
Posted to the web 24 September 2007

New York

President Thabo Mbeki is to lead the South African delegation at the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the UN Security Council this week.

South Africa is to participate in the general assembly, which kicks off on Tuesday and is expected to conclude on 3 October, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The bilateral discussions which President Mbeki is to hold with his counterparts will take place on Monday and Tuesday.

They will include meetings with French President Nicholas Sarkozy; Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates; Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick.

President Mbeki and his wife, Zanele Mbeki, are expected to arrive in New York on Monday.

The high-powered South African delegation will [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Henry Makiwa
24 September 2007

There are fears that Zanu PF could soon be using the Green Bombers to seize basic commodities from ordinary people’s homes, as part of the government’s discredited price control policy.
The notorious youths are known for employing violence in their execution of Zanu PF directives. Last week Zanu PF secretary for youth, Absolom Sikhosana is, reportedly urged the green bombers to sniff out people “hoarding basic commodities” at their homes and “bring the goods to the formal market”.
“It is your duty to make right what is wrong,” Sikhosana was quoted in the independent weekly Standard, talking to the youths at Davies Hall, the party headquarters in the city of Bulawayo last week.
“We have houses that have become shops; you have a duty to identify those and confiscate all the goods and bring them to the formal market. We have factories that are no longer producing. You have got a duty to identify these and bring them to book,” the paper quoted him.

The new development is likely to strike fear into [continue reading]