Archive for November 19th, 2007

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: There will be little joy for consumers this festive season as prices of basic commodities continue to soar against the backdrop of high international fuel prices and shortage of raw materials.

With further increases imminent before Christmas, forecasts look gloomy. A snap visit to most supermarkets and general dealerships revealed that prices of basic commodities have risen by between 15 to 30 percent over the last month.

This is seen as a drawback for the Central Bank, which is aiming to keep inflation below double digits.

The latest statistics show that inflation figure for September was at 6.8 percent, which is within the 4-7 percent Bank of Botswana (BoB) range for 2007.

Most entrepreneurs blame the recent price increases on shortage of raw materials, the rise in global fuel prices and the [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Mail & Guardian (SA)
published:Sun 18-Nov-2007

“We do not change leaders as fast as we change our shirts”

Harare – Robert Mugabe’s vice-president has endorsed the veteran Zimbabwean leader’s candidature for presidential elections next year and has suggested he should even rule until he dies, a report said on Sunday. Joseph Msika said no-one was so far challenging Mugabe’s bid to seek a sixth consecutive term and urged supporters to endorse him at a ruling party congress in the capital Harare next month. “We do not change leaders as fast as we change our shirts,” the state Sunday Mail weekly quoted the vice-president as telling a provincial meeting of the ruling Zanu PF. “So the issue of changing a leader after a specified period of time is out of the question. It is a luxury we cannot afford. If they are still serving the people, they should stay on or even die there.”

Msika’s statements came just over a week after Vice-President Joyce Mujuru, once regarded as Mugabe’s most obvious successor, poured cold water on reports that she [continue reading]

SA: Are 2010 projects safe?

source: IOL
November 19 2007 at 02:10PM

The two-week long strike by construction workers building Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium came to an end on Monday after workers accepted an offer made by the Group Five WBHO consortium.

National Union of Mineworker’s (NUM) regional co-ordinator Bonginkosi Mncwabe said workers would return to work on Tuesday morning.

“The deal does address all the issues that we raised.”

He also confirmed that the secondary strike which was scheduled to hit other 2010 projects, the Gautrain and Durban’s King Shaka International airport, would not go ahead on Tuesday.

NUM had demanded project bonuses of R1 500 a month for each worker. It also demanded that [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Mail & Guardian (SA)
published:Mon 19-Nov-2007

Giving the government a free 25% stake

Harare – President Robert Mugabe’s government published a draft Bill on Monday forcing mining firms to transfer majority shareholdings to local owners, including giving the Zimbabwe government a free 25% stake.

The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill is expected to be presented to Parliament and to be approved before the end of the year, and follows the passing of a general Bill giving 51% stakes in foreign-owned firms to locals. Analysts say the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: Batswana have the potential to help diversify the country’s economy through committed entrepreneurship, an official from the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has said.

Francistown’s LEA branch manager Sarah Mbanga was speaking at a workshop organised for local entrepreneurs to interact with financial institutions at Thapama Hotel this week.

“It’s high time we gave our citizens the necessary support to manage their own economy through business ownership. As LEA, we have the mandate to do that by building capacity through initiatives like training and mentoring.”

She said if Batswana owned successful businesses in sectors like tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and services provision, that would help diversify the economy, reduce the country’s dependence on imports and [continue reading]

source: Engineering News

By: Olivia Spadavecchia
Published: 19 Nov 07 – 11:59
State-owned electricity utility, the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), said over the weekend that the country might get a new 250 MW peaking to midmerit power plant to cater for what it termed a “supply gap”.

It was envisaged that an independent power producer (IPP) would develop the power station.

In an invitation to show interest, published in local Sunday newspapers, the utility said that the “gestation period” for the IPP power plant should not be more than two years from January 1, 2008.

The BPC would buy [continue reading]

Police merger plans flop

source: Mmegi

After years of trying, the government has accepted that plans to merge the Botswana Police Service and the Local Police have become a cropper. Local Government Minister, Margaret Nasha who is in charge of the Local Police told Mmegi yesterday that the two formations will continue to operate separately. At the moment, her ministry is revising the Local Police Amendment Bill to revamp conditions of service for the Local Police.

She hopes to table the bill in the current parliamentary sitting. “I will be taking the draft bill to cabinet and if it is approved in time, I hope to table it in parliament before Christmas break,” she said.

Meanwhile, there are allegations of tribalism and nepotism in the Local Police. A senior official at the Ministry of Local Government is accused of irregularities in transfers and promotions.

Some officers have been acting station commanders in major villages for [continue reading]

19 November 2007

Capetonians who do not own computers or who cannot afford to use internet cafés can now access both, free of charge, through the City of Cape Town’s expanded Smart Cape Access Project.

A new public access point was opened in the foyer of the 44 Wale Street building in the heart of Cape Town’s CBD last week, with five computers that can be used by anyone for up to 45 minutes each per day.

The building’s foyer area has been converted into a large public space with information and displays covering a range of city services, as well as the Smart Cape computers. The access point is open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays.

The computers can be used to surf the internet, and every user gets a free e-mail account.

Smart Cape, which aims to provide [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

It was Chinua Achebe who said “when you see a tadpole running in broad daylight, you must know that something is after its life”.

Mmegi Staff Writer shadowed Boyce Sebetela to Palapye where he announced his resignation to his constituents. Two days later he catches up with the MP before he flew to Rwanda where he is on his last parliamentary assignment.

Mmegi: You would have to agree with me that you shocked many when you announced your resignation as an MP. Why are you leaving?

Sebetela: When I joined politics I was in my 30s. I told myself that I would leave politics to do [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
18.11.2007 4:06:08 P

Botswana celebrated last week as the country moved closer to being the world diamond capital when the fledgling DTC Botswana signed its median three year contract with its first 16 sight holders.
The new move is aimed at meeting the country’s quest of being the “best diamond address in the world”, both as the world’s leading producer, marketing, sorting, valuing and aggregation of diamonds by 2011.

“Today is a momentous day for Botswana and its citizens. It is expected that US $ 360 million (P 2.1 billion) of rough diamonds will be sold by DTC Botswana to sight holders in 2008, with this amount set to grow to US $ 550 million by 2009. The purpose of this agreement is to maximize the long term value that Botswana derives from diamonds,” Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Kago Moshashane, said.
Moshashane led the Botswana negotiating team on the eve of the renewal of the Jwaneng mining lease and got a concession from De Beers to set up DTC Botswana responsible for sorting, valuing, marketing and, ultimately, moving aggregation activities from London to Gaborone.
The new developments, which are coming up with a package of Botswana based diamond cutting and polishing companies, will create 3000 new jobs which are directly linked to diamond manufacturing.

“We are very excited about this. Creating 3000 jobs is not a joke. And the transfer of technology here is [continue reading]

sourcce: BBC News

The Zimbabwean government has accused the UK of plotting an invasion and considering assassinations of the country’s political leadership.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said Harare remained ready to defend itself against the “sinister threats”.

He was responding to comments by a former British general Lord Guthrie in a UK newspaper a week ago.

Lord Guthrie recalled advising the ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair against invading Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has often accused its former colonial ruler of attempts to interfere in its internal affairs, in part out of concern for white farmers – many of British origin – whose farms have been seized and redistributed.

But the UK accuses the government of President Robert Mugabe of gross human rights violations and of [continue reading]

source: The Standard (Zimbabwe)


MEMBERS of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the European Union (EU) have agreed on an interim trade as the two regional trading blocs hammer out a comprehensive pact in line with international trade rules.

Zimbabwe belongs to the 16 grouping ESA, currently negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU.

These agreements are expected to result in reciprocal trade arrangement under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

ESA and European Commission officials met at a ministerial meeting in Brussels on Monday, 12 November.

They were taking stock of negotiations in light of the impending expiry next month of unilateral trade preferences set out in the 2000 Cotonou Agreement.

In a joint statement, the two parties said they “agreed to work towards a Framework Agreement of an EPA that will comprise trade in goods, development co-operation, fisheries and any other [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
18.11.2007 4:12:39 P

The Standard Chartered Bank on Friday officially launched the International Trust Account (ITA) product for SMEs which is going to enable the SMEs in Botswana to save significant amounts of money when telegraphically transferring money overseas.
The ITA, according to a press release, is a current account for SMEs in the Imports-Export Industry. This, it said, is a logical extension of Standard Chartered Bank’s Global reach with a presence in more than 50 countries across the globe.

This account is a deposit based product and its main features include free Bank branches across 50 countries where the bank operates flat commission charges on all international telegraphic transfer payments to any other bank, the release stated. There are also flat fees on most trade products and access to the bank’s Straight2Bank internet-based facility. This fully integrated end-to-end platform provides cash, trade, Foreign Exchange (FX) and Security Services via a single sign-on access. It is stated in the press statement that the enhancements provide clients with [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)

18 November 2007
Posted to the web 18 November 2007

Addis Ababa

The international community will understand Africa’s voice on economics far better, if the content is professional, research-based, and supported by data and scientific evidence.

“In order to maximise efforts in research, policy analysis and information dissemination, Africans need to make more use of the skills of African academics and researchers, both within and outside the continent,” said President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Donald Kaberuka.

He expressed this sentiment at the weekend, at a joint press conference with Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Abdoulie Janneh.

This comes after the opening of the Second African Economic Conference (AEC).

Mr Kaberuka said the AfDB realises that there are [continue reading]