Archive for December 22nd, 2007

source: Mmegi

STAFF WRITER

PALAPYE: The Botswana Small Business Council (SBC) board on Tuesday met members of the business community here in a bid to hear their concerns regarding the impediment that hinder their businesses.

The three-year old SBC brought along experts in tax, labour relations, and in company formation and company registration. The Chairman of the SBC Palalani Moitlhobogi said the board does not always have answers to questions asked by businesses; that is why they brought experts with them.

The SBC was set up in 2004 as a high level advisory body chaired by a member of the private sector within the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) community.

It draws its membership from government ministries, parastatal bodies and institutions inclined to small businesses. The board brought along members of [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Mail & Guardian (SA)
published:Fri 21-Dec-2007
posted on this site:Fri 21-Dec-2007

“We will not demand majority shareholding but, of course, we will need some shares”

Harare – President Robert Mugabe said on Friday that foreign mining firms that invest in Zimbabwe would be allowed to retain majority stakes under controversial ownership regulations. “Where we read that a company has invested its profits over the years, we will not demand majority shareholding but, of course, we will need some shares,” the state New Ziana news agency quoted Mugabe as saying during a meeting with Zimbabwean ambassadors. The veteran leader commended the Zimbabwe Platinum Company (Zimplats) for building houses and roads, urging other companies to take a cue from the firm, whose majority shareholder is South Africa’s Implats. The government plans to amend the Mines and Minerals Act by inserting a clause providing for compulsory state acquisition of 51% of all foreign-owned mining firms. Under current laws, locals are entitled to a 15% stake in foreign-owned mining ventures, but there have been few takers.

The Chamber of Mines, representing 200 mining houses in Zimbabwe, warned last year that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

For the second successive month, the annual inflation rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 7.7 percent in November from October’s figure of 7.3 percent.

This means prices of a general basket of goods and commodities have risen by an average of 7.7 percent from November 2006 to November 2007. The increase in November has all but thrown away any hopes that the Bank of Botswana had of achieving its 2007 annual inflation rate objective of between 4 percent and 7 percent as there is no more room for a downswing in the month of December due to persistent food price induced inflationary pressures.

In a statement, the central bank said the widening gap between the inflation rate and the upper limit of [continue reading]

Switch to fluorescent bulbs

source: BOPA
21 December, 2007

GABORONE – Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has stepped up its campaign to encourage the public to save energy.

The corporations Public Relations Manager, Mrs Tlhomamiso Selato, said the campaign which started in August was to educate people on how to save power by using electricity saving appliances and lights.

The campaign also advised people on how to reduce their electricity consumption by among others, switching off their geysers at night and changing to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs).

BPC said that although fluorescent bulbs cost about four times more than ordinary bulbs they can save the consumer P44 on monthly bills.

An ordinary bulb consumes 150kWh with a P55 cost, while fluorescent bulb only uses 30kWh at P11.

Mrs Selato said the corporation had come up with [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 December, 2007

The new denominations of currency introduced by the Reserve Bank (RBZ) on Thursday began to circulate Friday morning and long queues appeared again at banks in the capital. Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa made the rounds to monitor progress and reported that most banks had run out of the new notes by 11:00 Friday morning.

Muchemwa said bank managers announced that a second batch was expected to be delivered in the afternoon. But as of 5:30 P.M. no money had arrived. Stressed out managers told those who were still hanging around that the banks had received a directive from the RBZ to remain open all weekend and on Monday, in order to make sure people got money for the holidays. Muchemwa laughed at what he described as the usual mismanagement by the RBZ, for having failed to deliver enough money on time.

Our correspondent said there has been a lot of panic buying by those who had [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Cape Argus (Cape Town)

22 December 2007
Posted to the web 22 December 2007

Angela Quintal
Cape Town

ANC president Jacob Zuma has received the official seal of approval from Nelson Mandela, who has praised him as a unifier, reconciler and a man committed to collective leadership.

He has also urged the divided ANC to rally behind Zuma.

Mandela, who chose to step down as party leader after one term in favour of Thabo Mbeki in 1997, said it was inevitable the results of the Polokwane elections would be interpreted by some “as an overwhelming victory for one camp or faction over another”.

In a message of congratulation to the ruling party’s new guard, he said: “Our experience of Comrade Zuma is of a person and leader who is inclusive in his approach, a unifier and one who values reconciliation and collective leadership.

“We have no doubt that [continue reading]

source: The Financial Gazette (Zimbabwe)
Rangarirai Mberi News Editor

AS President Robert Mugabe celebrated his disputed win in the 2002 presidential election, the very first visitor to arrive at State House to toast the victory was Jacob Zuma.

According to his office, Zuma, then South Africa’s deputy president, “congratulated President Mugabe on his re-election” after a South African election observer team had declared the outcome “legitimate”.
ZANU PF will probably hope Zuma was not merely part of routine South African diplomacy.
John Nkomo, ZANU PF national chairman, was in Polokwane, South Africa, as Zuma gained a foothold into the presidency of his country. Like many other Zimbabweans following the ANC conference on Tuesday night, he must have wondered what a Zuma presidency would mean for Zimbabwe.
Nkomo had earlier told the conference relations between the ANC and ZANU PF were “anchored on a shared history and shared experiences in the liberation struggle”. He did not mention that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI
CORRESPONDENT

Mobile phone company, Orange, which has been experiencing network hiccups, has announced a wide range of new services for its customers.

The Public Relations Manager for the company, Karabo Tlhabiwe, said one of the products that they would be introducing is Orange World, a bouquet of mobile data and Internet services.

He said Orange World delivers a mobile broadband Enhanced Data for GSM Environment (EDGE) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology. Orange World functions with most EDGE/GPRS mobile phones on the Orange network.

Tlhabiwe said Orange will be offering countrywide GPRS coverage. He said EDGE, which operates up to three or four times faster than GPRS, will also be available in selected areas in most major towns. Orange World includes [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

21 December 2007
Posted to the web 21 December 2007

David Cronin
Brussels

African governments have signed economic partnership agreements with the European Union “under duress”, according to Dr Rob Davies, South Africa’s deputy trade and industry minister.

Some 35 of almost 80 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries involved in negotiations aimed at reaching economic partnership agreements (EPAs) had accepted deals with the European Commission by December 19.

Davies alleged that many of these trade accords were reached because the Commission had threatened to impose onerous tariffs on goods from ACP countries destined for the Union’s markets should EPAs not be concluded this year. “This lead to a situation where a country that was unwilling to sign on did so under huge duress and with little enthusiasm,” he told IPS.

Although its neighbours — Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho — have entered into agreements, South Africa has decided not to. This is despite the fact that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

KABO MOKGOABONE
STAFF WRITER

PALAPYE: The board of Small Business Council (SBC) hinted on Tuesday that it would soon commission a study on what is impeding the growth of the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) sector in Botswana.

A member of the board Dr Howard Sigwele told a group of businesspeople from Palapye and surrounding areas that they will be approached for information during the study. Sigwele was speaking after the businesspeople raised concern about laws and statutory instruments that hinder growth of the private sector.

A businessman raised concern on Value Added Tax (VAT) saying it puts an administrative burden on small businesses. “VAT could have started selectively: it affects all small businesses,” said the businessman.

All Botswana businesses registered for VAT have to file tax returns every two months. Failure to do so attracts a penalty of P50 everyday until the returns are made. Since its [continue reading]

source: News24
21/12/2007 19:08 – (SA)

Pretoria – President Thabo Mbeki said on Friday new ANC leader Jacob Zuma, facing corruption accusations, should be presumed innocent and the law should be allowed to take its course.

Mbeki, deposed by Zuma as leader of the governing party, said he had no inside information on whether prosecutors would charge Zuma, but that it was important the principle of presumption of innocence be maintained.

“I don’t know what the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) intend to do.

“They haven’t said anything to me, but if they proceed as is reported we would all of us say that we would allow the road to take its course,” Mbeki told a news conference in Pretoria.

“The message we would like to communicate to the rest of world is the fact that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

GIDEON NKALA
STAFF WRITER

Gaborone Village Chief Magistrate, Lot Moroka, yesterday sentenced former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands Elvidge Mhlauli to a total of nine years in prison for abuse of office and giving false information to a Commissioner of Oaths. On each of the counts, the magistrate gave the maximum sentence of two years (abuse of office) and seven years (giving false information to a Commissioner of Oaths).

However, the two sentences, that started yesterday run concurrently and that means Mhlauli is effectively jailed for seven years. Moroka said the maximum punishment prescribed in the statutes are grossly disproportionate with the offence committed. He said while looking at the offence, the punishment meted out is like a slap on the wrist.

“Punishment meted out to a man who steals a goat should be grossly different from a man who steals land. If you steal a goat, you destroy the future of a family but if you steal land, you destroy the destiny of society,” Moroka said.

While considering the sentence, he said he took into [continue reading]

Dam levels increase

source: BOPA
21 December, 2007

GABORONE – The recent heavy rains have increased water levels in most of Botswanas dams.

A press release from the Water Utilities Corporation says the Gaborone Dam level has increased by one per cent as at December 19 from 57 per cent to 58 per cent.

The Bokaa Dam in the Kgatleng District was 101 per cent full.

However, no increases were recorded at the Molatedi Dam, whose water level still remains 13 per cent since December 11.

Letsibogo Dam, which was 100 per cent full, has decreased by two per cent.

The biggest increase was recorded at [continue reading]

source: The Zimbabwe Independent

Jesilyn Dendere/ Bernard Mpofu

THE Reserve Bank’s project to introduce higher denominated bearer cheques yesterday got off to a disastrous start after the bank failed to deliver cash to financial institutions.

Thousands of people were unable to get cash amid revelations that the central bank only started distributing the new bearer cheques to banks well after normal banking hours.

By last night officials from banks were still at the central bank’s cash office trying to get their allocations.

“We only started getting cash at about 4pm,” said a managing director with a local commercial bank.

The central bank introduced $250 000, $500 000 and $750 000 bearer cheques and demonetised the $200 000 note claiming it was being hoarded by cash barons. Some banks were yesterday still issuing the $200 000 bearer cheques which go out of circulation at the beginning of next year. Long queues were [continue reading]

source: IOL
December 21 2007 at 07:50PM

By Donwald Pressly

Floor-crossing by politicians at all levels should be scrapped, ANC conference delegates have agreed.

The recommendation, made by the commission on legislation and government and adopted as a resolution, was a key topic of discussion at the party’s national conference.

Institute for a Democratic South Africa researcher Jonathan Faull said he believed that the resolution would be fed into the parliamentary process.

Members of Parliament, the provincial legislatures and town and city councillors may cross the floor during two weeks in September in the second and fourth years of their five-year terms.

The last floor-crossing was at all three levels of government.

Earlier this year, President Thabo Mbeki said that the [continue reading]