Archive for January, 2008

source: Mmegi

29 January 2008

Posted to the web 29 January 2008

Tumelo Setshogo

The Chinese construction company, Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, is scheduled to start building of the Dikgatlhong Dam, the largest in Botswana, in February in Robelela village between the Central and North East Districts along the Ramokgwebana border.

This will be the fourth dam after Gaborone, Bokaa and Letshibogo. The dam is divided into two sections with the first expected to be complete in October 2011 and the last one in January 2012, according to Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) public relations officer, Doreen Motshegwa.

The multi-billion Pula project will be 40 metres deep at the dam wall with a capacity of 400 million cubic metres, and it will stretch back up the Shashe and Tati Rivers for approximately 16 kilometres.

The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) public relations officer, Doreen Motshegwa says: “This will be the largest dam in Botswana with a capacity of 400 million cubic metres and an annual yield of 170 million cubic metres,” said Motshegwa.

“The whole project is estimated at P1, 3 billion” for construction of the dam, labour and equipment she says.

She said the dam will be built at the [continue reading]


29 January 2008

The first official Fifa store has opened at Singapore’s Changi International Airport, making football World Cup merchandise available all year around, and not just in World Cup host countries, for the first time.

“As Fifa’s first permanent retail location, the Fifa official store represents an important milestone toward further connecting fans around the world to Fifa’s rich heritage dating back to 1904 as well as the excitement and anticipation of future events, including South Africa 2010,” said Global Brands Group president Gary Schoenfeld on

Fifa merchandise will also be sold at various official Fifa World Cup stores across South Africa, as well as through a web-based store on, by mid-2008

After Singapore, further Fifa official stores are due to open in London, Tokyo and Los Angeles, as well as in important [continue reading]

source: BOPA

28 January, 2008

SEROWE – Botswana takes pride in being one of the few countries in Africa that have attained the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6, whose target is to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

There are eight goals that the United Nations member states, including Botswana, have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015 and President Festus Mogae said Botswana was on the right track to achieving them.

We are one of a few African countries where 95 per cent of the population is within 15 kilometres of a health facility, he said when officiating at the multi million Sekgoma Memorial Hospital in Serowe on Friday.

As a measure of our commitment to improving health care delivery, we have met all the major international undertakings such as the Abuja Declaration, which requires Governments to commit 15 per cent of the national budget to health care delivery.

Heads of State of the African Union pledged in Abuja, Nigeria on April 2001 to improve the health sector.

Mr Mogae said it [continue reading]

Privatise Eskom

source: News24
27/01/2008 14:34 – (SA)

Johannesburg – In the current electricity crisis the privatisation of all Eskom’s components should be considered very seriously, Jan Bosman, Managing Director of the Afrikanerbond said on Sunday.

“In 1993 the government of the Philippines was confronted with a similar electricity crisis. The power shortage was ended when government entered into supply contracts with private electricity supply companies through the government controlled National Power Corporation (Napocor),” Bosman said.

The end result was a surplus supply for the Philippines, he added.

The fact that Eskom reports to two government departments was also a contributing factor to “the dragging of feet.”

“Apart from Eskom;s responsibility to the Department of Public Enterprises, the electricity policy is determined by the Department of Minerals and Energy. This delays any urgent decision making and long-term planning,” Bosman said.

Privatisation would bring in additional income for the treasury and it would also reduce the financial burden on government to manage entities which were often less competitive than their rivals in the private sector, Bosman said.

Privatisation would also send a very positive signal to international investors that South Africa was committed to market driven development.

Bosman said that privatisation could also lead to reduced prices and better services for the consumer.

“Privatisation can contribute to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Botswana Power Corporations (BPC) officials have admitted that the current power shortages were foreseen as far back as 2001, but their study underestimated the magnitude of the demand.

Addressing the media on Friday, acting CEO, Joseph Raleru said BPC conducted a feasibility study in 2004 after which the organisation targeted production of only 600 MW by 2023.

“However when we re-looked at the demand in 2006, it had increased significantly because of new mines, due to the high demand for copper on the world market. This rate of growth did not only take Botswana by surprise, but countries like Zambia also saw an increase in copper mining. We had to take new steps to make sure that the completion of the expansion of Morupule power station is brought forward to 2010/11”.

The high demand for power and investment on new projects is likely to see BPC increasing its tariffs, said Raleru, even though he was non-committal Raleru said the current power shortage in the country is made worse by a fault in a power line from [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings, having ruled Ghana as a champion of the aspirations of junior soldiers, and also as a civilian president, has grown to ponder the notion of a democracy that draws on the traditions of African governance.

Below, KOFI AKOSAH-SARPONG, explores Rawlings’ recent presentation in Nigeria and his search for a ‘democratic practice’ that integrates the values of western democracy with African custom. Botswana emerges as a significant marker on Rawlings’ yardstick of African democracy.

If anybody in Ghana or Africa should ponder deeply and critically on the direction or how to grow a more sustainable democracy in Africa that reflects Africa’s histories, experiences, cultural traditions and norms, that person, perhaps, should be former Ghanaian President, Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings.

At 32 years old, Rawlings was [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Gaborone City Council (GCC) engineer, Komal Chandra Jain has set all alarms ringing with the announcement that ‘Gaborone roads have outlived their lifespan’ by professional engineering standards.

Some of the roads were built 15 to 30 years ago without adequate provision of storm water drainage, Jain pointed out, adding that they have not been refurbished to meet modern standards in line with modern traffic requirements.

He admitted that there were unnavigatable potholes and depressions all over Gaborone roads.

According to the city engineer “climatic conditions have now changed and these roads get badly affected due to flooding during the rains”, said Jain.

Within the city boundary, GCC has 500km of tarred roads, about 200km of gravel and 100km of earth roads. The western [continue reading]

source: News24
26/01/2008 20:25 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Diamond, gold and platinum mines were shut for the weekend owing to an electricity shortage that has crippled the sector and left thousands of miners without work, officials said.

The country’s major mining companies, such as the world’s biggest diamond producer De Beers, were in a crisis meeting on Saturday with public electricity company Eskom. The electrical provider had obliged the mines to suspend their operations the night before as it could not guarantee a steady supply.

“At the moment, things are as there were yesterday,” De Beers spokesperson Tom Tweedy told AFP. “There is no production. Our six mines are closed.”

De Beers produces nearly 16 million carats per year and employs 5 100 workers in the country.

The situation is similar for gold mines in South Africa – which produces the most gold in the world.

“Our mines are still closed. We are in ongoing discussions with Eskom,” said Steve Lenahan, spokesperson for AngloGold Ashanti, which employs 35 000 people in seven mines.

Harmony Gold spokesperson Amelia Soares said “we are all in the same boat. All of our [continue reading]

source: allAfricaThe Herald (Harare)

26 January 2008
Posted to the web 26 January 2008


PRESIDENT Mugabe has set March 29 as the election date, a day after the dissolution of Parliament to pave way for the polls.

In an Extraordinary Government Gazette released yesterday, the President proclaimed March 29, 2008, as the day on which presidential, parliamentary and council elections will be held.

He also issued a proclamation dissolving Parliament at midnight on March 28, 2008 and set Friday, February 8 2008 as the day on which Nomination Courts will sit countrywide to receive nominations of candidates for the elections.

The President also set Friday March 7, 2008 as the date when the Provincial Assemblies of Chiefs shall meet to elect chiefs to the Council of Chiefs.

Chiefs will meet [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

25 January 2008
Posted to the web 25 January 2008

Dumisani Muleya

MAJOR commercial banks and other financial houses are facing a critical liquidity crisis largely caused by unlawful speculative investments which are now threatening to ruin the stricken institutions.

Information gleaned from an array of documents shows the situation has triggered tremors within the sector that was hit by a chain of high-profile institutional collapses in 2004. Cash shortages at the banks have compounded the situation as businesses and individuals are unable to access their money.

Almost all the banks — Barclays, Stanbic, Standard Chartered, CFX Bank, Kingdom, NMB Bank, ZB Bank, MBCA, ZABG, FBC, CBZ, Agribank, ABC Corporation, Genesis, Premier, Interfin and Renaissance, as well as building societies such as CABS, Beverley, FBC BS and Intermarket — are in dire straits.

The banks are facing liquidity problems because [continue reading]

source: News24
25/01/2008 10:42 – (SA)

Johannesburg – South Africa’s gold mines, and mining companies in other sectors, were instructed on Thursday night by electricity utility Eskom to shut their mines, possibly for up to between two to six weeks.

A letter signed by Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga said that key industrial consumers (KPI) had to reduce their power loads to “minimum levels”. He added that Eskom could not guarantee power supply.

“We did not send down a shift last night and we did not send one this morning at any of our mines,” said Willie Jacobsz, spokesman for Gold Fields. “I understand the situation is the same at AngloGold Ashanti and Harmony Gold,” he said.

A Johannesburg analyst said, however, that smaller consumers such as Simmer & Jack Mines and DRDGold still had power, at least at present.

In the letter, Maroga said the mines were required to “evacuate all underground staff”; “suspend all surface and underground mining”; but were allowed to keep essential services operating such as pumping and lighting. Mining companies would also be allowed underground if proto-teams were required to tackle fires.

Meanwhile, the South African government is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Unconfirmed reports that Eskom’s chief executive officer, Jacob Maroga has included Botswana among the countries the South African power utility is to terminate supplies to, appear to have surprised the Botswana authorities. The Eskom chief is reported in yesterday’s Citizen newspaper to have said: “Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe will now no longer be fed from South Africa’s grid.

Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland face partial cuts”. Botswana imports 75 per cent of its electricity primarily from South Africa. And Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Eskom recently renewed the supply agreement. When contacted yesterday, the Botswana Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, expressed doubts that Eskom’s chief executive could have been reported accurately. “I will be surprised if there could be such insinuations as the two utilities have binding agreements. We would expect our counterparts to contact us should there be any changes to those agreements.” Adelaide Alidi of the Botswana Power Corporation public relations department concurred that: “the South African media reports have incorrectly interpreted the Eskom CEO’s communication. Eskom have confirmed directly to BPC that this has been a misquote”.

“Both Eskom and BPC are members of the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). The working relationship between Eskom and BPC is [continue reading]

source: BOPA
22 January, 2008

GABORONE – It is only a matter of time before soccer enthusiasts get to watch live the ongoing AFCON games in the national television.

The games started yesterday, and football lovers had no kind words for the national broadcaster for failing to show the games.

But Btv officials have since assured the nation that they have since secured rights to broadcast the games at a tune of P2.2 million.

Only red tape stands on their way. The process has to go through government tendering system.

The broadcasters spokesperson, Mrs Neoyame Setsile-Shirima, said [continue reading]

Mogae`s first bye-bye

source: Mmegi


MMADINARE: With no more than two months and one week left to the end of his term, President Festus Mogae yesterday used Mmadinare to launch his countrywide tour to bid the nation farewell.

People – mainly of the BaBirwa and BaTswapong ethnic stock – came from neighbouring Selebi-Phikwe, Sefhophe and others to hear and see Mogae address them for the last time as President at the Mmadinare Kgotla. A variety of gifts, which included household items, were presented to Mogae. But what left the President at a loss for words was the gift of two horses – one male, the other female – as a token of appreciation of his leadership and symbol of fertility, used in SeTswana to convey goodwill and prosperity. But also by this gift, BaBirwa could well have been telling Mogae that he should take up livestock farming in his retirement.

After being showered with praise and good wishes, the President said he was grateful to Batswana because his achievements have proceeded from their immense and unwavering support. “My race ends here and I have simply come here to bid you farewell as well as thank you for affording me the opportunity to lead the country,” he said. The time had come to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

22 January 2008
Posted to the web 22 January 2008

Charlotte Mathews

SA’s main gold and platinum mines had secured enough power to keep their expansion projects moving for the next two or three years, they said this week, but beyond 2010 they could not be certain of their electricity supplies.

Gold Fields, Harmony Gold Mining and Simmer & Jack are extending existing operations or reopening mines where the electricity infrastructure is already in place, so they are not shelving any announced capital projects.

“There is, however, concern that Eskom is unable to provide quotations for the increased capacity required from 2010 until they finalise their policy on allocating new capacity in this period of shortage,” a Gold Fields spokesman said.

A Simmer & Jack spokeswoman said its projects at Buffelsfontein, Hartbeestfontein and Ezulwini were in areas that historically had been very large consumers of electricity.

“Despite this, Eskom gives no [continue reading]