Archive for February 11th, 2008

source: Mmegi

WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

With the installation of the Central Securities Depository (CSD), the Botswana Stock Exchange will be fully automated at the end of this month.

Presenting the 2008/09 Budget speech, Finance Minister Baledzi Gaolathe said Government supports the development of capital markets with projects such as the installation of the CSD on the BSE.

The CSD registers share certificates electronically. Market analysts have welcomed the project, saying it will boost liquidity on the local bourse.

CEO of Stockbrokers Botswana Geoffrey Bakwena said government should be commended for assisting the BSE to secure the CSD because the facility will speed up the sale of shares. “I understand this system (CSD) is very expensive and that government helped the Botswana Stock Exchange secure it,” Bakwena said. “They should be commended for that.

“The system that is being used now is very tedious. For example, you have to fill in the indemnity form and print out the share certificate. That delays the process.” Bakwena said because the CSD is automated, it will help [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 February, 2008

MOCHUDI – The 2008/09 budget speech has revealed that the economys growth was not heavily dependent on the diamond industry-generated revenue like in the past.

Managing Director of Econsult Botswana, Dr Keith Jefferis said on Thursday that there was a sign that we are becoming less dependent on diamonds as other sectors contributed more than 50 per cent to economic growth since the last budget meeting, saying it clearly indicated that we are heading in the right direction in diversifying the economy.

Making an economic overview of the budget at the Kgatleng Business Council budget review dinner in Mochudi, Dr Jefferis said the economy had been driven by other export commodities such as copper and nickel, beef, soda ash and textiles.

He said this sign of economic diversification would reduce too much dependence on diamonds, adding that as we are getting to the end of NDP9 more changes will be expected in the coming National Development Plan as we will also be changing leadership.

I believe next years budget will be more exciting than the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 February, 2008

GABORONE – Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Botswana is an example of one of the largest ever transfers of diamond beneficiation activity back into Africa, says its Managing Director, Mr Brian Macdonald.

Speaking to the media at the launch of company, Mr Macdonald said it would be solely focused on capturing the full value of Botswanas diamonds and further developing the local industry.

He said that this would provide maximum long term value from diamonds through world class sorting, valuing, selling and market practices in Botswana.

This, he said, would provide a new source of government revenue. This development will go a long way in strengthening the joint venture partnership between De Beers and also encourage foreign capital investment in Botswana, he said.

Mr Macdonald explained that DTC would help to establish Botswana as a global competitor and leader in the international diamond industry and also [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

BP Botswana is negotiating with Unitrans and a number of local and regional companies to distribute its products after its transporter Lobtrans went into liquidation.

BP acting general manger Mahube Mpugwa said yesterday that normal fuel supplies will resume soon after Unitrans was appointed by the High Court as their interim distributor last Friday. Unitrans is supposed to start making deliveries this week. Mpugwa said BP lost a significant amount of business due to the folding up of Lobtrans. He told Businessweek that supplies are below normal. Some depots in areas such as Bobonong, Selebi-Phikwe and Francistown ran out of supplies for a few days. “At the moment, we are using Unitrans which was appointed by the High Court following the placement of Lobtrans under provisional liquidation. But on a long term basis, we are currently negotiating with many other local and regional companies including Unitrans itself to become our primary and secondary petroleum transporters.

“We have tried as much as possible to give priority to our commercial customers such as the mines. Although supplies to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 February, 2008

GABORONE – Some businesses in the Gaborone West industrial area have incurred some losses due to the power outages that haveg been gripping the country in the past weeks.

Speaking in an interview, the General Manager of Auto City, Mr Riaan Noor, said the power outages have impacted negatively on his companys work as they depend on electricity for most of their operations.

Mr Noor said that last week was the worst as power went out from 9 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.

He noted that Auto City lost a whole day sale of about P40 000 when power was interrupted for the whole working day.Eighty five per cent of people in Gaborone work in industrial and commercial areas and Botswana Power Cooperation should consider switching power off in residential areas during the day for the firms to operate, he said.

Mr Noor pleaded with BPC to at least notify business enterprises to prepare for outages rather than take them by surprise.

He said power interruptions have affected his company as it failed to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)

10 February 2008
Posted to the web 11 February 2008

Michael Appel
Pretoria

Discussing the effects of the current power crisis on the South African economy, analysts believe that although mining is being hard, the rest of the sectors are holding up reasonably well.

Following President Thabo Mbeki’s State of the Nation address on Friday in which he discussed the current power crisis in the country at great length, Econometrix economist Russell Lamberti told BuaNews that other sectors are holding. “The President addressed the issue of the power crisis and possible recession in the United States economy well.

“He said what he needed to on the [electricity] issue and there was a pretty good acknowledgement of the problems facing the country,” Mr Lamberti told BuaNews, Friday. South Africa’s mining sector – highly dependent on electricity to function – has had to endure power cuts and reduced electricity usage for some time now and despite safety being affected, mineral extraction has slowed.

“With the power outages having gone on for a month or so the mining sector will recover, but if it carries on for a few months then we are going to start to see substantial loses in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 February, 2008

GABORONE – President Festus Mogae has issued a writ of elections for Kgalagadi North and Palapye constituencies by-elections while local government minister Ms Margaret Nasha also issued instruments for the by-elections for three wards.

The three wards are Marulamantsi in Gaborone West South, Mokwena in Serowe South and Bodibeng/Bothatogo in the Ngami constituencies.

According to a news release from the Independent Electoral Commission the writ of elections and election instruments direct that returning officers shall receive nominations of candidates for election of the two constituencies and three wards between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on February 22.

Nominations for Kgalagadi North and Palapye will be received at Hukunsti Rural Administration Centre and Palapye Rural Administration Centre.

As for council nominations, the Marulamantsi ward nominations will take place at [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info
Gabi Khumalo

11 February 2008

South Africa’s leading developer of multilingual software, Translate.org.za, has won an award from the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) for its efforts to make computer software more accessible to speakers of South Africa’s indigenous languages.

Translate.org.za won the PanSALB award for Multilingualism and Nation Building in the eBusiness Institution category, which recognises Translate.org’s invention of the country’s first multilingual keyboard and open source spell checkers.

The award also recognises the company’s work in translating software including OpenOffice.org and Mozilla Firefox into South African languages.

Their latest project entails helping people across Africa translate their indigenous languages into popular software.

Speaking to BuaNews on Wednesday, Translate.org.za director Dwayne Bailey said the award was [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
10.02.2008 7:35:42 P

The thriving mining industry in the northern parts of Botswana is expected to get yet another boost as Matsiloje Portland Cement is expected to restart production at the cement mine along the Francistown-Matsiloje road.

Matsiloje Portland Cement is managed by the owners of Nortex, one of Botswana’s elite textile factories, which has been operating in Francistown for the past 18 years, with a total investment of over P100 million. The managing director of the company, Rachit Josh, told The Sunday Standard that they were granted a mining license by the Department of Mines last year and that they have been busy refurbishing the plant which is now on target to start production in July this year.

At the completion of the first phase of the refurbishment process, which involves construction and installation of new state of the art machinery, the mine is expected to produce 65 tons of cement per day. However, production is expected to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 February, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Parliament has adopted with amendments, a bill seeking to establish an act to provide for the protection of survivors of domestic violence and for matters connected therewith.

Debate on the private members bill brought by the Kweneng South MP, Ms Gladys Kokorwe, commenced during the previous Parliament sitting with majority of members endorsing it.

Responding to MPs deliberations, Friday, Ms Kokorwe said she appreciated their support and expressed hope that those, who did not discuss it, were also supportive.

Violence, she said, affected every member of society including single women and gender activists, who have been accused of [continue reading]

Unemployment needs attention

source: BOPA
11 February, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Kweneng South East MP Mmoloki Raletobana has called for aggression in tackling the problem of joblessness in the country.

He said the unemployment rate in Botswana warranted an assessment of challenges that make it difficult for the youth to take advantage of funds and grants meant for them.

Contributing to the debate on the 2008/09 budget on Thursday, Mr Raletobana said the rate of unemployment in both the formal and informal sectors still continues to be a concern.

Mr Raletobana called for the P2 million Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency ceiling to be increased, as the amount viable for most businesses.

He commended the National Development Bank (NDB) for its programmes that he said were beneficial to many Batswana and urged the government to take action against some technical officers, who recommend the completion of projects despite poor workmanships.

He cited the Serowe Sports Complex and the just opened Sekgoma Memorial Hospital, as undertakings where [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

RYDER GABATHUSE
STAFF WRITER

FRANCISTOWN: Rumour is swirling within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) ranks that Health Minister, Professor Sheila Tlou is Vice President, Ian Khama’s preferred candidate for the vice presidency next April.

In Palapye, BDP faithfuls have been spreading the word very fast that Khama, who will in April 1 be ascending to the country’s state presidency, “prefers Tlou as his VP for the transitional period”.

President Festus Mogae is relinquishing power at the end of March passing the baton to Khama.

Some people have dismissed this as a mere “campaign gimmick” by the pro-Tlou group bent on gaining numbers for a re-run of the Palapye constituency billed for February 16. Some do believe the rumour.

In particular, some BDP members believe that Tlou is being handled with kid gloves following a recommendation by the party chairman, Khama, to declare a re-run for the Palapye primaries. This follows an inquiry into Tlou’s protest against the December 22 primaries’ results, which was led by the deputy secretary general, Kentse Rammidi. Other members of the team are Communications Science and Technology Minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and BDP executive secretary, Dr. Comma Serema.

Tlou lost the primaries to [continue reading]

source: Sunday Stundard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
10.02.2008 8:55:07 P

Even before it goes on air there are signs that BTC Mobile, a subsidiary of the government-owned Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, will be a source of much headache for the Board of Directors.

Earmarked to go on air in six weeks time, inside information points that there are a few boardroom scores still to be settled before the much anticipated launch.

Indications are that there will be more tears shed before BTC mobile goes on air.

The Sunday Standard has turned up information of a fierce tussle between the board and executive management over how to fashion the new animal.

Backed by the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, the board, led by Len Makwinja, wants BTC Mobile to be a totally autonomous entity, wholly detached from the main BTC parent company and reporting to a separate and independent Board.

The executive management, led by Vincent V.T Seretse, wants BTC mobile to operate under direct orbit of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
10.02.2008 7:41:11 P

The multi million pula bio diesel production project in Serowe and surrounding areas is said to be on the right track after it emerged that it received overwhelming approval from farmers in the central district.
The project is spearheaded by Ipelegeng Development Trust, a beneficiation organization that is the brainchild of Serowe North East Member of Parliament, Ramadeluka Seretse.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard last week, the coordinator of the trust, Ditlhong Ndlovu, said that they were very humbled by the overwhelming response that they got from farmers in Serowe and surrounding villages who are set to benefit immensely from the multi million pula project. The project will assist farmers to shift from subsistence to commercial farming in that their fields will be aggregated and used to plough the sunflower. Ndlovu revealed that, while there is generally an abundance of land in Botswana, it is not used efficiently by farmers and, therefore, does not benefit them much.

Ipelegeng Development Trust therefore is looking to maximize profits and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Even with Eskom’s additional 16, 000 MW planned, there was still a net expanding deficit in the Southern African region which needed more power projects, CIC Energy president and cofounder Greg Kinross told the Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Kinross said that Canada- and Botswana-listed CIC’s Mmamabula project in Botswana went some way to filling that deficit but did not go all the way. “There is need or more projects in the region,” he said. He said that CIC had concluded its agreement with operator International Power and had attracted a 20 percent Sumitomo shareholding interest for what would be a $9,5-billion project.

There was excellent interest from finance markets, which viewed [continue reading]