Archive for February 12th, 2008

source: BOPA
12 February, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana and Namibia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) over the formers use of a dry port in Walvis Bay.

Mrs Lesego Motsumi, works and transport minister, said at the signing ceremony that Botswanas acquisition of the land on a 50-year lease was carried out in the spirit of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and in pursuit of the SADC regional integration agenda.

The project was initiated by President Festus Mogae and his Namibian counterpart, Hifipunye Pohamba in April 2006 for a number of reasons among them to foster cooperation both at political and commercial level.

Another reason is to achieve long-term economic aspirations which include the growth of companies and businesses in Botswana and Namibia and to assist in the reduction of transportation costs between the two nations.

Mrs Motsumi said the other reason was to promote the use of the Trans Kalahari Corridor.

Walvis Bay is a deep-water port and the only large seaport on the western side of the SADC region that offers access to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


President Festus Mogae has called on all diamond cutting and polishing companies to impart skills and knowledge to Batswana.

“We expect all licence holders to pursue aggressive training programmes to develop high levels of competence within a reasonable time frame among Batswana.” Mogae said this when officially opening the Steinmetz Diamonds Group polishing factory last Thursday at the Diamond Technology Park. He said Steinmetz and other sightholders had embraced the aspirations of the country to develop what is to be known as the Diamond Technology Park where all activities involving diamonds will take place. “This company, because of its faith and belief in the development of the diamond manufacturing industry of Botswana, did not hesitate but invested more than US$9 million (about P58.4 million) in building a factory which will accommodate a workforce of 220 at full capacity.”

The company currently employs 50 people. The Steinmetz Diamond Group had shown that it shares the values of Vision 2016 with Botswana by creating employment for Batswana and transferring skills and knowledge of the diamond industry to them. “Many Batswana benefit not only directly but also [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 February, 2008

GABORONE – De Beers maintained maximum diamond output for the second year in a row, although sales dropped from US$7.03 billion (P45.511 billion) to US$6.84 billion (P44.281 billion).

Speaking at the release of the results, De Beers Managing Director Gareth Penny said the mining conglomerate produced 51.1 million carats during 2007 of which Debswana contributed 33.6 million carats.

Mr Penny, however, was optimistic for the future, saying the demand for rough diamonds remains high and said this will help increase prices.

He said there had been an increase in diamond demand in China, India and Middle East and this might balance the slowing demand in US due to the envisioned recession.

Meanwhile De Beers was carrying out explorations in Canada, where and two new mines were being developed.

Snap Lake started production late last year and was expected to produce approximately 1.6 million carats annually.

The mine has a diamond reserve of 24.6 million carats, and Mr Penny said new kimberlites have been discovered and this might [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

12 February 2008
Posted to the web 12 February 2008

Linda Ensor
Cape Town

Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin moved to allay foreign investors’ concerns about the electricity emergency yesterday, which he said should be overcome within the next six months.

However, he stressed that the “tight” supply situation would persist for another four years while new generation capacity was installed.

During this period, new industrial projects which consumed large amounts of electricity would have to be carefully planned with the government.

Despite government assurances that the crisis would not affect foreign investment inflows, there have been reports of uncertainty among investors as to its duration.

The g overnment planned a communication drive over the next few months in SA’s major investing countries to clarify the electricity situation and reassure prospective investors of the fundamental strength of the national grid, Erwin said at a parliamentary media briefing.

Erwin said the present electricity reserve margin of 8% should move quite quickly to between 10% and 15%. This would flow from the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 February, 2008

MOLEPOLOLE – President Festus Mogae has asked Batswana to suggest ways to make people who can afford to pay school fees to do.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Molepolole yesterday, he conceded that government had been asked to review the payment of school fees as it disadvantaged many students.

While he agreed that some Batswana did not have the means to pay, he said others could afford if they were willing.

Mr Mogae said a review of the cost sharing measure was an idea that could be critically assessed. However, it was incomplete as its proponents did not suggest a solution in the event those who had the means to pay defaulted.

The meeting was part of the Presidents tour to bid farewell as he retires at the end of next month.

He said it would be more costly to government to commit more [continue reading]

Participants commend BONELA

source: BOPA
12 February, 2008

PALAPYE – Participants at the just ended three-day Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) workshop have commended the organisation for enlightening them about issues relating to the law and HIV/AIDS.

The workshop, held at Botsalo Hotel in Palapye, was part of BONELAs project to raise awareness of legal issues that affect people living with HIV/AIDS.

The organisations legal officer, Mr Uyapo Ndadi told the participants that the awareness campaign was the second phase of a capacity building exercise on Raising Awareness of Human Rights and HIV/AIDS.

BONELA facilitates these workshops across the country to educate on issues of human rights within the context of HIV and AIDS.

Mr Ndadi told the participants that their participation was appreciated as they would contribute to their sector and communitys ability to respond to its needs in the spirit of human rights to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, thereby facilitating an enabling environment to those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.

The participants were enlightened about the plight of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


PALAPYE: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) secretary general, Jacob Nkate, addressing a poorly attended party meeting on Saturday at the Tsholetsa hall, told party members that the party decision of last week hinged on the issue of card dissemination with about 45 membership cards unaccounted for.

He said: “When looking at the winning margin, it shows that this was not fatal although worrying”.

The second reason for ordering a re-run, he said, was that the December 22 primaries were chaotic with people campaigning vigorously on the lines. Some people, Nkate said, preferred to gather in small groups.

“There must be respect for procedure and process. This caused a lot of confusion and we do not blame any side. The confusion was general and this is not the way of our party,” said Nkate.

In what he considered as the main reason for calling a re-run, Nkate said the returning officer of the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The Member of Parliament for Lobatse, Nehemiah Modudule, says the liquidation of giant transport company Lobtrans is going to exacerbate the unemployment situation in that town.

The company’s headquarters was located in Lobatse where many of its employees were also based. Nearly 500 jobs were affected when the company went to the wall last week. The company has been placed under provisional liquidation following a successful court application by Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank to recover debts said to be running into millions of pula.

“Many people have lost their jobs,” says Modubule. “They have not been paid their benefits. Some of them have been paid for January only. If the company is liquidated, the affected workers are not likely to get much.” Modubule points out that although the Labour Act stipulates that workers should be paid when a company goes into liquidation, the Insolvency Act says something else, giving preference to creditors.

When addressing the affected workers recently, the provisional liquidator, John Stevens, said their [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)

11 February 2008
Posted to the web 11 February 2008

Shaun Benton
Cape Town

The construction of an undersea fibre-optic cable that will land in South Africa is expected to commence in the first half of this year, said the Minister of Communications, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri.

Ms Matsepe-Casaburri was speaking to reporters at a media briefing on the programme of action of government’s economic, investment and employment cluster on Monday, following President Thabo Mbeki’s State-of-the-Nation address on Friday.

It is understood that the submarine fibre-optic cable is being laid along the west coast of Africa and would be linked to Europe.

Reporters heard that part of the cable would be operational by the end of 2009, thus providing additional capacity to the communication demands of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, reporters heard on Monday.

The construction of the cable is part of a private-public partnership between governments of the region, telecom operators and private sector investors and is expected to [continue reading]