Archive for February 18th, 2008

source: Sunday Stundard
by John Regonamanye
17.02.2008 3:42:56 P

The much talked about localization is eventually gaining ground at the mine sites, it has emerged. Expatriates employment in the sector have been considerably reduced to the satisfaction of the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe.

“In 1998, expatriates accounted for about 9, 2 percent of the labour in Botswana’s mines. Ten years later, in 2007, due to the ongoing localization efforts, expatriates accounted for about 5, 2 percent of the industry’s labour force. This represents considerable progress, especially as the localization achievements are in managerial areas that a few years ago were exclusively held by expatriates,” Kedikilwe informed parliament on Friday.

Kedikilwe observed that a decade ago all the six major mines in the country were managed by expatriates.
“Today four of these mines are managed by citizens, a testimony to progress in localization.”

The number of expatriates in managerial positions is [continue reading]

source: Miningmx
Brendan Ryan
Posted: Sun, 17 Feb 2008

[miningmx.com] — LONG famous for its position as the world’s largest diamond-producing country, it seems Botswana is about to diversify big time into the coal business.

There are at least four companies in Botswana looking at developing either coal or coal-bed methane (CBM) projects that could supply power stations and/or the export market.

The most advanced of these is Canadian-listed CIC Energy’s Mmamabula project, situated some 80km west of the South African/Botswana border near Lephalale.

Mmamabula is on an extension of the same Waterberg coalfield being mined by Exxaro’s Grootegeluk operation.

Grootegeluk supplies Eskom’s existing Matimba power station with coal and [continue reading]

souce: Mmegi

RYDER GABATHUSE
STAFF WRITER

A controversial political campaign in the Palapye BDP primaries ends today before BDP faithful vote on Saturday. The BDP central committee muddied political waters when they ordered a re-run of the December 22 primaries, citing a number of irregularities. Will Goya keep his ticket or will Tlou carry the constituency this time?

PALAPYE: When Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members queue for the candidate of their choice in the party’s primary election re-run here, the real battle will be between Moiseraele Goya and Minister of Health, Sheila Tlou. Although there are three candidates in the re-run, Isaac Maforaga, who came fourth last December, seems to be trailing; even before the real battle commences. Ogone Mogano, who got third position last year tendered her letter of non-participation last Saturday. Goya and Tlou are newcomers in active BDP politics but they are both hard workers and strategists. They also command respect among their supporters and campaign teams. Having won last year’s primaries, Goya has the psychological advantage. But it seems he will not rest on his laurels and imagine fictitious images of himself in parliament. Goya, a man of few words, is confronted with the reality that he is battling for the BDP ticket against a strong contender in Tlou, who got into the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

STAFF WRITER

Contrary to recent press reports, the Government of South Africa will not disconnect power supplies to Botswana, says Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe. The minister was briefing Parliament on the status of power supply in Botswana yesterday.

In his 22-page statement, Kedikilwe said the South African government is committed to honouring its power commercial contracts with all the neighbouring countries that have Power Purchase Agreements with Eskom.

The minister said the spare generation capacity in Eskom was caused by unforeseen plant outages; problems with coal deliveries to the power stations; higher-than-expected economic growth; and inclement weather. “All these meant that on that fatal day (24th January 2008), the total load loss was a very significant proportion of the generation capacity. This caused a lot of disruptions and the only option was load shedding otherwise it would have resulted in total system collapse,” the minister stated. He said that Botswana Power Corporation [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
17.02.2008 3:40:36 P

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Seretse, this week finds himself with his back against the wall as BTC board members and the Minister of Science, Technology and Communications, Pelonomi Venson, turn their noses up at his planned retrenchment exercise.
Plans by BTC to retrench 25 % of its staff complement are meeting resistance from some board members, minister Venson and the workers’ union.

Responding to questions from The Sunday Standard, BTC Head of Corporate Affairs and Public Relations, James Molosankwe, said, “The Corporation is aiming at reducing its staff by 25% and it is anticipated that the affected employees will start exiting the corporation by the end of February 2008.”

Although BTC management has already reached an agreement with National Amalgamated Local and Central Government (NALCG), the corporation is failing to reach an agreement with the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU).

BOPEU, which is opposing the retrenchment, has [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Prof Malema
17.02.2008 4:47:21 P

Gareth Penny, the De Beers’ Managing Director, warned the diamond industry to brace itself for price spike, attributing it to the electricity crisis in southern Africa- where over 60 percent of rough diamonds are produced.

The statement went against the conference mood, which is already complaining about the shortage of rough supply and the sharp rising prices of rough. Penny said here that the inputs costs have gone up which will ultimately mean that the sale prices should be adjusted, adding that the USA dollar’s weakening following the sub-prime rates crisis in that country will contribute to the need for price adjustment.

His statement was supported by [continue reading]

Btv frustrates viewers

source: Mmegi

GASEBALWE SERETSE
STAFF WRITER

Botswana Television (Btv) has recently stopped screening some programmes that had a large following in Botswana.

Some of them are BBC News, The Bold And The Beautiful, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil.

The television station ran into trouble when it was discovered some time last year that it owed millions of Pula in tax arrears, sources say.

After paying the taxman, Btv failed to purchase locally produced programmes that they had commissioned and as if that was not enough, they also discontinued some foreign programmes that were deemed expensive.

This has negatively impacted production houses in Botswana and with the advent of Chinese products like Phillibao and pay TV, Btv’s viewership is dwindling by the day. Although the station recently tried to redeem themselves by televising the just ended AFCON games, their popularity keeps fading.

A random interview shows that whilst those interviewed differed on some issues, they all agreed that Btv is horrible.

Sylvia Pebe (33), of Maruapula: “It’s a [continue reading]