Archive for February 27th, 2008

source: Mmegi

RYDER GABATHUSE
STAFF WRITER

PALAPYE: Unity, peace and reconciliation dominated proceedings at a massive rally to launch Moiseraele Master Goya, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidate for the March 15 Palapye constituency by-election.

Goya beat Health Minister Professor Sheila Tlou twice in the primaries to clinch the BDP ticket. There has been talk that some supporters of Tlou intend to boycott the by-election or vote for the opposition.

The mood of the party leadership was aptly captured when cabinet minister and BDP stalwart Daniel Kwelagobe urged the well-attended rally to unite, maintain peace and reconcile even if during the primaries “you stepped on each other’s toes”.

He warned the evidently cheerful crowd: “If we are going to allow petty talk to split us, we would regret because once [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

26 February 2008
Posted to the web 26 February 2008

Linda Ensor
Cape Town

Elephant culling will be permitted for the first time in SA since 1994 to control growing herds and to halt environmental damage.

The government estimates the elephant population of the Kruger National Park, SA’s largest conservation area, is increasing 7% a year, and might reach 20000 by 2012 and 30000 by 2019.

In neighbouring Botswana, the elephant population has now reached about 106000 from 34000 in 1983, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species .

Under a set of final norms and standards for elephant management, to be published in the Government Gazette on Friday, the import and export of captive elephants will also be prohibited, and intensive breeding of elephants in captivity, other than by natural birth, will be prevented.

“The government recognises the need to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

The local financial market is forecast to be rewarding in 2008, albeit less generously than the last two years because of the volatility in world markets, inflationary pressures and rising fuel prices.

Before some international investors could settle down after the festive season, a significant amount of their returns from last year had been eroded by market volatility.
But in its preview and outlook for 2008, Investec Asset Management says there is “no need for panic in the local market”.

Investec says the best insulation is to invest in stocks that are cheaper as people sell.
There are several stocks that still have solid fundamentals and respectable valuations, making now a time to buy rather than sell, the analysis notes.

Investec Fund Manager, Bakang Seretse, says the next few months should clarify things on [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Tererai Karimakwenda
25 February, 2008

The MDC have reported that incidents of violence and arrests of their candidates, polling agents and supporters have intensified around the country as we get closer to the harmonised elections on March 29th. The latest reports were received from Muzarabani, where on Monday the houses of several MDC activists were burnt down. Exact numbers have not yet been determined. However, it is believed 2 ZANU-PF youths were arrested in the incident.

On Sunday, also in Muzarabani, ward election agent Muchemwa Chihota and MDC activist Munyaradzi Nyama were arrested. It is not clear what they are being charged with but it is believed they held a meeting to discuss election strategies.

Dozens of MDC officials have been arrested around the country for engaging in activities related to the March elections. This includes activities such as conducting private meetings, putting up posters, trying to obtain voter registration details and singing on a MDC campaign music album, all of which are all legal activities.

Luke Tamborinyoka, MDC information and publicity secretary, said: “What is clear here is that ZANU-PF has not changed its spots. ZANU-PF remains ZANU-PF, regardless of the pretense of holding free and fair elections.

Regarding the recent violence and arrests, Tamborinyoka confirmed that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

THE future of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) hangs in the balance, even as engagement takes place at the highest political level to save the world’s oldest customs union from collapsing.

Sacu was split last year when Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland broke ranks with SA and signed an interim economic partnership agreement (EPA) that would govern trade with the European Union (EU).

Now, angered by the other members’ decision to initiate the pact, it is feared that SA might use their move as a reason to break up the union.
This would have grave economic implications, especially for Lesotho and Swaziland, which rely heavily on revenues from the customs pool.

It is understood that EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is to meet President Thabo Mbeki this week to discuss [continue reading]

source: The Times (SA)
Sapa Published:Feb 26, 2008

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Southern African Development Community and the European Union was high on the agenda of talks between South Africa and Botswana on Tuesday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma met her Botswana counterpart Mompati S Merafhe in Kasana, Botswana on Tuesday for a bilateral ministerial meeting, the Botswana Department of Foreign Affairs said in statement.

It said the ministers discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues including the controversial EPA-agreement.

“The ministers acknowledged the urgent challenges that have emanated in the ongoing EPA negotiations… they reiterated their commitment to address these challenges in a [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info

26 February 2008

An estimated 6-7% of all foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa in 2007 were made up of business tourists, translating to about 550 000 business tourists compared to 470 000 in 2006, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Meetings Africa Business Tourism Conference in Johannesburg, Van Schalkwyk said this figure was sure to grow even more in the lead-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and that the industry’s vision of doubling this figure in the next three years was “not overly ambitious”.

The estimates are that year-on-year growth in business tourist “bed nights” was around 19% in 2007, following 18% growth in 2006, the minister said.

Business travel – ranging from small meetings and leadership breakaways to major conferences and exhibitions – is a lucrative sector of the market. Business travellers spend on average [continue reading]

The Pain of the Train

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

26 February 2008
Posted to the web 26 February 2008

Maphisa Maphisa

Long suffering rail commuters will have to wait even longer as the long disrupted daytime link between Francistown and Gaborone will not reopen anytime soon, Botswana Railways have revealed.

The inter-city service was suspended in October 2006 after a train was derailed in suspicious circumstances at the Madiaela Lands crossing near Palapye. The accident, which is still being investigated by police, caused damage of P4.4 million when the locomotive and six coaches left the track.

Alina Masenya, BR Public Relations Manager, said that the damaged locomotive had been restored to service, but the coaches are still awaiting repair.

“The work cannot be done in-house and we are yet to secure the services of a company that is able to do the job,” Masenya said.

Despite a reported loss in revenue of 8.7%, in figures that compare earnings in a period seven months before and [continue reading]