Archive for February 28th, 2008

source: Mmegi

THATO CHWAANE
STAFF WRITER

Plans to construct a private hospital by two medical aid schemes is on course, the managing director of the Associated Fund Administrators (AFA) Botswana has said.

Speaking on behalf of Botswana Public Officers’ Medical Aid Scheme and PULA Medical Aid Fund (PULA), Kabelo Ebineng of AFA told Mmegi yesterday that they intend to start constructing the hospital next month. They hope the hospital will start operations late next year. He said they were still waiting for licences and regulators to give them the go-ahead to start construction. The facility to be known as the Bokamoso Private Hospital will be located in Mmopane Block 1 just off the Gaborone-Molepolole road.

The hospital is meant to save patients the inconvenience and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)

28 February 2008
Posted to the web 27 February 2008

Kitsepile Nyathi
Harare

Cash strapped Zimbabwe will use cardboard ballot boxes in next month’s General Election because the country’s electoral commission can not afford to buy translucent boxes, heightening fears of vote rigging.

This comes amid warnings by the head of the police force that his officers will be prepared to shoot elections mischief makers.

There is already a growing chorus of fears that the elections billed to be the biggest in Zimbabwe’s history will be rigged in favour of the ruling Zanu PF, accused by the West and the opposition of stealing three previous polls.

President Robert Mugabe, 84 is facing his greatest electoral challenge in his 28 years in power from a former senior Zanu PF official, Dr Simba Makoni and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

Despite the seemingly growing amount of pressure on inflation outlook, the Bank of Botswana (BoB) remains bold and optimistic about the future, predicting the annual inflation rate to fall to just above 6 percent in the last quarter of 2008, from the January 2008 figure of 8.4 percent.

Presenting the 2008 monetary policy statement in Gaborone on Monday, BoB Governor Linah Mohohlo announced that the bank has also abandoned tasking itself with setting and achieving an annual inflation objective, arguing that the price stability objective can only be achieved in the medium term (a rolling three year period), in recognition of the time lag for monetary policy to impact on price developments.

This abandonment of a short-term horizon in inflation rate targeting comes against the background of the bank having failed to achieve its [continue reading]

source: Mining Weekly

By: Liezel Hill
Published: 27 Feb 08 – 23:57
Diversified junior Miranda Mineral Holdings has received another two diamond prospecting permits in Botswana, the company said on Wednesday.

Miranda now holds three prospecting permits for diamonds in Botswana, covering a total of 1 403,9 km2.

The new prospects had been [continue reading]

source: IOL
Anna Cox
February 28 2008 at 06:37AM

Joburg residents can expect to experience power cuts lasting about four hours from March 5.

But these will be less frequent and done according to a specific schedule.

The council, together with Eskom, on Wednesday released a detailed plan informing residents of the times of their four-hour cuts. These can be expected between three to four times a week. The city has been divided into blocks.

The bad news is that hospitals, clinics and other emergency services can no longer be isolated and spared from the cuts because they are now being done in larger “blocks”.

Vally Padayachee, City Power’s director of engineering operations, said there had been consultations with customers who said they would prefer longer but less frequent cuts. They had also requested predictability, which was being done through the schedule of planned outages.

The areas and times have been selected according to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI
CORRESPONDENT

It is official: the Botswana Diamond Valuing Company is closing shop to make way for Diamond Trading Company (DTC) of Botswana.

Briefing Parliament this week, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe said BDVC will make every effort to ensure redeployment of its staff to the new company and its acquisition of new skills before any retrenchment cab be made.

Full financial and other support – including finding new employment – will be extended to the less than 90 employees likely to be retrenched.

Kedikilwe’s briefing follows a question by the MP for Gaborone South, Akanyang Magama regarding the fate of BDVC employees after the establishment of DTC Botswana. Kedikilwe said senior management held extensive consultations with the BDVC union, staff and management representatives out of which an agreement on a wide range of issues was reached.

The consultations covered structures of the new company, criteria for and implementation of [continue reading]

source: Israeli Diamond
By: PolishedPrices
27.02.08, 11:39 / World

Only two months before De Beers, the world’s largest diamond supplier, begins selling its rough diamonds locally in Botswana in a joint venture with Government, there appears to be considerable confusion as to the actual mechanics of the process.

A major issue confronting both De Beers and Government, according to industry sources, is that customers of the new DTC Botswana joint venture don’t have the proper licenses to purchase the diamonds at the first April sale.

In total 16 cutting licenses have been granted to [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info

27 February 2008

South Africa’s economy defied forecasts, shrugging off a slowdown in consumer spending to accelerate sharply in the fourth quarter of 2007, driven by strong performances from the economy’s two biggest sectors, financial services and manufacturing.

This was South Africa’s 33rd quarter of uninterrupted expansion in real GDP since September 1999 – the longest economic upswing in the country’s history.

According to figures released by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) jumped by an annualised 5.3% in the fourth quarter, up from 5.1%, 4.4% and 4.8% in the first three quarters respectively.

This brings South Africa’s estimated GDP for 2007 to 5.1%, down from the 25-year high of 5.4% reached in 2006.

Construction boom
Financial services, the biggest sector of South Africa’s economy at around 20% of GDP, grew at 8.5% in the fourth quarter and at an estimated 8.3% for 2007 as a whole, compared to 8.6% growth in 2006.

Manufacturing, the second-biggest sector at [continue reading]