Archive for March 3rd, 2008

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
01.03.2008 11:29:59 A

The government enclave is deeply divided over the privatisation of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporations.
For sometime, the divisions have been personified in the tension between BTC Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Seretse, and PEEPA Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Galeforolwe.

The duo first fought over the BTC mobile phone project. PEEPA felt that BTC should minimise investment and infrastructural development, including new technology deployment, because this could frustrate the privatisation process. The row was not helped by the opposing views held by Seretse and PEEPA on the BTC privatisation.

While PEEPA is advocating a straight forward [continue reading]

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source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

Diamond leader De Beers will continue to explore for more diamond deposits in Botswana in order to maintain its production and keep its status as the world’s largest diamond miner.

In a interview with Business Week, De Beers Managing Director Gareth Penny said there is massive potential for De Beers in Botswana and the challenge was to discover new opportunities to replace diminishing mines.

Penny was responding to a question on whether his company had any plans for the time when it’s mines in Botswana reach the end of their lifespans, Debswana being the group’s major producer and biggest contributor.

In results published earlier this month, Debswana, the equal partnership between the Government of Botswana and De Beers, contributed 33.6 million carats out of the group’s total of 51.1 million carats.

“In any mining activity, you have your proven reserves,” Penny said, “but there is a tremendous amount of reserves in Botswana.”

Debswana’s Jwaneng Mine is set to go underground by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The greenfields Mowana Copper Project, previously Dukwi, in northeastern Botswana is on track for 2008 second quarter start-up and, after reviewing operating parameters project developer, AIM and TSX-quoted African Copper PLC expects production to ramp up to 29,000 tons in 2012 from the initial 5,500 tons.

In December last year, the government of Botswana granted African Copper a 25-year mining licence for the Mowana project following the approval of an environmental- impact assessment and environmental-management plan.

“Construction of the Mowana mine is now 90 percent complete and first concentrate is expected early in the second quarter of 2008,” the company said Monday, adding that the mining fleet, including large haul trucks and shovels, has been mobilised and is on site. Ore continues to be loaded onto the stockpile in anticipation of full production in the second quarter of 2008. Mowana is located about 120 kilometres west of Francistown.

The project is 15 kilometres from the paved highway linking Francistown to the north-western capital of Maun, and a [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
01.03.2008 11:37:55 A

Latest information indicates that the Debswana Diamond Company has lost its place as one of the country’s highest paying companies.

An internal research document by the company’s Human Resources Department has taken the shine off the country’s most glamorous company when it found that, in the recent past, the world’s leading diamond miner has been losing its technical and professional staff to smaller and newer mines that offer higher pay packages.

The new kids on the block are said at times to be paying twice as much as Debswana for the same kind of skills and professional competencies.

It has also emerged that, in their exit interviews, many of the departing professionals indicated that they were leaving for better pays offered by [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

3 March 2008
Posted to the web 3 March 2008

Linda Ensor
Cape Town

Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has published proposed guidelines to compel a 51% African shareholding in the company that lands a submarine cable in the country.

However, Democratic Alliance communications spokeswoman Dene Smuts has criticised the requirement – billed by the minister as necessary for the “rapid deployment of electronic communications facilities” – as being designed for nothing other than the rapid enrichment of African participants in submarine cables.

“If you are really interested in rapid deployment of submarine cables, then you don’t go imposing these equity requirements,” Smuts said.

The roll-out of undersea telecommunication cables is critical for providing greater access to affordable broadband.

Smuts said the guidelines, if adopted in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

A survey by MMEGI shows that the Foreign Affairs Minister tops a list of 52 names chosen by those interviewed to determine Khama’s likely Vice President. The former army general has his nose in front with about a quarter or 24 percent of the respondents saying he is their preferred candidate.

If presidential heir apparent Ian Khama is to consult the public on who to choose as his Vice President, chances are that he would be told to nominate his former boss at the Botswana Defence Force Mompati Merafhe. A survey by Mmegi shows that the Foreign Affairs Minister tops a list of 52 names chosen by those interviewed to determine Khama’s likely Vice President. The former army general has his nose in front with about a quarter or 24 percent of the respondents saying he is their preferred candidate. In second place is one time presidential contender and former ruling party strongman Ponatshego Kedikilwe with 15 percent of the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
01.03.2008 11:29:03 A

The government is in the process of implementing a ‘last in, first out’ retrenchment exercise to deal with redundancies in the public service – confidential documents leaked to The Sunday Standard have revealed.

A draft Cabinet memorandum on the public service early exit policy indicates that the decision was taken in 2005 and expected to run for three years until government had reached the right staff compliment size.

According to the Cabinet Memorandum, the planned “early Exit Policy” would be both voluntary and involuntary. “The procedure will be such that the voluntary option will be applied first and the involuntary option will only be applied if there is need for further staff reduction,” stated the memo.
“The early exit policy applies to both permanent and pensionable officers and Industrial Class employees who leave the public service other than [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard

by John Regonamanye
01.03.2008 11:38:51 A

The government of Botswana, through the Botswana Power Corporation and with the collaboration of the UNDP Global Environmental Facility, is funding a project to the tune of P34 million that will see wide scale installation of solar energy to meet the basic electricity needs of individual households in terms of lighting, and power for radios as well as small television sets, parliament heard on Friday.

The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, said: “BPC has not done any work to determine with accuracy the percentage of power used per day for heating by an average household in the country.
“It is, however, estimated that this could be between 10 percent and 25 percent on the household size and hot water usage pattern.”

The SADC region has of late been hard hit by power outages with [continue reading]