Archive for March 5th, 2008

source: BOPA
05 March, 2008

SEROWE – A Sunflower production project planned to take place in the vicinity of Serowe has secured 5 729 hectares of land from Mabeleapudi residents.

More than 150 residents heeded a call from the pioneer of the project in Botswana and Serowe North East MP Brigadier Ramadeluka Seretse who encouraged them to form clusters so as to benefit from the project.

The project, which is the brainchild of a South African-based Continental Agricultural and Industrial Development (CAID) company, has targeted Botswana as the centre for sunflower production in order to process bio-diesel and other sunflower products.

Ipelegeng Development Trusts technical advisor Mr Montshwari Mooketsi said in an interview that already 31 people had been employed for de-bushing the land to prepare it for the ploughing of the sunflower during the first rainy season. Our intention is that we should be able to start the actual ploughing in around September, he said.

He said although people were already hired their actual task would start in March 11 because they were [continue reading]

source: News24
05/03/2008 08:01 – (SA)

Johannesburg – All new construction projects countrywide that are bigger than a residential home will be blocked by Eskom for the next four to six months.

New townhouse complexes, petrol stations, factories and all other construction projects where electricity provision needs to be obtained from Eskom in advance will be delayed by up to six months.

New construction projects must obtain electricity certificates before construction can begin. Eskom will delay this process by provisionally not issuing any certificates.

Tito Zwane, a regional manager at Eskom, in charge of consumer services, disclosed the news on Tuesday during a social event with Johannesburg’s City Power for enterprises in the city. Tony Stott, a senior manager at Eskom, later confirmed this new strategy.

Limit economic growth

Mike Schussler, an economist from T-Sec, says this decision could significantly limit economic growth. “Job creation is going to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 March, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The decision to stop the issuance of permits for the importation of agricultural products was not meant to stop trade but to encourage local producers to sell their products without competition from South Africa.

The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Johnnie Swartz, told Parliament on Monday that this was so because of a common trading area through the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

Mr Swarrtz said some local producers exported some of their produce to the South African market while the rest of the produce was offered to local vendors, including those from Tonota and Francistown even during that period.

He said on the issue of price variations between South Africa and Botswana, it should be noted that Botswana did not have a price control policy regulating agricultural products.

He said the Tuli Block farmers were not indirectly denying service to local vendors and that he was not aware that local horticultural producers sold tomatoes, which rot quickly, to local vendors.

Mr Swartz said tomatoes, being a perishable product, had a [continue reading]

source: BBC

Africa’s largest bank, the Standard Bank of South Africa, enjoyed a 32% rise in profits in 2007.

The bank called it “a momentous year” in which it had “weathered the global financial stresses”.

Profit after tax was 16.57bn rand, (£1.07bn; $2.11bn), up from 18.36bn the year before.

Standard Bank reported strong growth in loans as the number of personal and business current accounts grew, while the number of mortgages also rose.

“The group’s strategy of building revenue streams in other emerging markets started to show results in 2007,” a company statement said.

Standard Bank’s home market of South Africa accounted for a 15% growth in earnings. But businesses in the rest of Africa increased their contribution by 58% and those outside Africa by 98%.

Expansion

The group has recently been on a shopping spree, buying [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 March, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Asset or fund managers in Botswana are rated locally by Alexander Forbes every year, according to the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Duncan Mlazie. He told Parliament on Monday that asset managers that include Allan Gary, Imara Asset Management, African Alliance, Legae Investors, which are registered under the Companies Act in Botswana, are not rated globally per se.

They are ranked by Alexander Forbes on yearly basis to determine their performance in the investment of pension funds. The ranking report is based on the investment figures submitted by the asset managers.

He said the figures are consolidated and analysed with the asset manager with the largest investment portfolio ranked number one. He explained that the ranking is only used for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 March, 2008

KASANE – A 12-year-old Kazungula Primary School boy was killed by a crocodile while swimming in the Chobe River on Saturday afternoon.

Kazungula Station Commander, Supt. Frankel Mohutsiwa said the boy was in the company of six others when he was attacked by the crocodile.

This incident happened near Kazungula boarder post just behind the department of Immigration residential houses, he said.

According to Mr Mohutsiwa the other boys were out of the water when the incident happened.

He was the only one in the river and the other boys were also preparing to join when he was attacked by the crocodile, he said.

A search party comprising members of the public, Botswana Defence Force and the police retrieved the body near the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

OLIVER MODISE
STAFF WRITER

Government has rejected the recommendation for an inflationary adjustment to public service salaries to the full extent of the rate of inflation for the last 12 months to cushion officers’ purchasing power.

“It would be better to retain the current system whereby half of inflation is accommodated, and any additional increment is judged in view of other priorities and evidence of increases in productivity,” reads a copy of the government White Paper on the 15 percent salary adjustment and review of allowances announced last week.
Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) director Molebeledi Oagile has indicated that the adjustment will be effected on April 1.

The salaries commission set up last year had recommended that government provide a 15 percent housing allowance for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
04 March, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The Ministry of Works and Transport will submit a proposal to cabinet for the recapitalisation and financial restructuring of the Botswana Railways (BR).

Minister Lesego Motsumi told Parliament during her ministrys budget request for the approval of P2.4 billion, that is, P1 467 788 410 for the recurrent budget and P988 980 000 for the development budget for the financial year 2008/2009.

The proposal recommends among others that the railway infrastructure be financed by government in future through equity contribution to BR and maintained by BR awarding long term maintenance contracts financed from user charges, she said.

She said the user charges are to be built gradually from the equivalent of one third of the required annual cost of infrastructure maintenance in 2008/2009 to 100 percent by 2012/2013.

Ms Motsumi noted that the operating results for the quarter ended 30th September 2007 showed that the BR was still making operating losses.

This, she said, was because the implementation of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

The self-correction exercise by financial institutions at the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has pulled down the DCI by 0.44 percent to 8187.38 points last week.

Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank, two of the large cap counters, whose shares dominate the domestic board went down by 1.39 percent and 1.52 percent respectively last week. They further lost ground in the free fall which began at the start of the last quarter last year.Analysts say that at the beginning of the self-correction the sentiment in the market was that Stanchart along with the other banks were actually overvalued.”The fall in the share prices is actually driven more by technicalities rather than fundamentals which lead to a fair value readjustment of the share prices.

Even a rough look at the price to earning ratios will show [continue reading]

source: News24
04/03/2008 17:59 – (SA)
Michael Hamlyn

Cape Town – At the present time, Eskom is advertising 848 positions in core, critical and scarce categories, according to a written reply given to a parliamentary question by Alec Erwin, the minister for public enterprises.

He told Manie van Dyk, the Democratic Alliance spokesperson, that Eskom’s policy ensured that separation packages given in the past were not extended to scarce or critical skills categories like engineers, technicians and artisans.

“The issue of skills has been identified as a key challenge by Eskom,” Erwin said. “For this reason it is a standing item at all board meetings.”

But he assured his questioner that the skills shortage was in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
04 March, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana Tourism Board will be leading a total of 20 local tourism operators to attend the annual International Tourism Borse (ITB) in Berlin Germany, which will take place from the 5th -9th March 2008.

Public Relations Communications Manager Keitumetse Setlang stated in a Press Statement that ITB 2008 provides an opportunity for Botswana Tourism Board to continue positioning the country as a premier tourist destination that offers unparalleled experiences in nature, wilderness and cultural exchanges.

This year Botswana Tourism will be highlighting our cultural tourism by promoting and creating awareness on the soon to be launched [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

4 March 2008
Posted to the web 4 March 2008

The mines around Francistown have fantastic potential, but they also have a huge problem.

New copper, nickel and other mining operations are popping up all around the world to feed Chinese development demands so skilled workers are in short supply and they are not exactly rushing to northern Botswana.

When LionOre was controlling the purse strings at Tati Nickel, the Canadian company was keen on making Botswana’s second city more attractive to foreign miners and their families, and they pledged financial and practical support for several projects such as the Tachila Nature Reserve, a golf course and an open-air arena that is planned at [continue reading]

source: BOPA
04 March, 2008

JWANENG – Six employees of Debswana Jwaneng Mine have received cheques of up to P100 000 for their role in innovation which helped the company to save over P21 million.

The mine hosted a diner in honour of the six employees on Thursday night where they received their cheques.

Speaking at the reception, Debswana Jwaneng Mine business process manager, Mr Mark Mabhudhu, said the six have demonstrated that they are living the companys values.

He said the management of the company is humbled by the extra-ordinary contribution of the employees to saving the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI
CORRESPONDENT

The acting Minister of Trade and Industry, Lebonaamang Mokalake, last week hinted at the possibility of the new liquour hours coming into force soon. Mokalake told Parliament that after careful consideration of recommendations from the countrywide consultations, cabinet approved the revised liquor regulations.

He said the approval had paved the way for the implementation of the new Trade and the Liquor Act, which will come into force during the first quarter of the 2008/2009 financial year.

In 2006, the government proposed to reduce trading hours of liquor outlets, provoking protest from many in the business and leading to a motion by [continue reading]

source: IOL
Andisiwe Makinana
March 04 2008 at 08:24PM

The last-minute scramble to fill up with petrol ahead of the drastic fuel price rise at midnight left some filling stations around Cape Town dry on Tuesday.

And garage owners battled to get fresh supplies, with Fuel Retailers Association chief executive Peter Morgan warning that petrol companies did not have the capacity to meet the soaring demand on time.

Petrol goes up by 61c a litre and diesel by 78c.

Long queues formed at filling stations from early on Tuesday morning, and continued through the day.

Some garage owners told the Cape Argus that they had run out of petrol on Monday night, with others reporting that their tanks had run dry on Tuesday morning.

Mohamed Parker, owner of Bo-Kaap Service Station Shell garage, said his pumps had [continue reading]