Archive for March 7th, 2008

source: Mmegi

WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

Botswana’s economy is 68.6 percent free, according to the Heritage Foundation, 2008 Index of Economic Freedom assessment.

This makes the Botswana economy the world’s 36th freest. The overall score is essentially unchanged from last year. Botswana is ranked second out of 40 countries in the sub-Saharan region, but its overall score is well above the regional average.

Botswana is described as an economic regional leader and scores above the world average on seven of 10 economic freedoms.

Business freedom in the country is at 68.7 percent. The overall freedom to start, operate, and [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Tererai Karimakwenda
06 March, 2008

The value of the Zimbabwean currency dropped drastically on Wednesday, hitting a record low of Z$25 million for each US dollar. By Thursday it had dropped even further to between Z$30 million and Z$35 million to the US dollar.

The sudden drop has been blamed on the government. Experts say the Reserve Bank has been buying up scarce foreign currency from the black market, in order to pay for fuel, vehicles and other materials needed for the elections later this month. .

Harare based journalist Angus Shaw aid on Wednesday there were people getting Z$75 – Z$80 million for one sterling pound. He said the price of fuel usually reflects the current exchange rates and on Thursday petrol was selling at Z$33 million per litre, which is close to the exchange rate for each US dollar.
On Monday reports said the government had published a new regulation stipulating that anyone found with more than Z$500 million in cash would be prosecuted for “unlawful hoarding”. This is the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

STAFF WRITER

Ministers from Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe are expected to meet in Gaborone this morning to seek a solution to problems that have dogged the multi-million Pula Kazungula Bridge project.

There are fears that work on the project, that was initially scheduled for completion by August 2008, could once again be delayed.

The three governments were supposed to have signed the crucial feasibility study agreement in Lusaka, Zambia last week parallel with the SADC Council of Ministers meeting. However this did not happen due to Zimbabwe’s financial difficulties.

Botswana and Zambia have managed to secure funding for a detailed study of the construction of the bridge from the African Development Bank (AfDB). Botswana got a loan while Zambia got a grant.

Mmegi sources in Lusaka indicate that [continue reading]

source: IOL
March 05 2008 at 06:51PM

Electric geysers will have to incorporate solar heating by 2010 in all new houses valued at over R750 000, or larger than 300 square metres, parliament heard on Wednesday.

This would also apply to commercial buildings, hostels, resorts and shopping centres, the department of minerals and energy told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy.

Additional geyser insulation was also required for such structures, said the department’s chief director for electricity, Ompi Aphane.

These regulations would be in place “no later than 2010”.

All electric geysers also had to be fitted with a switch enabling Eskom to remotely turn them off.

Department of public enterprises director general Portia Molefe said it was looking at replacing about two million electric geysers in the country with solar ones, which would save about 1 300MW.

Aphane said that [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Tichaona Sibanda
5 March 2008

With 24 days to go before the Zimbabwe’s general elections, United States President George W. Bush on Tuesday extended by one year a series of sanctions against Zanu-PF officials, including Robert Mugabe.
The decision renews Bush’s executive orders of March 2003 and November 2005 freezing the assets of more than 100 people and 30 entities considered to be opposing reforms in Zimbabwe or undermining democracy.

A statement from the White House said the crisis constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and other persons, to undermine [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BAME PIET
STAFF WRITER

Outgoing President, Festus Mogae and his family have already moved to his retirement home in the up-market Phakalane suburb in Gaborone North. “He moved on the second week of January,” private secretary to the President, Nkoloi Nkoloi said yesterday. “The house is finished. It is ready and it is occupied,” he confirmed.

“Mogae will be given his staff as a retired president and government will take care of him as prescribed in the law,” he said. He added that even some of his personal belongings at his office have also been moved as the hours to his retirement day shrink.

The president who is touring the country to bid farewell to the nation is getting presents from members of the public that include cattle, goats, horses and household goods.

Nkoloi said though it is a process to collect live animals they [continue reading]

source: News24
06/03/2008 18:30 – (SA)

Molaole Montsho

Port Elizabeth – A hundred members of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) were arrested on Thursday after invading the Nelson Mandela 2010 Stadium in Port Elizabeth, the union said.

Branch chair Nomvula Hadi, who was also arrested, said striking workers were leaving the stadium when police without warning opened fire on the group with plastic-coated metal bullets and teargas, and arrested them.

“We are put in different cells and I’m not sure how many of us have been arrested,” she told Sapa from a cell, in a faint voice overpowered by songs from workers around her who had been arrested.

“We have not yet been charged,” she said.

Hadi said provincial chair David Toyise, who was dismissed by the council in January this year, was also arrested.

Interdict

Siphiwo Ndunyana, Samwu provincial secretary, said the council tried to get an interdict against the strike, but failed.

“There is no reason for the police therefore to open fire on us and [continue reading]