Archive for April 7th, 2008

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

The pula has made a firm 8.1 percent gain against the rand on a year-to-date basis on the back of the continued fall of the South African currency on international foreign exchange markets.

The development is a reversal of the trend of previous years during which the pula continuously lost value against the rand and all other major trading partners’ currencies except the US dollar due to Botswana’s crawling peg exchange rate regime. While the pula is gaining against the rand, it has been losing ground against all other major currencies since January, depreciating by 9.5 percent against the US dollar.

It took about 88 thebe to buy one rand last December, but the figure has now dropped to around 82 thebe. On the other hand, the US dollar rate has risen from P5.98 to P6.63 in the same period. “The main reason for the [continue reading]

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source: Sunday Standard
by Kgomotso Kgwagaripane
06.04.2008 3:27:49 P

Indaba 2008, one of South Africa’s largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar, will be taking place in Kwa-Zulu Natal from the 10th until the 13th of May 2008. This year, the event is expected to be bigger and better than previous years.

With only a few days to go, South African Tourism’s annual premier travel show has already attracted about 14 percent more visitors to the show as compared to last year.
“The overall number of registered visitors is 3777 compared to last year’s 2 922. Both local and international media registrations have collectively gone up by 17 percent from 316 to 385,” said Sindile Xulu, Country Manager, and Domestic at South African Tourism.

While registration to the show is still open, Xulu announced that [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Times (UK)
published:Mon 7-Apr-2008
posted on this site:Mon 7-Apr-2008
Jonathan Clayton, Africa Correspondent

Commentators and political analysts across Africa expressed mounting frustration yesterday at the near silence of African leaders on the Zimbabwe election crisis. With presidential results still not announced more than a week after the poll, many also voiced concern that continuing turmoil in the country could have damaging economic consequences for the entire region. South Africa’s Sunday Times said that the “festering sore” of Zimbabwe must be brought to an end and lambasted the “quiet diplomacy” of President Mbeki. “The South African Government must not allow Mugabe to subvert democracy again. No matter what Pretoria’s spin doctors say, South Africa’s strategy of quiet diplomacy has done little more than to cosset Mugabe while he raped his country,” it said. “Mugabe has over the past eight years shown that he has no respect for Thabo Mbeki and has made South Africa’s President the laughing stock of the diplomatic world.”

The weekly Mail & Guardian took a more positive line. It emphasised that Mr Mugabe had been [continue reading]

source: BOPA
07 April, 2008

GABORONE – The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is positioning itself to be the nucleus of the envisaged regional customs union that will effect in 2010, the Chairperson of the group, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, said.

Mr Gaolathe, who is also the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, said in an interview on the sidelines of the 14th SACU Council of Ministers meeting that as the union was already functional and advanced, it was ideal that it should be the foundation stone of any envisaged customs union.

We are on the right track because our customs union is functional with common external tariff, fairly free intra-union movement of goods and a mechanism for the collection and distribution of revenue, he said.

SACU remains the oldest customs union in the world after its establishment in 1969, having been preceded by [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Philimon Molaodi
06.04.2008 3:23:31 P

The Director of Banking Supervision at the Bank of Botswana, Oabile Mabusa, has given the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) cautious thumbs up. Speaking at the just ended inaugural ETFs conference that was organized by the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), Mabusa said the ball is in BSE court to come up with a harmonized regulatory framework in respect of the existing Collective Investment Undertakings Act.

In other jurisdictions, ETFs are registered as Collective Investment Undertakings (CIU) or Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) in the case of South Africa and are regulated under the controlling Act. In terms of the current regulatory framework, Mabusa said the ETFs have not explicitly been provided for under the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
07 April, 2008

MOLEPOLOLE – Unlike several projects which succumbed to stiff competition in the market from well established competitors, Farmville Chicken at Medie in the Kweneng District stood the test of time as it is growing bigger.

Set up with a P500 from personal funding early last year, the project still operating from the backyard was destined for greatness regardless of little room for expansion.

For 35-year-old Maria Serale of Medie, a small village some 50 kilometres east of Molepolole, driving her business into a sustainable and competitive venture to satisfy the market remains her ambition.

Ms Serale said she had already explored the market, and working hard to make her poultry project reputable. She had already established contacts in places like Gaborone. Consequently, people and companies always travel to Medie to get orders.

Besides the unreliable local market in Medie, she contacted some shops in Lentsweletau and intends opening a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

LSE-listed Firestone Diamonds has published an update on the company’s operations, with particular interest in the Tsabong Project in the southern part of Botswana, which they say is their most important project.

The company, which has operations in Botswana and South Africa, noted that the independent data review it carried out concluded that there are “real chances of discovering an economic, large-sized diamondiferous kimberlite” at Tsabong where the initial MK1 grade estimate is for 20 carats per 100 tonnes. “Activities during the period were primarily focused on Botswana, which is the world’s largest and lowest cost producer of diamonds. The most significant development during the period has been at the MK1 kimberlite in the Tsabong kimberlite field where results from initial evaluation work carried out have exceeded our expectations and show significant economic potential.

“We have continued to increase the pace of our activities in Botswana, with between twenty five and [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
06.04.2008 3:10:35 P

Blue Financial Service, the down-market financial outfit listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE’s) venture capital board, is expected to make a dual-listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) as part of its concerted moves to raise cash to fund its new products to be introduced across the southern African region.

The company, which operates in seven southern African countries, is aiming to roll-out new products such as mortgage loans – targeted towards the lower classes—and at the same time try to increase its shareholders value. It has operations in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
07 April, 2008

KASANE – The former minister of health, Prof. Sheila Tlou, has announced that she will assume her job at the University of Botswana when her term in Parliament ends in 2009.

This means Prof. Tlou, who left her job in the Department of Nursing Science at the University of Botswana in 2004 to join politics, will not contest the forth-coming Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries for Palapye scheduled for later this year.

She said in an interview that she was waiting for her term in parliament to expire in 2009 after which she will assume her job at the the university.

Life that we live in Botswana is a political life, the specially elected MP said. I will take my job when my term ends in 2009 but I will still be active in politics as I am a member of various committees in BDP.

She lost against fellow Democrat, Mr Moiseraele Goya, in the BDP primaries for Palapye, and she [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

STRYKER MOTLALOSO
STAFF WRITER

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has given Botswana the go-ahead to sell 43.6 tonnes of ivory by the end of this year.

This is in line with what was agreed last year at The Hague. Information from the Botswana Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism shows that the CITES secretariat in Gaborone gave the country the go-ahead after verifying the government ivory stock earmarked for sale.

“Among other things, they looked at the paper trail, data base and the physical ivory to establish its match,” reads a statement from the ministry.

The CITES secretariat established the authenticity of the ivory source in an exercise that lasted two days, says the ministry. CITES mandates developing countries to [continue reading]

source: IC Publications

07/04/2008 08:16 JOHANNESBURG, April 7 (AFP)

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai visited South Africa on Monday for private meetings in his first foreign trip since the March 29 presidential election, a party official said.

“He is attending private meetings and going back this evening,” Roy Bennett, a spokesman for Tsvangirai’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told AFP, refusing to be drawn on the purpose of the trip.

The visit by Tsvangirai, who has declared himself the [continue reading]

source: National Post
Zimbabwe court to rule today on MDC challenge

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s ruling party refused to release its grip on power yesterday, demanding a presidential election recount as Robert Mugabe’s feared war veterans tried to seize several white-owned farms.

Their actions followed a silent but menacing march through the capital, Harare, on Friday. It suggests they have been mobilized to help ZANU-PF cling to power.

As Zimbabweans began a second week of waiting for results of the poll, state media said Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF had dismissed a unity government as unworkable and was now demanding a complete recount after detecting irregularities.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change, whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai, 56, has claimed a clear victory over [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

Business Day (Johannesburg)

7 April 2008
Posted to the web 7 April 2008

Ernest Mabuza
Johannesburg

SOUTH African employers have the same duty of care to illegal foreign employees as they do to South African citizens, according to a precedent-setting Labour Court judgment, which ruled that illegal immigrants have the same labour rights as other workers.

The Johannesburg Labour Court ruled last week that an Argentinian dismissed by Discovery Health when his work permit expired had the same labour rights as a South African citizen.

Herman Lanzetta was employed by Discovery while he had a work permit. While it expired, the company [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
06.04.2008 3:09:41 P

Barclays Bank of Botswana, the biggest bank in the country, shrugged off concern that its new risk assessment measures would make banking with them difficult saying the bank will dedicate its full year in deepening the relations with its clients and at the same time improving technology.

The move to tighten on the bank’s risk assessment follows the implosion of Lobtrans at the end of last year which left the bank with a write-down of P 73 million pushing the total bad debt provision to P92 million.

Thuli Johnson, Managing Director of Barclays, said that they will be [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BAME PIET
STAFF WRITER

The High Court in Lobatse learned yesterday that Sam Asmal, manager of long-haul truck company Lobtrans has been admitted to a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa because of psychiatric problems.

Lobtrans and its sister company Lobatse Cash Store are in liquidation. A lawyer for the two companies, Reuben Kamushinda said that he was unable to communicate with his client because he is in a psychiatric ward. The news forced Justice Ian Kirby to postpone a case in which the Botswana Commercial and General Workers Union and Botswana Beverage and Allied Workers Union had made an application to the court to appoint a second liquidator for the two companies.

The two companies have opposed the application. A tense debate ensued between Kamushinda and Kirby who wanted to know what [continue reading]