Archive for May 26th, 2008

source: Sunday Standard
by Gowenius Toka
25.05.2008 10:49:21 A

As countries in the region strive to reposition themselves to embark on strategic alternatives for reaching out to the World trading arena, Botswana is also pooling her resources together, and arrangements are at an advanced stage to conclude a lease agreement with the Namibian Government on the utilization of the Walvis Bay Port.

The latest practical development in this regard was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of the two countries, on February 8 this year, for the development of a 36400 sqm space which the Namibian Government offered to Botswana for use as a dry Port.

Gerald Thipe, Coordinator of the Transport Hub, said, “It was then agreed by the two parties that a lease agreement be signed stipulating the terms and conditions of use of the said piece of land.” Thipe said that the development of the plot cannot be done until the agreement has been effectively sealed. He also said that the matter is still a sensitive one, and that he would rather not divulge the details of the proposed terms and conditions of the agreement since [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)

26 May 2008
Posted to the web 26 May 2008

Kitsepile Nyathi

It is all systems go in Zimbabwe’s keenly awaited June 27 presidential run-off election, after President Robert Mugabe’s main challenger returned home at the weekend, after more than a month in self imposed exile.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who handed Mr Mugabe, 84, one of Africa’s oldest rulers his first election defeat since the country’s independence in 1980, immediately set the stage alight with a series of press briefings.

Analysts said his arrival a day before Mr Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF was expected to officially launch its own campaign in the capital Harare, would revive the former trade unionist’s final push for the top post.

“Tsvangirai had overstayed but he timed his return well coming before Mugabe officially launched his [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: An official of the Standard Bank Offshore Banking for Africa has encouraged captains of industry who thronged the bank’s breakfast meeting yesterday to invest offshore.

Theshni Kuni, a manager for Offshore banking for Africa, told the meeting that Standard Bank offshore comprises of a number of companies located in the offshore jurisdictions of Jersey, Isle of Man and Mauritius.

Kuni said one of the reasons why individuals and companies should invest offshore was the security and confidentiality which the premier offshore jurisdictions offer. She said there are no exchange control restrictions within the Islands.

“Interest on savings and investments may be paid gross without deduction of tax at source [other than EU residents],” she said.

Kuni presented Standard Bank Offshore as part of a [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Gowenius Toka
24.05.2008 11:53:23 A

Employees of the Bank of Baroda have been refunded money which they were made to pay as security deposit before being employed, following a story reported exclusively by The Sunday Standard last week.

Sunday Standard revealed that employees of the Bank were made to pay P1500 “security deposit” into an account opened for them by their employer before their employment could be confirmed.

“The issue of security deposit has been resolved; we have been advised that the practice is not lawful and it was accordingly decided that all the workers whose money had been taken that way be refunded,” Ramprakash Gupta, BOB Chief Manager, said in an interview with The Sunday Standard, this week.

“Not only is this an indication of how casually employers generally, and in this country, in particular, regard [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

One of the leading Commodity and Derivatives Exchange operators in the world, MCX Africa, is currently in Botswana seeking a licence to operate from here.

The company has applied for a licence to operate a Pan African commodity and derivatives exchange based in Botswana, the Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) has said.

The IFSC’s Business Development Executive Letsebe Sejoe said on Wednesday that the application would be lodged with the Botswana regulators in line with the prevailing supervisory and regulatory framework.

Sejoe said while in Botswana, MCX Africa would [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Australian nickel mining company, Albidon has discovered exciting drill results at its Sunnyside project, the company has announced.

Believed to be the most substantial nickel sulphide intersections in Botswana outside the Selebi-Phikwe and Tati nickel mining districts, the intersections include 8.6m@1.21 percent nickel, 0.30 percent copper within an intersection of 18.6 metres with grades ranging up to 2.3 percent Nickel, and 1.12 percent copper in individual one-metre intervals.

“The core drilling programme is designed to test coincident geophysical and geo-chemical targets over a zone that is 2km in length,” said the company.

Apart from following up on the Sunnyside results, the company will [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
25.05.2008 10:48:15 A

The mayor of Francistown, Honest Buti Billy, has commended the efforts of the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency for creating employment in the city of Francistown.

Addressing the full council meeting earlier this week, the mayor said that the city of Francistown has not escaped the misfortune of unemployment in Botswana, which is currently pegged at 17.5%. He, however, applauded the initiatives of corporations like CEDA, which he said are working very hard to remedy the unemployment situation in the city.

Since it opened its offices in Francistown in August 2001, CEDA has funded over 210 projects valued at over P112 million. These include 5 property development projects valued at close to P6 million, 26 agriculture projects valued at over P14 million, 31 manufacturing projects valued at over P12 million , 45 retailing projects valued at close to P60 thousand and over 100 services projects. On a national scale, CEDA has funded over 1700 projects to the tune of over P900 million, at the same time creating over 9000 full time jobs.

“These figures show CEDA’s commitment to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Botswana government has come up with legislation to regulate procurement and disposal of assets among local authorities.

Known as the Local Authorities Procurement and Asset and Disposal Bill, it is aimed at providing for procurement of works, supplies and services irrespective of their classification.

The activities include the disposal of public assets, both physical and intellectual, including copyright, letting, hiring or granting of any public assets, rights or services by local authorities, reads the bill published in the Government Gazette of May 16, 2008. Among other factors aimed at realising the objective of the bill, it is envisaged that there will be a competent authority, a unit within the Ministry of Local Government that will monitor procurement and asset disposal in local authorities.

The bill gives each local authority powers to manage all procurement and disposal activities within its jurisdiction in line with [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
25.05.2008 10:43:31 A

Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) entered the marketon Thursday with a new corporate identity and values that were launched the previous night. Giving the background of the re-branding of the corporation, BHC Chief

Executive Officer, Reginald Motswaiso, summed up the exercise with a quote from a former American President, Abraham Lincoln, who once said, “public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.”
Motswaiso said it is these words of wisdom that encouraged them to undertake a rigorous image audit – a process that commenced early last year.
The purpose of the image audit, he explained, was to respond to public perceptions about the Corporation’s mandate, image and how it generally conducts business.

“The review was also meant to position the Corporation in a better light before the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Balancing Act (London)

25 May 2008
Posted to the web 26 May 2008

Russell Southwood

A few years ago Africa’s new Internet Numbers Registry, AfriNIC looked more of a dream and a prayer than a reality. But the take-up of IPv4 Internet addresses, which has almost reached 85% of those allocated, has shown that it can do its job and do it well. It’s now experiencing a second wave of growth as mobile companies buy IPv6 addresses to keep up with the expansion of mobile data services. Russell Southwood spoke to AfriNIC’s CEO Adiel Akplogan about what it all means.

The process of preparing for the transition to IPv6 started in December 2005 when AfriNIC ran its first training course on the subject as part of its annual meeting. Back then, its adoption may have seemed less pressing and indeed maybe slightly irrelevant for Africa. But the dramatic take-up of AfriNIC’s IPv4 allocation has made this “it’s not for Africa” position dangerously outdated.

Although AfriNIC’s latest study predicts that IPv4 addresses will run out in 2012, the pressure to consider IPv6 addresses as [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
25.05.2008 10:40:34 A

The Minister of Communication Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, last week unveiled government-private sector partnership initiatives aimed at bringing information communication technology services to the marginalized communities of Botswana. The projects are part of the broad mandate of the national information communications technology policy, known as “Maitlamo”, which was approved by parliament in August 2007.

The minister revealed during the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day commemoration over the weekend that Botswana Telecommunications Corporation has launched the V-Sat technology, which will help in bringing telephonic services to remote areas through the use of satellite, thus overcoming the limitations placed on traditional services by the vast distances and difficult terrain. “We anticipate that the initiative will bring significant benefits to the tourism industry, isolated farming communities and government and parastatal organizations,” she said.
On the other hand, the Botswana Technology Centre, a research and development institute of science and technology, has initiated and carried out projects that include [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

In the face of intermittent power outages, the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is reviewing its load shedding schedule and it will print “as many as possible,” according to the power utility’s spokesperson, Thomamiso Selato.

Selato said the corporation intends to distribute the schedule or the Customer Information Guides by next week covering all public places such as the corporations’ customer service centres, kgotla, post offices, police stations, health facilities, stadia and others. Until then, the schedule has mainly been available through the internet to the frustration of those not connected.

The new measures come in the wake of frequent power outages that have become worse since May 9. However, the situation is not expected to ease up at least until the end of June.

The current crisis has been brought about primarily by [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 25 2008 at 10:40AM

By Eleanor Momberg

The effect of a 53 percent electricity price hike on the poor, the introduction of energy efficiency incentives and the question of whether the government or the public should finance Eskom dominated the first of three days of hearings on the utility’s proposed tariff increase.

Friday saw a gathering of about 200 people from varying backgrounds for public hearings at Unisa in Pretoria by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to hear outside views on Eskom’s application for a further 53 percent price hike – over and above the 14.2 percent approved by Nersa earlier this year.

The utility also wants Nersa to approve a more than 40 percent increase for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The recent dramatic increases in fuel prices is driving different sections of the society against the wall. Many have opted out of driving to their home villages, to work and to go shopping. LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI finds out why motorists are at nerves’ end over the petrol increases.

Motorists are gripped by panic resulting from regular escalation of fuel prices. The increase in fuel prices also restricts the movement of motorists. It also impacts on social life. Gone are the days when people used to drive around town aimlessly. Just this week another fuel hike was announced. This was the third in one week. A litre of petrol now costs P6.98 while diesel goes for P8.13 and P7.55 for paraffin. Government this month increased the petrol price by 65 thebe a litre, while that of diesel went up by 75 thebe. The price of paraffin shot up by 62 thebe. Increased fuel prices are caused by rising oil prices on the global market. Chester Keitseope, a resident of Mogoditshane who works in Gaborone, says he cannot cope with [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: May 25, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: South Africa has been disgraced by a wave of violence against foreigners that has left at least 50 dead, President Thabo Mbeki said Sunday.

In a 10-minute, prime time nationally televised address on the state broadcaster, Mbeki said South Africans’ heads were “bowed” and called the violence an “absolute disgrace.”

“The shameful actions of a few have blemished the name of South Africa,” he said. He said South Africans should remember their economy was built with the help of migrants from across the continent, and its neighbors had helped fight apartheid and some had died for their efforts.

Earlier Sunday, police raised from 42 to 50 the number of people killed in two weeks of anti-foreigner clashes. Thousands displaced by the violence coped with rain and cool temperatures.

A police spokesman also said Sunday that the army will continue [continue reading]