Archive for June 20th, 2008

source: Mmegi

Government has disclosed that the expansion of the first phase of Morupule B Power Station project is at pre-contract negotiation stage.

The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, says the evaluation of tenders for the first phase of the 600MW station “has been completed”.

“Construction is expected to start this year (while) commissioning is scheduled for 2011/12,” Kedikilwe says.

Earlier this year, the minister told the business sector that Government had short-listed two contractors, one of them a Chinese company with a reputation for completing projects ahead of schedule.

He said last week: “I intend to work vigorously with the winner of the tender for early delivery.”

The Morupule expansion project comes at a time when South African power utility, Eskom, has reduced its supply to Botswana from 410 MW last year to 350 MW currently.

South African authorities say they will keep on scaling down the supply to Botswana until 2010 when Botswana’s giant neighbour will host the FIFA Soccer World Cup, which will [continue reading]

source: News24
19/06/2008 16:03 – (SA)

Johannesburg – South Africa’s power utility Eskom said on Thursday it faces a serious electricity reserve margin challenge that would take time to resolve, and that the power system was still vulnerable and may lead to load-shedding.

“The reserve margin challenge is a deep, serious and material challenge, and it will take time to resolve,” Eskom’s chief executive Jacob Maroga said in a news conference.

Maroga also said the country’s power regulator’s decision to increase electricity tariffs was [continue reading]

source: IOL
June 19 2008 at 03:30PM

Nersa’s decision to grant Eskom a 27,5 percent tariff increase is a “watershed” moment, the power utility said in Midrand on Thursday.

“It is bold, courageous and it’s very responsible,” said Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga.

Maroga said the decision gave a clear message about where the energy regulator believed tariffs should go in the future.

In particular the regulator’s acknowledgement, if current assumptions remained, that a 20 to 25 percent tariff increase could be on the cards in the next three years was welcomed [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The run-up to the Zimbabwe presidential run-off elections next week is taking a different dimension as clashes between President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai’s supporters escalate.

One of the observers of the election told Mmegi last night that the situation is bad.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, she says it is clear the ruling party supporters are not going to concede defeat and they attack anybody they suspect to be loyal to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). “During the day the situation looks normal. But when evening comes, boys supporting the ruling ZANU-PF will just pick anybody they suspect to be a member of the opposition for a beating. Sometimes they will just pick members of a family and beat or even kill them. It is even worse that they seem to have adopted a system of amputation. They just chop off people’s hands,” she says. She added that the fights are mainly caused by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

HARARE: Botswana observers, together with 13 teams from other Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries have been accredited and deployed to monitor the Zimbabwean presidential election run-off on June 27.

A total of 47 regional and sub-regional organisations and countries from Africa, Asia, and the Americas have been invited with Russia being the only European country that will to observe the elections.

Observation from Africa, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Mozambique, Mauritius, Lesotho, Swaziland, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania will observe the elections. Others observing countries are [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Alan Cowell
Published: June 19, 2008

As more opposition supporters in Zimbabwe were reported killed, a prominent African grouping issued unusually blunt public criticism of President Robert Mugabe on Thursday, saying there was “every sign” that next week’s presidential run-off election “will never be free nor fair.”

The criticism seemed to reflect growing apprehension and impatience among Zimbabwe’s neighbors, a day after President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the regional mediator, launched what was depicted as an inconclusive final effort to ease growing tensions before the June 27 ballot.

Despite Mbeki’s visit to Zimbabwe on Wednesday – his third during the electoral crisis – the authorities in Harare were reported to have ruled Thursday that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change would not be allowed to place campaign advertisements in the state-run Herald newspaper.

Zimbabwe’s neighbors rarely issue public criticism of Mugabe, but the statement Thursday from the Tanzanian foreign minister, Bernard Membe, seemed remarkable, in part because of Tanzania’s long history of support for Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

Tanzania is also the current chair of the African Union, the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC)
19 June 2008

The South African government should recognize that political repression and economic deprivation have forced Zimbabweans to flee their country and immediately stop deporting them, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch called on the government to grant Zimbabweans in South Africa temporary status and work rights.

The 119-page report, “Neighbors in Need: Zimbabweans Seeking Refuge in South Africa,” examines South Africa’s decision to treat Zimbabweans merely as voluntary economic migrants and its failure to respond effectively to stop the human rights abuses and economic deprivation in Zimbabwe that cause their flight and to address their needs in South Africa. Human Rights Watch spoke to almost 100 Zimbabweans in South Africa about their plight.

“South Africa faces a stark choice: it can break international law by deporting asylum seekers and ignore the harsh reality faced by hundreds of thousands of other Zimbabweans on its territory, or it can [continue reading]